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Old 06-25-2018, 01:33 PM
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OIL GONE! ZIP! NADA!

Hi guys. The A4 is all new to me with the new to me boat. Last summer I started to get oil in the bilge. The leak began to get worse and worse. There is no visibility of the bottom in the Hughes 38, the engine is in the bilge basically. This spring I found ALL of the oil in the bilge! It was properly winterized etc. What a h-e-double hockey stick mess! It had to come out of a loose pan or drain right? for it to empty just sitting there??
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Old 06-25-2018, 05:42 PM
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My guess is the oil pan rusted out. That can happen - ask Shamrock owners, their V8 engines basically sit in the bilge
Easy fix if you don't count the work needed to get at it.
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Old 06-25-2018, 06:22 PM
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North, the pan rusting out does happen. For what it's worth I have seen a few engine pans patched with fast epoxy and glass cloth.

When they rust through it is usually in the low spot if from the inside and pretty much anywhere it sits if immersed in the bilge.

Dave Neptune
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Old 06-25-2018, 06:46 PM
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2 cents

Pull the engine and get another base pan. Should be lots of them around as neglect killed many old A4's. I'd talk to South Shore Yacht's there in Ontario as they might have one around, or give you "a guy" to call.
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Old 06-26-2018, 12:13 AM
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Thanks guys. Yes I am thinking I have to pull the engine. But I want to sail! Lol. I really doubt it has rusted through. There is very little corrosion anywhere. Yes it is low in the damp bilge area but over top of the keel forward of the deep bilge area if that makes sense. Great access to the top of the motor but hardly any to the bottom. I can get a few fingers under there but I don't feel any rust. I will try to get a a view with a mirror this weekend.

I also feel oil on the bottom of the flywheel and there is the typical oil running along the carb side of the motor. All this is higher than the oil pan so that's what has stumped me. I also plan to check that drain plug near the flywheel before doing anything yet.
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Old 06-26-2018, 12:33 AM
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NCS, Welcome. I've done a few races on a Hughes 38 way back in the day.

I am hoping that your oil pan hasn't failed, but maybe..also, any of the other oil outlets, like for the oil pressure gauge, or a possible pressure switch, if you have one, can fail too..sometimes those gauge senders are attached to iron pipe which might fail. Check the port side of the motor.

Does the oil drain out with the motor running (maybe one of the above) or not running (maybe a failed oil pan)?
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Old 06-26-2018, 12:46 AM
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[QUOTE=sastanley;113057]NCS, Welcome. I've done a few races on a Hughes 38 way back in the day.

COOL!

It has done both. It started by leaking while running then started to leak just sitting. Now it drained completely sitting.

I will also clean up as best I can(no access underneath) and as they say "pour water into the bucket with a holes in it" to hopefully find the leak. Hope a mirror gives me a view of it.

Last edited by northchannelsailor; 06-26-2018 at 12:52 AM.
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Old 06-26-2018, 12:50 AM
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I also put a wrench on everything I could get to. I did see some weeping around the oil sensor inlet. I also feel oil underneath the flywheel and oil that has run underneath all the way to the the transmission.
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Old 06-26-2018, 12:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Neptune View Post
When they rust through it is usually in the low spot if from the inside
I guess it might not be apparent from the outside without getting a good view of the leak. Like I said it sure looks decent on the outside with very little corrosion anywhere.
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Old 06-26-2018, 01:08 AM
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Engine location

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Old 06-26-2018, 01:27 AM
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I hate to tell ya but this:
Quote:
. . . . then started to leak just sitting. Now it drained completely sitting.
tells me it's the pan. I'll bet it sat in bilge water in its past and this is the end result.
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Old 06-26-2018, 01:38 AM
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Yes I'm thinking I may have had several leaking areas and then finally the pan. I wonder if a pan leak would be like a pin hole? From what I can see and feel it doesn't seem like there is any rust.
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Old 06-26-2018, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by northchannelsailor View Post
..I wonder if a pan leak would be like a pin hole? From what I can see and feel it doesn't seem like there is any rust.
If it's in a low spot, it won't take a very big hole to create a serious leak.
It's possible what you can "feel" isn't corroded but where you can't reach is.

Can you get a Selfie-Stick and get your phone/camera under there in video mode?
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Old 06-26-2018, 11:05 AM
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There is no way for oil to leak out of a non-running A4 other than a hole in the pan that I can think of.
https://www.amazon.com/Endoscope-Ins...=usb+endoscope

Stick that under there
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Old 06-26-2018, 11:33 AM
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Some A4s had a factory oil removal pump. Maybe yours? Or perhaps an aftermarket pump was installed? Perhaps that fitting corroded, or loosened, or a hose coming out of it failed, etc.

Hard to tell with the engine in the foxhole like that. There's a lot to like about that method of installation, I'd guess, and a lot to dislike about it too. (Same as all installations, I suppose.) Must be a bear to align.

The oil pan is generally VERY robust. You won't have any trouble finding one, if that's what you need. They're the last thing that's ever going to fail in many engines.
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Old 06-26-2018, 01:59 PM
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I will try to get a phone or mirror view this weekend. Stay tuned. Still having a hard time getting my head around a pan. Especially in a fresh water environment
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Old 06-26-2018, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sastanley View Post
NCS, Welcome. I've done a few races on a Hughes 38 way back in the day.
That must of been a blast. Any stories to share? Check out this video of a race from hull 1


https://youtu.be/9D7kBtdMM9g
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Old 06-26-2018, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by northchannelsailor View Post
I will try to get a phone or mirror view this weekend. Stay tuned. Still having a hard time getting my head around a pan. Especially in a fresh water environment
There is literally no other way for the oil to get out unless the drain plug came out.
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Old 06-26-2018, 08:38 PM
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Even though I've never done it myself, removing the motor is not that big of a deal. 310lbs. all up. Given your motor location, maybe you can rig something onto the boom and to a winch to crank her out of there, then slide it back on some webbing strops along the boom and up into the cockpit!
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Last edited by sastanley; 06-26-2018 at 08:40 PM.
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Old 06-27-2018, 12:40 AM
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Ya I'm over it. Laying on my belly and scratching my head. The time is near.
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Old 06-30-2018, 11:31 PM
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Weapons of choice.
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Some shots underneath and near the front of the suspected leaks. What am I looking at?

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Old 07-01-2018, 02:45 PM
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drain plug?

Could that be the drain plug? Can you feel it with your fingertips? It looks like it protrudes (ie., it has a plug screwed in), but if instead, that is a hole then perhaps the plug is gone...?

Does someone recall where the drain plug is located on the pan?

Another possibility is a slow leak: loose plug or no gasket?
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Old 07-01-2018, 03:06 PM
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I think the drain is in the side - forward end.
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Old 07-01-2018, 05:21 PM
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Yep. It's on the same side of the engine as the shift lever and at the opposite end of the engine. The Westerbeke manual (here) around page 98 or so says it's a pipe plug, so no gasket, I'm guessing.

Should be obvious to your weapons of choice.

Good call, Joe/Marty.

You don't by chance see a pipe plug in the bilge? Or maybe the PO removed it in a crude attempt to change the oil?

Don't pull anything just yet, I'd say...

Bill

Last edited by Administrator; 07-01-2018 at 05:28 PM.
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Old 07-01-2018, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
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Don't pull anything just yet, I'd say...
I disagree. Even if the plug has disappeared (best case scenario), if he can neither see nor touch it there's no way he'll be able to replace it. I still vote for raising the engine out of its hole to get to the bottom of this. It's been going on for at least a week already and could have been resolved in a day (if it is actually the plug).
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