Re: Engine Problems Amel 54


I just want to give the folks out there an update on my "no-start" engine. I appreciate the support from the group, but have finally deciphered the problem, and it is not good.

As I noted, I have been unable to start my engine since I left Florida in June. Today my outfit of choice here in Annapolis (Bay Shore) finally agreed to help and ran a whole bunch of engine tests (verified the pressure sensor, crank sensor, injectors, fuel systems, etc.). After much head scratching, it appears that raw water from the exhaust system has been slowly migrating back into the intercooler, thereby injecting salt water into the intake manifold. Over time, that has likely caused valve seat damage, piston damage, and even cylinder wall damage. Without taking the engine apart we cannot prove that, but there are salt crystals and corrosion at the mixer fittings adjacent to the turbo. It should be dry. My mechanic (this time a really good one who really investigated the problem) felt the exhaust hose was mounted too high with a lot of resistance. He also felt the muffler was too small, and the type installed is apparently prone to backup over time. I don't blame anyone really, but it is a lesson learned (although an expensive one for sure).

I will be installing a new engine and addressing the installation issues to ensure this sort of thing does not happen again. We will be installing a "drum type" Vetus muffler with a short exhaust hose directly to the outlet on the port side. The one that loops up and over the engine wall is not good.

Not sure if anyone else out there with a "54" wants to investigate their installations, but I can see how water could "bounce" back into the engine if the exhaust system is not breathing freely. My situation might be unique, but regular flush-outs and periodic inspection of the muffler could be the answer, and certainly worth the effort to keep the systems clean and operational.

Thanks again,
Jamie Wendell
s/v Phantom Amel 54

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