Yamaha Prop Cleaning
by Capt. Ted Lund
Although fuel prices are dropping, anglers and boaters are still looking for ways to stretch their dollar at the pump. One of the best ways to do that is to make sure your outboard power plants are operating at peak efficiency. The best place to start: the propeller. By ensuring your props are clean and undamaged you can help squeeze a little more fuel economy out of your engines.
Yamaha’s prop expert Chris Holbrook has a couple of pointers for those that want to do it themselves.
“There are three methods we recommend for removing corrosion and preventing pitting on stainless steel props,” says Holbrook. “They involve using several different types of cleaners ranging from mag wheel cleaner to calcium and lime remover.”
Mag Wheel Cleaner
“One of the best and easiest ways to clean props is with rough cast mag wheel cleaner,” says Holbrook. “It’s available at just about any auto parts store. When using this method, you’ll definitely want to remove the wheel from the lower unit as the cleaner can damage the paint found on the lower unit.”
After removing the prop, Holbrook suggests placing it in a well ventilated area. After spraying the prop with the mag wheel cleaner, allow it to sit for the prescribed amount of time. Then, using a mildly abrasive household sponge, give the prop a quick once-over on the hub and blades to remove any stubborn stains or corrosion. When finished, Holbrook recommends applying a light coat of wax to help protect the prop’s finish.
Another common method of cleaning props uses another common auto product, rubbing compound. This method requires a little elbow grease, so you’ll want to make sure to have a suitable, waist-high or higher work bench available. After removing the prop from the lower unit, apply the rubbing compound liberally.
“You’ll want to use a cloth to work the rubbing compound until its gone,” says Holbrook. “This can take a little work, and in areas with heavier corrosion, you’ll want to use a slightly abrasive household sponge.”
Holbrook says most of the commonly available rubbing compounds incorporate a finishing wax that will protect your prop finish, but if not, apply a thin coat and buff.
Calcium, Lime and Rust Remover
The last method that Holbrook recommends is to use an industrial cleaner for calcium, lime and rust removal. Because these can be harmful if not used properly, you’ll want to work in a well-ventilated area with gloves and eye protection and follow all directions for use as recommended by the manufacturer.
“Again, you’ll want to remove the prop from the lower unit, as this cleaner can damage your paint,” says Holbrook. “But this is a pretty straightforward method. Simply spray on the prop and allow it to sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Then, using your household sponge, wipe off. Be sure to focus on any hard to clean areas, and repeat if necessary.”
Once finished, Holbrook recommends you rinse and dry the propeller before applying a thin coat of wax.
For more tips on prop maintenance or information on Yamaha’s complete line of best-in-class 2015 outboards, visit www.yamahaoutboards.com.
Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle.com