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Blown head gasket?

Headed down the ICW from Coinjock..
Engine is a 1983 volvo penta md17d
It's been burning a lot of oil ever since I've owned the boat (pint per 10hr!)
I noticed yesterday we motored for 10 hours, and when I checked the engine, we hadn't burnt much oil. Which is odd. This Morning when I tried to turn it over, it made a really loud knock, but then finally turned over as normal. After about 20 min I checked oil, White and milky!!! Also, about twice as much as there is supposed to be. Back at the dock I changed oil, removed valve covers (which had a bit of seawater in them?!) and cranked it. Instantly white milky oil coming up all the rockers etc.
I assume oil is being mixed with the raw water,
Not the coolant.
Im handy but not knowledgeable.. if that makes sense...
Any ideas?!
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Re: Blown head gasket?

Id think towards rebuild or repower
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Re: Blown head gasket?

Scott :

In 1998, I had a similar problem with my MD17c.
I was using a pint every 8 hours, or so.
Separately, at the end of 1998 season, a cylinder base O-ring was leaking and the coolant was filling up the sump. I caught it before it caused lasting damage, and yes, it was a mustard-milky goop.
It looks very much like you will have to pull the heads and barrels and check the integrity of the water jackets.
If you were burning oil at a pint every 10 hours, I suspect you have bore wear and it will need attention.
I had to re-bore mine. In 1998, Mahle made oversizes for the motor. The oil consumption thereafter was next to zero.

It is a difficult call, Scott. Fixing the motor will be expensive, if you can find the parts. Volvo have long since stopped support for that motor.

I am not sure what you mean by "not the coolant". That motor is raw water cooled, and there is coolant in the heads and barrels.
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Re: Blown head gasket?

Blown head gasket is certainly a possibility. However, it sounds as though your rings were on the way out before your head gasket gave up the ghost. At any rate, do not ever run that engine until you have repaired it, as right now you have salt in the bearings. If you want to save the engine for a rebuild, you must clean the crank case by removing the milk and rinsing it with diesel until the diesel comes out without any trace at all of the milk. then you must remove the injectors and soak them in diesel, though the tips are already rusted beyond reuse, but tips aren't expensive.
Next you must remove the head, soak in completely in diesel and fill the block and all cylinders with diesel asap to keep the rings from rusting to the walls or liners and if some rings are bad, keep refilling those cylinders. As often as you can, put a big socket on the crank bolt and turn the engine over a turn or two.
Doing this you can save much of the engine for a total rebuild, but it is not a cure.
I wish you luck.

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Re: Blown head gasket?

You need special tools and experience to tackle this. Find a Volvo mechanic.

pay attention... someone's life depends on it
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Re: Blown head gasket?

A compression test is in order.

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Re: Blown head gasket?

Take off the exhaust manifold and feed fresh water in to the fluid entry ports (two of them are arrowed in the picture). You have three.
Keep the water out of the exhaust ports
Fill up the entry ports (they are rather small and for the last part of the fill you may have to use a syringe). Fill them up until they accept no more water.
Now wait and watch for a while.
Is the level falling away from any of the ports?
If so, you have a leak in that barrel, probably in the cylinder base O-ring (in 1998, I had a leak in one of them and it was quietly filling up the sump, yes, with the usual water-laden mustard-coloured oil).
I will be very surprised if the problem is a cylinder head gasket as the water tends to leak out and not in, so-to speak.

In the meantime, pump all of that gunge oil/seawater out of the motor with a sucker pump and keep the motor moving occasionally. Spray some WD40 (or similar) down the inlet and exhaust throats and keep the motor turning at each visit. Don't let the bores corrode to the point when the motor will jam, and solidly.

I wish you were in Scotland so that I could help directly, but I will help all I can.

That picture is of my own motor. I let the aft barrel freeze and it cracked. That is us checking the piston clearances as we re-build again.
The motor is running again.
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Last edited by Rockter; 2 Days Ago at 05:55 AM.
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Re: Blown head gasket?

There are other possible sources of water in the oil. If the engine is raw water cooled, the raw water pump can be a source. I had that issue with the Universal 5411 on my previous boat. So you do need to find the source.

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Re: Blown head gasket?

Yes.
The water pump is a possibility too.
Take it off and put a hose on it and turn the wee central shaft and you should see if it is leaking past the shaft seal.
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RW pump-Even if it's a large amount of water coming in a short period of time? Ill
Also, I went to clean the vaccum valve, and I thought it was clogged but looks like i punctured through a gasket?
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