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Old 11-04-2018, 18:50   #1
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volvo md11 water in the oil

Bought an 82 323 pearson with an engine prob. Head was rusted inside leaking water into combustion chamber , replaced the head to find water now filling the crankcase and pressurising the raw water system. Any experience with trouble shooting ?? please . SO far replacing o rings in crankcase and impeller seals.
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Old 11-04-2018, 19:22   #2
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Re: volvo md11 water in the oil

Exhaust manifold corroded through.
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Old 11-04-2018, 20:35   #3
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Re: volvo md11 water in the oil

Sea-water cooled?
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Old 12-04-2018, 02:46   #4
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Re: volvo md11 water in the oil

Sea water yes...manifold tested positive...maybe a small leak in the gasket but water came in at 1 litre an hour
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Old 12-04-2018, 03:42   #5
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Re: volvo md11 water in the oil

Head studs may require resetting & sealing in Block.
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Old 12-04-2018, 04:48   #6
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Re: volvo md11 water in the oil

This is a well-built engine, but antique.

I would start to check the sea water pump shaft seals. Cheap item. Then pressure test the block. As this is sea water cooled, there may be cracks or holes from corrosion. If I remember correctly, this engine has loose cylinder liners, their seals may be a source of leaks. Exhaust elbow, of course.
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Old 12-04-2018, 05:11   #7
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Re: volvo md11 water in the oil

Head studs are threaded into the block ok...and no water passages in the block at all on the md11
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Old 12-04-2018, 05:21   #8
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Re: volvo md11 water in the oil

Doing the water pump seals today and putting engine back together . Will update with crossed fingers
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Old 12-04-2018, 05:24   #9
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Re: volvo md11 water in the oil

Yes, you are right, there are no water passages, but there should be water around the cylinder liners. If my memory serves me right this engine uses loose liners. Maybe a cracked head or cylinder liner. Would not be strange at this age.
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Old 12-04-2018, 05:26   #10
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Re: volvo md11 water in the oil

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Doing the water pump seals today and putting engine back together . Will update with crossed fingers
Yes, this would be an easy fix. Good thing, spare parts are still available for these.

These are great engines.
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Old 12-04-2018, 05:34   #11
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Re: volvo md11 water in the oil

Thanks Martin..hard to pressure test the liners but I did have them off and they held water ok with no leaks. Bought new o rings but finding it difficult to find a good mechanic to replace them with the right tools . They have to be presision set for proper compression ratio. So I just honed them and put them back on
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Old 12-04-2018, 09:01   #12
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Re: volvo md11 water in the oil

I had same problem. I had an MD2B that I rebuilt with the Volvo gasket kit. Ran it for a short period of time and it developed water in the crankcase. What I discovered was the Volvo head gaskets have a seam in the metal cylinder ring. Eventually it failed and the heads leaked water into the cylinders. I replaced the gaskets with Sierra head gaskets (which are much cheaper) that don’t have the seam. Problem solved. Never had another issue with the engine again.

Then, I upgraded to a rebuilt MD3B and ran that pretty hard for about a month when it develop the same problem. Rather than go through another rebuild, my solution was to pull the engine and install a Westerbeke. No more water in the oil.
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Old 12-04-2018, 09:19   #13
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Re: volvo md11 water in the oil

Wow nereseus that's very interesting and great info..will look for that . How much water did enter the oil ? And did it blow white smoke and pressureize the water system? I have tiny bubbles in my exhaust water and it seems like a light flow of water....maybe not enough flow
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Old 12-04-2018, 10:02   #14
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Re: volvo md11 water in the oil

Pressurized water system?...... Maybe a leaking injector copper tube in the head...Pushes combustion gasses into the water when running and could leak water the other way when not running.

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Old 12-04-2018, 10:27   #15
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Re: volvo md11 water in the oil

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Wow nereseus that's very interesting and great info..will look for that . How much water did enter the oil ? And did it blow white smoke and pressureize the water system? I have tiny bubbles in my exhaust water and it seems like a light flow of water....maybe not enough flow
We are getting there. White smoke means you are getting water into the combustion chamber and not only into the crankcase and bubbly pressurised water means that you get exhaust into the water system. So somewhere is a connection. Cylinder heads, cylinder liners. My first guess would be head gaskets or a crack/corrosion in one head. Probably the head gasket in the cylinder head you replaced. Happened to me once, new gasket failed. Changed brand, then OK.
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