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Posted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 7:11pm

Post Subject: stinky engine

I have just bought a used NB from a very careful owner. Since filling up the fuel tank and taking her for a spin for a couple of hours there's been a very strong smell of fumes coming from the engine compartment. I lifted the boards and cleaned out the oily gloop that had accumulated under the engine. Smell dissipated noticeably. However, after going out for another short chug the gloop is back. The smell is so strong that we cannot sleep in the rear cabin. I'm guessing there's a leak somewhere. A mechanic had a quick peak and suggested it might be what sounds like 'lithium' or 'lidrium'. Any ideas what is happening? A recent survey didn't show any engine problems, but it may not have been serviced for a while.


Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 1:56pm

Post Subject: stinky engine

Dear Emily, I have no idea what the mechanic was talking about unless he was on about lithium grease than might have come from the stern gland, but it does not smell and should not be under the engine. Unless you can describe the smell (I know its hard) it is virtually impossible to diagnose. From your description of the strength of the smell I suspect there is a fuel leak spraying onto something hot, but I would have expected you to see that if you inspected the engine when it is running. If there is a lot of black "dust film" around the engine bay you probably have a fractured exhaust, but that will not make "gloop" unless this boat squirts water from its exhaust when running. If the engine is exceptionally badly worn both the smell and gloop could have come from the crankcase breather but I would expect the engine to be so hard to starts that you would have complained about that rather than the smell. Tony Brooks

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