Excerpts from recent Houseboat forum exchanges at www.houseboatmagazine.com/forum
[fisheatingbagel]: One of my engines overheated a few weeks ago after the raw water intake got clogged. Afterward I noticed a lot of engine oil in the bilge and the level was low. After fixing the clog and adding oil, I ran the engine and it doesn’t appear to be leaking oil anymore—it’s sort of hard to tell as the bilge is a mess. I cleaned up most of the oil using cat litter, but it's still pretty oily. There’s no water in the crankcase either, so I don't think the head is cracked.
Could the oil have come from the rear main seal, and if so, has it really stopped? Where else could the oil come from?
[easttnboater]: What type and size of motors do you have?
[fisheatingbagel]: They are Chrysler 360s. I took a closer look this weekend, and was able to see oil still coming out. It’s coming out pretty fast in a small stream.
It’s coming out toward the back, but not underneath—more like around the oil filter adapter. I’ve read several accounts of the gaskets going bad around the adapter so I’m hoping it’s this and not the rear main seal. I can’t imagine the main seal leaking this much oil this fast—aren’t main seal leaks more of a slow drip pace?
[JTAlberts]: Ugh. Sorry to hear about the troubles. I am taking on replacing the manifolds this week. Fingers crossed I don’t discover any other issues.
[easttnboater]: I am not a Chrysler engine guy, so I don’t know what their failure points are. If it overheated badly enough, you may be talking warped block. Hopefully you just fried the oil filter gasket.
[fisheatingbagel]: Good news. I ordered and received a gasket kit for the “oil filter adapter,” replaced it and no oil leak! However, now I have to clean up the mess in the bilge.
[KC55]: Good to hear. I'm glad it turned out to be relatively minor. Could you explain the “oil filter adapter”? Is that a remote mount for the oil filter?
[fisheatingbagel]: It's a small casting that “adapts” the filter to the block. I guess Chrysler made several to allow different engine mounting options and allow access to the filter.
Have you faced issues with getting oil in your bilge before? Hop on the forum and share your experiences.