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View Full Version : Does your 8.1L Saltwater Series engine leak?


johkur
10-29-2009, 01:20 PM
I need to know if there actually are working 8.1L Saltwater Series engines out there. When my 08 was received last spring, the antifreeze overflow was empty, bone dry. I thought it was a dealer-install of the antifreeze as the reason, but they said the boat was run at the factory, and there must have been an air bubble in the system. that really wouldn't have accounted for 'bone dry' though, with the hose and the overflow never showing any evidence of antifreeze (bright green) even in the bottom of the overflow tank.

I accepted the boat, and all season we were adding antifreeze to keep the overflow high enough. Ultimately, near the end of the season, they took the boat back, removed the exhaust manifolds, and noticed a crack in each. (on the inside of the manifold, couldn't be seen until it had been removed). Mastercraft/Indmar said it must have been a 'bad cast' that effected both the left and right manifold. I didn't agree on the probability of that, but had to accept their word. Repair done, boat winterized by dealer and stored for winter.

This season, boat was still losing antifreeze. At first wrote it off to an 'air bubble' that was working its way out. Then MC told dealer that contrary to instructions, a different sealant should be used for the manifolds than they had been told. So lost the boat again, and the manifolds were again removed, sealant changed, allowed to dry 5 days (during our short summer!), and finally got the boat back. Again, kept losing antifreeze, and had to assume it was working out its 'bubbles'.

Today the dealer checked the boat, and found a crack on the outside of each manifold. It was easier to find this time too, because there was smoke rising from both sides of the engine after the boat had been sitting. So now we have another two cracked exhaust manifolds. And you can see the antifreeze on the side of the engine and the cracks in the manifolds.

Oh, and by the way, while I was leaving the dealer last week (before the manifold crack discovery, but after they had been looking for the crack for several days), one of the silentmasters got a 'split', and that too now has to be replaced. (the dealer temporarily taped it up so that we could at least keep looking for the antifreeze leak). And while I was on the way home from the dealer, I noticed smoke coming off one side of the engine (again), but thought it might again be spilled antifreeze burning off. (but dealer said they washed engine down completely when I checked afterwards, so dealer offered to come to the house today and see for himself). Today, not only did that side smoke, but the other side started smoking for the first time as well.

This boat has NEVER had a working engine/exhaust system. The question is why. Is it that the 8.1L really isn't capable of being a saltwater series? That maybe all 8.1L leak, but loss of antifreeze reveals it (in Saltwater Series), or there's something about the saltwater series that doesn't cool things properly and causes the cracks? Or is it the open exhaust system even though MC told us that there's no way water could back up through the Silentmasters? And of course, the boat shipped here there was no overflow antifreeze in the first place, so I have to think this has been a problem since day 0.

Any ideas? I'm not sure that even a replacement engine or boat would solve this problem if there really aren't working 8.1L SS out there. So if you have an 8.1SS, please let me know!

MC X-15
10-29-2009, 01:51 PM
I have an X-15 ss with the MCX and had a summers worth of overheating problems when i first got it. FInally everythign stopped overheating for no apparent reason or fix and had a flawless summer. But as i was cleaning the boat for winterization i noticed a small drip of antifreeze on one of the exhaust manifolds. Hopefully this is not a crack. My boat will tend to get higher in temp if i am cruising for a few. 30+ MPH for 5-8 minutes the boat climbs to about 170-175 deg. I know this is not right. But i dont think its just the 8.1L engines. May be all the SS series engines. When i open the boat I will revisit the issue. I no longer get service/work done through my local MC dealer so hopefully the new place i go will be upfront considering they dont sell MC's. Lots of money for boats that don't work properly. Starting to wish i went with a nother manufacturer.

Eagle Lake Rebel
10-29-2009, 08:49 PM
Send Ole Miss Rebels a PM....8.1L engine not salt water, runs great, but he has fought a lot of the same issues.

bwop
10-29-2009, 10:32 PM
I have a 2009 X45 8.1SS. Seems that we have the same problem. I received my boat and the overflow and hose was empty. Dealer checked it and said that there was plenty of antifreeze in the system and not to worry. I have added 2 gallons of antifreeze over the summer. At the begining of the summer, every time before I start the boat i check engine and transmission oil and antifreeze, added when i needed to. Every time i went to the boat i had to fill the antifreeze (engine cold)(to the cold line) Towards the end of the summer i started adding antifreeze at the end of the day (engine hot) (to the hot line) and noticed that i was having to add alot less antifreeze. When the engine was hot it pushes out the antifreeze and as it cools it sucks it back in. Seems that when i was filling it to the cold line, the engine cools and sucks in all the overflow and creates air pockets. Filling it to the hot line and when the engine cools and sucks in the antifreeze i always seem to have at least antifreeze in the hose. Maybe that solved my problem but cant be sure because i only did it a couple of times before i had to winterize

When do you add your antifreeze???

ps never had a problem with overheating

johkur
10-29-2009, 11:03 PM
I would fill to the middle of the overflow when it was cold, since that didn't take it too high when it got hot, and when it started getting cold out, for a controlled test, I did start filling to hot line when it was hot (since cold might be a different temperature depending on weather, but hot was always 160 degrees).

But I dont view antifreeze like gas or oil. Just like my car, once the system has its antifreeze, its done, and you check it every few years. Maybe you try to get rid of a bubble in the beginning, but it was a continuous battle. But now, because instead of an internal leak like you might have, my leaks are external, and the smoke as it burns off the engine is even less reasonable.

So does anyone have a saltwater series that doesn't consume/lose antifreeze, especially an 8.1L?

johkur
10-29-2009, 11:08 PM
I have an X-15 ss with the MCX and had a summers worth of overheating problems when i first got it. FInally everythign stopped overheating for no apparent reason or fix and had a flawless summer. But as i was cleaning the boat for winterization i noticed a small drip of antifreeze on one of the exhaust manifolds. Hopefully this is not a crack. My boat will tend to get higher in temp if i am cruising for a few. 30+ MPH for 5-8 minutes the boat climbs to about 170-175 deg. I know this is not right. But i dont think its just the 8.1L engines. May be all the SS series engines. When i open the boat I will revisit the issue. I no longer get service/work done through my local MC dealer so hopefully the new place i go will be upfront considering they dont sell MC's. Lots of money for boats that don't work properly. Starting to wish i went with a nother manufacturer.

You might be lucky. If you were overheating, it might spill some out of the overflow tank, and maybe you just saw it (depends where you saw it). We kept thinking that was why we were seeing smoke on that side of the engine when we'd start up the engine, but ultimately the dealer really cleaned things off, and then we saw it again. I also moved the hose that comes OUT of the overflow towards the front of the boat, to help make sure that any possible loss from vibration or otherwise could be identified, but there wasn't any overflow, and then we did discover an actual leak. If you were at 170-175 though, maybe you were low on antifreeze. Did you normally check the overflow bottle and see it at the 'hot' line when it was 'hot', 'cold' line when it was cold?

rgardjr1
10-29-2009, 11:27 PM
So does anyone have a saltwater series that doesn't consume/lose antifreeze, especially an 8.1L?

Last summer was my first full summer owning my Maristar 200 SS with the 5.7 Crusader. I didn't notice any loss of anti-freeze last summer.

davomaddo
10-30-2009, 04:24 PM
That is a bummer. I feel for you. It sounds like a major PITA.
Boat issues drive me crazy. If you are a working guy like me, you have limited time to spend on a boat to begin with. That time is cherished. It really sucks when the boat breaks and you have to spend that limited time dealing with a broken boat rather than having a blast on a new boat.

When you buy a new boat and have boat issues, that makes things even worse.
I think boat issues are way worse then car issues. I'll take a broken down car any day over a broken boat.

I have the 09 X-15 SS.
When I first got the boat, there was a tiny bit of inti freeze leaking out where the anti-freeze goes into the top of the engine. The dealer tightend the connection and put some sealer or something in there and it took care of it. I didn't have any issues the rest of the summer.

My last Malibu had similar issue.

I always check the different hose connection, looking for possible leaks.
The anti freeze leaks are easy to spot due to the color.

If I were you, I would keep using the boat into the winter (if at all possible) until you get it figured out - so that next summer are not dealing with this stuff again.

cbryan70
10-31-2009, 12:46 PM
I would talk to MYMC seems to know the most about these motors......