Water in Engine

Important Information

IMPORTANT: First determine location of water in engine. This information can be of great help when trying to determine where the water came from and how it got into the engine. The three most common problems are "water on top of pistons, water in crankcase oil, water in crankcase oil and on top of pistons."

The first step, after locating water, is to remove all the water from the engine by removing all spark plugs and pumping cylinders out by cranking engine over. Next change oil and filter. Now, start engine and see if problem can be duplicated. If problem can be duplicated, there more than likely is a mechanical problem. If the problem cannot be duplicated, the problem is either an operator error or a problem that exists only under certain environmental conditions. If water is contained to cylinder(s) only, it is usually entering through the intake system, exhaust system, or head gasket.

If the water is contained to crankcase only, it is usually caused by a cracked or porous block, a flooded bilge, or condensation.

If the water is located in both the cylinder(s) and the crankcase, it is usually caused by water in the cylinders getting past the rings and valves, or complete submersion.

Checking for rust in the intake manifold or exhaust manifolds is a good idea. Rust in these areas will give clues if the water entered these areas.

Water In Crankcase

1. Water in boat bilge
        Boat has been submerged or bilge water was
        high enough to run in through dipstick tube

2. Water seeping past piston ring or valves
        Refer to "Water in Engine" ("On Top of Pistons")

3. Engine running cold
        Defective thermostat, missing thermostat;
        prolonged idling in cold water

4. Intake manifold leaking near a water passage
        Loose  or cracked intake
        Bad intake gasket
        Corroded head or intake

5. Cracked or porous casting
       Check cylinder head, cylinder block, cylinder walls,
       and intake manifold

6. Valve cover cap or breather missing, ( only gets water when it rains)

Water On Top Pistons

1. Operator shut engine off at high RPM (at or above planning speed)

2. Engine "diesels" or tries to run backwards
       Engine out of tune, poor fuel, high idle RPM,
       timing set too high, intake leak

3. Rain water running into flame arrestor
       Hatch cover leaking or left open

4. Spark plug misfiring
       Improper combustion causes moisture in the
       air to accumulate in the cylinder

5. Backwash through the exhaust system

6. Improper engine or exhaust hose installation
   (water coming back up exhaust)
        Boat overloaded or filled with water

7. Cracked exhaust manifold

8. Improper manifold to elbow gasket installation

9. Loose cylinder head bolts

10. Blown cylinder head gasket
        Check for warped cylinder head or cylinder block

11. Cracked Valve seat ( drawing water from exhaust when running)

12. Porous or cracked casting
        Check cylinder heads, cylinder block, and intake manifold

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