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Author Topic: M25XP problems  (Read 8528 times)

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alastairjames

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M25XP problems
« on: November 23, 2003, 03:35:15 PM »

We are complete newbies as far as diesel maintenance is concerned (although getting a little more knowledgeable from this site, and yes, Stu, I have recently bought Calder) and therefore for the two years we have owned Moonshadow, we have used the diesel mechanic at the marina to service our M25XP.  
 
 He thinks that water has got into the engine oil (probably through a failed raw water pump seal) and has caused problems - evidenced by oil discharge from the breather tube, low compression in the middle cylinder, and irregular running/stalling at low revs.  
 
 The workshop is unable to quote for repairs until he is able to strip and inspect it, but suggests we might want to consider repowering rather than undertaking major work on a 12 year old engine.  My view is that repowering seems over the top, so I am seeking advice from you diesel experts out there - what is the likely damage to components, what other replacements would you do if the engine is coming out of the boat anyway (does it need to come out?), would you consider repowering?
 
 When I get some time I need to do a diesel maintenance course!  Thanks for any advice and information in the meantime.
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Dave Emery

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M25XP problems
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2003, 03:58:20 PM »

Wow, that's some pretty expensive advice. I certainly would get a second opinion, before proceeding with that recommendation. First of all it's hard to believe a repower would be cheaper then overhauling the engine (assuming that's needed). It might be different if the boat was grossly underpowered. I'm surprised that the raw water pump would allow water to enter the oil. I was under the impression there was one seal to keep the water in the pump and a second seal to keep the oil in the engine, with a space and weep hole in between. I'm looking forward to hearing from those with more knowledge.
 
 Good Luck,
 Dave
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jentine

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M25XP problems
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2003, 04:02:40 PM »

Repowering is usually a very expensive proposition.  The cost of the engine is the beginning, followed by installation, broken parts, necessary upgrades (mounts, hoses, belts, bed, etc, etc, etc} and the list goes on.  You must weigh the benefit of a new engine against the final cost (I would estimate somewhere in the $10,000 to $12,000 range.  Is the "failed raw water seal" worth that kind of money - probably not.  If the problem is more serious - cracked block, the cost of repair vs. cost of replacement becomes more realistic.
 I would determine the exact cause of the water/oil problem before making any decisions.  It would be a shame to replace the engine if the problem is a 57 cent seal.
 Jim Kane
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Stu Jackson

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M25XP problems
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2003, 08:47:57 PM »

M25XP Engine
 
 Alastair
 
 I agree with the recommendations offered.
 
 1.  Check the raw water pump.  The seals are well described by Ron and Jim and Dave.
 It's a relatively easy replacement accessible from the front of the engine.
 
 2.  Check the fresh water (internal) coolant pump:  I assume you have seen the M25XP warning issued by the C36 Association, and copied on this 'site.  If not, try  www.c36.org, or something like it.  Westerbeke Universal has a part to fit at no cost.  Surprised (!) that your "mechanic" didn't know about it, if it could be an issue for you.
 
 3.  The oil breather hose description from your mechanic is "BS".  An early suggestion on the way-old website material was to simply put the end of the breather hose in an old beer can with foam inside of it to absorb the effluent.  I did it one better, I stuck it into an Excedrin plastic bottle, figuring the beer would come ealier anyway!  I've "had" to replace at least 5 Execedrin plastic green bottles in the last five years, but we have had no oil spills on the deck of the engine compartment.  We did, however, purchase the newer oil intake kit.  I have yet to reroute the breather hose over to the starboard side to the air intake of the engine.  
 
 4.  In addition to Ron's suggestions, before you do anything, check the alignment of the engine, the mounts and, as I described recently, the bolts on the shaft coupling.  I recently found two of the four bolts out and the others loose, made for a very uneven sounding engine.
 Try:  http://c34.infopop.cc/6/ubb.x?a=tpc&s=329609511&f=829605811&m=355605214
 
 Also do a message board "find" on 'coupling' and you'll get more input.
 
 I thought I'd never become an engine expert.  I put off buying a boat with a diesel engine because it was always easier to bring the outboard in to have it mantained.
 
 HOGWASH!
 
 You're doing VERY well diagnosing and describing your issues.  You know more than the mechanics you're working with.
 
 Unless it's a major rebuild, you CAN do everything needed to keep your engine working.
 
 The worst thing to do is to "trust" the mechanic.  
 
 He is NOT going to be there with you when your engine doesn't start at your favorite anchorage after a few days on the hook.
 
 Keep learning, you're heading in the right direction.
 
 As the others have said, do not commit to an expensive "anything" unless you're sure it's not a $1.83 part (ok, Dave, I'm just going with inflation and exchange rates!)
 
 Keep us posted, we're here for you.
 
 Stu
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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)

"There is no problem so great that it can't be solved."

kent

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M25XP problems
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2003, 07:15:42 AM »

Did i miss something? Did you look at the oil?
 Water in oil is very easy to see, check the dip stick, oil and water mixed well in the engine will look grey, or drain the oil and look at it. Water and oil will seperate!
 You may need a tune up and a new mechanic.
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Aquakon

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M25XP problems
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2003, 09:06:48 AM »

_/) And Now for Something Completely Different _/)
 
 Ditto the entire preceding thread...
 
 If, however, a subsequent, more thorough investigation leads to the determination (or even the suspicion, e.g. ",,,maybe diesel oil is ALWAYS that color!") there does exist substantial damage to the engine's internal components, and IF, in fact, you DID get away clean with that bank job and none of the bills are marked, ink-stained or in any other way traceable, might I suggest you at least ponder the potenital peace of mind offered by a brand new, bright&shiny, stickers-still-on-the-valve-cover engine.  How long did the previous engine last?  That many years of peace of mind.  And, of course, the bragging rights.
 
 But speaking personally, even if all of the numbers on my ticket did match the winning lottery draw, I would still probably opt for a part-by-part replacement of existing engine components PROVIDING I was the one doing the replacing, as the knowledge gained by such would be worth so much more than the effort put forth.  Talk about bragging rights...
 
 And finally...
 Find out which car in the parking lot belongs to this mechanic of yours, and replace the bumper sticker that reads: "My Daughter Goes to Wellesley" with "Saddam is Innocent".  ...the flamer...
 
 
 
 Brought to you by - Rumors You Can Trust

 
 Maslow was right...
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Ray & Sandy Erps

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M25XP problems
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2003, 10:18:21 AM »

Dear Moonshadow,
 You're in a tuff spot.  Water in the oil often take out the crankshaft bearings first.  Low compression is usually caused by worn/broken rings or burned/improperly adjusted valves.  An engine with low compression on one jug would run rough, as would an engine with a messed up injector.  If I were in your spot, I'd start with my own compression test followed by a valve adjustment.  Doing a dry check and a wet check on each cylinder will help trouble shoot whether the problem is rings or valves.  While adjusting the valves I'd pay particular attention to the cam lobes.  After the valve adjustment, another compression test, but only if you found one dead cylinder to begin with.  If there were no dead cylinders, I'd pull the injectors.  You might be able to see a sign of trouble, such as one injector a different color than the others or one injector with a wet tip.  I'd replace a funny looking injector.  If the injectors look fine, I would probably buy one injector and stick it in one hole at a time to see if that fixes the problem.  A person could buy all three injectors and replace them, but then you wouldn't know which one was bad.  (that's just me, I'm cheap)
 
 If compression is okay, valves are okay, injectors are okay, time to consider the injector pump.  
 
 The worst case senario is to find that there is a compression problem and it's not the valves.  It would be time to pull the engine out at that point and have it inspected at the shop.  I'd put off the decision to repower up to that point, as by then, a shop would be able to give a pretty good estimate on repair.  
 
 You've already been given good advice on the water problem.  On most every external water/fuel pump, there is usually a weep hole in case one of the seals fail.  It's doubtful that's the cause of the problem.  Water in the oil usually discolors the oil and causes a build up of crap in the valve cover.  If it's the fresh water that's getting in the oil, you can taste the antifreeze sometimes.
 
 Good luck.  There are a bunch of us that are going to be in your present situation so I think you've generated some interest in what you discover.
 
 Ray
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Ray & Sandy Erps,
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kent

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M25XP problems
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2003, 02:08:21 PM »

James,
  I repowered Osprey last year with a new Universal (Westerbeke now) M25XPB, I purchased from the Catalina dealer in my area, but I had know doubt about the old engines health. It set me back about $6,000 a very good deal, and less than a rebuild job.
  The advice given to you in this forum may be more than you can handle, so I still think you need to see the water in the oil for Yourself, to know if you can trust this mehcanic.
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alastairjames

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M25XP problems
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2003, 04:35:24 PM »

WOW - this board is amazing - I come back next morning to all this good advice and information!
 
 I think the first thing is that I need to spend some quality time on the boat (30 mins away) getting to know the engine better, and checking some of the things suggested above.  I also need to buy a decent set of sockets, spanners, etc as our toolkit is pretty basic.
 
 The mechanic did know of the M25XP warning, and indeed I had previously emailed Westerbeke to confirm if we needed the sleeve kit, and to ship it if necessary - no reply.  Any help with a specific name at Westerbeke would be welcome.  One problem is that in Australia other than Catalina, Universal is not used much (Yanmar and Volvo seem to be more popular), so parts availability here can be a problem - although I note previous posts that suggest Kubota parts can sometimes be substituted.
 
 We are now seeking a second opinion from another diesel shop and advice on what's necessary, but with everyone's suggestions I am better armed to question.  I am getting the message that a good dose of informed cynical scepticism is in order!
 
 For the moment, let's accept the mechanic's word about water in the oil - there is a discoloured oily mess inside the valve cover and discharging from the breather, although the dipstick looks like clean oil.  It seems to me we have to
 (1) find out where the water has come from (raw/salt or fresh with antifreeze)
 (2) fix the root cause (raw water pump, fresh water pump, any other candidates?)
 (3) clean up and repair/replace any damage to valves, injectors, rings, bearings, etc.  
 If we need to do all this does it look like a job that will require removal of the engine, or can it be done in place?
 
 Thanks for all your help and encouragement.  I am going to buy a can of good hand cleaner - as well as find some elbow grease!
 
 Alastair
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kent

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M25XP problems
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2003, 09:47:06 PM »

----Nothing ventured nothing gained----
 Number (1) and (2) seem good but that number (3)yuk! sounds like a rebuild.If it comes to number (3) have an reputable mechanic diagnose
 the problem for you. Good luck,
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Ray & Sandy Erps

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« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2003, 12:10:09 AM »

(2) fix the root cause (raw water pump, fresh water pump, any other candidates?)
 (3) clean up and repair/replace any damage to valves, injectors, rings, bearings, etc.
 If we need to do all this does it look like a job that will require removal of the engine, or can it be done in place?
 
 2.  A head gasket is often a good place to look if coolant is getting into the crankcase.  Come to think of it, a blown head gasket can be a source of compression loss as well.  I haven't checked the engine manual yet to see if these little motors are wet sleeved or dry sleeved, but it was fairly common for large diesel engines to leak coolant into the crankcase past the cylinder liners with wet sleeved motors.
 
 3.  If you can get the oil pan off without pulling the motor, should be able to do an "in-frame" rebuild.  It would be a pretty big job for a weekend mechanic.  You would need more than the owners manual for proper torque values and clearances of rod bearings, piston ring end gaps, etc.  
 
 One step at a time or the whole thing can be overwhelming.  Confirm loss of compression first, in my opinion.
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Ray & Sandy Erps,
'83, 41 Fraser "Nikko"
La Conner WA

bjmansfield

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M25XP problems
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2003, 08:18:19 AM »

Moonshadow:
 
 Not sure how applicable this is but many, many years ago I bought a well used VW beetle.  The inside of the valve covers and oil filler/breather had a heavy layer of heavy, whitish oily gunk and  water in the crankcase oil was definitely not the cause.  An experienced VW mechanic said this was the result of condensation building up but not being burned off.  A / the previous owner must have frequently used the car for very short trips and the engine was not reaching operating temperature.  He indicated air cooled engines were particularly suseptible to this but could happen with any engine. After cleaning all the gunk off I drove the car for nearly 10 years with no more buildup of the gunk.
 
 If there is no water in the crankcase oil, the gunk in the valve cover and breather may just be a result of condensation being built up but not burned off.
 
 Jack
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Norris Johnson

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M25XP problems
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2003, 04:42:55 PM »

Wow, some really good response to your question.
 
 Don't know your engine. Mine's a 35, but I've heard of water getting into the engine from a plugged exhaust riser. It has a raw water inlet that will let (salt or fresh) water back into the engine if the outlet of the riser pluggs with rust or whatever.
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Paisano
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alastairjames

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M25XP problems
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2003, 12:06:24 AM »

Guys
 
 And still the great suggestions and advice continue.
 
 I suspect a few of the recommendations are way beyond our capability at this stage (Ron - "adjust all valves" slips off the keyboard rather too easily!).  Ray - What is a dry check and a wet check on each cylinder?  What do I need to do a compression test? (I haven't gone back to check out Calder since my first post).
 
 Ray's suggestion of a head gasket (what is the significance of wet/dry sleeved cylinders?) doesn't sound good - presumably that means taking the top off the engine and getting the head machined?  But I think if we get to the rebuild stage, we'll be talking to a (hopefully) good mechanic.
 
 I like Jack's suggestion that condensation could be the culprit.  Although it may be grasping at straws, we can almost sail right out from into the marina, so unless there is little wind, sometimes the engine might not be getting up to working temperature.  To clean up the gunk in the top of the engine, I guess we replace the engine oil, and run the engine for long enough to flush the oil system and then replace that oil.  Is there some flushing/cleaning oil designed for this?
 
 Thanks for your advice.  We plan to spend a day this weekend checking as much as we can.  I'll keep this board posted of what we find.
 
 Alastair
 
 PS I'd be grateful if anyone can give me an email address of a real person at Westerbeke who might respond regarding the water pump sleeve kit.
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JIM BRENER 1987 #504 "WI

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M25XP problems
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2003, 04:02:57 AM »

I had my M25XP engine rebuilt this past summer.  Had white exhaust with loud knocking noise. Four mechanics looked at the engine, the first said it was bad fuel, the second wanted to fix it in the boat, the third, after the engine was removed to his shop said he would not want to fix it but wanted to sell me a new engine. The fourth said he could rebuilt it to factory specifications for $4000.00.  The price of a new engine was over $7000.00.  I asked for and received reality checks from members of Fleet 12 and avoided bad decisions, especially from the guy who wanted to rebuild it in the boat. My advise, hear what the shops say but don't accept a course of action with out talking to other shops or experienced sailors like members of this forum.  The engine now seems to work fine, just a wisp of white exhaust even after reaching 160 degrees.  Have to speak to the shop to see what the cause is, may be nothing.
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