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Old 10-22-2013, 07:48 PM   #1
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Default A gallon of water in the engine oil

Last time I used my boat -year 2000 2300SC 5.7 Liter - it ran flawlessly, this was several weeks ago. I went to winterize it last weekend and it wouldn't even turn over - I actually got it to turn about a quarter turn. The batteries checked out ok so as I checked things, I found the oil was way overfull.
I had changed the oil this season and checked when I was done and have checked often. I decided to pump out the oil and what came out first was a full gallon of water. There was no water in the old oil when I had changed it previously so I am thinking something like a head or intake gasket went suddenly.
I am in Minnesota and it is getting cold fast so I need to figure out my next step very quickly. I do not have a indoor place to work on the engine so I am considering waiting until spring.

What I THINK I need to do next is:
1) pull the spark plugs and try to turn over (pumping any water from the cylinders),
2) fill the oil up (it is empty right now)
3) pull off the coil wire and turn the engine over to circulate the oil (I don't want to have the water hooked up to avoid any more water from entering, and also do not want the motor to start with any water potentially anywhere inside or burn up the impeller)

I dont think I want the engine to start without any water hooked up as it would burn up the impeller. Maybe I should pull out the impeller and run the engine for a couple of minutes.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:17 PM   #2
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When is the last time you changed the manifolds? That is most likely culprit. I recommend checking the manifolds before starting or turning the engine. Removing the plugs and checking for water in the cylinder heads would be good because it would give you starting point for manifold check; if one side of cylinders is dry, and other wet, then you know which manifold needs to be replaced.
You may have actually gotten lucky if you didn't notice any problems last time you operated the boat (crack/leak occurred when boat sat idle). Get the water out, replace the manifolds, and you may be good to go.
Could be head gasket, but doubtful given your description of symptoms.
Others with experience in this will chime in.
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:17 PM   #3
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spydermann22 inaddition to what you have stated remove each sparkplug and spray fogging oil into each cylinder. Drain water from engine, pull t-stat housing and fill block with antifreeze. Pull hose and fill manifolds with anti-freeze.

This will protect the engine from cracking and the piston rings from seizing.

I have heard of a few folks having the intake gasket leak this year with the same results. A compression test will tell you if its the head gaskets. and as jrsick said manifold are also an option however since you had a rapid change in a short time I would go with the intake or head gasket.
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Old 10-23-2013, 10:09 PM   #4
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Thanks guys for your help in this matter.
jrsick, I have not ever changed the manifolds. I puchased the boat this summer.
What or how much of the manifolds would need to be replaced? Upper, elbow, riser etc..
mmwjr & jrsick is there any way to test for Intake Gasket failure or Exhaust Manifold failure without removing them?
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Old 10-23-2013, 11:24 PM   #5
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spydermann22 since it is an open system there is no way to perform a pressure test on the cooling.

Since you have a large amount of water in the oil pan in a short time I doubt the manifolds are the issue as they would allow water into the cylinder which would then have to leak past the piston rings. Ussually only small amount of water will leak past the rings.

Was there any water in any of the cylinders? If so it's probably a head gasket, if not I would go with the intake gasket. Once removed it should be clear that the intake was leaking at the water to head passages if that is the case.
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:11 AM   #6
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The good news is you found it before it froze.

So, Change the oil, pull the plugs and check each one for water droplet before you dry them off and put it back in.

Keep noted to which side of the engine the wet plugs are.

disconnect the serpen belt and let it hang lose, then run the engine for a min or two, this will not hurt it.

this will move the new oil, and the heat will dry out the humidity, you don't want water in the rings over the winter.

you can do this several times, after the engine cools.

Run the engine until the manifold get hot to the touch.

I bet you find one side of the the engine plugs are wet from a leaking manifold.


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Old 10-24-2013, 02:30 PM   #7
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I would caution you to NOT run the engine for a minute or two without water in it.

The vast majority of the heat from combustion is transferred to the cylinder walls and cylinder head valve chamber. Some of the heat is absorbed by the piston (which expands as it heats up), and the rings transfer the heat they generate (from friction) to the cylinder walls.

If there is no water on the other side of the cylinder wall, and in the water passages of the cylinder head on top of the combustion chamber and around the valve seats, to absorb and dissipate the generated heat the cylinder, the cylinder head, the exhaust valve (and the intake valve to a lessor extent), the piston top, and the rings are going to get very hot. Very fast.

I agree that you need to do what you can to get the water/moisture out but I wouldn't run it without water for any more than 10 or 15 seconds at a time, with 30 to 60 minutes of cool down in between. Frankly, I doubt I'd run it without water at all, choosing instead to crank it with the starter with the plugs removed (need to allow the starter to cool down every now and then also), and squirting oil into the cylinders (try to squirt it to the back of the cyl).

Plan on changing the oil a couple of times during the cleaning process.

All my opinion, of course.
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Old 10-24-2013, 03:25 PM   #8
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well, you could always run the engine with the garden hose on, and with the manifold water line disconnected, so the water pump and block are cooled and not the manifolds.

if you do this, and your oil stays clear of water, then you know its not your heads, or internal gaskets, but in fact the manifolds.

Youtube is full of videos of engine with no oil running for 10 min before they start smoking.... its a sight to see.
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Old 10-24-2013, 04:59 PM   #9
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I agree with ss about not running without water. Late model engines (60 - 70's and newer) have thinner castings and are more prone to damage. Less metal less thermal mass to absorb heat.

While you can run an engine for 10 minutes without oil or coolant before it destructs you are doing damage all along taking life out of the engine.
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Old 10-24-2013, 05:07 PM   #10
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pas I just don't see how leaking manifolds would result in a large volume of water in the crankcase. Yes water would get into the cylinder and some may leak past the ring, if the compression is good a cylinder builds and holds up 150 psi so how could a large amount of water be able to leak past the rings?

A blown head gasket would allow flow between the coolant passages, cylinders, and oil return. Even this is local and not the entire side of an engine.

Intake gasket would allow water to leak into the valley under the intake which then drips into the oil pan. It may also allow water to get into the adjacent intake runner but this will only happen on the ends of the head where the water passages are.
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