View Full Version : Help! Plastic syphon tube broke off in oil pan?

05-08-2011, 12:07 AM
I'm a new boat owner of a used 1998 MC Pro Star.
My friend ran a plastic syphon tube down my dip stick to pump out the oil.
It got stuck and pulling and twisting IT BROKE OFF IN THE OIL PAN.
What kind of damage could it cause.
What could it be wrapped around in there?
Could it cause any damage if I try to start the engine? Or run the boat with this piece of plastic syphon tube in there?
Can anybody please advise me on this? Mike
********************************* I POSTED ON THIS ONCE ALREADY. THIS IS A SECOND POST

05-08-2011, 12:50 AM
If it were me, I'd get it out of there.

Is it actually in the oil pan, or is it broken off and still stuck in the dipstick tube?

If it's in the dipstick tube, you may be able to pull out (or have a mechanic pull out) the dipstick tube itself. This is a fairly painless answer.

If it's fallen into the oil pan; I really don't have a suggestion. The oil pump should have a screen that will keep the tube from getting sucked up into it. Whether it could get splashed around and into someplace it shouldn't be, I couldn't say. Whether the tube might degrade after sitting in hot oil for a year or two, I don't know. The oil isn't likely to get hot enough to melt the tube, so at least you won't have to worry about that.

Anyone else?


05-08-2011, 01:04 AM
It's in the pan. We removed and replaced the dip stick tube.
MY GUESS is that it is where the dip stick tube meets the bottom of the oil pan.
We have drained the oil and added 5 quarts. On the dip stick read it looks ok, BUT I have a foot long piece of plastic tube in my oil pan!!! Left in there what could it do???

05-08-2011, 10:43 AM
What could it do? I have a vivid imagination, so you don't want me to start speculating. There's only one boring scenario - the tube lays quietly on the bottom of the oil pan for the next 20 years - but there are lots of exciting ones.

You need someone with more experience than me to say whether it's likely to cause a problem or not. However, double-posting your question reduces the likelihood of that happening.

05-08-2011, 11:58 PM
Frank, Please let your imagination go. I have not yet tried to start the motor.

05-09-2011, 12:31 AM
Frank, What do you think about removing the drain plug and trying to reach it with a grabber? Do you think that sounds like a good idea?

05-09-2011, 01:43 AM
I'm not an expert on engines, so don't look to me.

I believe that the only place the tube could go would be into the oil pump. I don't think that it's physically possible for it to splash up onto the crank, or into the timing chain, or into the distributor gear. The oil pump has a screen on it, so I don't think you have to worry about it getting sucked into there.

The output of the oil pump goes directly into the oil filter, I believe, so even if the screen is missing and the oil pump does suck up the tube or bits of it, as long as the tube doesn't stall the oil pump (which would cause catastrophic mechanical damage), any bits and pieces will get filtered out.

Apocryphal story: While riding motorcycles through the California mountains, one of my friends low-sided (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNrp1Jzs7pg), grinding a dime-sized hole in the side of the engine case. With half-a-dozen electrical engineers on the trip, our committee decided to plug the hole with duct tape. We removed the side cover, blotted out all the oil, applied duct tape to the inside and outside of the case (sticking the two pieces together through the hole), bolted it back together, and started it up. Within a few minutes the hot oil dissolved the adhesive on the duct tape, and the 2" square piece on the inside of the case disappeared into the depths of the engine (the outer piece just fell off). We tried a second time, using high-temp Silicone sealant and letting it set overnight. Five years later, the bike was still running just fine, with a piece of duct tape and all the dissolved adhesive (hopefully flushed by then) in the engine somewhere and the silicon plug holding just fine.

Anyway, I'd certainly try getting the tube out the drain plug, if you can get to it. On mine, I'd probably have to pull the engine to be able to do any fishing through the drain plug - and at that point, pulling the pan is easier. If you can get to it, I'd put a hook on the end of a stiff wire (like a clothes hangar), and "rake" from the far side of the engine to the drain plug, hoping to catch the middle of the tube and get it towards the hole. Once you could see it, needle nose pliers, specialized grabbers, or a stronger hook might be enough to get it out. Having it out would certainly relieve some anxiety about what it's going to do.

Good luck,

05-09-2011, 09:37 AM
Its a piece of nylon hose going up against cast iron and steel parts...

05-09-2011, 09:39 AM
Frank, I'm thinking to remove the oil drain tube and try hooking it with a piece of coat hanger. Wish me luck.

05-10-2011, 11:19 PM
FRANK! I've decided to pull the motor! I never tried fishing around the drain tube hole with a hooked coat hanger. I'm just going to have the motor pulled at a very good shop I know. I was quoted a price of $1,000. I'm going to take this opportunity to have new motor mounts put on, engine tuned and repainted where there is some rust. If there is anything else you can suggest I get done while the motor is out please let me know.
****PEACE OF MIND for a cash cost seems like money well spent to me.
FYI it was not me who stuck that plastic syphone hose down my oil dip stick, it was my friend. He was just trying to help me out on an oil change. He did not know a Mastercraft has a oil drain tube, neither did I, But now we both do.
I'm looking forward to enjoying this boat for many years to come, with my friend as my ski buddy.
***** I figured out it's 29 inches of that plastic tube, it's just seems better to get out than leave it in.
B.O.A.T Bust Out Another Thousand:)

05-10-2011, 11:47 PM
Thank you to everyone for all your help on this, sharing your thoughts and ideas really helped me think through this. Thanks!!!!

05-12-2011, 09:54 AM
Bust out another thousand I do not have!! :( I'm just going to go for it, hoping nothing happens. I'll keep this forum updated as to how my 1998 PS 190 runs with 29 inches of plastic syphone hose in the oil pan. / THE WORRY IS that it's going to make its way up to my crank shaft and cause all kinds of havoc.. maybe get ground up and clog my oil pump or oil filter shut. I'M HOPING it just stayes curled up in my oil pan. I've been told it won't melt. THIS IS ALL JUST FYI for anyone else that might come accros this problem. AGAIN I'm going top let this board know how it goes... after the start and as the summer goes...