Water On Spark Plugs
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Water On Spark Plugs

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    Senior Member Suicyco's Avatar
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    Default Water On Spark Plugs

    Hey all, was wondering if you guys could shed some light on my situation. Took the boat out this morning for the third time since I have had it and each time has been a pain in the a$$. This boat is a ball buster but I like it so I'm gonna stick with it. So I thought I weeded out all the issues I thought I was having. Thought today would possibly be a good day at the lake but I was wrong. Got to the launch ramp, fired it up real quick before putting it in the water. Ran no longer than three to for seconds. Fired up great.

    Dropped it in the water and went for a start, took a little bit but it did start. Idled it to the open water and I noticed even at idle the breathers were smoking pretty good. Gave it some throttle and it wasn't very impressive but it was moving okay I guess. When I would step on it the engine got louder but not faster and the breathers were smoking heavily and spurting out oil and condensation. After about three to four minutes, I felt loss of power. So I limped the boat back to the launch ramp. About 100 yards from the ramp, the motor died and would not start.

    Got the boat home and took out the spark plugs. I noticed three out of the four spark plugs on the passenger side of the motor were clean and wet with water. Took off the valve covers and noticed some water and oil mixture in the head tray on the passenger side. Checked the oil, no water in the oil pan. Checked the plugs on the drivers side and they were black as if that side was running rich.

    Checked the compression and none of the cylinders had enough compression to even register on the compression tester except the two rear cylinders. That makes sense I guess since the breathers were breathing smoke and oil violently which indicates massive pressure in the crank case most likely from the pressure passing the rings and into the crank case. But where is the water in those three cylinders coming from. Do I have massively bad rings and a blown head gasket?

    I guess the real question I have is, does anyone have a good BBC they want to let go at a really reasonable price for a fellow boater in need???

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    Senior Member jetboatperformance's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suicyco View Post
    Hey all, was wondering if you guys could shed some light on my situation. Took the boat out this morning for the third time since I have had it and each time has been a pain in the a$$. This boat is a ball buster but I like it so I'm gonna stick with it. So I thought I weeded out all the issues I thought I was having. Thought today would possibly be a good day at the lake but I was wrong. Got to the launch ramp, fired it up real quick before putting it in the water. Ran no longer than three to for seconds. Fired up great.

    Dropped it in the water and went for a start, took a little bit but it did start. Idled it to the open water and I noticed even at idle the breathers were smoking pretty good. Gave it some throttle and it wasn't very impressive but it was moving okay I guess. When I would step on it the engine got louder but not faster and the breathers were smoking heavily and spurting out oil and condensation. After about three to four minutes, I felt loss of power. So I limped the boat back to the launch ramp. About 100 yards from the ramp, the motor died and would not start.

    Got the boat home and took out the spark plugs. I noticed three out of the four spark plugs on the passenger side of the motor were clean and wet with water. Took off the valve covers and noticed some water and oil mixture in the head tray on the passenger side. Checked the oil, no water in the oil pan. Checked the plugs on the drivers side and they were black as if that side was running rich.

    Checked the compression and none of the cylinders had enough compression to even register on the compression tester except the two rear cylinders. That makes sense I guess since the breathers were breathing smoke and oil violently which indicates massive pressure in the crank case most likely from the pressure passing the rings and into the crank case. But where is the water in those three cylinders coming from. Do I have massively bad rings and a blown head gasket?

    I guess the real question I have is, does anyone have a good BBC they want to let go at a really reasonable price for a fellow boater in need???
    Probably a lot more detail re this rig (Engine, exaust, history,etc ) would help but clearly its (the engine) is hurt from what you described , the lack of compression alone is pause for concern , sorry to hear of the diffugulties your experiencing Tom

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    Senior Member Suicyco's Avatar
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    It's a 454 BBC, not sure if its standard bore or not, I'll find that out probably next weekend. I'm running over transom bassets with water lines.... speaking of which, the water lines do have a t valve and I noticed today water was coming out of the exhaust at idle. The first time I had it out they were dry until I stepped on the gas. As for History, wish I knew.

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    Senior Member ol guy's Avatar
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    Two qwik questions what engine and what exhaust set up? Sorry on more how long was the boat been sitting?????? Could be a qwik fix and could be a bitch. more info would help. I'm in L.E and help if you wish.

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    Senior Member Suicyco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ol guy View Post
    Two qwik questions what engine and what exhaust set up? Sorry on more how long was the boat been sitting?????? Could be a qwik fix and could be a bitch. more info would help. I'm in L.E and help if you wish.

    Its a 454 BBC LS6 with basset OT headers. No clue how long the motor sat. I'm guessing it sat quite a while. Help would be great, I was at Elsinore this morning.

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    Senior Member LuckyDaze's Avatar
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    Any water in the oil? Are you running a basset t valve with a spring in it? Are you sure its water and not fuel? Water in the combustion chamber should also be in the oil. If thats the case then I would begin to think intake gasket is leaking around the water jacket into the chamber. If you are not running a spring loaded t valve or something to turn the water off at idle you could have enough reversion to pull water from your headers into the engine when you idle.


    How is your cooling system setup? Can you post up some pictures of your rigging?

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    Senior Member ol guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suicyco View Post
    Its a 454 BBC LS6 with basset OT headers. No clue how long the motor sat. I'm guessing it sat quite a while. Help would be great, I was at Elsinore this morning.
    I was gone over the weekend but the first thing is water in the oil? If you say the headers have water coming out at idle then that is to much. Next thing is how is it plumbed? Next would be if it has a basset tee have checked to see if it is stuck. If it is gutted and using a valve I would bet its all the way open WRONG At best with bassets at idle in the water all should get is maybe a mist.

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    Senior Member jetboatperformance's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suicyco View Post
    Checked the compression and none of the cylinders had enough compression to even register on the compression tester except the two rear cylinders. That makes sense I guess since the breathers were breathing smoke and oil violently which indicates massive pressure in
    This part pretty much says it all, probably time to remove and tear down unfortunately ....

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    Senior Member ol guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetboatperformance View Post
    This part pretty much says it all, probably time to remove and tear down unfortunately ....
    Well without a response on the water in the oil issue. I was looking for an easy fix simply because I feel he has a plumbing issue. But let hear rip and good luck. Water in bassets coming out the bells tells me something? M

  12. #10
    Or Seth, either one Budweiser's Avatar
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    It definitely needs some attention in the Basset Valve department, maybe simply stuck/debris, maybe the innards have been removed. It will need to be addressed and plumbing schematic verified.

    But that wont fix 6 cylinders without compression.

    Blown head gaskets, likely. If caused by water, hopefully only enough got in there to push the gaskets out without bending the rods.

    Could be a simple afternoon fix or could end up a complete basket case.

    Either way, I would definitely take Ol Guy up on his offer. He's a smart guy and knows his way around boats and engines.

    If there's water on the plug, there's water in the oil... Majority of the time.
    Last edited by Budweiser; 09-23-2014 at 08:07 PM.

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    senior member turbo wog's Avatar
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    if the head gasket is blown & the water is rushing into the cyl. then you would have water in the exaust at idle too. then you get the reversion into the other cylinders that make you think it is the valve. also the compression is swapping between cylinders & or blowing into the block. i don't think it is the rings, HEAD GASKET ONLY! that is my thought. loss of compression due to head gasket. motor might be fine . pull it apart & take a look. you might get lucky with just a simple head gasket. good luck.

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    Sounds like out could be A. a head gasket letting water in, giving bad compression readings, or the header deal. Either case if the motor sat with water in the cylinders the rings could be now be stuck. Leakdown test may identify the head gasket. It that's not it prolly the rings. Either way, after you fix it, however, make sure the header issues are ironed out when you start your new motor.

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    Like turbo said prolly the head gasket. I would not let it sit long with water in it. Get the heads off asap.

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    remove the plugs & rocker arms, connect up your air compressor to each plug hole and pressurize, if you're leaking out the neighboring plug hole then it's head gasket, if you're leaking air from the sump then you have a holed piston or really thrashed rings, if you're leaking from the intake or exhaust then you have a bent valve.

    deck the heads full valve job, new gaskets, go boating.

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