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I've got a question that I would pay you for your quick

Sir, I've got a question...
Sir, I've got a question that I would pay you for your quick thoughts on the matter.We have got a contract in on a Carver 444 in FLL. It has twin 370 Volvo diesels with 358 hours on them. Boat was in great condition, but has been sitting a while. Survey went well other than the starboard oil pressure sitting at 35psi, while the port was at a normal 70psi.We pulled oil samples and found all was good... other than the starboard which is showing abnormal sodium at 63 (which is no doubt saltwater).I'm in a position to get an excellent buy price on this boat. However, I am now very worried as I really don't know the potential short term liability of these findings.I have to advise of my intent tomorrow. Looking for honest opinion on whether this is a reason to walk away, and if not, what should I request in allowance from the seller? ($5K?, $10K?, $20K?)I really appreciate it.Jason Pampell
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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Oil pressure on this engine is only 35psi, compared to normal 70psi port.
Answered in 8 hours by:
1/19/2018
Jason
Jason, Marine Mechanic
Category: Boat
Satisfied Customers: 18,165
Experience: Degree in Marine Technology. Gas and diesel marine mechanic.
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Hi Jason, good morning my name is ***** ***** well. I apologize for the delay, I am on east coast time, and your question came in overnight. Did you still need help with this or were you already able to find your answers last night?

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
an assist is still needed on the issue.

Okay i'm here. Couple of questions for you. Was this oil sample just a 1 time oil sample, or does the engine have a history of oil samples being taken at every oil change or every year? Do you know how many hours were on the oil before it was sampled? Was the engines oil pressure checked manually, with a mechanical gauge, or was the reading taken with just the gauge in the dash?

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
one time oil sample taken at time of full survey.Oil pressure showing 35psi on this same engine (compared to 70psi on the port)

S​or the delay, I had to take a call. There isn't anything that is conclusive with this. What kinds of questions did you have on the issue?

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
I'm in a position to get an excellent buy price on this boat. However, I am now very worried as I really don't know the potential short term liability of these findings.I have to advise of my intent this afternoon. Looking for honest opinion on whether this is a reason to walk away, and if not, what should I request in allowance from the seller? ($5K?, $10K?, $20K?)

R​eason to walk away, no. Request an allowance, I would certainly try. An overhaul on that engine would be in the 15K ballpark, so I would shoot for 15 to 20K as an allowance and see what happens.

Here is kind of what you are looking at;

1. On the oil sample. 1 off oil samples do not mean anything. The sodium could mean something, could be nothing, could be contamination from the guys pump or even from a drop of sweat. When you do oil samples you use a brand new (albeit cheap) pump every time you draw oil from an engine. Typically you do not need much oil, just 2 or 3 ounces. If a drop of sweat from the mechanics hand or eyebrow gets into the oil, you end up with a high sodium reading. What oil samples are mainly used for is for fleet and industrial applications, say a trucking fleet. They would use those samples to forecast operating expenses and engine life and use that information when making determinations on how long millions (if not billions) of dollars in engines is going to last for a particular company. For a 1 off boat sample, it doesn't mean anything. If the engine has a history of oil samples then that would be one thing, but without a history then it's nothing. The only way to tell if there engine does have a problem with sodium is to change the oil, put about 50 or 60 hard hours on the engine, and send off another sample. High sodium can literally be caused by sweat in the oil sample.

2. On the oil pressure, again it could be something or could be nothing. The specification on this engine is a minimum of 21 psi at idle speeds. And then 43 to 72 PSI at speed. Low oil pressure can be caused by sludge buildup. A failing oil pump. A clogged oil filter. Worn main bearings on the crankshaft. A leaking oil pressure control valve. A weak or broken spring on the oil pressure control valve. Either way, boat gauges are notoriously inaccurate. When checking oil pressure, a mechanical oil pressure gauge needs to be plumbed directly into the engine block and read that way. Corrosion inside of wiring, corrosion inside of gauges, skews readings all the time. For all anybody knows, this could be just the opposite, and the engine at 35 psi could be accurate and the engine at 70 psi could be a false high reading. You just don't know unless you take the engines oil pressures manually.

These are good engines. Putting a lot of hours on the engine and re-sending out a sample really isn't going to be realistic. But what is realistic is to get a Volvo certified tech out there and pay him for 2 hours to take the oil pressure readings on both engines and see what the pressures actually are. In the event the engine with 35 PSI is accurate that still would not discourage me from buying the boat if you are going to get a good deal on it. If the oil pressure really is on that lower side steps 1 and 2 would be to change the oil and filter, then retest. If still low, step 3 is to pull oil pressure control valve out, make sure it's clean, change the spring on it, and put it back together. The valve is external on the engine, so it's not a major expense or major investment in time to actually get at it. If that doesn't get the oil pressure back up, then at that point you either just run it until it breaks, or pull the engine from the boat and open it up. Does that all make sense to you. I think that should do it. But I work for tips so I do want to make sure you are happy with my service before you go. If you had a further or more specific question on the issue by all means feel free to ask. If not, Just in case you do not understand the way the website works (and some folks do not). You do have to put forth a positive rating in order for it to credit me for helping you. When ratings are not done, the website simply keeps your deposit and they will not credit me. The ratings box is located at the top of the screen. To rate, you must select the star you wish and also confirm it. Please let me know if you run into any problems or errors when trying to do it. If you do have a problem, or if you can not see the ratings box which is at the top of the screen. Please reply back "I rate Jason's service _______" and fill in the blank.

Questions do not close out, so if you have to come back later on with follow up questions to the issue you still can even after doing a rating.

Thank you
Jason

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Only 358 hours on the engines. Port side tested without problems. No other major issues on the vessel.However, I'm not sure what would be the cause of water entry, and how bad the effects will be both short and long term.

R​eason to walk away, no. Request an allowance, I would certainly try. An overhaul on that engine would be in the 15K ballpark, so I would shoot for 15 to 20K as an allowance and see what happens.

Here is kind of what you are looking at;

1. On the oil sample. 1 off oil samples do not mean anything. The sodium could mean something, could be nothing, could be contamination from the guys pump or even from a drop of sweat. When you do oil samples you use a brand new (albeit cheap) pump every time you draw oil from an engine. Typically you do not need much oil, just 2 or 3 ounces. If a drop of sweat from the mechanics hand or eyebrow gets into the oil, you end up with a high sodium reading. What oil samples are mainly used for is for fleet and industrial applications, say a trucking fleet. They would use those samples to forecast operating expenses and engine life and use that information when making determinations on how long millions (if not billions) of dollars in engines is going to last for a particular company. For a 1 off boat sample, it doesn't mean anything. If the engine has a history of oil samples then that would be one thing, but without a history then it's nothing. The only way to tell if there engine does have a problem with sodium is to change the oil, put about 50 or 60 hard hours on the engine, and send off another sample. High sodium can literally be caused by sweat in the oil sample.

2. On the oil pressure, again it could be something or could be nothing. The specification on this engine is a minimum of 21 psi at idle speeds. And then 43 to 72 PSI at speed. Low oil pressure can be caused by sludge buildup. A failing oil pump. A clogged oil filter. Worn main bearings on the crankshaft. A leaking oil pressure control valve. A weak or broken spring on the oil pressure control valve. Either way, boat gauges are notoriously inaccurate. When checking oil pressure, a mechanical oil pressure gauge needs to be plumbed directly into the engine block and read that way. Corrosion inside of wiring, corrosion inside of gauges, skews readings all the time. For all anybody knows, this could be just the opposite, and the engine at 35 psi could be accurate and the engine at 70 psi could be a false high reading. You just don't know unless you take the engines oil pressures manually.

These are good engines. Putting a lot of hours on the engine and re-sending out a sample really isn't going to be realistic. But what is realistic is to get a Volvo certified tech out there and pay him for 2 hours to take the oil pressure readings on both engines and see what the pressures actually are. In the event the engine with 35 PSI is accurate that still would not discourage me from buying the boat if you are going to get a good deal on it. If the oil pressure really is on that lower side steps 1 and 2 would be to change the oil and filter, then retest. If still low, step 3 is to pull oil pressure control valve out, make sure it's clean, change the spring on it, and put it back together. The valve is external on the engine, so it's not a major expense or major investment in time to actually get at it. If that doesn't get the oil pressure back up, then at that point you either just run it until it breaks, or pull the engine from the boat and open it up. Does that all make sense to you. I think that should do it. But I work for tips so I do want to make sure you are happy with my service before you go. If you had a further or more specific question on the issue by all means feel free to ask. If not, Just in case you do not understand the way the website works (and some folks do not). You do have to put forth a positive rating in order for it to credit me for helping you. When ratings are not done, the website simply keeps your deposit and they will not credit me. The ratings box is located at the top of the screen. To rate, you must select the star you wish and also confirm it. Please let me know if you run into any problems or errors when trying to do it. If you do have a problem, or if you can not see the ratings box which is at the top of the screen. Please reply back "I rate Jason's service _______" and fill in the blank.

Questions do not close out, so if you have to come back later on with follow up questions to the issue you still can even after doing a rating.

Thank you
Jason

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
The oil was just changed Saturday. It has only be driven 3 hours since then when we did our sea trial. 63 Sodium levels no doubt means saltwater.
Customer reply replied 6 months ago
We used the top diesel boat survey company in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area. We have done infrared testing, tank pressure testing, etc. The inspection was precise and thorough.
He is very well trusted. However, he is recommended that I consult with a mechanic on the situation prior to making the final purchase decision.

Did you read the long answer I just sent to you a few minutes ago, addressing the sodium?

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
I did, however the "drip of sweat" theory doesn't seem realistic considering the firm that handled the survey job. As mentioned, they are referred to as the very best in the Miami/Ft Laud area.

Okay so I don't understand. I live in SWFL. I sweat every day, even during winter. I also did not say that it definitely was sweat, I just said that it was a possibility, and that 1 off samples do not mean anything. What kinds of additional questions did you have on the issue? Would you like to read some technical information about oil samples?

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Man, to be honest, you really haven't helped a lot here. What could be the mechanical causes for saltwater in the oil? So far, the only thing you have given me to consider is the sweat theory (even though it was 60 degrees when the sample was taken). I just don't find that to be logical.

Why do you keep on saying it's saltwater in the oil? There is no water in the oil according to your lab report. If there was saltwater in the oil there would also be water, would there not? Your lab report shows no real traces of water. Sodium is also used in oil. Sodium is used in additives. Sodium is in dirt. Sodium comes from a lot of places without water being present. Click this link and give it a read, and then let me know what you think. http://www.techenomics.net/tech-blog/2014/02/sodium-in-oil/

Jason
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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Makes sense. I appreciate the response.
Customer reply replied 6 months ago
in your opinion, is the low oil pressure and high sodium content related?

You are very welcome. When you have saltwater intrusion the lab reports will also always show some percentage of water. Right now that engine shows less than 0.1 parts per million of water. Sodium is also an additive in oil. The high sodium content on the lab report really isn't all that high, and 1 off samples do not mean anything. Only trends over the course of many years and many samples is what means anything. On the oil pressure, again the first thing you have to do is see if that number is ***** accurate, there is a good chance it might not be. However, even if it is accurate, the sodium wouldn't really have anything to do with it. When you mix sodium, or even saltwater, with iron or steel, you get lots and lots of rust. But your iron content in the oil was also low. So if the sodium was actually causing a problem, or if there really was that much sodium in the block (and it wasn't there because of a contamination issue) It certainly wasn't enough to cause high iron levels in the oil.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Not it's all making sense. Very much appreciated. I've got a little more confidence in the situation at this point. My mind went straight to worse case scenario when we got the samples back.I just ordered a second round for confirmation. Regardless, I've got a bit more knowledge on things to look for.Have a good weekend.

W​hat I would definitely do is pay a mechanic the 2 hours and have the oil pressures checked on both engines manually.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Definitely. That's the next phone call I'm making.
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