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Advice on engine overheat


Lizette
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Hi Not sure if we can ask advice on forum anymore? It seems to have changed since I last visited.

 

The water alarm keeps going off . I filled the header tank and after an hour the buzzer started going off and the coolant has reduced to under minimum.

 

Could it be either a leak or fan belt?

 

 

 

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9 minutes ago, Lizette said:

Hi Not sure if we can ask advice on forum anymore? It seems to have changed since I last visited.

 

Just posted on the wrong board I'd say. Maybe Athy could move it, or all replies might need mod approval.

 

 

11 minutes ago, Lizette said:

The water alarm keeps going off . I filled the header tank and after an hour the buzzer started going off and the coolant has reduced to under minimum.

 

Could it be either a leak or fan belt?

 

Yes it could be. 

 

One thing for sure though, is water is being lost. It could be from a leak or it could be getting boiled off. Is there steam in the engine bay after the running of the engine for an hour and the level going down?

 

 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, MtB said:

 

Just posted on the wrong board I'd say. Maybe Athy could move it, or all replies might need mod approval.

 

 

 

He could indeed, in fact he now has,  and thank you for pointing that out.

Because all new posts except political ones appear on my View New Content page, I tend not to notice which section they're in.

 

 

 

 

 

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44 minutes ago, MtB said:

 

Just posted on the wrong board I'd say. Maybe Athy could move it, or all replies might need mod approval.

 

 

 

Yes it could be. 

 

One thing for sure though, is water is being lost. It could be from a leak or it could be getting boiled off. Is there steam in the engine bay after the running of the engine for an hour and the level going down?

 

 

 

 

Hi Thanks for reply. I have just topped up again and am running again. There wasn't any steam in engine bay .

 

I checked the belt and I think it needs replacing which I will do tomorrow.

 

I may have over filled the tank- Ooops😁

 

Whilst I have your ear- how easy is it to fit my own solar panels. I am pretty handy but should I ?

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The water has to be going somewhere. Identifying where it is going is the first step to sorting out the problem.

Is it ending up in the bilges? One possible source would be a failure of the seal around the water pump shaft. Is there any staining or rusting below this? (Don't try to look while the engine is running - you will be too close to the moving belt for safety).

Is it getting into the engine oil? Take the dipstick out. If it is covered in grayish or creamish mayonnaise-type gloop then that is a mixture of oil and water. Most likely reason would be a failure of the gearbox oil cooler (if you have a hydraulic gearbox).

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Fitting solar panels is not difficult.  

Selecting the right panels and controller is probably the potentially complicated part.

You need to be competent mechanically, to fix the panels to the boat; competent electrically, to select and install the cabling, controller and fuses and you need to have/buy the right tools.  A bit of confidence helps too!

Only you can say if you have what is needed, but lots of people seem to manage at least a simple set up.

 

Rules of thumb appear to be:

Flexible panels do not last very long

MPPT are better controllers than PWM

Not all controllers badged MPPT actually are.

Do not expect much contribution from solar between October and April.

 

N

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5 minutes ago, Lizette said:

Hi Thanks for reply. I have just topped up again and am running again. There wasn't any steam in engine bay .

 

I checked the belt and I think it needs replacing which I will do tomorrow.

 

I may have over filled the tank- Ooops😁

 

The worst thing overfilling is likely to cause is the excess spilling out. 

 

I doubt the V belt is the cause, unless it is missing or so loose it isn't turning the water pump. But then there would be steam....

 

Is the lost water ending up in the engine bilge? If not then I think you have bigger problems. It will be going out the exhaust, via (probably) a cylinder head gasket failure. What engine do you have?

 

 

9 minutes ago, Lizette said:

Whilst I have your ear- how easy is it to fit my own solar panels. I am pretty handy but should I ?

 

Fitting them is dead easy. just lay them on the roof! 

 

Wiring them up is also pretty straightforward. I suggest buying a kit from Bimble. E.G.

 https://www.bimblesolar.com/offgrid/complete-packages/boat-kits/350w-victron-mounting-mppt-van-boat

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Thanks all. 

 

Yes,luckily I completely mopped the engine bay this morning so was completely dry before this happened. There is now a little water.

 

I have a Barrus shire 35hp.

 

I checked the oil this morning and it seemed fine.

It seems to ok at the moment. I think I may have run the engine whilst the header tank was dry .

 

With regard to solar panels- a victron mttp 100/50 was recommended. I initially want to put a 330 watt panel on and maybe increase next year. I only have 2 leisure batteries 140ah each.

 

I would rather go for semi flexible if poss.

 

Any thoughts welcome

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Have you vented the skin tank and any loops in the larger cooling pipes that trap air?

 

Gas or air expands far more than water so if you have gas or air trapped in the pipes or tank it will blow water out of the header tank as it heats up. If you found a dry header tank you may well have air in the skin tank now.

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9 minutes ago, Lizette said:

It seems to ok at the moment. I think I may have run the engine whilst the header tank was dry .

In that case it's possible that you may have introduced air into the cooling system. On first refilling, not all of that air was released. On starting the engine and the pumped cooling water circulation the heating of the trapped air can sometimes result in water being blown out of the header tank overflow, and after the engine has stopped and cooled down the water level may be low. This may well sort itself out, so I would just keep an eye on it for now.

 

Edited to add: But do check for air bleed valves on the top of the skin tank, and perhaps other high points in the pipework.

Edited by David Mack
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18 minutes ago, Lizette said:

I would rather go for semi flexible if poss.

 

They produce less power than rigids and last (probably) 50% as long as rigids. Some of the flexibles have needed replacing after 2 years as they crack.

If you are happy to buy more panels than you need (comparitively) and replace then twice as often, then certainly go for semi-flexibles.

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1 hour ago, David Mack said:

In that case it's possible that you may have introduced air into the cooling system. On first refilling, not all of that air was released. On starting the engine and the pumped cooling water circulation the heating of the trapped air can sometimes result in water being blown out of the header tank overflow, and after the engine has stopped and cooled down the water level may be low. This may well sort itself out, so I would just keep an eye on it for now.

 

Edited to add: But do check for air bleed valves on the top of the skin tank, and perhaps other high points in the pipework.

Hi Thanks so much for this advice and of course to Tony ,who I have relied on several times.

 

Once again both your responses have taught me a little more about my boat .

 

Many thanks!

 

I love this forum! 

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1 hour ago, David Mack said:

In that case it's possible that you may have introduced air into the cooling system. On first refilling, not all of that air was released. On starting the engine and the pumped cooling water circulation the heating of the trapped air can sometimes result in water being blown out of the header tank overflow, and after the engine has stopped and cooled down the water level may be low. This may well sort itself out, so I would just keep an eye on it for now.

 

Edited to add: But do check for air bleed valves on the top of the skin tank, and perhaps other high points in the pipework.

Hi The engine has not produced any hot water,so I suspect something more is going on! Could air in system cause this?

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1 hour ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

They produce less power than rigids and last (probably) 50% as long as rigids. Some of the flexibles have needed replacing after 2 years as they crack.

If you are happy to buy more panels than you need (comparitively) and replace then twice as often, then certainly go for semi-flexibles.

Yes,I am very conflicted. I do like the ability to walk on roof. My main priority is to keep batteries charged. I use very little electricity,other than 12 volt fridge.

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1 minute ago, Lizette said:

Yes,I am very conflicted. I do like the ability to walk on roof. My main priority is to keep batteries charged. I use very little electricity,other than 12 volt fridge.

You may be amazed to discover how much electrickery the fridge uses!

On the engine cooling, look up past threads here about airlocks in the coolant pipeworks as it seems probable that there is an airlock or two in the engine cooling system, and/or in the hot water feed to the calorifier.

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9 minutes ago, Lizette said:

Yes,I am very conflicted. I do like the ability to walk on roof. My main priority is to keep batteries charged. I use very little electricity,other than 12 volt fridge.

 

You must have a very narrow roof to be unable to walk past the two foot wide rigid panels I suggested earlier!

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