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How to test exhaust manifold or riser for water leaks?

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  • How to test exhaust manifold or riser for water leaks?

    OK, Winter time maintenance. on my '94 4.3L Mercruiser. Winterized completely (removing all the water in the motor) in October of last year. I just got through changing all the bellows (shift bellows had not been changed, and was leaking), and gimble bearing. I have removed the motor cover to have it reupholstered, and have the boat covered with a canvas trailer able cover out side. I finally got everything back together, and it would not turn over. So, I remove the outdrive, thinking it may be in a bind or something. I try and turn it over, and it still won't.

    I removed the spark plugs, and water comes out. After an oh ****, I check my engine oil by the dip stick, and there is no water in it (yet) I turn the motor over, and out comes water--Mainly from the two front (flywheel side) cylinders. After turning it over I have water in the oil. Remove oil and filter, and put in fresh. Run the motor, and it runs fine, idles fine. Drain and repeat 2 more times.

    All this time, running only for a short period of time without water connection checking temperatures, ( I could always touch the exhaust manifold with my bare hand during this process),and with out the out drive attached.

    Now I am ready to attach my outdrive, and check for water again. My question is--IS THERE a way to check my riser and manifold to see if the water jacket has corroded through,and letting water into my exhaust side? Before I go an contaminate the oil, and motor again? Could I have gotten rain water in through the carb? My spark arrestor was on almost all of the time.
    Thanks for your help in advance.


  • #2
    Re: How to test exhaust manifold or riser for water leaks?

    Alabama huh, are you a salt water boater? You might just do the manifolds and risers as a smart play.
    But I have seen folks on here that test em by blocking off one end and filling the other end to the top with acetone. Acetone molecules will fit through smaller cracks than water so they are a good testing fluid. It's hard to make up a pressure tester due to the shape of the water jacket.
    If it rained when the spark arrestor was off that could have watered your motor. Not likely though unless it really got a good slug in there.
    I hope you dodged the bullet...fingers crossed for ya dude.
    1989 Baja Sunsport 196, Mercruiser 5.7, Alpha 1
    Moultonborough Neck, Lake Winnipesaukee, NH

    Comment



    • #3
      Re: How to test exhaust manifold or riser for water leaks?

      Originally posted by NHGuy View Post
      Alabama huh, are you a salt water boater?
      Fresh water only. Never been in salt. This one anyway.

      "But I have seen folks on here that test em by blocking off one end and filling the other end to the top with acetone." --How is this done? Which end is blocked off, at the rubber connection to the Y pipe?

      Sounds as if I need to remove them to check for leaks no matter what. Lord, I did not want to do that. Hell my wife is already pissed it has set in the driveway this long

      Comment



      • #4
        Re: How to test exhaust manifold or riser for water leaks?

        If the manifolds and elbows are still original I'd bet the house on them being corroded through.

        Removing manifolds is a very simple job, shouldn't take more than 30 minutes (including the coffee break ). If you need to replace both manifolds AND elbows (which I suspect you will), then now is the perfect opportunity to go to the newer style 'dry-joint' manifolds... I've have those on my engine still new (2006) and they look like they'll last another 6 years easily.

        If you need part numbers let me know, as they are NOT the same as the current issue (7° down angle as opposed to the current 15°)

        Chris.....
        The world takes on a whole new perspective when viewed from 100' below...



        1972 Bertram 'Bahia Mar' 20
        2006 Mercruiser 4.3MPI (0W617679) w/Alpha 1 Gen II (0W829301)
        **
        Please don't send service questions in private messages. That's what the forum is for. Messages of thanks, always accepted.
        **
        Member of the month - April 2013. http://www.iboats.com/blog/achris-member-of-the-month/

        Comment



        • #5
          Re: How to test exhaust manifold or riser for water leaks?

          Originally posted by achris View Post
          If the manifolds and elbows are still original I'd bet the house on them being corroded through.

          If you need part numbers let me know, as they are NOT the same as the current issue (7° down angle as opposed to the current 15°)

          Chris.....
          Chris---Thanks for the response. Please send me the "new and improved" part numbers.

          My true question remains. Is there a way to test these parts without removing them?

          I don't mean to whine, its just I had budgeted and planned for the bellows, and the special tools required to do the job. Spending the $400-500 for new manifolds and elbows, just puts us in a bind. I need an economical solution.

          Comment



          • #6
            Re: How to test exhaust manifold or riser for water leaks?

            Originally posted by kneedragger View Post
            Chris---Thanks for the response. Please send me the "new and improved" part numbers.

            My true question remains. Is there a way to test these parts without removing them?

            I don't mean to whine, its just I had budgeted and planned for the bellows, and the special tools required to do the job. Spending the $400-500 for new manifolds and elbows, just puts us in a bind. I need an economical solution.
            Nope....
            Any Grease is Better,..... Than No Grease at All.......

            Comment



            • #7
              Re: How to test exhaust manifold or riser for water leaks?

              Chris,

              Is this sort of what you are referring too? Is this stainless?

              http://www.ebay.com/itm/261008362579...witem=&vxp=mtr

              Comment



              • #8
                Re: How to test exhaust manifold or riser for water leaks?

                Well after reading this. The one peice design manifold is not the way to go.

                http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=316864

                Comment



                • #9
                  Re: How to test exhaust manifold or riser for water leaks?

                  Originally posted by kneedragger View Post
                  Well after reading this. The one peice design manifold is not the way to go.
                  Absolutely correct. AVOID the batwings.

                  Dry-joint manifolds -> -864612T01
                  Dry-joint elbows -> -864309T01
                  Elbow gaskets -> -27-864850A02 (Standard cooling, NOT closed)

                  Chris.....
                  The world takes on a whole new perspective when viewed from 100' below...



                  1972 Bertram 'Bahia Mar' 20
                  2006 Mercruiser 4.3MPI (0W617679) w/Alpha 1 Gen II (0W829301)
                  **
                  Please don't send service questions in private messages. That's what the forum is for. Messages of thanks, always accepted.
                  **
                  Member of the month - April 2013. http://www.iboats.com/blog/achris-member-of-the-month/

                  Comment



                  • #10
                    Sign up today
                    Re: How to test exhaust manifold or riser for water leaks?

                    Just went through this on my 4.3. Just buy all new everything, cheaper then ruining a motor. I got everything ,manifolds,risers,gaskets,plugs,drains. sierra brand. boat runs AWESOME! in the grand scheme of things its very cheap insurance. The original design IMO is fine If you just drain em. the manifolds that came off my boat were original from 1990 with 600 hours, boat was not taken very good care of either.

                    Comment


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