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Finding the elusive oil leak

Discussion in 'Big Boats' started by LeslieTroyer, Jul 30, 2018. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. LeslieTroyer

    LeslieTroyer

    Joined May 20, 2016
    1,673 posts, 565 likes
    Catalina 36 MK1
    US Everett, WA
    in the middle of my 3week Cruise I noticed oil leaking from the engine. It was very hard to pinpoint the source. I thought it might be coming from somewhere around the HP fuel pump. A very knowledgeable friend suggested the dipstick. We tried taping the dipstick with duck tape and strategic placement of oil absorption pads around the engine. Thought it was the dipstick for a bit but it returned with it sealed.

    My son joined us and looked. He said it was coming from behind the fwd stbd motor mount. While I trusted his opinion I knew that wasn’t it because those bolts are all dry - meaning no oil behind them, and nothing could escape even if the bolts were removed.

    Once back home (and many oil pads later) I pitched fluorescent dye and black light. Guess what - the oil was coming from the motor mount - impossible but true. I pulled the mount and found different sized bolts in each of the three fasteners holding the mount to the engine. Some time in the past 2 of the holes were ruined, one was origional, one had a thread insert, one was over drilled and tapped. All connected to engine oil. A quick cleanup and good goop down with permitex #2 and all is good

    Moral of the story is don’t overlook the impossible sources or you could be eating crow for a long time.

    Photo 1: selfie of me looking for oil leak. Be sure and don’t let the better half know you can see bodily fluids with the light and glasses or you’ll be cleaning the head for a while
    Photo 2: the greenish color is the dyed oil.

    Les

    D00BA470-83BB-4AC3-85DA-0078CFA483B1.jpeg CEBE8FFF-4946-4D01-BBB5-BE933EDB53DB.jpeg
     


    jssailem and kloudie1 like this.
  2. Stu Jackson

    Stu Jackson

    Joined Feb 26, 2004
    19,907 posts, 575 likes
    Catalina 34
    224 CA Maple Bay, BC, Canada
    Unique. Congratulations.

    I found my leak, too. Now cleaning up below the mount of the raw water pump, will epoxy in a new stud in the lower left hole. Now down to bare aluminum.

    IMG_20180730_155610.jpg
     


    jssailem likes this.
  3. LeslieTroyer

    LeslieTroyer

    Joined May 20, 2016
    1,673 posts, 565 likes
    Catalina 36 MK1
    US Everett, WA
    Thanks @Stu Jackson

    That stud on my engine was 1/2 gone - with no nut on it.

    Les
     


  4. Stu Jackson

    Stu Jackson

    Joined Feb 26, 2004
    19,907 posts, 575 likes
    Catalina 34
    224 CA Maple Bay, BC, Canada
    Here's the first coat of JBWeld, need to fill in lots more underneath.

    IMG_20180731_203126 Good.jpg
     


    jssailem likes this.

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