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Old 08-04-2021, 13:27   #1
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Westerbeke oil leak

I have a 1988 Sabre 42 with a westerbeke 45 hp dielsel engine. It is leaking oil into the bilge while boat is on the hard. Marina owner thinks there is a hole in the pan leaking oil - new oil from the pan is evident on absorb pads placed under the engine. Boat yard wants to remove counter above engine and hoist engine so that a new pan can be installed. This is expensive. No definitive location of leak.

Any suggestions on other possibilities of leak and how to find the leak or leaks.
Thanks
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Old 09-04-2021, 21:48   #2
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Re: Westerbeke oil leak

You can get flouro dye to put in the oil &hit with black light, use stalk mirror if necessary. Can get snake camera for phone with light to check it out as well. I havent done those things as have always found any with led & mirror but they sound like good ways to go about it if its a hard one to find.
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Old 10-04-2021, 05:30   #3
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Re: Westerbeke oil leak

If it's leaking when not running then it has to be down there somewhere. Before you go lifting the engine and stuff though, just double-check that the drain screw is tight in there.
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Old 10-04-2021, 06:01   #4
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Re: Westerbeke oil leak

I think I'd also torque the bolts holding the pan to the bottom of the block. Do the easy stuff before doing the hard and expensive stuff.
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Old 20-04-2021, 07:15   #5
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Re: Westerbeke oil leak

FWIW, I repaired a massive puncture in my '99 Explorer's 5.0L oil pan using Ultra Black RTV. It has held without leaking a drop ever since.

Procedure:

1. Get the engine hot, drain the oil thoroughly. I'm talking let it drain for a few days.
2. Scuff the area around the leak thoroughly.
3. Clean the area with acetone.
4. Apply RTV liberally, pushing it into the hole in order to create a plug. Spread it out over a large area for good adhesion.
5. Let dry overnight before adding oil.

I always prefer the 'by the book' repair, but sometimes you have to do ridiculous things just to stop a small leak (like pull the engine out). This should provide you many years of service.
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Old 20-04-2021, 18:45   #6
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Re: Westerbeke oil leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by C420sailor View Post
FWIW, I repaired a massive puncture in my '99 Explorer's 5.0L oil pan using Ultra Black RTV. It has held without leaking a drop ever since.

Procedure:

1. Get the engine hot, drain the oil thoroughly. I'm talking let it drain for a few days.
2. Scuff the area around the leak thoroughly.
3. Clean the area with acetone.
4. Apply RTV liberally, pushing it into the hole in order to create a plug. Spread it out over a large area for good adhesion.
5. Let dry overnight before adding oil.

I always prefer the 'by the book' repair, but sometimes you have to do ridiculous things just to stop a small leak (like pull the engine out). This should provide you many years of service.

Thats interesting, you are pretty brave but I guess it wouldnt be a catastrophic failure. Good to know, thanks for posting.
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Old 20-04-2021, 19:12   #7
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Re: Westerbeke oil leak

With the engine sitting, all the oil is drained into the pan. The pan should be large eonough to hold all 4-5 quarts. Your dipstick mark for full show’s what this level should be. First step - are you over-full?

I suggest you pull the dipstick and hold it alongside the dipstick tube, cap on the tube, as it would be normally, and mark this level on the engine.

Envision that level front to back on your oil pan - depending on engine tilt, the level may or may not be above the pan/block joint at the rear. If it’s not, the pan is likely leaking either at the drain plug or the dipstick entrance. If above, could be the gasket, but some westies have no rear seal - just a spiral groove which directs oil back into the pan when rotating - resting level should be below that point.....I had a w30 like that - would slosh out some oil in rough seas - I just kept up on absorbant pads....

Another thought - you didn’t mention if the engine’s been run - the oil filter holds oil, and if it isn’t properly sealed, you could get seepage there till it’s empty - and will refill when you run it. On mine, the oil filer seat was bolted to the block with a gasket - had leaks there and had to replace the gasket.

Final place I can think of, my w30 had an oil cooler bolted to the block - gasket there could be bad as well.

If you clean the engine off well, you can also wrap the bottom with some crepe or toilet paper - it will show where the leak is coming from.

Matt
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Old 01-05-2021, 21:32   #8
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Re: Westerbeke oil leak

I just pulled my W30 for the same reason. It was a pin hole rusted through the oil pan. If it leaks while not running it is more than likely a hole in the pan. Of course it could be over filled, or from the filter, but I doubt it. I had that optimistic thought until I thought about it for some time. It won't get better only worse. I soaked up about 4 quarts from my bilge before it was pumped overboard. Sorry but I speak from experience.

I was able to remove all the external parts and was able to sneak the engine out without removing the counter top. I have a 1977 Cal 34-lll.
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