...or... "Chowderhead Makes Mayonnaise"

Chowderhead is a 1965 38' SF and she was repowered years ago with tiny little DD 4-53 Naturals.

Ginger, my port engine blew a hose clamp on the lower coolant hose last season and ran dry until the paint on the exhaust manifold started to smoke.  I was in the process of getting my gauges sorted at the time and the smoke was the first (and last) indication.

I changed the oil a couple of times, fixed the coolant hose, new exhaust manifold tips, refilled with FleetGuard and distilled water and she ran like a champ the rest of the season.

Blackstone Labs said they detected elevated levels of coolant in the oil on this year's annual oil report and suggested keeping a close eye so I knew something was up.

Fast forward to shake down day when steam started to blow out the port exhaust at 1000 RPM.  Limped back to the dock on the other engine and found water on the dipstick and mayo under the valve cover.

There are those who suggest it might just be an oil cooler failure but that would be oil in the water, not water in the oil as I understand it.

My DD mechanic won't be part of anything less than a $10K overhaul of a 40 year old, too-small-for-the-boat engine and that doesn't seem to agree with the $200 I have available for this project :)

Necessity being the mother of invention and all, I'm a software engineer who's becoming a diesel mechanic. My plan is to read the manual very carefully, buy a set of head gaskets for $80 and see what I can break.  Worst case; I'll still have a broken engine, best; I'll save it.

Calling on the power of the forum for tips and advice.



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You can get every part on the engine through diesel pro once you give them the part number. Call them on the phone instead of just looking on the website they will track stuff down for you. If you have a service manual and parts book you can get the number. I just rebuilt my starboard engine and every part was available.

Thanks Chris.  I don't have a parts book but I do have a service manual. They're having a little trouble with this one but they seem very helpful. I owe them a measurement.

Received gaskets last week, trying to find a hole in my calendar big enough to spend some quality time getting things reassembled.


Finally got some time to go get this done.  Rigged up a lift system to be sure I got the head down evenly and softly, put a little Hi-Tack on all the little buggers do discourage them from dancing around and went by the book.

She holds 7 lbs of pressure now and the dirty ol' girl fired right up.  Now I have to figure out how to get the mayonnaise out of the pan.  My Jabsco oil changer can't suck it out and there's very little clearance below the pan.

Pics or it didn't happen :)

Never done it---but couldnt you add some diesel fuel to the oil in the pan to thin it--then bubble it with compressed air to mix it--then suck/drain it out? I guess I would then change the oil twice before starting her up. Interesting problem without removing the pan!

2 or 3 oil changes ( after the oil is hot ) should get rid of the mud . I would not leave the slip with that  rusted coolant fitting . I think there is a lesson to be learned here - things mechanical should be FIRST priority and should be checked on a regular basis . To many boats sunk or drive lines wrecked due to inattention . Looking cool doesn't count if the boat is on the bottom or needs a $10,000 engine . You did a great job on the repair for a non-mechanic . It looks like you ave the skill to keep on top of things below decks . That failure could a have been much much worse . Working gauges are a must , as you found out . Good luck and happy boating.

Like that better than my idea! Wasn't sure if just letting it steam off and through oil changes was an option on the diesel. Ely I guess you will have to buy a 55gal drum of oil!! I agree-- looks like you did a great job and I know it was like music to hear it fire up!

You guys were instrumental in giving me the confidence to pull it off (so far) Thank you all for your interest and support. It means more than you might know.

If you do the head gasket? Be sure to spend the money to make sure the head(s) are true and magnaflixed at a machine shop

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