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View Full Version : Oil under motor and cracks in bell housing


justinlkgb
05-14-2012, 11:07 PM
hmmm(sigh)....just bought this boat last Wednsday, and had it looked over and compression checked before I bought it. I have used the boat for 2 hrs only, and I even test drove it. All seemed to check out. What I know is that at one time this boat had a drive shaft replacement due to a rope being wrapped up...at least that was the story.
Anyways, I went to clean out the boat, and when vacuuming the storage lockers I noticed a fairly large amount of oil in the bilge area. so I started cleaning this up and found the attached pieces of metal in the fiberglass"V" directly under the oil pan.

jhall0711
05-14-2012, 11:19 PM
are you running oil or ATF in your tranny? If ATF in the tranny then you can eliminate it. If running oil in tranny, based on the pieces you found and the past history, may have a crack through the transmission somewhere.

justinlkgb
05-14-2012, 11:20 PM
So after the clean up attempt I checked the oil and added about half a quart and decided to go out tonight again and see if we could verify a leak or if this was just remnants of a sloppy oil change. After the ballast filled up, I checked the oil again. Thinking the first time, the angle of the boat in the driveway may have been slightly throwing off the readings. Well...the stick showed that it was at the add line. So I added about a quart and a half, we rode for 30 minutes and then on the way to the landing, the low oil pressure alarm sounds. Shut boat down, and drift to shore. meanwhile the dipstick is not reading anything now. Load up and head home.

get home and find all sorts of reasons to cry:cry: What didnt show well was the puncure in the bell housing. This pic is looking from the v-drive to the stern. The "star" looking scratch in actually a very sharp crack protruding outward on the port side. The other pic looks like a scratch but in reality is a crack as well on the Starboard side.

Pretty sure the oil is leaking from the rear main seal, whats the chance the bell housing is toast as well? These are the terms coming from the mechaninc friends that were gracious enought to help me out.... Apologies if I have confused some terms...

justinlkgb
05-14-2012, 11:23 PM
Sorry forgot the specs...

2004 X Star
350 MCX
415hrs

justinlkgb
05-14-2012, 11:27 PM
are you running oil or ATF in your tranny? If ATF in the tranny then you can eliminate it. If running oil in tranny, based on the pieces you found and the past history, may have a crack through the transmission somewhere.

Running 15-40 penzoil marine oil per sticker on V drive. New to the V drive. The old boat was a DD and much easier and cleaner to work on. Can't tell you how many times I have hit my head the past two days...:mad: I was able to feel around the V drive itself and it was dry. The oil appears to be coming out below the starter, and there is a gap where the housing meets the starter. Don't know if it suppose to or not?

76S&S
05-15-2012, 08:46 AM
Sorry, I can't help, but someone will be along with suggestions.

JimN
05-15-2012, 08:56 AM
It's possible that the oil is from oil changes and was mixed with the water by letting the water level rise enough to reach the prop shaft coupler, which would agitate it. I see a lot of dirt and stuff, all over the photos, which tells me that the previous owner wasn't a stickler on keeping things clean and shiny.

I would clean EVERYTHING and watch for oil drops and water getting into the bilge. The water may be from the shaft replacement and the packing nut not being tightened properly. Hopefully, that's the case. I wouldn't worry much until after you clean it out. If you still see oil dripping, you'll need to check it out.

93ProStar205
05-15-2012, 09:01 AM
To be clear, you are losing/adding oil to the motor or trans? Milkshake looking oil like your pic shows means water and oil being mechanically mixed. Does the oil in the motor or trans look like a milkshake as well? If so, get it to a reputable inboard mechanic, as it seems like you may have some damage due to freezing that is unrelated to the bell housing cracks. Depending on what is found, may be time for a friendly chat with the seller re: how the boat was represented when advertised for sale. Did you buy from a dealer or individual?

justinlkgb
05-15-2012, 09:38 AM
Have just been informed that about "4-5 years ago the boat had blown a clutch plate… There were springs, bolts, and oil everywhere. We put the new plate in" this came from the dealer that had serviced this boat prior.

The seller appeared on the up and up. I did purchase from a private party, but had the boat looked over and compression checked prior to purchase. Lots of people had told me great things about the dealer and the seller.

I had attempted to clean everything on Sunday afteroon before we went wakeboarding for the 1st time this year. Noticed considerable amount of oil afterwards, but assumed the same Jim had mentioned. After last night, I am pretty certain it is that darn seal. Going to call the experts at Midwest Mastercraft and hope I can get her back before Memorial weekend:noface:

mikeg205
05-15-2012, 09:44 AM
To be clear, you are losing/adding oil to the motor or trans? Milkshake looking oil like your pic shows means water and oil being mechanically mixed. Does the oil in the motor or trans look like a milkshake as well? If so, get it to a reputable inboard mechanic, as it seems like you may have some damage due to freezing that is unrelated to the bell housing cracks. Depending on what is found, may be time for a friendly chat with the seller re: how the boat was represented when advertised for sale. Did you buy from a dealer or individual?

+1 ^^

You got a low oil pressure light after adding oil to motor and running? I would change the oil and filter. check the old oil... if its milkshake - water intrusion.....the milkshake picture indicates at least IMO that something is agitating the oil and water or whatever is in the bilge area. Start off with pouring a bunch of Simple Green into to the bilge..let it sit for a awhile and the drain it....you can then pour a little cool/cold water in the bottom of the bilge to rinse it out... at least you'll get a clean view hopefully of an oil trail.

Good luck and sorry to hear about the issue with so few hours.

mikeg205
05-15-2012, 09:46 AM
What the heck is that big piece from? Damper plate?

93ProStar205
05-15-2012, 10:17 AM
I thought that big piece looked like pressure plate, but was like "nah, can't be." There's where your busted bell housing came from. Did they do rear main seal when the plate was replaced?

justinlkgb
05-15-2012, 02:05 PM
I thought that big piece looked like pressure plate, but was like "nah, can't be." There's where your busted bell housing came from. Did they do rear main seal when the plate was replaced?

Unknown, but I have to believe it was not done.

justinlkgb
05-15-2012, 02:25 PM
What the heck is that big piece from? Damper plate?

Wish I knew. My guess says its a piece of the clutch plate...? Don't really know what I am talking about though:o
Did find the gasket backing material too, so at one time a gastket was repleaced:rolleyes:

justinlkgb
05-15-2012, 02:26 PM
To be clear, you are losing/adding oil to the motor or trans? Milkshake looking oil like your pic shows means water and oil being mechanically mixed. Does the oil in the motor or trans look like a milkshake as well? If so, get it to a reputable inboard mechanic, as it seems like you may have some damage due to freezing that is unrelated to the bell housing cracks. Depending on what is found, may be time for a friendly chat with the seller re: how the boat was represented when advertised for sale. Did you buy from a dealer or individual?

Bought from and individual... oil on dipstick is or was clear and looked new. Same with the oil in the V drive.

93ProStar205
05-15-2012, 03:09 PM
Bought from and individual... oil on dipstick is or was clear and looked new. Same with the oil in the V drive.

Ok, bit of good news there. If it still looks that way, then you're probably not looking at damaged water passages in the block. A rms is way easier to deal with.

justinlkgb
05-15-2012, 04:50 PM
Ok, bit of good news there. If it still looks that way, then you're probably not looking at damaged water passages in the block. A rms is way easier to deal with.

Wheeww. first bit of positive news. Calling the dealer now...fingers crossed.

Good lesson to learn though, just wish I could do this repair myself to add another notch to the belt:D

corey
05-15-2012, 06:22 PM
Justin,

It was great talking to you today (well, wish it were better circumstances) I wish we could get your boat in a little earlier but this spring has been VERY busy, even with a bit larger staff than normal we are farther out than we would like to be. Rest assured we'll get to the bottom of this for you.

Take care and see you soon!

petermegan
05-15-2012, 06:31 PM
Now that's good communication. :D

93ProStar205
05-15-2012, 07:45 PM
OP-keep us posted on the outcome please. Lots of MCX V-drive owners out here.

Jerseydave
05-15-2012, 08:29 PM
My opinion for what it's worth

Previous owner had a damper plate failure which cracked the bell housing. He installed a new damper plate but did not repair/replace the bell housing. Really no need to.

But, perhaps broken pieces from the damper plate cut the rear main seal and there's your leak.

Line the bilge with cardboard (after cleaning it). Run the boat in the driveway using the bucket method, try to keep bilge very dry. Check cardboard to see if indeed your rear main seal is leaking.

At least you have no water in your oil.

justinlkgb
05-15-2012, 09:52 PM
My opinion for what it's worth

Previous owner had a damper plate failure which cracked the bell housing. He installed a new damper plate but did not repair/replace the bell housing. Really no need to.

But, perhaps broken pieces from the damper plate cut the rear main seal and there's your leak.

Line the bilge with cardboard (after cleaning it). Run the boat in the driveway using the bucket method, try to keep bilge very dry. Check cardboard to see if indeed your rear main seal is leaking.

At least you have no water in your oil.

:D I like your thought process here Jersey Dave. :worthy: Sounds highly likely this could the timeline of component failure. I will be trying this during the upcoming week, needs to be cleaned up anyways.
Certainly will keep you posted on the progress. Unfourtunetly I can't get in until the last week of the month, so on with searching the appearance section of the forum for now anyways...

mikeg205
05-15-2012, 09:59 PM
pullin' for a simple fix....

toolz
05-15-2012, 10:56 PM
Obviously that broken drive plate wanted out of the bellhousing. I wonder if some of the broken parts hurt the rear main seal, or possibly the block plug at the rear of the camshaft. In order for that to happen, the pieces would have to get to the other side of the flywheel, and that's a stretch. I'll guess that it's a rear main seal, and it's independent of the drive plate failure.

justinlkgb
05-17-2012, 08:44 AM
Looked at the boat last night with one of the same buddies that was with when the problem was first noticed. After sharing some of the input from this board, we checked a few things with his bore scope.
Oil drain hose checked out fine...
Area nearest rear main seal was suprisingly dry....only old oil and dirt present:confused:

Then he says" hey, lets fill it up again and run it for about 15 seconds...I have an idea"

so I comply, but not after first lining the bottom with oil absorbent mats and paper towels.

Ran boat for 10 seconds and I believe we found the leak!:D

Oil pressure sending unit was leaking at the rate of about 1-2 drips every 3 seconds or so. Couldn't image how fast it was actually pouring out when warm:o

So pretty certain I have isolated the problem.

I think someone here on this board had mentined this as a potential fix, thanks again. Still plan to keep my service appointment for piece of mind.

Could I use a Napa part on this or is a marinized version the ticket? and can you pressure wash this engine...?

JimN
05-17-2012, 09:33 AM
Looked at the boat last night with one of the same buddies that was with when the problem was first noticed. After sharing some of the input from this board, we checked a few things with his bore scope.
Oil drain hose checked out fine...
Area nearest rear main seal was suprisingly dry....only old oil and dirt present:confused:

Then he says" hey, lets fill it up again and run it for about 15 seconds...I have an idea"

so I comply, but not after first lining the bottom with oil absorbent mats and paper towels.

Ran boat for 10 seconds and I believe we found the leak!:D

Oil pressure sending unit was leaking at the rate of about 1-2 drips every 3 seconds or so. Couldn't image how fast it was actually pouring out when warm:o

So pretty certain I have isolated the problem.

I think someone here on this board had mentined this as a potential fix, thanks again. Still plan to keep my service appointment for piece of mind.

Could I use a Napa part on this or is a marinized version the ticket? and can you pressure wash this engine...?

There's no "marine-ized" version of most parts on these engines, including the oil and temperature senders.

justinlkgb
05-17-2012, 09:43 AM
There's no "marine-ized" version of most parts on these engines, including the oil and temperature senders.

Whoohoo! Going to the parts store on lunch to get this mess resolved(hopefully) this weekend! Thanks for the confirmation Jim!:toast:

Deltaxstar
05-17-2012, 10:58 PM
This thread confused the hell out of me at first. Glad you found the problem

justinlkgb
05-18-2012, 12:01 AM
You and me both. Hoping like crazy this is it. Have to drive to get the part Friday to ensure its the correct one. Keep you posted

mikeg205
05-18-2012, 07:44 AM
Yeah...simple...fix...pullin' for that... :)

willyt
05-18-2012, 10:10 AM
as a new star owner myself i was pullin for ya man, glad it worked out

93ProStar205
05-18-2012, 11:39 AM
Dude-that's awesome. Chalk up an easy fix like that to good Khama and buy a case of beer for you bro.

Lumbergh
05-18-2012, 12:00 PM
http://i470.photobucket.com/albums/rr66/Lumbergh556/happy-endings.gif

justinlkgb
05-18-2012, 06:01 PM
Dude-that's awesome. Chalk up an easy fix like that to good Khama and buy a case of beer for you bro.
You Kidding...i was going to get him a new pair of bindings...if it works:D

Got the part, and putting it in within the next hour. Here goes nothing.

justinlkgb
05-18-2012, 06:01 PM
:purplaugh:uglyhammehttp://i470.photobucket.com/albums/rr66/Lumbergh556/happy-endings.gif

justinlkgb
05-18-2012, 06:02 PM
as a new star owner myself i was pullin for ya man, glad it worked out

Thanks! Did you get an 05? I thought I saw some posting in the X-star only section:)

Philscbx
05-26-2012, 06:29 AM
I re-read it all twice, was truly freaking out with call out of oil not on stick to milky way going on.
Seeing the broken sections of pressure plate & springs, not sure would led to that.
It would be difficult for objects to get between ring gear & engine block.

A cracked block internally forcing water into oil, no - oil on stick would of been over full like a cappuccino from crank whipping it up.
Running solid ruled out other serious issues. And cracked oil galley would of sprayed out at 45psi.

But oil sending unit - quite odd. Must have been bumped hard or pried against. An under $30 part.
Still odd how it was getting milky with water. Not a huge crisis there.
Bilge pump coming on would be obvious mess overboard.

A good steam clean would be nice while at the shop.
I can't make out off focus view of bell housing cracks - found one of all things looking for something else (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Indmar-Bell-housing-53-1006-/190631709453?pt=Boat_Parts_Accessories_Gear&hash=item2c62890b0d&vxp=mtr#ht_555wt_891).
Not sure what they normally go for, but this one used as a buy now is $200.

Good Luck for SURE.
You must be fairly near the same area as I am. Minnetonka - Maple Grove - Col/Hts.

justinlkgb
05-27-2012, 08:56 AM
I re-read it all twice, was truly freaking out with call out of oil not on stick to milky way going on.
Seeing the broken sections of pressure plate & springs, not sure would led to that.
It would be difficult for objects to get between ring gear & engine block.

A cracked block internally forcing water into oil, no - oil on stick would of been over full like a cappuccino from crank whipping it up.
Running solid ruled out other serious issues. And cracked oil galley would of sprayed out at 45psi.

But oil sending unit - quite odd. Must have been bumped hard or pried against. An under $30 part.
Still odd how it was getting milky with water. Not a huge crisis there.
Bilge pump coming on would be obvious mess overboard.

A good steam clean would be nice while at the shop.
I can't make out off focus view of bell housing cracks - found one of all things looking for something else (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Indmar-Bell-housing-53-1006-/190631709453?pt=Boat_Parts_Accessories_Gear&hash=item2c62890b0d&vxp=mtr#ht_555wt_891).
Not sure what they normally go for, but this one used as a buy now is $200.

Good Luck for SURE.
You must be fairly near the same area as I am. Minnetonka - Maple Grove - Col/Hts.

Update...: Did a tune up on the boat on Friday night. Can tell this boat has never had a tune up in 416 hrs. See spark plug below. I didn't know the plugs could lose this much and still function!

Also the oil pressure sender below too. its tought to see but looks like an internal seal is the failure, and the brass plug also broke in the block, requiring an easy out for extraction. She put up a good fight, but got her all changed out and the oil is not leaking. Testing on the water today. Just feel the motor "sounds" loud .I am being extremely cautious until my Service appointment on Wednesday this week. in hopes that this is normal on this motor. I keep comparing to my old boat which had the 351 and purred like a kitten! Though it was a dd. Now the Xstar has all this extra space and creates and enclosure and that could be all that it is.
Any body know where to find a sound bite of a normal MCX running?

Took no chances and also ran a can of seafoam(before tune up) throught vacuum line to take care of the lifter tick that developed, as well as three oil changes to get all the gunk that may be in suspension. Was going to try an injector cleaner in the fuel today...any brands better than another? I have some lucas oil injector cleaner and good ole` seafoam. I planned to use one or the other today.

Hoping for the best today and Wednesday can be just an inspection....:)

Oh...I'm in the Northfield,Faribault, Owatonna area.
Justin

JimN
05-27-2012, 10:33 AM
Update...: Did a tune up on the boat on Friday night. Can tell this boat has never had a tune up in 416 hrs. See spark plug below. I didn't know the plugs could lose this much and still function!

Just feel the motor "sounds" loud .I am being extremely cautious until my Service appointment on Wednesday this week. in hopes that this is normal on this motor. I keep comparing to my old boat which had the 351 and purred like a kitten! Though it was a dd. Now the Xstar has all this extra space and creates and enclosure and that could be all that it is.
Any body know where to find a sound bite of a normal MCX running?

Took no chances and also ran a can of seafoam(before tune up) throught vacuum line to take care of the lifter tick that developed, as well as three oil changes to get all the gunk that may be in suspension. Was going to try an injector cleaner in the fuel today...any brands better than another? I have some lucas oil injector cleaner and good ole` seafoam. I planned to use one or the other today.

It's easy to lose .015" when no service is done to it.

What kinds of sounds is it making? If it's the ticking, that may only be the injectors, not lifters. They would be almost indistinguishable.

You can use Sea Foam in the gas, too.

justinlkgb
05-27-2012, 10:45 AM
QUOTE=JimN;843686]It's easy to lose .015" when no service is done to it.

What kinds of sounds is it making? If it's the ticking, that may only be the injectors, not lifters. They would be almost indistinguishable.

You can use Sea Foam in the gas, too.[/QUOTE]

I was hoping you would chime in sir JimN:worthy:[
After the oil alarm originally came on I added 2 qts to test for leak. The noise made then was exactly like that of an early 90's jeep with the inline 6 that would tick until it warmed up. The seafoam throught the vac port seems to have taken care of it. I beleive the noise I hear now is in fact the injectors. tought to describe. there is also another sound for concern, which i believe to be near the oil pan. Can't tell for sure, might be normal. Just not what I am used to. Any ideas with this minimal amount of info?

When throttle is increased the noise is louder too, Should be noted that the boat is only being ran on the garden hose until today. About 2 hours from now I should be able to water test. Other than the "noises" I hear the motor seems to run fine. I had two ford mechanics which are buddies that both said it sounds ok to them. though also stated they don't know the differences from marine vs. standard auto.

Should I be seeing a shrink or a mechanic:D

JimN
05-27-2012, 11:11 AM
QUOTE=JimN;843686]It's easy to lose .015" when no service is done to it.

What kinds of sounds is it making? If it's the ticking, that may only be the injectors, not lifters. They would be almost indistinguishable.

You can use Sea Foam in the gas, too.

I was hoping you would chime in sir JimN:worthy:[
After the oil alarm originally came on I added 2 qts to test for leak. The noise made then was exactly like that of an early 90's jeep with the inline 6 that would tick until it warmed up. The seafoam throught the vac port seems to have taken care of it. I beleive the noise I hear now is in fact the injectors. tought to describe. there is also another sound for concern, which i believe to be near the oil pan. Can't tell for sure, might be normal. Just not what I am used to. Any ideas with this minimal amount of info?

When throttle is increased the noise is louder too, Should be noted that the boat is only being ran on the garden hose until today. About 2 hours from now I should be able to water test. Other than the "noises" I hear the motor seems to run fine. I had two ford mechanics which are buddies that both said it sounds ok to them. though also stated they don't know the differences from marine vs. standard auto.

Should I be seeing a shrink or a mechanic:D[/QUOTE]

You changed the oil after putting the Sea Foam in, right? You don"t want to leave it in. The oil.
The injecfor noise will be louder eith higher RPM.

What vac port?

justinlkgb
05-28-2012, 12:31 AM
You changed the oil after putting the Sea Foam in, right? You don"t want to leave it in. The oil.
The injecfor noise will be louder eith higher RPM.

What vac port?[/QUOTE]

yes Sir, changed it 3 times to get it all out.

It was a black hose on the port side of of the motor on top of valve cover, I am learning the terminoligy as I go...please forgive me:o8p:D

Boat did seem to run just fine today.

Was brought up today to check the timing to verifyit is accurate. The old dist. cap was pretty heavily corroded. headed back to the lake tomorrow.

justinlkgb
06-11-2012, 12:39 PM
So, quick update....Turns out the oil sender is the source of the oil leak. yeahh....

Bad to worse .....news is the clutch plate is needing to be repaired AGAIN! Also was deteremined the strut was bent, and bell housing needs to be replaced. I can't help but think the prior servicing dealer did some sort of sub standard repair, or flat out didn't notice the bent strut. I would assume this would lead to the problem I am faced with today. Again just an assumption.
I am happy to say I believe I have one of the best mechanics in the industy tearing it down. Just getting really frustrated with the circumstances. I have had the boat on the trailer towing to and from the dealer longer than I have actually been able to use it on the water.