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  1. #1
    Ferda's Avatar
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    Engine Descaling/Barnacle Buster Question

    Question for you guys on an 04 FX motor that is in a SUV.

    If i pull the motor out of the ski, can you run a solution like Barnacle Buster through the motor? Or will the motor have to be running?

    With my inboards on my catamaran I run the solution through the coolers to keep them clean but I am not sure about a motor that utilizes a open loop cooling system...

    My thinking is with the waterbox removed it should be fine with the motor not running. Let me know your thoughts!

    Only reason I am entertaining this is because a run in salt 100% of the time and I am having to replace the starter. Thinking since the motor will be out and its to cold to ride, why not. I will also replace the anodes located in the oil cooler and engine block after the flush.
    Last edited by Ferda; 01-13-2020 at 11:42 AM.


  2. #2

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    Don't think you'll find any barnacles or marine growth inside the motor.

    You will find salt and silt buildup.

  3. #3
    Ferda's Avatar
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    While you might be correct about the barnacles, don't let the name fool you. It's basically a soapy muriatic acid solution that would dissolve any silt build up and salt deposits.

    I typically use a bilge pump to run it thru the cooling systems and it works wonders.

  4. #4

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    If you flush the motor after each ride, you'd be surprised at how clean the water passages are, even in saltwater operation. I've taken apart a few of these motors (used in salty NY waterways) and found that the worst of the buildup is in the exhaust manifold, I guess because it's a low spot that allows water to accumulate.

    I'd be concerned that the muriatic acid solution is too harsh, especially since a lot of the cooling and exhaust lines are rubber hoses.

    The problem with injecting the solution into a non-running motor is that the liquid can back up in the exhaust and enter the cylinders. This is why they say not to flush the motor unless it's running. I'd have to go look at the exhaust passages to see exactly where the cooling water and exhaust gases mix. If that happens on the exhaust side of the motor, you'll definitely have a problem. If it happens close to the waterbox, and you flush with the waterbox removed, you might be OK. If I remember correctly, they combine in the stinger pipe.

    If you're going to try to flush the motor using this stuff, you should probably re-install the motor and flush while it's running... then flush thoroughly with fresh water. That would be the safest way. When I winterize, I use a pump for the anti-freeze and a plastic mixing pan to catch it as it comes out, so that I can run the anti-freeze through the motor a few times. That might be the best way for you to accomplish this task.
    Last edited by grumpy_steven; 01-13-2020 at 10:22 PM.

  5. #5
    ncdoo's Avatar
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    If you remove the waterbox as you stated, you wont have to worry about the solution backfilling into the cylinders. If you're not having overheating problems I really wouldnt be concerned. If you're running in salt, just flush it after each use and you should be fine. As an added precaution, use Salt-Away when you flush.

  6. #6
    Ferda's Avatar
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    Sorry for the late reply. I was chasing down a starter issuer that ended up being the one way bearing behind the flywheel. Whole reason for pulling the motor.

    Anyways, got that all back together. I flush after every ride with salt away and I am not having any overheating issues. I am probably just more paranoid tinker as my wife calls me... lol

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