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Old 10-03-2019, 12:27 PM   #21
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Jeff F and Kchace,

Yes, I had suspected the engine was running too cold with the heater. It seemed to take way too long to reach operating temperature. The cabin heater was rather large, and I had no use for it in Florida (freed up some space under the galley).

Normal operating temperature for the engine should be between 167 and 194 per the manual. If I push the engine beyond 2700 RPM (WOT is 3600), she reaches 200 degrees in a few minutes and produces steam out the exhaust. I believe the alarm sounds at 205, but I throttle back before then. Before the steam/temp issue and removal of the cabin heater, I used to run the boat at 2700 as my cruise and had no problem running her at WOT.

The exhaust elbow is just a few years old, and I removed some carbon via the elbow's various inspection ports with a screw driver a few months ago. I am going to reinspect and run a coat hanger through the ports to be certain.

My theory is the cabin heater was keeping the temp down and "masking" another issue. The very warm impeller cover and hot transmission suggest to me a blockage exists in the interior transmission cooler. It has never been cleaned to my knowledge.

Thank you everyone for your help! I will know more this weekend!
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Old 10-03-2019, 01:12 PM   #22
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It sounds like you're on the trail.... Don't forget to check the injection point on the exhaust elbow. The point where the water hose connects to the exhaust elbow. Sometimes those fittings get corroded and scaled to the point they can limit the flow of water.


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Old 10-03-2019, 05:57 PM   #23
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I tend to go with the small suction leak downstream of the seawater pump. The heater in the circuit could have been masking a borderline situation. The heater ports can just be plugged.
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Old 10-07-2019, 06:25 PM   #24
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An easy, and for saltwater cooling systems, a regular necessity is to descale/clean the system with Rydlime or Barnacle Buster. It is far easier than removing the system components when no other reason exists to pull them. I won't belabor the point with an unnecessary description of the process, but I find it exceedingly easy for both main engine and my generator. You could see an immediate cessation of the steaming.
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Old 10-07-2019, 08:32 PM   #25
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One point about steaming that last weekend cruise reminded me. Outside temperature is a great factor.
As an example, last Saturday was 2C outside, water temp around 14C. My water exhaust is somewhere around 35C, not very hot, you can put your hand in and it feel warm not hot. However with a 2C air temp steam is obvious, even the river water itself was steaming.

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Old 10-09-2019, 11:45 AM   #26
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An easy, and for saltwater cooling systems, a regular necessity is to descale/clean the system with Rydlime or Barnacle Buster. It is far easier than removing the system components when no other reason exists to pull them. I won't belabor the point with an unnecessary description of the process, but I find it exceedingly easy for both main engine and my generator. You could see an immediate cessation of the steaming.

I was unable to make it to the boat last weekend for the Barnacle Buster flush, but this Saturday is the day! I hope my hunch is correct and the issue is a restriction in the transmission cooler.
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Old 10-09-2019, 12:15 PM   #27
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I was unable to make it to the boat last weekend for the Barnacle Buster flush, but this Saturday is the day! I hope my hunch is correct and the issue is a restriction in the transmission cooler.
I hope that works, but playing devil's advocate here. You mention that your transmission gets seawater first. Maybe there's fine sediment in the coolers that has setteled out, hardened, and causing the problem. I've seen this on some of the boats around here. Maybe I'm misunderstanding where your transmission cooler is in the raw water loop.
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:22 PM   #28
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I hope that works, but playing devil's advocate here. You mention that your transmission gets seawater first. Maybe there's fine sediment in the coolers that has settled out, hardened, and causing the problem. I've seen this on some of the boats around here. Maybe I'm misunderstanding where your transmission cooler is in the raw water loop.

Good point. The transmission cooler is inside the transmission and after the sea strainer but before the raw water pump. There are two coolant pipes on either side of the transmission, which attach to hose. I replaced one due to a leaky seal but the other is original. Perhaps the blockage is in the other pipe or in between. I will pull off the original coolant pipe after the flush and inspect.
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Old 10-09-2019, 04:40 PM   #29
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Good luck on it and we hope to hear of your great success.
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Old 10-13-2019, 09:03 AM   #30
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Results are "partially" in... Thanks again for all the advice. For those that followed this post, I had suspected my transmission cooler was clogged. The heat exchanger was clear and I checked for blockages at the the through hulls, hoses, and fittings--all good. I installed a new impeller and looked for collapsed hoses (all are new) and kinks. I also opened up the mixer elbow and, despite a little carbon, it was not blocked. I did chisel away some carbon via the inspection ports. Everything was fine.

I ran two gallons of barnacle buster through the intake and let it "soak" for 12 hours. Unfortunately, it was late when I started the engine up and was unable to take her out; however, I was somewhat pleased with what I saw leaving the exhaust. It was dark, but with a light I could see some chunks of carbon and a large white cloud... dissolved calcium and salt? I put the boat in gear while tied and could definitely "feel" and see a difference with the force and volume of the water leaving the exhaust. She emptied a 2-1/2 gallon bucket of water in a minute at idle (800 RPM). After 10+ minutes of running the engine both in idle and gear, the exhaust water and impeller cover were cool.

I will take her out next weekend and report. We'll see how she handles WOT!
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Old 10-14-2019, 07:36 PM   #31
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Sounds like good progress. Hopefully that was it.
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Old 10-14-2019, 08:17 PM   #32
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I have had good success with BB, hope it works for you.
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