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Old 08-06-2016, 07:05 PM   #141
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Easy to forget the relative remoteness, problems, and cost of getting things in and out, of Sitka. I did when raising getting a flexible camera, sorry for that. For that reason alone, focusing on the precise issue, rather than a total rebuild, makes sense.
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Old 08-07-2016, 01:03 AM   #142
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Rob can you get some clear, in focus pics of some of the cylinders including pistons? Include the problem hole.

Some good pics of the top of the failed piston and the bottom of the head on that hole.

Pics will help figure out what happened.

I prefer Cat over aftermarket, but unless you want to replace all of them, probably best to go back to the same brand.

Kudos on finding the guy that built the motors. Be nice to him as he will be a wealth of info. Including whether bore is std or oversize. Offer to pay him for his time, it will be worth it.
Here are the pics. The holes in the top of the bad piston are there because I couldn't get it out all the way from the bottom so I added a few screws to attach a small cable to and pulled it from the top. Any thoughts on the stain marks on one of the cylinders? It's the one next to the bad one, if that matters. My son cleaned it today hoping to find a part number on it. In the pic of the full head, the far left spot is where the bad piston was.

I definitely don't want to replace all of the pistons! Hopefully the mechanic that did the rebuild does call me back and I can get the parts soon. Thanks!
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Old 08-07-2016, 01:36 AM   #143
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I'm no expert, though can you catch a finger nail on the ridges in the lining in the cylinder you pulled the piston from? Just curious.
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Old 08-07-2016, 06:58 AM   #144
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I think the stain mark is from where water set in that cylinder? Any indications of a blown head gasket?
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Old 08-07-2016, 08:30 AM   #145
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Looks like 3L had water sitting in it, also a little bit steam cleaned on piston crown. Is that a crack in cylinder above the water stain? That irregular mark rising vertically? Can you catch it with a fingernail?

4L has had some metal transfer from piston, maybe some scoring. Looks like piston got hot and then friction caused more heat, typical snowball type failure progression.

Were you running it hard when you first had the problem? If engines were babied for many many hours pistons can get carboned up, then when run hard the carbon can be packed in the clearance between crown and bore and when piston tries to expand, friction ensues.
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Old 08-07-2016, 10:41 AM   #146
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Looks like 3L had water sitting in it, also a little bit steam cleaned on piston crown. Is that a crack in cylinder above the water stain? That irregular mark rising vertically? Can you catch it with a fingernail?

4L has had some metal transfer from piston, maybe some scoring. Looks like piston got hot and then friction caused more heat, typical snowball type failure progression.

Were you running it hard when you first had the problem? If engines were babied for many many hours pistons can get carboned up, then when run hard the carbon can be packed in the clearance between crown and bore and when piston tries to expand, friction ensues.
The only thing I can catch a fingernail on is the top of the cylinder I pulled the piston from where the metal transfer is. Can't feel the line in 3L, and can just barely feel the line in 4L with my fingertip but not enough to catch a nail. I'm still holding out on my plan of honing it and getting 4L cleaned up enough that it works, but none of that matters unless I find a piston

The only water I know of that got in there was from pulling the head and apparently not having drained the coolant correctly. It sat in that cylinder for less than 5 minutes, probably more like 1-2. I don't know what to look for in a blown head gasket, but I wasn't losing oil or water, always had good oil pressure and water temps.

From early May to mid-June, I put over 100 hours on it. Any free time we had, we were on the boat. In the 3 years the PO had it, he put 200 total on it, and last year I want to say it was only about 30, so it definitely wasn't getting used much. I was running about 10-11 knots and slowly accelerating when I first heard the knock. Cruising is about 8-9, WOT is 16-17. I wish I could tell you the RPMs but tachs only work when they want to (for now...I'll fix that once I have 2 engines again). In the times out before that, I had pushed it just to get to know the boat, especially after I fixed the trim tabs, but I tried not to be stupid about it.
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Old 08-07-2016, 10:52 AM   #147
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Like Ski said the top of the piston in that cylinder has been steam cleaned. You can get staining from coolant standing but it would take longer than just a few minutes.

Back to what was said earlier proper diagnosis of the failure is important. Let your local guy who's stopped by look at it give his opinion before spending $$$$.
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Old 08-07-2016, 10:57 AM   #148
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what do you mean by steam cleaned? Is it because it's so clean compared to the others? I mentioned my son had cleaned it to to try to find the part number, but maybe I wasn't clear enough that he cleaned that piston in the cylinder with the staining. Prior to that, it looked just like the other two pistons. Or are you seeing something else? Thanks
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Old 08-07-2016, 11:31 AM   #149
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If he cleaned it, that would explain it being clean!! So it was black and dusty when you pulled the head off?

That stain down at the bottom of 3L would not occur in five minutes. Would take a matter of weeks. But you can see the stain on both the bore and the piston and the levels line up with what water would do.

Can you feel any roughness on that 3L stain on the bottom of the cylinder bore?
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Old 08-07-2016, 11:49 AM   #150
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If he cleaned it, that would explain it being clean!! So it was black and dusty when you pulled the head off?

That stain down at the bottom of 3L would not occur in five minutes. Would take a matter of weeks. But you can see the stain on both the bore and the piston and the levels line up with what water would do.

Can you feel any roughness on that 3L stain on the bottom of the cylinder bore?
yes, it was black and dusty just like the others. The mechanic that did the rebuild thought there should be another part number besides the one we found on the bad piston. We thought maybe it was illegible due to the beating it took, so he cleaned that one to look. Unfortunately there wasn't anything different and no part number anywhere else that we can see.

I can feel a definite texture change where that stain is. Nothing extreme, but it is a little rough
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Old 08-07-2016, 01:02 PM   #151
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You need a good hone for this job. Not a flex hone. Google micrometer cylinder hone to see the tool you will need. Then you need someone with experience to run it. This tool will give you a good enough finish to run a new piston on.
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Old 08-07-2016, 01:48 PM   #152
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This is the type of hone that was used on my cylinders. The guy that bored and honed my engine had four more jobs to do the day he did mine. He put a perfect cross hatch hone on my cylinders. He would measure every hole in multiple spots write down numbers on a sheet of paper hone measure hone and so on. He left me a mess to clean up but said the holes were perfect and so far so good. He told he had been working with that bore bar for ten years every day and you could tell.
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Old 08-07-2016, 02:17 PM   #153
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If bore dimensions check out ok, nothing wrong with a quick hone with a glaze buster hone. It remove a tiny amount of metal, almost undetectible with the bore gauge and sets up a decent cross hatch. A proper hone is necessary to take a freshly bored cylinder to it's final measurement, which is not the case here.

To do this right, you should have bores checked with a bore gauge, and to do that right no also need a 4-5 mic and a standard.

But many engines have been put in service with a quick clean with a glaze buster, new pistons and rings as needed.

I'd consider pulling 3L and cleaning up that corroded area. Any sharp areas on that pitting will quickly wear the rings. Some hand work and then measure bore then hone.

This thing is not a Ferrari, you can be a bit sloppy and still get good life. Good chance the 4L was tight in bore to piston clearance.
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Old 08-07-2016, 03:10 PM   #154
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I can feel a definite texture change where that stain is. Nothing extreme, but it is a little rough
Really does suggest there was some water incursion. If not a head gasket or cracked block, maybe the water cooled exhaust manifold is failing, leaking into the exhaust port?

Now you've got a second cylinder that is questionable, unidentifiable after-market piston you may not be able to match, metal flakes in the oil, block and head surfaces need to be cleaned and then trued before gasketing, etc. There may be similar issues with the other side and the rest of the rebuild on this engine.

Not what you want to hear, but I don't know if you're going to be able to do this in frame and not risk losing the engine to another failure down the road.

If it were mine, at this point I would say pull the engine, tear down and inspect top to bottom. If nothing else for just peace of mind.
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Old 08-08-2016, 04:23 PM   #155
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Did you check the oil level? Have you been pumpimg fuel into the sump and thinned the oil?
Always worth a check if you 've been dealing with a fuel leak etc.
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Old 08-08-2016, 04:42 PM   #156
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Really does suggest there was some water incursion. If not a head gasket or cracked block, maybe the water cooled exhaust manifold is failing, leaking into the exhaust port?

Now you've got a second cylinder that is questionable, unidentifiable after-market piston you may not be able to match, metal flakes in the oil, block and head surfaces need to be cleaned and then trued before gasketing, etc. There may be similar issues with the other side and the rest of the rebuild on this engine.

Not what you want to hear, but I don't know if you're going to be able to do this in frame and not risk losing the engine to another failure down the road.

If it were mine, at this point I would say pull the engine, tear down and inspect top to bottom. If nothing else for just peace of mind.

I just talked to the mechanic that did the rebuild and apparently when the boat was overhauled in 2004, the owners wanted it faster after the engines were rebuilt. The mechanic gave it more rack in the fuel system (? or something like that) to increase the horsepower at the owners request. He's going to give me more info about it that and how to undo it. He also really seemed to remember the job well and had a lot of good info, like cylinders being sleeved, and everything that was done to it to make it as close to new (and stock) as possible for a rebuild. He knows the piston is one of two manufacturers and he's looking into getting a new piston and rings.

He also mentioned the exhaust manifold as a possible leak source. What I didn't ask him but should have is, does that mean I need to replace the exhaust manifold gasket? It's a metal gasket that looks in good shape so I wasn't going to replace it.

I'll send the injectors down to him to check them, then hopefully I can get the parts and be back out with two working engines soon! As much as I like the idea of pulling the engine and going over everything, I'm going to try to avoid that this year. Maybe next winter when I need something to do to keep my sanity on those dark and rainy days, and will hopefully I'll be set up better at home to work on it than I am now.

But what's this business about needing to true the head and block surfaces? Sounds complicated and expensive...
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Old 08-08-2016, 04:43 PM   #157
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Did you check the oil level? Have you been pumpimg fuel into the sump and thinned the oil?
Always worth a check if you 've been dealing with a fuel leak etc.
Oil was apparently pretty dirty even after I changed it, but otherwise seemed good. I'd need to add some occasionally but never noticed thinning, "growing," or a diesel smell. Thanks!
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Old 08-08-2016, 05:17 PM   #158
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I just talked to the mechanic that did the rebuild and apparently when the boat was overhauled in 2004, the owners wanted it faster after the engines were rebuilt. The mechanic gave it more rack in the fuel system (? or something like that) to increase the horsepower at the owners request. He's going to give me more info about it that and how to undo it. He also really seemed to remember the job well and had a lot of good info, like cylinders being sleeved, and everything that was done to it to make it as close to new (and stock) as possible for a rebuild. He knows the piston is one of two manufacturers and he's looking into getting a new piston and rings.

He also mentioned the exhaust manifold as a possible leak source. What I didn't ask him but should have is, does that mean I need to replace the exhaust manifold gasket? It's a metal gasket that looks in good shape so I wasn't going to replace it.

I'll send the injectors down to him to check them, then hopefully I can get the parts and be back out with two working engines soon! As much as I like the idea of pulling the engine and going over everything, I'm going to try to avoid that this year. Maybe next winter when I need something to do to keep my sanity on those dark and rainy days, and will hopefully I'll be set up better at home to work on it than I am now.

But what's this business about needing to true the head and block surfaces? Sounds complicated and expensive...
Playing with the fuel system without metering the pump is not a good thing. Without measuring the output you have no idea of how much fuel is being pushed. If you can see the part number on the injectors please post it.

As for the exhaust manifold during the rebuild they should be vat cleaned and pressure tested while hot. This will tell you if they leak and need replacing. As for the exhaust gasket it is of a crush type and needs to be replaced.

Trying the head is something that is done when re-working the heads. A good cleaning with a wire brush and then checking trueness with a straight edge and feeler gauges will tell you if they are ok.

Not trying to rain on your parade but you are dealing with an unknown engine of dubious origen. It might be best money spent and cheaper in the long run to call this year shot, take your time remove, rebuild or find a re-build with a warranty.
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Old 08-08-2016, 07:22 PM   #159
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Taking into account the Sitka location and difficulty of getting help easily, isn`t it worth a simple "fix what looks broken and see how it goes' before a total rebuild? That said, the advice of the man who did the rebuild carries a lot of weight, except his rebuild didn`t seem to last too long...I dunno. One step at a time, I`d say.
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Old 08-08-2016, 07:44 PM   #160
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Rob- Was engine using any coolant while you had it in service?

My vote is to fix what is broken, put it together and enjoy it.
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