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  #21  
Old 07-23-2014
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Re: Salts in the oil

IMHO, if the head gasket is failing, my main worry would be exhaust gases leaking into the coolant - as this can cause erosion damage of the cylinder block or head. I had to repair the head gasket on a Toyota car, and the leaking exhaust gases had cut a channel about 1mm deep in the alloy head. It had to be TIG welded and then skimmed to repair.

You can easily do a chemical check for exhaust gases in the coolant. They sell kits quite cheaply.
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  #22  
Old 07-23-2014
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Re: Salts in the oil

On your translation: Grand chose " does not exist in French
On the contrary : Pas Grand chose " means " not a big deal "
Maybe the guy is trying to explain that it is a minor problem?
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Old 07-25-2014
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Re: Salts in the oil

It was probably covered by the lab but did you consider your sampling method contaminating your samples. What method did you use? It is possible sea water or even previous oil samples came in contact with your collection container. I have sampled lots of water and have seen how very simple things can contaminate a sample. Humid salt air condensing in collection jar could cause contamination. Probably not, but Just one of many possible hypothesis.

I know it is simple but it could make all the worry's a moot point. If covered and probably was then disregard and good luck. Justin
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Old 08-14-2014
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Re: Salts in the oil

Many thanks to those who have responded with suggestions.

An update:

We went on across Biscay. We had the right weather and crew was available, so we changed the oil and did the crossing. I thought I could get it fixed in NW Spain, La Coruna. Mechanic there said he didn’t have time and referred us to the regional distributor in Vigo further south.

On arrival in Vigo several days later the Yanmar service supervisor and his mechanic were aboard and did a 45 minute very thorough visual inspection of the engine. They looked at the oil on dipstick and did swipes of oil on the top of the valve cover. They could find nothing wrong with the oil, and no indicaton of oil in the coolant. (Recall the French mechanic called the oil “beautiful”, these guys felt the same way). They aid there was no (visual) sign that any liquids were in the oil. They traced the cooling system looking for leaks and found none. Their conclusion: there was nothing wrong with the oil, the coolant or the engine. I got the sense that if they were from NJ they’d have said, “Fuggetaboudit”!

“But what about the lab reports”, I countered. They took copies and said they would send their write up (I have a copy) and the reports to the Netherlands Yanmar European HQ for comments/suggestions. I’ve heard nothing so far.

So, we continue on our path south and are planning on changing the oil every 40-50 hrs and continuing the lab tests.

I’ve started a very close monitoring of the coolant levels and for the last four times we’ve operated the engine I’ve seen virtually no drop in the coolant bottle (maybe a 1/6th inch--about the thickness of the mark I made on the bottle.

I have all the parts we need to do a complete tear down of the block, but I can’t seem to find a Yanmar mechanic who wants to take my money. We’ll keep trying as we move south. We have a 10 day stop in Lagos in southern Portugal and perhaps we will have word from HQ gurus by then.

If we were in the US near the guys who installed the engine and had access to all the high tech tools/methods described in some of the posts above I’m sure with time and money we could nail this problem down, but for now, the realities of long distance cruising in foreign lands prevail and we just have to keep moving so we’re positioned in November for the trade winds crossing.

I’ve had a couple of ideas that you might comment on:

1/ the engine is turbocharged and has an air cooler (seawater cooled). A small leak there could put small quantities of seawater in the intake air. The water would be vaporized in combustion and salts left on cylinder walls to find their way eventually to the oil.

2/ the rough seas we sometimes experience could be sloshing water from the muffler up the elbow. I doubt this as the installation team at NEB Portsmouth are very professional and I doubt they would not have engineered the exhaust system correctly.

3/ I wondering if my operating methods have contributed....we have a Gori prop (with overdrive) that allows us, when motoring in flat seas, to reach near hull speed at 2200 rpm (vs say 2800-2900 with the normal pitch). I’ve used the overdrive a lot (when fuel is $8 / gal one looks for savings where you can find them). The lower rpm reduces the pressure in the exhaust system and may allow a larger quantity of water to remain in the muffler when the engine shuts down. Follow that with sailing in heavy swell / rough seas (with engine off) and we may get the sloshing up into and beyond the elbow????

Will continue with updates when available.

Thanks again for the help thus far.
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Old 08-14-2014
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Re: Salts in the oil

Did the oil change colour and become a but mustard coloured?
Run the motor for a while, stop the motor, suck some of the oil out into a glass and let it sit for an hour or two.
Is it separating in to oil and water fractions?
If not, I would not worry about it.
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Re: Salts in the oil

For the future though, do not buy sailboats with marine diesels with turbo chargers on them.
There is no weight penalty really with not having a turbo.
They are expensive, extremely high-revving, and not tolerant of salty air.
I avoid them like the plague.
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Re: Salts in the oil

One possible route for raw water contamination (e.g. Water in oil) that I haven't seen mentioned re shaft driven raw water pumps. For water pumps not driven by a belt, the shaft has two seals, one for the oil and one for water.

A relatively simple way to check for exhaust gasses in the manifold is a combustion leak tester such as the UView 560000. Just samples the air in the manifold.

Josh
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Old 08-14-2014
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Re: Salts in the oil

thats a good update man

I do think you hit the nail on the head regarding engine use...

Im not familiar with that prop but lugging diesels which is effectively what you are doing and especially a turbocharged one(whats the point of the turbocharger if you are not hitting those higher rpms right?) can be a factor in increasing deposits, sludge and or minerals in your oil some of which can be "salts"


now all things aside like the shafts seals mentioned above of the water pump if all is kosher it could simply mean that your oil is sludging more than normal from slight "lugging" and this is normal

just change your oil more often, and if it where me and like most diesel marine engines reccomend every week or so do high speed load run for an hour or so at max sustainable speed with correct pitch from your prop

in other words yeah gun it properly and load it properly and you will decarbon and clear out any real bad stuff

you can also do this in combination with your favourite fuel stabilizer...

good luck

honestly I think you are fine...

ps. regarding the intake you can make a shield or secondary "AIRBOX" if you will to protect the intake even more from humidity and or slosh or whatever...however you have to be smart about it and have enough volume for when the turbo kicks in...
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Last edited by christian.hess; 08-14-2014 at 10:28 AM.
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Re: Salts in the oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by billyruffn View Post
Many thanks to those who have responded with suggestions.

An update:

We went on across Biscay. We had the right weather and crew was available, so we changed the oil and did the crossing. I thought I could get it fixed in NW Spain, La Coruna. Mechanic there said he didn’t have time and referred us to the regional distributor in Vigo further south.

On arrival in Vigo several days later the Yanmar service supervisor and his mechanic were aboard and did a 45 minute very thorough visual inspection of the engine. They looked at the oil on dipstick and did swipes of oil on the top of the valve cover. They could find nothing wrong with the oil, and no indicaton of oil in the coolant. (Recall the French mechanic called the oil “beautiful”, these guys felt the same way). They aid there was no (visual) sign that any liquids were in the oil. They traced the cooling system looking for leaks and found none. Their conclusion: there was nothing wrong with the oil, the coolant or the engine. I got the sense that if they were from NJ they’d have said, “Fuggetaboudit”!

“But what about the lab reports”, I countered. They took copies and said they would send their write up (I have a copy) and the reports to the Netherlands Yanmar European HQ for comments/suggestions. I’ve heard nothing so far.

So, we continue on our path south and are planning on changing the oil every 40-50 hrs and continuing the lab tests.

I’ve started a very close monitoring of the coolant levels and for the last four times we’ve operated the engine I’ve seen virtually no drop in the coolant bottle (maybe a 1/6th inch--about the thickness of the mark I made on the bottle.

I have all the parts we need to do a complete tear down of the block, but I can’t seem to find a Yanmar mechanic who wants to take my money. We’ll keep trying as we move south. We have a 10 day stop in Lagos in southern Portugal and perhaps we will have word from HQ gurus by then.

If we were in the US near the guys who installed the engine and had access to all the high tech tools/methods described in some of the posts above I’m sure with time and money we could nail this problem down, but for now, the realities of long distance cruising in foreign lands prevail and we just have to keep moving so we’re positioned in November for the trade winds crossing.

I’ve had a couple of ideas that you might comment on:

1/ the engine is turbocharged and has an air cooler (seawater cooled). A small leak there could put small quantities of seawater in the intake air. The water would be vaporized in combustion and salts left on cylinder walls to find their way eventually to the oil.

2/ the rough seas we sometimes experience could be sloshing water from the muffler up the elbow. I doubt this as the installation team at NEB Portsmouth are very professional and I doubt they would not have engineered the exhaust system correctly.

3/ I wondering if my operating methods have contributed....we have a Gori prop (with overdrive) that allows us, when motoring in flat seas, to reach near hull speed at 2200 rpm (vs say 2800-2900 with the normal pitch). I’ve used the overdrive a lot (when fuel is $8 / gal one looks for savings where you can find them). The lower rpm reduces the pressure in the exhaust system and may allow a larger quantity of water to remain in the muffler when the engine shuts down. Follow that with sailing in heavy swell / rough seas (with engine off) and we may get the sloshing up into and beyond the elbow????

Will continue with updates when available.

Thanks again for the help thus far.
Kind of lost track of the details. Did the lab verify that it is salt & not coolant in the oil? If so, I think your item #1 could be it? Is there any evidence of salt or corrosion in/on the turbo intake blades?

Paul T
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Re: Salts in the oil

It does occur to me that there must be some small salt content in the air that's taken into the engine for combustion, given that at sea, salt is everywhere. Could it be contaminating the oil that way?
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