OFF-SEASON STORAGE TIPS
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR STORAGE
Proper preparation for periods of extended storage
of your outboard requires a comprehensive look at the entire boat/motor/trailer
package. Of course, if you just have a small "kicker" that you use
on a cartopper, the only thing you have to deal with is the motor
Gather the following items, along with your boat,
fuel tank filled, in an area where you can run the motor on your
Applicator containers of: storage "fogging" oil,
fuel stabilizer like Sta-Bil or OMC 2+4, anti-corrosion spray, and
a good spray lube product like LPS2 or OMC 6 in 1. A trailer jack.
Proceed as follows. First, add some fuel stabilizer
to the gas in the recommended amount. In fact, the best thing to
do is add it before you fill up the tank! Why fill the tank? (After
all, its gonna sit - right?) This will prevent a couple of unpleasant
things from happening. Condensation. And oxidation and subsequent
spoilage. I hope you can get undoped gas - oxygenated and gasohol
Fuels are a NO-NO! if you cannot get anything else, you must COMPLETELY
drain ALL the fuel system. And I mean AAALLLL. The lines, the VRO
on OMC motors, the whole monkey. This stuffs deadly. Start the motor
on the flush, run it up to warm and to ensure that the treated fuel
gets in to the whole system. Apply the fogging oil to the carburetors
equally - some motors have a fitting you can apply this thru, most
you will have to look around for openings to shoot the stuff through,
maybe even remove the silencer cover. You'll get lotsa' smoke. Great.
So disconnect the line and run the motor out of gas at IDLE. Keep
fogging. Note OMC motors with VRO system you will have to shut it
off and drain the carbs manually or depend on the stabilizer. If
you try to run the gas out, the VRO will fill the carbs with oil,
this will turn to goo by spring.After the motor is run , unhook
the flusher and drain the gear case and refill with fresh lube.
If there is water in the old stuff, it could freeze and burst the
case. Pull the spark plugs , tilt up and spray more storage fogging
oil in the cylinders directly, turn it by hand to distribute it
on the cylinder walls.
My late 50's 19' MFG restoration, fresh
This should take care of the motor innards. But
- wait - you're not done yet. Here's the good stuff. Clean the powerhead
up to remove accumulated crud and any salt deposits.Let it dry,
douche it good with the 6 in 1 or equivalent, coat electrical connections
with anti-corrosion spray.
Next, (unless you have hydraulic steering) disconnect
the steering link arm from the motor and unscrew the big nut on
the motor tilt tube. remove the steering cable from the motor and
extend the cable all the way out. Run an oily rag down the tube
to remove all the crud from the bore. Clean all the gunk off the
cable and let it hang down for awhile to get any water out. then
spray it, and the tube with the anti-corrosion spray. Leave it off
and extended, hang it up under the well where it won't get in the
weather. For hydraulic, remove the extenders that hold the cylinder
and remove the rod thru the tube, clean as above. You ain't seen
grief til this stuff all seizes up and you get the bill.
When you have the boat where you are going to
store it, disconnect the battery and REMOVE IT from the boat, put
it inside on a board and keep a trickle charger on it a couple days
a month. Clean the terminals with soda and spray with the anti-corrosion
treatment. Spray the area around the base of the powerhead and the
trim (if equipped) with anti - corrosion. If the inside of your
motor cover has a foam sound blanket and you use the motor in saltwater,
see if it is a closed cell foam, if not RIP IT OUT! Salt is hygroscopic,
that is it attracts moisture and the 2 do a great job of eating
up the motor. All OMC motors use cheap foam. 86 it quick! Store
the motor tilted DOWN to running position. And when you put the
cover back on, don't wrap the motor in a piece of plastic or a "Blue"
tarp. cover it up with a cloth cover and set a piece of plywood
or something on top to keep rain off. Otherwise condensation will
never dry off the block. Same for the boat. It's gotta breathe.
If you have a really fancy rig to store outside, have a pro come
out and shrink wrap the BOAT. Not the motor.
Last, but not least, attend to the trailer. Jack
it up and pull the wheels and hubs. Repack the bearings, if you
have buddy bearings, ensure they are full. Put the thing on blocks
and store the tires in the shed. Spray anti - corrosion on any unprotected
SO there you have it. with any luck, on that first
nice spring day, your steering will steer, the trailer will roll,
the motor will mote and a good time will be had by all. You may
even save enough to upgrade that old PC you are reading this on!
One last caveat! Check the registrations on the rig & trailer and
renew them early so next spring you won't get fuzzed. I remember
the fine spring day I went to the lake Sammammish launch ramp near
Seattle. About 125 rigs parked there, half with expired tabs, and
Smokey just writin' up a storm!