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Old 01-30-2021, 06:46 PM
CRUX CRUX is offline
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Oil leak while winterized

Hi All,

So I noticed oil in my bilge of my catalina 30 last weekend. Checked the dipstick and the oil level was just at the Low mark. I placed cardboard underneath to try to pinpoint where the leak is coming from. Checked it out today (1 week later) and there was a drip from the center bottom back edge of the oil pan (the lowest spot where it starts to angle up going astern). The oil on the dipstick was now 1/32" lower on the dipstick. I'd guesstimate the oil that dripped on the cardboard to be 1/8 of a quart but IDK.

Being that I winterized her 3 months ago (I live in CT), I figured the only placed oil could be dripping from is the oil pan (rusted through maybe? There is some scaling on the bottom that I pulled off). The only thing I have done since winterizing is remove the water pump for a rebuild, and the pump is still off. I did not think that oil can be leaking from where the water pump mounts as the engine has not ran and the oil level (should) be lower than that I'd imagine.

I've ordered a telescoping camera off amazon so I'll try to peek under the pan once that comes in.

IF it happens to be the pan, I'd imagine hoisting it straight up and changing the pan mid-air is technically possible with the mid-ship placement in the c-30?

Would love to hear everyone's thoughts as I'm stumped since the engine hasn't been run in months.

Thanks So much
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Old 01-30-2021, 09:57 PM
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If it's the oil pan, it would be unusual. The pan is a high nickel iron casting, same metal as the block & quite corrosion resistant. Will wait to see what the camera shows.
I did have to replace the oil pan on my Subaru Outback, but that's a cheapo steel stamping, 2011 vintage with 150K miles & a lot of stuff kicked up off the road in those miles.
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Old 01-31-2021, 01:55 PM
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Got down to the boat today with the new endoscopic camera. Got a few pics, but because of really low temp, the battery died very quickly.

Heavy scaling under the oil pan on the rear starboard side. Picked a few chunks off by hand, but what's left I'd have to use a chisel to pry off. Not really able to tell how deep it goes.

Is it safe to assume that oil would not be continuously leaking from any of the typical locations (oil sending unit, from under the valve cover, from between the block and fuel pump, etc. because of the fact I have not run the engine in 3 months? I assume there is not oil still pressurized anywhere that would be making it leak from any locations above the oil pan.
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Old 01-31-2021, 04:46 PM
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Yes, the engine has long since lost any residual pressure in the oil system.

If it was leaking from higher up, it would leave the dreaded vertical strips as it dripped. If there was a leak above the oil pan / block seam, it will typically pool in the channel where the oil pans attachment bolts stick through. There is enough of a ridge to trap the oil there.

My suggestion would be to clean the bottom of the oil pan well so you can put a white paper towel on it and not see any oil. Then wait a day or two and press a clean unfolded paper towel and press it bottom of the pan like you were doing a giant fingerprint. Then take remove the paper towel and you should have a 'print ' of the oil contamination of the pan.

If the oil leak is starting at the middle, and going to the sides... you have perforation of the pan. Not good, but not the end of the world either. ;^)

Good luck.
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Old 01-31-2021, 07:48 PM
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Those photos look ominous. I'd start shopping for a new oil pan.
Those probe cameras are neat - NOT expensive. I bought one about a year ago. The one I bought is WiFi to the phone/notepad - no cable.
Replacing the pan shouldn't be a big deal. Biggest issue will be if the new pan is slightly longer/shorter than your present block plus tranny. I can't remember if there are any dowel pins in that joint (CRS) - anyone else know?
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Old 01-31-2021, 09:37 PM
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Agree with the guys. It appears you need an oil pan. Still pretty cool where you are but in all honesty I've been working on my boat here in Halifax all winter. No one ever called me normal though.

Rust happens.

Just a few words of encouragement. Last Sept I had a head gasket go. When I went to torque down the head after installing the new gasket a couple of studs turned. Removed to find a rusted area near exhaust ports and the engine was pretty much done.

I had a spare in the garage that had been there 11 years. Out on a Friday and took the old one home. Changed over a few things to the new one, my reversing gear and a few smaller items, then put the spare in the boat the following Monday. Started installation at 10 am and was up and running by 14:30.

I'll try and give you a few pointers to make your job easy.

1. Leave your exhaust intact on the boat if you have the room. Let go the 3 exhaust bolts on the exhaust manifold. Gently slide it off and zip tie it to something on the bulkhead off to the side. By being able to do this it saves you much time dealing with an exhaust and the manifold gasket usually is in perfect shape after removal...so you might not even need a new one at all.

2. Take pictures of your wiring. Everything from the wiring around the alternator, grounds, wires to fuel pump etc...take pics of it all.

3 Take pics of your engine mounts, the angles they are on and how much thread is showing etc. I did that and micro measured the mounts that came out of the boat...I did exactly the same measurements on the new engine going into the boat and it fit in perfect. The prop shaft bolted right up and didn't even have a vibration when I fired it up...one shot, in perfect. You are putting the same engine back in so just make sure you don't mess with your mounts.

4 So you disconnect your wiring, disconnect grounds, might have to remove alternator or starter (some boats), pics of everything especially wires and their colors. I went as far as to label everything with painters tape and with a marker wrote where it went...had the pics as backup. Once everything is disconnected lift it and slide it forward. If your mast is on hook up a vang to in and you should get good help from that. Otherwise need a couple of strong upper body strength guys, one in behind to lift it off the mounts, might need a pry bar or two (if doing it without help of lifting device). Sounds more complicated than it is. Piece of plywood to slide it out on.

Once out remove the rear plate over the transmission and suck out oil. If you were able to lift in on a vang there is a plug on the front corner, right in the corner...take that out and the engine leans that way in the air anyway. All the oil can drain into a container.

Remove your pan and decide your plan of action. Take care when installing your gaskets on the new one. You can do this now, during winter if you can plug in a small Honeywell heater or something of the sort...like 1500 watts. On a cold day it will be bearable in the boat and once it's been on a couple of hours even the engine and your tools wont be cold to touch. If you need to lay in a lazarette etc put some cardboard down where you need to lay down there....it stops the heat draw from your body to the cold fiberglass while you work...you wouldn't believe the difference it makes until you do it. Difference between misery and tolerable. LOL

To see you have been down for a look at your boat tells me you might want this job done and out of the way. Good luck, hope what I threw in there helps you out.
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Old 01-31-2021, 10:01 PM
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There's a lot to be said about a dry bilge in a Catalina 30. The bilge under the engine is very shallow so it doesn't take a lot of water for a wet oil pan. At a minimum the auto bilge pump float switch should be mounted as low as possible on a Cat30.
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prior boats 1987 Westsail 32, 1970 Catalina 22
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Old 02-02-2021, 06:23 PM
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Check out my oil pan saga

https://www.moyermarineforum.com/for...ad.php?t=10773
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Old 02-12-2021, 11:06 AM
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After finding all that deep scale on the rear underside of the oil pan, I decided to haul the engine up into the cabin for anticipation of swapping the pan out.

I chiseled the scale, wire brushed and cleaned the area up pretty well. Only to find zero indication of any permeation in the oil pan... no drip/leak/anything after letting it sit for a few hours. There is also zero indication of a leak from the rear oil seal or the drain plug on the starboard side of the pan.

I will let it sit for a few days again to see if more oil drips (as it has every time I've visited the boat for week intervals).

Swapping out a new carb, fuel pump, and water pump while I continue to chase the oil leak...but it's sources seem to be really limited at this point!
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Old 02-12-2021, 12:35 PM
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Ok, the pan does need an overhaul though. As I see it in the sling your oil might be tipped forward. If you have removed oil you won't see it either because even the weight of the oil itself would cause enough pressure to push through a pinhole.

What you could try is ensure the oil is in the pan and heat the area with a heat gun and see if you see anything come through. Just to mention, that plug on the front corner of the pan is to drain while you have it in the air.

That all said. While the water pump was removed, I don't see it there, oil could have come out through there but I'd imagine it would have been a very high level or turned over for that to happen. Again, there should have been very obvious signs around that area if that was the case.

I still think you have a pin hole there somewhere. Need oil in it and a heat gun on the area...it will drip if there's a leak.

Hope that helps. I wish you lived close to me because I'm just itching for something to do.
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The pessimist complains about the wind.
The optimist expects it to change.
The realist adjusts the sails.
...Sir William Arthur Ward.
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Old 02-12-2021, 02:20 PM
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Yes that is too bad Mo! Could always use an extra set of eyes.

There is oil still in the pan, and I have it blocked up on an incline close to how it sits on the motor mounts. I’ll try the heat gun method tomorrow.

No indication of oil coming out of the water pump hole, oil level is/has been well below that.
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Old 02-12-2021, 03:52 PM
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I don't know if this will help or not. I've never tried it - it's something that I remember reading on the forum sometime ago.
Coat the area(s) where the leak might be with white powder (baby powder?) to visualize the leak.
That's the tricky thing about leaks - where you see the fluid may not be where the leak is.

ex TRUE GRIT
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Old 02-13-2021, 12:15 PM
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Found it! Seems to be sleeping through a small “crack” about an inch and a quarter long in the side of the pan under where the water pump is mounted. I guess the PO let a water pump leak for a bit too long...

I suppose I either need to grind/clean/patch the area with the some glass or jb weld..or install a new pan. One bolt broke already when trying to remove the pan bolts. The rest of the bolts don’t look promising either.
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Old 02-13-2021, 06:32 PM
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Hey CRUX,
I would make the call and replace that pan if you can get one. That one is done and to actually fix it you should remove it anyway. I wouldn't go for a JB weld patch, that's just something you do to get you home or until you can remove and repair or replace.

Have a look around and see if you can find a pan, otherwise you will need to sand it down, clean it with reducer and use epoxy and cloth for a repair...doing that you might as well do the whole thing. But the prep is everything, it has to be taken down to bare shining metal, then wiped with reducer, and allow it to evaporate off. Then you know your bond will be good. Epoxy should be OK for heat on that pan as well and give you years of use....and you need to get that broken bolt sorted out.
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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; 02-13-2021 at 06:34 PM.
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Old 02-13-2021, 08:45 PM
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Again, I'd look for another oil pan.
You put one red circle - there are another couple of spots deserving the red circle. Only fix it if you can't find one.
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Old 02-13-2021, 08:47 PM
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Yea I'm going to replace the pan.

Obviously oil pan gasket, but what other gaskets will I need for this job?

Which gaskets would you recommend using permatex on..if any?

I believe the pan bolts are 5/16 by 7/8", does that sound correct?

Should I be removing the output coupling/flange and flywheel housing off the motor as well for reinstalling the gaskets in the oil pan re-install?


Thank you in advance, I know some of those questions may seem elementary to many, but first time doing a job like this!
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Old 02-14-2021, 02:49 AM
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I used SS 5/16" x 1" coarse bolts since I would rather the bolt stick up completely though the block so not to crease an opportunity for water to puddle.

Gasket instructions for sealant can be found here:

https://moyermarine.com/wp-content/u...ASK_01_140.pdf

From my sketchy memory, you will need oil pan gasket , front flywheel gasket and rear output flange gaskets. I would recommend you call Ken at MMI early monday and he can walk thru what you need.

On a good day i'm a talented amateur, Ken is an expert.
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Last edited by ronstory; 02-14-2021 at 02:54 AM. Reason: whoops
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Old 02-14-2021, 12:48 PM
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Crux, you just made the best call on that. Ken at Moyer is awesome and he'll know right off the top of his head what you need.
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The pessimist complains about the wind.
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The realist adjusts the sails.
...Sir William Arthur Ward.
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Old 02-14-2021, 01:16 PM
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Plus replacing the 40+ year old real seal is really easy with the engine out.

I would also check the condition of the output flange where it contacts the seal. Mine had noticeable ridge so I replaced the seal and the flange, MMI sells both.
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Old 02-15-2021, 04:15 PM
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do not wait for the new pan to remove the old one... with the level of corrosion you have, you will likely break a few bolts, or have to grind a couple heads.
And then the fun begins....
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Old 02-15-2021, 06:44 PM
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Plus you may a well start applying Kroil, PB blaster or your favorite penetrating cocktail on the those rusty threaded bits. It will likely be a game of inches. ;^)

Good luck.
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Old 02-16-2021, 05:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronstory View Post
Plus you may a well start applying Kroil, PB blaster or your favorite penetrating cocktail on the those rusty threaded bits. It will likely be a game of inches. ;^)
Good luck.
If you tap on the bolts with a hammer after applying the "penetrating cocktail" it will help it penetrate better.

ex TRUE GRIT
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Old 02-16-2021, 09:26 PM
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Will do, thanks.
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Old 02-23-2021, 06:18 PM
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I was able to find a used oil pan in MA, about a 3 hour drive each way. 100$. The seller sent me these pics today and I'm planning on driving there this Saturday to pick it up.

I'd assume most pans are going to have some surface corrosion on them at this point, but should the rust under the pan flange concern me? Also the motor mount holes seem to have been elongated in one of the pictures.

Any recommendations before I make the drive would be appreciated! Thanks again
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Old 02-23-2021, 07:04 PM
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It's in better shape then my pan, and the more mounting holes look solid..

How does the gasket surface look?
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