YYanmar 4JHE Power Loss and White Smoke - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 24 Old 1 Week Ago Thread Starter
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YYanmar 4JHE Power Loss and White Smoke

We were motoring from Bremerton to Everett when the engine RPM's started to drop. I then noticed white smoke coming out of the exhaust... not a lot, but unusual when we're underway. We had been motoring for about three hours. I shut it off and we sailed along at 1.5 knots for about an hour, as I put clean fuel into both filters, re-primed, and re-started. Still the white smoke and I also noticed a whinning noise. (I had replaced both filters a week ago. Also replaced the mixing elbow which was cracked.) We sailed some more but finally had to be towed into the Everett Marina. I did't want to risk causing damage to the engine.

I have a mechanic coming to look at it today, hopefully.

Today, I when I started to open the cap to the sea strainer, it made a hissing sound for several seconds, before water started coming out.

So I'm wondering if there is a blockage somewhere that is preventing water from getting to the impeller. Without adequate water mixing with the exhaust, that could cause the exhaust to be more noticeable. Could also explain the whining sound but not sure about low RPM's. I replaced the impeller last year.

I'm hoping this is something simple. Guest moorage here is $42 / night. Yesterday was the first day of our thirty-day sailing trip to the Gulf Islands and Desolation Sound.

Our boat is a 1990 Catalina 42.
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post #2 of 24 Old 1 Week Ago
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Re: YYanmar 4JHE Power Loss and White Smoke

What did the temperature gauge say about what it's supposed to tell you? Whining sound could be loose belt on water pump. White usually says not enough water to cool exhaust so turns to steam. Next is a head gasket Water coming out pipe like normal?.Anchor for free in Nanaimo . Advice and local assistance available here.
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Re: YYanmar 4JHE Power Loss and White Smoke

Look at the impeller too before you go into head gasket mental mode...
Quickie check.
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Re: YYanmar 4JHE Power Loss and White Smoke

Whwn we bought our boat the 4JH4-TE had about 700 hours. We just had the 2,000 hour service done. Problems with the turbo, needed service. But also found a whole bunch of impeller bits in the exchanger. Appantly ate an impeller at some point before we got the boat. Engine had no symptoms, always ran at right temp. Just saying.

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Re: YYanmar 4JHE Power Loss and White Smoke

Is there water coming out with exhaust? Check your Oil if its milky dont run the engine. The hissing you describe was it sucking in then a little water, or out and a lot of water. The more you know before the mechanic gets there the better. Fresh or salt water cooled?
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Re: YYanmar 4JHE Power Loss and White Smoke

Agree to check everything else first, but sounds like a head gasket if worst case.. white smoke could be antifreeze, the whining maybe excess pressure in the FWC circuit?

Sucks to have that happen on your first day out.. happened to us last year a couple of weeks in.. Hope you find a good mechanic.

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Re: YYanmar 4JHE Power Loss and White Smoke

Engine temp was perfectly normal and oil looked fine. I did notice a little bit of seaweed in the strainer so wondering if it might be causing blockage when the engine is running. Reluctant to take it out before mechanic gets here..... want to make sure I can replicate the condition. I replaced impeller last year but wouldn't rule it out.
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Re: YYanmar 4JHE Power Loss and White Smoke

Oh, and I also noticed a small mussle in the strainer.... about an inch long.
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Re: YYanmar 4JHE Power Loss and White Smoke

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Originally Posted by glossa View Post
Oh, and I also noticed a small mussle in the strainer.... about an inch long.
Sounds just the right size to close off the inlet, for a while anyway. Might be just that freak occasion. I would make sure the intake is clean check Impeller and run it. Waiting for your mechanic is OK too why not be sure.
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Re: YYanmar 4JHE Power Loss and White Smoke

I checked the impeller and it looks OK but two of the vanes were twisted the wrong direction. I wonder if that could be the culprit? I think I will replace it tomorrow; there is a West Marine near by. The mechanic never showed and never returned my calls. I will try to post a photo.
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