View Full Version : Water in the oil after winter - where did I go wrong

05-19-2008, 11:56 PM
So after spending the winter in a garage I pulled out my 2001 Mobius V and began to dewinterize. Re-hooked up water fittings, tightened everything up, checked all fluids, noticed that the oil seemed about a quart or so too full. Thought, "well, I'm going to warm it up and change it anyway" so proceeded to hook up the garden hose and inlet cover and fired it up. It started perfectly, burned off the fogging oil, and within a few minutes came up to temperature. Now the not so fun part.

I hooked up my oil drain tube, ran it out the transon and low and behold it looks like water coming out! Then the milkshake starts.... I pull the dipstick and sure enough - Ah #$@%&!

I'm totally puzzled. We had a very mild winter and the boat was stored indoors. Not an insulated garage but it didn't get very cold for very long. Like just a few nights it got down to about 20 - other than that it was just a normal winter.

Is there a fitting, water connection, or something that could have broken? Something that could have frozen and/or cracked other than the heads or block? My transmission and V-drive are both fine - oil/atf was clean and water free.

I'm thinking maybe I blew a head gasket the end of last year without knowing it - like literally right at the end of the season and sucked in quart of water - and it sat like that all winter. That is why my dipstick was reading high because the oil was already floating on top of some existing water. After all, I normally check my oil before I head out each time, not when I get back.

So summer is not starting out so well as you can imagine. Anyone had to have head gaskets replaced out there? How painful was the bill? I'm hoping for that or some other "simple" fix as opposed to the dreaded cracked block and complete engine replacement.

Any and all suggestions are welcomed. Your help is appreciated!

05-20-2008, 07:42 AM
First thing I would do is check your spark plugs for rust, if they have rust your pistons and cylinder walls me be damaged too. I guess you may have burned all of that off warming up the motor, but while you have them out check the compression on each cylinder.

It sounds like a leaking headgasket,but if the compression test does not tell you anything useful, button her back up and run it on the garden hose for a while and check the oil to see if you are getting water again.

The head gasket replacement is the same as on any v8 car. would you attempt to change the headgasket on your car? if not find a mechanic or a dealer.

05-20-2008, 09:40 AM
Thanks for the advice - I will get on the compression check this afternoon.

So if I have two cylinders side by side that are both showing lower compression or a leak down that will tell me where the head gasket break (or other problem) is? It's been a while since I've done this sort of thing.

The boat only has 225 hours on it, and just 50 of those are from me over the last two years since I bought it. I totally baby this boat so you can imagine the concern. Last trip out last year we did a lot of idling around and also had some muddy water to deal with so I'm wondering if I overheated and just didn't notice...

05-21-2008, 07:59 PM
New engine going in right now... I still can't believe it. As protected as I was I still had blockage in one of the water jackets in the block. At the shop we pulled the plug on one side of the block and out came rust, sand, a bit of sludge and then water.

I think with my new engine I'll be flushing it with antifreeze and then going through the draining and winterizing procedure - or paying extra for the dealer to do the antifreeze flush. I'm still blown away that I had a cracked block though. We only had a few days where it got down into the teens overnight this last winter but warmed up during the day.

The upside is that I'm going with an upgraded power package and it will be ready to hit the water again in less than a week. My local dealer was too busy to take me in and referred me to the shop where they buy their engines from and outsource a lot of the bigger jobs to. It ended up being cheaper to work with these guys directly and they prefer it that way. Kind of ticks them off to have a dealership drop off a customer's boat for an engine replacement, they pick it up a week later, mark it up a hefty % and give it back to the customer.

If any of you out there are faced with the same grim engine replacement situation I had, I'd strongly recommend asking your local dealer who they get their engines from, or who does their major engine work and overhauls for them. Then go direct. It could save you hundreds if not thousands!

If you're located around Portland, Oregon you need to check out a shop called Superior Engine. Heck if you are anywhere in the Northwest - they'll probably beat anyone else's price and they were dealer recommended. It would be worth the drive. 503-284-9116 and ask for Dave.

05-22-2008, 12:11 AM
DAm thats the sh&&s We lost the block in ours last year my buddy missed one side 10 000 later new motor and off we went I think with my new boat this year it will be off to the dealer at the end of the season.

05-22-2008, 12:41 AM

I'm across the river in Tigard, OR. Real sorry to hear about the cracked blocked. I too store my boat in my unheated garage, and the back of the boat is right next to the furnace, so I wondered if I even needed to winterize it. But when I picked up my boat, I had one of the guys in the shop walk me thru the winterizing process so I went ahead and did it since it doesn't take long at all. Now I am glad I did.

Good to hear that you will be back on the water soon. So what is the "power package"?


05-22-2008, 11:57 AM
I have added different drain plugs to the block that are easy to use and opens up real well. I used them in my older boat where the butterfly petcocks were notorious for clogging. The new ones are brass fittings that have a hex head that opens to a 1/4 inch opening. The old valves you had to push a wire in and out to make sure nothing was clogging the opening. Sorry for your loss.

05-23-2008, 07:14 PM
Berger- that totally sucks. The bright side is it sounds like you'll have nice motor when it's all said and done! As a rule of thumb I was told engine freezing occurs at approx. 48 hours at a constant 32. Of course faster if colder. I too self winterize and store my boat in a garage. Although the garage is attached and insulated I worried a little on those really cold nights. This year I purchased a wall thermometer and a heater with a thermostat! First thing in the morning I'd check to make sure everything was still above 40!

05-24-2008, 06:53 PM
I'm a firm believer in 2 100watt bulbs/reflectors in engine compartment on cold nights, keeps it toasty...

07-08-2008, 04:50 PM
Hey guys-
I kind of off fell off this posting when I got the boat back! The upgraded power package, according to the engine shop, would be going from the base 310HP to about 340HP. It runs a hotter cam and possibly a little tuning on the EFI(?).

I only have about 5 hours on the engine now but it runs beautifully and doesn't seem to be anymore thirsty for gas than it was. We've had kind of a slow start to summer here and the rivers and lakes have all been very high and full of debris from all the snow melt off (record snow levels this year). At any rate I haven't had any problems yet but to tell you the truth I haven't really noticed any RADICAL improvements over the old engine. Then again I haven't been pulling any riders yet either or really cracking the throttle open. Got about 5-6 more break-in hours to go before I'm ready for that.

It is a bit louder than a stock boat at idle. This boat has always sounded very healthy when you first fire it up and now it does sound just a bit hotter. It's turned a few heads at the boat launch when they hear the first rumble. I love getting those double takes...

This coming winter we may get crazy and investigate a heated storage (cha-ching). I would add on to my garage if I had the room but that isn't an option at this house.

zabooda - I'm curious what those drain plugs look like. Do you have any pics?

PS - My neighbor has a big 2007 24ft pontoon boat with a 4.3L V6 and he too had freezing problems this last winter. Luckily his only pushed out a soft plug and just cost him 2 hours of labor at his dealer...

07-08-2008, 08:17 PM
They are brass fittings that goes into the block and a wrench will open up the far end and the opening is rather large where it will drain the block fast. It would have to be a big blockage to clog one of these. The picture was an Ebay post but they should be available at most marinas.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Brass-Marine-engine-block-drain-plug-drain-valve_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp3286Q2em14Q2el131 8QQhashZitem260258633336QQitemZ260258633336#ebayph otohosting

07-08-2008, 09:38 PM
Once in Atlanta many years ago I didn't drain the old 351 Windsor in the MasterCraft and it pushed out the brass freeze plugs. Not sure what material these blocks use for freeze plugs??? Luckily I was able to put some new ones back in myself.
Bob, we have used the light bulb trick here but again we live in Florida, I think it gets so cold up there that 100 to 150 watts may not be enough.

07-08-2008, 10:52 PM
I self winterize as well and stories like this scare the hell out of me. Luckily we made out this winter with no problems.

Bergermaister, don't ya just love the sound of those glass packs in the morning?

07-09-2008, 11:20 AM
Love the rumble of a V8 first thing in the morning (or anytime really!).

Went out on the water for a few hours last night. About 90 degrees outside but way too much wind to have any fun. Of course around 8:30PM when we announce we're going to head in it calms right down....

But I'm getting off topic.

07-10-2008, 06:50 PM
Ain't that just about how it always goes.....go to head back in and out comes the glass!