Catastrophic failure

sailingJAG

Junior Member
Catastrophic failure
I had engine trouble thought it was air in the line. At the last crank I noticed oil pouring out of the raw water intake. I’ve been told that probably means the cooling system failed allowing the oil and water to mix. I have another engine but can’t find a mechanic to do the install. The boat is in Norfolk. Does anyone know a yard or mechanic who can do the replacement install?
 

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Alan Gomes

Contributing Partner
It looks pretty clear that the oil lip seal in your raw water pump failed. If so, that's a fairly cheap fix and hardly catastrophic.
 
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Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Who told you you need a new engine?

Raw water pumps leak oil when their seals wear out, a common occurrence on old boats.

Unfortunately, I'm an optimist not a diesel mechanic. But get some more opinions.
 

Alan Gomes

Contributing Partner
If you don't want to replace the seals yourself, just ship it off to Depco Pump and have them do it for ~$100 or so. Even if you outright replaced the pump with a new one, you are not looking at anything even close to the cost of an entire engine swap!
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Based on the info so far, I'm voting for "frickin' inconvenient" rather the "catastrophic" .... :(
Best of luck in the replacement.
Oh, and what model and HP of engine is it?
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
I should have specified 'pump' or the seal.
Oops....

Of course, as you recall, I am OK with replacing an engine. :)
 

sailingJAG

Junior Member
I thought it was the engine but I’m not a mechanic. The guy I spoke with said that if the leak happens when the cooling cells corrode and break. The oil pressure is more than the water pressure and the oil flows. I need to find a mechanic who can figure this out. Im going to look into the seal thing.
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Please fill out your profile, and add boat model and engine in the Signature line (see examples in posters above).
 

Alan Gomes

Contributing Partner
Thanks. the learning curve has been high for me.
Well, if you think about how the pump is built you will see that what is going on here is pretty straightforward and something you could easily fix yourself.

As you can see in your picture, the front part of the pump is where the water is; that's the part of the pump that has the hoses attached to it. The very back part of the pump is where it is bolted up against your engine. The engine is what contains the oil, of course. In the middle of the pump is a chamber that has a weep hole. That's where the oil is leaking out.

The pump has two seals. One keeps the water from leaking through the front part of the pump and out the weep hole, whereas the back seal is what keeps the oil inside the engine and not weeping oil through the weep hole. Think of that weep hole as a sort of alarm. Nothing should be coming out of the weep hole, regardless of what is going on inside of your engine. If water is coming out, it's the forward seal that's bad. If oil is coming out, it's the back seal that has failed. If both oil and water are coming out, then both have failed--though the probability of both seals going bad at exactly the same time is low.

The fix is simple: either replace the seals in the pump, or just replace the entire pump. If you don't want to replace the seals yourself, ship the pump off to Depco Pump in Florida and let them do it. They are excellent, and having them refurbish the pump in most cases will be cheaper than buying new. (I say "in most cases" because sometimes there are other things that get worn out in these pumps that can make them so far gone that rebuilding them is not economically viable. But if you send it to Depco they will be able to tell you the best course of action re: repair or replace.)

As for swapping out the pump: You don't need a mechanic to do that. Just remove the hoses from the pump (with the seacock closed!) and the bolts (two of them or whatever it is) that are holding the pump to the engine. The pump will just pull off. The shaft is keyed, so when you reinstall it just line up the flat part of the shaft to the orientation of the key inside the engine, bolt it down, hook up the hoses, and you should be good to go.

As a broader consideration, it will be best to get up to speed on being able to do basic maintenance on the engine yourself. I'm no mechanic either, but I've learned to handle all the main maintenance items myself. If you pay a mechanic to do everything the cost to maintain your boat will soon become prohibitive. Additionally, there are lots of really incompetent folks out there who simply hang up a mechanic shingle and charge you confiscatory rates to screw up your engine. This makes no sense when you can screw up your own engine for free. But seriously, swapping out this pump is one of the simpler tasks you can do on that engine. With a bit of coaching from the forum you can definitely do this.

I'm not saying that there is no place for a good mechanic, by the way. But you don't need one for this.
 

Pete the Cat

Member III
I think that is an Oberdorfer pump. If so, there is a YouTube video by the factory guys that show you how to fix that. They sell the kit. Very simple repair. No special tools or skill needed.
 

Prairie Schooner

Jeff & Donna, new owners 7/21
FWIW, I broke two graphite bearings trying to rebuild our Oberdorfer. We ended up buying a new pump. There are things I would do differently and it probably would have worked. A rebuild is simple . . . in theory.

These links may be helpful:
1 https://ericsonyachts.org/ie/threads/which-oberdorfer.18436/#post-141091
2 https://www.sailnet.com/threads/rebuilding-oberdorfer-pump.60992/
3 https://ericsonyachts.org/ie/thread...acement-oberdorfer-raw-water-pump-help.17421/
4 https://ericsonyachts.org/ie/threads/oberdorfer-raw-water-pump-leaking-water.16769/
5 https://www.catalina36.org/forum/technical-discussion/update-oberdorfer-water-pump-replacement
6 https://ericsonyachts.org/ie/threads/m25-raw-water-pump-replacement.12806/
7 https://marinehowto.com/rebuilding-a-raw-water-pump/ Not Oberdorfer, but helpful information

Taking out the old pump and putting the new one in was easy. If you can replace the float valve in a household toilet, you can do this. The Oberdorfer is made with different kinds of flanges to mount, see link #1 above. I purchased our new pump from Catalina Direct. They were very helpful, it was in stock, arrived fast, and fit perfectly. Be sure to use lube (provided with our new pump) on the impeller to keep it from burning up when it starts new and doesn't have water in it yet.

Good luck!!
 
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