View Full Version : Oil in coolant 2003T

09-05-2008, 05:08 AM
"I am getting oil in my antifreeze, there is no increase in oil level, temperature is fine and oil pressure is good. The engine is running very smooth. I am thinking it could be the turbo charger or maybe a problem with the headgasket. My first thought is to get the turbo checked out as I had work done on it last summer. The amount of oil in the antifreeze is not significant but is worrisome in any event. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thank you


09-05-2008, 07:49 AM
"I have just had a similar problem. At high rpm's I am getting large amounts of oily sludge in the expansion tank. At normal rpms, no overheating....but at high rpms, overheating occurs. After discussions, possibly a bad oil cooler or worse, head gasket/crack or cracks between the oil sleeves and cooling sleeves in upper or lower block. I am possibly going to repower since the engine is a 1988 with 4500 hours. Any thoughts from those with similar experiences?"

09-05-2008, 07:56 AM
Normally a head gasket problem. Does it smell more of exhaust or oil from the coolant?

09-05-2008, 08:16 AM
"If I read your response correctly, the oil in the coolant doen not overtly smell like exaust.The expansion tank pressurizes and oil (which is floating on top of the coolant) blows out of the tank through the cap. Coolant also blows out the cap. I am still wary of the amount of oil that collects in the expansion tank."

09-05-2008, 08:43 AM
"To get 'pure' engine oil into the coolant is not that easy. Oil pressure is much higher than pressure in the fresh water circuit, and as the oil-cooler is raw water cooled that might be eliminated. (oil will simply pass out with the exhaust)
The turbo has no sealing surfaces towards oil, and has to be severely cracked in the casting for that to happen. The same goes for the block. It must be a crack between oil and water somewhere.
The comment about 'expansion tank gets pressurized' further indicates a leakage between combustion chamber and water-jacket, as well as the comment about running hot at higher load.
I still opt for the head gasket as a starter point. What might be serious is that water (anti freeze) most likely has entered the cylinders and piston(s) when engine is not running, and that might have caused some severe piston/ring/cylinder damage that may only be found at a total tear down.
With a 5000 hrs 'valve service interval' the head should be down soon anyway!
Personally I would have started looking at a replacement considering age/running hrs."

09-05-2008, 10:25 AM
"thanks for your input. I am already doing the legwork regarding repowering. At this point I am looking at the Volvo d2-40 or the yanmar 40. I am told that the newer engines will deliver better hp than I have been getting for years with my current 2003T. The other options are to go to 55hp, but that will likely necessitate changing the prop. Any thoughts?"

09-05-2008, 01:33 PM
"Thank you for your input. I am using water at present instead of antifreeze as I was worried about getting antifreeze in the oil. I would have thought there was a seal of some sort between the oil and cooling section of the turbo. Is the coolant part of the turbo a completely sealed system from the oil side of the lubrication side of things. I had my engine done this past winter, however, I disassembled and reassembled the engine. When I initially found the problem which was after some 50 hours of operation and a 15 hour run up the Bay, I retorqued the head. Some of the bolts needed tightening. I was told later that often mechanics when they first torque a head will run the engine for an hour, let it cool and then retorque it again.

Thank you for your input.


09-05-2008, 10:38 PM
What kind of boat, sail-drive or straight shaft?"

09-05-2008, 11:52 PM
" Is the coolant part of the turbo a completely sealed system from the oil side of the lubrication side of things. "
Answer: Yes.

09-06-2008, 09:07 AM
straight shaft, down angle. my engine bed stringers are 19" widest apart (three inches thick each). I may have to reglass the stringers or if I go with a d2-40 volvo (18.1" spread), possibly use some sort of 'L' bracket as the motor mount. Going to a 55hp will definitely mean glass work to widen the stringers. Elliot"

09-06-2008, 10:51 PM
Which engine manufacturer to choose, depends in my opinion mostly on service in the area where You are going to use it. In the Caribbean Volvo rules, Yanmar is'dead'. In Asia where I live it is the opposite.
Next is the question of turbo/non turbo engine. If You do a lot of low-rpm driving, avoid turbo. (I do not favor turbos in sailing boats!) On the other hand if You in general use the engine at rpm's where the turbo is effective, it is another question.
How much HP do You need?
Going up might force You to change shaft and stern tube? You might need a new prop (depending on rpm and gear ratio). Will it still be room in the engine compartment to properly service and maintain the engine?
How is ventilation? Will You need a new/larger exhaust system?
There are quite some questions to clear out before deciding. Do a good planning before You decide!"

10-22-2008, 09:31 AM

I replaced the head gasket and everything is working fine now. No oil and engine is running nicely. Thanks for everyone's input.

Any thoughts on why my Racor 500 is only half full of fuel? I have changed the fuel filters recently.


10-29-2008, 02:23 AM
"I have the same thing looks more like exhaust residue, been there ever since the engine was new!! what I was told was new! should I worry? 1500 hrs now. mine is a kamd 300 volvo"