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Old 09-12-2019, 12:52 AM   #1
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Oil cooler failure

Hi folks,
I have a suggestion to make on the subject of oil cooler failures.
I recently made a day trip with the family and had reached a 15 miles from port point when the oil pressure dropped to 20# from the normal 40#. The buzzer had not activated yet, so the shut down was early.

Checking the dip stick showed no oil, an inspection showed the bildge very oily and black!. A quick check found nothing out of place or leaking, so we added oil (I pack a two oil chnge supply of oil (2 case of 12 quarts) and struck off with an eye on the engine. There it was!!

The oii being clear and the engine clean, one had to see the oil flow to know it. The oil cooler, in our case of double design, one for engine oil and the other cylindar of two,for the reduction gear, had blown. dumping the oil.

In part fortunatly, with our old engine, the famous for rear main leaks, 4-154, I had a bread pan sized pan built and slipped it under the engine to catch the rear oil seal leakage. when we replaced the 4-154 with the current 4-236, I left the pan under the engine.

In the current issue, the pan was full of leaking oil. I bailed the oil back into the engine, added makeup oil and we took off. Every 20 minutes or so, as the oil pressure would again drop I would bail oil and make it up.

Along the way as the process was delaying and adding oil to the bilge giving me concern as to future removal I became creative.

Sorting through the parts bin, I located a double male fitting that allowed me to disconnect the oil lines from the cooler and connect the two lines with the
the double male fitting bypassing the cooler.

Now that is not a normal move for sure and the oil tempature had to have risen by some amount, however, as we had only about 5 miles remaining to reach the dock, we trudged on.

My point, is that after replacing this cooler with the new one, I will plastic tie the fitting to the cooler in anticipation of future failure or not.
Knowing the fitting it there ready. as are various small parts of other anticipated units or changes, like engine zincs and such, are right there when sneeded, day or night.

So I pass this tip on be it of value .

Regartds,
Al- Ketchikan
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Old 09-12-2019, 08:35 AM   #2
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This is a good lesson and a great tip. I'll definitely be adding an appropriate coupler to my list of spares.

Ken
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Old 09-12-2019, 09:04 AM   #3
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Wait, bailed the oil back into the engine? You better have spare oil filters on board, and be changing them. Doesn't take much to spin a crankshaft bearing.
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Old 09-12-2019, 10:32 AM   #4
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That's why at year 20 of cooler age I just changed them out... Onto the next 20!
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Old 09-12-2019, 11:22 AM   #5
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When I had Ford Lehmans, and they were cheap, I kept extra oil coolers aboard. Never needed to change one underway, but I would have been simple on those engines. Not so for this current honkin' Yanmar.
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Old 09-12-2019, 11:31 AM   #6
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When I had Ford Lehmans, and they were cheap, I kept extra oil coolers aboard. Never needed to change one underway, but I would have been simple on those engines. Not so for this current honkin' Yanmar.
Pffft, trying having twin C12's. I don't think there's any single unit on them that I could man-handle out of there without help. Thus my checkbook does the heavy lifting!
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Old 09-12-2019, 12:20 PM   #7
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Al,

I had the same thing happen to me 2 years ago during a summer trip. Mine was a new cooler (2 months old) and the securing strap broke and wore a hole into the side of the oil chamber wall. I bypassed it after conferring with my Perkins expert, Brian, at British Marine. He had a similar experience on his 4.236 while at sea and continued for 30 hours with Cooking Vegetable Oil (!) as an oil substitute since he did't have enough engine oil aboard. When he returned home, he tore down the engine and all was just fine. No damage.

I monitored the oil filter temp, comparing it to the stbd engine. The normally 200*F oil rose to 240*F and stabilized there. Drove home for 5-6 hours and all was fine. Changed the oil upon my return and replaced the cooler. I also had the damaged cooler repaired and pressure tested at the local radiator shop so I have a spare and a male-male coupler as backup.
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Old 09-12-2019, 12:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post
Pffft, trying having twin C12's. I don't think there's any single unit on them that I could man-handle out of there without help. Thus my checkbook does the heavy lifting!
And you call yourself a trawler!!
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Old 09-12-2019, 02:47 PM   #9
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And you call yourself a trawler!!
Yes, well, I've been called many things... some deserved.
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Old 09-12-2019, 02:49 PM   #10
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In my case it's anything but "late for dinner."
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Old 09-12-2019, 02:56 PM   #11
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In my case it's anything but "late for dinner."
My wife has a fitbit, and their bathroom scale. I hop off it quickly before it figures out who's on it. (It does so by previous readings if you sign up for it).

I could stand being called late for dinner. And lunch, and breakfast.
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Old 09-12-2019, 03:32 PM   #12
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Ahh, so that's why the big boat!
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Old 09-12-2019, 04:06 PM   #13
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Ahh, so that's why the big boat!
Some friends got us a hand towel with this on it. It hangs on the Force 10 in the galley.
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Old 09-12-2019, 04:21 PM   #14
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Having just had an oil cooler failure myself, I like this idea! Gonna put that into my spares box today, in fact.
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Old 09-12-2019, 04:28 PM   #15
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When your oil cooler fails, replace it with one that has a port for a pencil anode. Do you have an engine heat exchanger without an anode? Why would you have a transmission cooler without one?

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Old 09-12-2019, 11:05 PM   #16
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When your oil cooler fails, replace it with one that has a port for a pencil anode. Do you have an engine heat exchanger without an anode? Why would you have a transmission cooler without one?

Ted
My oil/tranny coolers have always had pencil anodes but the last replacement I bought came with a ground lug for the bonding system so I connected it to the new bonding cable.

Which is better?
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Old 09-13-2019, 09:01 AM   #17
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My oil/tranny coolers have always had pencil anodes but the last replacement I bought came with a ground lug for the bonding system so I connected it to the new bonding cable.

Which is better?
Ever seen an engine heat exchanger with a ground Lug? IMO (which is worth what you paid for it ), the pencil anodes should only deteriorate in the cooler and the heat exchanger, when the engine is running (water flowing through the system). As such, I'm more confident it will last longer doing it's job. Also, from a failure standpoint, there is essentially only one electrical connection versus the total grounding path to a hull anode.

Ted
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