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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well,
Here is the issue and I will try to keep it as short as possible. Running a 5.7L Mercruiser I/O (I believe 350) correct me if I am wrong.
We have delayed in putting it in bc of low water and the marina was scheduled to be dredged. So it has remained winterized since late last October up until weds afternoon. At that time (last fall) it ran like a top.
So Weds. We pull it out, start it up and it runs with zero issue. After a few loops around in front of our place we check the oil......Shows the oil as thick and milky grey in color. Also notice same color oil in bilge. We say oh crap not good at all...Call our mechanic who winterized it last year and he sends a mechanic down. At this point, the bilge is a cleaned and oil all removed. He changes the oil and filter, runs the motor for about a half hour to 45 minutes. Still a small amount of grey but he believes it is remaining from the last oil. Tells us to run it for a half hour and recheck oil. Not being super comfortable doing this we run for about ten to fifteen minutes and recheck all. We ran it WOT to idle and all RPM ranges. Oil pressure fine, water temp fine, no new oil in bilge. BUT milky grey on the dipstick again. Not really comfortable we pull it to the ramp, throw it on the trailer and take it to the mechanics shop for him to go over again. He says he went over the whole motor and found no issues. So we are now at the point of a motor with milky grey oil and the mechanic saying he finds nothing wrong with the motor.
My fear is a cracked block from improper winterization. I am hoping for a bad gasket or something a lot less involved but still feel like something is up due to the milky grey on the dipstick.
What test or steps can be done to rule out issues and what can I ask the mechanic to see if he completed to ensure there is not an issue??? Is there anything that can be done by us to attempt to figure out what the issue may be???
At this point we are perplexed on what is going on but to me milky white indicates water intrusion.
I don't want to pull it out of the shop until an issue is located. They say they "went over the motor" and it checks ok. NOW WHAT??? Any input is appreciated from you guys who know way more about this than me. TIA ER
 

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Is the fliud level raising? In my opinion water in the oil is never good. I had to put a motor in a boat for my boss that was winterized. The only good thing was we had to go on a test drive.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Oil level not raising. Just turns milky. Figured it was mixing with water. I am not sure if this is occurring but have been told over the years milky oil color indicates water. Hoping for some troubleshooting/theories on the issue.
 

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If fluid level isn't rising, it's a good sign in my opinion. That would mean no extra fluid going in, like water. It still needs to be gotten out of the engine. If there is still coolant in it it will destroy the bearings.

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Did you change the oil before the first run of the year?
If not you may have had water condensation in the motor and then the first run tuned it milky, hapens on cars also if they sit for long periods.
Change oil and filter again, if it has a pcv filter/valve/breather in valve covers check all for blockages then run it again if it was condensation from blockages/sitting should clear it up.
If it still gets good and milky then you have them do a coolant pressure test that should tell you if it has a leak(any good shop should do this if a coolant leak internally is suspected) some skip it as you have to pull stuff and plug it to to pressure test it and sometimes people may not want to pay for the labor to test if it turns out to be ok.

I hope it just condensation and your good to go.

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Before you get all twisted up I would agree with Zeppelin, condensation. A good run of 20 - 30 minutes at cruising should clear it out. Change the oil again if still foamy.

I've had some experience with water intrusion, so check back if you still have problems.
 

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its pure and simple the motor wasn't winterized properly and it froze and cracked the block or a head or at the very least a head gasket. that marina just don't want to take responsibility for a shoddy job winterizing your motor.

if they don't want to fix the problem you may have to take it to another marina and get it fixed then sue the marina that did the winterization on your motor.( the first thing I would do is talk to a lawyer and find out just what you can legally do)

it doesn't take a lot of water getting into your engine to turn the oil milky. but for no longer than you ran the engine it wasn't enough to raise the fluid level enough to notice. but its enough to know water in getting in your oil and oil and water in your engine will ruin it before long.

you have a major problem. you just cant run an engine with water in the oil. you can try to get them to fix it but odds are there not going to want to take the blame for the problem so they say they can find nothing wrong. but somebody is going to have to fix your boat before you can use it.

1st thing go talk to a lawyer he may charge you 75.00 for advice but it will be good advice. I sure hope you can get this resolved in your favor. but odds are you will have to take the boat to another marina and they will pull the engine and tear it down and find your problem.

im guessing you have a cracked block. if it leaked oil into the boat it had to come from somewhere. I would say its cracked into the water jacket and to the outside of the motor letting water into your oil and letting oil spill out into your boat.

I've just rambled on way to long. but I just feel your pain. I had all kinds of problems with my boat last year. as soon as I got something fixed something else would brake. it all started with the water line from the outdrive to the transom. and I ended up with about 3500.00 invested.

all I can really do is wish you the best. and if you need another motor you can contact me I might be able to help you out.
sherman
 

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I don't think I would jump to sue em right off the bat good mechanics will do there best if your not raving at them about a law suit that just makes them not want to touch anything about it again.

Not every place is a scam s%#t happens to the best of them also.

Some oil in the bilge could have come out of breathers in the valve covers or in the air cleaner ect.. the oil foamed up expanded and came out into bilge.

I'd definitely have the motor checked out more if pressure test fails pull it find trouble then if it was not done right then give them a chance to fix it or get sued.

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To date, I have never seen a motor that had been run for an hour, had the oil changed, ran an additional 10 minutes and still had condensation...... I spend 25 hours a week working on these motors, ya have water intrusion.
There are many ways the water can be getting in. I had one that was a sand casting pinhole that showed up on a 10 year old block. It took that long for the corrosion to get to a failure point.
Work with your mechanic before you sue, most of us like our customers. (but keep judicious records)
 

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Also, an improperly winterized motor will not be a head gasket, that gives under pressure !!! I agree with the condensation theories ..... run it & see if it clears up. Hope for the best for you !!
 

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Well if it foamed enough to blow up and out into bilge you know that stuff gets everywhere if you don't flush all that slime out and just throw a filter and new oil in it may take one or two oil changes to get it out. Only takes two teaspoons of water to cause grey foamed oil and running it like that will wipe bearings in a flash. But I have seen engines run weeks with water and oil pressure was great and when bearings were checked they had normal wear and could have been put back in.

Now if it were mine I would pull the oil drain plug and valve covers along with intake flush it out with acetone reassemble, new filter and oil use a drill to pre oil engine and run it to see whats up. Now a customers boat I would not have simply changed filter and oil then said it's good to go, not gonna happen it gets brought in oil drained pressure tested if it leaks pull it and rip it down.

No pressure drop, compression test good ask to pull it and rip it down if customer says no bare minimum clean as above and make it clear it has no warranty.

If I do pull it for disassembly and it was my fault that it happened you bet I fix it for free if I want to continue in business, if you don't do work right and don't stand behind your work you won't be around long. Bad service info spreads faster than a wild fire, good service word of mouth takes longer but is golden.

I personally think it wasn't handled properly by the tech that came out, but it's not my boat or my tech.

So I hope any info by anyone here that helps the guy get it fixed right and quickly is great.

Edit: fixed mistakes, thanks for catching it KaGee

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I have been running mercruisers for the last 20+ yrs and have never had enough condensation to turn my oil milky. but I guess it could happen. but the longer you run the engine with water in the oil the bigger chance your taking of doing more damage. I would talk to the owner of the marina about the problem and see what they want to do to resolve the problem. but I do believe your getting water from somewhere. please keep us posted as to how this turns out.
sherman
 

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"pull the oil pan"
Ummm... No. Zep, have you ever owned and worked on an inboard? You are not pulling any oil pans without removing the engine first.

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Yes KaGee I have, re read my post and man was I tired when I wrote that should be remaining in boat pull oil drain plug and the intake valve covers and flush ect.
If pulling engine out then pulling oil pan ect. man got to watch those late night posts the old brain gets cross wired.
Thanks for bringing that to my attention hate to give out wrong info.
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for the input guys. Will be calling the marina to inquire about what was exactly done. I just had a message that the boat was done and ready for pick up. Said that they went over the entire motor and find nothing wrong. Not sure what they mean when they say went over the entire motor but I will get clarification on that when I speak to them today about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well here I am after speaking to the marina.

I inquired about a pressure testing the block and was told that no testing can be done because ---do not quote me on this--- it is an open system. I asked what was done and was told they changed the oil and put it on the hose. He has instructed me to run it hard for a half hour and see if it milks up again. Said the water needs time to steam off from the oil. I advised him I was not really comfortable with just running the motor due to the fact that the oil is turning milky. And given the fact that an explination can not be given where the water is coming from. They too believe it was water from condesation or water entering the motor somehow and needs to be burnt off. When I asked what happens if I blow this motor up after being told to run it hard for a half hour?? They really did not have an answer and said they can run it if we prefer. To me it is on them at this point if they say it is good and run it under their watch. Was not overly impressed with the response from them but want to ensure things are square with the motor before we take the boat back. I will keep you updated on what is happening and appreciate all the input and guidance. I am by far a pro but feel like alot of elimination needs to be done before I take my 16 month old out on the boat with confidence of knowing that she will be safe. Thanks again.
 

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I guess all we can do is cross our fingers and wait. if its condensation then it should burn off. if its water getting in the oil it should get worse. i'll cross my fingers for you.
sherman
 

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You won't blow the motor up. Go run it and see... We have had a streak of high humidity... condensation is certainly a valid reason on a stored motor.

IF you have water intrusion, your oil level will rise in addition to turning milky.

Go run it and report back.

BTW, you can still pressure check a block on an open system... I did it myself.
 
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