Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Getting Hosed!

I had noticed that my port side engine liked to produce steam after getting to running temp.  This engine was always a little louder than the other one as well.  I always thought that water coming out the back was good enough but apparently that isn't always the case.  You need to know when the water flow is lower than it should be as well.  Here is the latest fun I had on the boat.

We took a ride down river to get some dinner on Friday night.  Everything went great.  We grabbed some food and started to head back north.  We were trailing a barge and I started to get a very strong smell of burning rubber.  I assumed that it was the barge in front of me.  I decided to get in front of the barge to see if it truly was them.  After passing them, the smell was just as strong.  Then my genset kicked off. I had my father in law take the wheel and I went to investigate.  Upon opening the engine compartment, white smoke came pouring out.  The far port side exhaust hose had its outer cover peeled back and was smoking heavily.  We shut down the engine immediately and make it home on one engine.

Here is a picture of the exhaust hose.

Immediately I started thinking that my impeller in the water pump was bad.  Being the manifold was hot enough to melt the bottom of my foam sandal, I decided to wait to dig into it until the next morning.  I knew I needed a new exhaust hose and after getting to the dock, I saw that the hose did fully fail and was leaking.  Well the hose supplier near me was closed for the 3 day weekend.  I decided to go ahead and get started tearing apart the water pump to change the impeller.  Here was my curveball, the impeller looked brand new.  I then thought that there was a blockage in the manifold itself.  I was able to blow through the water tube and out the back without issues.  My manifold drain also opened and ran freely.  I ran a wire up in it just to be sure.  From there I decided to sit down and do some googling.  I found a post on someone mentioning to check the inlet side of my transmission cooler.  This was attached to the side of my engine in a not so easy place to get at.  I took off the outlet hose and it had no blockage at all.  When I took on the inlet hose, the entire cavity of the cooler was full of gunk and small fibers.  You couldn't even see through it.  I used my finger to clean out the main stuff and then hit it with hose and got it totally clean.  I went ahead and cleaned out the starboard side as well.  It was about halfway full.  The other thing this did was show how old and rotted out the hoses were that feed the water to my engine.  I will be replacing all of those as well.

Is this the fix?  Well, I don't know yet.  With the hose supplier closed I am hoping to get the boat back together tonight to give it a test.  I will let you all know how it progresses.

A note to add, I believe this has been going on for quite some time.  The hose that is having the issue was replaced in the not so distant past.  It is entirely different than the other 3.  Instead of fixing the issue I believe they just took care of the symptoms.