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  1. #1
    Petty Officer 2nd Class mark_fitzy's Avatar
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    Red face Blown Head Gasket

    1995 Regal 18ft Bowrider with 40 hour old Reco Chev 262 4.3lt V6 Mercruiser


    Well I just got a call from my mechanic today as my boat has been in the workshop for about 3 week because of water in the oil(which I thought was because I left the plug out)

    My mechanic tells me its a blown head gasket because the motor must have overheated.

    I ask the question how did the motor overheat? The Impellor is 40 hours old as is the motor and water pump. The mechanic verified that the impellor is fine and the water is pumping out well. I thought maybe a plastic bag or something, but the mechanic said the impellor would show signs of stress if this was the case.

    Can anyone tell me how the head gasket on a 40 hour old reconditioned motor would blow if the impellor is puming water? I dont mind paying to get the motor repaired but I need to know why it happened so it doesnt happen again.

    The motor is still under warranty, could this be a warranty issue?

    Need your thoughts!!

  2. #2
    Fleet Admiral HT32BSX115's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blown Head Gasket

    Howdy,


    Couple of things, what do you mean by "reconditioned"? Is the mechanic that has the boat now, the one that "reconditioned" it (and providing the "warranty"?)

    How does he know that the head gasket is "blown"? (I.E. did he do a compression check?)

    Where do you store the boat? (are you located in "cold" country?)

    Head gaskets don't usually "blow" ......... It does happen, but not very often. Usually, water in the oil of a marine engine is due to a crack in the cast iron (block, head, manifold(s) ) Not always.......but usually.


    If you didn't overheat the engine, it's unlikely that the head gasket is blown due to that. In fact, head gaskets don't usually "blow" on an open cooled marine engine that gets a little "hot". (there's no coolant pressure at all.)
    73 de Rick
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I use xxx oil and have never had a problem........
    1987 FourWinns 211 Liberator, 7.4L- Bravo III installed by ME,
    Formerly OMG 460 King Kobra powered
    1947 Stinson 108-2 Station Wagon
    , Franklin 6A-335B. Hartzell CS 2-blade prop
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  3. #3
    Petty Officer 2nd Class mark_fitzy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blown Head Gasket

    Recondtioned motor was purchased by mechanic off a motor supplier and it consisted of Reco Chev 262 4.3lt V6 Mercruiser style unleaded long motor, comes with new exhausts and risers, new water pump, reco balancer, new alternator, new thermostat housing, new starter, reco carburettor, new intake manifold, new electronic distributor and leads, new flywheel, marine head gaskets, new flame arrestor Cost $6300 #A130. 12 months guarantee. Runs on unleaded fuel. (this is a heavy duty motor suitable for salt or fresh water)

    He has taken the heads off and found the blown head gasket.

    I am from australia, boating all year round here. Always stored on trailer at home under a car port.

    Lets say it did over heat without me noticing it, how did it happen with new waterpump and new impellor and impellor still pumping out water fine.

    I have to meet up with the mechanic tomorrow and I dont want him telling me bull sh*t.

  4. #4
    Fleet Admiral HT32BSX115's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blown Head Gasket

    OK,


    Sounds like "reconditioned" there may mean, "rebuilt" here.

    It also appears that you probably do not have freeze damage.

    If a head gasket failed, that's what it is. Head gaskets do fail from time to time. It's very possible it was defective from the start or the head wasn't torqued properly (or not at all)..

    If the mechanic insists that an overheat caused the head gasket failure, you might ask him to show you the evidence.

    If your raw water impeller hasn't failed, there's no reduction in water flow, the manifolds/risers are not plugged (with rust), you didn't run the engine out of the water, and you never saw the temp gage indicate an overheat............ (does the engine have an overheat alarm?)

    I would say it's not all that likely the engine overheated.

    As an aside, did you replace the manifolds AND risers with new units and did the riser gasket(s) show evidence of leaking? (I.E. water in the exhaust and combustion chambers)


    You could still over heat an engine by having plugged manifolds/risers, the plumbing was connected wrong, or a plugged water line from the drive to the engine. You could also have impeller fragments from a previous impeller failure in the T-stat housing, or oil/power steering cooler (if installed) that would seriously reduce water flow. That would absolutely cause overheats.
    73 de Rick
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I use xxx oil and have never had a problem........
    1987 FourWinns 211 Liberator, 7.4L- Bravo III installed by ME,
    Formerly OMG 460 King Kobra powered
    1947 Stinson 108-2 Station Wagon
    , Franklin 6A-335B. Hartzell CS 2-blade prop
    -
    All PM's cheerfully answered! Please ask tech questions in the appropriate forum so everyone's included

  5. #5
    Petty Officer 2nd Class mark_fitzy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blown Head Gasket

    The risers and manifolds are new with the motor, so they wouldnt be blocked and didnt hear any leaking.

    Unfortunately it does not have an alarm, boat in 1995 built, not sure if it ever came with one.

    No oil or power steering cooler installed as far as I know.

    He says he has the blown head gasket for me to see.

    As you can see my confusion, Im not sure whats going on!

    What questions should I ask him?

    By the way, thanks for your input, Im stressedto the max here

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Blown Head Gasket

    If the impeller is intact, then the motor didn't overheat. If the headgasket is actually blown, it's because the head was improperly torqued by the "reconditioner".
    This is a warranty issue.

  7. #7
    Petty Officer 2nd Class mark_fitzy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blown Head Gasket

    Thats what im thinking TilliamWe. I smell a rat

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Blown Head Gasket

    Quote Originally Posted by mark_fitzy View Post
    Thats what im thinking TilliamWe. I smell a rat
    Unfortunately, I think you will find one.

    Small Block Chevies handle overheats very well, as HT has been explaining. They don't normally blow head gaskets. They will crack heads in an overheat, but not usually blow gaskets. And they'll run with cracked heads, I know, I ran a SBC 5.7 for over 2 years after a 240F overheat. when I did take the heads off, for valve issues, one was cracked. Right in between two cylinders, but guess what? No headgasket damage!
    If the blown headgasket is his only evidence of an overheat, that's not evidence at all. There could be something wrong with the head or the block.
    Also, a blown headgasket shouldn't automatically equal water in the oil. There could still be something else wrong with that engine. Best of luck to you.

  9. #9
    Petty Officer 2nd Class mark_fitzy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blown Head Gasket

    It all sounds fishy, and I am not sure really how to go about catching this guy out? Is 3.43 am and I cant sleep,cant stop thinling about it!

  10. #10
    Fleet Admiral HT32BSX115's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blown Head Gasket

    The risers and manifolds are new with the motor, so they wouldnt be blocked and didnt hear any leaking.
    Hmm,

    I donno how you might "hear" leaking. you might detect the results of the leaking though.

    If you had a slight riser leak, some water would leak past a riser gasket back into the exhaust.

    In any cylinder with an open exhaust valve you would have a little water run into the combustion chamber.

    When you subsequently cranked the engine that little bit of water would cause a slight "hydrolock". That *could* cause a head gasket failure (due to the VERY high cyl pressures when the piston comes up against the water) but it doesn't always.......It usually just abruptly stops rotation while cranking.

    It sounds like a weak or dead battery,but does it with a fresh or "jumped" (boosted) battery too.


    If he "Mechanic" also installed the manifolds and risers, it's possible that he "screwed up" and either didn't install them correctly or they were defective. (or the manifold/riser casting surfaces weren't "square" and flat etc)
    73 de Rick
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I use xxx oil and have never had a problem........
    1987 FourWinns 211 Liberator, 7.4L- Bravo III installed by ME,
    Formerly OMG 460 King Kobra powered
    1947 Stinson 108-2 Station Wagon
    , Franklin 6A-335B. Hartzell CS 2-blade prop
    -
    All PM's cheerfully answered! Please ask tech questions in the appropriate forum so everyone's included

  11. #11
    Petty Officer 2nd Class mark_fitzy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blown Head Gasket

    As far as the risers and manifolds go, the whole engine was complete when he (the mechanic) purchased it, he (the mechanic) just installed the engine.

    Anyway I am talking to the mechanic today, I will update you with the outcome.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Blown Head Gasket

    Just a quick note.
    It's a V6, not a SBC.

    "Reco Chev 262 4.3lt V6 Mercruiser style unleaded long motor, comes with new exhausts and risers, new water pump, etc etc..."

  13. #13
    Fleet Admiral HT32BSX115's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blown Head Gasket

    Quote Originally Posted by triman View Post
    Just a quick note.
    It's a V6, not a SBC.

    Same basic "rules" apply though!
    73 de Rick
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I use xxx oil and have never had a problem........
    1987 FourWinns 211 Liberator, 7.4L- Bravo III installed by ME,
    Formerly OMG 460 King Kobra powered
    1947 Stinson 108-2 Station Wagon
    , Franklin 6A-335B. Hartzell CS 2-blade prop
    -
    All PM's cheerfully answered! Please ask tech questions in the appropriate forum so everyone's included

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Blown Head Gasket

    Quote Originally Posted by triman View Post
    Just a quick note.
    It's a V6, not a SBC.

    "Reco Chev 262 4.3lt V6 Mercruiser style unleaded long motor, comes with new exhausts and risers, new water pump, etc etc..."
    A 4.3 is the V6 version of the Small Block Chevy V8. As said above, same rules apply.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Blown Head Gasket

    One thing I suggest you have the mechanic check is the flatness of the heads and the block. Using a steel rule (and not the cheap one from the local home supply house) and a feeler guage, check the flatness of the heads and the block. Since this was a reconditioned engine, it is possible that the heads or block is not within specifications. This, to me, sounds like something which should be covered under warranty. Blowing a head gasket at 40 hours with no sign of water pump problems strongly suggests a problem with the rebuild. Hold your ground and demand the company which did the engine make good. Good luck. Hy

  16. #16
    Petty Officer 2nd Class mark_fitzy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blown Head Gasket

    Thanks guys for all your input. I think we have the mechanic on the backfoot with all our question, thanks to you guys. He wont admit there is something wrong with the motor and insist that the motor overheated and claims that is was due to me leaving the bung out previously and the water got into the motor causing it to airrate and thus not lubracating enough so it overheated and cracked the head gasket.

    He said he isgoing to push for insurance.

    Hmmm still sounds fishy.I will let you know any further outcome

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Blown Head Gasket

    Huh? He is saying that you left the plug out, water filled the bilge, entered the engine, foamed the oil, and that caused an overheat? Uuummm, that's just not true. The man is up to something.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Blown Head Gasket

    Someone please correct me....but I believe you may overheat without even knowing it if your thermosat is stuck closed. If you take a look at the thermostat housing and the manual for the 4.3 (at least in my '94) you will note the temp guage sending unit is on the cool side of the thermostat. Your impeller, water pump, temp sending unit, and guage can be working perfectly, but if the thermostat is stuck closed, it is never allowing the cool water to enter the block, nor the heated water to enter the thermostat housing. Since the temp sending unit is not in the block, but is in the thermostat housing and the heated water never reaches it....you never know you are overheating. The water in the block just continues to circulate, continuing to heat up more and more the longer ran and you will never know it by watching the guage. It will in fact look like it is running cooler than normal. Maybe unusual for a thermostat to fail after such a short time, but I suppose it is possible.

    Someone please correct me if I am wrong...but this is what I experienced with my 4.3. Luckily I did not run my engine long as I was concerned it was never getting up to temp and replaced the stuck thermostat before it became a real problem.
    Steve O
    1994 Caravalle 19' F/S 4.3L Alpha Gen II
    1984 Cheetah 18' 3.7 - 470

  19. #19
    Fleet Admiral HT32BSX115's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blown Head Gasket

    claims that is was due to me leaving the bung out

    Well,

    Can we talk a little about this?

    How much water entered the bilge? & how high on the engine did it get?


    In reality, it would have to get high enough to run in the "breather" which is usually on TOP of the engine (oil fill cap/valve cover etc)


    Yeah, you *could* get water into the engine that way, but I think you would have FAR MORE problems if that actually happened!
    (like the boat partially sinking!!!)


    If you had enough water in the bilge such that it submerged the starter, it might damage the starter, but it wouldn't enter the engine.....


    I'm with TW, I think the "Mechanic" is up to something......(or you're not telling all)
    73 de Rick
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I use xxx oil and have never had a problem........
    1987 FourWinns 211 Liberator, 7.4L- Bravo III installed by ME,
    Formerly OMG 460 King Kobra powered
    1947 Stinson 108-2 Station Wagon
    , Franklin 6A-335B. Hartzell CS 2-blade prop
    -
    All PM's cheerfully answered! Please ask tech questions in the appropriate forum so everyone's included

  20. #20
    Petty Officer 2nd Class mark_fitzy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blown Head Gasket

    Yes about a month proir to my engine shutting down, I left the bilge plug out and the water filled half way around the engine after then it came on the floor, thats when I noticed I had left the plug out. The mechanic believes while the plug was out and I was driving the boat, the motor would have been deep in the water and bow was in the air, therefore letting water into the motor (somehow).
    sdoomaha you might have something because I do remember the temp guage being unusually low but thought it must be fine as the thermostat was new also. It is on the cool side of the thermostat, so could be true. I do however always check the risers to see if they are ever to hot, and nothing really out of the normal did they get to hot. But its possible.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Blown Head Gasket

    I believe the risers are cooled by the lake water as well and then the water is expelled with the exhaust. Your risers would have never heated up beyond normal.

    Not saying that you did overheat...or this is the cause of your problems, but if your gauge was slow to show temp and remained on the cold side, make sure your mechanic checks the thermostat. The gauge will raise slowly and slightly due to heat being conducted through the metal thermostat housing being in contact with the block...but my gauge never rose above 100. I'd hate to see the problem happen again after repairs because that was the initial problem and it was never properly checked out.

    Interesting coincidence your gauge was reacting the same way.

    I do agree the water getting into the engine while running seems a little odd for the issues being claimed.

    Good luck, I hope you get it back together with minimal $$ out of your pocket.
    Steve O
    1994 Caravalle 19' F/S 4.3L Alpha Gen II
    1984 Cheetah 18' 3.7 - 470

  22. #22
    Petty Officer 2nd Class mark_fitzy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blown Head Gasket

    Thanks Mate
    I will let you know the outcome

  23. #23
    Petty Officer 2nd Class mark_fitzy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blown Head Gasket

    Hi Guys

    Well insurance has knocked the claim back saying the water got into the engine because it overheated and blew the head gasket.

    This simply isnt true because the engine was running fine for four days AFTER I had found the water in the oil (after I left the plug out).

    If the head gasket had blown and then let the water into the engine, wouldn't the boat have been running rough then? I believe I would not have been able to tow skiers etc9for four days) at high speed If the head gasket was blown, not without problems at least.!

    I believe somehow when I left the plug out, the water go into the engine,(dont know how)mixed the oil thus creating sludge and slowly not lubricating the engine and then blowing the head gasket, which is when I heard noises coming from the motor and bad performance.

    Whats your thoughts...looks like I still have a fight

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Blown Head Gasket

    Quote Originally Posted by mark_fitzy View Post
    ...

    Well insurance has knocked the claim back saying the water got into the engine because it overheated and blew the head gasket...
    You are barking up the wrong tree, and fighting with the wrong people. This is NOT an insurance claim. It's a mechanical failure, period. Not covered under physical damage insurance policies.

    The only thing to determine is who's fault the mechanical failure is. the rebuilder of the engine or the mechanic who installed it.

  25. #25
    Moderator ezmobee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blown Head Gasket

    I think he means "warranty" not "insurance" TW.
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