5 TOP DIY EN­GINE TIPS

Some im­por­tant chores to do to get your boat ready for the sea­son.

Boating - - FRONT PAGE -

Main­te­nance re­mains the key to a bet­ter­run­ning en­gine and longer en­gine life. While there’s more to know than any one ar­ti­cle can in­clude, make these rec­om­mended checks of the fol­low­ing five sys­tems.

frothy, it’s con­tam­i­nated by wa­ter — bring the en­gine in for ser­vice.

Check power-trim fluid lev­els. In­spect trim-pump reser­voir caps for the milk-car­ton­like seal un­der the cap. Dis­card this; it in­hibits vent­ing and may lead to leaks.

Re­move the lower gear-case drain screw and check the con­di­tion of the lu­bri­cant. It should be clean, am­beror green-col­ored, and not dirty or con­tam­i­nated by wa­ter. Burnt lube means im­proper gear lash and im­pend­ing fail­ure; milky means wa­ter is leak­ing through a seal, which leads to rusted gears, shafts and bear­ings.

Don’t for­get to in­spect en­gine coolant and power and hy­draulic­steer­ing fluid lev­els.

2 COOL­ING

Run the en­gine on a hose adapter or at the dock to en­sure proper cool­ing-sys­tem op­er­a­tion be­fore you go.

When the en­gine is cool, check wa­ter hoses for age, brit­tle­ness and dry rot. Hoses should be pli­ant yet firm, not mushy.

3 DRIVES AND PROPS

Check the pro­pel­ler shaft for straight­ness by stand­ing di­rectly be­hind it and ro­tat­ing the pro­pel­ler, watch­ing

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