I'm still investigating this and am about 90% sure I know what's going on.
While digging through the engine's cooling
system I found one issue, my coolant
system was leaking. Not into the engine
, but into the hot water
heater. Good thing we don't drink water from the boat's water supply! I replaced the water heater, replumbed the coolant
lines and flushed the system. One month later and everything seems to be 100% water tight.
Then after speaking with one of the Perkins
experts at S&W and an oil
analysis company, I've decided to run a little test:
First I changed the oil
with 15w-40 again. I wanted to make sure I got as much of the old oil out as possible.
Then I ran the engine
1.5 - 2 hours a day for 4 days, checking fluids, water temp, etc. At the end of each run I closed the fuel
supply petcock and the raw water
The engine ran smoothly at a steady 78 degrees celcius, the exhaust
was clean, and no fuel
in the discharging sea water. When I checked the oil level at the end of the first run it was exactly where it was after the oil change
. After the next days run, the oil level rose to about 1/4 of a quart (8 oz). After the second, third and fourth days the oil level remained at that same 1/4 of a quart above full.
Each time I checked the oil level exactly the same way: the following day after the engine had cooled, I pulled the dip stick, cleaned it, waited a few minutes, dipped it again and measured it.
The fellow at S&W told me that if the HP injector pump was leaking, the oil level would continuously go up. Since I'm not seeing that nor do I smell any diesel
fuel in the oil, I'm beginning to think that this is "normal" for my Perkins
. I've read that some engines can have "erratic" dip stick readings, perhaps that's what I'm seeing? Or perhaps oil is being trapped someplace and then released after an extended run?
The last test I will do is an oil analysis. Hopefully that test will tell me categorically if I have fuel leaking into my crank case.