milky oil in a volvo md7 - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 23 Old 02-03-2010 Thread Starter
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milky oil in a volvo md7

We were going to go out this last week and when I checked the oil it was milky. So the trip got scrapped and now I am trying to figure out what is wrong.

I have changed the oil and filter so the oil is no longer milky but it still will not start. My planned next step is to get a compression tester and see if it is getting compression. While I have the injectors out I am going to have those checked as well.

I am hoping it is not a crack and maybe just a head gasket or something accessible like that. Actually I am hoping the problem never occurs again and the engine runs flawlessly for another ten years...

Anyone have any other suggestions? A new diesel is pretty much out.

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post #2 of 23 Old 02-03-2010
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Milky Oil

Milky oil can be from only one thing. Water in the oil. Lots of places this can come from. Head gasket, cracked head, bad exh. manifold come to mind. Some engines have the raw water pump engine driven, as opposed to a belt, and the engine driven water pumps can have a bad seal on the shaft that drives them. These are some of the most common problems. One thing you need to do is narrow things down before you start pulling parts. The hit and miss procedure can get expensive and still not cure the problem.

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post #3 of 23 Old 02-03-2010
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Water in the oil.

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post #4 of 23 Old 02-03-2010
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As stated above, you have water in your oil. Chances are that you have a headgasket problem but it makes sense to do some diagnosis first. I would start with a compression and leakdown test.

If you don't have a compression tester, one thing that you can do is put a section of clear tubing in the cooling water line after the engine and observe whether it is filling with bubbles (combustion gases). If it is indeed the head gasket, the bubbles should stop once you hit the decompression lever. If there are no bubbles, there is still a chance that you have a blown headgasket between the cooling and oil passages and not the cylinder but this is quite rare.

If your headgasket checks out, I would start checking things like your water pump, cooling passages, etc.

Good luck.
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post #5 of 23 Old 02-03-2010
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If you still have some of the drain oil, Blackstone Labs Blackstone Labs could probably test it for you & tell you if it has antifreeze, saltwater, or just fresh water in it. Much would probably be learned from that.
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post #6 of 23 Old 02-03-2010
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You didn't mention being low on coolant so I'm guessing it's raw water cooled? A lot of the Volvos have a gear driven raw water pump as mentioned above so that would be a good place to start. Does that engine have an oil cooler? You could have a leak in the core of the cooler. The core can be pressure tested after you remove it from the housing. Hope you get it figured out and it's nothing serious.

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post #7 of 23 Old 02-03-2010 Thread Starter
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Yes it is raw water cooled. I am pretty new at this but I don't think I have an oil cooler. The engine is pretty simple from what I have seen of the diagrams of it.

About the only thing it could be is salt water in the oil. I do have a hot water heater and will likely disconnect and remove it during this trouble shooting. Was considering it anyway since we don't use it and it has already leaked and ruined the cabin sole. I am working on the hope that the raw water pump put some liquid into it the last time we started it. But that is just a vain hope I think. The engine had issues on the survey that said there was salts in the oil. I don't know if diesels fail slowly or suddenly when it comes to gaskets. If they fail slowly then it could be a gasket all along.

I will keep this updated as I find info. I really hope its not a crack...

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post #8 of 23 Old 02-04-2010
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The Hot water heater heat exchanger could be a source of your problem but outside of a head gasket failure consider a failure (perforation of the water jacket) of the engine block due to corrosion a strong possibility. Hopefully it will be one of the former.
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post #9 of 23 Old 02-04-2010 Thread Starter
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I am looking for parts for this engine. Right now I am looking for a gasket set. Do they sell the sets like they do for car engines for marine engines or do they need to be purchased seperately? If someone has a source for gaskets besides volvo I would love to hear about it. I search and only come up with parts for volvo cars.

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post #10 of 23 Old 02-04-2010
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I bought a single head gasket for my MD-17C this summer from our local marine motor shop. I wish I could tell you that I got a good deal on it, but then my nose would grow and damage my monitor.

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