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post #11 of 21 Old 08-14-2017
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Re: Yanmar "Starting to use oil"

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
That's a serious warning sign of a major repair to come. Good of the owner to be honest about it.
I can't tell whether the seller is being truly honest or is trying to soft pedal the amount of oil consumption. I keep coming back to the word "starting". A diesel that used 1.25 liters of oil in a month (unless he motored 200 hours that month) isn't just "starting" to use oil. To get to that amount, it's probably been burning oil for a while and getting progressively worse.

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post #12 of 21 Old 08-14-2017
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Re: Yanmar "Starting to use oil"

Lots of old diesels burn oil, it doesn't indicate imminent death. Worn rings and/or valve guides will do that. If it starts easily and makes good power, some oil consumption is not a big deal. As others have said, "liters per month" is not a useful unit. You need to know consumption per engine hour. Monitor the consumption rate and just make sure it doesn't run low. Adding oil is cheap, rebuilds are not.
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post #13 of 21 Old 08-14-2017
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Re: Yanmar "Starting to use oil"

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Originally Posted by 4arch View Post
I can't tell whether the seller is being truly honest or is trying to soft pedal the amount of oil consumption. I keep coming back to the word "starting". A diesel that used 1.25 liters of oil in a month (unless he motored 200 hours that month) isn't just "starting" to use oil. To get to that amount, it's probably been burning oil for a while and getting progressively worse.
Good point. No way it's just starting to burn oil.


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post #14 of 21 Old 11-12-2019
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Re: Yanmar "Starting to use oil"

Took my 1987 Watkins 29 out for a cruise last week... checked the oil and it was just at the full mark. The ocean was too rough to take the family and kids out for a sail so we cruised down the ICW looking at the yachts and mansions.. we were gone for about 5 hours... when I got back to the dock and shut down the engine, the normal low oil pressure alarm didnt come on right away... it finally started screeching around 20 seconds after the engine shut down. I didnt think much of it. Next day I came back to the boat and checked the oil and it was down about 3/4 of an inch from the full line on the dipstick.

Started the engine backup and took off the filler cap from the valve cover and there was considerable amount of air blowing out.. closed it up and pulled the dipstick while the engine was still running... being careful not to get a finger in the belts. There was definitely some air pressure in the oil sump as well as a bit of oil was blown out of the dipstick hole.

Not sure now if Ive got a valve problem or a ring problem. The engine starts immediately when cold. But I live in South Florida so cold here is a relative thing. Not sure where to start to fix the problem.

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post #15 of 21 Old 11-12-2019
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Re: Yanmar "Starting to use oil"

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Originally Posted by dennismenace111 View Post
Not sure now if Ive got a valve problem or a ring problem. The engine starts immediately when cold. But I live in South Florida so cold here is a relative thing. Not sure where to start to fix the problem.
Pressure in the crankcase (felt at the dipstick and oil fill) is a classic sign of a failed headgasket. Similarly it could be a cracked lock or cracked head. It's also common symptom of a failed PCV if you have that. It could of course be worn rings or valve seals, but more likely that exhaust gas is escaping into the crankcase via headgasket leak or a crack.

If it's a fresh water cooled engine you can get a kit that will test for the presence of exhaust gas in the coolant. You could (and should) also consider doing a leakdown test.

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post #16 of 21 Old 11-12-2019
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Re: Yanmar "Starting to use oil"

I'd say that meets "walk away" criteria unless the price and your budget accomodates a rebuild (and you're willing to accept the hassle).
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post #17 of 21 Old 11-12-2019
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Re: Yanmar "Starting to use oil"

One quick question: Did you check the bilge? Yanmars have a slew of places to lose oil that are not all that obvious to see.


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post #18 of 21 Old 11-12-2019
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Lightbulb Re: Yanmar "Starting to use oil"

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Originally Posted by Register1 View Post
I am considering a boat. It has a Yanmar in it from 1985. 2 cylinder.

The owner said it is "starting to use oil" and that in the month of July cruising it used 1 liter + 1/4 liter.

He says it isn't going anywhere, there is no smoke or anything and the bilge is clean.

Ok is this enough to walk away? Is this motor of concern or do many use oil?

Thank you for your responses. Newbie in PNW.
Hard to really answer without knowing the boat model and how the condition is otherwise. If it is a good quality boat, and you are planning to keep it for at least 5 to 10 years, buy it at a price that will reflect installing a new engine package. I put a new Betamarine in our '88 boat last year when the original engine/trans/etc needed to be pulled and gone thru.... it was gonna cost me at least half the cost of the new engine to do that.
Since we are keeping our boat for a long time it was a 'no brainer' to put in the new power plant.
With doing your own prep and cleanup work, I doubt that a new smaller Beta will run you over 7K or so. Labor cost depends how much or little of the work you want to do.
And, always.... it gets back to your plans for use and future enjoyment of the boat.

And, to directly get to your question, no matter what kind of boat you buy or how pretty the engine is, *always* get an engine survey before you write that check.

We did, buying our present boat, and that survey paid for itself immediately.

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post #19 of 21 Old 11-12-2019
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Re: Yanmar "Starting to use oil"

If used consistantly at that rate since original post, thats less than 8 gallons of oil.
$120 over 2 years. Talking almost sofa change
Run 'er till she blows...
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post #20 of 21 Old 11-13-2019
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Re: Yanmar "Starting to use oil"

I'd run a tractor engine, till she blows. Despite all the stud sailors that pound their chest and look down their nose at even having an engine aboard, I consider it a safety device. Too many examples of ships on the bottom of the ocean or on the rocks ashore, before they invented the iron genny.

Then again, the original post was over two years ago, so I suspect the OP made their decision already.


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