Flushing Motors in Saltwater


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If you use your boat every day in salt water it may be OK to not flush it. If you are going to let it sit for over two days it would be best to flush it. Sea salts tend to stick to insides of the motor passages creating blockages that in time will hurt the motor. When I ran my boat in salt water I would flush it every time I was done for the day.
Bassin :WELCOME:

please elaborate a little on your rig ?
new - used - vintage - antique ? 12 foot ? 20 foot ?
do you trailer it home every time after a day in the salt ?

if you do trailer it home after every day on the salt,
it only takes a few minutes to wash down everything and flush the motor.

it is called PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE. .........
The more you can do to preserve the life of your boat, motor and trailer,
the more happy boating days you will have left.
and not sitting in the driveway addressing corrosion issues when you could be boating.

Jus my Dos Centavos

Didn't flush once,family raised hell bout the smell..................oh wait ,you're talk about an out board :LOL2:

in both cases...........always flush
I've changed water pumps on several motors that are exclusively saltwater use, with no chance for flushing (Kickers, dinghies) The large majority of the lower is usually in good shape. However, the area directly under the waterpump, right at the driveshaft seal, is usually heavily corroded. This is one of the areas that doesn't tend to drain on it's own.

Also without flushing, there tends to be a significant amount of corrosion and salt build up in the cooling channels around the cylinders.

If you have the ability, I would suggest you flush as often as possible. If not, keep an eye on your cylinder temps every once in a while. If they start getting too high, you will need to consider pulling the head gasket and doing a deep clean.
As kofkorn mentioned, I have also noticed that the only part of the lower unit that really seems to suffer the effects of saltwater is the driveshaft seal where it goes into the lower unit.

I dredge with my outboard, (since the corps of engineers isn't going to clear my channel for me, I do it myself) so, I replace the impeller and housing as a set, as the sand usually wears out both of them, the housing is always gouged up pretty bad. But as long as the tell-tale is showing a steady stream of water it's generally OK. But if your outboard gets used like mine, it's a good idea to flush as often as you can, and change parts as needed.
My first boat was a Zodiac with a 50 HP Johnson, 1970's era. Bought it used from a dealer. When I did the test run, as he was setting it up, he grumbled it (boat & motor) had been on a trip to Baja and was wondering if the guys using it had flushed it out.

Yeah, right! Shortly after taking possession I noticed poor flow through the tell-tale. Poked a wire in and hit something. Pulled the water jacket and found it was packed with salt and half eaten through with corrosion. This presumably from a 1 week Baja trip (although now I wonder if it had ever been flushed).

I should have taken it back and demanded either repair or new motor. However, I just got a new water jacket, fixed it and moved on.

Anyways, now, 40 years later, it is flush, flush, flush. I also run some SaltAway through frequently.

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