I sure hope no one has a definitive answer to your question of how long it takes for irreversible damage, which would mean they have experienced such damage. Ouch $$$
My experiential observation is that the water is quite well emulsified and since this is a very lightly loaded assembly (by industrial standards) the answer is "a fairly long time".
I had very milky oil a few years back and did not haul out for 6 months. When I did, the oil was still emulsified, with no separation of water and oil. I then disassembled the lower unit of the "C" drive, removing all bearings, gears and drive shaft. They were all in pristine, like-new condition with not one trace of corrosion or wear.
Regarding your second question, that your oil level is constant suggests that as water is coming in the oil is going out (to sea). That is, the seals are failing allowing a (minor) free flow of fluids back and forth.
Hope this is informative - I don't think you need to treat it as a Mayday - maybe a sécurité..
Craig Briggs, SN68 Sangaris, Brunswick, GA
, wrote :
I made the following observation with the C-Drive (OIL-level).
Maybe you have experienced the same/similar situation?
I changed shaft-seals and bearing in April 2018 and made about 150 hours on Engine since then. At the beginning within the first 15-20 hours I discovered more oil (to the top) after pushing the engine on high refs for a while.
A small amount went over because the cap was leaking and not tightening very close. I was thinking it’s just the expansion of the oil, which got hot due to high refs..
After that from 20-150 hours the oil level staid constant between min/max and color was normal as usual so everything seemed correct.
Recently at around 160 hours the oil color was not so clear anymore but oil level remained the same. Oil is cloudy (very little milky) and the texture is still like pure oil.
I know and I’m quite sure that the situation looks like that the seals leaking and I got seawater ingress. That’s why the oil is a bit milky.
Any Idea why the oil level staid constant, so no rising oil level anymore?
Did the water ingress stopped somehow? If yes, how long can I go with this?
I think it is still necessary to haul out and change seals and oil as soon as possible.
What is your knowledge and experiences about water in the C-drive. How long I can wait and how fast is the c-drive irreversible damaged?
Would be great to get some comment from other experienced AMEL owners.
Thanks for advice
SY WASABI A54-#55