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Old 03-07-2021, 07:36   #1
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is there an easy way to add oil

Hi, Catalina 27 with a Universal 18, wondering how to add oil without spilling all over. Any help is appreciated - thanks
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Old 03-07-2021, 07:48   #2
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is there an easy way to add oil

??? Use a funnel?

How about a photo of your problem area.

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Old 03-07-2021, 07:56   #3
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Re: is there an easy way to add oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
??? Use a funnel?

How about a photo of your problem area.
Not at the boat so no photo. Oil filler is on top of engine, only access is from front or side and tight quarters (of course). 1986 Catalina, hoping for suggestions.

The issue is actually a lot bigger. Recently had the engine serviced (oil, filter, coolant, etc) and now oil level is low and oil in the bilge. Service provider is out for holiday, I'd like to add enough oil to motor to the harbor's bilge pump and get the oil cleaned out of bilge. Oil level now shows about 2/3 below full on dipstick.

Thanks.
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Old 03-07-2021, 17:59   #4
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Re: is there an easy way to add oil

@catalinaned:

Maybe they didn't check they got the oil filter tight enough. You can test this by turning on the engine, briefly, to see if you can see where the oil is coming out--dribbling or spraying. To me this is the most likely place for it to be coming from (and the easiest to remedy).

After you see where the oil is coming from (this may only be a second or two), turn off the engine. If the spill was from the oil filter, wait a bit for the oil to settle into the oil pan, and then remove the filter. Have some paper towels or clean rags to stuff in the hole to stop the drips spreading more. If the oil filter gasket is wrinkled or torn, don't try to re-use it, but install a new one, and some more oil. Only let the engine pump oil out into the bilge for a short while, and be prepared to get dirty.

You may find that your hands are not strong enough to loosen the old filter or tighten the new oil filter adequately, and therefore, see if you can borrow (or get from an inexpensive auto shop) an oil filter wrench, and use that to do the final tightening...and the loosening. Have a "dirty materials" bucket right next to you to put the damaged filter in (being full of oil, it will leak all over). When we change oil, we use news papers carefully, to control the oil getting all over the place.

If the oil pours out under pressure, whoever was doing the work probably got called away, and forgot to tighten the filter. Drips or spraying is a sign of inadequate tightening. The box the filter comes in tells you how far past finger tight it needs to be tightened. Lubricate the gasket with some of your oil, so it will be easy to tighten and get a good seal. Mark the top (the 12 o'clock position) with a felt tip marker when it is finger tight, so you can tell when you've got the extra half turn. Tighten.

Fortunately this kind of job is not too puzzling, it is all about oil under pressure, and you are going to be careful to not run the engine out of oil.

After you have remedied the problem, then go clean the bilge. Remember the Hippocratic oath: first, do no harm. The above is a pretty safe and easy to check and fix, and I kind of doubt it will be any more complex than this. Other scenarioes for getting oil in the bilge are worse.

If the oil filter gasket itself is damaged, or the oil came pouring out, you may want to take it back to the people who serviced your boat and "have a chat" about the whole situation. If pouring, it means they didn't check their work. (We always check ours). They should cover the cleanup costs for you, at least, so save your receipts.

I would like to add here, that oil changes are within the capacity of all non handicapped owners to accomplish for themselves, including checking them afterwards for leaks, and if you ever blow an oil hose at sea or in the boondocks, it's good to know you can make a temporary fix at least for yourself. Buy yourself some waterless hand cleaner, too. It is great for not only hand cleaning, but for removing grease stains from fabrics prior to washing. Another item that may be a useful addition to your toolbox is a mechanic's mirror, a mirror on a stick like a dentist's, but about 4" by 1-1/2" For looking for leaks (and stuff) where you don't have direct line of sight. Most of our old, simple diesel engines are way easier to understand and work on with reasonable tools than modern automobile engines.


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Old 04-07-2021, 06:25   #5
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Re: is there an easy way to add oil

It appears that the oil dipstick housing has corroded where it connects to the engine, possibly because of a slow leak from the water pump gasket failure. Found this while cleaning the area, broke loose some corrosion and started a drip per second oil leak. Will go back to check it this morning to see if this is the case. If so, then I get to see if the parts are available. Packed area with absorbing diapers, it should only leak about 1/2 pint if I am correct. As to the oil filling question, mechanic showed me easy trick with plastic cup that fits in the available space for adding small amounts of oil. Thanks.
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Old 04-07-2021, 09:24   #6
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Re: is there an easy way to add oil

If changing the filter don't put a gorilla grip on it when tightening.
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