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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Engines > Diesel
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Old 11-13-2011
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Oil analysis suggests stuck rings.

My Vetus diesel has been burning a oil the last couple of seasons so I'm trying to figure out why. Here's my history with the motor.

2009 - first season with the motor for me. Motor is 10 years old but low hours (less than 500). Seems to run well, no oil consumption noticed for the season. A season is about 65 hours for me.

2010 - The guy who did some maintenance (me) on the cooling system failed to properly replace all the coolant. Engine overheated 15 minutes after launch. How hot?? Don't know. No temp gauge, the warning buzzer went off. Engine was shut, added more coolant and away we went. Changed oil just in case. Engine seemed to run fine, though seemed to hard to start when cold and burns oil. Engine burned 1/2 to 3/4 quart of oil through the season.

2011 - Still burning oil, slightly sooty transom. Burned 3/4 to 1 quart of oil during the season. When putting the boat away for the winter I collected some oil and sent it to Blackstone labs for analysis. Shows high wear in metals aluminum, chromium and iron. Lab suggests a stuck ring.

I guess i'm tossing this out there to see if anyone has any suggestions on what to do. I've not had a compression test done. I don't own a tester and don't have access to one. My boat yard does not have one. I know..I should figure out a way to have it one. I've been reading about little tricks to free a stuck ring like Marvel Mystery Oil/ATF or Seafoam additive. Could stuck rings affect compression? I'm wondering if I ran a compression test, then soaked the rings in some additive, then tested again I may have some data that would suggest that the additive is helping?

If it is indeed a stuck ring, I'm thinking that sounds plausible since the overheating could burn the oil around the ring to "stick" it?

Here is my oil analysis results:

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...eat=directlink
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Seagrass
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Old 11-13-2011
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Based on your engine's history a broken ring[s] due to the overheat is more likely.
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Old 11-13-2011
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you need to be careful with home brew solutions to stuck rings...MMO is a good start, but I would not go too much further...In my practice, I would make up a MMO solution in a small fuel tank and use that to feed the engine.

given the history, a cracked ring is a more likely problem - tough cold start and burning oil...

You might contact Vetus or a nearby farm equipment dealer to see what their take on it is..as their engines of that vintage are relabled Mitsubishi/Pugeot/Isuzu or whoever was cheapest back then...same gear as tractors and cars overseas use...
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When rings get hot, spring tension is lost and oil burning results. Another thing that can happen is the pistons seize or maybe the piston skirts just rub against the cylinder wall from excess heat and score the cylinder walls. Check your compression to make sure. However, I am thinking you will need new pistons and rings. Also, hone the cylinders, or else replace sleves if so equiped. You will have to pull the engine. First check for crankcase blowby. If lots of it, also indicates ring problem. This is a direct raw water cooled engine. Consider a keel cooler for long engine life. Find a shop that knows how to deal with saltwater corrosion, how to get it out. This is probably the biggest problem to deal with, corrosion. I am surprised the engine got so hot. Was there smoke from the engine compartment from burned paint or oil?
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overheat damage

Typically when you drastically overheat an internal combustion engine you have 2 potential issues. The first is loss of oil control ring tension. Secondly pistons can start to touch the cylinder bores resulting in scoring and scuffing.

2 checks which can be helpful in diagnosing the extent of damage before stripping the engine are a leakdown test which assesses how well the cylinder seals against the rings and valves. A compression test is a dynamic test of the seal of the valves and top piston ring and not the oil control rings.

Second is a bore scope inspection to view the cylinder walls for scoring with the piston at bottom dead center. If you can access through the sump plug sometimes it's possible to inspect the piston for scoring at bottom dead center.

Burning oil is not an issue until it becomes excessive.
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By the way, hard starting indicates low compression, perhaps from bad rings. Could also be worn valves, but starting problem most likely another indication of ring, cylinder, piston problems.
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Old 11-13-2011
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Hey,

It's your engine so you can do what you want. However, I have a hard time believing that burning 1 qt of oil a year is a serious problem. Having a hard starting engine may be a serious problem, but, how hard is hard?

Personally, I would just live with the problem for a long time before I would sink a lot of money into a 1 qt / year oil problem.

Barry
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If she can start and run whats the problem? the transom will need cleaning more often and fuel consumption won't be as good as it could be The fix would be new rings and a good de glazing.Check the cylinder walls before you buy the rings but until she loses power or makes funny noises.not a biggie. I bet you check the oil, belts and coolant before every start now ,eh?
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Old 11-14-2011
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Thanks everyone. Hard starting: starter motor needs to turn the engine over for 5 or 6 seconds before she kicks in, then runs fine. Not a huge deal, but noticeable. I'm not ready to start pulling the engine apart over this but if it is something that can be cured without too much fuss then why not? I've got the boat on stands here in my yard for the winter and will research some "stuck ring fixing potions" and perhaps try one or two before we launch in the spring. What I really need is a compression tester. Harbor Freight has one for $25! I wonder how crap it is?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Len View Post
I bet you check the oil, belts and coolant before every start now ,eh?
You bet! I'm good about that anyway. What I did was changed a few hoses and the thermostat & added new cooling. I don't think I ran the motor long enough on stands in the spring before launch to open the thermostat so whe nit opened my coolant level wasn't enough. Live and learn. I just swish the engine had a temp guage. Wat's the point of a temperature alarm if it goes off too late?
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