Atomic 4 - Water in Cylinders!!! - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 28 Old 01-17-2010
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Do you have a drain plug on your water lift muffler? If so drain it all out so you're absolutely positive the water is out of the exhaust system. You should evacuate as much water from the cylinders as possible, preferably all...

Then, if the problem persists, you're at the point where I think you need to do a compression check to see if you've got a blown headgasket.

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post #12 of 28 Old 01-17-2010
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ncstatesailor,
What the others experts have said.
Oily/milky liquid is usually water mixed with oil which could just be the MMO mixed with water from spinning your engine.
Check your engine oil for this milkiness as well. If that is milky too then you have a few engine oil changes in your immediate future.
If you have a water lift muffler on your exhaust side it is probably still full of water and may be slowly draining back to your engine, into the exhaust manifold and somehow finding its way into your carb.
As Faster indicated, the water is forced out of the engine by the engine actually running. The combustion gases from the cylinders helps to push the water out the exhaust when the engine is actually running. So, yes, you should put the plugs back in and try to fire it up (with the raw water valve closed) to push (not drain) the water out of your exhaust side.
I guess you will be closing your raw water intake from now on. Often I will wait for the engine to start turning over before opening the cooling water intake valve.
More diagnostic questions:
- How long have you owned this boat with the A4 engine?
- Has it ever had any performance problems in the past?
- Are you a member at the Moyer Marine (A4) forums? Moyer Marine Atomic 4 Community - Powered by vBulletin
and do you have the A4 owners manual?
Good luck.

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post #13 of 28 Old 01-17-2010
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Hmmm... the water lift muffler.. we haven't looked at that yet. We'll try to find the drain for that in the morning and go through the process once again. How many times should we need to turn the engine over to get enough water residue out of the cylinders?

I actually just got the boat a month ago. The previous owner said the engine was running fine for the last year. We motor sailed her for 4 hours down the coast to my current slip and then shut the engine off (without closing the raw water valve) Then weeks later, started her back up after the second or so try and that's when we only made it about 200yds before she died. I have the owners manual, but seem to have exhausted it's options for troubleshooting.
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post #14 of 28 Old 01-18-2010
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I thought the boat & engine must be a bit new to you which is why I asked.
Keep putting MMO in the cylinders and trying to start the engine with the raw water cooling valve off until it kicks over.
In instances like this I recommend spraying a little ether (starting fluid) on the backfire flame arrestor as it may help the engine get going a bit faster then all the cranking you need to do to get it going with the choke only. You are new to this engine and it would help if you checked out the MMI website & forums: Moyer Marine Atomic 4 Community - Powered by vBulletin

If there is still water in your cylinders then I can't think of anything better then to put either ether into the air intake or pure gas in the cylinders so that you get some kind of combustion going on (this assumes you have a spark at the spark plugs).

If you can get the engine to kick over for about 10 - 15 seconds I would guess you would have enough pressure built up to push the water out of your exhaust system. You will have o check your exhaust port to verify this.

These are old engines that were designed to work tractors in the field and they are rather hard to kill.

I would still check out the exhaust system to be sure there is adequate clearance to make sure that crap has not built up and obstructed the exhaust.

Best of luck.

My A4 is 42 years old and counting and still starts with just the choke pulled out (engaged) unless after a winter layup. That is when I use ether to get it kicking over quickly.

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post #15 of 28 Old 01-18-2010
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With you getting water in the carb so quickly with the water intake closed, I would check to see if there is water in the fuel tank. That would explain the engine suddenly running poorly and then stopping.
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post #16 of 28 Old 01-18-2010
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Well we drained the water lift muffler.. and there wasn't enough water in there to make us think it was back filled any more...

We've tried starter fluid in the carb and cylinders... no luck..

The exhaust system was working fine before all of this happened...

The only new developement is that we think the carb is geting gas in it now.. its not milky water.. but rather milky gas...

We are getting sparks from the plugs...

Any more ideas?

Thanks so much you guys... I am new to the engine.. but starting to learn it intimately.
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post #17 of 28 Old 01-18-2010
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Also bear in mind that once you get the rest of the water out of the engine, carb, whatever, you need to change the oil. There will be water in there too. Then either run it till it gets and stays hot (to burn off whatever water is still in the new oil) or run it and change the oil AGAIN to make sure it has no water left in it. Cheap straight-weight oil will do for the first round if you're using it as a "water cleaner". If someone has added a filter to your engine change that too.
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post #18 of 28 Old 01-18-2010
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A few things the way the flame arrestor points UP combined with the angle of the motor results in it catching anything spilled in the area ( dont ask how i know this)

BUT the carb has a bowl drain AND if you still have a manual fuel pump it has a priming lever which you can use to flush out the bowl into a glass jar and examine the fuel for water contamination.

I would check compression BEFORE trying to run the motor anymore and confirm that you do in fact have a healthly motor

If its good it can take a LONG time to get it dry enough NOT to foul the spark plugs

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Last edited by tommays; 01-18-2010 at 02:04 PM.
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post #19 of 28 Old 01-18-2010
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All,
Well, my father who's been up helping me w/ all the tools has gone home for the weekend now... so it looks like the engine will have to wait a few days before I can get a mechanic from work to come take a look. We put some more MMO back in the cylinders to stop anything from getting worse. Looks like a compression test and a couple oil changes are next on the list. I'll post a reply when I know more.. thanks for now!
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post #20 of 28 Old 01-18-2010
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As CalebD mentioned, i would (and have) def. go to moyer marine... some resto pics are the sharpest ive seen. btw, quick tip to check compression, sparkplugs out, throw a towel over the deal, and when you crank make sure the towel is 'puffing' in all the right places.

good luck,
fellow a4 man,
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