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Old 12-10-2014, 05:28 PM   #1
City: Montgomery, TX
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Encore
Vessel Model: Whitby 42
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Another FL problem

Went on a shake down cruise this weekend and shook down more than expected. On the return trip an engine alarm went off on the starboard engine. Being in a rather narrow channel I just glanced down and it seemed the temperature was a little high so I shut the engine down. Figured we could make it back on one engine and then just start the other one to get into the slip.

Most of the way back, total about 30nm, I thought I smelled something hot. Raised the steps to the engine room but saw no smoke or steam so continued on. To make a long story a little shorter, upon getting back I found the port engine covered in oil on one side, there was even oil on the ceiling of the engine room.

Investigating further it appears that the oil squirted out of the dipstick tube. The dipstick is very hard to insert all the way so I've always let it stick up some to where the little collar on the stick did not cover the end of the tube. There is no oil on the breather hose coming off the valve cover.

What would cause oil to come out of the dipstick tube? I checked the oil before leaving and it was at the fill mark where I usually keep it. The oil at the end of the dipstick looks like it always does, black. Engine temps and oil pressure were normal all the way. The alternator on that engine has been a problem so I had the alternator disabled, assuming I could go by the tach on the starboard engine. The Floscan tach readout read about 1500 RPM but not sure how accurate that was.



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Old 12-10-2014, 08:56 PM   #2
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Sorry, Bob, if you've published it before, I didn't see what kind of engine you have.


"When life gets hard, eat marshmallows”.
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Old 12-10-2014, 09:01 PM   #3
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Have you ever checked that the dipstick is correctly marked? Very common problem with Lehmans.

I would guess blowby from a damaged number 6 cylinder. Buy or borrow a boroscope, pull out the injectors and peek inside the cylinders. My money is on number 6 having failed.
Don't believe everything that you think.
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Old 12-10-2014, 09:06 PM   #4
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Sounds like excess pressure in the crankcase. First step is to check the crank case breather system making sure you don't have pressure in the base from that system not working.
Then go from there. Probably start it up at the dock and see if you have any new unwelcome noises. Next on the list would be and internal problem letting compression down into the base. Holes in the tops of pistons are good for that. Or just at the end of its life?
Hope it is just a plugged breather.
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Old 12-11-2014, 06:50 AM   #5
City: New Bern
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Vessel Name: Southern Lady
Vessel Model: Grand Banks 42
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I had that same oil all over everything with a Cat 3208. Turned out cylinders had become scored and combustion chamber blow by pushed it out the dip stick and breather. Good luck to you.
Oliver Moore
Southern Lady
GB 42 Woodie
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Old 12-11-2014, 08:30 AM   #6
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What caused the alarm? It either got hot or oil pressure went low. How much oil was lost?

Some fords have very restrictive blowby vents. On a few I have removed rocker cover and welded in a larger dia fitting and fit a larger hose. On those we knew blowby flow was high, but wanted to squeeze out some more hours. As far as I know, they are still chugging along somewhere...
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Old 12-11-2014, 10:30 AM   #7
City: Montgomery, TX
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Encore
Vessel Model: Whitby 42
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 807
It's a SP225. Didn't notice anything different in the way it ran. Started it after we docked and no more oil coming out. Thought about the breather vent on the valve cover after we got home. Will check that when I get back to the boat.

The alarm was on the other engine and I shut it down. Didn't really have time to investigate, we were in a rather tight channel. It did seem like the temp was still below 200 F.

If it isn't one thing..............


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