I got back from a cruise
a few weeks ago to Maine
that involved a possibly similar Universal 5411 failure. Up until this trip the motor
had been absolutely dependable. We motored three straight days (no wind) down the Bay of Fundy and Gulf of Maine
, from Saint John, New Brunswick to Northeast Harbor, Maine. Shortly after we got there we were motoring out of the harbor to test our systems before making the passage
to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia
when the engine started running hot and pumping large amounts of sea water
out of the timing adjustment hole in the bell housing.
We slowly motored back to our Northeast Harbor, returned to our mooring
to remove the engine and split the tranny off it. I am incredibly appreciative of John at Downeast Diesel
in Southwest Harbor who fixed the engine the next morning. The frost plug
behind the flywheel had pretty well corroded entirely away and the leaking seawater had then finally corroded through the quarter inch steel
plate under the flywheel that the bell housing and starter bolt to, causing water
to flow into the bell housing. It seems that problem had been developing for quite awhile. I would guess that that frost plug
was not changed to bronze when the engine was marinized as the flywheel needed to come off to replace it. I reinstalled the motor
the following day and after some adjustments we were on our way.
John had the skills and tools to make good gaskets in his shop which was good since I would not have wanted to wait to have them shipped in. He also had the appropriate standard frost plug in stock, so the job was quick - which saved the trip.
About Kabota parts I might mention that in my town there is a Kabota tractor dealer and a Kabota industrial engine dealer. The industrial engine dealer has been much more knowledgeable about the Z500 engine than the tractor dealer.
As you might imagine, my plan for the winter is to convert this engine to fresh water cooling
to minimize the likelihood of having further corrosion
problems. I just (ha ha) have to install the extra pump and heat exchanger
that I already have on hand from another project
. If anyone has a fresh water cooled 5411 engine I'd love to learn more about that installation