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Volvo Penta oil leak?

Discussion in 'Engines' started by twnich, Jul 29, 2010.

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  1. twnich

    twnich Member

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    I have a 2003 Carver ACMY with Volvo Penta KAMD-300's. The starboard engine is leaking oil at the aft end of the engine. I have been told that the aftercooler weeps oil and this is normal, however, the amount of oil I am seeing on the sorbent pad below the aft part of the engine seems significant to me. After 10-15 hours of operation the pad is soaked.

    Oil pressure is normal. Oil consumption is insignificant. I have been all over the engine and can't find any evidence of other leaks, etc.

    It's driving me crazy as I am a stickler for clean engines...

    Anyone have any experience with this? Suggestions?

    (Port engine doesn't do it, only starboard.)
  2. Loren Schweizer

    Loren Schweizer YF Associate Writer

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    Clean it up, then run the boat for a short period. Back at the dock, take your flashlight and look carefully for the leak.
    Might be the transmission oil cooler which would explain why your engine oil consumption is minimal, as you say.
  3. twnich

    twnich Member

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    I've done just what you suggest. A run and then inspection. The only place I can find oil is in the area below and aft of the aftercooler, and below the transmission, but it isn't trans oil - it is definitely engine oil. Transmission oil level is normal.

    If this much oil is weeping from the aftercooler, something must be amiss...

    I'm heading over there now to take another look around.
  4. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Wipe the oil pan with a diapher, make sure everything is clean and use a mirror. I just had to change the oil pan on one of those engines and it was a lightly used 2001.
  5. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    I'm sure you would have noticed this but could it be coming from the crankhouse ventilation filter?
  6. twnich

    twnich Member

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    Capt J:

    Done. No leaks that I can see, and the pan is clean all around. Ran the engine at idle, nothing showing a leak.

    NTCAP123:

    You may be on to something...I am beginning to suspect that the filter in the crankcase vent line may be bad, and if so, it is allowing excessive oil vapor to bypass the filter and it is condensing out via the aftercooler.

    Make sense?
  7. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    I used to go through a fair amount of those filters (about 20 hours). There should be telltales, but I guess it's possible that it's just spitting it. Another possibility: Do you have an oil change system? It could be coming from there, maybe what's left in the tube.
    Besides the vent filters we also had leaks at the head gasket, the dipstick tube and at what looks like a bypass oil line. In any case it's hard to get oil on the floor without a telltale somewhere unless someone is gaslighting you.
  8. twnich

    twnich Member

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    Yes, I have an oil change system, no evidence of leaks there at either end. I'm really beginning to suspect the in line filter is either blocked or failed. I can wipe a finger along the bottom of the aftercooler, and there is oil there. I think it is weeping, and the oil is either misting down onto the sorbent pad, or it's dripping down the aft part of the engine, behind the transmission.

    I guess what I'm learning, is that Volvos do leak a bit, huh?
  9. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Not as bad as some, but those filters have to be checked and changed often.
  10. twnich

    twnich Member

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    Thanks for the info NYCAP, I'm going to have my mechanic look at it tomorrow, probably change out the filter and see if it corrects it.
  11. twnich

    twnich Member

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    NYCAP123...

    A follow up...found the source of the leak. It's coming from the aft end of the valve cover, (in a place that was very difficult to see). Looks like the valve cover has to be removed, which is a bit of a PITA as the injector lines have to be taken off to do so. VP no longer uses a gasket for the valve cover - an adhesive compound instead. Apparently, it doesn't always work very well...I wonder if I can make a gasket for it and save another future headache?
  12. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    With a clean engine the leak can always be found.:) DK about retrofitting a gasket where they used just an adhesive. Maybe K1W1 or Marmot will chime in with an answer on that.
  13. Swamp fox

    Swamp fox Member

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    Maybe try using the Permatex brand Form a Gasket high temp. red silicone
  14. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    If it just an adhesive it will probably be something along the lines of Loctite Gasket eliminator. I would not be afraid to make a thin gasket if the leaking is a problem and glue that into place. ( This is as long as the Valve cover is purely that just a cover).

    Fishtigua would be the best one to chime in here with Volvo's take on it as he seems to work for a Volvo Dealer
  15. twnich

    twnich Member

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    A flashlight and a mirror help, too. :)

    ...along with the ability to be a contortionist.
  16. twnich

    twnich Member

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    Swamp Fox and K1W1...

    Thanks, for the suggestions. I'm interested to find out why Volvo eliminated the gasket (via a service bulletin). They have a compound that they recommend, but according to my mechanic, valve covers that have had the gaskets replaced with the adhesive tend to end up with minor leaks. (The cover and the surface it bolts to are just flat machined surfaces.)