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Old 18-06-2015, 09:11   #1
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Diesel Issue

Hello,

I launched the boat yesterday and ran the universal diesel for the first time this season. Oil was changed in the fall and level checked right before launch. I ran the motor at 2100 RPMs for around 2 hours. The wind picked up so sailed the res of the way. Started the ending to motor to mooring and shortly after startup heard a brief not so nice noise, like a screatch. Immediately shut off engine. Checked oil, level looked low. Also noticed a ring of very dirty grey oil all around the engine compartment in line with the belt and wheel assembly. The low oil on the dipstick looked pretty clean still.

The engine ran fine all last year.

I'm thinking a leaking front crank seal? Why would oil be clean in crankcase and leak thick and dirty? What could cause the noise.

I'm also thinking of running some mystery oil through the crankcase in the event I have some blockage.

Any thoughts would be appreciated!


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Old 18-06-2015, 09:54   #2
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Re: Diesel Issue

The sceech could be a secondary symptom. It's not uncommon for the alternator belt to slip just after startup as it kicks in full charge to top off the start battery. Usually from a slightly too loose belt. But as you mention there is some contamination on the belt which could make a properly adjusted belt slip under full alternator load.

I'm guessing the oil is only a small amount low. Maybe the crank seal is well worn and the time on the hard had some effect to harden or crack the lip of the seal.

I'm guessing the oil was contaminated after it exited the engine. So wouldn't start by adding anything to the oil for that reason.
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Old 18-06-2015, 10:02   #3
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Re: Diesel Issue

Why would you not have a professional check it out?
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Old 18-06-2015, 10:03   #4
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Re: Diesel Issue

Might not have much of a problem at all. If the oil was changed and the engine not run afterwards, the level will fall a bit when the oil filter fills with oil after startup.

The ring of dirty grey stuff could just be belt dust from a slipping belt - which would cause the squealing sound you heard. Are you sure this is oil and not very fine carbon dust?

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Old 18-06-2015, 12:09   #5
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Re: Diesel Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
Why would you not have a professional check it out?

When they get around to it in a couple of weeks could I borrow a couple grand?



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Old 18-06-2015, 12:10   #6
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Re: Diesel Issue

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Might not have much of a problem at all. If the oil was changed and the engine not run afterwards, the level will fall a bit when the oil filter fills with oil after startup.

The ring of dirty grey stuff could just be belt dust from a slipping belt - which would cause the squealing sound you heard. Are you sure this is oil and not very fine carbon dust?

Mark

Thanks for the reply. Definitely oil!


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Old 18-06-2015, 12:24   #7
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Re: Diesel Issue

Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
Why would you not have a professional check it out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shamrock View Post
When they get around to it in a couple of weeks could I borrow a couple grand?...
$2,000 and 2 weeks to check it out? Come on!
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Old 18-06-2015, 12:33   #8
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Re: Diesel Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post

Why would you not have a professional check it out?







$2,000 and 2 weeks to check it out? Come on!

I've learned it's productive to try to figure it out. It's a huge education and I have learned a great deal about engines by working through issues. Also, the boat is on a mooring. Mechanics start the clock when they leave the shop. Take the launch back and forth to get tools, $100 an hour...

Why are we talking about mechanics on the engines forum?


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Old 18-06-2015, 12:50   #9
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Re: Diesel Issue

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Originally Posted by shamrock View Post
...Why are we talking about mechanics on the engines forum?...
Because you need professional help?
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Old 18-06-2015, 13:09   #10
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Re: Diesel Issue

You don't need a pro for this part. If you need to remove the damper and the seal, you might wish you had someone do it for you or maybe not. Clean the area with a spray bomb of brakeclean and run it. You will know right away if the seal is leaking and a leaky seal does make a gumbo from belt dust..
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Old 18-06-2015, 13:23   #11
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Re: Diesel Issue

Could be the seals in the water pump have failed--what you are describing seems like an oil/water mix.
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Old 18-06-2015, 13:53   #12
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Re: Diesel Issue

What specific Universal engine?
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Old 18-06-2015, 15:25   #13
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Re: Diesel Issue

First thing to do is check the rotating components; belt, idlers, alternator, fresh water pump, etc. to see if something is seized. If everything is good then examine the front of the engine for obvious oil leaks; main seal, raw water pump, etc. Screech could be from seized bearings in an accessory or oil on the belt, or something internal. Rule out the simple stuff first.
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Old 18-06-2015, 16:22   #14
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Re: Diesel Issue

If a little oil leaked or had been dripped unseen onto the belt, it would now be slipping and possibly grinding on the pulleys, which would throw off a mix of oil and belt dust, looking like blackened oil, thrown around the belt. And the belt would screech from slipping and grinding.


So it could be a leak, or just some oil that got on the belt. Either way, a good cleaning including the belt, and retensioning the belt, followed by further inspection.


You can buy UV dye, the same kind used in small AC systems, to put in your oil. $10-20. Run the engine if nothing sounds wrong, let it run for an hour and use a black light, you'll see any oil leaks very clearly from the UV dye traces and you'll know you still have a leak and further problems to look for.


No new leaks? Then just replace the belt with a new one that hasn't ground down yet. Clean the pulleys & check alignment and tension again, of course.
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Old 18-06-2015, 16:37   #15
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Re: Diesel Issue

I had a minute bit of oil spill on my alternator belt during an oil change. As soon as I started the engine and the alternator started producing power the belt started slipping. The noise from that was amazingly loud and having never experienced this before I thought I had fried my engine somehow. I later learned (from this forum) that oil on a belt can cause this issue. I went back and took the belt off, cleaned it, cleaned the other surfaces the belt contacts and put it back together. I start the engine and there was no noise. The oil level and pressure was good. The engine ran for a few 100 more hours until it was replaced for general oldness and a newer engine.
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