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I picked up a 21' day cruiser last fall and ended up having to winterize before I could take it out for a spin. While winterizing, after pulling the exhaust manifolds and removing the drain plugs on the block, I discovered a hard solid material behind both plugs. My best guess is this is Block-fill. What I don't get is why would this be done to a marine 454 Chevy? The prior owner didn't know about it and so far doesn't have the information on the building of this engine. If anyone knows why fill a block and what benefits or liabilities of having a filled block there are, please reply to this post. Thanks..:detective:
 

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Just Me
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I picked up a 21' day cruiser last fall and ended up having to winterize before I could take it out for a spin. While winterizing, after pulling the exhaust manifolds and removing the drain plugs on the block, I discovered a hard solid material behind both plugs. My best guess is this is Block-fill. What I don't get is why would this be done to a marine 454 Chevy? The prior owner didn't know about it and so far doesn't have the information on the building of this engine. If anyone knows why fill a block and what benefits or liabilities of having a filled block there are, please reply to this post. Thanks..:detective:
It's not block fill, it's river/lake bottom. It's a jet boat. It sucks up silt and crap and pumps it through the engine to cool the engine. Where ever the velocity of the water slows down, sediment falls out and settles. Take the drain out, take a pick and poke at it. Ods are it will crumble. Once you have it cleaned out run water through it and try to get the rest of it out. And when you get done on the lake/river open the drains and get the crap out before it dries and hardens.

BTW... Nice looking boat. Enjoy!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
It's not block fill, it's river/lake bottom. It's a jet boat. It sucks up silt and crap and pumps it through the engine to cool the engine. Where ever the velocity of the water slows down, sediment falls out and settles. Take the drain out, take a pick and poke at it. Ods are it will crumble. Once you have it cleaned out run water through it and try to get the rest of it out. And when you get done on the lake/river open the drains and get the crap out before it dries and hardens.

BTW... Nice looking boat. Enjoy!!!
I tried the pick thing and the stuff was very, very hard. If you're right and it is sediment, I am worried about my winterized block. I was very thorough with blowing everything out with air then filling everything with pink RV antifreeze. What makes me nervous is how much water could have been trapped in the block if clogged with sediment. It sure was not moving with a pick though.

BTW... Thanks I'm pretty happy with this thing so far.
 

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Odds are, it is what snoc says. You can be a little more sure, and if it is sediment, how much, by knocking a freeze plug out the center and seeing. It could make removing really hard sediment easier to get out.

Be forewarned, not all "pink" anti freeze plays well with aluminum. Do yourself a favor and look up RV anti freezes. They are not all created equal. The aluminum safe stuff is not all the cheap.

Most RV anti freeze is not aluminum safe. Don't be tempted to use ethylene glycol either.

Just a heads up. Intakes and exhaust manifolds can get expensive. Might be cheaper and easier just be sure they are dry

Chemicals, Lubricants & Cleaner | Chemicals | Freeze Free -100°™ Boiler Anti-Freeze, Aluminum Safe Formula Pg - Pkg Qty 4 | B638214 - GlobalIndustrial.com



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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Well I won't be checking on anything until it get a bit warmer around here. It's 7 above right now and we have had as low as -15 this winter. If something is going to crack, it already did. I took the exhaust off and it's in the basement and getting a shine refresher. Intake should be dry as should the heads. I got my fingers crossed on the block as I poured as much anti-freeze as I could into it. I usually drain my motors completely before filling them with pink stuff. That's why I was stymied by the crud in the drain holes. That stuff is like plastic, or asphalt that was melted into place.
 

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Do you know the bore size of your motor? If the builder bored it out over .060 range, they may have added the filler to stiffen the cylinder bottoms. In a jet with plenty of cool water flowing through the motor, it usually isn't a problem.
 

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Do you know the bore size of your motor? If the builder bored it out over .060 range, they may have added the filler to stiffen the cylinder bottoms. In a jet with plenty of cool water flowing through the motor, it usually isn't a problem.
Agree......the block could very well be half filled with block filler. IE: filled up to the bottom of the front water inlets. In a boat (particularly a jet), this would run fine temp wise. Like Bob said, pop out a side freeze plug to know for sure.
In my 50+ yrs of boating, I've never done anything more than drain / blow out with air compressor for winterizing. JMO, Jocko
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Do you know the bore size of your motor? If the builder bored it out over .060 range, they may have added the filler to stiffen the cylinder bottoms. In a jet with plenty of cool water flowing through the motor, it usually isn't a problem.
I would like to know what was done to the motor the last time it was put together for sure. I asked the seller for info from previous owners and he hasn't gotten back to me yet. The way this thing is put together, I would guess things were done correctly or with durability in mind. A detailed receipt from the last build would be ideal. Then I would know what I'm working with. In about three months I should be taking her out for the first time and we will see what she can do. Unless I'm replacing a short block.
 

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Agree......the block could very well be half filled with block filler. IE: filled up to the bottom of the front water inlets. In a boat (particularly a jet), this would run fine temp wise. Like Bob said, pop out a side freeze plug to know for sure.
In my 50+ yrs of boating, I've never done anything more than drain / blow out with air compressor for winterizing. JMO, Jocko
that's about all that's needed. 100psi of air thru the system a couple times over 5 minutes should do it.
 

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In regards to winterizing my Jet and many-many years ago I discovered something interesting, believe it was from talking to a rep from FelPro.

Anyhow, the rep said..."for boat winterizing/off season it's always best to keep the block full" This is even in a temperature controlled environment.

Reason...inside the iron block and iron heads and with the absence of even water, the rusting process is accelerated...makes sense.

Off-season I always drain the river water out and keep my block full of 50/50 mix of green antifreeze. Come early Spring, I'll drain it from the block drain locations (capped 1" long brass pipe nipples are always in) and I will reuse that 50/50 a few times/years.

I have a 6' length of clear tubing that I'll feed through the lower transom drain hole, the other end is in a capture jug (usually the saved coolant jugs).
Then...remove the cap off the brass nipple and quickly slide the snug-fitting hose over the brass nipple and out comes the clean coolant.
When one side is empty, I visit the other side and repeat. With my BBC I usually recover 3.50 gallons of coolant. That's from a full block, to the top of the T-stat intake.

BTW, I always pre-filter the water entering my block and headers...sand and sediment build-up is a thing of the past :))THumbsUp
 

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Rather than pulling a freeze plug to see what is in the block, I think I'd start by removing the water inlet plates at the front of the block, first. Lot easier to get to.
 

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Rather than pulling a freeze plug to see what is in the block, I think I'd start by removing the water inlet plates at the front of the block, first. Lot easier to get to.
Good point, pull that water inlet and poke a wire downward. If its solid at that level, it's definitely not sand buildup.....it's blockfill. Jocko
 

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Odds are, it is what snoc says. You can be a little more sure, and if it is sediment, how much, by knocking a freeze plug out the center and seeing. It could make removing really hard sediment easier to get out.

Be forewarned, not all "pink" anti freeze plays well with aluminum. Do yourself a favor and look up RV anti freezes. They are not all created equal. The aluminum safe stuff is not all the cheap.

Most RV anti freeze is not aluminum safe. Don't be tempted to use ethylene glycol either.

Just a heads up. Intakes and exhaust manifolds can get expensive. Might be cheaper and easier just be sure they are dry

Chemicals, Lubricants & Cleaner | Chemicals | Freeze Free -100°™ Boiler Anti-Freeze, Aluminum Safe Formula Pg - Pkg Qty 4 | B638214 - GlobalIndustrial.com


Well Fuck !!!! Thanks Bob, now you got me freaked out about winterizing my engines :confused: I always fill my engines at the end of the year to put them away with Orilleys best
 
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