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Nov 22, 2008
3,563
Endeavour 32 Portland, Maine
Thanks for all the suggestions above.

I just got everything moved out of the way and gave the engine a good look over. No oil visible anywhere. However, when I stick my fingers up in the opening at the bottom of the bell housing, they come out covered with oil. The oil is coming from inside the bell housing. This shaft line is very closely coupled, it's almost impossible to repack the stuffing box. Replacing a main shaft seal in place isn't in the cards.

The engine is going to have to come out of the boat. Right now, I don't see any way that's going to be done except by the next owner but I'm going to start making the rounds of the yards and collecting info to see if there is a way out of this that I can afford.
 
Jun 6, 2006
6,982
Hunter 40.5 Harrington Harbor North, MD
perhaps just taking the tranmission out and blocking the engine would work to gain access to the rear main seal.
did you determine where the water was getting into the oil?
 
Feb 6, 1998
11,096
Canadian Sailcraft 36T Casco Bay, ME
Roger,

Pulling your engine should take 2-4 hours. All you need to do is move it into the galley or forward enough to remove the bell housing.

What you'll need:

1- A 4X4 across the companionway
2- Your main sheet tackle & an extra block & tackle set 4:1 or better
3- Your boom vang tackle
4- Some boat yard blocs to set the motor on when you move it forward.
5- Some miscellaneous lines.
6- The tools you likely already have

Process:

1- Disconnect fuel lines
2- Disconnect electrical
3- Disconnect shaft/coupling from gear box.
4- Disconnect "linkage" form shifter and fuel
5- Remove engien mount bolts from stringers but only AFTER tracing the foot print with a Sharpie marker. This allows easier re-installation.
6- Connect engine to 4X4 with main sheet tackle
7- Connect boom vang tackle to engine to "pull" it forward once lifted.
8- Set on wood blocks and go to work...

Here's a video of the tough part, putting it back in. I did this solo with only my video camera there to watch. Easy as pie...

Don't let this beat you!!

 
Nov 22, 2008
3,563
Endeavour 32 Portland, Maine
perhaps just taking the tranmission out and blocking the engine would work to gain access to the rear main seal.
did you determine where the water was getting into the oil?
The mechanic who was just here said I would be surprised what they can sometimes do in place. I'm awaiting arrival of the senior mechanic, who may be tied up in a training session until Friday, to take a look and come up with a plan.

No water in the oil. I just cleaned out the drip pan and I was mistaken about that. I found oil and water when cleaning up after the recent oil change and thought I had just spilled oil changing the difficult filter on this engine. After the major oil leak, I assumed that the previous oil water mix was part of the same developing problem. Evidently, the water got in from somewhere else, maybe the heavy rains. There wasn't a hint of water this time.
 
Feb 26, 2009
397
Oday 30 Anchor Yacht Club, Bristol PA
Hey Roger here's hoping your problem is not as bad as it seems! BTW what engine do you have?
 
Nov 22, 2008
3,563
Endeavour 32 Portland, Maine
what engine do you have?
Yanmar 2QM20(H). I have heard several experienced mechanics refer to this as the best small boat diesel ever built. The only draw back is the raw water cooling that limits their life. However, during that life, there is a lot to be said for it. After fuel supply problems, cooling system issues are the leading cause of power loss. My friends have just been stuck in a nasty town in Florida for a month having a new head gasket put in because of a cooling system problem that let the engine overheat. Not having to carry jugs of anti-freeze around is nice.

My engine was in fresh water until 2005 so should have a lot of life left in it.
 
Nov 22, 2008
3,563
Endeavour 32 Portland, Maine
So, it is a leaking rear seal? Hope not!
No question that is what it is. I got a second opinion for the obvious just because it's always good form to do so for something you have an emotional investment in. That's why doctors don't practice on their families.

When you can't see oil anywhere on the engine and you stick your fingers up inside the hole at the bottom of the flywheel bell housing and they come out covered with oil, a second opinion is kind of pro forma. There is only one way on most engines that oil can get in there. Even if the engine has some odd configuration such as a drain plug or oil system pipe inside the bell housing, the engine and transmission still have to be separated to get at it.
 
Feb 26, 2009
397
Oday 30 Anchor Yacht Club, Bristol PA
Damn... Not like a car engine that drips "a little" that really really $suck$ Roger. Can these little engines "blow" seals like car engines when the PCV system clogs?
 
Jan 30, 2012
1,047
Nor'Sea 27 - "Kiwanda" Portland/Anacortes
Roger -

You might be right -- but just in case - check the crankcase breather to verify it is clear. If the crankcase is not ventilated via the breather crankcase pressures will build and push oil out of the motor through one or more of the seals.

Note that crankcase pressure at idle may not result in oil loss, so you might have to increase RPM. You can also pull the dipstick and see if oil or pressure discharges out the dip tube.

Charles

ps -- Denise beats me to it.
 
Nov 22, 2008
3,563
Endeavour 32 Portland, Maine
r. Can these little engines "blow" seals like car engines when the PCV system clogs?
Don't forget, the shaft has been turning in that seal since 1979. It could probably be forgiven for being a bit tired.

One of the things I could find out Friday, or after the engine comes out and is looked at more closely, it that there are so many things like this about to give out that it doesn't make sense to put it back in.

Aside from the water pump seals, which really come under the routine maintenance heading, this engine has been more trouble free than many new installations I've seen. Still, time's winged chariot catches up with all of us.
 
Jan 20, 2009
15
Endeavour 32 Fredericton, NB
Hi Roger,
Rear main seal - that's not so bad. When I've removed my engine while cruising its taken half a day to remove and two days to reinstall. That would vary depending access and tools and I don't know your boat. Reinstalling always takes longer than you expect due engine realignment and other checks. Disconnecting the exhaust might slow you down on removal. Its all likely very doable - and with tools you probably have aboard or can borrow locally. It is a bit harder to wrap your head around a project like this while on a cruise compared with the same project at your home port well planned and prepared for.

The seal replacement would be not too much more complicated than the behind the flywheel frost plug replacement I had to do in Maine. That cost me about four hours of the services of a great mechanic (John at Downeast Diesel) - and we did a few other minor things that were easy to do while the engine was out.

He made easy work of hoisting the engine right out of the boat and into his shop with his forklift and chain lift. In my home boatyard they use the truck mounted mast crane for that job.

A few other things:
Mark the locations of the engine mounts before you move anything.
If a new seal is not in stock available locally - ask a local bearing supplier or Yanmar tractor dealer. In my case the local Kubota stationary engine dealer has been a godsend.
As others have said - I wonder if there are any internal pressure issues that caused the seal to pop out. We hope its still in place and just worn out.
Use this as an opportunity to fix or upgrade other minor things you've been putting off due to tough access in your engine compartment.
You are in a marine knowledgeable area with people that have been following your voyage ready to help you out.

I bet you are underway sometime next week with a big smile on your face and more comfort with your capabilities and the basic soundness and repairability of your engine.

Paul from New Brunswick
 
Nov 22, 2008
3,563
Endeavour 32 Portland, Maine
When I've removed my engine while cruising its taken half a day to remove and two days to reinstall.
Thanks for that perspective. I've been thinking about that as I was following your project by cell phone at the time (and would have been there helping if your phone hadn't been turned off).

However, things are never simple. Another vital boat system which has been failing since the stress of my anchoring adventure is my lower back. I won't be doing any of this work unless I store the boat for a while and return to it in a couple months. There's probably not a significant difference in just having the yard go ahead and whip it out and get back to cruising.
 
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