SailNet Community banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,825 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Well my summer trip got cancelled. I had planned a solo to Newfoundland to Greenland. I left Lewisporte but had engine problems. I put into St Anthony and made repairs but got delayed for a week waiting for weather. My Wife came up and we made a holiday of it. Cape Norman, at the extreme NW tip of Newfoundland, is quite interesting, especially if you like “bleak.”

I restarted my trip from St Anthony with a nice weather window, it was to be a 6-7 day crossing, that’s a long solo but something I’ve done before. The short story is into the second day the engine crapped out, over heating. I was able to limp home to Lewisporte at idle speed, of course sailing when I could.

What is interesting is that I experienced a deep ( and I mean deep) depression that was induced simply by my physical conditions. There was very little wind and a rough sea-state left over from the storm. The water was between 35-40°F, heavy fog and when it did clear a bit there were bergs. So I was motoring slowly keeping a 15 minute radar watch. Once the weather cleared on the way back I felt much better and had one day that was very pleasurable.

I didn’t expect this depression that or even think it possible simply from my physical situation. If I ever attempt this kind of thing again I’ll need to remind myself of this danger and somehow prepare to mitigate it or tolerate it.

But... I learned something about myself and that is worthwhile in itself.

Now my challenge is to figure out the overheating issue. That has me completely stumped. It’s erratic at best. Clearly the t-stat is working, I can see it going up and down. But from 100 to 190°f? It’s a raw water cooled engine and should run at 150°f. In the past few days I’ve seen it run at 100° hours, fast idle at 140 for 1& hours, run perfectly at high idle for a while, run from 120 to 170 and back about every 30 seconds for hours, and run from 100 to 190 and back about once a minute.

To add mystery, when I took the t-stat housing off I found the waterline from the pump to the housing almost completely clogged with a black gritty substance. I rammed a rod down the about 14” length of the copper tube and flushed out the buildup. Cranked the engine with no compression and have great water flow. But was left with the above very odd symptoms.

My plan is to drink heavily this weekend and attack the engine Tuesday. Happy Canada Day!

:2 boat:
 

·
Learning the HARD way...
Joined
·
7,194 Posts
Drinking is probably not going to help with the depression.

Do you have a spare T-stat? You can test the one that you have by placing it in a pan of hot water.
 

·
Master Mariner
Joined
·
8,408 Posts
Gauges are notoriously inaccurate. Most offen the best they can do is let you know that the temp (in this case) is straying off the norm.
But from your description, if it is not a connection in the wiring, it could be a faulty thermostat. Not much else, and I lean toward a wiring connection if the temp changes are as rapid as you imply.
I'd get a heat gun and make sure the engine is or is not actually changing temperature at all, and change the thermostat just because.
Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,130 Posts
Blockage will / may / can mess up your cooling. Was there the correct amount of water being expelled with the engine running... that is a tell.

It could be a messed up pump impeller
clog at inside or outside the intake
could be junk in the strainer
corroded exhaust elbow
crude and clogged hose
whacked out t stat

I had similar and ruled out everything until it was the spendy elbow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
375 Posts
Well my summer trip got cancelled. I had planned a solo to Newfoundland to Greenland. I left Lewisporte but had engine problems. I put into St Anthony and made repairs but got delayed for a week waiting for weather. My Wife came up and we made a holiday of it. Cape Norman, at the extreme NW tip of Newfoundland, is quite interesting, especially if you like “bleak.”

I restarted my trip from St Anthony with a nice weather window, it was to be a 6-7 day crossing, that’s a long solo but something I’ve done before. The short story is into the second day the engine crapped out, over heating. I was able to limp home to Lewisporte at idle speed, of course sailing when I could.

What is interesting is that I experienced a deep ( and I mean deep) depression that was induced simply by my physical conditions. There was very little wind and a rough sea-state left over from the storm. The water was between 35-40°F, heavy fog and when it did clear a bit there were bergs. So I was motoring slowly keeping a 15 minute radar watch. Once the weather cleared on the way back I felt much better and had one day that was very pleasurable.

I didn’t expect this depression that or even think it possible simply from my physical situation. If I ever attempt this kind of thing again I’ll need to remind myself of this danger and somehow prepare to mitigate it or tolerate it.

But... I learned something about myself and that is worthwhile in itself.

Now my challenge is to figure out the overheating issue. That has me completely stumped. It’s erratic at best. Clearly the t-stat is working, I can see it going up and down. But from 100 to 190°f? It’s a raw water cooled engine and should run at 150°f. In the past few days I’ve seen it run at 100° hours, fast idle at 140 for 1& hours, run perfectly at high idle for a while, run from 120 to 170 and back about every 30 seconds for hours, and run from 100 to 190 and back about once a minute.

To add mystery, when I took the t-stat housing off I found the waterline from the pump to the housing almost completely clogged with a black gritty substance. I rammed a rod down the about 14” length of the copper tube and flushed out the buildup. Cranked the engine with no compression and have great water flow. But was left with the above very odd symptoms.

My plan is to drink heavily this weekend and attack the engine Tuesday. Happy Canada Day!

:2 boat:


The rapid movement in the gage makes me wonder if there is an electrical fault in the temp gage circuit rather than an actual change in engine temp. Can you get hold of another way to measure the actual engine temperature?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,952 Posts
Does the water flow out change at all when this is happening? If not a bad sender/gauge, it sounds like something is rolling around in the cooling loop plugging/unplugging flow. Could be a thermostat opening/shutting, but that is an odd failure mode. Just remove the thermostat and see what it does. Some engines block the flow when the Tstat is removed, but these are usually fresh water cooled engines - but check to make sure.

Mark
 

·
Master Mariner
Joined
·
8,408 Posts
Blockage will / may / can mess up your cooling. Was there the correct amount of water being expelled with the engine running... that is a tell.

It could be a messed up pump impeller
clog at inside or outside the intake
could be junk in the strainer
corroded exhaust elbow
crude and clogged hose
whacked out t stat

I had similar and ruled out everything until it was the spendy elbow.
Not to be argumentative, but I don't think any of those would cause the temp to fluctuate wildly;
"Now my challenge is to figure out the overheating issue. That has me completely stumped. It’s erratic at best. Clearly the t-stat is working, I can see it going up and down. But from 100 to 190°f? It’s a raw water cooled engine and should run at 150°f. In the past few days I’ve seen it run at 100° hours, fast idle at 140 for 1& hours, run perfectly at high idle for a while, run from 120 to 170 and back about every 30 seconds for hours, and run from 100 to 190 and back about once a minute." which was one of his concerns, I believe.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
9,073 Posts
I saw a similar thing when I had a blocked exhaust elbow. At idle the engine seemed fine, but as soon as the RPM's increased the temperature would start to rise quickly and trip the yellow temp warning (never getting to red). But the other thing I have observed on car engines is that there is a shortage of water getting to the heat sensor. On a marine engine this can be an air lock in the top of the water jackets or to a lesser extent anything else on the list in SanderO's comments.

As to your depression, as I have aged, I find myself more prone to a transitory sense of depression when I am alone and sleep deprived. Being exhausted seems to amplify whatever emotion I am feeling at the time, but especially a sense of sadness, or of having messed up big time. The solo distance racers say that it is only a matter of time before they begin to hallucinate and project all kinds of emotional disorders onto themselves. As they will readily tell you, when you are in that state, it is hard to rationally say to yourself, "Whatever I am feeling it is the result of exhaustion and is all in my mind" and yet when seen in retrospective, that is the unfortunately reality of it.

Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,130 Posts
Where do these precise temp numbers come from.... my temp gauge has a green zone and then a too hot red zone. If gauge shows the dial is more the vertical... moving to red... the engine is running hotter than normal. That's all I need to know. If the exhaust water is not robust and regular... there is a blockage of a busted impeller. Having said that I haven't see large fluctuations of the dial. Are you sure the gauge is working? Is the exhaust water normal?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,825 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all the feedback. I believe this problem actually started at the end of last season. Just before layup the engine showed low water flow. It found some significant debris (different from what I got out of the other line) in the t-stat housing I took out the t-stat, tested it, reinstalled and it was working fine when winterized. Actually the first few hours this year the engine ran cold, 110°, which I payed off to the very low water temp, 38°f.

The thought about the water chamber where the t-stat resides being empty had crossed my mind. Not sure what, if anything, to make of that. The other possible issue is a suction side air leak. That can make for sudden temp rise. But the oscillating? These Volvo’s have a really silly water connection that never inspires confidence.

I think the bottom line is I’m getting debris in the system. I can understand it in the t-stat housing, maybe, but the line from the water pump? Worse comes to worse I’ll remove the exhaust manifold and try to clean that out.

Next week.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,825 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
As to your depression, as I have aged, I find myself more prone to a transitory sense of depression when I am alone and sleep deprived. Being exhausted seems to amplify whatever emotion I am feeling at the time, but especially a sense of sadness, or of having messed up big time. The solo distance racers say that it is only a matter of time before they begin to hallucinate and project all kinds of emotional disorders onto themselves. As they will readily tell you, when you are in that state, it is hard to rationally say to yourself, "Whatever I am feeling it is the result of exhaustion and is all in my mind" and yet when seen in retrospective, that is the unfortunately reality of it.

Jeff
Yes, I can see all of this. My wife the psychoanalyst distinguishes between Halucination and Delusion; in the former your mind contrives things from whole cloth whereas in delusion your brain is stimulated by something real but then bends it into something else. I haven’t hallucinated since the early 70’s but after about 3 days alone I have delusions. Pricinpally I hear some noise and my mind try’s to turn it into something familiar like music or stadium cheering. It’s less annoying now that I’m more familiar with it.

This depression was another matter. I had all the aggravating factors you mention above, but I’ve been there before if not to this extent. Maybe now that I know about it I can better deal with it.

It does make one wonder how some of these guys do the long solo races without going bonkers.

I’ve read elsewhere, can’t find the reference, that WWII research showed about 75% of folks in dire situations will die from psychological depression well before supplies are exhausted. Maybe I’m in that 75% cohort.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
9,073 Posts
An osculating temperature gauge is often a symptom of an air leak on the intake side of the system since the sensor thinks the temperature has dropped when it is in air. In fact when a car over heats due to a coolant leak the thermostat often looks too cool since there is no coolant in contact with the sensor.

Jeff
 

·
Old soul
Joined
·
4,554 Posts
Hi Howard, sorry to hear about your aborted northern travels, and your introspective depressive episodes. I’ve never attempted a similar solo sail event, but I used to solo canoe trip for weeks at at time. I recall a depressive episode after I had a bad dump in a rapid while heading down river, and at least a week from anyone knowing I was even alive.

I’ve got no wisdom for either challenge, but on a purely selfish level, we are still planning to head your way soon. Maybe we’ll be able to connect in Lewisporte or in Corner Brook. Always happy to raise a pint and toast the ghosts we all carry.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,825 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Mike,

Looking forward. See you at the club house.

I’ll probably be around a lot, now the trip is done I’ve some projects to tackle.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
7,167 Posts
So sorry your adventure is canned for this year.

I gotta say that intermittent faults put the dark clouds over my head. Maybe you were worried about your engine?

Hope it's fixed and you do the passage soon.


Mark
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,720 Posts
With a raw water cooled engine in salt water, a scale buildup is always a possibility. I would suggest a back flush and cleaning with Rydlyme or something similar.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,825 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
When I got back to the boat I pulled the thermostat housing and found I had ZERO water flow though the engine. Pulled the exhaust manifold, dug out as much crap as I could, gave it the acid treatment. Reinstalled and flushed engine with acid. Now I’m getting good water flow. It seems most of the problem was in the exhaust manifold.

Ran her today but she would not heat up more than just enough to confirm the sender was working, confirmed by my hand. As soon as I can I’ll take her out and put her under load, run around the harbor. Water here is still about 40°F. I’m getting good water out the exhaust.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,130 Posts
When I got back to the boat I pulled the thermostat housing and found I had ZERO water flow though the engine. Pulled the exhaust manifold, dug out as much crap as I could, gave it the acid treatment. Reinstalled and flushed engine with acid. Now I’m getting good water flow. It seems most of the problem was in the exhaust manifold.

Ran her today but she would not heat up more than just enough to confirm the sender was working, confirmed by my hand. As soon as I can I’ll take her out and put her under load, run around the harbor. Water here is still about 40°F. I’m getting good water out the exhaust.
Isn't the exhaust manifold for gas and not water? Are you meaning the exhaust elbow where the gases are mixed with the heated cooling water and then out a thru hull?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,825 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
No, it’s a Volvo MD7A raw water cooled engine, salt water circulates through the exhaust Mansfield around the exhaust chambers. The water comes from the pump, into the exhaust manifold, then to the head/block, back to the exhaust manifold, then the thermostat housing, and only then to the exhaust mixer.

My observation (hope?) is the the vast predominance of the buildup was in the pipe to the exhaust manifold and the manifold but the head and block seemed to be relatively clear. Not sure that is in fact true, just the way it looked from my limited ability to see.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top