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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 03-04-2009
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atomic 4 damage?

I went to check my boat today (it is on the cradle) and was stunned to see about 12 inches of water and ice inside. There has been a lot of snow and rain this year and I haven't been able to check it for a few weeks. The water level was approx 2 inches above the oil fill cap, so I know water will have entered the case. I think it was just below the alternator. It was half way up the coil. The starter was submerged. I am feeling sick about it. How much damage is likely? Is it easy to flush water from the oilcase? What components are relatively watertight?
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Old 03-04-2009
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I hope you drained the oil and put some wd40 in the sparkplug holes. Dont let it sit it could freeze up. I am sure others with more experience will give you exact info on what to do but start soon.
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Old 03-04-2009
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Sorry to here that man. I have an old Atomic 4 myself.

You might be able to get answers at the Moyers web site.

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Old 03-04-2009
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The real question is did water freeze inside the engine. Water expands about 10% when it freezes and if it did, the damage could be pretty bad.
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Old 03-04-2009
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Man, sorry about that Jim. While you wait for the Atomic 4 experts to weigh in, I would just second what bluwateronly said--definitely drain the oil. You'll see if you've got water in there. I would also pull the plugs and try to test for water in the cylinders, maybe even try to suck out anything in there. The WD40 sounds good.

Did the water get over the air filter?
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Old 03-04-2009
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The situation sounds bad but do not give up hope.
We had a flood in our cabin 5 years ago that got water in the engine oil. I won't divulge the reason for a the flood while on a mooring but suffice it to say it was salt water and nearly 6" above the cabin sole (floor). This was high enough for some water to get into the dipstick hole. Our engine wasn't completely flooded, plus it was summer so no freezing.
After removing the water from the cabin the engine started right up. Later, we checked the oil and found a milky color. Uh-oh! After a call to Don Moyer (see link previously posted) I went and changed the oil in the engine 3 times and each change came out clearer and clearer. Last oil change I put in Rotella T SAE 30 but for the quick oil changes I used cheaper oil.
Our engine is over 40 years old and is still ticking. I hope you have similar results.
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Old 03-05-2009
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Where is the boat located?
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Old 03-05-2009
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drain the oil, fill it up including the cylinders with oil. turn it over using either the crank start or a crow bar, just a little per day. after a few rotations drain and fill it with oil and marvel mystery oil. let it sit till spring, but you need to make sure it full to the top.

spring time drain oil put a quart of marvel and normal oil in then start it, let it get to temp, shut it off, drain oil fill, run it for a few days change oil.

that is the directions i got from moyer when i fixed a flooded and rusted solid engine, it took days to get it to go thru a full rotation, once it broke loose it spun fine. once in the water it was drained and refilled ran real smokey for a bit, needed new spark plugs too.

as for the starter, pull it off dunk it in a gallon of denatured alcohol. then take it for a check out. as for the alt they are cheap enough to replace
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Old 03-05-2009
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In most any case you want to run the motor ASAP to prevent rusting of the cylinder walls

You have freshwater so it is much better than salwater if there is no freeze damage

The issues i see in the long term are that anything electric will have to be rebuilt as the trapped water will result in failure over the summer


I would check the dip stick to see if there was a lot of water inside, if so pump out the oil and change the filter

I don't know I it as high enough to enter the cylinders BUT in any case you DO NOT want to risk turning over the motor with the spark plugs in until this is know

Be very careful when turning over a motor with water in the cylinders as it will be forced out with a LOT of pressure that can cause personal injury

I have to leave now good luck
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Angry

Thanks all,

I'm sure water didn't get high enough to enter the cylinders. I do know it is in the oil though. I pumped all the water I could out of the boat but there is still a large amount of ice in there. I'll have to put a heater in there to melt it. I am in eastern Canada - still cold here. What about the transmission? I assume oil could have entered this oil too? Maybe I'll get a small outboard this year. I wonder if insurance would cover this damage?
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