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Discussion Starter #1
Black smoke, bad engine sound, black residue in water, but oil not dropping when measured by dipstick. I figure it's the air filter, which for a Universal M25XPA is this part:
Universal 302181 Sailboat Supplies, Engine Parts and Boat Parts

HOWEVER, can I just clean what I have and save the $70? Manual says "non-flammable solvent", and I can understand why, but what constitutes a "non-flammable solvent"? Or, can I use acetone or mineral spirits and just wait a few days before starting the engine? Want to be real careful here, so asking the experts for advice... THANKS!
 

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First of all, what you have on the typical marine diesel engine is not an 'air filter' per se but a 'silencer' - to attenuate the noise generated by the intake valves. The µM retention value for such typical 'open cell foams' is about: "rocks, sticks and feathers", vastly greater in size retention than the 20µM requirement to retain 'the most damaging particles' for diesel engines. A 'real' filter for such an application and constructed of pleated resinated cellulose paper, would be in the range of 3µM (liquid rating) / ~0,4µM (gas rating) ... but would have lousy noise attenuation.

A non-flammable solvent, so you dont have a momentary engine 'runaway' when restarting the engine with residual solvent inside the intake 'silencer', would be: "Stoddard Solvent" - usually and commonly available at most automotive parts supply shops that cater to 'mechanics', widely used for 'safe' cleaning and degreasing of auto parts.
 

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... I'll be happy to sell you a replacement filter for $40 and I'll deliver anywhere in the Bay Area. (I swapped out to a K-N filter). ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Cleaned out the air filter assembly using turpentine substitute. Thoroughly rinsed the steel mesh inside the housing, the foam cover and the inside & outside of the housing. Two screws/bolts to remove, wasn't hard, but isn't the problem. Now I'm looking at the fuel filter assembly, but that's another post.

I noticed a marked difference between the engine owners manual I had on board and the online version. Tellingly, cleaning the air silencer or whatever it's called was not even on the list of periodic maintenance, so on to the finding the real problem.

Onward, thanks.
 
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