I am attempting to get up the nerve for final acceptance of a sailboat after survey
revealed nothing surprising, but after the sea trial there was oil
in the bilge
discovered it was coming from the dipstick. He reseated the dipstick and we ran the motor
at full power (though in neutral) for a few minutes and the dipstick stayed seated. He concluded he did not reseat it firmly after the pre-flight check.
said that this degree of blowby was common in an older diesel
, and gave anecdotal experience of motors he'd lived with for many years in a similar state. He didn't call it out on his report as a major finding. He is very well respected and has very impressive experience. The only thing I question about his judgment is his being quick to assume that he didn't seat the dipstick well, because he seemed to perform every small task in routines established in accord with best practices. He was that sort of guy.
test was beyond the scope
of this general survey, but the engine
ran strong and the boat
made good speed.
I like the boat
and would like to proceed, but not if an engine rebuild
is eminent, or I have to constantly fear the dipstick backing out on its own and losing all the oil
into the bilge
Engine is a Universal M-25XP, 1987, 1500 hours. Good news is this motor
should be among the cheapest to overhaul
when the day comes, as it is based on a Kubota engine.
I'm trying to line up a mechanic
for a compression
and crankcase pressure measurement. I don't expect anyone has a crystal ball and can forecast
how many months the motor has to live. What I'm seeking to confirm here is that piston ring blowby does not generally portend a swift decline, and it is not unreasonably optimistic to expect a few happy years of light duty. I do know there could be other reasons for the oil coming out the dipstick; a clogged breather or overfilling. Let's just assume it is worn rings, for sake of argument.
Can the community share experiences with motors in a similar state, whether they align or conflict with the surveyor's experience? Were you able to squeeze long service
out of them, despite perhaps less than optimal efficiency and performance? Can I lash the dipstick in place if it pops out again, and go about my merry way?