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Old 09-17-2021, 08:19 AM   #1
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Oil sheen- do I chase this or forget about it?

Yanmar 6-LPA STP 2006 with 250 hours. Runs perfectly and to expected specs. Not smoking much beyond normal brief cold startup white.

I have noted a mild but noticeable exhaust oil sheen. It is not coolant. Oil and transmission fluid levels stay unchanged so far. Probably fuel- ran some exhaust discharge through strainer with absorbent pads and collected petroleum residue.


Notice it dockside at idle- seems same cold or warm. Can’t say at cruise.

Did disconnect air cooler warmer coils that are installed as an option to decrease white smoke warmup in off season on recommendation of many.

I installed new water pump, fuel cooler and tranny cooler this season as routine updates. No change in sheen.

Some posts I have read online say “live with it” as this is par for the course for this mechanical diesel- others say they solved the problem with injector adjustments or replacements, oil coolet replacements, and more.

Would you chase this further or not?
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Old 09-17-2021, 09:06 AM   #2
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Unfair question. Most of us will not want to pollute. It does not seem possible to eliminate all from exhaust. Without seeing what concerns you how can I make a yes/no answer.

You are there. If you think you can reduce it then you must reduce it.
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Old 09-17-2021, 09:07 AM   #3
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Exercise the boat, hard. Avoid dock idling. On a 15 year old boat 17 hours per year is not healthy. Do you have a water lift muffler that per chance is collecting diesel from numerous cold starts?
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Old 09-17-2021, 09:54 AM   #4
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Soo-Valley: yes I agree and thus why I posted. Looking for advice if in fact the chase is at all worthwhile. Others have presumably been here before. Not a terrible sheen- but noticeable to me…. Maybe an inch wide at start- hard to quantify in words.

I will check the muffler.

Sunchaser: To clarify a bit- Boat is 1998. Motor is 2006 and delivered to me in October 2020 with 150 hrs-…. It is what it is. Since,I have put 100 on her this season and “run it good.”
Thanks.
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Old 09-17-2021, 10:19 AM   #5
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If the sheen is unburned fuel, replacing the water pump, fuel cooler and tranny cooler would have nothing to do with this.

The only thing left is to have the injectors checked and adjusted or rebuilt as necessary.

Personally, I would ignore it and go boating. Mine seems to discharge a bit of unburned fuel as well but it has over 5K hours on it.
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Old 09-17-2021, 10:37 AM   #6
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rwidman- I guess I do not know if it is fuel or oil… I am sure only that it is not coolant. I replaced the water pump, fuel cooler, and tranny cooler more as routine maintenance but alas it did not help.
( PS Would not a leaking fuel cooler or tranny cooler allow for a petroleum seepage in the seawater effluent?)

Thanks for your thoughts.
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Old 09-17-2021, 10:44 AM   #7
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I have 3208T/As. When starting in warm weather not much smoke or sheen. In cooler weather I kill every mosquito within a mile circle. Don't worry about it. As stated run it.
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Old 09-17-2021, 11:28 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Bonedoc View Post
rwidman- I guess I do not know if it is fuel or oil… I am sure only that it is not coolant. I replaced the water pump, fuel cooler, and tranny cooler more as routine maintenance but alas it did not help.
( PS Would not a leaking fuel cooler or tranny cooler allow for a petroleum seepage in the seawater effluent?)

Thanks for your thoughts.
If it is oil, the oil level will go down as you run the engine. If you are adding oil between oil changes, it might be oil. If not, it pretty much has to be fuel.
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Old 09-17-2021, 11:30 AM   #9
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That makes sense…. No noticeable oil or transmission fluid level changes noted.
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Old 09-17-2021, 12:14 PM   #10
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Whether you chase it depends on how much it bothers you and others. I doubt if it is hurting the engine.

But for those few hours I would strongly suspect injector fouling. Run it hard at 90% of wot rpms for a few hours and see if it doesn't improve. Watch the coolant temp and oil pressure carefully while you do this.

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Old 09-17-2021, 12:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaskan Sea-Duction View Post
I have 3208T/As. When starting in warm weather not much smoke or sheen. In cooler weather I kill every mosquito within a mile circle. Don't worry about it. As stated run it.
lol, ME TOO!!! Installed block heaters this year. Now that the weather is turning, I will get a chance to test them...
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Old 09-17-2021, 02:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonedoc View Post
rwidman- I guess I do not know if it is fuel or oil… I am sure only that it is not coolant. I replaced the water pump, fuel cooler, and tranny cooler more as routine maintenance but alas it did not help.
( PS Would not a leaking fuel cooler or tranny cooler allow for a petroleum seepage in the seawater effluent?)

Thanks for your thoughts.
I would think a leaking fuel cooler on this engine (I have same) would result in water in the fuel tank and not fuel into the higher pressure cooling water -at any speed/RPM. Also, remember at speed you are flushing almost 35 gallons a minute through there. The tiny bit (one inch) of sheen you mentioned probably would not bother you if you drank it. Ask me how I know, and I will tell you about being forced to drink/bathe in Navy Special Fuel Oil (black oil)-contaminated water while on "water hours" in the Tonkin Gulf.

Your mention of running the exhaust through a cloth makes me wonder if an oil sampling company like Blackstone where I have mine tested annually could take the cloth and tell you whether the petroleum in it is lube oil or fuel. Might be worth a call to them.
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Old 09-17-2021, 02:55 PM   #13
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Thanks for your service. I was considering getting it tested somehow- I may make some calls as this would narrow down the possibilities for sure.
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Old 09-17-2021, 02:57 PM   #14
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Thanks for the suggestions.
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Old 09-21-2021, 09:00 AM   #15
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All mechanical injected diesels put some unburnt fuel in the exhaust at cold start and low load. And that slime can accumulate in muffler and exhaust tubing.

Worse on trawlers as they tend to just putt-putt along.

Agree with some hard running can tend to clean things out a bit. No need for full power, but maybe 70% power.
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Old 09-21-2021, 09:38 AM   #16
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Fuget about it.
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Old 09-21-2021, 10:37 AM   #17
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If after a few hard runs problem still exists it might be good to get valves and injectors adjusted. A mechanic that knows those engines may be able to help.
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Old 09-21-2021, 12:17 PM   #18
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lol, ME TOO!!! Installed block heaters this year. Now that the weather is turning, I will get a chance to test them...
Since I'm your next door neighbor I hope they work too.
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Old 09-22-2021, 04:52 PM   #19
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Ok all tx for your interest and advise.
After traveling out of country past two weeks I got on vessel yesterday and pushed it for 90 minutes at 3600 RPM/20knts-(3800 WOT).
Sheen seems less…will report back in in near future.
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Old 09-22-2021, 05:38 PM   #20
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lol, ME TOO!!! Installed block heaters this year. Now that the weather is turning, I will get a chance to test them...
I think it should. Let us know.
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