Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 06-03-2012, 08:32 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Fighterpilot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 373
All of a sudden, dark gray smoke and reduced rpm. ??

Finally ready to go snapper fishing. Loaded up with 5 souls on board, 4 ice chests, full fuel, 15 fishing poles, food, etc and headed for the Gulf. 3 hours later after running at 15 knots with the 34Californian LRC and twin 3208sNA we are out 12 miles in the Gulf and the starboard engine has loss of rpm and is putting out dark gray smoke. RPM now 2000. Been running 2400rpm and the water temps 178 degress or so.

Throttle back and I go down to get into the engine room from under the ladder and when I open the door engine room is full of smoke and I see smoke and water pouring out of the other engine's inboard riser at the 90 degree elbow connection. Brand new 90 degree 5 inch rubber elbow which connects exhaust system to that riser has split. I note this because it may be germain to the other engine problem, that is maybe exhaust smoke from port engine has clogged air filter on starboard engine.

What can cause engine to suddenly lose rpm and start producing dark grey smoke. Not blue, not white, although there is a little white while running which I conclude is steam since it disapaites rapidly. Temps holding steady at about 178 degrees for the whole time.

What is grey smoke as compared to blue smoke? A fuel filter clogging up would cause a reduction in rpm but would it also casue smoke? I will change air fliters just in case that is problem but where do I go from there? Hire a mechanic??

We ran home on that engine only, at 2000 rpm, a little grey smoke and 7 knots. 6 and 1/2 hours. Didn't have an elbow on board to fix the other engine, although we did patch it up with a rubber sleeve, emergency tape and duct tape just in case. Aw the joys of boating.
__________________
Advertisement

Fighterpilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2012, 05:33 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Fighterpilot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 373
Well, I checked the air fliter, it was toast so to speak. Replaced it and turned to 2400rpm at the dock and no smoke. Of course when I get a load on it it may be a different story.
__________________

Fighterpilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2012, 07:19 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
jeffnick's Avatar
 
City: Spartanburg, SC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Big Duck
Vessel Model: '72 Land-N-Sea
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 425
No load RPM's tell you nothing.
Blue smoke = lube oil
White smoke = water
Black smoke = fuel

I am sooo not an expert, but since no one else has chimed in...maybe somehow coolant in a cyl?
jeffnick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2012, 10:21 PM   #4
Scraping Paint
 
City: -
Country: -
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 13,748
Grey exhaust can also mean a blown head gasket.
Marin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2012, 06:57 AM   #5
Guru
 
timjet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,905
Go to boatdiesel.com

You can check out Tony's tips on sbmar.com or post your issues on boatdiesel.com. I think the answer will be easily found.
__________________
Tim
Tampa Bay
Carver 355 ACMY Twin Cummins Diesels Sold
timjet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2012, 07:51 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Fighterpilot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 373
Timjet, thanks for the suggestion. As a member of boatdiesel.com I am familiar with Tony's good work. I searched all the articles there, which included his, and found one on white smoke by Tony, but nothing else.

I also searched Tony's tips at Seaboard and didn't find anything there. Maybe I missed it somehow, but do you know of a specific article or tip that addresses gray smoke? If so would appreciate some links to get me there. Thanks
Fighterpilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2012, 10:13 AM   #7
Guru
 
timjet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,905
Fighter Pilot,
Though the following article does not specifically address the smoke issue you are experience it may be helpful in analyzing the problem.
Seaboard Marine - Tony's Tips | Understanding Low Power Troubleshooting

You've probably read it, but if not it may be of help.

I would not hesitate to call Tony directly, I have several times.
__________________
Tim
Tampa Bay
Carver 355 ACMY Twin Cummins Diesels Sold
timjet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2012, 10:27 AM   #8
Scraping Paint
 
City: -
Country: -
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 13,748
Why don't you talk to a diesel shop? They're the ones whose livelihood depends on their knowing about engines. Asking an amateur Internet forum to offer suggestions as to the cause of an engine problem like "gray smoke" is a bit like asking a guy flying a kite to tell you why your airplane's behaving badly.

Instead of getting a bunch of speculation, if the shop is a good one you'll most likely get the correct answer to your question, the solution to your problem, and the ability to fix it. Sure, you'll have to pay for it but when it comes to advice, troubleshooting, and repair the value of what you get is generally related to what you pay for it.
Marin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2012, 01:19 PM   #9
Guru
 
City: Carefree, Arizona
Country: usa
Vessel Name: sunchaser V
Vessel Model: DeFever 48
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 6,360
Marin

Yes, there are lots of good shops to regarding 3208s. But as you well know, this is the age of sharing our every thought on some sort of forum or social network. You may have seen the Facebook article last week about the young girl in Australia who was helping her grandparents count their life savings on the couch and she posted a picture of the loot on Facebook, an hour or two later the robbers showed up.

My question is why a why a rubber elbow before the riser? The issue for pilot is two fold, fix the engine and insure proper design on the exhaust riser and mixer system.
sunchaser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2012, 02:00 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
jeffnick's Avatar
 
City: Spartanburg, SC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Big Duck
Vessel Model: '72 Land-N-Sea
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 425
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marin View Post
Why don't you talk to a diesel shop? They're the ones whose livelihood depends on their knowing about engines. Asking an amateur Internet forum to offer suggestions as to the cause of an engine problem like "gray smoke" is a bit like asking a guy flying a kite to tell you why your airplane's behaving badly.

Instead of getting a bunch of speculation, if the shop is a good one you'll most likely get the correct answer to your question, the solution to your problem, and the ability to fix it. Sure, you'll have to pay for it but when it comes to advice, troubleshooting, and repair the value of what you get is generally related to what you pay for it.
What if the fix was as simple as fishing line in the prop or a poorly fitting hose clamp and someone here had conquered the same problem? And if we always went to a pro with our problems, there'd be no need for your expertise here or even this forum...isn't that why we hang out here, to talk about our boats with fellow boaters?
jeffnick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2012, 02:50 PM   #11
Guru
 
skipperdude's Avatar
 
City: Whittier AK
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Apache II
Vessel Model: 1974 Donald Jones
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,147
I would say ask anybody and everybody from the diesel mechanic to people on any internet forum.
Knowledg is what you are seeking.
Advise is something you can always ask for .You don't have to take it.

If you ever have this problem again you will know what to do rather than call a tow boat.

I rebuilt the top end of my 3208. Never did it before but man did I learn a lot about the components of my boat and motor.
If you break down on the water you have got to be able to effect repair.

If it can't be repaired maybe it shouldn't be on the boat.

SSD
__________________
If you can't repair it maybe it shouldn't be on the boat
skipperdude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2012, 04:34 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Fighterpilot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 373
I believe in asking questions on any number of forums. I have had great responses with valuable information by doing this. Someone with first hand experience adds to the pro's knowledge. I find even the experts are lacking in knowledge if the subject matter is from an older engine. For example, the 3208 has a couple of local mechanics in the area and I have talked with them but their guidance is not any better than what I have received from this forum and boatdiesel.com.

Boatdiesel.com has two of the formost experts in marine engines that moderate their site and offer to share their knowledge from years of experience working with diesels. Amateur sites such as this one has people with realtime happening to them experience as well.

If thru the forums I can't get a handle on the problem than it is time to step up and pay up, but why pay $150.00 to have a mechanic drive out and tell me to change the air filter as a start? A forum expert suggested that and that has been done. At no load high rpm it looks good. Time will tell with load on the engine.

The rubber elbow situation did go to an expert. He is going to clean the riser and see what we have. I have been looking for a souce for the riser without any luck with the thinking, really ought to replace it. As to the efficacy of the design-it may be lacking, but that is the way the V-8 engines were put in many boats, expecially the Naturals where the temps. don't get too high. A wet exhaust, rubber elbow good to 250 degrees was used for the inboard riser to exhaust pipe hook up, after the riser, not before it. This one worked OK for 30 years until the riser got plugged up.

Should find out condition of the riser late this afternoon or tomorrow and than decide what to do. Local Cat. Dealer is big but doesn't work boats. Risers are boat type things, so may be out of luck there. Searched Barr and Osco but didn't find any Cat. risers. Will keep searching just in case existing riser is a lost cause. Thaks for the suggestions.
Fighterpilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2012, 04:45 PM   #13
Guru
 
skipperdude's Avatar
 
City: Whittier AK
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Apache II
Vessel Model: 1974 Donald Jones
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,147
N.C. Machinery in Seattle deals in Marine.
A good guy to talk to is Jay Hederson. I don't know how far from Seattle you are but there is always shipping. 1-800-562-4735.
SD
__________________
If you can't repair it maybe it shouldn't be on the boat
skipperdude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2012, 09:30 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Fighterpilot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 373
I'm a long way from Seattle. In the panhandle of Florida, but thank you for the contact.
Fighterpilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2012, 10:41 PM   #15
Veteran Member
 
Bugmon's Avatar
 
City: Block Island
Country: U.S.A.
Vessel Name: Galileo
Vessel Model: Marine Trader 40'
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 35
Did the new air filter fix the problem ? Is it a paper filter ? .. did it get wet when you had that wet exhaust leak ?..or even damp?
Bugmon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2012, 10:55 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Fighterpilot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 373
Don't think it really got wet. We ran that engine 7 hours after we had shut down the engine with the leaking elbow, so if it did get wet it was dry the next day when I got around to checking it. It is a round, paper filter., shaped like the old style you would see on the old auto gasoline engne. I did turn up the engine to 2400rpm while at the dock and didn't get any smoke. Won't know for sure until we take the boat out again and get the engine under load, but if you could have seen the filter there wouldn't be any doubt in you mind but what it had severely reduced the possible air flow.

When we first aquired the boat there was discussion about putting on K and N type fliters, but a couple of experts suggested we save our money since the standard filters used are compeletly adequate in the water/no dust environment. The paper would probably rot away before the filter would clog up. But, on an earlier trip we had a rear fresh water hose blow off and the engine and the filter from the looks of it got hot. That coupled with the recent smoke really did a number on it. I am going to check the other on next time at the boat.
Fighterpilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2012, 03:53 AM   #17
Scraping Paint
 
City: -
Country: -
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 13,748
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffnick View Post
What if the fix was as simple as fishing line in the prop or a poorly fitting hose clamp and someone here had conquered the same problem? And if we always went to a pro with our problems, there'd be no need for your expertise here or even this forum...isn't that why we hang out here, to talk about our boats with fellow boaters?
Useful fly stuff, as Eric likes to call it, can often be gotten from Internet forums. But for important stuff, I regard asking a bunch of amateurs on an Internet forum to be a complete waste of time which is why I never do it.

As SD says, you don't have to take advice. But based on much of what I read on boating and aviation forums most of the advice on things that are actually important is more often than not inaccurate or incomplete at best and downright wrong at worst. Which is why I don't waste time looking for important solutions on forums like this one. Instead of wading through a bunch of speculation from people with totally unknown credentials I can make one phone call and solve the problem.

Forums like this one are very entertaining in a sort of mindless pastime sort of way. But I would never act on any forum advice-- including mine--- without checking with a knowledgeable pro first. I'm not talking about things like what kind of paint or varnish is good. I'm talking about "why is my engine doing this" kind of stuff.
Marin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2012, 06:50 AM   #18
Scraping Paint
 
City: Fort Lauderdale
Vessel Model: CHB 48 Zodiac YL 4.2
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,804
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fighterpilot View Post
... on an earlier trip we had a rear fresh water hose blow off and the engine and the filter from the looks of it got hot.
Ah, the "rest of the story."


If the engine got hot enough to alter the appearance of the air filter you might want to take a closer look at that engine.
RickB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2012, 07:00 AM   #19
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: Avalon, NJ
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 15,868
Quote:
Originally Posted by RickB View Post
Ah, the "rest of the story."


If the engine got hot enough to alter the appearance of the air filter you might want to take a closer look at that engine.
amazing how often there is "something else"....makes me smile....can't count how many times after helping someone for hours and THEN you get the rest of the story...
psneeld is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2012, 07:59 AM   #20
Senior Member
 
Fighterpilot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 373
Ah, but the rest of the story is, lost water hose was days ago and the engine ran great while I spent about 1/2 hour at the dock checking out the tach with a laser sensor, and than for 3 hours on the next trip out at 2400rpm with no problems. I think the final "coup" was the all the smoke, and soot that was taken into a marginal filter when the other engine exhaust elbow failed.
__________________

Fighterpilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:45 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012