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Old 31-05-2024, 14:06   #1
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Join Date: May 2024
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Boat: Finn Flyer 27
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Beta Marine 14 coolant leak. Is this fixable?

Hi everybody! I hope I can find some help from here.

I bought a sailboat with a beta marine 14 hp engine and last week when I was preparing for docking the engine started alarming that its being overheated.
I turned the engine off and raised the sails again to inspect the matter.

I noticed that the bilge was full of orange liquid and it was dripping from somewhere, of course it was from the cooling system some how.

I docked with sails and started inspecting the problem. I opened up the coolant reservoir cap and that did not look good at all (see pictures). I was trying to find the leak by pouring water in the reservoir and it dripped quite agressively. Then i removed the alternator and I guess I found the source. Does anyone know can that spot be the leaking spot actually? Its kind of behind the starter motor on the side of the engine block (i guess, i know very little about engines)..

What can be the cause of this? I know that the coolant anode hadnt been changed for a while, because it was totally gone when i changed it. This is my second summer with this boat so I dont know so how has this been maintained. Also it looks like its quite corroded all over.

So please, if someone has experience or advice on how to troubleshoot this more, I would be very happy.

Last summer everything went good with the motor, now after winter I have sailed a couple of times and now the engine is in this condition.







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Old 31-05-2024, 15:16   #2
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Re: Beta Marine 14 coolant leak. Is this fixable?

It doesn’t look good, I once replaced a Yanmar 4JHE that ate itself, an electrical leak caused the raw water circuit to join the freshwater circuit by corroding away the heat exchanger core and oil cooler, once the raw water got through to the coolant it was the end of all the aluminium as well. It was interesting to see how extensive the damage was, the water pump">raw water pump and seacock were unusable, the core plugs were all either eaten through or wafer thin and where the seawater had leaked onto the block, it behaved more like a strong acid than a plain old raw water leak to the extent that it ate a hole through the flywheel housing and corroded the drive plate so badly that the gearbox was impossible to remove by civilized methods. Initially I suspected that the owner had done some sort of acid flush and filled the coolant circuit but this proved to be unfounded. I can’t gauge how bad your engine is from those photo’s ( the 4JHE looked ok at first glance) but your coolant cap and tank looks in identical condition to the one on the engine that ate itself. ….. I have photo’s.
At the very least you need to strip the heat exchanger, raw water pump and maybe the circulating pump, also take a look inside the thermostat housing and check the core plugs. ( welsh plugs), I hope you caught it early enough to avoid serious damage.
Oh, unrelated but might be useful….it’s worth having a seastrainer in the raw water intake line.
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Old 01-06-2024, 02:38   #3
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Re: Beta Marine 14 coolant leak. Is this fixable?

Thank you for the reply and tips! I have to keep stripping the parts and hope for the best.
I was a bit afraid that the raw water could actually corrode the engine from inside, but as I'm not that familiar with the cooling system i didnt know if its possible or not..

I have to inspect further and start finding some spare parts. Or a new motor.. Luckily its a small boat so an outboard motor could be an alternative for this season.

How did you know it was an electrical leak that caused the problems? I didnt know that it could also be a reason for this, I need to read about this.
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