1503-4-TEC winterizing procedures


Super Mod
Premium Member
Deep South
Water Crafts
1997 Challenger, 1997 GTX , 1991 SP and a shop with 2 spare 787cc's and a bunch of parts laying arou
Winterizing the 4-TEC engines

We have had a lot of request about getting our skis ready for the winter months, which are just around the corner for a few and not till about December for others (Florida, Texas and other areas of the Gulf Coast).
Let’s start by checking our skis out. When the off season is here, this is the perfect time to get our parts fixed, that we broke through the summer months and to do our yearly maintenance required in our shop manuals.

Hull and pump
1. You should check your steering cable for ease of movement. I use Lithium grease on most of my metal to metal moving parts. It holds up well with winter and moisture. WD-40, although a good lubricant, will run off the components you are trying to protect. So, don’t rely on it to last more than a week.
2. Look at the steering nozzle bushings and fasteners. Make sure all is tight and in good working order. Try to move it side to side at the bushings, to see if they are becoming worn.
3. Check your O.P.A.S. system. Where applicable, lubricate bushings and moving parts for the winter. Lithium is good here, but will eventually wear off while riding.
4. Check and lube your drive shaft. Looking for any signs of wear and corrosion.
5. Check your carbon ring and rubber boot. Check the carrier ring for a nice smooth surface.
6. Make sure your reverse bucket is in good operation. Lubricate all moving parts with the Lithium grease. Check that there are no nuts and bolts loose.
7. Check your VTS system for proper operation. Again, check for loose nuts and bolts; apply the Lithium grease where applicable.
8. Inspect the impeller boot.
9.Do an impeller to wearing ring clearance check. For me, if you don’t have the 45 degree angle feeler gages, just a visual will work. Remember, the impeller should be as close as it can be, like slipping a piece of paper between the blade and ring, and check the sacrificial anode since you’re under the ski. It’s the little round zinc piece usually held on by one screw.
10. Check your ride plate and intake grate for damage or any foreign objects. The space between the impeller and stator is the most likely place to find debris.
11. Look over the hull for any damage; check your drain plugs that the threads look good and not about to strip out on you.
12. Finally, check your entire pump end for anything that may have vibrated loose through the riding season. Remember, something small can become a major problem, if not taken care of when it’s least expensive.

Engine and subsystems
1. Check all fasteners that are within reach. Grab the motor and try to move it side to side to determine if you may have a bad motor mount.
2. If you didn’t have oil service this season, it’s time to change the oil and filter.
3. Its good to have a hydrometer on hand, to check the condition of your anti-freeze. It’s used to determine the maximum cold temperature your antifreeze will protect. A 50/50 mix of ethylene glycol and water is required for your engine. It is recommended to use biodegradable antifreeze compatible with internal combustion aluminum engines. Never use 100% anti-freeze, damage to seals can occur. Anti-freeze should be replaced every 2 years or 200 hours, whichever comes first.
4. Check your cooling system for leaks and that all hoses are tight. Looking for any fasteners that have corrosion and replace them as needed.
5. Look over your fuel injection/throttle body for any fuel leaks, loose hoses or electrical connections that may be corroded or worn. Check the filler neck of the fuel tank, to ensure it’s tight. Make sure your vent line is clear and blows free. When you are at the point of shutting it down for good through the winter months, buy a bottle of fuel stabilizer and run it a few times to ensure your entire fuel system is covered. This will keep the fuel from gumming up in the lines, pumps and check valves.
6. Spark plugs: Read them and replace them accordingly.
7. Check your battery charging system. While the engine is running, use a multi meter gage, positive lead to positive battery post and negative to post. Set your meter to 20VDC and your reading should be 14 to 14.5 volts DC. If not, further inspection of your charging system is required.
8. Clean your battery terminals and all connections. Un-snap all plugs and put a small amount of die-electric grease in them, then snap them back together.
9. Check all you’re wiring harness tie straps, replace if necessary. Check the operation of all your gages and verify that all your fuses are good. If you used one while on the water, remember to replace the ones you used and always keep spares onboard.
10. Clean your jet pump with a water hose. Let it dry, then spray liberally with XP-S lube………or, if you want to save a buck or two, use my preferred method of the Lithium spray on grease.
11. You should remove the cone on the jet pump, checking for water contamination.
12. Check that you have no water inside fuel tank. You can do this by removing the line coming from the tank and siphoning off an ounce or so, looking for water. It separates from the fuel, easy to spot.
13. Lubricate the throttle body linkage by spraying through the throttle body bore to get to the valve mechanism (again, with my favorite lub) and all external parts of the air induction system, especially if the craft was used in salt water.
14. You should use the XP-S lubricating spray for the lube fittings. The location of these fittings, depend on which model you have.
15. Engine fogging is done to prevent corrosion to the internal parts. Fogging provides a barrier between the metal components and the atmosphere, to inhibit rusting. Fogging provides protection to the intake valves, cylinders and exhaust valves.

a) Remove the two bolts that hold the fuel rail on.
b) Remove the rail along with the three fuel injectors.
c) Spray liberally XP-S Lube into the intake ports.
d) Crank engine several times while keeping the throttle fully depressed (drown engine mode) to distribute lubricant in cylinders, on intake and exhaust valves.
e) Carefully inspect “0” rings condition before re-installing fuel injectors. Replace with new ones if damaged. Lubricate the “0” rings with a dab of oil prior to installing (doesn’t matter which type, it’s just to ease the installation).
f) Re-install the injectors. Apply Loctite 243 and torque the two bolts down to 80 lfb.in, that hold the fuel rail on.
g) Make sure there are no leaks at the injectors while cranking the engine over in the next few steps.

16. On the supercharged, intercooled models, the exhaust system is self draining but the intercooler and manifold need to the following protection.
a.) Remove both intercooler hoses.
b.) Let the intercooler drain, then connect the bottom hose.
c.) Pour about 6 and ½ ounces of antifreeze into the intercooler
through the other hose.
d.) Then, pour about 10 ounces of anti-freeze into the exhaust manifold.

CAUTION: If you fail to put anti-freeze into the exhaust, severe damage may occur to these components. You will want to use 100% anti-freeze in these components because it will dilute with water left over in the system.

17. And lastly, spray the entire engine with with XP-S lube (or WD-40) liberally, over all linkages and all metal parts. Partially lift the seat to allow any condensation that may build during storage. It’s best to use a cover to protect it from the sun’s rays while stored

My Personal Thoughts:
I live in the deep south. We only see temperatures below 32 degrees once or twice a year. Most of these procedures, I don’t have to do. I use the off season to remove most of my engine, (787cc, 2 stroke ) the tuned pipe (to inspect for leaks or soft spots), the carbs (to clean), intake manifold, rotary cover, head and head plate, magneto casing, change out the oil in the rotary chamber, change and inspect the oil in my jet pump (checking the thrust clearance) and replacing the gaskets along the way. A gasket kit is about $100 bucks.
I don’t use Loctite because I remove the bolts and re-torque frequently. I started this the first time I ran into the galvanic corrosion and aluminum oxide. By dis-assembling most of my motor every year, I have practically eliminated that white powdery substance that seizes my bolts. I run my engine once a week at a minimum, for about 3 or 4 minutes. I have never fogged my engine or used any antifreeze.
The best way to avoid these procedures is to put it in your heated storage area or garage! :cheers:
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New Member
Water Crafts
16ft Home built canoe, 99 Yamaha 1200 Xl LTD (Sold) and 2015 Sea-Doo GTI 155 LTD
My manual says I can use shop air in the flush port @ 55psi I think wouldn't this replace me having to use antifreeze since I would be blowing water out of exhaust? Can I use just normal car antifreeze if the air alone doesn't do it... This is for a 2015 gti 155 limited


New Member
Water Crafts
16ft Home built canoe, 99 Yamaha 1200 Xl LTD (Sold) and 2015 Sea-Doo GTI 155 LTD
Ok good call, still looking tho can I just use normal car antifreeze or does it have to be something special


Staff member
FLorida, Southern Area
Water Crafts
2009 RTX X (255 hp supercharged / inter-cooled).
2010 GTX 155
You can use normal antifreeze that is ok to use with aluminum. I personally use the RV antifreeze as it will not poison the ground like regular antifreeze does.
Water Crafts
2004 Seadoo GTX SC
New to the forums,

I have an 04 GTX SC (no intercooler), would I need to flush antifreeze through exhaust? The confusion arises from multiple youtube videos stating you do, but the shop manual never mentions it.

Under "Add antifreeze solution to the cooling system" part of the checklist it even says "Except 4-TEC engines"
Additionally it says: "Flush cooling system by running the engine" hinting that you don't need to use antifreeze.

Sorry if this is redundant, but why do so many people say you need to if the manual says not to? I'm sure it wont hurt by doing so...?


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