Do’s and Don’ts (winterizing and new engines)

Rebuilt Engine Do’s and Don’ts
  • You should be aware of the reason why the original engine failed.
  • If the problem is not avoided or corrected it is almost certain the newly rebuilt engine will fail.
  • If a restricted (lean) carburetion problem caused the original engine to fail, the new one will also fail unless the problem is prevented from happening again, Guaranteed!
  • The most common causes of engine failure are carbon build-up, pre-ignition, and overheating or any combination thereof.
  • The result of some of these problems is that the temperature in the combustion chamber gets too high.
  • As soon as the temperature in the chamber gets higher than normal the engine begins to run poorly and the damage to the engine begins.
  • An engine running hot due to deteriorated water pump or cooling system blockage compounds the problem.
  • An engine with excessive carbon build-up will absolutely without doubt, become damaged if it is not de-carbonized.
  • Using the highest quality two-cycle oil can prevent carbon build-up.
  • The other common failures we see is scuffing and/or cold seizure which occurs mostly in new or rebuilt engines.
  • When the engine is started, the piston heats up and expands quicker than the cylinder walls, the cylinder walls are liquid cooled (on L/C models).
  • If the engine is not allowed to WARM UP slowly, this can occur and all it takes is one FAST WARM UP and damage occurs.
  • So once the rings are seated properly from a good break in, this problem is not likely to occur.
  • This makes the break in period very critical. The proper break in of a new or rebuilt engine will help insure that you get good value from your investment.



When should I winterize my sterndrive or inboard engine boat?



When you are done using it before it gets cold enough to freeze water. Here in New England you could possible freeze up the block in october! So with that in mind, the earlier you get it winterized, the better.

Your engine block can freeze up and you may not even know it till spring. You could even winterize the engine and not find out you have a cracked block until spring. How can that be? The answer is simple. The fisure has already begun in the casting where the frozen water is sitting. This is cast iron we are taking about. With hard cast iron we also have brittleness. Cast iron can crack easily and not leak untill it thaws in the spring. The cracked area is filled with ice! Even running the engine on the garden hose and flushette with 35 degree water then -50 antifreeze wont melt a block of ice wedged in a cooling channel. Ever try to wash peanut butter off a spoon with cold water? It aint happening! What else occures is oxidation during the storage period, aka- rust. The crack widens as the  exposed cast iron rusts away…. One of water’s most remarkable properties is that it expands when it Fully freezes to a volume that is always 10% greater than in the liquid state. In other words, 10 cups of water put into the freezer is going to turn into 11 cups of ice when it freezes. This expansion takes place with tremendous force, as anyone knows who has left a full container of water with a tight lid in the freezer. The force is enough to burst the strongest water pipes if the water in them freezes, which is why people in cold climates sometimes leave a little water trickling through the pipes on freezing nights. “It is not possible to make a usable pipe strong enough to withstand this force. Freezing water can burst a cast iron pipe over a foot thick.”

Please don’t wait to Winterize.

cracked block

O’Connor and Sons recommends that a properly trained technician (us) service your motor. If you elect to do it yourself, be sure to use caution, common sense, and to observe all safety procedures in the vicinity of gasoline, moving engine parts, high temperature components, heavy items, and electrical or ignition systems.

The information offered here or over the phone is often only general in nature and should not be construed as complete factory approved procedures, techniques, or specifications.  Always use the proper service manual for your motor, up-to-date service literature, the correct tools, and have an understanding of how to proceed with troubleshooting and repair methods. If you are unsure or uncomfortable with a procedure, a situation or a technique, enlist our services as professionally trained technicians.