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McFly
Last seen: 4 days 15 hours ago
Joined: 10/22/18
Posts: 145
Engine Coolant leaked everywhere AFTER winterizing... why??

Hey everyone.  I finished up the winterization of the engine and on-board systems in the latter part of October.  In doing so, one additional thing I did was added coolant to the resovoir in the port locker.  It was down below the ADD line and so I brought it up just over the ADD line thinking this would be a good place to be to start in the spring.  After being away for about 4 weeks, I went to the yard yesterday to check on the boat.  Mainly the Fairclough cover since we have had some winds here on the southeast coast of Massachusetts.  The cover was fine I'm happy to say.  

When opening the hatch boards I was greeted with red fluid covering a large spot on the galley floor and emanating from the engine cover.  Uh oh...what now I thought....  I pulled the engine cover and it was evident that the fluid was from the coolant tank.  I checked up in the port locker and sure enough it was empty.  The engine bilge area beneath the engine had a large amount of fluid in it.  I could NOT find an obvious (still dripping) spot where the fluid may have leaked from.  

We have had some very cold days and some very warm days here in the northeast.  As cold as 23F and as warm as 70F during the 4 weeks I was away.  It seems like the change in temp may have caused the fluid to leak from a hose somewhere, but I couldn't find a leak.  

Has anyone experienced anything like this?  Where are the typical culprits?  (the pressure cap seemed dry), as did the return line tubing at the nipple near the pressure cap.  What am I missing??  See attached pics....

Mike

Jackfish Girl, 1999, C36 MKII, Tall Rig, Wing Keel, In-mast furling, Phinneys Harbor, Bourne, MA

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Jackfish Girl, 1999, C36 MKII, Tall Rig, Wing Keel, In-mast furling, Phinneys Harbor, Bourne, MA
Haro's picture
Haro
Last seen: 2 hours 23 min ago
Joined: 11/7/14
Posts: 248

Recently I replaced the engine coolant water pump as the weep holes were wet. I had documented loss of fluid. I thought I had it fixed, but I find antifreeze under the engine periodically and have not been able to find its source. I will be a interested for the solution from the best detective.

Siler Starum's picture
Siler Starum
Last seen: 11 hours 38 min ago
Joined: 4/20/18
Posts: 47

I would clean and dry the engine and bilge area properly and put a layer of paper / tissues on the bottom. For sure you will find a spot where it will be visible getting soaked first. Then you have at least a starting point to look at.
Alternative is to borrow the tool which a car-service is using to pressue check radiators and do pressure test on the cooling system.

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Durk Nijdam
S/V "SILER"
Catalina 36MKII - 2001 / hullnr. 2013
Stavoren - Holland
McFly
Last seen: 4 days 15 hours ago
Joined: 10/22/18
Posts: 145

Great ideas.  I did in fact clean everything up, but putting down a layer of fresh paper towels is something I need to do.  I imagine I will be leak-free unless I refill the resovoir and we get another large/rapid temp variance. 

mike

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Jackfish Girl, 1999, C36 MKII, Tall Rig, Wing Keel, In-mast furling, Phinneys Harbor, Bourne, MA
LeslieTroyer's picture
LeslieTroyer
Last seen: 4 hours 59 min ago
Joined: 3/13/16
Posts: 478

For elusive leaks (oil or antifreeze) try fluorescent dye and a black light.  Both can be had from amizon for about $20

did you use pressurized air or water to winterize the raw water side of the engine???   If so you may have created a leak in the heat exchanger - and a pressure test of the HE is in order.   

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Les & Trish Troyer
Mahalo 
Everett, WA
1983 C-36 Hull #0094
C-36 MK 1 Technical Editor. 

Commodore Elect 

 

McFly
Last seen: 4 days 15 hours ago
Joined: 10/22/18
Posts: 145

Hi Les, ink dye inspection seems like a good idea. No pressurized air was used on the raw water coolant loop or anywhere else on the engine. A month ago I posted about my trials and tribulations with the hot water heater, but never any issue with winterizing the engine.

In reading the M35 service manual I noticed something interesting that I wasn't expecting. In the description of the coolant loop, it states that the petcock on the heat exchanger can be used to drain coolant (as opposed to raw water). I haven't ever touched the petcock, but next time at the boat I'll have a closer look.

The only thing I did to the heat ex was replace the annode and swapped out the gasket from the port side end. I'm thinking the end cap/gasket job may be related to this.

Thanks again for the insight.

Mike

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Jackfish Girl, 1999, C36 MKII, Tall Rig, Wing Keel, In-mast furling, Phinneys Harbor, Bourne, MA
Talisman
Last seen: 1 day 13 hours ago
Joined: 12/26/07
Posts: 227

Mike:

If lI understand what you have done you filled the port side reservoir (part of the closed engine cooling system) with the red antifreeze that l believe should be used only for winterizing the fresh water cooling system.  You don't wintertime the closed system since it should have antifreeze in it already.  The closed system needs a mixture of distilled water and traditional coolant fluids with additives they call Supplemental Cooling Additives (SCA"s) like anti-corrosion elements and its color is usually yellow or green not red.  It's what you put in car systems.

S?ince yo have the red stuff in your closed water system In addition to checking the fresh water system for leaks you may want to check the reservoir tank and the hose from it to the top of the manifold on the port side of the engine where you will see a radiator cap.  If no luck finding your source you may have to check your closed system hoses and parts as well.

?Since you now may have a mix of antifreeze in your closed system in the spring you may want to flush it out and replace all the antifreeze with the right stuff.  Now that you winterized you shouldn't start the engine which you will need to do.  there should be plenty of literature on our web site on what;'s involved.  If not post again.

Good luck

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Enrique
Talisman
1998 36 MK2 Hull #1673
Tall Rig Wing Keel
M35BC engine
Old Saybrook, CT Summer
South Glastonbury, CT Winter
 
McFly
Last seen: 4 days 15 hours ago
Joined: 10/22/18
Posts: 145

To clarify:  I use WM -60 antifreeze to winterize the engine.  It's purple and did not enter the closed system.  This was our first summer with the boat, the PO had left a gallon of engine coolant (maybe prestone?) in the port locker and stated he adds to the resovoir occasionally when I gets below the "ADD" line.  This is what I did after the engine was winterized. Just a splash, brought it up to between the ADD and MAX lines.  It is red in color.  Maybe the PO was using the wrong stuff, I will investigate next time I get aboard.  Even so, your advice of swapping out engine coolant may still be prudent as it is quite low.  When there is a marked temp increase in the forecast, I will add more coolant to the resovoir and lay down some paper towels and try and figure out where the leak is coming from.

Mike

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Jackfish Girl, 1999, C36 MKII, Tall Rig, Wing Keel, In-mast furling, Phinneys Harbor, Bourne, MA
rstonge
Last seen: 4 hours 19 min ago
Joined: 11/2/08
Posts: 30

The red antifreeze might be DexCool.  I am not sure if this is right for our engines.  I use standard Preston pre- diluted 50%. It is green and has worked well over the years.

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