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View Full Version : Water in Cylinders - 89 Tristar


Greenwood87
08-19-2013, 12:50 PM
Well I purchased a 89 Tristar with a 351 Windsor at the beginning of the season. I bought it and as soon as I got it home the problems started flowing. So far this season I have completed a head rebuild/head gasket, replaced starter solenoid and starter, Oil cooler, volt gauge, ignition switch, plugs and wires, speed pickups and raw water pump. So this weekend I attempted to start the boat in my drive way, which I used a flush pro to provide cooling water ( I know this by passes the oil cooler, was just going to test it quick after a starter install), the engine then hydro locked and I proceeded to pull spark plugs. Water was in every cylinder!! I had just completed a complete head (New valves, springs and milled) and gasket rebuild with ARP head bolts, 10 hrs ago. So I am wondering if it is possible for water to flow from the flush pro with enough force to travel into the exhaust valves from the manifolds, or am I screwed with another blown head gasket. I completed a compression test on one cylinder and compression was good. I'm going to purchase a fake-a-lake and test again. Any ideas or comments would be appreciated.

76S&S
08-19-2013, 02:37 PM
I haven't ran into this issue but did you have the water on very long before you attempted to start it?

When I run my boat out of the water, I don't turn on the water until the engine is started.

CruisinGA
08-19-2013, 02:48 PM
I haven't ran into this issue but did you have the water on very long before you attempted to start it?

When I run my boat out of the water, I don't turn on the water until the engine is started.

Ding ding ding ding

Greenwood87
08-19-2013, 04:44 PM
Well dang, a "boat mechanic" stated that you have to have water started to the raw water pump before you attempt to start the engine.

chriscraftmatt1976
08-19-2013, 05:20 PM
I haven't ran into this issue but did you have the water on very long before you attempted to start it?

When I run my boat out of the water, I don't turn on the water until the engine is started.

If your gaskets weren't seated well yet I can see it. I always start it, then turn on the water, turn off the water before I kill it.
I've lost a head gasket on my Chris craft kbl doing that, but those do it a lot easier due to the copper gaskets. I've never had a problem on a modern motor. If you do the bucket fill trick you'll never have to worry...

Greenwood87
08-19-2013, 05:52 PM
So can water be pushed into the cylinders through the exhaust valves if there is enough pressure from a water source?

Greenwood87
08-19-2013, 08:24 PM
Ok so there is water in the oil. I'm going to torque all the head bolts again, if a new head gasket is leaking would this help?

mikeg205
08-19-2013, 08:27 PM
Forget the fake a lake and make one of these...

connect the raw water hose to the bucket... fill up bucket... start engine... turn on water to keep bucket filled... besides water should not flow past impeller unless you have super pressure...IMO

chriscraftmatt1976
08-19-2013, 09:15 PM
Ok so there is water in the oil. I'm going to torque all the head bolts again, if a new head gasket is leaking would this help?

Doubtful.

mikeg205
08-19-2013, 09:26 PM
Ok so there is water in the oil. I'm going to torque all the head bolts again, if a new head gasket is leaking would this help?

Oh that is not good... sorry to read this.... :(

Table Rocker
08-19-2013, 09:55 PM
If I had water in all 8 cylinders, I think I would be looking at something that could get water to both heads - like the intake manifold. I would be surprised if both of your head gaskets went at the same time. You might have exhaust manifolds that had frozen and cracked internally, but I think it would have shown up before 10 hours.

I don't think enough water could get past the raw water cooler to blow gaskets in an engine when there is a hose to each exhaust manifold that can handle that much water.

Greenwood87
08-19-2013, 10:17 PM
Well for tonight I'm going to sit back and drink a strong drink. I talked to a buddy at a local speed shop (Hawks Third Generation) he said that ARP head bolt torque specs are different from what the 351w marine manual states. He told me to torque the bolts again after a call to ARP for the proper specs.

TRBenj
08-20-2013, 09:27 AM
Oh for goodness sake... bad information alert!

There is absolutely no way for water to be "forced" into the cylinders by turning the water on prior to starting the engine. I would love to know the supposed path the water would take to do that. Sheesh.

It sounds like the you did not address the real cause of the water intrusion when you took it apart. How did you determine it was a bad head gasket? When you took everything apart, did you notice evidence of water in the runners of the exhaust manifolds or in the valley below the intake? If youre lucky, the water intrusion is from a cracked intake or exhaust manifold (or both). If youre unlucky, you have a cracked block. I am assuming that your freshened heads were magnafluxed and can be ruled out as the source. Im also assuming that you didnt overheat the boat in the short amount of time you had it running.

To figure out which it is, do a compression test on all cylinders. That will tell you if your block is cracked in the area of your cylinders. If theyre all within 10%, then its likely an intake or exhaust manifold issue. Which cylinders have water in them? All of them? Just one bank?

chriscraftmatt1976
08-20-2013, 10:20 AM
Oh for goodness sake... bad information alert!

There is absolutely no way for water to be "forced" into the cylinders by turning the water on prior to starting the engine. I would love to know the supposed path the water would take to do that. Sheesh.

It sounds like the you did not address the real cause of the water intrusion when you took it apart. How did you determine it was a bad head gasket? When you took everything apart, did you notice evidence of water in the runners of the exhaust manifolds or in the valley below the intake? If youre lucky, the water intrusion is from a cracked intake or exhaust manifold (or both). If youre unlucky, you have a cracked block. I am assuming that your freshened heads were magnafluxed and can be ruled out as the source. Im also assuming that you didnt overheat the boat in the short amount of time you had it running.

To figure out which it is, do a compression test on all cylinders. That will tell you if your block is cracked in the area of your cylinders. If theyre all within 10%, then its likely an intake or exhaust manifold issue. Which cylinders have water in them? All of them? Just one bank?

Yes, if he didn't tighten down the heads correctly, it can get thru the head gasket. I've done it.

Greenwood87
08-20-2013, 12:16 PM
Yes, if he didn't tighten down the heads correctly, it can get thru the head gasket. I've done it.

The heads were tighten down to the Haynes Manual torque specs (90-100-112 lbs) and in the proper sequence. I cleaned each head bolt hole and applied the supplied lubricant from ARP.

Greenwood87
08-20-2013, 12:21 PM
Oh for goodness sake... bad information alert!

There is absolutely no way for water to be "forced" into the cylinders by turning the water on prior to starting the engine. I would love to know the supposed path the water would take to do that. Sheesh.

It sounds like the you did not address the real cause of the water intrusion when you took it apart. How did you determine it was a bad head gasket? When you took everything apart, did you notice evidence of water in the runners of the exhaust manifolds or in the valley below the intake? If youre lucky, the water intrusion is from a cracked intake or exhaust manifold (or both). If youre unlucky, you have a cracked block. I am assuming that your freshened heads were magnafluxed and can be ruled out as the source. Im also assuming that you didnt overheat the boat in the short amount of time you had it running.

To figure out which it is, do a compression test on all cylinders. That will tell you if your block is cracked in the area of your cylinders. If theyre all within 10%, then its likely an intake or exhaust manifold issue. Which cylinders have water in them? All of them? Just one bank?

All the cylinders in both banks had a little to a lot of water in them. I'm going to complete a compression test on all cylinders after work.

You are correct, the boat has not overheated and the heads were magnafluxed.

mladen x35
08-20-2013, 12:39 PM
Hi,

Please check exhaust manifolds, I have a same problem with 6.0 LY6 Indmar engine in my X35!

First I change several starters before I found broken exhaust manifold! When you swich off the engine, Water flow from manifold thry exhaust valve in to cylinder and cose hydro stroke!

This summer I had a same problem with other manifold, this time it cose total damage to engine, boat is now at my dealer, they try to get a new engine from Indmar!

Hope this would help,

Mladen

johnnye23
08-20-2013, 02:07 PM
Did you install new gaskets on the risers ? It is very important to make sure both mating surfaces are clean and flat . No way the water entered the cylinders thru a head gasket at 30 psi hose pressure. Pull the risers is my input

Greenwood87
08-20-2013, 02:13 PM
I'm going to also pressure test the manifolds. I should be able to achieve this by unbolting one and pumping water into it and watching for water in the exhaust ports. On a note the manifolds were quite rusty on the inside when I had them off. Can a machine shop repair cracked manifolds, or do I have to pony up and by new ones?

Greenwood87
08-20-2013, 02:15 PM
Did you install new gaskets on the risers ? It is very important to make sure both mating surfaces are clean and flat . No way the water entered the cylinders thru a head gasket at 30 psi hose pressure. Pull the risers is my input

I did absolute nothing to the manifolds or risers. I believe they are stock.

mikeg205
08-20-2013, 02:16 PM
1989 - might be time for a new set... I inspect my 1995 risers and and manifolds every season.

8 bucks for gaskets... cheap... and a reason to go do something on boat.

Greenwood87
08-20-2013, 03:51 PM
Just placed an order at skidim.com for two riser gaskets (I live in SC so 1 day shipping!!!). Also just spoke with a marine mechanic who works on my buddies Nautique. He pretty much confirmed its the manifolds or the riser gaskets. He stated that there is no way that amount of water could enter the cylinders from the heads after a few rotations to lock the engine. Ill take pictures and post.

TRBenj
08-20-2013, 04:35 PM
If you had water in every single cylinder (and a lot of it) then my bet would be exhaust manifolds as well. If you had noticed water dripping out of the ports when you removed them to pull the heads, that would have been a big clue. Failed riser gaskets can do the same thing, but usually wont allow gross amounts of water in very quickly (thus hydrolocking the motor).

I would pull the exhaust manifolds and pressure test them. Both would have to be junk for you to get water in both banks- but Ive seen it happen due to an overheat. I have seen intake manifolds crack from the same overheat, and that will exacerbate the water in the oil symptom. It sounds like the boat sustained some damage prior to you getting it... I'd consider pulling the intake and looking for evidence of water intrusion in the valley while you have it apart.

How long has it been since the water showed up? If its been more than a few days, theres a chance your fresh heads may be all rusted up in the area of the exhaust valve seats. Dry it out ASAP and compression test.

Greenwood87
08-20-2013, 06:13 PM
If you had water in every single cylinder (and a lot of it) then my bet would be exhaust manifolds as well. If you had noticed water dripping out of the ports when you removed them to pull the heads, that would have been a big clue. Failed riser gaskets can do the same thing, but usually wont allow gross amounts of water in very quickly (thus hydrolocking the motor).

I would pull the exhaust manifolds and pressure test them. Both would have to be junk for you to get water in both banks- but Ive seen it happen due to an overheat. I have seen intake manifolds crack from the same overheat, and that will exacerbate the water in the oil symptom. It sounds like the boat sustained some damage prior to you getting it... I'd consider pulling the intake and looking for evidence of water intrusion in the valley while you have it apart.

How long has it been since the water showed up? If its been more than a few days, theres a chance your fresh heads may be all rusted up in the area of the exhaust valve seats. Dry it out ASAP and compression test.

The boat ran great two weekends ago, until the starter failed. I tried starting it last Friday and that's when the water showed up. I coated each cylinder with a layer of engine oil after I blew the water out with an air hose real good.

I think I will pull the risers tonight get the manifolds pressure tested, and check the torque of all the heads and intake. When I had the intake off last it was in great condition, but of course I didn't have it test or anything.

Has anyone purchased the 159.00 manifolds on ebay? They say they are made in the good old US of A. I wonder if they are any good.

Greenwood87
08-20-2013, 09:36 PM
Ok here is the sad condition of the riser gaskets. I can see no visible cracks in the manifold. I'm really think this is my problem. Both sides are in this condition.
99829

Greenwood87
08-25-2013, 02:18 AM
Ok got new riser gaskets in, changed the oil, so I will be testing the engin today. I replace the bolts on the risers with grade 8 bolts, I know these are not stainless will they rust?

CantRepeat
08-25-2013, 08:00 AM
Wrong head gaskets? Wrong torque? Wrong sequence?

Cloaked
08-25-2013, 09:13 AM
Ok got new riser gaskets in, changed the oil, so I will be testing the engin today. I replace the bolts on the risers with grade 8 bolts, I know these are not stainless will they rust?Those will be fine. I'd like to think you placed an anti-seize compound on all of your threaded and clamped connections.... Regardless, those Gr8 will be fine.

I am hard pressed to think a riser gasket could solve or could have created the problem. However if it does fix the problem, good for you. Those gaskets don't look bad. I have seen worse, by far. What stinks are the paper gaskets that have become available. Used to, one could find some much sturdier gaskets made from a graphite material.

If not, I'd go back and do a mag-particle test on the exhaust manifold. A visual inspection for cracks can often be insufficient. A MT is very simple to do if you look for someone that has the test equipment. Most engine shops or machine shops should have the equipment. Easy and inexpensive. However, your area for testing will be limited without pulling the manifolds. A small crack that takes a MT for inspection should not be big enough to allow the type of water intrusion that you have described.

$0.02

.

Greenwood87
08-27-2013, 04:23 PM
Well one of the gaskets was missing a complete piece between the water jacket and exhaust side of the manifold. So there was a direct path for water to flow into the exhaust side of the manifolds. I did a compression test on all cylinders between 120 and 135 on all cylinders. I haven't had the chance to test after I assembled the riser gaskets (I was completely tired of the dang thing and went out on by buddies sail boat). I'm going to test this Friday.

madcityskier
08-27-2013, 04:46 PM
Sail boat? How do you ski with a sailboat, let alone sit in the garage with a beer busting your knuckles and cursing? We don't need no stinking sail boat.

Kidding, sailing's great when it's to windy to find good water.
Hobie 16's rule!

Greenwood87
08-30-2013, 07:35 PM
Ok, so I got a chance today and tried to start it up (I also replaced the filter in the fuel water separator). So I turned it over with the ignition disconnected and primed the fuel system. Hooked the boat up to water (using the bucket). After a few turns HYDROLOCKED!!!!! I pulled all the plugs, water is only in the right side of the engine in every cylinder this time. I went ahead and pulled the right manifold off. I took a hose and plumbed it into the manifold, turned the hose on full, no water is seen coming from the exhaust ports on the manifold. I then connected the hose to thermostat housing, water flowed through the engine and out the left manifold. I left it there for a minute no water flowed any of the cylinders on either bank. Any thoughts where I should go now.

On a second note I'm testing the boat on a slight incline (2-3% grade), with the bow on pointing to the bottom of the slope. Could this cause water to build up in the exhaust and flood the cylinders???? My exhaust is not clogged, ran some water through and it flowed out but some water did say at the bottom the exhaust.

mikeg205
08-30-2013, 07:45 PM
Strange...... that's not good news... I wonder if one of your exhaust hoses is paritailly blocked possibly...can happen and look normal from outside...

cbryan70
08-30-2013, 07:47 PM
Are the exhaust hoses hard or soft?

Greenwood87
08-30-2013, 08:59 PM
Are the exhaust hoses hard or soft?

Hoses ate rigid but they are not bridle.

cbryan70
08-30-2013, 09:02 PM
Can you squeeze them? If they compress easily they may be shot.

Table Rocker
08-30-2013, 09:08 PM
I would pull both exhaust manifolds, stick the hose in the bucket and crank it. That way you can rule out the exhaust system.

johnnye23
08-31-2013, 07:17 AM
If it were me troubleshooting I would remove suspect manifold , I would remove the riser and make a metal plate and install in place of the riser using one of the riser gaskets . Then use a hose and pressurize the manifold if no water flows from the exhaust ports the manifold would not be the problem.
If the manifold checks good I would reinstall the riser ( with known good gasket,remember aft port will be blocked ) . I would cap off the exhaust end with a plastic coke bottle or something of the same diameter using one of the large exhaust clamps. Then again pressurize the manifold same as before and look for leaks.

For a down and dirty you can stick the hose end inside of the manifold inlet hose and clamp for testing . I still feel you will find a riser/gasket problem .

Greenwood87
09-01-2013, 02:57 PM
Ok I think I'm on the right path. Put everything back together The exhaust hoses are collapsing when starting. And the exhaust flaps are shutting closed. This can mean I have stuck valve or bent rod, however I would not have compression if this would happen. Would exhaust back pressure be enough to pull the flaps closed? Looks like I'm at least on the right track now. Any comments? and thanks for all the help guys.

Cloaked
09-01-2013, 03:24 PM
Ok I think I'm on the right path. Put everything back together The exhaust hoses are collapsing when starting. And the exhaust flaps are shutting closed. This can mean I have stuck valve or bent rod, however I would not have compression if this would happen. Would exhaust back pressure be enough to pull the flaps closed? Looks like I'm at least on the right track now. Any comments? and thanks for all the help guys.Here is what I have learned about exhaust hoses (which isn't much): they do collapse but from deterioration more so than pressure. Click on the link in my signature line and find a picture and a description of my experience. However I do not think you have exhaust back pressure in this scenario. I may be wrong but a collapsed hose basically restricts or impedes water flow which in turn impacts cooling capability. There could be an atypical case of water being forced back into the exhaust ports but.........I do see what you're asking about the flaps being 'pulled' closed. I'll be following your thread to see how this works out for you.

Read what I had to say back when (link in my sig line) and hopefully this may (or may not) give you some insight on your thoughts. You can also click on the link in the top-right of the single post (my link), and find the entire thread.


If you are really all about checking the manifold and riser for leaks (aka cracks) take them to a machine shop or engine shop and get them to do a mag. particle test. Very simple, and inexpensive.

Remember ==> $0.02

.

Table Rocker
09-01-2013, 04:33 PM
You replaced the starter and it sounds to me like your starter is turning the engine the wrong direction. I would verify the engine rotation.

Greenwood87
09-01-2013, 06:17 PM
You replaced the starter and it sounds to me like your starter is turning the engine the wrong direction. I would verify the engine rotation.

DING DING, folks we have a winner, I was just about to post this. Turns out when your vacuum ports are blowing you are going to have a bad time. I took the old starter off my work bench and applied power just to make sure. I am going to shoot the shop that sold me the starter. They assured me it was he right starter for the year of the boat. I should have just order it from ski dim. I feel like such an idiot. Thanks guys for all the help!!!

Table Rocker
09-01-2013, 06:48 PM
Hey, at least you know your exhaust manifolds inside and out. Cheap fix too!

Greenwood87
09-01-2013, 08:27 PM
100436 It lives!! That's my buddy by the way. Thanks for the help guys will be on the lake tomorrow.

Cloaked
09-01-2013, 08:29 PM
100436 It lives!! That's my buddy by the way. Thanks for the help guys will be on the lake tomorrow.
Glad you're up and running.

Have a fun day and think safety...My rule number one - never leave the driver's seat without pulling the silver knob.

.

thatsmrmastercraft
09-02-2013, 12:20 AM
Glad you're up and running.

Have a fun day and think safety...My rule number one - never leave the driver's seat without pulling the silver knob.

.

Good rule.

I remember the first time out in my boat we were in the process of changing skiers and I didn't realize that when I twisted around to grab something I had bumped the throttle into forward. Had a close call with a dock and I didn't even leave the drivers seat. :eek:

Greenwood87
09-02-2013, 12:32 AM
Glad you're up and running.

Have a fun day and think safety...My rule number one - never leave the driver's seat without pulling the silver knob.

.

It's amazing how many dumb people you see on the lake. I watch a boat take 10 minutes to pick up a person in the water . I have a lake house on Lake Hartwell in Townville SC, and you see so many idiots out there. I give a safety briefing before I allow anyone to gets on my boat.

mikeg205
09-02-2013, 12:14 PM
Awesome - Great suggestion table rocker.. Who would have thought... !!!

Great fix!

Table Rocker
09-02-2013, 01:03 PM
Awesome - Great suggestion table rocker.. Who would have thought... !!!

Great fix!I'll try not to let it go to my head.

mikeg205
09-02-2013, 01:06 PM
I'll try not to let it go to my head.

;) lol... that was an awesome thought tho' be heady for a bit - you deserve it... ;) I bet OP was almost getting to VVVVVV

Table Rocker
09-02-2013, 01:13 PM
I bet OP was almost getting to VVVVVVI think he actually beat me to it. He just didn't get to the keyboard before I did. In my defense, he did have a better view of the problem than I did.

johnnye23
09-02-2013, 03:29 PM
I hope you found the problem but I am doubtful that is why water was in your cylinders. A common practice with sprint cars to remove all fluids in the cylinder before starting is to roll the engine backwards thus by reversing engine rotation all fluids are pushed out the exhaust, again I hope you found it but Im not convinced.

Table Rocker
09-02-2013, 03:41 PM
I hope you found the problem but I am doubtful that is why water was in your cylinders. A common practice with sprint cars to remove all fluids in the cylinder before starting is to roll the engine backwards thus by reversing engine rotation all fluids are pushed out the exhaust, again I hope you found it but Im not convinced.Sprint cars don't have wet exhausts. His marine manifolds have water flowing over the internal exhaust pipe. With the pipe sucking air in, naturally it sucked the manifold cooling water as well.

johnnye23
09-03-2013, 09:08 AM
After rethinking this scenario thru I can see how the water would be sucked into the cylinders when rotating backwards. Good troubleshooting guys !

Greenwood87
09-05-2013, 03:14 PM
Just an update. Took the boat out for two hours and it ran great. The engine skipped for the first few minuets but I attribute that to left over water and the oil I put in the cylinders to prevent corrosion.

FrankSchwab
09-05-2013, 04:32 PM
Eggcellent!