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Closet Powerboater
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Yesterday was supposed to be a happy day. After three months in the yard repairing $14,000 worth of damage caused by the Florida riggers Mack Sails who decommissioned my new boat for transport, we finally were launched into the water. Finally, nearly 4 months after buying the boat, and after insurance battles and months in the yard, we could finally put our first mile under the keel.

Then, the email from the yard. The engine won't start. No big deal, probably a dead battery right? Then, the next email, the engine is seized.

:) ---> :confused: ---> :( ---> :mad: ---> :puke

How is that possible? The engine surveyed well, the engine ran in Florida, and 3 months ago when I went in the water from the truck, the engine ran just fine. The yard did no work in, or around the engine. Surely it's not really seized.... I go down to the boat, and indeed, the sound of the starter trying to engage, the good voltage at the batteries etc indicate it sure sounds like it's seized. Then I pull the dipstick.

:) ---> :confused: ---> :( ---> :mad: ---> :puke

The dipstick reads grossly over full. Probably 3-5 times full. The color is greyish, brownish, not fully transparent and smells like kerosene. It's not cooking oil color, and it's not black. Worst part? The last 1.5 inches of the dipstick are blatantly rusty. I then pulled a sample of oil from the bottom of the engine.



That's not a frappuccino kids. That's what came out of the engine oil pan. Clearly it separated quickly and it doesn't look like coolant at the bottom. Since it separated so quickly, it's not likely to be diesel. I'm thinking based on it's color, the fact that it separated and the rust on the bottom of the dipstick that it's likely seawater. Peering into the top of the engine I can see the valves look rusty and when I run my finger over the valves at the top, I get a gritty rusty oily stuff on my fingers.

The yard suggested that water that was in the engine exhaust could have migrated up through the exhaust circuit and gotten in the engine during the bumps along the road in the 5,000mile road trip. I don't see how that could be possible because I ran the engine for 5 minutes at the slip the day after I was unloaded from the truck. If water from the exhaust got into the cylinders it wouldn't have started or ran, correct?

Another thought is a survey finding from the pre-purchase survey. I was told the oil coolers were bad (one for the engine, one for the tranny) and were due for replacement. Could the engine oil cooler have failed while sitting in the yard? Seems unlikely....

I'm not sure where else to look, or what to think. The engine surveyed well except for the above mentioned oil coolers finding and the finding that all the hoses were soft, squishy and due for replacement. The engine is a Ford Lehman 90HP 1985 naturally aspirated 4 cyl diesel with 1450 hours, and the boat is a 1985 Nauticat 40. Again, the yard did no engine work (though they did replace a cutlass bearing) and I can't imagine how this could be the yard's fault, though on the other hand, I gave them a boat with a working engine and I got back an engine that is seized.

I will know more on monday when the mechanics look at it. I really want to pull the injectors and valve cover right now and change the oil 10 times, but I am going to wait for the yard to look at it.

Thoughts? Maybe by next summer I'll actually have a functioning boat again...

MedSailor
 

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s/v Tiger Lily
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Sorry to hear. Hopefully it's not as bad as it seems.
 

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Master Mariner
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That is terrible, I am so sorry. I've been following your adventure and was hoping for a better launch day.
It's probably way too late, but if you empty what's in the pan and fill the cylinders, dowse the upper end and fill the oil pan with diesel, it might ease dismantling it. Even if you got it to turn over now, you still are going to need bearings and rings at the least. If you want to sail her down here, I'll help you with the rebuild.
Sorry again.
 

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Closet Powerboater
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3,925 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the offer capta. You're a long way from Anacortes though. I bought the boat in Florida and trucked her over here.

The boat hadn't been at a slip but had been in the yard which makes this really strange.

Also if the oil cooler went, the engine shouldn't be hydro locked right? Can you hydro lock an engine by grossly over filling a crankcase?

Damage wise i know saltwater in the oil and perhaps in the cylenders is.... um.... not good. What am i likely looking at for damage? Rings and bearings? What would have happened to them?

The damn engine was barely broken in.....

Medsailor
 

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Administrator
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7,602 Posts
These small problems often look insurmountable at first.

Its impossible to determine whats gone wrong and what neds to be done. So just relax and plan things for monday. One of the most important things is not to believe a damn word any mechanic says, especially when they shake their head and start counting prices on both hands. It can take several opinions before the truth be known. So don't just jump with what the first guy says. Get his ideas and then check them with us (or the people here that know somit about the thing under the stairs). Don't go sign your life away on Monday!

Now let me speculate :) the oil cooler can corrode galvonicaly and some even have zincs in them. Thas an easy way to get water into your oil. Also its an easy fix. Those oil coorers can be opened, cleaned, renewed, resoldered etc for about $100. Its not expensive. Its done by a car radiator shop :)

As for the seizing... Well, I wouldnt know. But a good mechanics kick in the right place may unseize it... Then you do the oil change ingy a few times and sail off into the night. I.e. You may not need to pull it down.

So just be wary of the guy who looks sorrowfully at it and asks for a few thousand dollars... Get a second opinion, and maybe a third.

Good luck! :):):)


Mark
 
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Senior Member
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19,488 Posts
So sorry to hear this, Med.. and of the earlier issues too, must have missed that part over the summer.

Hope it's not as bad as it sounds.
 

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Closet Powerboater
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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Faster, you didn't miss anything. I optdd for radio silence while i figured out what to do. I thought there was a fair chance that i would sue Mack Sails over the incident. As it turned out my insurance was willing to pay and they are now suing them so i don't need to be quite as tight lipped. Suffice to say they messed up tge boat pretty bad and its taken 3 months to get her back to the condition i bought her in.

Now let me give everyone the sequence of events for troubleshooting purposes:

1.The boat sat in florida for sale for about 4 years with very light use.

2. In june we took the boat for a trial sail and survey. Everything went well. Ok at WOT. Oil sample came back good excepr high copper (from sitting idle) and the engine surveyed wrll except fot all the hoses being old and the iol coolers needed to be changed. Our surveyors btw were flown out by us and have owned a diesel repair business for 40 years.

3. The boat was trucked from florida to Washington and arrived july 3. Nothing was done to the engine in prep for transportation. The ride was smooth and even lamps that were left standing were still upright on arrival.

4. Boat was yaken from tbe truck to the water. I started the engine and ran it for 5-10min.

5. Realized the boat was way too fubared by the riggers and the boat was pilled and put on the hard. Total time in the water in Washington; 5 days.

6. Yard fixed the steering pedistal, electronics, and masts were stepoed. No engine work was done. The cutlads bearing was replaced and the bottom painted.

7. They launched the boat. Checked the bilge pymps were
Working and attempted to start the engine and it wouldnt crank. They put a wrench to the flywheel and determined it was seized at 4:50pm on Friday.

8. I went to the boat and tried to start it. I didn't try and turn the flywheel. I pulled the oil sample.

That's the story to date.

Medsailor

Ps. Apologies for the typos. wrote this post from a mobile gadget.


.
 

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Administrator
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Florida to Washington State.


Oh.

Dunno where the water came from. It doesn't rain much in between.


;)
 

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Registered
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I'm with the don't panic crowd...engine maybe stuck rather then siezed...by putting a wrench on the front of the crankshaft or by pulling the starter and using a bar on the ring gear it may be unstuck...if this is the case then a good flushing and fresh oil may be all that you need...bearings that have been sitting in water have been compromised but it comes down to how much...they may need changed or they may just shorten engine life by a small amount...This can usually be determined by how much your oil pressure drops from what it was before...situation sucks but not life threatening...good luck...
 

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Courtney the Dancer
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3,970 Posts
Sorry to hear of the engine problems Med. I'm guessing that the oil cooler(s) came apart internally due to vibration during the trip and when you ran it for a few minutes it pumped sea water into the oil. Hard to know what all will need to be done, sounds like crank bearings will need to be replaced at a minimum.
Good luck, you'll get through this.
 

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Not good but bet not enough time went by to do real corrosion. Pull injectors and filter,drain and flush pan, fill with diesel ( plus a dollop in each cylinder),get it turning over, (put old blanket over the engine to catch the spurt) do it again .Refill filter and pan. Meanwhile determine what failed and fix. You know that thread about closing thru hulls? Maybe time to look at plumbing from inlet to anti syphon to pump to heat ex to riser. Oil and tranni ex 'S should be on fresh water side.
 

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That really sucks, Med. Sorry for the trouble. Oil cooler seems to be the most likely bet.
 

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One other positive, that Ford Lehman is about as tough and as close to bulletproof as they come, just the sort of engine I'd want to have if dealing with a situation like this...

Really sorry to hear this Med, that's a weird one indeed, best of luck getting it all sorted out...
 

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Sorry to hear about your troubles on the new boat Med. Best of luck with sorting them out. Hopefully it's not as bad as it seems.
 
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