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Problems after flooding engine compt 02 vlx?

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Hi all,

Had a bit of thing last weekened with my 02 VLX. Was out with wife and 3 kids (kids all under 4) at the delta a little ways beyond skiers beach, when I noticed the engine compartment was flooded. It had water in it at or a little past the top of the fuel tank. Checked center compartment and it was flooded as well. The bildge in my engine compartment was not working and we were riding very low. We were taking on a lot of water with no way of quickly getting it out. I fortunately keep a set of tools in a ready location on the boat, and pulled the discharge pump off the center sack and began pumping water from the center compartment (which has a pass through to the engine compartment). We were pumping for a long time and it was making some difference. We had taken a lot of water out of the engine compartment, but it just seemed to continue to be filling, and I wasn't sure whether it was taking in water only when the engine was running (e.g., broken water line) or even while off (e.g., broken skeg, seal). I decided i'd pumped enough out that we needed to try to get back to the launch at orwood or get close enough that I could get help to be towed in. But there was still a considerable amount of water in the engine compartment and it seemed to be coming in at a pretty good rate from somewhere. While driving, the oil and temp gauges were good. The boat was so full of water that I needed to get the speed up to get to plane. It was driving good at about 25 mph, when the engine bogged down losing power, but did not shut off. I put it in idle and everything seemed okay. I sped up a bit to 5 mph and no problem. However, I was still fighting the flooding and not sure the extent or cause of the leak, so i tried again to speed up to 25 mph and it was running fine, but then bogged down again after several minutes. A repeated putting it in idle, and at this point was afraid to shut it off for fear it would not turn back on. The gauges continued to look good, and besides the two times it had bogged down, the engine seemed to be running fine. Because I thought we were sinking I continued trying to get back to launch despite my concern of damaging the engine/trans. A beeping started up at higher speeds and later continued even in lower speeds. It sounded like it was coming from or coordinated with the v-drive light which was also flashing periodically. We made it back and it had a lot of water in it that we drained out. The water never got beyond the top of the gas tank, but I know it raised signficantly when the boat was at higher speeds because the water shifted to the rear. There was no obvious problems with the hull. Today I hooked up a fake a lake and discovered the hot water line for the in-line shower popped off. This is connected to the engine's cooling system, so a large amount of water was being pumped into the engine compartment while the engine was running. I was obviously pissed at discovering such a simple fix that could have been done on the water, which had I discovered it, I would have pumped the compartment fully before driving. On the other hand, it was an easy fix, with the exception of any damage I might have done by driving with a flooded engine compartment. My question now is does anyone have an idea what would have caused the engine to lose power periodically as a result of the engine compartment being flooded while driving? I see that the alternator is low on the engine, and i could imagine when the boat was running the water getting close or touching it. But I checked it today and it is working fine. Boat starts up and runs fine. Oil and trans fluid okay too. Guages and other electrical all work. I'll bet my steering cable will go out. I'm wondering if it caused any damage to the shaft seal, which might explain the periodic bogging down or loss of power and beeping and flashing of the v-drive light. While the fake a lake was connected, I put the engine and trans in drive (i.e., the driveshaft was engaged) to see if the trans engaged properly. It did, and I gave it a just a little gas, and the shaft started squealing so I quickly shut it down. I typically don't engage the trans with the fake a lake, and think this might be a normal reaction while out of the water b/c it needs to be submerged to lubricate. If not, that would suggest the shaft seal or something with the shaft might have been damaged from the flood causing the loss of power. Any ideas would be appreciated so I have some ideas what to look for on the next test drive. Thanks. Dan

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i've plumbed garden hose fittings into the shower and heater fittings at each source.

also carry plugs & caps so that i can pull any hose that decides to leak.

as an added benefit i can throw garden hose grommets with screens at each fitting so i know i'm not sucking trash into the shower and heater.

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Dan quick thinking to switch pumps, want you on my team. Bet your heart was on overload. I know you were in panic mode and hind sight is always 20 20 but didn't you feel the water it had to be hot.

I do not think that you caused any damage with all that water everything is sealed. Just check all your oil levels and you should be fine.

As far as the motor bogging down just imagine all that water on all those moving parts on your motor and drive line not to mention your ignition system. It would start to bog the motor down. And yes that alternator getting splashed or wet will start it to dis charge. If you are running fine you will be good to go.

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Thanks for the posts. Yeah, rodman, i did feel the water was warm, but wasn't sure if the engine was hot causing it to heat or it was hot because it was coming from inside the engine (obviously, now I know). You are thinking the same as me with respect to damage, and thats good to hear. Also, tvano, it was actually the cap that houses the inline filter on the hot water line to the shower that popped off. It must have gotten loose over time without me noticing. I'll keep a better eye on that and fix my bildge pump. Just a minor glitch early in the season!

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