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Old 07-06-2015, 15:53   #1
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Unhappy Engine flooded with FRESH water

Just got back to the boat, she is ashore after suffering collision damage, the yard said they would keep an eye on the bilges as there was some damage to the deck leading to leaks when it rained. Got on board to find they had not done anything (despite emailing me to say all was OK). There was 3" off water over the floorboards. on first glance the main problem is that there is clearly a bit of water in the sump. It is not flooded but oil is sludgy. Alternator looks like a right-off and I would suspect the starter will be gone as well.
If it was sea-water it would definitely be trash but anyone dealt with rainwater flooding?
Have not talked to the yard yet as it is a Sunday...
I am in Aruba, doing the obvious, pumped out, rinsed down, then hit the BAR.
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Old 07-06-2015, 17:52   #2
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Re: Engine flooded with FRESH water

Roland, sorry to hear of your woes.

Since it's the weekend, you've nothing to lose by taking both the alternator and the starter off, do your best to physically remove any corrosion you find, and flush them with methyl alcohol. Alt may require new diodes, but since it's fresh water, you may not be in as bad shape as one might fear.

Are the batteries above the flood zone? Have they shorted out?

I share your frustration at being told all is well. Some places it is bad manners to be the bearer of bad tidings. I mention it because it need not necessarily be they're bad people, just people whose customs are frustrating to us.

Ann
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Old 07-06-2015, 18:18   #3
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Re: Engine flooded with FRESH water

A couple of weeks with fresh water in an engine and it can survive just fine.

Depending of course.

Had 2 cylinders with fresh water in them for about 3 weeks. Pulled the injectors, flushed, changed the oil and it has run fine for the last 1200 hours and 7000 miles.

Ford Lehman 120 hp. Error occurred with about 400 hours on her.
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Old 07-06-2015, 23:15   #4
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Re: Engine flooded with FRESH water

I've salvaged a number of engines in salt and fresh water. If they submerge cold (not running) there's rarely any damage. Most starters and alternators just need a good cleaning. Any contacts and enclosed electrical boxes/connections need to be cleaned. There are many products that clean corrosion or expel water.
However you change the oil, take out the pan plug to make sure all the water has drained. If diesel, your fuel system is probably ok. Change all your filters.
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Old 07-06-2015, 23:33   #5
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Re: Engine flooded with FRESH water

If it's freshwater you will possibly have no problems. Soak the starter and alternator with WD40. Pump out the engine sump and replace with fresh oil. Let it sit for a couple of days for the electrons to dry out. Turn the engine over for a few minutes with with the compression releases engaged or pull the injectors and do same to get water out of the cylinders. Drop the compression releases and/or reinstall the injectors and try and start the engine. Will probably fire right up and the alternator make juice. Run for a 1/2 hour or so so it gets good and hot to evaporate any moisture still in the crankcase. Change the oil again after you shut it down and you will hopefully be good to go.

Flooding with salt water would probably do in your electrics but it sounds like the water was fresh. As long as salt water doesn't sit in the engine long enough to freeze the Pistons, oil change and running the engine with another oil change after should make the engine good as before.
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Old 08-06-2015, 02:46   #6
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Re: Engine flooded with FRESH water

Do not forget the sprocket box.
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Old 08-06-2015, 06:13   #7
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Re: Engine flooded with FRESH water

Thanks all, got a very prompt reply from Beta Marine as well. Thay say the same, a good flush and all may be well. When I drained the oil it looked like clean water, no rust, and once I got the alternator off I could turn it the engine on the prop so it is looking promising. Alternator is toast as the alloy has fizzed badly but don't know about the starter yet. None of the other electrics got wet, good thing about deep narrow bilges is that the is no room to mount things in them!
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Old 08-06-2015, 06:15   #8
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Re: Engine flooded with FRESH water

PS No its not a culture issue, Aruba is Dutch!! I expected Dutch standards.
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Old 08-06-2015, 09:25   #9
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Re: Engine flooded with FRESH water

Would suggest changing the oil more than once. Maybe a lesser grade, not cheap, and then put in the good stuff. JMHO
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Old 08-06-2015, 11:22   #10
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Re: Engine flooded with FRESH water

Once you get it running load it up at the dock at mid revs to get good heat into it. Try and leave oil filler cap off if possible and it'll steam the moisture out pretty dam quick. Just change the filter couple times imo.
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Old 09-06-2015, 14:55   #11
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Re: Engine flooded with FRESH water

Feel your pain, happened to me twice. Once with a Perkins. Last time Lehman 2711e. All ended well. Alternator and starter OK. Change oil twice. Didn't do anything with injectors. Probably should have. Run as soon as possible then under load for a few hours. Scared the hell out of me both times and was a major pain but ended well. Of course, WD40 everything.
On my Passport 42 my young son was left in charge of filling the water tanks and went skateboarding down the docks. The overflow fitting was missing. Found out later that was a common problem with the yards in Taiwan having employees steal the stainless fittings. Live and learn.
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