My saildrive has a strange problem

colhel

Well-known member
Joined
9 Jan 2011
Messages
3,988
Location
Gillingham(Dorset) Boat Weymuff
Visit site
Evening all.

I needed my propshaft seal changing so I comissioned a local firm to the work.
I knew it needed doing because when I removed the oil filler cap it was obvious water was getting in.
Last week I put the boat on the mooring and noticed some fresh (clean) oil in bilge, not much in fact it easily have been a spill from the mainenance over Winter, but thought I'd check the saildrive oil anyway, but, I couldn't remove the filler cap.
Today, the only way I could remove the filler cap was to get an adgustable on the hand grip of the cap, even then it was extremely difficult to remove.
I couldn't see any evidence of cross threading and am now concerned about the oil, which is definately from the saildrive, in the bilge.
Any thoughts please?

It's 120SB connected to a Volvo 2001

Kind Regards

Colin
 
Last edited:

VicS

Well-known member
Joined
13 Jul 2002
Messages
48,333
Visit site
Are you suggesting that the oil is leaking from the sail drive ?

Are you sure its not oil that was spilt when the drive was refilled after replacing the prop shaft seal.
 

colhel

Well-known member
Joined
9 Jan 2011
Messages
3,988
Location
Gillingham(Dorset) Boat Weymuff
Visit site
There just seems too much to be a spill. I mopped it up last weekend, and what alerted me today was when turning the cooling tap off the wheel felt oily, and there definately seemed to be more oil in the bilge. Coupled with the filler cap being VERY stiff, it just appears to me I've got a problem.
 

VicS

Well-known member
Joined
13 Jul 2002
Messages
48,333
Visit site
Clean up thoroughly, very thoroughly.

Then see what happens.. Run it and watch very carefully for signs of oil leaking and also check the oil level. There are not many places oil is likely to leak from.

I dont think they should have done anything to the upper section if just replacing the prop shaft seal other than taking the cap off to refill it.

The fact that you were unable to undo the cap easily is a mystery but suggests it may have been damaged by being cross threaded.

Bad choice of local firm! but at least they did not hand it back with no oil in the drive!
 

Dipper

Well-known member
Joined
30 May 2001
Messages
5,061
Location
Dorset
Visit site
I have exactly the same engine and saildrive.

Although the oil filler hole is large, there are a lot of parts just inside which makes filling it with oil an agonisingly slow process. I can't get more than 100ml in at a time before it reaches the top and threatens to overflow and then I have to wait for the level to drop before adding another 100ml.

Do what VicS suggests and clean up thoroughly. It sounds as though they have spilled oil when filling the drive and then managed to cross thread the cap. Have they replaced the dipstick properly? It should twist and lock into position.
 

colhel

Well-known member
Joined
9 Jan 2011
Messages
3,988
Location
Gillingham(Dorset) Boat Weymuff
Visit site
Yes the dipstick is replaced properely.
I'm getting re-asured by your replies, so Thank You.
Thinking about it, I guess there isn't much oil pressure in a saildrive that would cause oil to spurt out of the saildrive?
 

Playtime

Active member
Joined
29 Jan 2007
Messages
1,194
Location
Chichester
Visit site
Thinking about it, I guess there isn't much oil pressure in a saildrive that would cause oil to spurt out of the saildrive?

You can get a pressure differential between the gearbox and the outside air after significant changes of temperature.

If the oil was cold when the cap was screwed down (or the dipstick checked) and then the box gets warm from prolonged hard motoring, there can be a loud hiss (positive pressure) when the dipstick is next checked. I get this frequently.

Conversely if the oil is warm, from the sun maybe or storage before filling, on the hard and the boat is then launched into cold water, there can be a significant negative pressure (suction) generated that would make the filler cap hard to undo.

Maybe this explains the filler cap problem?
 

rivonia

Active member
Joined
22 Sep 2008
Messages
3,248
Location
on the move as live aboard
Visit site
The oil in the sail drive is the same as the engine WD15/40. It takes forever and a day to very slowly fill it. The oil in a sail drive works by being thrown upwards when the gear is engaged. There is no oil pump.

So what has happend; Too much oil put in too quickly. Cap hurridly put on cross threaded and overtightened.

Answer; Clean up all oil untill everything is dry. Check dipstick. Run engine IN GEAR. Put into neutral. Check dip sick.

It is usually better if the level is just below the top mark and not over filled.

Good luck

Peter
 

oldsaltoz

New member
Joined
4 Jul 2001
Messages
6,005
Location
Australia, East coast.
Visit site
Yes the dipstick is replaced properely.
I'm getting re-asured by your replies, so Thank You.
Thinking about it, I guess there isn't much oil pressure in a saildrive that would cause oil to spurt out of the saildrive?[/QUOTE

No, but oil floats on water and it will come out at the top if the new seals have been installed the wrong way round.

And, with a cross threaded filler cap the oil could be making it's way out if the top.

I would be running the engine and and putting the leg into gear, then checking the oil for any water contamination.

Good luck.
 

Dipper

Well-known member
Joined
30 May 2001
Messages
5,061
Location
Dorset
Visit site
I'm sorry to hear that. I've just had my seals replaced and the engineers that carried out the work did warn me that my shaft was worn. However, they did a pressure test on the unit which showed that the new seals were working.

The shafts are prone to wear which means that even new seals may not prevent water entry. There is a sleeve that can be fitted to cure the problem but that is not much help for you at the start of the season. I haven't checked mine since I launched. I hope I don't find the same problem as you.
 

colhel

Well-known member
Joined
9 Jan 2011
Messages
3,988
Location
Gillingham(Dorset) Boat Weymuff
Visit site
I'm sorry to hear that. I've just had my seals replaced and the engineers that carried out the work did warn me that my shaft was worn. However, they did a pressure test on the unit which showed that the new seals were working.

The shafts are prone to wear which means that even new seals may not prevent water entry. There is a sleeve that can be fitted to cure the problem but that is not much help for you at the start of the season. I haven't checked mine since I launched. I hope I don't find the same problem as you.

They told me after the work was done that the shaft was worn but the seals were be fitted on the un-worn bit. had they informed me before carrying out the work I could have repaired the shaft myself (I'm a machinist), but they didn't inform me and said all would be well.
 

PeterGibbs

New member
Joined
3 Sep 2001
Messages
2,113
Location
N London, and boat in Suffolk
Visit site
Evening all.

I needed my propshaft seal changing so I comissioned a local firm to the work.
I knew it needed doing because when I removed the oil filler cap it was obvious water was getting in.
Last week I put the boat on the mooring and noticed some fresh (clean) oil in bilge, not much in fact it easily have been a spill from the mainenance over Winter, but thought I'd check the saildrive oil anyway, but, I couldn't remove the filler cap.
Today, the only way I could remove the filler cap was to get an adgustable on the hand grip of the cap, even then it was extremely difficult to remove.
I couldn't see any evidence of cross threading and am now concerned about the oil, which is definately from the saildrive, in the bilge.
Any thoughts please?

It's 120SB connected to a Volvo 2001

Colin,

Do not run your prop until you have replaced the ring seal that sits under the large oil cap you found difficult to remove. This seal only costs 1.5 pds but can ruin your day. It has to be replaced routinely because it expands in use. Tighten it down firmly by hand - not with mechanical means, this just distorts it. Top up the oil to the approved level using the dipstick entry - the oil enters easier this way.

VITAL -do not overfill the gearcase. This machinery (like most others) will live with less than full, it will cost you grief if you overfill it. Remove overfilled oil. The resting oil level must be not higher than the mark when the dipstick is just dropped onto its seating, not screwed down.

Gearcase oil must remain clear at all times, cloudy shows water ingress -as you may have noticed. BUT if you inspect the oil just after using the engine/prop note it is full of bubbles -quite normaly and not a worry.

I suspect your engineer did not replace this cap seal when working on the engine, because it probabaly "looked ok" . Naughty.

PWG
 

colhel

Well-known member
Joined
9 Jan 2011
Messages
3,988
Location
Gillingham(Dorset) Boat Weymuff
Visit site
Evening all.


Colin,

Gearcase oil must remain clear at all times, cloudy shows water ingress -as you may have noticed. BUT if you inspect the oil just after using the engine/prop note it is full of bubbles -quite normaly and not a worry.

I suspect your engineer did not replace this cap seal when working on the engine, because it probabaly "looked ok" . Naughty.

PWG

Peter,
I changed the filler cap as soon as I got to the boat yesterday, this was when I noticed the oil seemed creamy. The prop hadn't been used since the day before. I don't if the seal was new or not, however, if the cap was diificult to screw down it's quite possible the seal wasn't in proper contact to do it's job anyway.
 

colhel

Well-known member
Joined
9 Jan 2011
Messages
3,988
Location
Gillingham(Dorset) Boat Weymuff
Visit site
BUT if you inspect the oil just after using the engine/prop note it is full of bubbles -quite normaly and not a worry.

I suspect your engineer did not replace this cap seal when working on the engine, because it probabaly "looked ok" . Naughty.

PWG

Just a quick thought. Is there a test that can be done (by simpleton like me) to check if I'm looking at bubbles or water contamination?
It may possible for me to get down to the boat later today, what a photo on here help?

Thanks

Colin
 

PeterGibbs

New member
Joined
3 Sep 2001
Messages
2,113
Location
N London, and boat in Suffolk
Visit site
Just a quick thought. Is there a test that can be done (by simpleton like me) to check if I'm looking at bubbles or water contamination?
It may possible for me to get down to the boat later today, what a photo on here help?

Thanks

Colin

Bubbles or contamination? Let the gearbox rest for,say, 1 hour+ and the bubbles will subside revealing clear oil on the dipstick. Since you've had the leg serviced it's most unlikely you have water contamination, which if it were the case would persist as a streaky discolouration, unlike the foamy bubbles which subside.

Not sure if you replaced the large O ring seal on the oil filler cap - a must do, even if it looks ok it will not seal effectively. Be sure - fit new. Once installed, it will do its job for at least a season if left undisturbed.The new one will fit quite firmly on the underside of the cap.

Warning. After all this, should oil still be escaping (hope not) do not run the engine. In the case of my S leg, I ran it on when oil was escaping and the gear selector mechanism had to be rebuilt - big bucks!

Regds,

PWG
 
Last edited:

colhel

Well-known member
Joined
9 Jan 2011
Messages
3,988
Location
Gillingham(Dorset) Boat Weymuff
Visit site
Thanks Peter.
When I checked yesterday the oil didn't look clear, but now I think about it didn't appear emulsified either (my first car was a Hillman Imp), hence the question
I'm going to the boat now. if I can take any worthwhile pictures I'll post them.

Cheers

Colin
 
Top