O-O-Oh oil in bilge !! - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Engines > Diesel
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Diesel This is a forum dedicated to diesel engines and their applicable accessories.


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Old 08-24-2013
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O-O-Oh oil in bilge !!

Came back in this after to discover a small quantity of GRAY oil had spewewd fr somewhere
Looks like the center acorn must atop the valve cover was training thegooo down the cover and along the block top to the rear of engine
Upon entering cpart to clean an check, I found much more dripping from the stbd Aft mount. Coming from the air cleaner "horn"
Paper filter bogged with oil an it looks like that culprit is the breather hose from the valve cover
Total oil sopped up amounted to noore than a few ounces.....
Just a pita to douche out

Mid-90's Beta 20 diesel, low )prolly under 150)
Recent oil/filter change
Looked good all round cept for this last ,short inbound run. The oil looked the same when in ought it last Dec and ran it home. Mate sez "something smells hot"? Checked once at dock and found the oil gray and spewed.

Not quite milkshake-y,like an automotive internal leak; just light grey instead of black. Any clues from the collective on where to start diagnosis??
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Last edited by deltaten; 08-24-2013 at 04:59 PM.
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Old 08-24-2013
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Re: O-O-Oh oil in bilge !!

Diesel oil is honey yellow, then quickly turns black. The only way that I can figure it would turn grey is to mix it with something other than oil... My guess is water. One probable culprit is the water pump.
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Old 08-24-2013
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Re: O-O-Oh oil in bilge !!

Head gasket.
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Old 08-24-2013
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Re: O-O-Oh oil in bilge !!

If you have oil that looks like that it has water in it, and that is never a good thing. Pull out your dipstick and look on it, if it looks the same, or has water bubbles on it then you have a bigger issue, and need a mechanic to look at it. If the oil looks clean then you need to figure out how the oil got there, and how it got whipped up with the water. (It had to have been whipped with the water in order to get it that color).

Also just look in the valve cover if you can and see if there is any of the milky oil there, if there is then it is definitely not good.
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Old 08-25-2013
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Re: O-O-Oh oil in bilge !!

Yep, emulsified water in oil. As Mark says, check your dipstick. If its grey, you have a big problem. If black or clear, breathe a sigh of relief and figure out what happened.
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Old 08-25-2013
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Re: O-O-Oh oil in bilge !!

Still having trouble wrapping my head around the "water intrusion from over cranking"; but I hope that's the cause. For the first month or so after the oil change, I religiously shut off the seacock to avoid the possibility. Up until now,oil was a good color,just starting to go black. Engine balked starting yesterday and I prolly over cranked..........hopefully that's it.
An oil change and closing/opening the valve in future will solve it. *IF* that does the trick, it's suss'd. If not,I'll NAFTA make a call to the diesel guy.

Thanks fellas
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Old 08-25-2013
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Re: O-O-Oh oil in bilge !!

Water intrusion from cranking is called water (hydro) lock. If the engine became difficult to turn over after cranking for a while, water may have gotten into the cylinders...baaaaad. The idea is simple: The raw water pump fills the muffler, riser, and exhaust pipes above the level of the aftmost exhaust or intake port. Without the engine running to blow out the water as it comes in, it just builds up in the exhaust system (which is below water level). This can bend rods and cause all sorts of evil things to happen. The gray color does suggest water mixed with engine oil. If you filled the pan with water through the cylinders by cranking too much, it's really unlikely the engine would have been running at all. It would have locked up when cranking and been obvious what had happened. Head gasket is a better theory. If the pan is filling up with water while the engine is running, it may have just overflowed out the dipstick.

Another thing to check: FUEL leak from broken/disconnected return line to fuel tank.
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Old 08-25-2013
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Re: O-O-Oh oil in bilge !!

The Beta Diesel's (nice!) are based on Kubota blocks. My Universal M25 is also based on a Kubota block.

The raw water pump on my engine (oberdorfer or sherwood) is driven by a gear that is recessed behind the timing gear case. This pump has two seals on the shaft. If the seals are compromised, then water can travel through the raw water pump into the timing case, and voilla you have water in the oil.

If you are lucky, this is the cause. A new pump should run you about $250. (Suggest that you replace the pump over rebuilding it - it is not cost effective). If not this pump, then be prepared to shell out several boat bucks to fix.
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Old 09-03-2013
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Re: O-O-Oh oil in bilge !!

Changed out the oil on Saturday. Ran it in on Sunday. Out and back...OK. Next short run..mebbe 20 minutes total and the oil was gray again!
My buddy downloaded all the info he could find and it was determined that whoever installed the Beta didn't follow the obscure and oddly placed instructions to place an anti-siphon break in the post-water jacket-to-exhaust injector line.
$40 bux and another oil change later, she;s all sorted...I hope Ran it in for 15 minutes and cooled it down. Oil checked OK/. Looked at alla the connections and started it up and went for a 45 min. cruise across the Bay.
Runs cooler since I pulled the exchanger's ends and removed the remains of 7 or so impeller blades ! Still have a bit of an oil smell and some mnor drippage; but that wll be settled soo enff.

Thanx guys.always a big help to get varied opinions and insight.
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Old 09-03-2013
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Re: O-O-Oh oil in bilge !!

Don Casey in his maintenance bible has a protocol for changing oil after a water intrusion. I don't recall the exact details but it involves multiple oil changes after increasing intervals. Something like run 10 min change oil, run a hour change, after 5 hrs change, after 20 hrs change, after 50 hrs change...etc. until you get an a normal change schedule. A pain, but a lot less pain then a rebuild.
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