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Thread: Universal XP25 - failure caused by airfilter

  1. #1
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    Universal XP25 - failure caused by airfilter

    Hello all,

    Thought I would share a recent engine failure on my Olson 34 with an XP 25 engine. I had a recent engine stall that left me having to sail back to the marina in light conditions and adverse current. Here is the interesting failure mode:

    The engine stalled with a bit of weasing sound. I suspected a valve or head gasket. I removed the head, saw no obvious issues, but opted to have the valves inspected as well as injectors tested. The tractor shop that did the inspection called to tell me there was a fine mesh screen jammed in one of the intake valves.

    I went looking for the source of the screen. The air cleaner can contains a fine screen and sure enough there was a circular piece missing that matched what was found wedged in the valve. The screen had worked up and down over the years, it is inside the air cleaner, and a circle of screen that matches the opening size was cut out after 20 years of average use. It fell into the intake manifold and found its way to a valve.

    Luckily this happened near home and not on my recent cruise home from Hawaii. It was also nice that no valve damage occurred. Those of you with Universal engines might want to check you air filter to make sure this screen is secure and not work hardened or showing signs of coming apart.

    Brian
    Red Sky

  2. #2
    Principal Partner Rick R.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianb00 View Post
    Hello all,Thought I would share a recent engine failure on my Olson 34 with an XP 25 engine. I had a recent engine stall that left me having to sail back to the marina in light conditions and adverse current. Here is the interesting failure mode:The engine stalled with a bit of weasing sound. I suspected a valve or head gasket. I removed the head, saw no obvious issues, but opted to have the valves inspected as well as injectors tested. The tractor shop that did the inspection called to tell me there was a fine mesh screen jammed in one of the intake valves. I went looking for the source of the screen. The air cleaner can contains a fine screen and sure enough there was a circular piece missing that matched what was found wedged in the valve. The screen had worked up and down over the years, it is inside the air cleaner, and a circle of screen that matches the opening size was cut out after 20 years of average use. It fell into the intake manifold and found its way to a valve. Luckily this happened near home and not on my recent cruise home from Hawaii. It was also nice that no valve damage occurred. Those of you with Universal engines might want to check you air filter to make sure this screen is secure and not work hardened or showing signs of coming apart.BrianRed Sky
    Thanks for the post Brian. Ours was also suspect when we removed it for cleaning last year. I wonder why they didn't just use a foam filter on these.
    1989 32-200
    S/V "Easy"
    (hull #844)
    Pensacola, Florida

    The difference between a sailboat and a power boat? On a powerboat you rush to get somewhere. On a sailboat, you're already there.

  3. #3
    Senior Moderator Loren Beach's Avatar
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    That ^&$%* Mesh Filter

    See the pics of our factory "air cleaner" on our M25XP.

    http://www.ericsonyachts.org/infoexc...&referrerid=28

    File under the general heading of "what were they thinking" !?


    Loren
    Last edited by Loren Beach; 01-20-2013 at 10:42 AM.
    1988 Olson 34 #8
    Sail # 28400
    Betamarine 25 (new 2018)
    Fresh Air
    Portland, OR USA

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    XP25 airfilter - stuck valve

    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Beach View Post
    See the pics of our factory "air cleaner" on our M25XP.

    http://www.ericsonyachts.org/infoexc...&referrerid=28

    File under the general heading of "what were they thinking" !?


    Loren
    Hi Loren,
    My air cleaner is precisely the same, although I don't recall there ever being anything like the wool ball yours has/had. Mine as a foam slave that slides over the outside of the cylinder.

    Another question: The valve cover has a fitting and hose so the crankcase can breath. On my engine this hose drops down under the engine into the well below the engine. Of course some fumes are emitted from this hose. Is your valve cover vent hose vented in the same way ? I have repositioned mine so that the fumes are sucked into the air intake.

    Regards,

    Brian

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    Contributing Partner CTOlsen's Avatar
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    Air intake

    I'll take a look at mine tomorrow. I recall Loren's post from a few years ago, and believe I've removed any hint of fine mesh/wool. Think it's time for another inspection.
    CTO
    Craig T. Olsen
    Ericson/Olson 34 "Loki"
    Mystic, CT

  6. #6
    Contributing Member III MarcusJtown's Avatar
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    Thanks for that, I'll add it to the list.
    Marcus Cochran
    1990 Olson 34
    "Granuelle"
    #31

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    A few years back I asked a mechanic to do that mod - and so he put a 90 degree elbow with a hose barb in the top of the filter and plugged that hose in. Now we can breathe much better when motoring .

    BTW, based on a very recent experience - if it really starts to smell, check your exhaust elbow. We still could smell exhaust even with this mod, although much less than before. Fast forward through many unrelated issues - and after I replaced my exhaust elbow under a kind guidence from the respected members of this community, the smell is completely gone, even after long motoring.

    Regards,
    Stan

  8. #8
    Contributing Member III Fparry's Avatar
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    One of the previous owners of my boat replaced the original air filter with a K&N RC-0370 back in 2009. It has held up well, looks great in the engine compartment, is serviceable and readily available for changing out when needed. I have had favorable experience with K&N products both from motorcycles and automobiles I have owned. I have used them for years and the quality cannot be beat.

    http://www.knfilters.com/search/product.aspx?prod=rc-0370


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    Senior Moderator Loren Beach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianb00 View Post
    Another question: The valve cover has a fitting and hose so the crankcase can breath. On my engine this hose drops down under the engine into the well below the engine. Of course some fumes are emitted from this hose. Is your valve cover vent hose vented in the same way ? I have repositioned mine so that the fumes are sucked into the air intake.

    Regards,
    Brian
    Yup. I also led that hose over to the outside of the air intake. I used the later-model hose from Universal that makes a molded-in 180 degree turn immediately after it slides over the breather exit tube. Then I led it across the engine and tied it in place with plastic tie-wraps.

    *Gotta get one of those trick-looking K&N filter setups one of these days.


    LB
    Last edited by Loren Beach; 01-20-2013 at 10:48 AM.
    1988 Olson 34 #8
    Sail # 28400
    Betamarine 25 (new 2018)
    Fresh Air
    Portland, OR USA

  10. #10
    Contributing Member III Fparry's Avatar
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    Forget the look. The construction of the K&N filter makes it virtually impossible for it to degrade and cause catastrophic engine failure. The filter also breathes more efficiently than conventional paper or foam filters resulting in more efficient operation of the engine. Considering the cost, this mod should be a no brainer. had it not been previously accomplished on my boat it would have been prioritized to the top of my "things to do" list. But your right. It don't look bad either.
    "If you don't know where your going any road will take you there." Fred Parry s/v LUNA 1988 E32-200

  11. #11
    Principal Partner mherrcat's Avatar
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    I replaced the filter on my M-18 engine with a K&N filter a few years ago. Also added a fitting to connect the breather hose to it.
    Mark H.
    1985 Ericson 30+

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    Air filter + venting crankcase into same

    Quote Originally Posted by ref_123 View Post
    A few years back I asked a mechanic to do that mod - and so he put a 90 degree elbow with a hose barb in the top of the filter and plugged that hose in. Now we can breathe much better when motoring .

    BTW, based on a very recent experience - if it really starts to smell, check your exhaust elbow. We still could smell exhaust even with this mod, although much less than before. Fast forward through many unrelated issues - and after I replaced my exhaust elbow under a kind guidence from the respected members of this community, the smell is completely gone, even after long motoring.

    Regards,
    Stan
    Thanks for the note. I was considering the same mod but thought I would try just positioning the hose at the filter. After 3 hours of motoring I have to say the difference in engine smell is tremendous. Given you have had success I will make the mod as well to my air cleaner.

    Brian

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