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Saildrive oil rising

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Konstantin View Drop Down
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    Posted: 14 June 2017 at 13:40
Hi guys, I've got my saildrive oil rising. About 1 cm in a week's use, mixed sailing (freewheeling prop), motoring, anchored.
I pumped about 100ml of oil out and let it stay for a day in a glass and it looks clean and transparent.

What can be a problem? How do I confirm it is water ingress?

When I check oil level theres a hissing sound (air escaping or coming in?) when I unscrew the filler cap.

Volvo Penta D2-75 + 150S leg, 700hrs, 3 years, Hanse 445
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High Time View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote High Time Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 June 2017 at 16:38
Usually if water gets into the oil it emulsifies and looks milky but it sounds as though this is not happening with yours? 

What oil are you using? 

Maybe you could try some in a glass. Mix some water with it and see if it goes milky after vigorous shaking.

Another thought - when you extracted a sample was it from the top or the bottom of the oil? I guess any water, if it's not emulsifying, would sink to the bottom.

The hissing could be air escaping. If water is entering it will slightly pressurise the saildrive. 
Roger

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SamsonII View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SamsonII Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 June 2017 at 19:59
Hi,

Remember that the filling cap on the drive never should be opened when the oil is warm. I have done that misstake myself. I never open it until the next day. The oil expands and give you a wrong reading.
Stein-Erik Carlsen

Hanse 370e 2006 #41 "Samson II"
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High Time View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote High Time Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 June 2017 at 17:43
I think it is unlikely that the oil will have expanded sufficiently to raise the level by 1cm!
Roger

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Konstantin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Konstantin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 June 2017 at 08:08
Hi guys, to close this subject (I hope) - I changed oil in the drive and then rinsed it with new oil. Both these oils were sitting in water bottles for a while and all air bubbles escaped so I had clean oil in the end. I poured new oil in the drive and, as Samsonll suggested, checked the level few times now - but only 24 hrs after the use of the drive. It stayed exactly at the level I poured it in!
Samsonll, thanks so much for valuable help!
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kipwrite View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kipwrite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 June 2017 at 18:12
I had this issue, though the oil was also beginning to turn a bit milky and gray suggesting water intrusion.

Just hauled the boat and replaced the saildrive seals, under Volvo warranty.

A surprising failure (to me) given just 380 hrs on engine in a little over a year.

Hopefully this will address the issue.
Kipwrite
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Konstantin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Konstantin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 July 2017 at 12:15
Hey, I was too happy too soon (((
I found out that the oil level stays only when I'm on the move, either freespin or under engine. When the boat is stationary the oil level rises.
Now the oil still looks ok but I know the water is coming in in small amounts so this is not good.
I want to mount an expansion tank for oil and place it above the waterline, to create slightly positive pressure inside the drive that will keep the water from coming in for a few month, so I don't have to haul-out in the middle of the season.
Something like this http://hackingfamily.com/Cruise_Info/Equipment/SailDrives.htm except I will connect a hose to the draining tube on my 150S VP saildrive. This way I will still have some air at the top of the drive under the filler cap but the pressure will be applied on the draining tube.
Now I need your help with one question - is there any reason I should not be doing this? What can go wrong with expansion tank and slightly positive pressure in the drive?
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Wayne's World View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wayne's World Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 July 2017 at 15:41
Kpnstantin,

I skippered a boat with a large (55kw) bow thruster which had a header tank as you suggest. The header tank was about 1.5 meters above the thruster gearbox. I guess the only difference will be that the oil in your saildrive gear box will get hotter and will expand more so you will need a space for the oil to expand. You will need to place the expansion tanks fairly high to overcome the water pressure at the bottom of the saildrive leg eg if the bottom of your saildrive leg is at one meter depth your expansion tank would need to be at least 1.5 meters above the water level. Obviously you will need to remove the old oil and water and replace it with new oil. You may be better off slipping the boat and fixing the seal now rather than waiting. Good luck!
Wayne W
Cruising, currently in the Mediterranean.
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Konstantin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Konstantin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 July 2017 at 14:49
Thanks, Wayne!
I have really just 3 options left - haul-out a boat (not really great midseason + will require antifouling again), use expansion tank or use silicon oil (it is heavier than water). I will try expansion tank. It doesn't have to be that high above the waterline - there is oil below attachment point for my hose, all the way down to the bottom of the leg, so really I just need top of the oil (in the expansion tank) to be about 15-20% higher than waterline level counting from the bottom of the leg, to account for difference in water/oil density hence in pressure at the seal depth.
What I haven't accounted for, with so much oil in the drive albeit with space to expand... that's the question...
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High Time View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote High Time Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 July 2017 at 15:12
If your modified system with header tank is airtight, you will be OK with the expansion of the oil as it heats up (assuming you have some air gap). However, there could be trouble as it cools down and contracts. It could generate a negative pressure and suck water in. It might be better to leave the system open, but be careful to avoid overflow of the oil when heeled. Alternatively you could open the system before it cools down, but this could be tedious to remember every time.
Roger

High Time (415 #038)
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