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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all...I'm new here. Long story with important questions follows:

I recently bought a 1975 Santana 30 with I believe the original engine. Prior owner had her for 30 years and had the engine professionally rebuilt but I'm not sure exactly how many years or hours ago. Its not been used much at all the past few years, but I need to deliver the boat in the next couple of weeks for winter storage and that will include transiting the East River in NYC...so a healthy motor is required.

I'm not familiar with marine diesels (yet) so each use I've verified cooling water flow as shown by the PO. No functional gauges - tach, oil pressure and temp are all inoperable. Two engine uses ago I didn't see flow so I inspected the impeller and it looked good. Opened sea clock and water flowed well. Reassembled and observed water coming out with exhaust as PO advised was normal. As we were returning to mooring under power I noticed white smoke/steam building out exhaust...then motor rpm slowed by itself. I put it in neutral and the rpm came back up. Since we were close to the mooring and in a tight spot, I put it back in gear to get to the mooring. Engine slowed, then stalled and won't restart.

So far I have removed the thermostat (rusted mess), exhaust manifold (plugged with iron oxide and carbon) and the head (looks like it's a bit warped on the non - cam side and has been weeping seawater down the block for quite awhile). Pistons, valves and cylinders look great. No funny or bad noises. No water in oil and doesn't seem to be oil in the water.

Before pulling the head I could easily turn the flywheel through many revolutions by hand regardless of the decompression lever position. This scared me into pulling the head but there's nothing obviously wrong so far...????

Money and time are serious hurdles at the moment (but I know I'm not the only one in that boat :-D)

Thoughts????

Thanks in advance,

-Keith
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you all for the suggestions. Today I cleaned and inspected the parts I had already taken off Friday (before posting):

-Intake mesh 'filter' and breather filter - very oily.
-Exhaust manifold - corrosion, deposits and rust chunks in water passages as expected. Minor carbon deposits. Carefully opened clogged water passages with Dremel then blew them out with my power washer and compressed air.
-Head - valves move fine and are all closed. Lifters and rockers look fine. Head is surprisingly flat against steel straightedge (couldn't get feeler gauge underneath). The three external head studs had seriously frozen nuts however so the studs unscrewed rather than the nuts. I heated and removed the nuts thinking perhaps they hadn't allowed that side of the head to seat quite enough.
-exhaust elbow - no evidence of blockage.
-thermostat - garbage.
-gaskets - Head and exhaust gaskets showed no obvious signs of failure.

I've started to wonder about sticking rings as a cause for the compression loss since the motor has just been idled periodically for a few seasons but I will do a proper pressure check and fuel system check upon reassembly.

MINNEWASKA - I listened closely but did not hear (or feel) any hissing while rotating the flywheel.

RichH - the block didn't have obvious internal rust but I will try your water pressure test after reassembly.

MiataPaul - I'm going from Bridgeport CT to my new club on the Hudson River. I have unlimited SeaTow so may sail the boat to City Island then have SeaTow take it the rest of the way. In the interest of yankee ingenuity/wasting time I'll try putting the head back on without machining since it looks visually good...but regardless of whether it runs again this year or not will get it to an automotive machine shop for imspection. The points about getting it professionally towed even if it does restart are duly noted...hate the idea of my first transit to be on a tow line but GREATLY prefer that to having my first transit end at the bottom of the Gate!!
 
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