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aparks87

Engine oil in the hull

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aparks87

Hey guys I let a family member borrow my boat this weekend and apparently they ran into some trouble. They noticed she was running funny so they shut her down and popped the motorbox. To their surprise, the hull was full of oil. Checked the dip stick and...not a drop. So they got it trailered and dropped it off for me. Thanks right! Anyway, is there a certain direction I should go? I'm not very "handy" with mechanics, but the thought of a dealer troubleshooting for $85-$100 an hour isn't very appealing either. Has anyone ever had this and could it be as simple as a hose or gasket? I'll definitely spend the $$ to get it fixed, but would like some heads up first. Thanks for reading.

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footndale

Were you located?

I would check the drain plug or hose. Maybe the hose burst. Not too many places the oil can come out of engine, unless you have a big problem.

Check value covers. You should be able to see oil if there is a leak. Sometimes using baby powder helps in finding oil leaks.

Did you just have the oil filter changed? Possibly the oil filter gasket from old didn't come off?

If you cant find anything, fill up with oil and run the engine and look for the leak. Hopefully the engine wasn't ran much without the oil.

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REW

I had a small leak that came from the oil pressure attachment hardware. A small crack had developed in the adaptors (brass) That should have resulted in a oil pressure alarm though.

Cant think of anything other than what is listed above.

Was there any spray in the motor box?

Good luck and keep us posted. What you learn may save someone else.

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wdr

All of the above and maybe the dip stick where it inserts in to the block. Though I wouldn't think it would puke all of the oil out. Start searching on the top of the engine and work your way down into the bilge. Good luck.

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Falko

Did they check the oil before they went out? It would be telling if this was an immediate issue or something gone awry over time.

The rubber gaskets on the valve covers can dry and crack, or the bolts simply loosen.

Another area (and hopefully not the case) is the main seals. A leak of that magnitude should be easy to find though. Fixing it might be a differnt story.

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tvano

take a few minutes to give the engine a good inspection.

i'd bet that there will be sufficient witness marks to show where the oil is leaking from.

certainly should be able to tell if it's local to just one side or one corner.

if the engine is completely dry then that oil drain hose that footndale mentioned may be the culpret.

if it's local to the port side rear then the oil filter and/or oil pressure sending unit(s) (and T's) could be suspect.

if an inspection doesn't show you enough evidence then i'd be tempted to top off the oil in the engine and run it at idle for a few minutes while watching for leaks.

probably want the boat wet or fake a lake for this. don't run it dry.

i'd also be eager to run the engine to see if it's toast; they don't last very long if running w/o oil.

if the engine is toast then the source of that oil leak isn't even in the 'top 10 list' of things that bother you.

spelling edit.

Edited by tvano

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Woodski

I would take a good look for witness marks as noted by tvano, look carefully at the engine cover as it might be a good source for a witness mark or where there might be oil on the carpet surrounding the engine area. A first check would be for a loose oil filter, sometimes they do loosen up, after that several of the notes above are good sources. Simple answer is yes, the oil filter gasket (loose filter or blown gasket, likely candidate as oil under pressure at this point), oil presure sensor (oil under pressure and might have broken off or come loose but I have never seen that), valve cover gaskets (not high probability for oil to escape quickly as high on engine and not under pressure) or crank seals (highly unlikely). What was done to the engine prior to them using the boat? That wil be a good clue as to what might have happened.

Before you try to start the engine, I would suggest you try to see if it will spin over using either a breaker bar on the crank pulley or a big screwdriver on the flywheel (You will have to find a spot to gain access to the flywheel, there should be rubber plug in the bellhousing allowing you to do that). The reason for my comment is what was said to you "running funny". Many times when one shuts down an engine that is out of oil, it will seize up when it stops running. Trying to start it at that point with the starter could simply damage the starter and accomplish nothing else.

Before you run the engine if it does run, I would take off the oil filter and send it and the oil in it for oil analysis. That will tell you how much bearing material is now captured in the oil. There are several labs around the country that will do an oil analysis for you. If you do plan to run it, put a new filter on as insurance anyway with the additional oil needed. If you add more that three quarts, I would probably stop there and dig deeper for damage, find out how long they ran the engine.

Good luck, I hope they caught it in time.

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malibuparadise

If your inspection doesn't lead to much....make sure you use a good flashlight, i.e.,

if the boat is in the garage turn off the room lights (or even outside do after dusk), and do the CSI thing! Be methodical to look at every location particularly the points mentioned by the CREW. You really get a different perspective and can see things you might not see in the daytime. Best wishes on solving the case!

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martinarcher

Great advice in the posts above! :werule:

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EchelonMike

I had a small leak that came from the oil pressure attachment hardware. A small crack had developed in the adaptors (brass) That should have resulted in a oil pressure alarm though.

Definately start there - my brass looking adapter that holds the pressure sensor and sending unit cracked and filled the engine with oil. No alarm, no nothing. I just happened to see oil coming out the bilge when I hit the switch or I would have burned up the engine. I caught it early.

Check there. It is on the port side of the engine, down near the oil filter.

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tvano

Definately start there - my brass looking adapter that holds the pressure sensor and sending unit cracked and filled the engine with oil. No alarm, no nothing. I just happened to see oil coming out the bilge when I hit the switch or I would have burned up the engine. I caught it early.

Check there. It is on the port side of the engine, down near the oil filter.

agree.

note that this can be very difficult to localize.

initially i could not see that adapter as a source of the leak. i was convinced that the rear main was gone.

i used a grease cutting solvent (acetone) to wipe down the sending units and adapters then i used tp to check the area after running it.

it was surprisingly difficult to localize given the large amount of oil that was leaking.

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aparks87

Thanks for all the feedback. To answer a few of your questions, I am located in Madison, Georgia and had the boat serviced by a Malibu dealer last winter. At this time a full service was done. I probably didn't even put 15 hours on my boat this summer due to my wife being pregnant and then having a new baby at the house. I checked the oil filter and it seems to be secure. I haven't had a chance to do much other exploration do to my schedule yet. I appreciate all of your comments and I will investigate all the possibilities that you proposed. When I get a diagnosis, I'll add it to here so someone in the future might have a heads up! Many thanks again!!!

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Woodski

Did the problem crop up soon after the service was done? If so, check everything they would have done as it could be related to that. Also, seen before, double gaskets on the oil filter (the old one stuck to the block upon removal), which leads to a leak.

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HOskier

I am having the same issue it seems.  My hull was filled with oil and my oil fill cap was off, the one that is not marked and on the right manifold as you face the front of the boat.  The engine was down 2 qts. but no oil spray on the engine cover, carpet or top of the engine.  Oil pressure did drop slightly when in idle before I found the oil.  I have not run it since.  Just trying to figure it out before I waste more Amsoil.

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