454 Crusader - milky oil

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bcassedy
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Location: Aurora, In.

454 Crusader - milky oil

Post by bcassedy »

Folks (especially gear heads...)

I've run into what could turn out to be a very ugly situation involving the marina where we put Sunset Seeker Too (SS2) on the hard last fall.
First, some background...
SS2 Apecs:
* 41' 1988 Marquis with hardtop
* 454 Crusaders, raw water cooling

- bought the boat from 3rd owner
- because of my hip surgery had to hire licensed captain to drive boat from Dayton, KY. to Aurora, In.
--> no issues with delivery
- had contacted newly hired Harbormaster at Lighthouse Marina about about over wintering there on the hard (to allow me to work on boat):
--> he quoted all inclusive price for haul out, blocking and returning to water in spring.
** accepted price and made initial down-payment/ signed contract.
*** SIDE CONTRACT - (Important here!!) - set up with marina for them to 'winterize' engines and genny - AFTER BOAT OUT OF WATER AND ON BLOCKS/STANDS - this was to include:
1. Antifreeze thru strainers until AF expelled from exhaust.
2. Same applied to genny (Westerbeke BTG-8.5)
3. Engine blocks to be drained (both inboard and outboard sides), thermostats removed and, after drain plugs reinserted in lower inboard and outboard ports, engine blocks filled with antifreeze.
---> oil drain/refill not included as PO had advised he'd had it done Spring, 2021 and he had not taken the boat out at all spring/summer/fall of 2021 (general COVID issues and need for cash <sell boat>)
Price quoted, accepted and contract signed for winterization as indicated above.
That was in October, 2021.
Boat moved to Aurora< In. marina and on stands last week of October.
Told work had been completed early November, 2021..

Move to February/March 2022.
I'm working on a 'must do' list of items PO had been told had to be done to get better insurance rate.
I started to hear mutterings around marina of slipshod work done by the new Harbormaster who was also undertaking, and had assured marina management he was qualified, the above mentioned winterizing.
He was subsequently fired for lying and costing the marina big money for damage to other owner's boats.
RED FLAG!!!
I checked the engines (familiar with as I'd previously performed all winterizations on our 32' 1988 SB)
Found the following:
Port engine:
- there was antifreeze in strainer
- removing lower block drain plugs found NO ANTIFREEZE - PLAIN WATER ONLY!
- check of oil dipstick showed no trace of oil contamination.

Starboard engine:
- strainer showed antifreeze
- when attempting to remove block's inboard lower drain plug, barely moving it (less than a 1/16 turn), resulted In the plug falling out BUT there was antifreeze. UNABLE TO INSERT PLUG --OR-- any like type plug!!
Reported findings to marina management who were accepting of the notice but that was about all.
Marina management did have crew come on-site and remedy the mis-inserted plug (retapped)recapped. Nothing adverse noted about Port engine.

Marina management waited till boat on trailer to splash when they informed me of a bill!!! Bill?!?!
They wanted to charge me for service to correct their agent's foulup and subsequent costs to rectify. Also they made inferences about paying to splash the boat (Thank heaven for contract copy showing that was part of inclusive charge back in October!)


TO THE PRESENT:
- Boat only taken out 3 times this season (including 3 mile run from over winter marina to our permanent location). Total running time - maybe 9 hours
- Boat remains at our home marina, in the water.
- Winterizing today - 10/23/22.
- when pulling oil from Port engine thru dipstick tube, IMMEDIATELY NOTICED MILKY APPEARANCE. :cry: :-(

QUESTIONS FOR THOSE IN THE KNOW...
- Could there be a chance the engine's not damaged??
- have considered following diagnostic:
A. Finish emptying Port engine oil pan.
B. Replace oil filter
C. Fill crankcase with correct oil type & amount.
D. Run at dock for 1 - 2 hours.
E. Shutdown, allow engine to cool some and pull sample of oil.

Findings (possible)
- if oil milky, I can only conclude the block froze last winter due to marina's agent malfeasance.
* block (both sides) was drained when it was discovered that no antifreeze had been used/installed in the block
through normal means (removal of thermostat housing and block filled from there)
* approaching marina at this time problematic

But they were alerted as soon as issue was discovered.
There was no way there could've been damage after that notification as the block remained drained until the marina's repair crew arrived in mid-April.

No milky oil....
All ok???

What do you folks think?
Questions welcome!!!

Bill
Bill & Sharon Cassedy
"Sunset Seeker"
'88 32' Sedan Bridge to be sold (updtd 1-1-22)
"Sunset Seeker Too" (SS2)
'88 41' Marquis hardtop. (as of 1/1/22)
Located in Aurora, In.
Always fresh water.
Fastjeff
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Posts: 1473
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2014 5:06 am
Location: Rock Halll, MD

Re: 454 Crusader - milky oil

Post by Fastjeff »

If it ran "okay" for nine hours the block is not cracked. (If it was, you would not have made it out of the slip.)

Chevy 454s are famous for sucking in water through the exhaust ports. It's possible some got in that way, dripped by the rings and contaminated the oil. Not much you cna do about that.

It's also possible you have a blown head gasket that's allowing the water to get in. This can be determined with a competent compression test.

The bottom line is you need to move FAST or corrosion damage of the cylinder walls (and etc.) could be happening.

Good luck,

Jeff
"We live at the bottom of an ocean of air, not at the top." General Marvage Slatington
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bcassedy
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Posts: 485
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2014 10:05 am
Location: Aurora, In.

Re: 454 Crusader - milky oil

Post by bcassedy »

Thanks, Jeff!!
Will drain bad crud from crankcase, change out filter, fill with new oil and run 5 mins (just to distribute / coat all internal parts w/o (hopefully( introducing water in oil. Then troubleshoot, repair, and re-winterize engine fully.

Bill
Bill & Sharon Cassedy
"Sunset Seeker"
'88 32' Sedan Bridge to be sold (updtd 1-1-22)
"Sunset Seeker Too" (SS2)
'88 41' Marquis hardtop. (as of 1/1/22)
Located in Aurora, In.
Always fresh water.
TinLizzy
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Posts: 189
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:07 pm
Location: Lake Superior-Michigan's U.P.

Re: 454 Crusader - milky oil

Post by TinLizzy »

Many possibilities for the milky oil. I will disagree with Jeff a little and say that there is still a possibility in a small crack in the block. It could also be a cracked or rusted through exhaust manifold. It could be a head gasket or warped cyl head. It could be a leak between head and intake manifold. When I try to find out where the water is coming from, I first do the compression test. If any water comes out of the cylinders while cranking, that is where to start. Indicating a bad exhaust manifold or a bad head gasket. If no water when cranking, do the compression test. If two cylinders next to each other both have low readings that would indicate a possible bad head gasket. If that doesn't get you anywhere. Run the engine up to operating temp, change the oil, a few times, with a new filter. If there was a decent amount of milk, it will take 3 to 4 changes to get the milk cleared up if it isn't making more milk. I use 3 to 4 qts. of 5w-30 and 1 qt of diesel fuel while doing these changes. Only running the engine at the dock or on a hose, not taking it out for a cruise. The oil is too thin for that. If it clears up, then use whatever oil that you usually do for the last change. If still milky, you are going to have to start disassembly of engine to find cause of problem.
Rodney
1975 28 Express-Twin 350 Chevy's, SOLD
1990 32 Express--Twin Chevy
Portage Canal Waterway-Upper Peninsula,Lake Superior
TinLizzy
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Posts: 189
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:07 pm
Location: Lake Superior-Michigan's U.P.

Re: 454 Crusader - milky oil

Post by TinLizzy »

Bill, did it get to freezing temps between the time of supposed winterizing of engines and the time that you found water in the block?
Rodney
1975 28 Express-Twin 350 Chevy's, SOLD
1990 32 Express--Twin Chevy
Portage Canal Waterway-Upper Peninsula,Lake Superior
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bcassedy
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Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2014 10:05 am
Location: Aurora, In.

Re: 454 Crusader - milky oil

Post by bcassedy »

Rodney,
Yes, we did. While last year's winter wasn't extremely cold for the area, there were a couple of days when the temps dipped down into the 20's overnight. Seems to me this didn't occur until January. And, while our boat's, having a ton of glass windows, will warm up reasonably fast in sunlight, the closed up engine rooms will take a lot longer to get above freezing.
Bill & Sharon Cassedy
"Sunset Seeker"
'88 32' Sedan Bridge to be sold (updtd 1-1-22)
"Sunset Seeker Too" (SS2)
'88 41' Marquis hardtop. (as of 1/1/22)
Located in Aurora, In.
Always fresh water.
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