SailNet Community banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings to all,
I will try to keep this brief but here is my situation. I am not a diesel mechanic but I have good basic mechanical skills. I am trying to help my son get his Westerbeke 25 HP model four-91 running (In an Allied Princess 36') running. The boat ran four years ago and he has the boat for sale. I removed the starter, had it rebuilt then reinstalled it, changed the oil and then had to rebuild the impeller pump as it was leaking from shaft. The motor turned over freely at that time and I was then working on the fuel issues and about to get help on bleeding the air from the system. A buyer made him a reduced offer to sale it as is with a substantial down payment so he could get the boat back fees caught up. While having some issues with the title the buyer was working on the engine. It appears he changed some hoses on the cooling system and I dont know what else. He then calls us to tell us the motor is frozen, its our fault for cranking it over and he wants his money back! He claims we ruined it by cranking it over? We did NOT crank it over extensively as I have some knowledge and years of automotive experience. He claims we caused water to get in the engine and cause it to seize up, Is that even possible? I have tried to turn it over both with the starter and with a breaker bar, It does appear frozen. Does any body have any ideas where I should start to try to figure out what happened and what may have caused this problem?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,511 Posts
Sorry for your troubles. That is indeed a mess. Is any of this in Writing ? What's the Title issue?

Right now the only leverage you have is the down payment. So, I would probably hold on to that. A reasonable solution at this point is to get a qualified diesel mechanic to assess the engine and give an estimate to repair. Sounds like both parties, might have a hand in the problem, and so some sort of compromise on tthe cost of the assessment might be in order.

The repair, if serious, is another story and could get ugly. Obviously, the purchaser should have never been allowed to touch the engine until the deal was closed. Cool heads will need to prevail all around, if you want to keep the lawyers out of this. I hope it works out for you.
 

·
Learning the HARD way...
Joined
·
7,620 Posts
Agree that this sounds like a hydrolocked cylinder. If you were cranking the engine for more than 15 seconds, without planning to start it, the raw water seacock should have been closed. The fact that you don't know this ("We did NOT crank it over extensively as I have some knowledge and years of automotive experience. He claims we caused water to get in the engine and cause it to seize up, Is that even possible?" - Yes, it is not only possible, it is likely) shows that you should not have been working on this engine.

But then again, why was this guy working on a boat that wasn't his?

I am not saying that either you or the buyer were responsible, only that it was possible for either of you to have done this.

IF YOU ARE LUCKY, and you act NOW, and my "internet diagnosis" is correct, you may be able to remove the water and get the engine running again. Hopefully there is not a bent/broken a connecting rod. You are working against the clock, because if it is hydrolocked raw water is in the cylinder, and corroding the cylinder walls and the rings. Shut off the raw water intake, remove the injectors, and try to turn the engine over BY HAND. If it turns over, then try turning the engine over with the starter to blow the water out. If this is an M25 (which is 21 HP - BTW), then there should be a compression release lever (which holds the exhaust valve open) and you could use this to get the water out of the engine. If this works, then put several drops of engine oil into each cylinder (to coat the cylinder) and crank it over again for several seconds. If this is successful, then reinstall the injectors and turn the engine over by hand. If it is still good, try to start it.

Good luck with the repair and figuring out who is responsible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,415 Posts
It definitely sounds hydro locked. The question is, who did it? If the buyer was messing around with the engine then he could very well have done it himself.

Regardless of who did it, the engine is likely not "ruined". The injectors need to be pulled so that you can get the water out of the cylinders. Change the oil, and it will probably be fine.

Sent from my SM-G981W using Tapatalk
 

·
ASA and PSIA Instructor
Joined
·
4,299 Posts
Greetings to all,
I will try to keep this brief but here is my situation. I am not a diesel mechanic but I have good basic mechanical skills. I am trying to help my son get his Westerbeke 25 HP model four-91 running (In an Allied Princess 36') running. The boat ran four years ago and he has the boat for sale. I removed the starter, had it rebuilt then reinstalled it, changed the oil and then had to rebuild the impeller pump as it was leaking from shaft. The motor turned over freely at that time and I was then working on the fuel issues and about to get help on bleeding the air from the system. A buyer made him a reduced offer to sale it as is with a substantial down payment so he could get the boat back fees caught up. While having some issues with the title the buyer was working on the engine. It appears he changed some hoses on the cooling system and I dont know what else. He then calls us to tell us the motor is frozen, its our fault for cranking it over and he wants his money back! He claims we ruined it by cranking it over? We did NOT crank it over extensively as I have some knowledge and years of automotive experience. He claims we caused water to get in the engine and cause it to seize up, Is that even possible? I have tried to turn it over both with the starter and with a breaker bar, It does appear frozen. Does any body have any ideas where I should start to try to figure out what happened and what may have caused this problem?
Taking for geranted the vessel now has a problem engine, the big question here is do you have a written agreement whose terms will/should determine who faces what responsibility for the problem, for the boat and for the deposit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Wow what a great response, thank you all for your great comments and suggestions. I am really glad there is a chance to save it. I will proceed with removing the injectors, rotate crankshaft and lube the cylinders to try to free it up. But the manual does say Westerbeke 25 HP Model FOUR-91.
Can someone kindly explain to me how sea water or coolant can inter the combustion chamber from a closed cooling system if there are no issues with gaskets under any circumstances? Thanks again
 

·
Learning the HARD way...
Joined
·
7,620 Posts
Normally, the raw water enters the boat through a seacock, is routed via a hose to a sea strainer (usually) and then to a raw water pump. From there the cool water is routed to the engine's heat exchanger, which is like the radiator in an automobile or tractor. The now warmer water is run through an anti-siphon and then into the mixing elbow, where it is mixed with the hot exhaust. The water cools the exhaust gasses in the mixing elbow. The water and exhaust gas go into the waterlift muffler via a rubber hose. After the muffler, the exhaust and water are pushed out of the boat by the incoming exhaust gasses.

When you crank the engine without starting, you are pumping water into the waterlift muffler without the expanding hot gasses from the engine exhaust. This can allow water to fill the muffler, and then allow water back up into the exhaust piping, into the exhaust manifold and into the engine. This is taught in both ASA 103 and ASA 104.

ETA: Here are my slides from the student notes that I would provide to my students on the topic;
 

·
Learning the HARD way...
Joined
·
7,620 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Greetings to all,
I will try to keep this brief but here is my situation. I am not a diesel mechanic but I have good basic mechanical skills. I am trying to help my son get his Westerbeke 25 HP model four-91 running (In an Allied Princess 36') running. The boat ran four years ago and he has the boat for sale. I removed the starter, had it rebuilt then reinstalled it, changed the oil and then had to rebuild the impeller pump as it was leaking from shaft. The motor turned over freely at that time and I was then working on the fuel issues and about to get help on bleeding the air from the system. A buyer made him a reduced offer to sale it as is with a substantial down payment so he could get the boat back fees caught up. While having some issues with the title the buyer was working on the engine. It appears he changed some hoses on the cooling system and I dont know what else. He then calls us to tell us the motor is frozen, its our fault for cranking it over and he wants his money back! He claims we ruined it by cranking it over? We did NOT crank it over extensively as I have some knowledge and years of automotive experience. He claims we caused water to get in the engine and cause it to seize up, Is that even possible? I have tried to turn it over both with the starter and with a breaker bar, It does appear frozen. Does any body have any ideas where I should start to try to figure out what happened and what may have caused this problem?
If an engine doesnt start after 20-30 seconds, there can indeed be a syphoning effect, can sink a vessel...
Rule of thumb, in such a case, is to shut the intake valve until it starts then open it quickly afterwards when this happens. A vented loop well above the waterline will minimize or prevent this syphoning effect.
 

·
Bluescruiser
Hinckley Bermuda 40
Joined
·
85 Posts
Don’t know whose hand was on the starter, but that sure sounds like it froze up. If you haven’t already done so, remove the exhaust elbow. If water pours out that’s the problem. It doesn’t mean definely a back-siphon problem, though. Most marine Diesel engines run cooling water into the exhaust elbow, and engine exhaust pushes it through the muffler and then overboard. If the engine doesn’t start but is still being cranked, that means water is still being pumped into the exhaust system, without exhaust back pressure to expel it in the right flow direction. The more you crank without the engine firing, the more water is going into the system, with no place to go except into a cylinder when the exhaust valve opens. This happened to me a while back- luckily I caught it in time before serious things started to happen.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top