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  #1   IP: 165.201.169.125
Old 05-10-2005, 06:11 PM
mwebb mwebb is offline
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Question Water in the oil

Looking for wisdom here:
Pints of water in the oil after 1/2 hour run.
Ruled out water from the muffler system.
Removed head - no gasket problem seen - will magnaflux and check for flat.
Removed both water and oil side plates and no cracks found.
All sparks plug looked good - don't believe water was coming down cylinder.
Manuals - internet - and list archives seem to point to cracked head or block.

Spoke with a mechanic today and he related info I haven't found in any manual that was helpful:
If water was going thru cylinder the piston tops would be water washed and clean - not the case - all are slightly carbonized.
Claimed prime reason for water in oil often was failure in exhaust and gave test, use hoses on both ends raised up above manifold, fill whole thing with water and see if water comes out exhaust ports overnight.
Claims he has seen many frozen Atomic 4's - said freeze plugs will blow out way before cracking the block- only two in his career actually had cracked block.
Am checking with previous owner for history but there was an owner before her so unknown if this has ever occurred. Previous owner claims has had this problem for years but not as bad as now.

See folks, this is Kansas and we don't have a plethora of Atomic 4 mechanics of knowledge out here in the land of Aaahhhhs.

The mechanic's advice was the best I've gotten. The mechanic gave me more in 5 minutes than hours in reading manuals and searching internet. Anyone else have a similar problem with troubleshooting tips that I'm missing? Any help would be appreciated.

mwebb@kckpd.org
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  #2   IP: 38.118.52.76
Old 05-11-2005, 09:33 AM
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Don Moyer Don Moyer is offline
 
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Hello Mwebb,

Not to undermine the well deserved confidence you have in your local mechanic, but here is a technical note that we prepared recently to assist folks who discover water appearing in their oil when there is no evidence that it is coming in via any of the combustion chambers:

Whenever water is discovered to be only in the oil, we recommend that the oil be changed at least three times before moving ahead to more serious troubleshooting. If the oil cleans up, we make the assumption that weather conditions were right for condensation or that some water may have splashed into the dip stick tube, etc. We hear of several episodes each year where small amounts of water have shown up in the crankcase, for which there is never any cause found and where (happily) the water never returns.

If the oil clears after the third change and you want more assurance that there is no problem with any of your cooling jackets, you can perform a quick check of your water-jacketed castings by pinching off the water discharge hose coming off the back of the manifold for several ten-second pressure checks. A flexible impeller pump in good condition can produce 20 to 25 psi when deadheaded in this fashion. If there is a crack anywhere in the water jacketed castings, this amount of pressure will usually force water back into the oil at a rate that should be unmistakable.

If small amounts of water do continue to appear in the oil after the third oil change, we recommend checking the following items (admittedly rather long shots) before moving on to more serious maintenance:

1) Inspect to see if a Sherwood or Jabsco water pump is installed on the engine. Both of these brands have the potential of passing a bit of water into the crankcase if their water seals leak and the weep holes in their housings become plugged with grease and crud. In this scenario, trapped water along the shaft of the pump can force past the second seal (the one preventing oil from coming out of the crankcase) and into the oil pan. Oberdorfer and MMI flexible impeller pumps have large weep holes in their housings, so they don't have this same potential.

2) Remove the valve cover to inspect for water entering into the valve chamber through a hole in the very center of the water jacket behind the valve springs. In some of the later model engines (usually with serial numbers over 194,000), Universal used a 1/4" pipe plug to close a hole in that area. The problem is that they used plain steel plugs which have a strong potential to fail after the 25 or so years since they were installed.

If no other cause can be found for water that continues to appear in your oil, we would have to suspect a crack in the lower part of the water jacket within the block. The easiest way to pressure test the block (without removing the head) is to first plug the outlet of the thermostat housing. Then remove the hose from the outlet of the water pump, and install a Schrader valve in the end of the hose, so that a standard bicycle tire pump with a built-in pressure gauge can be used for the test. A Schrader valve is the standard valve used on automobiles, and they are available at any auto parts store. The block should be able to hold 20 psi for an hour or more without a noticeable drop in pressure.

If you have an early model engine, you can perform a pressure test on your early model engine using a bicycle pump with a built in pressure gauge as follows:

1) Remove the water fitting from the inlet to the water jacket side plate, and install a 1/4" pipe plug in the inlet. If you have previously replaced the 3/8" metal tube between the pump and the side plate with a rubber hose, it may be easier to remove the hose from the outlet fitting of the pump and install a plug in the end of the hose for the test.

2) Remove whatever fitting is installed in the outlet of the manifold, and install a reducer bushing and a Schrader valve in that location.

3) Pressurize the block, head, and manifold to 20 psi. The cooling jackets should be able to hold 20 psi for an hour or more without a noticeable drop in pressure.

Best regards,

Don Moyer
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Old 05-11-2005, 02:47 PM
mwebb mwebb is offline
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Water in the Oil

I've changed the oil several times, moved the anti-siphon higher. AFter running the motor for 1/2 an hour to get home, water was in. To check that water hadn't siphoned in while sailing, I ran it 10 minutes in the slip and the oil level raised 1/4". Condensation and water down the tube ruled out. Oberdorfer pump and I can see the shaft in a 1/2" slot islolating it from the engine, I believe.

I'll check the hole behind the valves.

Everyone claims that the catalina 30 has a problem with the water coming in thru the exhaust. I don't know whether that can occur backing up thru the exhaust when the exhast is pushing water out of the thru hole. I'm sure water is coming in then, not just by cranking the engine without a start for too long.

I will check the exhaust manifold for integrity, and if no problem, see if I can pressure check the water side to check the block. The local expert says he has only seen two cracked blocked and both times the freeze plugs were blown. He also said he has seen many with the freeze plugs blown with no permanent damage. I checked with the previous owner and she reports no freeze plugs blown since a known time of no water in the oil.
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Old 05-25-2005, 11:44 PM
Michael L Michael L is offline
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Water in oil

Sounds like we have the same problem. Ran motor for 45 min. when I noticed a drop in oil pressure. The oil had gone grey. Looks as though an entire quart of water was introduced to the lube system in that time. What is the most likey problem? Although I have not tested it, it appears as though the compression is still good, as indicated by the slow, even idle (even under load). If the water jacket is cracked/corroded through, do I need a new block?
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Old 05-26-2005, 08:25 AM
mwebb mwebb is offline
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After checking the intake/exhaust manifold for water leakage (found none) I removed the water pump and found no way the water could have come in thru there as mine appears to be a newer water pump which has huge weep holes that would spew water into the bilge rather than the crankcase. I said screw it and went diving last weekend but now I'm pulling the moter this weekend and handing it to an experienced mechanic to, hopefully, find and fix he leak which seems to be internal in the block. I'm not comforable with top end or crankcase work. Up to this point the disassembly was pretty straight forward. The saga continues.
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Old 10-23-2005, 02:02 PM
John Mull John Mull is offline
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Water in Oil

I know I have a fracture or failed seam somewhere in the water jacket or head. The problem occurred when the thermostat stuck ( raw water cooling, fresh water) in the closed position and the bypass holes on the flange of the thermostat were clogged with seaweed. The engine ran for almost an hour in a superheated state. When I discoved the overheating and shut the engine down, the engine continued to run on its own "diesel" without any key in the ignition. It ran for almost 30 seconds. No doubt the engine was very hot.

I ran the engine an additional 15 to 20 hours after the cooling problem was corrected. Inspection of the oil most recently indicates water in the oil.

I have little doubt that a 20 psi test with a Schrader valve on the mainfold will prove a fractured or failed seal somewhere in the cooling jacket.

Where or how might I begin to find the source of the water leak? Should I start with the cylinder head gasket? The plugs appear normal. Starting is remains quick.

Given the superheated condition is there one area of the cooling jacket that would have failed first?
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Old 10-23-2005, 08:23 PM
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John,

The Atomic 4 is incredibly forgiving of overheating. In the 15 or so years that we've been rebuilding Atomic 4's, I can remember two head gaskets failing in the aftermath of a severe overheating episode, but no cases of a crack developing in the block, head or manifold.

If you haven't already done so, we recommend that the oil be changed at least three times before moving ahead to more serious troubleshooting.

If the oil clears after the third change and you want more assurance that there is no problem with any of your cooling jackets, you can perform a quick check of your water jacketed castings by pinching off the water discharge hose coming off the back of the manifold for several ten-second pressure checks. A flexible impeller pump in good condition can produce 20 to 25 psi when deadheaded in this fashion. If there is a crack in any of the water jacketed castings, this amount of pressure will usually force water back into the oil at a rate that should be unmistakable.

If small amounts of water continue to appear in the oil after the third oil change, you can go ahead and pressure test the block, head and manifold.

The easiest way to pressure test the block (without removing the head) is to first plug the outlet of the thermostat housing. Then remove the hose from the outlet of the water pump, and install a Schrader valve in the end of the hose, so that a standard bicycle tire pump with a built in pressure gauge can be used for the test. The block should be able to hold 20 psi for an hour or more without a noticeable drop in pressure.

If the above pressure test does show that the cooling jacket in the block is leaking, it's most likely through a crack along the floor of the water jacket just below the water jacket side plate, or through a pin hole leak in the lower part of one of the cylinder bores.

Don
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Old 02-15-2006, 01:24 PM
redwitch redwitch is offline
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water in oil

I had water in my oil also water was in the intake of my carb, I had a broken valve spring. I belive the motor will make a click like noise and below on power if it's a broken valve spring, seems the exhust valve will suck water in because its not holding closed.
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Old 07-04-2006, 03:55 PM
rickrose rickrose is offline
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A couple of additional questions re: water in the oil

Hello,

I'm new to this forum but found it after I discovered water in the oil of my A4. I hope I'm not covering old ground here; if so, please direct me to any previous answers that may have been given. Here are my questions:

1) I tried changing the oil three times per Mr. Moyer's suggestion, and the oil is still not absolutely clean. However, I am wondering whether I can ever get the oil absolutely clean given the way I was told to change it (by the previous owner of my Ericson 29). To whit: I use a vacuum pump and a teensy little PVC tube to suck the oil out through the dipstick tube. When I look at the engine diagram, it appears to me that there should still be a substantial quantity of oil left in the pan if I'm drawing through the dipstick. I tried drawing through the drain hole on the side, but didn't have a lot of luck (I think the tube was curving up out of the oil on me). The way my engine is installed, I cannot reach the actual plug at the bottom of the pan. My first set of questions is: Will I ever get "clean" oil the way I'm doing things? Is there a better way? Is there any sort of fitting that can be attached to the actual drain hole at the low point of the pan that will allow me to siphon from there?

2) My second question concerns the possible source of the water in my oil. In short, my engine took a bit of a bath. What happened was, water came in past my stuffing box and was SUPPOSED to drain down to the bilge, bypassing the motor well. However, the tube meant to facillitate said drainage was plugged. Therefore, a bunch of water lapped over the partition between the motor and the stuffing box and filled the pan in which the motor sits. So here's my question: If the motor is sitting in a bath of water that is reaching up near the top of the oil pan, such that the flywheel is spinning through it and slinging oily muck all over the place, is water thereby able to get into the oil itself? Or do I simply have a boatload of problems?

Rick
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Old 07-05-2006, 05:40 AM
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jhwelch jhwelch is offline
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Rick, I can partially answer question #1.

Some oil will always be in the engine and inside the reversing gear,
so even if you could completely drain all the oil from the pan there
is still a need to do several oil changes.

I had water in the oil once and it took 3 or 4 changes to get
things back to normal.

-jonathan
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Old 07-10-2006, 08:31 AM
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Don Moyer Don Moyer is offline
 
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Rick,

Your water almost certainly flowed into your oil pan as you're suspecting and displaced the oil (which should have been transferred to your bilge).

My guess is that another oil change or two and continued use should clear up the final traces of oil.

Don
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Old 07-23-2006, 03:51 PM
Chad Chad is offline
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Water shooting out of spark plug hole

My problem started with water in my oil. I thought it would be my head gasket, so I changed it even though it looked fine. Then when I was doing my compression test, turning the motor over with the starter, I noticed water shooting out of one cylinde.
Any Ideas where this is coming from.
Chuck

Last edited by Chad; 07-23-2006 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 08-12-2006, 03:58 PM
rickrose rickrose is offline
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All clear now, thanks.

After the fourth change, the oil was clear, and it has stayed clear through several outings on the boat. I re-packed the stuffing box so the motor doesn't take any more baths. Now I'm working on the exhaust system and have a couple of new questions posted over in that section. Thanks for hosting this forum to help novices like me!

v/r,

Rick Rose
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Old 05-01-2007, 07:02 PM
Charlotte Charlotte is offline
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Smile water in oil

Well I have a 1977 30' Catalina in beautiful shape (after many, many hours of TLC. Anyway yes we had the same problem and the first time was fixed due to a head gasket. Got the new one on, took her for a spin and about an hour out (we're in Horseshoe Bay BC) the poor dear started to sputter and cry! Sailed as close as we could and then due to the number of ferries running called and Sewalls towed us in (no charge). I thought this is nuts! Well the fellows came down and said "head gasket again". After pulling the head they called and said they would do a check on the head for cracks. Apparently that was the problem. Consequently we put a brand new one on and she is purring like a kitten. We will change the oil one more time as it seems to be just a tad milky. The cylinders looked fine as did the valves so if and I say if, we do get water again I will assume that the water jackets in the block have bit it. I pray that will not happen as we have replaced the head, manifold and she looks and sounds like a sweet song. I did own a '62 Falcon and this engine reminds me of her. So love your site and will keep an eye for interesting posts. Thanks so much for taking the time to keep all of us beauties sailing safe!
Charlotte
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Old 05-02-2007, 06:39 AM
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Charlotte,

I envy you your Catalina 30 experience! Brenda and I owned one quite a number of years and enjoyed the boat greatly. In case you missed them, I'm attaching a couple of tech notes from our experience that might help you keep your Catalina 30 purring.

Don
Attached Images
File Type: pdf Catalina 30 electrical issues.pdf (9.5 KB, 1136 views)
File Type: pdf Catalina exhaust issues.pdf (9.9 KB, 1345 views)
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Old 05-02-2007, 09:47 AM
Jesse Delanoy Jesse Delanoy is offline
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rickrose,

to get the most oil out of the engine during an oil change, I recommend Don's oil change kit, which has a permanent brass tube that installs in the oil drain plug port, and goes nearly to the lowest point in the crankcase. Before I installed the kit, I had success with taping a six inch brass tube around the outside of my flexible pump hose, and lowering that in the drain plug port. The brass tube acted as both a splint, keeping the hose straight, and a weight, keeping it at the bottom of the crankcase.

Jesse
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Old 05-03-2007, 09:15 PM
Bill McNamara Bill McNamara is offline
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Water in oil....hindsight

My water in oil problem, of a couple of years ago, turned out to be one of those failed rotten little 1/4" pipe plugs behind the valves!
Trouble was , I didn't find it until the engine was pulled, and totally disassembled......I didn't know of this excellent site back then.
Bill McNamara
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Old 05-07-2007, 03:19 PM
jarod
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Old 08-18-2008, 02:30 PM
Tom.Watson Tom.Watson is offline
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Can no sputter engine failure still be fuel side problem?

I bought a 77 Catalina with . Previous owner says he only had one engine failure since A4 was rebuilt 4 years ago. The ran fine for sea trial. And I crossed Lake Ontario with it in June when we motored for at least four hours. Since then, I have used it problem free for at least two periods longer than two hours. Two weeks ago, after start fine and running fine at about 10,000 rpm, the engine failed (like I shut it down) after I throttled up to 20,000 rpm. It would then start and shutdown almost right away with no sputter. Then it would not start. Sounded like an electrical issue but engine started and ran great after I changed plugs, inline filter and emptied bowl of my manual fuel pump. It started and ran great in my slip. I ran it in and out of gear for 30 minutes at least three time. Then I went out and all was well until I throttled up to 20,000 rpm. Some dockmates tell me it is probably the coil. But why would problem go away for a short period after fuel side adjustments? Others tell me it is water in the tank. But why no sputter? Suggestions?
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Old 08-18-2008, 05:33 PM
HarryB HarryB is offline
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More Water in Oil Questions

Please forgive if this is a duplicate but I tried to post a response earlier and I apparently did something wrong and it didn't happen.

I found water in the oil of my late model A4 for the first time this weekend. I tried changing the oil and after three changes it was running clear but at the fourth change water showed up again in the oil. The boat is on land and I am using a garden hose connected to the raw water intake side of the of the water pump to cool the engine. I left the water running while the engine was both running and off during the oil change exercise. What kind of seals are on the waterpump and what is the liklihood that the pressureized water is leaking through the water pump into the oil? (There is nothing in your manual about how the waterpump is sealed.) If this is a possibility would it make a difference if I shut the water off when the engine is off or do I need to bypass the pump completely?
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Old 08-19-2008, 06:46 AM
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Don Moyer Don Moyer is offline
 
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You should never pressurize water through the water pump when running an
engine on land or you will almost surely overpower the exhaust system and
get water back into the engine. It is better to allow the pump to draw
water out of a five-gallon bucket and use the hose to replenish the bucket.

Don
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Old 08-19-2008, 06:48 AM
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If your boat is a Catalina 30, I recommend checking the attachments.

Don
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File Type: pdf Catalina 30 electrical issues.pdf (9.5 KB, 873 views)
File Type: pdf Catalina 30 exhaust issues.pdf (9.9 KB, 999 views)
File Type: pdf Catalina 30 fuel issues.pdf (9.2 KB, 997 views)
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Old 11-03-2009, 04:46 PM
mac666 mac666 is offline
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Water in oil A4 on Ericson27

Hello, peoples.
My father's boat has A4 in it (later model ..forgot to look up a serial #)
It has some water in oil...not much, but enough to get it milky.
As advised, we have changed oil 3 times and still see oil get milky.
The engine runs just fine, though...temp holding 140F and stable.
We have not run a compression test yet, but the smooth operation of the engine pretty much rules out a blown head gasket. Water pushed out of the exhaust just fine, no steam...A local mechanic tends to think it's a water pump - he says, if the bearings go bad, a shaft shifts from the excentricity in worn out bearings and opens up a water seal...he recommends to change a pump (or rebuild an existing one with new bearings)...
*WOULD YOU AGREE???
*Should we still do a compression test???
*if I am to get a replacement for a pump, How do I identify which one I have??? I'm attaching 2 pix the best I could take...sorry
*which is a BETTER pump to get?
Thanks to all - I love this forum!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mac
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Last edited by mac666; 11-03-2009 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 11-04-2009, 12:16 AM
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Mac-
From what I can see in your pics it appears you have a late model A4 with an Oberdorfer pump.
You can either get the kit and rebuild it or get the nice MMI 502 that Don sells on this site (Product No. - CSOB_00_365)
I have one and it works great.
Also get the EXTENDED LOWER BOLT!

Either way you go I'd suggest calling Ken in parts and he'll set you up...
__________________
-Jerry

'Lone Ranger'

1978 RANGER 30

Last edited by roadnsky; 05-06-2012 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:19 PM
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Water in Oil

Last (and only) oil change of the year, made while winterizing, oil was milkshake colored. Was puzzled, but thought it might be what MMO does to oil. Wrong!! I just read in A4 manual that i had water in oil.

I am away from boat for a few weeks (that is on the hard in Toronto) so trying to get my imagination settled down before i return for various tests.

A bit of background:

1) A4 ran just fine all season at idle and higher RPMs. Low engine time. Mainly just used to get out of mooring a few hundred yards before open water in Lake Ontario.
2) Oil pressure was never great -- usually around 25 at low cruise according to cockpit gauge. Had planned to adjust in spring.
3) I went brain dead early in season and tried to start engine with fuel shut-off shut to off (geez)-- and starter was engaged on and off for maybe a minute before i engaged brain, and then engine started right up. Could that be how water got in?
4) Otherwise, did a rebuilt exhaust prior winter with help of PO -- and maybe didn't have sufficient upward lift in exhaust after manifold? or hand-made piece where cooling water output enters exhaust is too restricted or not low enough relative to manifold?
5) Prior oil change during prior winterizing showed proper "black" oil color.

When i return to boat, i plan to change oil 3 times as Don suggests earlier in this thread, and see what i see. I just dread the bad stuff like cracked block, failed head gasket, etc. A4 is in C&C27 and it's way tight down there.

Any advice on tests to perform or possible causes? Feeling ill that there could be a time consuming and expensive road ahead.

thanks

Last edited by Whippet; 01-05-2013 at 05:25 PM.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:54 PM
smosher smosher is offline
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HI, See my responses inline

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whippet View Post
Last (and only) oil change of the year, made while winterizing, oil was milkshake colored. Was puzzled, but thought it might be what MMO does to oil. Wrong!! I just read in A4 manual that i had water in oil.

I am away from boat for a few weeks (that is on the hard in Toronto) so trying to get my imagination settled down before i return for various tests.

A bit of background:

1) A4 ran just fine all season at idle and higher RPMs. Low engine time. Mainly just used to get out of mooring a few hundred yards before open water in Lake Ontario.
2) Oil pressure was never great -- usually around 25 at low cruise according to cockpit gauge. Had planned to adjust in spring.

I would check the op with a mechanical gauge to confirm the reading as either the gauge sender or wiring could be the cause. In my case it was the engine ground

3) I went brain dead early in season and tried to start engine with fuel shut-off shut to off (geez)-- and starter was engaged on and off for maybe a minute before i engaged brain, and then engine started right up. Could that be how water got in?

If the water intake was open yes this is the usual cause of water in the oil

4) Otherwise, did a rebuilt exhaust prior winter with help of PO -- and maybe didn't have sufficient upward lift in exhaust after manifold? or hand-made piece where cooling water output enters exhaust is too restricted or not low enough relative to manifold?

If you have a pic of the exhaust I'm sure someone will comment. Generally though the water injection is after the rise and as low as possible

5) Prior oil change during prior winterizing showed proper "black" oil color.

When i return to boat, i plan to change oil 3 times as Don suggests earlier in this thread, and see what i see. I just dread the bad stuff like cracked block, failed head gasket, etc. A4 is in C&C27 and it's way tight down there.

Any advice on tests to perform or possible causes? Feeling ill that there could be a time consuming and expensive road ahead.


Don't let the water sit in the crankcase, as it will cause you more issues in the spring with valves.

thanks
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