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Flushing Out Salt Deposits Inside Outboard Motors
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Sea Wolf



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:52 pm    Post subject: Flushing Out Salt Deposits Inside Outboard Motors Reply with quote

On another thread here, the question about how best to remove salt accumulations on the inside of outboard motors came up, so here's the question:


"Will simple fresh water flushing, on a regular basis, dissolve salt deposits in an outboard motor, or do those deposits, once formed, resist simple dissolving with fresh water, and gradually accumulate anyway, and, if so, what is the best way to go about removing them, and what products or chemicals are best suited for the job?"

We've got some very sharp C-Dory owners, outboard mechanics, and dealers on board here, and should be able to get some pretty good answers, though I suspect there are a lot of complicating issues to a fairly simple question.

Thanks!

Joe. Teeth Thumbs Up

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C-Dawg



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use Salt Away. Run the motor at idle for about 5 minutes with the Salt Away dispenser inline with the garden hose to the flushing nozzle of the outboard.
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Don and Brenda



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also use Salt-Away, I use this on my boat and trailer rinse also.
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journey on



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any idea how well Salt Away works? I soaked a salt encrusted thermostat for a week in a strong solution of the stuff. It took 3-4 days for the crud to clean up. Does 5 min work?

Boris
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C-Hawk



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a salt-away dispenser, but I use white vinegar. Works good, and a whole lot more cost friendly.
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Sea Wolf



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The reason I asked this question was that I sensed that simple flushing was obviously not getting the salt out of motors, at least in some instances.

If the salt in the ocean was nothing more than table salt, or sodium chloride, I don't think there would be any problem, as it is extremely soluble in water, and regular freshwater flushing should dissolve it away.

The problem may be that ocean salt is many different types of salts combined into one big "soup", some of which are not as soluble as sodium chloride.

What I think happens, is that some of those salts, once they get deposited on the innards of an outboard motor, don't easily re-dissolve back into water, even into freshwater, and that some form of chemical treatment flushing should therefore be in order, and, if so, one would need to find the most effective agent for the job, and our experiences should tell us what works best.

But then, I could be all wrong (again!)...... there may be a temperature issue, or one involving dissolved /suspended organics inhibiting solubility , or something involved in the electromotive issues with the aluminum alloys of the engine, etc.

Nothing, it seems, is ever all that simple, opnce you look closely at it.......!

Joe. Teeth Thumbs Up
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breausaw



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

C-Hawk wrote:
I have a salt-away dispenser, but I use white vinegar. Works good, and a whole lot more cost friendly.


Interesting; Vinegar actually helps to remove salt deposits? I took a glass of vinegar and added a spoon full of salt, it dissolved.

Pricing Salt Away in the WM catalog, not cheap but if it extends motor life and works on the boat trailer than it’s definitely worth the price. Then again, if vinegar works as well what dilution factor should I use?

I keep a pump sprayer in the truck to rinse the trailer after launching because it will sit for 2 to 4 days on average; vinegar is about $2.00 a gal at Costco so I could use it straight; it also helps remove rust.

131 uses for Vinegar

I remember using vinegar to etch aluminum prier to painting on a fishing boat that indicates it dissolves aluminum…maybe not a good idea on outboards.

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Last edited by breausaw on Fri Mar 05, 2010 1:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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hardee



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joe,

I have asked our Yamaha mechanic and also researched this in the yamaha literature. Their recommendations are for an immediate flushing with fresh water, and not just a splash. Turn up the pressure to be equal to if the engine is running, and flush for 15 to 20 minutes. That is with just freshwater. If using Salt-away, it decreases the time by half according to the mechanics.

That works great for an out and back day, but if you are out for 3,4,or more days, it bothers me that it doesn't get rinsed until the end of the last day. Don't like that much.

Good thread, thanks for bring it up and hope we get some good info. Lots of good sources here.

Harvey
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C-Dawg



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hardee wrote:
...but if you are out for 3,4,or more days, it bothers me that it doesn't get rinsed until the end of the last day. Don't like that much.
Will salt accumulate or build up if the the cooling jackets of your outboard are kept full of salt water? Doesn't seem to me like there'd be any more build up than you see on the hull after a few days, or on the dockside.

So I think as long as you kept the cooling jackets full of salt water, you'd be okay until you got home to flush. But then I'm not a mechanic, I just stayed at a Holiday Inn one time. Wink
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Doryman



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

C-Dawg wrote:
I use Salt Away. Run the motor at idle for about 5 minutes with the Salt Away dispenser inline with the garden hose to the flushing nozzle of the outboard.


I seem to remember that somewhere someone said that the flushing attachment was not to be used while the engine is running. Can anyone definitively confirm or deny?

Thanks,
Warren

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Hunkydory



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joe

I've wondered too about the fresh water running removing the old salt. Our twin Honda 40's spent the first 250 hours of their 1200 hours on the ocean and since more time in fresh water then salt. Only problem so far with areas the salt could have effected is having to replace thermostats. One thermostat change out in 9 years running seams good to me salt or no salt. Fortunately when the one thermostat stuck it was in the open position and for a while that was trouble enough. Have bought the kit to replace the impellers and plan to it soon as the weather warms here. Will be interesting to see how much corrosion is in that area.

No problems with motors overheating in the seven seasons we have cruised the boat even though we lugged them somewhat with props not properly pitched at times for loads and altitude in the first two seasons.

Jay

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JamesTXSD



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I changed out thermostats last year, and there was quite a build up of salt in those lines. The shop I use said they see this all the time, and used muriatic acid to flush that! Shocked There was quite a bit of nasty stuff that came out of there. This was, according to them, as per Honda's recommendations. I certainly got a much stronger pee stream after that. When we're out cruising, we may go weeks or even months without access to flushing. Generally daily running, though.

I've asked some of the commercial guys around here who run outboards about flushing... "What? Almost never." I take that to mean: never. When we're home, I flush after each outing most of the time.

We use vinegar on our windows and eisenglass to cut through the salt when we're out cruising and don't have access to unlimited fresh water. We keep a squeeze bottle with a mixture of vinegar and water handy... squirt it on the windows and run the wipers as necessary. Vinegar is definitely your friend.

Best wishes,
Jim B.

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BrentB



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HIgh water mineral content may also be a factor
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C-Dawg



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doryman wrote:
I seem to remember that somewhere someone said that the flushing attachment was not to be used while the engine is running. Can anyone definitively confirm or deny?

Thanks,
Warren
Warren,

The owner's manual for my Merc states to run the engine at no more than idle while flushing to reach operating temp. I assume this opens the thermostat and flushes fresh water throughout all the jackets.
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matt_unique



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 9:36 pm    Post subject: Flush Reply with quote

My Suzuki manual specifically says you are not to run the engine using the flush ports. I only run the engines with the outdrive dunked in a tub or in the ocean. I use a hose attachment (engines not running) at the end of each trip.
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