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Old 10-08-2007, 08:46   #1
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Oil filter gave up

Ok, I am 55 years old and have worked on my own cars and boats for about 40 years. Never, and I mean never, has this happened to me before.

The weekend before last, we were headed out to do some scalloping. I was on the foredeck while the wife was "captaining". I made my way back to the cockpit. Upon arrival, my wife asked, "What is that strange noise?"

I glanced at the engine panel and saw the oil light lit up. Not one to panick I calmly screeched, "Kill the engine!"

I went forward and dropped the hook. Going below, I checked the engine. All the oil was in the bilge. Now, here is the thing, this is a new Yanmar. 103 hours on the meter. Professionally serviced at 50 hours.

I radioed our sailing partners in their boat and they returned. Not wanting to spoil the day for my son who was visiting from Texas, I dingyed him and my wife to the other boat. I stayed behind to await TowboatUS.

Some four hours later, they arrived and towed me back to port. Later that evening, after the family and friends had returned, my friend and his father got to brainstorming. Me? I was cursing every Yanmar dealer in the world. Matt got to looking under the engine and said, "It looks like the oil filter sprung a leak." We took it off and sure enough, where the crimp is at the base was a hole. He said there was a 45 degree fan of oil from that spot on the motor. Genuine Yanmar part, by the way.

The next day, after buying two galloons of oil (I had a spare filter). We replaced the oil and she started right up, none the worse for wear.

This filter was only 50 hours old, about eight months. Aside from the fact that it had "Made in the USA" stamped all over it, why did this happen? Has anyone else had a similar failure?

Now I carry a spare gallon of oil as well as a spare filter. Lesson learned
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Old 10-08-2007, 10:37   #2
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What a mess to clean up! You have my sympathy!

Sounds like a simple manufacturing defect to me. Assuming that there was no evidence of corrosion on the shell of the filter.

Bill
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Old 10-08-2007, 10:41   #3
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WOW...

Was it damaged by installing it... ro was it a defect in manufacturing?

Bummer. I would make a claim on this one. It could have and might have cost you an engine!

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Old 10-08-2007, 10:43   #4
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sonofa,

Same thing happened a few months ago to a buddy of mine with a Volvo. And it was a genuine Volvo filter too. I bought a case of Yanmar filters when I bought my boat. When they're all gone I'll use Fram or whatever. I understand they make filters for everybody.
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Old 10-08-2007, 10:49   #5
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No damage

The engine is fine, no damage. As for whether the filter was damaged on installation, there was no evidence of any damage, no twists, bends or dents.
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Old 10-08-2007, 13:48   #6
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I doubt you could damage a filter on installation. It would take a lot of force.
It would be worth sending it to Yanmar. They need to investigate that. Yanmar do not make the filters themselves, so they would return it to where ever.
I suggest you fit an alarm to the intruments. You were very lucky. Usually when the light comes on, the damage has been done. The alarm would notify you imediatly. Another system is to have the alarm linked to a "kill solinoid" that instantly shuts down the engine. I don't prescribe to that idea. You may have it shut down at a far worse moment than losing the engine a few minutes later.
Once oil pressure is lost, minutes at the most are usually all that is left in the life of a diesel.
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Old 10-08-2007, 14:42   #7
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I would assume it was a simple manufacturing defect and file under "**** happens". 100% quality control is too expensive for anyone these days.

Either Yanmar cut corners--or it is very possible that this is a counterfeit part. That's something that has plagued the auto parts industry for decades, with exactly this type of problem.

I'd also bet that Yanmar warrantees their filter against manufacturing defects. If so--send them a letter, with a clear photo of the defect, and ask them for repayment of the towing fee, cleanup, and a new filter. Make it clear you are asking them to stand behind the warranty. And that you both lucked out, there was no engine damage.

You've probably also got statutory warranty rights along the same lines--unless their box carried an express waiver against defects. But most "brand name" vendors will stand behind their parts.
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Old 11-08-2007, 10:59   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasco
Same thing happened a few months ago to a buddy of mine with a Volvo. And it was a genuine Volvo filter too. I bought a case of Yanmar filters when I bought my boat. When they're all gone I'll use Fram or whatever. I understand they make filters for everybody.
I saw a guy from Mac Boring give a talk about marine diesels. He said not to use third party oil filters for cars on your Yanmar. His reasoning is that there is a pressure relief valve inside the filter that bypasses the filter element, but in the car filter the valve opens at a lower pressure than the marine filter. (Yet they still have the same threads, so the two filters appear interchangeable.) He said the Yanmar marine engine uses a higher oil pressure, so it basically opens the pressure relief valve all the time -- so the effect is the same as having no oil filter at all.

I don't think this means it is impossible to find a suitable third party filter, but you might want to check in to exactly what you are getting.
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Old 11-08-2007, 11:21   #9
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Coot, that sounds like hogwash to me. Anyone got a can of engine compression? How bout prop wash? <gr>
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Old 11-08-2007, 13:06   #10
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Hopefully I will not sound like an alarmist here but just because you put a new filter on and refilled it with oil and started it up and seemed to run fine, does not mean that there was not any damage to the internals of the engine. You may have scored some journals or bearings. If it is a warranty issue, meaning that Yanmar would take responsibility for the defect, I would want the engine internals inspected. Why wait for a later date when they would be reluctant to do anything about it.
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Old 11-08-2007, 14:31   #11
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Lots of useful information on oil filters on this page:

Engine Oil Filter Study
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Old 11-08-2007, 14:32   #12
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A turbo last even less time. Turbo's have to float on a film of oil. If they are spinning and the pressure drops, the turbo will crash onto it's bearing surface and wreck the surface.
As for the oil filter car vs Yanmar. Third party is not the issue. It is ensuring that you have the right cross reference for a third party filter. If you have the correct third party, then it will, or should have all the same specs. However, it comes down to internal paper quality and square surface area that sets aside a good filter and a cheap filter.
Yes it is correct that there can be relief valves internally. And yes they have a set pressure to bypass at. And yes they are designed for different engines. But there is no same filter No. but one only for a car and one only for a Yanmar. The No. should represent the filter designed for the engine requirements no matter what it is. The main reason companies liek Yanmar specifiy the use of there own band filters, is to ensure a certain minimum standard and that the correct filter is applied. Yanmar do not make their own filters. They are made elswhere and have their name stamped on it.
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Old 11-08-2007, 15:56   #13
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Quote:
Yes it is correct that there can be relief valves internally. And yes they have a set pressure to bypass at.
Well there ya go. Anyone got a can of prop wash for me? Or maybe some crow???
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