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Old 04-07-2010, 15:00   #16
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"The Monkey Wrench Gang," - a classsic!

Malice - call the lawyer
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Old 04-07-2010, 15:18   #17
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What's a lawyer going to do?
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Old 04-07-2010, 15:23   #18
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Probably take your money and have a nice vacation in Bora Bora. However, you might just luck out and get the rare honest one who would pursue a case against the former owner. I'm surprised this didn't turn up on the survey btw.

Thomas
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Old 04-07-2010, 15:36   #19
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Not sure there would be anything illegal about putting sugar in the oil of your own boat which presumably it was when she (presumably) did it,husband probably knew nothing about it.Bummer of a deal though.
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Old 04-07-2010, 16:08   #20
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You are in a nightmarish situation and should seek legal counsel. Sugar in a gasoline tank is basically harmless as Gordo pointed out. Sugar of any kind in your oil is catastrophic and will destroy the engine in less than 30 minutes of running time. There was a book published in the 70's called, "The Monkey Wrench Gang," which is the story of some eco terrorists. Great book by the way. One of the things they do is pour Kayro syrup in the oil of construction equipment. It destroys the engines as indicated. In real life, it works the same way, but any sugar will do. As the oil heats up the sugar first melts, then burns which forms carbon which in turn destroys your engine. This is a hugely serious situation you are in. Even small amounts of sugar will cause the engine to fail and will require a complete re-build. The engine should be completely flushed extensively. I would hand crank it with the injectors removed to be sure the flushing solution permeates the entire lubrication system, then I'd drain and do it again, and yet again. Once you have clean oil and new filters installed, I'd run the engine for just a few minutes and change the oil and filters yet again. You can't be too careful here. I've very serious, if you are not very, very careful your engine will be destroyed.

How do I know this? In the mid 70's when the book came out a group of native American thugs poured Kayro syrup in all the motors of all the air planes sitting at the airport in Tuba City Arizona. I was the first unlucky chap to fly. My engine seized after about 15 minutes of operation necessitating a dead stick landing. Insurance covered the cost of the re-build, but the penny wise, pound foolish insurance company did not want to pay to have the plane move to a proper facility and did not want to pay for a completely new engine. They sent up a mechanic with a short block in the back of his pick up truck, who proceeded to swap out the short block utilizing all the other components off the ruined engine, including the prop governor. He rinsed everything with solvent before re-assembling. No facilities at Tuba City at the time, so he just laid out a tarp and went to work. When he finished, we ground ran the engine for a few minutes and went for a very short flight. He went home, I got up the next day to fly to Phoenix. En-route, the prop governor failed, the engine seized on final. Cause? Contamination from sugar in the oil from the first engine made it into the new engine! In the end, I got a new engine out of the deal and didn't die. None-the-less the situation could have had a tragic ending, but I was lucky that day.

Treat this situation in a very serious manner, or buy a new engine. For sure talk to an attorney because no matter what you do, it's going to cost you some serious money. Also, don't forget to check the gear to be sure it was not tampered with as well.

Best of luck to you, you'll need it.

Regards,

Thomas
I'm sorry, but this is disinformation. The melting point of sugar is 185C, far above any oil temperature one would ever see in a yacht. It will not melt in your oil pan, and it will not dissolve in motor oil, as far as I know.

I can't say whether Karo syrup really destroys diesel engines; maybe it does. But Karo syrup is not sugar. It is corn syrup, mainly glucose, a different compound from sucrose. It is already a liquid, so will readily mix with oil. The effect of Karo syrup is probably not any indication at all of what solid sugar would do.

I wouldn't panic, if I were you. I would run through Astrid's recommendations and definitely drop the oil pan if you can, and change the oil multiple times.
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Old 04-07-2010, 16:19   #21
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I'm sorry, but this is disinformation. The melting point of sugar is 185C, far above any oil temperature one would ever see in a yacht....
This is also misinformation. Depends on the sugar. White sugar definitely higher. Less refined sugar - brown sugar lower...and then which kind?

Is it Jamaican? Barbados? Demerara? Turbinado?
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Old 04-07-2010, 16:56   #22
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there are companies that can pump the tank empty,, clean the diesel and pump it right back into the tank. In fort lauderdale several friends have done that with sailboats that had diesel sitting in the tanks for several years
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Old 04-07-2010, 17:34   #23
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Sorry Dockhead, but I'm right on this one. Do some leg work on the Internet.

Thomas
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Old 04-07-2010, 17:39   #24
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The following is a cut and paste from Wikipedia:

"In petrol (gasoline) engines, the top piston ring can expose the motor oil to temperatures of 320 F (160 C). In diesel engines the top ring can expose the oil to temperatures over 600 F (315 C). Motor oils with higher viscosity indices thin less at these higher temperatures."

It's ok Dockside, no apology necessary.

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Thomas
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Old 04-07-2010, 21:36   #25
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I've done about 40 hours since getting the boat. Oil pressure and temperature are all in line with the spec's so perhaps the dose was not high enough or the filter or strainer took most of the sugar out.
Anyway better to be safe than sorry.
Is there anything I can add to the new oil to help it flush/clean things out?
eg Cost Effective Maintenance - Flushing Oil Concentrate
Cheers
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Old 05-07-2010, 00:35   #26
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Well, the universal solvent, also called water would dissolve the sugar and allow it to be removed easiest, but flushing the engine with water would introduce a whole different set of problems. If you've run it 40 hours I'd change the oil and filter again and keep a close eye on it after that. You might want to have the oil analyized, that's not a bad thing to do in any case and it will give you some indication if any abnormal wear is going on. It's not expensive and in this case well worth the cost I would think.

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Thomas
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Old 05-07-2010, 00:59   #27
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Hello Thomas,
I spoke to an ex-ship engineer and his recommendation was to pour fresh water into the motor a few times to dissolve the sugar, even leave it overnight (not run it of course). Putting water intentionally in goes completely against the grain but his opinion was to dissolve the sugar out of the crank case it was the only option. After that he said to run cheap thin motor engine through and then do a final oil change.
What would the issues be with fresh water? I guess its going to settle where the sugar is. I let the old oil settle overnight and I found a couple of teaspoons of sugar in the base of the container.
Thanks
Robert

The only context I've every heard of putting fresh water into a motor is if you drop a outboard in saltwater then the best thing to do is to put it in fresh water straight away.
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Old 05-07-2010, 01:15   #28
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This is also misinformation. Depends on the sugar. White sugar definitely higher. Less refined sugar - brown sugar lower...and then which kind?

Is it Jamaican? Barbados? Demerara? Turbinado?
Cane sugar is sucrose plus some impurities, whatever its origin or brand name, brown or white. Sucrose melts at precisely 186 degrees C -- Chemical and Physical Properties of Sucrose

I am not aware that the impurities in different kinds of cane sugar affect the melting point. If you have some different information, I would be glad to be corrected.
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Old 05-07-2010, 01:33   #29
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The following is a cut and paste from Wikipedia:

"In petrol (gasoline) engines, the top piston ring can expose the motor oil to temperatures of 320 F (160 C). In diesel engines the top ring can expose the oil to temperatures over 600 F (315 C). Motor oils with higher viscosity indices thin less at these higher temperatures."

It's ok Dockside, no apology necessary.

Regards,

Thomas
Well, if the disgruntled wife disassembled the engine and put sugar on the top piston rings, then I am wrong and I apologize.

However, I do not believe that the OP said that. I believe that he said that the sugar was poured into the oil filler, where it would likely have gotten down into the sump. In the sump, the oil temperature of a marine engine will not exceed 90 degrees C in normal use, and will not likely exceed 120 degrees without the engine melting down and seizing from overheating. 120 degrees C is the "never exceed" design limit for oil temperature for most diesel engines.

That means that the sugar which gets into the sump will not get anywhere near the 186 degrees C it needs to melt, and will remain in solid form in the sump. To get from the sump to the oil pump and thus to the pressure oil system, the oil has to pass through a strainer and then an oil filter. Even refined sugar has a grain size of 0.75mm, so about 750 microns. What the strainer doesn't catch will be 100% filtered by the oil filter, so the solid sugar grains will never reach the piston top rings, or any other part hot enough to melt them, any more than sand in the oil pan would.

I will be glad to be corrected if I have made some mistake here, but I would respectfully submit that it appears that you are wrong, sir, but it's been fun thinking about it, so thanks for the debate.
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Old 05-07-2010, 01:51   #30
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All I know is that the sugar has not all dissolved in the engine.So either its not getting hot enough or because its heavier than the oil its not getting pumped to the hotter parts of the engine. Although perhaps a lot of sugar went in and all I'm seeing is what got stuck in the rocker cover and the oil filter.
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