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BMC Engine spewing white smoke...


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#1 BlueStringPudding

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 08:13 AM

Hello all,

I'd like your advice about an engine, please

My brother's keen to buy a twenty year old boat with a BMC four cylinder, 36hp diesel engine.

Kev and he took it for a test drive yesterday. The engine took a couple of tries to get it started, but once running was responsive and had quite a lot of welly, which is good. :lol:

They drove it for around half an hour. Throughout that entire half an hour though, there was white smoke issuing from under the floor in the engine room - according to Kev. Kev didn't lift the boards to have a proper look at where the smoke was coming from though.

Now bearing in mind that the boat has been left dormant since December, could this just be a little moisture in the diesel causing this - maybe combined with a leaky exhaust pipe (hence the smoke appearing inside the engine room rather than outside the boat) - or could this be something more sinister?

This may be entirely unrelated but the boat has a built-in generator in the engine bay which runs off the same diesel tank as the engine. Said generator turns over but doesn't start. Like I said this might bear no relevance at all.

Lastly, as Kev got home last night absolutely plastered Posted Image that's all the coherent information I could get out of him, so any speculation as to the possible causes of the white smoke in engine cabin would be much appreciated!

Thanks

Edited by BlueStringPudding, 18 August 2009 - 08:14 AM.

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#2 MoominPapa

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 08:50 AM

Lastly, as Kev got home last night absolutely plastered Posted Image that's all the coherent information I could get out of him, so any speculation as to the possible causes of the white smoke in engine cabin would be much appreciated!


That explains all: Kev was clearly spilling beer onto the floorboards which dripped onto the engine, hence white smoke. :lol:

Seriously, a fluid leak (antifreeze or diesel or oil) onto a hot engine part like the exhaust manifold can cause this. The smell of the smoke is normally diagnostic of what fluid is leaking. Without further information the underlying problem could mean anything from a trivial fix to a new engine.....


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#3 DHutch

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 10:02 AM

Yeah, what does the smoke smell of would be key? Ontop of where its coming from.
- 3 worth of split hose would leak coolent onto a hot exhast and make steam, but then again so could more expensive parts!
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#4 BlueStringPudding

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 10:15 AM

I've just spoken to my brother and he's fairly certain it was steam. He said it had no smell.

However they're as useless as each other because neither Dave or Kev lifted up the floor to look at where the steam/smoke was coming from nor did they check any of the dials next to them which had the temperature gauge, oil gauage etc... :lol:

;) Send a man to do a woman's job... ;) :o (I'm joshing! I'm joshing!)

And based on that utter lack of information and through the clouds of billowing steam, they put an offer in on the boat. :lol: :lol: :lol: No wonder they got p*ssed afterwards.

Edited by BlueStringPudding, 18 August 2009 - 10:16 AM.

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"Just seen a BW working boat come to a standstill with a fouled prop - The crew claimed it may take 2-3 hrs to clear !!!! so bowhauled the boat on the old blue string pudding." - benfordboy


"Am I in the distance yet?" - Bod

#5 denboy

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 10:35 AM

could have been a loose weed hatch chucking water on the exhaust and the boat may have sunk by now :lol: ps you sure they were sober before the trial run

Edited by denboy, 18 August 2009 - 10:36 AM.

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#6 Naughty Cal

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 10:40 AM

A good surveyor will find the answer.
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#7 BlueStringPudding

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 10:58 AM

could have been a loose weed hatch chucking water on the exhaust and the boat may have sunk by now :lol: ps you sure they were sober before the trial run



:lol:

Yeah, all bevvies were consumed at Wetherspoons after the event! Which is why Kev missed no less than four trains home! :lol: :lol:
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"Just seen a BW working boat come to a standstill with a fouled prop - The crew claimed it may take 2-3 hrs to clear !!!! so bowhauled the boat on the old blue string pudding." - benfordboy


"Am I in the distance yet?" - Bod

#8 Albion

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 11:01 AM

I've just spoken to my brother and he's fairly certain it was steam. He said it had no smell.

However they're as useless as each other because neither Dave or Kev lifted up the floor to look at where the steam/smoke was coming from nor did they check any of the dials next to them which had the temperature gauge, oil gauage etc... :lol:

:o Send a man to do a woman's job... ;) :lol: (I'm joshing! I'm joshing!)

And based on that utter lack of information and through the clouds of billowing steam, they put an offer in on the boat. :lol: :lol: :lol: No wonder they got p*ssed afterwards.


Wow, where can I find a couple of of mu**, sorry customers, like that the next time I'm selling something. In that case BSP you are quite correct, anybody could have done a more thorough job of the pre-purchase trial. ;)
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#9 alan_fincher

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 11:54 AM

In that case BSP you are quite correct, anybody could have done a more thorough job of the pre-purchase trial. :lol:


As probably could anybody's pet rabbit.................. :lol:

(Says the man with the BMC 1800 that overheated yesterday and filled the engine compartment with enough steam and fumes that I thought we had a fire...... :lol: )
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#10 BlueStringPudding

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 03:18 PM

D'oh! Well, if the survey finds it's a dud, that's an expensive way to find out. But at least find out he will.

Tragically it will mean the next boat will have an even lower offer put on it because the surveyor will be saying thankyou very much with a wad of his budget. :lol:

Let's hope it's okay.

Numskees, the pair of 'em.

Edited by BlueStringPudding, 18 August 2009 - 04:53 PM.

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"Just seen a BW working boat come to a standstill with a fouled prop - The crew claimed it may take 2-3 hrs to clear !!!! so bowhauled the boat on the old blue string pudding." - benfordboy


"Am I in the distance yet?" - Bod

#11 churchward

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 03:35 PM

As probably could anybody's pet rabbit.................. :lol:

(Says the man with the BMC 1800 that overheated yesterday and filled the engine compartment with enough steam and fumes that I thought we had a fire...... :lol: )

Oh dear I hope that was just a minor glitch and nothing too serious then.
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#12 BlueStringPudding

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 09:32 AM

And the offer was accepted! I'm very pleased for him but now praying that the surveyor fiinds the engine sound (as well as everything else!) :lol:
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"Just seen a BW working boat come to a standstill with a fouled prop - The crew claimed it may take 2-3 hrs to clear !!!! so bowhauled the boat on the old blue string pudding." - benfordboy


"Am I in the distance yet?" - Bod

#13 BlueStringPudding

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 12:28 PM

Hello, me again.

I've just spoken to Dave on the phone at the hospital (no, I didn't kick his head in for putting an offer in on a boat with a steamy engine! :lol: Entirely unrelated reason for being at the hospital) and now that the offer has been accepted he wants to go up to Reading to put his deposit on the boat tomorrow.

I've suggested that before he hands over his 1500 deposit that he ask the broker to again get the engine going in gear, and to check properly where the steam in coming from, and to check all the guages, propshaft and stuff while he's at it. Dave said that when he asked the broker what the steam was he was told it's just burning off a bit of condensation - however the fact that it continued doing it for the full half hour the engine was running, sounds like that was a bit of an excuse in order to secure the sale to Mr and Mr Naive. :lol: :lol:

This he can do, however because he doesn't know one end of an engine from another he's going to find it hard to describe where the problem is coming from. I've suggested he draw a little diagram of it to help him. Kev and I unfortunately are working our respective notice periods and cannot get any more time off work to help him this week. So - and this is a cheeky ask - is there anyone from this forum who would be willing to let Dave phone you tomorrow to talk through what seems to be going on with the engine? It's a big ask, I know. But it'd be great if he could have even a vague idea as to whether it's worth him committing his deposit and paying the surveyor, while there's such a big question mark over the condition of the engine.
Like you guys say, depending on where the steam is coming from it could be a minor problem or it could be an expensive nightmare.

If anyone's willing to play guess the engine part over the phone tomorrow afternoon with my (not so little) brother, please PM me. :lol:

Thanks

Edited by BlueStringPudding, 19 August 2009 - 12:29 PM.

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"Just seen a BW working boat come to a standstill with a fouled prop - The crew claimed it may take 2-3 hrs to clear !!!! so bowhauled the boat on the old blue string pudding." - benfordboy


"Am I in the distance yet?" - Bod

#14 Yoda

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 12:42 PM

A bad case of Scotch Mist, I think.

The engine bay is probably full of water, so it might be OK. It is very hard to help on the phone but if no one else is about I'll do my best. Will PM you.

I think that handing over any monies will be a bad idea at the moment. Far better to pay a surveyor first. Any history from the owners?
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#15 BlueStringPudding

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 01:20 PM

A bad case of Scotch Mist, I think.

The engine bay is probably full of water, so it might be OK. It is very hard to help on the phone but if no one else is about I'll do my best. Will PM you.

I think that handing over any monies will be a bad idea at the moment. Far better to pay a surveyor first. Any history from the owners?


None whatsoever, I'm afraid. As for handing over the deposit, he has to in order to take the boat off the market and secure it as under offer, as far as I'm aware. (I know we had to at BWML before the survey)

When I saw the boat (not running) last week I noticed almost no water immediately under the prop shaft, so I have little reason to suspect much water under the actual engine - but you never know. It's spectacularly hard to see under there as there's crawling space only in the engine room. I'll tell Dave to bring a torch so he can have a proper delve!
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"Just seen a BW working boat come to a standstill with a fouled prop - The crew claimed it may take 2-3 hrs to clear !!!! so bowhauled the boat on the old blue string pudding." - benfordboy


"Am I in the distance yet?" - Bod

#16 alan_fincher

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 01:50 PM

Where is the boat, please ?
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The big summer trip out has finally ended sad.png

Trip stats estimated as: Trip length: 51 days
Miles boated: 876, Locks worked: 541, Tunnel passages: 23, Moveable bridges: About 60
(Engine oil changes: 2
)

Narrow boats SICKLE and CHALICE blog


#17 Yoda

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 01:55 PM

Where is the boat, please ?


Reading, but where?
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#18 sociable_hermit

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 02:11 PM

Reading, but where?

Please provide chart reference, and depth.
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#19 Liam

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 02:59 PM

When I saw the boat (not running) last week I noticed almost no water immediately under the prop shaft, so I have little reason to suspect much water under the actual engine - but you never know.


Just clutching at straws, but... this could possibly be down to the two areas having a bulkhead between, and a bilge pump under the prop shaft?

I think it would be a good idea for your brother to take a camera and take a few pics if possible, of the problem area.
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#20 Tony Brooks

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 08:01 PM

If anyone's willing to play guess the engine part over the phone tomorrow afternoon with my (not so little) brother, please PM me. :lol:

Thanks



BSP

Did you not get my PM?

I am in Reading and will happily have a look at the boat with your brother but have no intention of trying to guess items over the phone.

I gave you my phone number in the PM but you can send me the times & location by PM or email

Cheers.
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