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Old 07-04-2015, 14:24   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Ely, Cambridgeshire, UK
Boat: Beneteau Oceanis 370
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Volvo 2003 - blockage in water jacket

An old topic I know but I have a problem with my Volvo Penta 2003 indirectly cooled engine. Towards the end of last year I attempted to change the coolant. On removing the drain plug I found that it was bone dry. Having read the considerable correspondence on the topic in Cruisers Forum I first checked that the space inside the drain plug was clear. (I can insert a flexible curtain rail a full 8 cm into the block)

Subsequently I have flushed the water jacket with both Rydlime and various other radiator flushing compounds without success. When I run the engine I am able to measure the temperature of the water jacket using an infra-red temperature sensor. The top of the block at different places varies from 68 deg C to 74 deg C (top of the thermostat housing). The bottom of the block around the area of the engine sump is about 78 deg C.

I am able to drain the coolant by disconnecting the pipe that goes from the internal water pump to the calorifier. The drained coolant is about 5 litres. The coolant is a light brown colour and contains particle of light brown sediment. These particles can be dissolved in a solution of oxalic acid so I presume that they are largely made of iron.

Based on this information I should like to know if it is safe to use the engine for extended periods (eg for at least 4 hours). Secondly is it possible to remove the blockage to the drain plug using either oxalic acid or some other acid? If so please advise on a suitable acid and recommend its concentration. Any other alternative suggestions would also be much appreciated.
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