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Old 17-04-2016, 14:36   #1
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Oily Bilge Water

I've been plagued by having a mixture of water and oil in my bilge. My engine, a 4-53 Detroit Diesel, has a reputation (well earned) of leaking so much oil that you know to add more when it stops. Actually, it's only a little, and most of what's in the bilge is water from various sources, but even after running the combination through a settling tank the water discharge produces a USCG oily sheen no-no. I don't know if others have the same problem. After many tries, I think I've found a solution. New Pig, which makes all sorts of hazmat cleanup stuff, has a small box with 3/4" hose fittings and filter pillows inside that they say will absorb up to a gallon of entrained oil. The price is $107. Anyone familiar with it? I'm going to give it a try, and report back if this is indeed a topic of interest.
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Old 17-04-2016, 14:54   #2
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Re: oily bilge water

Hi, tkeithlu,

Yes, I am interested. I had always thought if your gaskets were not shot and were properly torqued, your engine would not leak. If the engine has a reputation for leaking, from where do/does the leak(s) issue forth? Maybe you could clean it up on the outside, and place bits of paper towel around at likely spots and learn what is leaking? That should send you in the right direction.

It will be interesting to learn if any kind of after the fact picking up of the oil will work for you.

Thanks for posting.

Ann
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Old 17-04-2016, 15:05   #3
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oily bilge water

DD's are to some extent just dirty, a lot of the oil comes from blow by and I think the first oil separators were meant for DD's.
Look up Walker oil separator.
But as far as your original question any Chandlier will sell what looks like socks stuffed with rags for just a couple of bucks and toss one or two in the bilge and they will in fact soak up the oil and leave the water.


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Old 17-04-2016, 16:21   #4
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Re: oily bilge water

The Walker/Airsep system seems a good idea for approaching the amount leaked - suck it in rather than pressure it out, but it doesn't solve the ultimate problem of oil in the bilge water, and for me, they do not seem to have gotten around to a model for the DD 4-53. I route rocker cover oily air to the air intake, and tighten every gasket I can find and reach.
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Old 17-04-2016, 16:42   #5
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Re: oily bilge water

These things, one will hold supposedly a gallon of oil, I don't know about that, but they do work, just toss on in the bilge with a string on it and it does its thing, replace every now and again, I've had one floating in the bilge for quite awhile, I split some oil in the bilges long ago, it cleaned it all up and I leave it there in case I spill some more.
http://www.defender.com/product3.jsp...3277&id=133137


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Old 17-04-2016, 18:50   #6
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Re: Oily Bilge Water

I picked up a case of 60 oil only pads about a foot square each for 60 cents per pad. I roll up a few, tie a string on and toss them in the bilge. Less than 2 bucks vs 13.


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Old 17-04-2016, 19:26   #7
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Re: Oily Bilge Water

Ours also leaks oil. We recently velcro-ed an oil catch plan made of plastic under the engine. We leak maybe a pint every month or so.

We also use the oil tampon in the bilge just in case. Periodically we will pull out the oil catch and drain the oil into a used oil container. We also use a rag at the bottom of the oil catch just to keep it from sloshing around. Bought a box of 1000 from amazon for 30 or 40 bucks. We grab a handful and leave the rest in storage for next year
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Old 17-04-2016, 20:10   #8
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Re: Oily Bilge Water

As others have said, the pads or snakes will draw only oil and leave your bilge water safe to pump.
It's common for Detroit installations to have a pan made to fit under the engine and transmission. Mine do. The 671 was 1st sold in the 1930s and designed sometime before that. At that time most oil seals were leather or rope. Running oil pressure was about 25psi. The EPA didn't exist. Most later engines are based on the 671.
As the engine ages there is blowby that pressures the crankcase. Usual leak is the rear main seal. Venting the valve cover can help. Run a hose to the intake.
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