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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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Old 01-05-2012
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Sail drive oil chalky

I have a Volvo saildrive unit. I checked the oil and it is rather white and chalky in appearance. I lasted checked it a few months ago and it was okay.

Anyone know what is causing this? Is it simply because it is running hot? Remedies?

Aloha.
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Old 01-05-2012
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White and chalky=water in oil.
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Old 01-05-2012
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sounds like you have a cracked head or a leaky or blown head gasket and your getting water in your oil. is the exhaust smoke white? this is a tell tale sign of water in the oil. drain the oil and put it in a clear container and see if there is any water oil separation. if there is, put in fresh oil and try torquing down on the head bolts. check for visible leaks around the head. find out why it's running hot. this can cause leaks and cracks in the head and gaskets. you may need to put in new gaskets or a top end rebuild. good luck.
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Old 01-05-2012
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If it's the lower unit oil expect it to be shaft seal leak. Have a pro give you a quote to repair complete with Volvo part numbers and ESTIMATED DELIVERY TIME for parts. With part numbers you can try to source them elsewhere and compare pricing. You might need some 'special tools' to DIY. Don't let this go as it will lead to bigger problems.
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Old 01-06-2012
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Water ingress somewere, don,t know about saildrives but my graerbox was flooded (don,t ask) and gears got sticky. After a couple of quick oil changes everything returned to normal.
Safe sailing
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Old 01-07-2012
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Thanks. I'm going to have this evaluated and I'll post again.
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Old 01-07-2012
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water in the oil indeed, sounds like a leaky gasket some where. good luck
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Old 01-09-2012
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Water in oil all right...shaft seal needs to be changed. Not a big job
on Yanmar saildrive if boat out of water.
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Old 02-06-2012
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Hauled out

Those who were calling for a shaft seal problem were correct. We hauled it out and repaired the sloppy prop shaft seal and bearings. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 04-01-2012
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Re: Sail drive oil chalky

Hi People,

I recently fouled the prop with a rope and must have done some seal damage at the same time as my saildrive oil is now milky..... looks like ill need to haul her out and get the seals changed.....

Its a 30yr old sail drive (from a single cylinder 8hb Bukh diesel), and im not sure how much maintenance its had in the past..... Is there anything else I should do or check while shes out of the water ??

Cheers
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