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Old 10-03-2015, 22:48   #1
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Water damage and the insurance company

Hi Folks,

My (brand new!!) 3cyl universal diesel was swamped recently (long story) and was partially submerged in about 1.5ft of salt water for a few days.

After pumping the boat out, the injectors were pulled and it was found that the #3 cylinder had taken a small amount of salt water via the air intake.

The oil was dropped, it was clean, and the engine was flushed with diesel. and it sat around for a few weeks waiting on the insurance company.

I have received advice from three different people on what needs to be done to return the engine to service (none have inspected the engine):
  1. Its a total loss - you need a completely new engine
  2. Top end rebuild probably required
  3. Take the head off "have a look, probably ok" reassemble (what would they be looking for ??)
However.....

The insurance company's mechanic has inspected the engine (externally - without removing the head) and seems happy enough to just reassemble it as is with no further inspection. They will warrant this for 30 days only.

Thoughts ?

NB: All engine electricals are being replaced.
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Old 10-03-2015, 23:43   #2
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Re: Water damage and the insurance company

Sounds like a reasonable result with 30 days and all new electrics.

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Old 11-03-2015, 02:48   #3
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Re: Water damage and the insurance company

I've rebuilt a number of flooded diesels. Mostly Detroit Diesels. If cold when flooded, almost no damage happens. Since they were apart anyway, I would do a light overhaul, but could have used the old parts in many cases.
I think your engine would be fine if it flooded cold. However, with insurance involved, they should guarantee the remaining time on the original OEM guarantee. Otherwise pay you for diminished value.
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Old 11-03-2015, 03:42   #4
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Re: Water damage and the insurance company

Thanks for the reassurance.....

The engine is just out of warranty at 2.5yrs, 100hrs.

Out of interest in a "light" overhaul... what would you normally check/replace ?
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Old 11-03-2015, 04:17   #5
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Re: Water damage and the insurance company

Quote:
Originally Posted by TopperHarley View Post
Thanks for the reassurance.....

The engine is just out of warranty at 2.5yrs, 100hrs.

Out of interest in a "light" overhaul... what would you normally check/replace ?
uum...that is not "brand new". Important to be accurate. The Insurance company gave you 30 days on a 2.5 year old out of warranty product.

If your not happy on the 30 days, then you need to buy additional insurance.
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Old 11-03-2015, 04:34   #6
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Re: Water damage and the insurance company

Quote:
Originally Posted by TopperHarley View Post
100hrs on a diesel engine is barely run-in!
That is irrelevant. Its is not brand new.

It could be 20 years old and have 100 hours. Age plays it part in wear too.

It is a 2.5 year old product and insured from "brand new" for 2.5 years.

Otherwise the insurance company would have insured it for 20 years or 1000 hours whichever came sooner...... they tend not to do that.
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Old 11-03-2015, 04:48   #7
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Re: Water damage and the insurance company

Ok point taken... agreed its not brand new, but perhaps "fairly new" or "newish" would have been a more reasonable description.

Regardless of terminology, I was expecting 5-10 years of minimum trouble from the the engine (assuming regular servicing/preventative maintenance and sensible operation).

I guess the question I'm really asking is.... considering whats happened to it, and that its going to be reassembled without further inspection, can I still expect 5-10 years without major problem or has some life been taken out of her?
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Old 11-03-2015, 05:14   #8
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Re: Water damage and the insurance company

It's probably very likely that there was at least some corrosion on the cylinder wall, this will scrub off very quickly, but that in itself is wear and it may well remove significant cross hatching from the cylinder wall which does increase wear. Submerging an engine is never good for it, has to cause at least some damage, try not to do it again
But, I'd say by offering a 30 day warranty the insurance company has gone beyond what I would do, count your blessings.

A light overhaul doesn't exist as a defined term, but it's generally considered to be replacement of those items that normally accumulate wear and are relatively inexpensive, as in I've taken it apart, may as well put new rings and bearings in it, they don't cost a whole lot and will add significantly to the life of the engine. But I'm not re-grinding cranks or camshafts etc.
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Old 11-03-2015, 05:20   #9
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Re: Water damage and the insurance company

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lepke View Post
I've rebuilt a number of flooded diesels. Mostly Detroit Diesels. If cold when flooded, almost no damage happens. Since they were apart anyway, I would do a light overhaul, but could have used the old parts in many cases.
I think your engine would be fine if it flooded cold. However, with insurance involved, they should guarantee the remaining time on the original OEM guarantee. Otherwise pay you for diminished value.
Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
It's probably very likely that there was at least some corrosion on the cylinder wall, this will scrub off very quickly, but that in itself is wear and it may well remove significant cross hatching from the cylinder wall which does increase wear. Submerging an engine is never good for it, has to cause at least some damage, try not to do it again
But, I'd say by offering a 30 day warranty the insurance company has gone beyond what I would do, count your blessings.

A light overhaul doesn't exist as a defined term, but it's generally considered to be replacement of those items that normally accumulate wear and are relatively inexpensive, as in I've taken it apart, may as well put new rings and bearings in it, they don't cost a whole lot and will add significantly to the life of the engine. But I'm not re-grinding cranks or camshafts etc.
Yep

If it was cold...... the main issue will be water corrosion and rust. Get it running as soon as ..........

I had a diesel that had been submerged. I replaced rings and gaskets.
ran it for 3 years no worries. (10 year old volvo) I did blast the outside once a month with degreaser and then sprayed WD 40 all over it...... after 6 months I stopped doing that as it seemed fine.
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Old 11-03-2015, 05:25   #10
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Re: Water damage and the insurance company

Thanks guys - yep the engine was cold....

My mind is a little more at ease, thankyou !

re the cylinder wall - should I "run it in" again ?
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Old 11-03-2015, 05:46   #11
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Re: Water damage and the insurance company

Quote:
Originally Posted by TopperHarley View Post
Thanks guys - yep the engine was cold....

My mind is a little more at ease, thankyou !

re the cylinder wall - should I "run it in" again ?
gently for a couple of hours....... its run in already.. your just removing rust and water effects....... dont forget to run at high revs to clear out carbon and stuff after that........

You will know once its warm if it sounds good ....... and has power.... 30 days will tell you if there is a problem....
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Old 11-03-2015, 08:53   #12
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Re: Water damage and the insurance company

salt water is insidious and not like fresh water. diesel is no longer the preferred method of pickling after a sinker. ATF is now the norm as it is less viscous than diesel and penetrates better and is safer to use.


the rod and main bearing need to be replaced unless you were able to pump pickling diesel into the crank shaft oil journals.


you may spin a bearing in a couple of months.
if you decide to go the way of pickling and lighting it off as the repair then I would start a specto analysis program for at least 100 hours sampling at 10 to 15 hour increments to prove that there are no consequences as a result of the "repair" you should do an oil change every couple of hours say 3 to 4 times to make sure all the water is out


if not and if you have a second failure of the engine it will be harder to prove to the insurance company that this is concurrent causation. which they will respond to as part of the original claim and not charge a second deductible


in 35 years and 100 of engines sinkers in salt water. I have not seen one that did not fail down the road from the original event.


you should also split the engine form the gear box and clean the pressure plate as the springs will rust and it will fail in about a year
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Old 12-03-2015, 03:33   #13
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Re: Water damage and the insurance company

I am not an expert on this but you may want to look at the following link
BoatUS – Hurricane Center – "Pickling" Your Engine
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Old 12-03-2015, 11:53   #14
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Re: Water damage and the insurance company

You have probably done more damage by not immediately running the engine after flushing out the water and changing the oil. Had a flooding problem with an engine because of bad installation directions from mfg. flooded it it twice before we figured out the problem. After changing oil and evacuating water in cylinder by turning it over with compression releases. Ran for a 1/2 hour or so to get thoroughly warm then changed the oil again and all was well. Engine lasted for several decades and three trips to SoPac
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