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Old 09-22-2016, 06:27 PM   #1
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Seized lugger engine.

Hi, I own a beautiful wood commercial fishing vessel with unfortunate circumstances. I will tell you its story and where I think I should start. First, I want to get more info/ideas before I get too dirty and make things worse.

Last april the bilge quit (power outage) and I was out of town. When I came back, the water was up 1/3 of the way to the starter motor and oil was everywhere . I got the bilges working and had a friend help me pull and replace the starter. I changed the engine oil as well but saw no evidence of water in the engine oil. Until recently, I as baffled as to where the oil came from.
The new starter worked fine and I used the boat problem free until May. But took on a job as a charter captain(fast outboard hull) and left the boat to my wife to check on as I don't get days off of free time with this job.

In mid-June my wife said the engine would not start. My friend came down and said it was the starter.

When he took the starter off, carmel colored oil and water poured out and it was obviously seized. i had no time to even think about the boat until recently.

A week ago I looked at the fly wheel because the starter was off and it look highly corroded. I sprayed it with corrosion X. then put A completely new starter on and the engine was obviously not going to turn and i could not manually turn it either with a wrench.

Here are three things I can think of.

1.The engine oil is still beautiful, but I just discovered my twin disc oil is like the color of carmel house paint(this is why I was seeing oil in the bilge). Could a seized bearing prevent the engine from turning.? Obviously my twin disc transmition is done for

2. I never saw water in the engine oil. but i am assuming a piston could still be seized. Am I better learning to take the cover off first ? Yikes!

Not sure where to start. I have read online articles that a suggest finding what part is seized and use a penitrant like marvel Mystery oil and work the part back and forth for weeks. Just not sure where that seized part is. The saltwater seemed to get in the starter, the flywheel, and transmission. Again no evidence of salt in the engine oil.

Hope this makes sense. I will clarify if need be. I just want a diagnosis at this point and will cry about money lost when the time comes.

Thank you!!!!! I am pretty new to this and all my ideas have came from the internet or talking to my busy uncle in law.
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Old 09-22-2016, 06:40 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard. We know from this thread CAT 3208 new knock, started by robs523 who seems to have figured out his problems, the difficulty getting mechanical help in Sitka. Might be worth a PM(Private Message) to him.
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Old 09-22-2016, 07:35 PM   #3
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Thanks lol. I am good buds with him and he recommended this site. He has learned a lot this summer and is willing to help when the time comes to get dirty. Small world!
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Old 09-22-2016, 07:58 PM   #4
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Clearly your gear got contaminated, including the bell housing where the starter attaches. What's unclear is how much water made it into other parts of the engine.

You might have nothing more than hydrolock, which is water in one or more cylinders that blocks the piston from reaching top dead center and locks the engine. I say "only", where it can actually be pretty bad, but the is only one way to find out.

First, I'd suggest removing the injectors and setting them aside. That will relieve the compression pressure in the cylinders. Then try turning over the engine BY HAND. Do not use the starter, as it is strong enough to bend rods and pistons if the engine is hydrolocked. Use a socket and breaker bar to hand rotate the engine. If you can turn it with the injectors out, you will probably also get a squirt of water out of each injector port. If it turns freely, then crank it over a number of times with the starter to blow out any water. You may also want to place a rag over the injector pipes because they will squirt a little fuel when you crank the engine.

If it turns freely, I'm probably next remove the valve cover and confirm that all the valves are operating correctly. If water got in, one or more might be rusted stuck. If they all open and close as expected, then I'd button it back up and try to start it. Once started check for proper raw water flow, exhaust, etc, all depending on what sort of exhaust you have.

If after removing the injectors, the engine is still stuck, don't force it. Pull the valve cover and check the valves. You might have a valve stuck open that is interfering with a piston. Try rotating the engine in both directions. Can you back it off a bit, then rotate forward until it stops? If that's the case, then there is some sort of interference.

If you can't budge it at all, then most likely a piston has rusted in the cylinder, or something else has seized it up. Maybe try some penetrating oil in each cylinder, squirted in through the injector port. Just keep in mind that if you squirt penetrating oil in there, you are creating a hydrolock, so need to blow it all out before reinstalling the injectors. And it will inevitably find it's way into the oil, so know that will be contaminated. Bottom line is that if you get it running again, a couple of oil changes will be in order with a little warmup run time between changes.

If it's still seized, it's probably time to start tearing it apart.

Oh, but if your gear it toast, which is sounds like it is, maybe it's just the gear and input shaft that's siezed. In that case, once the gear is separated from the engine, see if the engine will turn. The more I think about it, this sounds most plausible since you said you have been able to run the engine since the initial incident. That suggests the engine is fine, and it's just the gear that has locked up the engine. So maybe pull the gear first since that has to come out regardless?

Good luck with it all.
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Old 09-22-2016, 08:48 PM   #5
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Most likely the trans can be rebuilt. If you switch to another brand you may have more costs in mating to the engine and shaft.
I use Kearney Rust Cutter sprayed thru the injector hole. It contains a light acid and lube. Way better than penetrating oil. About 1/3 can on a 4 cylinder. Hard to come by. Occasionally on ebay or Amazon. I found it again here: https://buy.wesco.com/Multi-Purpose-.../78154492109-1
After breaking loose, I just start the engine if no water is present. I have started and run a number of diesels that froze. The overall life maybe shorter, but not always.
Others gave good advise on freeing and issues that maybe encountered.
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Old 09-22-2016, 09:32 PM   #6
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Clarification- Water up 1/3 distance of starter. Clarify. as the cylinders are far above 1/3 meaning water would not have sought the cylinders. You had the engine running for some time with a new starter then froze with no repeat of the original issue proving no water in the cylinders? Oil is clear meaning no water in the oil pan before and during the running after the starter removal and replacement.
Was the reduction gear placed in neutral when you last stopped the engine? That may not be re callable due to time and place but, but if left in gear, can you now shift the gear into and out of gear?
It is just inconceivable that the condition of the original issue, cleaned up , running, and then left sitting for a period of time would relate to the engine, I would suspect the gear was left in forward or reverse and the clutch pack which may have had water enter in the original flooding coming home to roost due to sitting.

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Old 09-22-2016, 10:20 PM   #7
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If water and oil came out of starter hole when you took starter off, flywheel housing is full of it. Housing could be corroded enough to grab flywheel, or the gear is locked up.

One quicky test is to put breaker bar on crank pulley bolt/nut and try to move crank one way then the next. If absolutely zero motion, could be flywheel stuck. If a tiny bit of motion, stuck piston and you are feeling bearing clearances..unlikely there. If a few degrees of motion, gear stuck and you are feeling the give of the torsional coupling.
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Old 09-23-2016, 06:21 AM   #8
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"So maybe pull the gear first since that has to come out regardless?"

Thats how I would start.
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Old 09-23-2016, 06:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ski in NC View Post
If water and oil came out of starter hole when you took starter off, flywheel housing is full of it. Housing could be corroded enough to grab flywheel, or the gear is locked up.

One quicky test is to put breaker bar on crank pulley bolt/nut and try to move crank one way then the next. If absolutely zero motion, could be flywheel stuck. If a tiny bit of motion, stuck piston and you are feeling bearing clearances..unlikely there. If a few degrees of motion, gear stuck and you are feeling the give of the torsional coupling.
Sounds likely to me too.
The flywheel was extremely corroded looking. Wonder is it close enough to other metal to lock itself with rust?
Unlikely trans locked up as it is milky oil but still oil.
Trans may be ok, drain it, flush it, fill it run it, repeat till it is clear oil.

Don't most trans have a vent to air on top? My velvet drives have one. That will let water in if flooded.
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Old 09-23-2016, 12:25 PM   #10
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First off. Thank you for all responses. A true wealth of knowledge indeed!
I do not have internet from home and spotty cell at best so most of my responses will be during the alaska daytime. I can get good internet from town Wi-Fi. I will respond mostly during Alaska daytime.

I just got to reading everything and am going to go over it and find a place to start. For sure its time to drain that tranny fluid. I wonder if it would hurt to soak it in Marvel mystery oil first? Then I will have to find away to dismantle the housing around the flywheel. as it has many days of salt corrosion no doubt.

Anyway I am going to re-read all the posts and make a game plan, and then let you know my progress!

Thanks a ton
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Old 09-23-2016, 01:26 PM   #11
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Greetings,
Mr. 82. I think MMO would be a waste of $$ and time frankly. It appears your diesel is probably OK and the seizure is occurring in the transmission area so I expect, at the least, that puppy (trans') is going to have to come out and undergo disassembly to some extent so MMO is moot.
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Old 09-23-2016, 02:09 PM   #12
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If the engine is stuck there's a good chance "SeaFoam" will free her up.

Many diesels (most?) have dished piston crowns and will require more SeaFoam than a gas engine (excluding V types) as the dish in the piston crown will need to overflow before SeaFoam will reach the rings and ring lands. May need to let her soak for several days before cranking is attempted. Should probably change oil twice afterwards. I've free'd up several outboards in the days past w SeaFoam ... was called Risoline then.
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Old 09-23-2016, 05:53 PM   #13
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Pretty sure SeaFoam and Rislone are not the same product. SeaFoam is good for all systems and Rislone is an oil additive if I recall. Haven't even seen it in years.
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Old 09-23-2016, 06:50 PM   #14
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Not time to discuss penetrant oils like seafoam or mystery oil. Need to find out what is stuck first. Also can't imagine a heavy duty engine being unstuck with those and then continuing in service.

To the OP, do the wrench on crank rock back and forth test and report back.
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Old 09-23-2016, 07:52 PM   #15
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78,
Risoline still exists. A car I bought 2 years ago was serviced where they added Risoline at every oil change. I too thought Risoline was a product of the past and I haven't actually seen the stuff but someone at an auto parts store said indeed it still is available. And re the car I bought the Risoline is listed as added in the reciepts for oil changes over the years.

Ski my post #12 was an opinion as are most posts on internet forums.

If the engine is stuck it can only be stuck in one of three ways. Either the piston got so hot it expanded till it mached the bore and extreme mechanical damage occured such that the piston won't move. But I've not heard of that on a diesel. By stuck the engine most likely sat for a long time and things like varnish from oil ect solidified over time so the piston can't be moved by normal means like a starter motor. If an engine is stuck in this way can damage be done to the engine by mechanical means such as levering the flywheel w extreme force? I would think loosening the deposits that are binding the engine would be a better way to free the pistons from their grip to the cylinder. Just an opinion for the OP and others possibly to consider. And if the engine is stuck from "gunk" in the rings and/or on the pistons and bore a solvent should almost certainly desolve enough gunk to loosen the pistons. The third way to be stuck is of course by filling the cylinders w a fluid .. typically water.

However all steps should be taken to find out if the engine is stuck via other means first .. I agree.
But I see no reason that the engine being "heavy duty" should make it less likely that a solvent would free it up.
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Old 09-23-2016, 07:59 PM   #16
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Rislone...
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Old 09-23-2016, 09:37 PM   #17
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I've never seen a diesel stuck from varnish, etc sticking a piston. On a marine engine, the main culprit is corrosion or a partially melted piston. Neither will be fixed by a solvent. Stuck rings, yes, could work there. But rings stuck in grooves will not stick an engine so badly that starter cannot budge it. Corrosion is not fixed with solvents even if engine can be freed.

Solvents are not the fix here. At least until more troubleshooting is done.

Let's not send the OP on snake oil goose chases.
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Old 09-23-2016, 10:24 PM   #18
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OK good Ski.
I'm buy'in the corrosion and agree solvents won't work.
I'm interested to see how it plays out now.
Thinking leads the curiosity.

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Old 09-23-2016, 10:25 PM   #19
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I think the issue is definitely in the transmission. If the transmission is locked up, a starter and sometimes even a hand bar will not move the engine. Remove the tranny whole and take it to a shop for disassembly. While its in the shop, bump the starter on the engine on the boat. It should turn over. If not, go hunting for a hydro lock in the cylinders.


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Old 09-23-2016, 11:00 PM   #20
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Eric, in the original post the water only came up to 1/3 distance on the starter. There would not be water in the cylinders from the flooding. Besides, he had the engine running after the initial flooding. The 'stuck' issue came after he allowed the engine to sit for a period of time following the initial incident.
He then discovered when the engine would not rotate and after removing the starter a second time, the oil/crud mixture. The wonder would be where the 'Oil" derived from. If from the gear then via a leaking seal? or a leaking rear main? Not offered as yet another rabbit trail. The "Crud" of rusty scale from laying salt water once stirred from the first run after the initial flooding would cause suspect for the condition. yet, the vision of 'Oil" included does add a bit of mystery.

The group have centered in on the reduction gear being locked up preventing the rotation of the engine. There are several common suggestions regarding how to challenge this with a common 'Rock it, pipe wrench it,remove the gear, type of suggestions.
As it is a velvet drive gear, there is in fact, a vent low enough that the initial water level well might have entered the gear via this vent.

I would think the use of additives, some of which you mention I agree with and use, are a subject of the tear down, dis-assembly, and rebuild of said gear were it found to be the culprit. It appears the gear will come out in this instance.

As the original poster has responded, lots of good information offered and for sure he will be able to have a starting game plan.

As a PS. Pleased that your shake down trip proved exciting to say the least. Good you were able to cope and sounded like you enjoyed yourself.

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