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Thread: 2012 pcm zr409 winterization

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  1. #1
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    2012 pcm zr409 winterization

    Hey all! I'm trying to get the raw water portion of this engine/drive drained before a freeze Sunday evening. It's a 2012 RZ2 with a PCM zr409 half and half system and the manual says to drain the heat exchanger, remove the large hose from the circ pump, and remove engine block plugs. Simple enough right? Wrong!! I can't for the life of me see how anyone could get to these block plugs which are actually knock sensors. (which of course the manual doesn't mention) I can't even get my hand in far enogh to touch them much less unclip the knock sensor plug and get a wrench on it.
    Anyone have any tips? Am I missing something? I'm thinking of fitting a hose onto a fake a lake and sucking antifreeze into the raw water portion.
    At this point I'd just love to smack the people responsible for writing this pitiful excuse for a manual.

    IMG_5150.jpg

  2. #2
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    If it has a heat exchanger I would think there is coolant in the engine.

  3. #3
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    2013 Tigé Z1 Vx
    You need to pop open the side panels and get at it from the storage locker. Once there you can lay down and reach them easily. Mine needed a 1” wrench.

  4. #4
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    2014 SV244
    Assume that is the same ZR409 I have in my 2014. Easy for me to find plugs....but here is a step by step link for that engine:

    http://www.centurioncrew.com/index.p...izing-pcm-409/

    And here is where you can get the full manual. My manual is much more detailed than what you pasted. I always drain first, then suck up 5 gallons of RV anti-freeze for peace of mind.

    http://pcmengines.com/owners/

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the tips guys. I was able to get to everything but the block plugs before I posted this, the block plugs(knock sensors) just aren't accessible without removing other components on the engine. PITA!

    JohnnieMo-I was laying in the lockers. Panels and bags removed. The block plugs are not accessible. I'll post a pic later.

    TigeFamily- thanks for the links. The PCM link is the same manual I'm using. The Centurion crew link is great although it never mentions the block plugs(knock sensors) at all.

    Lee-am I mistaken in saying that the engine block itself is part of the closed cooling section so those plugs don't need to be removed? According to the flow diagram it isn't but I just don't see why the manual says to remove them. The manual doesn't mention the exhaust manifold drains or the exhaust corners. You have to look at the flow diagram to see there are 7 items to drain, not 3 and none are the block plugs. PCM manuals are horrible. It takes me 15 minutes to drain my MP 340.

  6. #6
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    Engine plugs do not need to be removed if it is a semi-closed cooling system.

  7. #7
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    2009 24Ve w/ AutoWake, WakeTouch, and Ultra-Ballast
    I have a different PCM engine but agree, accessing those plugs is a PITA. That said, it IS possible (I just did it a couple of days ago for winterization). My method, after years of experiments: First I remove the top bolt that holds on the actual knock sensor (9/16ths IIRC). Then you have access to the plug itself, which on my engine requires a 26mm socket (1in was too tight). I use a 1/2in ratchet, with which I can get about 1/4 turn with each cycle. The ratchet helps it go pretty fast.

    Before reinstalling the plugs, I use a shopvac on the holes to pull out additional water if possible. Then a touch of high temp thread sealant (NOT thread locker!) and reinstall in reverse order.

    Yes, I count seven drain plugs on the engine: Two knock sensors, two lower exhaust drains, two upper exhaust drains, and the bottom of a water pipe on the "front" (aft for a V-drive) of the engine. Beyond that, you need to remove the raw water pump (you should have one even with a semi-closed system), the plug from the front of the V-drive, the water strainer if you have one, and somehow insure the transmission intercooler is drained (I just remove one hose, the "drain plug" is impossible to reach). Use the shopvac on everything while they're open.

    I'll leave it to others to debate draining a "closed" cooling system. It would be tempting to "just leave it", but even automobiles recommend changing the coolant every so many miles. My system is raw water so it gets drained every year, not sure if I'd make a different decision for a closed system.
    Last edited by IDBoating; 10-09-2017 at 04:13 PM.

  8. #8
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    I was confusing the fresh water system for the raw water system. The knock sensors don't get removed unless you're draining the coolant. You have to remove the spark plug wire harness dealy( not sure what it's called) in order to create enough room to get at the block drains. I'm attaching a pic of the side to show how tight it is on the side of the engine.
    Thanks to everyone for the help!

    Sorry for the picture orientation, you get the idea I'm sure. Very tight quarters!

    IMG_1307.jpg

    You can just barely see the knock sensor back there.
    IMG_1304.jpg
    Last edited by Jetdriver; 10-09-2017 at 06:14 AM.

  9. #9
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    As long as you are a closed loop (should be a coolant overflow bottle on top of your engine with orange antifreeze) then you should just have to drain freshwater loop. Manifold plugs, heat exchanger plugs. There's a big one at the bottom of the v-drive under the coupler as well. There is also the trans and oil cooler as well on starboard side. Can't remember for sure but I believe the coolers will drain once you remove v-drive plug as they are inline with that hose on flow....but would have to follow hoses to be sure. We always just pull the manifold plugs, heat exchanger, and v drive, then run in antifreeze.
    Last edited by freeheel4life; 10-09-2017 at 02:25 PM.

  10. #10
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    '09 22Ve no ballast, yet
    I agree with those who answered about a fresh water system, and those with closed loop system.

    What I don't know about (nor had heard about) were the half and half (partial-full?) systems. They seem to be different...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericinmich View Post
    What I don't know about (nor had heard about) were the half and half (partial-full?) systems. They seem to be different...
    Not really a closed loop as it sucks in water to cool the heat exchanger and the exhaust.

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