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Foxsaver 07-03-2006 11:10 AM

salt water in cylinder 3
 
It appears Iím going to spend my first summer with our R33 Solitude getting her ready for winter sailing. At least Iím in S. California.

We finally got our first sail. After several weeks catching up on years of deferred mast and rigging maintenance we moved Solitude to her new berth in San Pedro at Cabrillo. It was very light air so we did motor sail the last couple miles. At one point the A4 just quit, and restarted on her own. Ruling out demonic possession, I put a tune up on the top of the TODO list. I have seen several good things said about electronic ignition so I ordered the kit and carved out a day for installation.

The installation instructions were very easy to follow, as were the trouble shooting tips. I could not get the engine to start, or even fire. I used the screwdriver in firing circuit test to verify I had spark, ouch. It had to be timing. So I went through the original A4 maintenance book I found online and the installation instructions. Nothing worked. After 5 hours of doing and undoing I gave up and removed the Electronic Ignition kit. I kept the new rotor cap and wires on. No she did not start. The last thing I did was to put the old spark plugs in. She started and ran smooth as silk. The question here is the A4 just too old and cranky for modern systems or is it me?

The real question is about what I discovered in the course of crawling all over this engine. RUST, lots of rust. The PO had over heated her once and just left the charred paint un attended. Fishing around for dropped distributor parts and screw drive heads I found chunks of rust in the engine bilge. Before I pulled the old spark plugs I attacked the Spark plug wells with a small wire brush and screw driver and vacuumed the area clean. I also vacuumed the spark plug wells before I put the new plugs in as a precaution. The vacuum drew salt water out of cylinder three. Itís a raw cooled engine.

Question; do I have a head gasket problem, a head problem or am I in need of a new engine? Is it time to become a purist and sail in and out of the slip?

Your suggestions will be appreciated and thanks for bearing with the monologue.

Larry
Chief engineer Solitude

Irwin32 08-13-2006 09:59 PM

Excessive cranking when trying to start the engine could be the source of your water in cylinder. If you are having trouble starting it is a good idea to turn off raw water until it runs.

I had good luck with electronic ignaition, though a mechanic told me he has seen lots of trouble with them.

I would do a compression check on each cylinder which will give you some idea of the engines health. Also, do some motoring and see how much oil she uses

Irwin32 08-13-2006 10:01 PM

See post below on compression test.

hellosailor 08-13-2006 10:42 PM

Absolutely do the compression test. And, I'd squirt some oil (engine oil, layup fogging oil, marvel mystery oil, anything) into ALL cylinders and crank it through it help make sure any moisture is pulled out and the rings don't start to rust up and stick from that water. That can happen very quickly if you let it sit with water in them.

If the compression test is good...it just means too much cranking pulled in water from the water lift exhaust. Memo: If the engine doesn't start right away, CUT OFF THE COOLING WATER before doing any more cranking. Then open it up after the engine starts.

Starters can and will be damaged by as little as 30 seconds of cranking, typically they can take 15-20 seconds per five or ten minutes, surprisingly little more can overheat them and cause internal damage to start.

And yes, the A4 like any old engine can benefit from a new ignition system.<G> Given proper care and feeding an A4 can last an awfully long time. They have very low compression, which gives them relatively low power but very long life. You might check with some of the A4 gurus, I've been told the engine was shipped in two different styles, with one having a restrictor plate (under the carb) to lower the horsepower and lower the import tariff. Simply removing the plate and modifying the carb, boosts the power.

dave hirsh 08-26-2008 11:58 AM

water in my oil ,its like white sludge
 
HI MY BOAT HAD A LEAK,water went really high inside the boat.I checked the oil before getting under way. It looked OK. I ran the engine for about 2 hours at full throtle. The next day I checked the oil and it's like white goo.I guees water got into the engine. I'm trying to pump it out,but it's really thick like glue.I tried a hand pump and one of the type that runs off a drill, but I can't get the mess out of my engine. I started the engine to warm it, and now the gauge is reading zero oil pressure.i'M THINKING ABOUT DRILLING A HOLE THROUGH THE OIL PAN TO GET IT OUT. Do I have to pull the engine? How can I get the oil pressure back up. I have been dealing with it for 2 weeks now.Please help!!! Dave with really big problems in Brooklyn,Thank you

hellosailor 08-26-2008 12:26 PM

Do you have enough clearance to drop the oil pan without unmounting the engine? After two weeks, and with that problem, you might want a mechanic to pull the head and inspect the cylinders (that can be done with a borescope without pulling the head, but most mechanics pull the head) and deal with the rest.

If I had to guess, you could install a heat lamp to warm up the oil pan and perhaps add in some kerosene to help dissolve it, then pump the whole mess out. But if it has really congealed...that might only give you a bigger mess.

Odds are the oil pump is jammed with goo and needs to be rebuilt as well, and any wiring that was under salt water for ANY length of time, is probably rotting out as we speak, and needs to be replaced before it also fails. Including the alternator.

cardiacpaul 08-27-2008 08:32 AM

First, just pumping it out isn't going to solve any problems.

That being said, there isn't ANY room to drop the pan.

You're probably looking at a rebuild, cuz water+ oil+ interior steel bits and parts= rust. quickly.

Pater 08-22-2009 11:32 PM

I'd pressure test the water jacket before going any further. I had water in #3 replaced the head gasket, designed and built a new exhaust with a dry loop and water injection installed a diverter valve at the cockpit to divert the water from the manifold overboard while cranking.I ground and lapped in new valves to get the copmression up got it to start only to find I had a failed waterjacket. Engine will be good for parts.


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