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Old 06-05-2015, 10:21   #1
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Cracked Block - Who's fault?

Hey guys - I don't post here much - I just read the great advice you all have, and now I'm hoping you have some for me.

Every year the marina winterizes and summerizes my boat.

This spring, while summerizing, they found the block was cracked - pics below.

But they're pretty sure it's not their fault. They think it may have been there a while.

Their company took over 2 years ago from the previous company providing mechanical services at the marina - and they're blaming them.

But this new company, they did the 2014 summerize, 2014 winterize and now the 2015 summerize... If the block was cracked before - wouldn't they have noticed this during the 2014 summerize or winterize?

Is this something that can be easily missed? The frost plugs were apparently fine - and they double checked that they did the winterize right. Apparently.

Any thoughts or questions I could ask?

Boat is a 1995 Larson 280 - Engine is 7.4L Bravo 3.
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Old 06-05-2015, 10:45   #2
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Re: Cracked Block - Who's fault?

What's the contract with your marina say about such eventualities?

Did you discover the fault or did they?

It might be something you need to go to court over if the company does not make it right so keep a journal of all conversations and get as much in writing as you can.

Good luck to you.
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Old 06-05-2015, 10:47   #3
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Re: Cracked Block - Who's fault?

Free advice from any of us here on cruisersforum is worth every penny of it.
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Old 06-05-2015, 10:50   #4
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Re: Cracked Block - Who's fault?

How often do you look at your own engine?


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Old 06-05-2015, 10:55   #5
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Re: Cracked Block - Who's fault?

They discovered it.

I'm not sure there is a contract. I mean, there's one for moorage - but that's different than the mechanical / sales centre which is a different business.

Anywho - if it's their fault, they cover it - they've told me that. The issue is whether it is their fault.

I'm just not sure how I could have a cracked block for a year or two - and the mechanics don't notice it and my engine ran fine last season.

Smokey: I check it fairly often. I usually pop the hatch every week to check the gear lube and oil - and make sure the bilge doesn't have anything in it that shouldn't be there. But I don't get into it much further than that - I'd have no idea what I was doing.
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Old 06-05-2015, 12:18   #6
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Re: Cracked Block - Who's fault?

This looks like a classic GM block freeze crack, just below the head gasket on the outside of the block. Could happen if they drained one side of the block and forgot the other side.

From the minimal amount of rust stains I doubt the engine ran all last season and only leaked this little bit.......

Put it in the water and crank it up, and see how much it leaks when hot and under pressure.

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Old 06-05-2015, 13:58   #7
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Re: Cracked Block - Who's fault?

It doesnt matter who failed to do the right thing, your wallet will solve the problem. Its a new company, taking no responsibility and its your boat. If you want to stay there and sail this year without bad feeling, Id get the block fixed and chalk the board, "Just one of those things".

And........... for the little time it takes, Id seriously do the winterizing myself, or be there to observe and direct. Either way, generally speaking, "If you want a job done right, do it yourself".

Sad but true.

Im real sorry for your problem.

Addendum:

So I read your post above and you say they will fix it for you. Thats good news. However, Id be surprised if the problem was prior to the last winterization........... if they dont accept that they did it, then watch out for other things in the future.
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Old 06-05-2015, 14:14   #8
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Re: Cracked Block - Who's fault?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiprJohn View Post
It might be something you need to go to court over if the company does not make it right so keep a journal of all conversations and get as much in writing as you can
what he said. it sure looks like freeze damage to me. good luck.
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Old 06-05-2015, 14:26   #9
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Re: Cracked Block - Who's fault?

In my mind it is their fault. It is exactly what you hired them to prevent. But of course they sound to have already decided it isn't their fault.

What about your insurance? It may cover this and then your insurance company will chase the service provider.
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Old 06-05-2015, 14:32   #10
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Re: Cracked Block - Who's fault?

I don't know your boat but did a search. The ones I found have raw water cooling. It could be corrosion from salt water cooling. Verify it is a crack and it isn't eaten away behind the crack. The block isn't as thick on the sides as the top of the block. I've seen corrosion cracks like it before, right where the top meets the sides. 20 years on salt water cooling could do this. Have the zincs been kept up? Does the engine even have zincs?
My shore boat is an I/O, but with a heat exchanger because I run in salt water. It didn't have engine zincs so added them.
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Old 06-05-2015, 14:45   #11
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Re: Cracked Block - Who's fault?

DougR is on the spot about your crack.
Sure doesn't look as engine ran a season for amount of visual !
An engine only cracks with FROZEN water in it over winter.
If dry inside nothing and same with anti-freeze depending upon % solution.
I suspect they used very very diluted anti-freeze solution-OTHERWISE no
cracking !

They did it but they deny it.
Hard to prove if they don't step up.
On a couple of my excavation machines I've used that powderred aluminum crack filler via radiator/cooling system. Always worked twice redid it after several years and worked again.This may be your best and most economical solution !

Cast can be wielded but seldom holds.
I'd say look for other yard then challenge them to fix-if not change yards.
What name and Where is Yard ??
Get them KNOWN for what they are if they don't take responsibility here in CF !
If CF members get word out on bad practices of Yards incidence like this become fewer and far between!

Blocks only crack for 3 reasons,-engine comes apart,extreme over heating(rare), frozen WATER in block(common)
If they winterized correctly never a problem!

Lepke is wonderful optimist ! May well be correct though I think not in this situ.


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Old 06-05-2015, 15:03   #12
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Re: Cracked Block - Who's fault?

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
In my mind it is their fault. It is exactly what you hired them to prevent. But of course they sound to have already decided it isn't their fault.

What about your insurance? It may cover this and then your insurance company will chase the service provider.
What I've learned over the years is that it's really my responsibility to know everything there is to know about the boat and if I'm going to have other people work on it to expect to have to tell them exactly what I want done, how I want it done, and then to go down there every damn day and micromanage the projects to be sure they get done that way.

Time and again I've been very disappointed when trying to outsource jobs to others. Most recently I paid a diesel engine shop, who admitted to "not knowing much about saildrives" after they tore apart the propeller, to get on line and research what parts they needed.

Simply because I wanted someone with some experience and wisdom working on the boat I paid a company $100/hr to send down some random dude in his own truck with a pathetic little bag of tools who proceeded to pull out too small of a screw driver for the job. Nothing those guys did was technical or difficult and in retrospect they were the wrong people to call, and I should have expected to do all the work myself. But that is the major shop in town and presumably one would be in good hands with their level of experience. Maybe if you have an 80 foot power boat and a bottomless checkbook as it seems every mom and pop these days does.

I'm sorry but I can get on line and do the freaking research. If have to pay someone to do research then I must have made a bad choice. It's my opinion that if someone has the sack to charge $100/hr then they'd damn well better be able to demonstrate some expertise and have a body of experience that far out weighs my own. Not only that but at that price they should actually care. Hell my company doesn't even charge $100/hr for me and I've got degree and decades of experience. No way should the customer be heard to say "I have a big screw driver on the boat that would be better for that job".

And what's the justification for that rate? There's no overhead except perhaps a cup of coffee in the morning and the office lady to fill out the paperwork. The dude shows up in his own old beater truck with his own tools. The shop itself provides no expertise and the job is time and materials whether that's actually working or looking up stuff they should already know. Tell me they aren't paying these guys any sort of fraction of the $100 or I'll feel even more stupid than I already do.

In any case I'm more convinced then ever that everything, I mean everything, that happens with the boat is my responsibility and my fault if something goes wrong. If I assume something is done right but it's not and it causes me to suffer I have only myself to blame. If I hire some shop and they send down some hack it's my call because I already know that whoever might actually have skill or know something isn't going to be working on my boat.

Who knows, maybe if you have enough money that your jobs get the attention of whoever it might be in a given company that actually knows something you can get good service and good work done. But for guys like me who's jobs are more an annoyance for these companies than anything else I've just about had it with all of them. I'll refrain from naming names at this point since I don't need to fight with people. They can just be sure I won't be calling them back.

As for recommendations in this area? I got none.
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Old 06-05-2015, 15:15   #13
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Re: Cracked Block - Who's fault?

korrigan-i agree 110 %

That said,I think venders of any and all sorts need to be CALLED OUT at any instance of incompetancy ! If not you or me will be the next to get burned !


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Old 06-05-2015, 15:22   #14
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Re: Cracked Block - Who's fault?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DougR View Post
This looks like a classic GM block freeze crack, just below the head gasket on the outside of the block. Could happen if they drained one side of the block and forgot the other side.

From the minimal amount of rust stains I doubt the engine ran all last season and only leaked this little bit.......

Put it in the water and crank it up, and see how much it leaks when hot and under pressure.

DougR
What he said. I do tank inspection for a living, and that crack is fresh. If it were old there would be lots of rust and gunk growing around the crack. The photo, IMHO (and I do this for a living) is very close to forensic proof.

When winterizing do NOT go by the color of the AF coming out the other end, TEST it with a refractometer (minimum freeze point to suit you area). While the -40F burst point claim on the bottle seems comforting, that is the value for solid metal pipe, not weal cast and plastic, where the limit--assuming zero water remained--is closer to 0F. And that is BEFORE the AF and water separate due to freeze cycling (notice that it broke at the top--ice floats and there is less AF at the top if the mix is a little weak.
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Old 06-05-2015, 15:26   #15
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Re: Cracked Block - Who's fault?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DougR View Post
This looks like a classic GM block freeze crack, just below the head gasket on the outside of the block. Could happen if they drained one side of the block and forgot the other side.

From the minimal amount of rust stains I doubt the engine ran all last season and only leaked this little bit.......

Put it in the water and crank it up, and see how much it leaks when hot and under pressure.

DougR
What he said. I do tank inspection for a living, and that crack is fresh. If it were old there would be lots of rust and gunk growing around the crack. The photo, IMHO (and I do this for a living) is very close to forensic proof.

When winterizing do NOT go by the color of the AF coming out the other end, TEST it with a refractometer (minimum freeze point to suit you area). While the -40F burst point claim on the bottle seems comforting, that is the value for solid metal pipe, not weak cast and plastic, where the limit--assuming zero water remained--is closer to 0F. And that is BEFORE the AF and water separate due to freeze cycling (notice that it broke at the top--ice floats and there is less AF at the top if the mix is a little weak).

There is one odd thing; the freeze plugs is still in. Their may be considerable corrosion too, the reason it is still in, though the freeze should not have happened and this is beside the main point.
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