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Old 05-07-2012, 11:38 PM   #1
Lt. JG
 
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Default Spring Commissioning Novice - what can I do myself??

Hi all,
I'm new to the group,
I have a 2000 Maxum 3000 SCR with about 400hrs & I'd like to do as much of the spring commissioning myself, but I'm still a novice with the express cruiser style boat and all it's systems. The dealer winterized all systems & shrink-wrapped, plus I had them keep all 3 batteries charged. The bottom paint may just need a touch up; but how involved is starting up the water system, head, water heater hook up, A/C, checking for leaks, etc? Seems simple enough, but I didn't want to miss the obvious or screw anything up, which I'm prone to doing! For instance, I know the water heater can't be run without any water, but do I just fill up the water tank & just open up all the spouts to run out the antifreeze and does the hot water tank/heater just auto-fill itself once the cold water is pressurized or are there hoses to hook up back to the heater as well? I cant find any guide thats helpful with this stuff specific to my boat, not even the owners manual covers any of it, & the dealer and/or yard loves to put fear & doubt in the minds of novices in order to pad the bill. Plus they want 150.00 just to start her up and check the engines. For example, what should I look for when starting them up other than obvious leaks, or smoke & flames? I'm thinking about changing the drive oil in my Bravo II's (I've done it on large & small outboards & I've watched it done on YouTube on outdrives & looks simple enough), then I'd change the engine oil& filters (twin 5.0L's) once it's launched via sucking it out thru the dipstick tubes. Not sure about how to change fuel filters or even where they are. Only put a few hrs on last season (maybe 10hrs) b/c we traded up mid-season & most of the hours were put on by the dealer in order to correct stbd engine overheat issue which is hopefully now corrected (they had a tough time figuring it out, as they changed the stbd elbow & riser plus all sensors, but it seemed to be a cooling water return line behind the drive that was partially blocked).
I'd love to get to the point of being comfortable doing most of routine seasonal stuff.
Any guidance from the pros here would be awesome!
Thanks guys,
Scott
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Old 05-08-2012, 12:38 AM   #2
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I wont say I'm a pro, but I do a lot of stuff myself. It sounds as if your boat is not in the water yet.
First thing, most places will change oil, filter and drive gear oil prior to the winter. This removes any possibility of water, freezing, etc. So, if you can find out if any of this work was done prior to winter, you'll save yourself a lot of time, money and work. If not, then here are a couple of sites that give some good information:
http://www.boatingwithtr.com/Members/BravoService.aspx
http://www.outdriveshop.com/mercruiserhelp.html
When it comes to the cabin, water systems, a/c, etc. Its not much to it. First, find your water heater and see if there is bypass hose. The bypass hose is used in the winterization to empty out the water heater first, the bypass it, so when filling the water system with the pink antifreeze, you dont wind up putting a lot of antifreeze in an empty water heater. If there is no bypass, then time to turn on the water. Either you have a water tank, a water supply inlet from shore or both. Start with the water tank. You should have a water pump switch someplace in your boat. On my 3200, its in the galley, next to the fridge. Turn it on, it will pressurize your water system. You should hear a pump working. The pump should stop after a few seconds. If it continues to pump, you have a leak someplace, time to figure that out. If not, turn on your main faucets, if you see pink stuff coming out, thats good. After a while, it will empty. Stop the pump. Fill your water tank, and repeat, purging out all antifreeze from both hot and cold faucets, showers, transom shower, outside faucet, etc. Once you do that, if you have a shore water supply, turn off the pump switch, hook up a garden hose to the supply inlet, and again drain out all your faucets. Marine stores sell some water tank tabs for cleaning it out, check with them, it gets rid of a lot of smells.

Thinks like the a/c pull water from under the boat, so unless you can rig something to do your a/c, this can be done once its in the water. Do check your shut off valves first, before it goes in the water. Once in the water, the a/c can be purge of any antifreeze simply by running it.

Cleaning the boat, hull, canvas, inside, outside, waxing, etc is all done easier when its still on land. Do as much of that before it goes in the water.

Engines and outdrives. Once you've checked/done oil/filter/gear lube, fuel filter/seperator, time to hook up muffs and start each motor. If you're mechanically inclined and know about engines, thats good. If not, find a buddy or another boat owner who can help. One guy watches the drive to make sure water is pumping out, another one has the head in the bilge to listen for noise, check for leaks, etc. Let each engine run for a while, check your temperature gauges. I check the temperature of the risers as well by actually touching them. They should be warm, not hot. If they are too hot to touch, you have an issue that should be checked by a mechanic. Once your engines are running, check for proper working of your outdrives, trim tabs, all lights, etc, anything electrical.

There is probably more to write, but this is a good start.
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:27 AM   #3
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I've had my 2002 2900 SCR since 2004. The first season I had the marina do everything, that all changed once I got the bill. If you're mechanically inclined it's not difficult, if not have someone who is knowledgeable help because there is a long checklist to complete. YouTube has some great maintenance videos. Buy the manual for your engine and drives. I like to separate the work that can be done in the water from those completed on land. For example I like to change the oil in the water and much of the winterizing can be done in the water too. Since you're getting ready to launch I would change the drive fluid, replace the anodes and grease the fittings and the Gimbal bearing. As far as the water systems winterized I just flush out the antifreeze with water, I like to use a little bleach in the fresh water tank then flush out completely. I use ablative bottom paint and remember to use non copper paint on the drives (like a Trilux 33). You can sand the drives if necessary with sandpaper but never use a wire brush. There is a lot to know and it takes time to learn so if you're not sure it's probably a good idea to let a pro complete it until you absorb it all. As you do more yourself you can save thousands of dollars every year. Good luck!
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Old 05-08-2012, 02:45 AM   #4
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Thanks the great advice guys - very much appreciated! Sounds like I can handle the water system if all goes well, but I'll leave the gimbal bearing to the pros- yikes! Not sure how often they need replacing but haven't noticed any tell-tale sounds yet...

Anyone know what we're supposed to use to lubricate a manual head's pump handle? I noticed it was getting a bit stiff & squeaky end of last season?

Thanks again!
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Old 05-08-2012, 02:58 AM   #5
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welcome to the zoo.....first off....lets do the fresh water system....as you know it's a pressurized system.....so...the easiest thing to do is to fill the tank up with fresh water and pump it thru the system..the water heater will fill automatically....then once it's drained...shut it off and fill it this time using about 2 cups of white vinegar and let pump thru the system until you smell the vinegar...shut the system down......let sit for 24 hrs and then drain the system...then drain and refill with fresh water and a germacide or some other water treatment...
the san-system is easy..pump out and refill as necessary.....the engine if it's got antifreeze in it's system is simple..start the engines up and let warm....it's just that simple...however if your yard used that green stuff for antifreeze...you might want to recover it rather than blow it out the stern drive..to do that there should be blue plugs all under the manifolds and pumps and all....just look for the blue plugs and twist them off..then let the engine coolant drain...you don't want to drain the main coolant if you have freshwater cooling......

the oil is pumped out thru the dip stick or the drain hose if yours is installed with it......the oil filter should be on the port side of each engine ..if it's not on top in front of the manifold..it's under it......

other than that...make sure all electrical systems are working properly and that's all there is to recommissioning.......


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Old 05-08-2012, 03:06 AM   #6
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Awesome, thanks seapuppy... any idea what kind of lubricant is supposed to be used on a manual head's pump handle, it was getting harder to pump/squeaking as of end of last season?
Thanks again!!
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Old 05-08-2012, 03:52 AM   #7
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yes....go to a marine store and get some teflon grease.....do not use vegetable oil on any of the seals...(an old wives tale.).....pull the handle assy. off the main body and slather the crap out of it with the teflon grease and also the seals (best to use rubber gloves on this)....be liberal with the teflon around the seals and shaft...
you'll have a great summer with the head then.....every so often use the teflon grease and you'll get lots of good yrs with it...


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Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
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Old 05-08-2012, 11:51 AM   #8
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Great, thanks seapuppy.. Glad I asked cuz I've heard a lot about the "wives tale oils" with much debate over which to use!
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:04 PM   #9
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cooking oil will work for the short term but leaves a mess inside the tank.....yuck...produces even more bacteria than just waste alone..


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Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
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I live in my own little world....but it's okay-they know me here!!!

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