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Honda 9.9 Water in oil? Looks like COFFEE!

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  • Honda 9.9 Water in oil? Looks like COFFEE!

    I have a late 70's four stroke Honda, not sure if it's a 7.5 or a 9.9. The other day I started it and it sounded muffled and no cooling water was coming out. I gave it 10 seconds or so, having had a similar problem a while back with something needing to get flushed out. I tried every flushing method I could think of, including shooting water up into the spit-out thingie (pardon my techno-babble). I started it up briefly a couple more times, but the apparent prostate problem persisted. I eventually checked the oil and discovered a substance resembling coffee with too much cream (depending on taste). Even though I do like a generous dose of cream in my coffee, this substance was nothing like the $3.99 a quart oil I recently fed to it about 12 engine hours ago. Also, the oil capacity on this engine is about .8 liters and there was probably 1.5 liters of "coffee" in there. Any ideas?


  • #2
    Re: Honda 9.9 Water in oil? Looks like COFFEE!

    I am not a mechanic, but it sounds like water in the oil. Head? Head gasket? Maybe you should do a compression check.

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    • #3
      Re: Honda 9.9 Water in oil? Looks like COFFEE!

      thanks for your help. Would a compression check tell me if one cylinder is leaking or the other? Also, if this problem existed the last time I ran the engine, then any water in the oil would have been salt water. BTW- The oil/water mix that I took out of the engine doesn't seem to have separated into oil and water as I would expect it to.

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      • #4
        Re: Honda 9.9 Water in oil? Looks like COFFEE!

        Hey Rob,Are you talking about the oil in the lower unit? If so, the type oil used is designed to mix with the water, thus the milky color. It would then indicate leaky seals in the lower unit. However, if you're showing oil in the crankcase, that's another story altogether. At the least, a blown head gasket. Backlash

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        • #5
          Re: Honda 9.9 Water in oil? Looks like COFFEE!

          A compression check would tell you that you have something wrong internally. It is a cheap test, anyone can do it. But like backlash stated, it would not tell you anything about lower unit.

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          • #6
            Re: Honda 9.9 Water in oil? Looks like COFFEE!

            Here we go. Water can enter the crankcase of these engines alot of different ways including the backflush method that I think you used.At any rate ,if you suspect that your engine may be contaminated by saltwater ,time is of the essence.Do the compression test,with the grip in the wide open position.Should read 130 or higher per.Now comes the hard part.To get all that sludge out of your oil pan you will have to remove the powerhead.While the head is off replace the oil filler neck o ring ,water tube oring and P H gasket if compression was OK.

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            • #7
              Re: Honda 9.9 Water in oil? Looks like COFFEE!

              Thanks to everyone for the tremendous help! It's the crankcase, by the way, not the lower unit. I changed the oil and started it again briefly to make sure it wasn't my backflushing procedure that was at fault, and sure enough, I made more coffee! (more water in the oil) I let that drain overnight last night and my mechanic neighbor is going to take it apart tomorrow. I'll let you know what happens.

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              • #8
                Re: Honda 9.9 Water in oil? Looks like COFFEE!

                BTW- I'm the proud new owner of a Honda Shop Manual if anyone needs a part number.

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                • #9
                  Re: Honda 9.9 Water in oil? Looks like COFFEE!

                  I have the same problem. I replaced the head gasket and problem persisted. I am starting to suspect a lip seal at the bottom of the crankcase but I would like to know what was the cause of your problem and what was the cure? Motor Honda 10. late 70's

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                  • #10
                    Re: Honda 9.9 Water in oil? Looks like COFFEE!

                    The most common cause of this problem are kicker mototrs that are mounted too low on the transom or operated down in a following sea or rough water or kickers on sailboats that are practically submerged in a heavey list.If this engine has been overheated severely,some distortion can occur at the filler neck where your dipstick is.You will need to remove the P.H. to repair that neck and if compression is good, changing all components needed to do that job should do the trick.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Honda 9.9 Water in oil? Looks like COFFEE!

                      The world may never know what the actual cause of my outboard troubles was... When we tried to remove the head, we found out that the head bolts were very loose on one side and very tight on the other, whether this was a cause or an effect, I don't know, but the tightest of the tight ones gave up its bolt head before releasing the the cylinder head. I dragged it around to several machine shops, and they all scratched their heads. One finally drilled out the bolt and suggested that the head could be gently pried off over time. I wasn't gentle enough. One day, while crying over my busted block, I noticed a small crack below the large one I had made. It appeared to have been repaired. Even though I may have found the initial cause of the troubles, I don't think his engine can be resurrected. At least not by the likes of me. Anyone want a busted-block disassembled Honda 9.9?

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                      • #12
                        Re: Honda 9.9 Water in oil? Looks like COFFEE!

                        To HondonMy Honda 10 is used on a sailboat and does come uncomfortably close to being swamped.At various times I have had the engine quit on these near submergings. I know a little about car engines and very little about outboards and I do not understand what the term Power head means. Do you mean the cylinder head? I do not have a shop manual but maybe Robnotbob does not need his anymore and will sell it to me. What do you mean repair to dipstick neck. I know my way around the machine shop and can do most machine work required. I have not done a compression check but I do have a compression gauge and will do this test. Do you do the test while pulling the start cord? Thanks for any help.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Honda 9.9 Water in oil? Looks like COFFEE!

                          Vic,powerhead refers to the actual engine part of your outboard,the part that makes the power and consumes the fuel,the whole spinning moving heat generating top of your motor.By your description of your symptoms I would be pretty certain that your water intrusion problems are occuring from the outside in.That means that you are injesting water through the upper exhaust ports.This can happen on any outboard if those port are allowed to operate underwater but will show up right away in four strokes as water in the oil.You can verify this by changing the oil and running till warm on a different boat or makking sure what I just suggested isn'thappening on yours,then change it again.Run the engine again ,making sure the ports don't get submerged a let us know.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Honda 9.9 Water in oil? Looks like COFFEE!

                            Hondon, Thanks for the information. I will perform the test as you suggested, making sure that the engine is well clear of the water and recheck the condition of the oil. This will be a lot easier than stripping down the engine looking for possible leak sites. It will be a little time before I make the tests as the temp. is around freezing here so it will be some time before I get any results. Thanks anyway, you have been a big help.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Honda 9.9 Water in oil? Looks like COFFEE!

                              O.K. Here goes. I've work'd on a zillion of the older Hondas and I believe yu may have a problem caused by the following. 1) First off, You describe the oil as if it were coffee?? With cream????? I'm asking cause From your description you don't actually say its "milky" so, is it milky/white ???? If it's water, it will seperate from the oil in a few hours time and the water will be at the bottm of the crankcase. When you drain the oil , water will come out first. Has this happen'd ???? Anyway, I'm questioning if the add'd fluid is fuel ??? Fuel pump,flooding/leaking carb could account for added fluid levels. Engine running cold ???? But, if it's water and you have exhusted all other reasons, I suggust checking the plastic (later aluminum) dip-stick cover where it attaches to the block. It incorporates a water passage in it and a o-ring. The housing gets warp'd from heat and lets water into the oil. If you take the housing off, you can put a straight-edge across it and see the extent of warpage. Good luck !!

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