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Author Topic: Water in Engine Oil  (Read 16311 times)

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Stewartn

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Water in Engine Oil
« on: July 05, 2009, 06:46:07 AM »

About 45 minutes out, while motoring at 2100 RPM the engine sound changed then dropped to about 1800. Engine would not exceed that speed regardless of throttle position. Checked all below. No sign of anything. Gauges all OK. No alarms , leaks, odors, etc. Then I saw some wisp of smoke or exhaust in the vicinity of the air cleaner filter. Shut it down quick. Then I checked the dip stick. Water in the engine oil. How!
After 30-40 years I finally had to use the towing insurance.
It's a Universal 35B engine with less than 400 hours, I am meticulous (anal) bout servicing schedules and checking all. I even keep records in the log. Never had a start problem, so that's not it.
Any clues? What could catastrophically fail to cause this?
Mechanic is coming, but if I can find that old target pistol first.........
Stewart Napoleon
Desiree, 34 MkII #1472
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Stewart Napoleon, Hull #1472, Desiree
Greenwich, CT

Stu Jackson

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Re: Water in Engine Oil
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2009, 08:26:25 AM »

What could catastrophically fail to cause this?

Any number of things:

== a blown head gasket
== a cracked block
== a faulty (or non-working) vented loop on the raw water connection to the exhaust riser nipple allowing water to seep back into the cylinders

You'll need to do some detective work.

Dave Sanner wrote a great article about working on the engine in Projects and is also in the WIKI.  See:  http://www.c34.org/wiki/index.php?title=Rebuilding_the_M25-XP  The pictures are worth the price of admission...

Good luck.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2009, 08:27:13 AM by Stu Jackson »
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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Ron Hill

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Re: Water in Engine Oil
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2009, 02:08:35 PM »

Stewart : Be prepared for an oil change.
The mechanic will probably want to see how much water, as a starter and if anti freeze may be mixed in.   
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Ron, Apache #788

Stewartn

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Re: Water in Engine Oil
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2009, 06:30:31 AM »

Update: FYI
Sea water in crankcase was caused by failure of a seal in the Sherwood raw water pump. This allowed the impeller to force water into the engine oil. Apparently this is not an uncommon failure. But, I had never heard of it. Drained the contrents of the crankcase and then filled with fresh oil and some (16oz.) of diesel fuel and emptied three times without starting the engine. Replaced pump, ran engine (started first try) and changed another three times. Engine running normally at mooring one hour at a time, oil is clear. Will take it off and run under load today and advise.
Desiree, C34 MkII
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Stewart Napoleon, Hull #1472, Desiree
Greenwich, CT

Stu Jackson

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Re: Water in Engine Oil
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2009, 08:30:39 AM »


Sea water in crankcase was caused by failure of a seal in the Sherwood raw water pump. This allowed the impeller to force water into the engine oil. Apparently this is not an uncommon failure. But, I had never heard of it.

That's the appropriate fix.  It is unusual for the seals to go without showing evidence of a water leak on the outside of the engine first.  Had you noticed dripping or salt stains around the pump base?
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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Michael Shaner

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Re: Water in Engine Oil
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2009, 11:54:34 AM »

I can't speak for any other pumps, but the legendary "Old Sherwood" has a weep hole between the water side seal and the oil side seal...the theory being if one seal fails, the fluids won't mix, but you'll know you have an issue.

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Ron Hill

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Re: Water in Engine Oil
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2009, 05:35:09 PM »

Guys : I agree with David !! 
In every raw water pump there are 2 seals, one to keep the water in the water side and one to keep the oil in the engine. In between are at least one or usually two weep holes so you know what is leaking/which lip seal need to be changed.
I'd be sceptical of your mechanics analysis, unless both weep holes were solidly clogged.  Even then I'd still be sceptical.  My thoughts. 
 
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Ron, Apache #788

Stewartn

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Re: Water in Engine Oil
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2009, 07:48:30 PM »

More to the sad story of mixing sea water in the engine oil. Apparently, the muck and mire inside the crankcase conspired to murder the diesel injection pump. It is now being rebuilt. This is a very very expensive learning experience. The boat passed, with flying colors, a survey in late 2007. It ran like a clock through all 2008. In the spring of 2009, I had a trusted mechanic look it over, touch up the paint, help with the filters and check for leaks. NADA! Then 6 hrs later - disaster. There never was any "weeping" or wet spots on the front of the engine. Trust me. I'm anal about this stuff and I have been doing it for about 40 years. Now Universal (Hansen Marine) advises that the valve springs may have corrosion and should be changed. What can can I say? This engine design with that raw water pump stinks. If there is another boat in my life, bet it will have a Yanmar.
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Stewart Napoleon, Hull #1472, Desiree
Greenwich, CT

prh77

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Re: Water in Engine Oil
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2009, 05:30:33 AM »

I to am skeptical of the water pump theory. I also lean more twords exhaust / muffler,cracked head / head gasket issues.
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Peyton Harrison Hull # 597 1988 "Trinity"

tonywright

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Re: Water in Engine Oil
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2009, 07:55:30 AM »

Sorry to hear of the continuing woes. I would certainly like to learn from this to avoid similar problems happening...

Since you mention that this happened fairly soon after spring maintenance, can you share how the engine was winterized? I presume that you are subject to frosts in CT?

Tony
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Tony Wright
#1657 2003 34 MKII  "Vagabond"
Nepean Sailing Club, Ottawa, Canada

Roc

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Re: Water in Engine Oil
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2009, 09:07:43 AM »

Good point Tony, maybe there is a crack in the block during a winter freeze.
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Roc - "Sea Life" 2000 MKII #1477.  Rock Hall, MD

Stewartn

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Re: Water in Engine Oil
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2009, 10:08:32 AM »

It is not a cracked block! The engine is cooled only by antifreeze. The coolant is cooled by the heat exchanger. A cracked block would show Antifreeze in the oil. Not so.
Neither was there sea water back flowing from the exhaust. We know this because we removed the riser to inspect it. Bone dry.
It was definitely the raw water pump - an OEM Sherwood. The pump has less than 400 hrs total. Impellers were changed regularly. The boat was yard maintained before I purchased her.
She was winterized in accordance with the owners manual and with the help of a trusted mechanic because it was my first lay up with her. We flushed with fresh water and added -100 degree antifreeze to the raw water system after a filter and oil change.
To restate.... There never was a leak that could be determined with a visual inspection. It just went, period.
The C34 knowledge base has a lot of responds with Sherwood leak problems. My issue is that nowhere , that I can find, in the Universal literature does it say REPLACE THE PUMP AT.....or remove and inspect at a certain interval. If it did, I certainly would have done that. The design is poor. It's a Kubota tractor engine that's been adapted to Marine use. Yard tractors don't have to worry about sea water. Obviously, Mr. Universal and Mr. Westerbeke didn't worry enough.
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Stewart Napoleon, Hull #1472, Desiree
Greenwich, CT

tonywright

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Re: Water in Engine Oil
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2009, 10:39:11 AM »

I understand that the system is separate, except for the water pump.

You say that you "added -100 degree antifreeze to the raw water". The way I winterize is to pump non-toxic antifreeze through the raw water system until it comes out full strength through the exhaust. This makes sure that all water is removed from the system, and that the raw water pump is winterized. Is this what you did?

Another precaution that I took was to have the closed system coolant replaced, which must be done every few years. You did not mention whether you did this?

Tony

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Tony Wright
#1657 2003 34 MKII  "Vagabond"
Nepean Sailing Club, Ottawa, Canada

Ken Juul

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Re: Water in Engine Oil
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2009, 11:45:46 AM »

Stewart

The Sherwood is designed with two sets of seals with weep holes between.  If the sea water side seal fails you should see a water drip that should be stopped by the oil side seal.  If the oil side seal fails you should see an oil drip that is stopped by the sea water side seal.  The seals are around the shaft behind the pump backing plate.  All the sea water pressure should be going out the 3/4" output not trying to escape through the close tolerance shaft hole in the backing plate and 1/32" or so clearance between the shaft and the seal. I cannot imagine how both seals could fail with nothing visible from the weep holes and in 45 minutes produce the damage you have described. 

While I totally symphathise with your plight, if that is what really happened it can only fall into the SH*T HAPPENS catagory. 

Did a PO purposely close the weep holes so he didn't have to clean up a mess?  Did a blockage in the seawater exhaust line force the water past the seals?  Perhaps a second mechanics opinion is in order, I think there is more to the story.
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Ron Hill

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Re: Water in Engine Oil
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2009, 02:49:05 PM »

Stewart : I believe it's time for you to call Joe Joyce Westerbeke Service Manager (Good Guy!) and let him know of your plight. (508)823-7677 
I can't believe that the salt water in the engine oil came for the Sherwood pump!!  Something else is going on and until you find out "what's happening"; I wouldn't do anything to that engine!!  Good Luck
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