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  #1   IP: 66.68.81.248
Old 07-08-2018, 02:07 PM
daveofds daveofds is offline
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Cool milky oil

I own a 1976 S2 8 meter center cockpit. The Atomic 4 has served me well as I just need to motor out to the main body of the lake to sail. The only major issue I have had was with raw water cooling and I corrected that. I replaced the impeller which appeared to have melted, loosened and retightend the thermostat housing, replaced a small length of hose, and then my cooling system worked well. Of late however my oil has turned milky gray. From other posts I have deducted that this is from water contamination, but there is also an odor of gas in the oil. I just pumped out the oil via the dipstick hole and changed it. I raised level to full on dipstick and it was clear before I started the engine. Once a ran the motor for a few minutes to get it warm I checked the oil again. It was the same milky gray. I do not have the funds or desire to rebuild this engine if I have a crack that is allowing water from the jackets into my crankcase. I will continue to check to see if the level on the dipstick continues to rise (Indicating further water intrusion?). I also have been led to believe that this may be a fuel pump diaphragm issue. I suppose I could change the oil out again with the engine nice and warm in hopes that I have a residual of gray oil or sludge in the bottom of the crankcase or engine that made the oil turn gray. Any advice?
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Old 07-08-2018, 11:02 PM
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After a water intrusion incident, it will take 2 or 3 oil changes to completely clear it out. Just use the cheapest oil you can find for the first 2 changes, as you're only going to be running it a very short time before changing. Save your good oil for the last change.

If you have an aftermarket oil filter, be sure to change it too each time the oil comes up milky.
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Old 07-08-2018, 11:27 PM
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You report two symptoms that indicate different causes:

Milky oil
Water in the oil at some point. Follow Ed's excellent advice on multiple oil changes. Further source searching may be necessary if the condition persists.

Gasoline smell in the oil
If you have a mechanical pump, a rebuild is in order.
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Old 07-09-2018, 11:09 AM
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Agree with Neil that the smell of gas in your oil indicates a 2nd issue. (Fuel pump)

Attached is an older document from Don addressing the water intrusion and some procedures...
Attached Images
File Type: pdf Water in crank case.pdf (14.1 KB, 15 views)
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Old 07-10-2018, 05:04 AM
daveofds daveofds is offline
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Thanks for the info. Would gas only in the oil also make the oil turn milky gray?
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Old 07-10-2018, 07:50 AM
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No...gas in the oil won't make it grey...that is water. I, of course, haven't looked at your engine but would like you to check something. On your water pump there is a weep hole on the bottom. Ensure that it is not plugged up with dirt.

As mentioned, you need to change the oil at least 3 or 4 times to get water from it. Even after that you will notice some condensation on the stick. The oil should look like oil though.

Here's something that can happen and it usually occurs when the weep hole is plugged on the raw water pump. There are two seals in there, if water bypasses one of the seals it goes into a space between the two and drips out...if that hole is plugged pressure can build and the water is forced past the seal and drains into the base pan. Of all the water in oil cases I've seen there were two main culprits. The seals can also wear with usage and age and need replacing or replace the pump. Trick is to ensure this is your issue.

1. Most commonly was the seals in the pump...and when it goes most people think the engine is done when it needs a new raw water pump.

2. Breach in the exhaust manifold...but that made the engine run poorly as the water affected firing of one or more pistons. (I don't think this is your issue)

There are other causes, cracked block, corrosion through a piston wall, corrosion through a water jacket....but the most common that I've seen in my 10 years or so playing with these things was a water pump seal failure. Sometimes the shaft wears on the pump as well and causes problems. Have a good look at the pump, and you could call MMI and talk to someone there to get the low down on that.

As for gas in the oil...you usually end up with pump failure and the engine won't run well and is hard to start, starving for fuel at high revs....do you have those symptoms going on?
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Old 07-11-2018, 10:53 AM
daveofds daveofds is offline
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The engine runs great. Starts easy, no misfiring, temps stay good, etc. I will check the weep hole and water pump as you suggested.
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Old 07-11-2018, 08:01 PM
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A few years ago a member (Kiskadee) had water in oil. He was on a summer cruise and I saw his post of facebook...we've been friends for years. He mentioned the marina he was at and was pretty much resolved to deal with a major engine issues far from home. I googled the marina he mentioned and called it. Got the manager and gave him my number. He knew of Dana's problem there and I told him to have Dana call me at home. 10 minutes later the phone rings. Told Dana to call MMI, order a new pump. I think it took 2 or 3 days for the pump to make it to the remote village he was in and he installed it....the pump was the issue. The engine ran great prior to water getting into the oil, and he only noticed the grey oil upon checking it....no issues since.

If I were in your position, I'd be looking to a pump issue. So your impeller problem you mentioned could have occurred if a plastic bag or some other object blocked your intake...the pump would continue to work and heat up. The impeller would be damaged, the water within the pump would warm up, the seals would likely heat up as the shaft spins....

You were looking for "advice" and my very strong gut feeling is this. "call and order a new raw water pump" Take a pic of the one you have and send it to Ken and get yourself set up with a new one.

Here's another thing people neglect and it causes premature wearing on pumps....there a cup on the side that is supposed to be filled with grease. I turn this cup about 1/8 turn every 3 or 4 hours of running. I end up topping up the grease cup a couple of times a year....it's easy insurance and it works.

All the best with that.

Edit: an after thought: since you had an impeller "melted" there is a possibility of a head gasket issue. Some of the things you could do to check this would be to
1. steam coming out of the exhaust
2. if you see steam you could pull plugs and see if they look really clean...water cleans them....but it there was that much water it should be misfiring.
3. you could try a compression test and see if you have two adjacent cylinders with low pressures.
Not trying to scare you off here, so if you don't notice steam out the exhaust your head gasket is likely fine.
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1976 C&C 30 MKI

The pessimist complains about the wind.
The optimist expects it to change.
The realist adjusts the sails.
...Sir William Arthur Ward.

Last edited by Mo; 07-11-2018 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 07-11-2018, 09:23 PM
zellerj zellerj is offline
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There are two other ways to get water in the oil pan - from the exhaust system:

1) over cranking with the seacock open so that water fills the water lift muffler - and exhaust manifold - without exhaust pressure to blow it out the transom. Water can then run down an open exhaust valve and into the oil pan.

2) usually at anchor, having a big wave (or wake) hit the transom and push water up the exhaust hose, filling the water lift and exhaust manifold and into the engine.


Edit: Oops - read your original post more closely, and what I described for water incursion is obviously not happening in your situation. Will keep for the sake of completeness, but please disregard in this instance.
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Last edited by zellerj; 07-12-2018 at 08:14 AM.
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  #10   IP: 66.68.81.248
Old 07-14-2018, 04:03 PM
daveofds daveofds is offline
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Just changed the oil again. Dang it takes a long time to vacuum it out! 3.5 quarts out. Ran the engine before to warm up. It starts and runs fine, no steam. After change still some gray sludge at the bottom of the dipstick. Boat does get tossed around when a storm kicks up out of the NE. Happened last month and broke my aft lines. May be the reason there is water in the crankcase. I could not feel any "weep hole" at the bottom of my water pump. There is a bolt in there that may be to drain. I am hoping to decrease the gray oil in the crankcase, but it probably does not take much to turn the oil gray again. Even then the engine was running fine on the gray oil in the crankcase. I don't use the engine all that much, but it would be nice if I could clear the oil.
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Old 07-14-2018, 08:24 PM
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No steam...good. So likely no head gasket issue. Unless there's something seriously wrong with your exhaust system design, you should not be experiencing any water in engine sitting on the dock.

I would hold off on further oil changes until you have fixed the problem. I mentioned previously that it sounds like a water pump seal failure and I still think that, especially since the impeller issue you described.

Either you try a new water pump or you need to gear up and pressure test the block with the water pump removed...if it holds air you know the pump was the issue. If you test with a malfunctioning pump in place it will lose pressure as air is bypassing the seals. Pressure testing with a pump in place have had some people go at the engine looking for cracks etc when the issue is the pump.
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The pessimist complains about the wind.
The optimist expects it to change.
The realist adjusts the sails.
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Old 07-14-2018, 08:51 PM
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Bolt in the bottom of the water pump? BIG red flag - what's going on here? Perhaps PO had water coming out of the bottom of the pump, so plugged the hole? I'd definitely replace the pump. Fix the old one (maybe) and keep it as a spare.
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