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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 07-29-2007
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MD6A Woes

HI Everyone!

I am looking for advice for my MD6A. I encountered problems with her an a 6 day single handed EPIC of a trip this past week. I ended up replacing fuel filters and all of that, but as the engine ran longer, I started getting this smell up in the cockpit that was originating from the engine itself. It was not smoking per see, but there was a bit of smoke coming off the engine wherever the oil or diesel seemed to be dripping or running onto the block (somewhere). The cabin, the clothes, and fabric below decks now have a diesel or chemical smell that is awful. I was unable to go below and steer and sail, so I am afraid I can't give an exact location of the above mentioned leak, but I was wondering if anyone else might have experienced something similar to this with their MD6A? I did have an absorbent cloth under the engine to absorb leaks or spill, and at the end of my day, the cloth was soaked in black oily liquid (probably oil, but still smelled a bit like fuel...mixed in?)

Any suggestions?
Many Thanks
Chris

Last edited by scurvy; 07-29-2007 at 07:32 AM.
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Old 07-29-2007
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Chris, you've got to clean it all off, which means washing down the engine and engine compartment and properly disposing of the oily washwater, and then start leak tracing and testing. It is hard to locate leaks on dirty engines.

Could be a fuel line, could be a fuel pump, could be a gasket opening someplace. First you clean, then you trace. You can scatter talc on the (clean) engine, and look for the traces where fuel/oil running down clears it off. Or add UV dye to the engine oil, and see if you find any traces running down with a UV light. Or just look & poke carefully till you find oily smears.

Odds are it is coming out of the fuel system if there's that much of it and you haven't found the engine oil level has dropped. That diesel odor is nasty stuff and hard to remove, once it gets in unsealed surfaces.
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Old 07-29-2007
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Hellosailor,

Yes....I agree! And the funny thing was that you could have eaten off the engine prior to the week long trip. I had originally thought lifter pump or injector pump seals?!?! Still may be, but won't know until she is wiped down and spotless, then it is back to the drawing board.

I like the idea of a UV dye of some sort...where would I find something like that?

Chris
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If you can't find the dye at an auto repair parts shop, look for "UV leak dye" from any air conditioning kit or supplier. The UV dye they use for R12 systems is in a plain mineral oil base, 100% engine oil compatible. The dyes for newer refrigerants are in different oils, but also probably are 100% compatible. Some of the kits specifically include dye for engine and transmission oils.

Using a high power black light, AND yellow goggles, makes a big difference. You should be able to find complete kits for under $50.
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Old 07-29-2007
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sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice
BTW, the kits don't include the goggles or black light.
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The kit I bought certainly did.
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Hmm... you must shop at better stores than me...
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 07-29-2007
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https://www.autobodytoolmart.com/p-12299-15137.aspx

http://www.autobarn.net/tratp1121.html

http://www2.northerntool.com/product-1/200132824.htm Only $55.

And
https://www.autobodytoolmart.com/p-10406-12846.aspx dye for cooling and oil systems alone. All you need, if you have a strong black light and some yellow shooters glasses or ski goggles.

When you go to a physical auto parts store and say "R12" they usually run away. AC suppliers still have no problem with it, there's just too much equipment that simply can't be retrofitted reasonably.

Last edited by hellosailor; 07-29-2007 at 05:16 PM.
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Old 07-29-2007
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Now what if the problem is with the fuel line? I imagine I can't use something like this? Though...there is definitely an issue with the oil. I hear that if the seals go on the fuel lift pump, or the injector pump, the oil will get thin, and the oil level will actually go up, so I will check these symptoms first...then probably go with one of these kits.

Thanks for the information and advice! I hope it isn't the injector pump....

Chris
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You could use the oil kit in your diesel, which is after all "fuel oil". I don't know what size the dye particles are or whether a final filter would remove them, but fuel lines generally can be inspected with some good light, rags, and eyeballs.
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