Start.bmp (6710 bytes)     INDEXico.bmp (934 bytes)


Home        Index


Subject: Water in cylinders

Do I need help!!!!

A mechanic we don't know well has given us the bad news that we need to
replace our engine....

1990 Sea Ray Sundancer, V8 350HP. I/O.

We are getting salt water in the four of the cylinders. Does this always mean engine replacement? Could there be another problem? Risers? Blown head gasket? Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated

Thanks for any help you can be



Dear John

No it does not automatically mean a new engine, but as this sounds awfully like a petrol unit I am not really willing to help people potentially blow themselves up - think of the possibility of litigation, especially as this sounds awfully like a mail from the US (despite the BST time code).

I assume that your engineer has told you why you need a new engine, if he has not the make him give his reasons in writing.

I have no idea what risers are (they keep cropping up on US posts), so I can not comment. I do know what an exhaust mixing elbow is and if one of those that has partially blocked with scale/salt/corrosion could cause water the enter the cylinders, but I would have expected only one bank on a V8,

An internally cracked exhaust manifold could also do it, but on most V8s this would again normally only effect one bank

(You fail to tell me which four cylinders - one bank or a mixture from both banks?)

Faulty head gasket - again one bank only, and rarely all four cylinders.

Things like cracked cylinders/liners and cracked cylinder heads rarely effect all cylinders on a bank - at least, not at first.

Does your air cleaner "spout" (if you have one) get anywhere near bilge water?

Is the siphon break on your exhaust swan neck (the big inverted U close to the back of the boat) blocked?

Have you checked that the exhaust has no way in which the pitching of the moored boat allows water to run back into the exhaust manifold?

Please be aware that petrol is dangerous on a boat, bilge blowers are unlikely to remove fumes from inside the starter if any find their way in there and the blower motors themselves may no longer be fume tight.

If this is a petrol engine I urge you to seek professional help and I take no responsibility if you decide to investigate my comments yourself.

Tony Brooks


Start.bmp (6710 bytes)     INDEXico.bmp (934 bytes)


Home        Index