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Mechanical Update, Part II

May 20, 2011

Position: 02.42.23S by 133.02.84W
Course: 218t
Speed: 5 knots
Wind: 10, SE
Sea: 3 feet, SE
Sky: 25%
Temp: 82 degrees
Bar: 1012

114 miles noon to noon. Back in the groove.

Wind was up and down in the morning, fresh on the front side of a squall, squalid as it departed. But in the afternoon the SE winds, may we call them Trades now?, filled in and as I type we average 6.2 nots in 12 knots from the SE gusting 15. I took in the mizzen at sundown without any apparent reduction in speed.

MECHANICAL ISSUES, PART II

-Three days ago: I changed the oil and filter. No water in the crank case. Oil beautiful and black and consistent. Engine started right up after oil change. Ran under load for three hours in doldrums. No colored smoke; ran well and as per normal. Shut down. Hours later, no water evident on dip stick or from samples taken from oil drain.

-Yesterday: attempted to start engine and blew fuse on start battery positive terminal (200amp fuse). Only got a click. Put in new fuse–attempted start. Same result (duh!)

-This morning:
-Checked all electrical; is fine.
-Attempted to hand turn engine with wrench on crank-shaft pulley. Got only 1/4 turn and then crank shaft would spring back to original position. (Yikes.)
-In my snooping around engine, found salt water in underside of air intake cup; about a spoonful and a few drops in the canal leading to the engine. I cannot think of any way this got there except via the engine, but that makes no sense either as it’s an intake port.
-Took apart and examined washer and spring in siphon break connected to aft of heat exchanger and water injection point in exhaust. Mechanism did not seem clogged. (Valve has been replaced with a length of hose that leads to bilge.)
-Took sample of oil from crank case: clean, no water. Dip stick: clean, no water.
-Took fuse out of start circuit and attempted to start engine. The first three times it only clicked; then turned over once; then cranked sluggishly–one piston clearly stuck. After five seconds it started and in another five it was running smoothly–all pistons firing. Ran for an hour under load. All normal. Shut down.
-Three hours later: oil cap covered in water droplets; they taste fresh (no salt/no coolant taste). Dip stick has water droplets up and down it; they also taste fresh. At base of dipstick is grayish substance with the consistency of thin face cream. It has no non oil taste (not salt; not coolant). I take a sample from crank case drain: it is black and thin (still hot from engine run) and not grey or thick. NO evidence of water in crank case.

So I’m WAY confused.

I’ve examined my exhaust install and DO think it easy to take on backflush sea water. Lousy install. Will fix if can in Hiva Oa, but it sounds like there may be damage to the engine already.

Plan to run the engine every day until port and mechanic.

That’s my report for today.

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