Universal 5424 oil mist from dipstick - 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 09-02-2012
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Universal 5424 oil mist from dipstick

I am finding that the area around & underneath the top end of the dipstick tube is wet from oil mist.

Now based on my experience with a Ford Cortina a long time ago, the first thing I think of is excessive blowby. However I have no other symptoms of compression failure - the engine starts instantly even when cold, uses no oil, has plenty of power, and so on.

Could I just have a blocked breather? Has anyone else had similar issues?
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Re: Universal 5424 oil mist from dipstick

On all the engines I have worked on the breather generally finds its way back into the intake tract, on gas engines generally through a check valve mechanism (PCV) of some kind. IIRC, the two diesels I had just vented back into the intake. Some older engines I have seen just vented to the outside air. You may either have excessive blow-by or your
breather may be partially plugged? I think the breather hose should see a small amount of vacuum from the intake tract?

Paul T
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Re: Universal 5424 oil mist from dipstick

I looked at it today, and the breather pipe comes from the engine top cover, and stops just in front of the air intake. So the air intake will suck in most of the fumes, I guess. Crude (or simple?) but effective.

I also took a look at what's coming out at cruise RPM after 45 mins of cruising. There was just a little smoke from the breather, nothing from the dipstick tube.

So it seems I was mistaken, and the oil is coming from somewhere else.
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Old 09-03-2012
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Re: Universal 5424 oil mist from dipstick

If the breather hose is not enclosed in some part of the intake tract there may be a slight amount of blowby pressure coming out the dipstick. If you can't see it coming out of there it may just need a wipe down once in a while?

Paul T
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Old 10-27-2012
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Re: Universal 5424 oil mist from dipstick

Crank your engine, pull your breather hose off so you can see any puffing. Pull the dipstick now plug the breather hose, does the velocity increase? If yes its definitely blowby.
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Old 10-29-2012
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Re: Universal 5424 oil mist from dipstick

Mark, on most of these engines, there are two things you need to consider: 1) the dipstick has a rubber boot where it seats on the dipstick tube; 2) there is always some slight pressure out of the breather hose at the top of the engine.

1) replace the dipstick with a new one that seals

2) route the breather hose over to the air intake or tap it into the air intake manifold
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Re: Universal 5424 oil mist from dipstick

Thanks Stu,

OK so I looked at it yesterday and it's definitely coming from the dipstick. The dipstick is a VERY loose fit around the tube. If there was ever a rubber boot, it's long gone!

The total amount of blowby does seem very normal so I think the issue is just the loose dipstick fit. I wonder if I can just put an O ring in there?
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Re: Universal 5424 oil mist from dipstick

You maybe could, but how would you know where to place it? Why not just buy a new dipstick? FYI: for the M25 engines, which, like yours, are Kubota tractor engines, the original port side engine block dipstick location was MOVED to the starboard side with the longer dipstick tube into the oil pan. This means that you need a Universal dipstick, not a Kubota tractor engine dipstick. usually you can save $$ by going to the Kubota tractor dealers but not in this case. Could be the same for you. If you don't have a Universal dealer near you, go to Marine Diesel Engines and Engine Parts - Universal, Volvo, Westerbeke, Yanmar, MASE
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