oil pan replacement concerns

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fbroderick

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Sep 18, 2022
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I'm currently looking at ranger tug 29 2014 and have a concern with the oil pan being replaced. Current owners back story that the cutlas bearing water hose was stepped on causing a leak in bilge engine compartment. In addition to this the engine bilge pump failed causing high water situation and oil pan to rust out. my concern has water entered oil pan and been circulated through engine. The oil pan has been replace and all fluids replace with no hours put on the engine. I plan on having standard oil test taken not sure of the value with no hours on the engine. In addition have spoken to testing labs explaining the situation and they have both recommended Karel fisher test which is a moisture content test. Fire away please
 
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If high water got into an oil pan you would have tell tale signs of corrosion all over the engine, not just a rusty oil pan. A compromised oil pan would be leaking oil in the bilge. If the oil pan is compromised you would have milky oil. An oil analysis would tell you if there was elevated levels of salt in the engine.
 
I would be highly skeptical about anything they say about this incident.
Rusted oil pans do occur....but its not a 'one and done' occurrence with high bilge water.

Its usually a long term thing....where oil pan is in almost constant contact with bilge water.....accelerated if stray electrical currents have set up electrolysis damage.

I think its a real possibility that engine has been submerged....that they pulled it for cleaning....and replaced oil pan due to a typical cosmetic rusty condition.

'Zero hours' is not inspiring to me....and I predict any oil analysis will come back clean.

Take a good look around bilge spaces for evidence high water...bulkhead stains, rust stains or 'bleeding stains' from any equipment......generator, air conditioning units, water heater, pumps, tanks and the shelves they're sitting on, etc. ....And inside cabin for staining climbing up doors and cabinets, releasing wallpaper, etc
 
Greetings,
Mr. fb. So. The boat was in the water. A leak developed. Bilge pump failed causing high water....Hmmmm. How high? How long did the water stay in the bilge? Was the boat unattended? Was the cutlass bearing water hose degraded to the extent that it broke under pressure (one time)?



IMO a one time immersion of the oil pan will NOT cause it to rust out unless the water sat in the bilge for months.


Make your offer taking into account a motor replacement. The seller's story sounds very fishy to me, at least.
 
yes some details are unclear leading to failure. Not seeing much rust on engine. going for a viewing in a few weeks then survey next day if I continue with purchase. thanks for your input
 
my understanding hole in the hose spraying to bilge area. They also replaced cutless bearing from lack of cooling.
 
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engine area

A few pictures of engine area
 

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Greetings,
Mr. fb. Hmmmmm...Looks quite clean. I really don't know what to tell you but I say again, an oil pan wouldn't rust out from a brief encounter with salty bilge water.
 
Yes could have been sitting in water awhile. My main concern is water getting into oil and circulating through engine breaking down lubrication causing damage
 
If there is seawater in the oil, it will show after even an hour or two of running. Pull the sample after the sea trial. Make sure you run the engine WOT for at least 5-mins, and do a fairly lengthy sea trial that returns to the dock vs haul-out for survey. Why? Because you need time to get an evaluation of the engine/oil - no sense running-up the cost meter.

It's easier to get oil out of an engine pan than water into it. If you are not seeing oil leaks from a perforated pan, it's hard to imagine how water would ingress without full submersion. The pictures do not suggest a full immersion, but maybe there are other indicators.

The engine space looks clean, though no pictures of the engine. I don't see red flags, but the pictures do not include the oil pan so maybe I'd change my mind. It takes a while to rust-out an oil pan so I am curious what you're seeing.

Good luck with whatever you decide -

Peter
 
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What engine is that? Name looks to end in a Honda style "A" but that seems unlikely.
If the engine sat in salt water long enough to rust out the oil-pan, how often do you think the owner or someone else looked in the engine compartment to check the oil, and all the other things we all check, at least visually. There are red flags and flashing lights, all may be well, but take care.
 
It is a Volvo Penta that looks like it has been submerged up to about the top of the exhaust shower head.

I would only proceed with extreme caution.
 
I would also be concerned about all the wiring in the bilge if it was submerged in salt water.
 
Id be concerned about the starter if it saw water. It will only be a matter of time before it goes.
Water can also get into the damper plate area if the level was high enough.
 
Also, ask the seller when the timing belt was changed. The service interval is 1400 hours. (check that number). If it breaks, you’re looking at a major engine issue. That Volvo Penta is a zero clearance engine. If it breaks, pistons and valves will hit.
 
Add transmission to the list of concerns....water will enter the vent at top/midsection.

If high bilge water caused boat to settle enough, water would backup thru exhaust, over riser, and end up pooling against exhaust valves....entering the cylinder of whichever one happened to be open.

Perhaps visit the Ranger/Cutwater group, and see if they have a searchable archive. Try 'oil pan' , 'oil pan rust' , 'high bilge water' etc.
Who knows, this very boat may have been discussed?
 
I'm currently looking at ranger tug 29 2014 and have a concern with the oil pan being replaced. Current owners back story that the cutlas bearing water hose was stepped on causing a leak in bilge engine compartment. In addition to this the engine bilge pump failed causing high water situation and oil pan to rust out. my concern has water entered oil pan and been circulated through engine. The oil pan has been replace and all fluids replace with no hours put on the engine. I plan on having standard oil test taken not sure of the value with no hours on the engine. In addition have spoken to testing labs explaining the situation and they have both recommended Karel fisher test which is a moisture content test. Fire away please
Would you have noticed the new oil pan if not told? What is the story why you were told? So far full disclosure was made.
It is the zero engine hours since the event that is a concern, why was it not run to test and possibly remove any residual moisture.
 
I would also be concerned about all the wiring in the bilge if it was submerged in salt water.

When my boat was new to me in 1994, I had a "no start" issue that was solved by pulling the wiring harness apart at a connection that was attached to the stringer on which the engine was mounted. My mechanic went to that first, as a high water event would cause that connection to corrode to the point of failure. Apparently this is quite common.
That high water event would also have submerged all or most of the oil pan. On my Volvos, there was no rust whatsoever on the pans, despite the corroded electrical connector. Nor was there any on the transmissions. The couplers (to the shafts) however, look like they will never come apart, due to severe rusting. (I have had them apart successfully, despite their appearance, to change cutless bearings).

I think you are in for more investigation before this event is over.
 
Yes could have been sitting in water awhile. My main concern is water getting into oil and circulating through engine breaking down lubrication causing damage


Seems like if the oil pan corroded enough to let water in that oil would likely find a way out. If the engine was started without checking the oil level, there could be more bad news.


I have bought numerous used boats and each and every time the owner provided incorrect, incomplete or misleading engine history information, often on basic items, and only once did I get decent engine maintenance records. Maybe is wasn't intentional, but makes me more careful each time.
 
It's Karl Fischer test, How to Measure Water In Oil

Funny, one poster says, "looks clean" and the other says, "looks like it's been submerged"...:)

None of this should be guesswork. If water has been inside the engine you may see evidence of it under the valve cover (look through the fill cap initially). Conduct an oil analysis test and have the engine surveyed by a squared away, diligent, buyer's engine surveyor, not just any mechanic, you need an advocate who will dig for clues in the engine and engine room. The seller may be telling the truth, oil pans do rust out and it's not always catastrophic.

Oil analysis: https://stevedmarineconsulting.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/FluidAnalysis143_Final.pdf

Oil analysis:

Engine survey: The Art of the Engine Survey | Steve D'Antonio Marine Consulting
 
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