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Thread: M 25 Transmission issue

  1. #1
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    M 25 Transmission issue

    Cruising the San Juans, currently in port at Cap Sante Marina, Anacortes WA. cruised up from Pleasant harbor with no wind so it's been a motor cruise the entire trip. Engine (M-25) in an Ericson 32-2 model year 1988.

    Opened the engine cover this morning to do pre departure engine check and found transmission fluid (red) under the engine well. I can't see where the tranny dip is looks to be behind the engine beneath the raw water filter. Can anyone give me more information? also where is the fill plug?

  2. #2
    Advanced Beginner bgary's Avatar
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    Sure it's transmission fluid and not diesel? (also red)

    On the M25, the transmission dipstick is on the top of the transmission, port-side. the drain-plug is on the bottom of the transmission, also port-side.

    To check fluid level, unscrew the dipstick (takes an 11/16" wrench, IIRC), pull and clean the dipstick, then check the level by inserting it but NOT screwing it in.


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    "Makana" (ex-Thelonious)
    1985 Ericson 32-III #604
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  3. #3
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    Could have been diesel but don't believe so still?? Thank you for the reply and the

    Engine shot. I was under the gun to get out of my temporary berth in Anacortes so I had to stop the thread I'm now in Friday Harbor headed for Port Townsend tomorrow on the way to Olympia where I've finally been able to secure a permanent berth which is nice since there's a pullout and full service repair facility nearby. I really need to get this boat out of the water this winter and really give it the care it needs. The wiring alone is a mess and I'm hoping that I can get to my destination with out too much more drama.
    Back to the issue at hand, So the reason I was thinking tranny fluid was the red color and oily look of hydraulic fluid. I'm curious. Why would you suggest diesel? I think you may have been right because once I did find the dipstick for the transmission and then figured out how to get the out to check the level was fine.
    I don't know where diesel would have come from however? I don't see any fuel leaks. Yesterday I used some absorbent pads and cleaned up the mess in the well so I can't really look at the stuff anymore, most of the mess was water since it rained here and this boat takes on water in a heavy fog.

    Thank you again,

    Dan

  4. #4
    Moderator Christian Williams's Avatar
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    Why would you suggest diesel?

    Marine diesel is dyed red. Gas station diesel is clear. Taxation is the difference.
    Thelonious II, E381 hull 513 (1984) Universal 5432
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  5. #5
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    You were right but I still have an issue

    Yes it is diesel sailed from Friday harbor to Port Townsend and found about a pint of diesel in the well beneath the engine but I still can't find where it's coming from. Any thoughts? Also after sailing just North of Port Ludlow after pulling down the sails I started the engine and it pegged up to 220F I shut it down as soon as I saw it and after cooling down I was able to restart and limp back to Port Townsend. Here I sit in a slip in Boat Haven any ideas what this might be? I love this boat and she sails like no other but I'm getting really frustrated with the engine issues. Question in my mind is. Why would the engine run all day from Friday Harbor to nearly Port Townsend with no overheating issues then after sailing for a couple of hours suddenly overheat then after cooling down be okay? Could the leaking diesel be somehow related? Or are they separate issues? I'm currently wrenching and searching for solutions but I may need to call in a pro. Does anyone on this thread know someone they can recommend me to here in Boat Haven it's a good port to be stuck in since there's a ton of services but I don't know anyone here. Thanks for the help so far.

    Dan

  6. #6
    Moderator Christian Williams's Avatar
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    Ericson 33. Please put your boat and engine in your signature line so we don't have to remember. Settings/My Settings/Edit Signature

    These are probably not big diesel concerns. Sounds like leak/overheating are separate issues.

    To find the fuel leak, trace the connections from tank to engine, fuel filters, pump, fill hose, vent hose, and on on. If in doubt tape a paper towel over suspicious connections, to prove or eliminate. I keep a white oil-absorbent pad under the engine. That helps locate leaks and drips.

    Intermittent overheating can be an air bubble in the cooling lines. Changed coolant recently?

    It can be a clogged heat exchanger, old hoses, and many other common old-boat maintenance issues. Remove the sacrificial zinc from the heat exchanger, let some sea water dribble out and look for debris.

    Check the impeller in the sea water pump. This needs to be done periodically anyhow, since impellers are rubber and wear out, and if they shed their vanes that gums up the works.

    It may also simply be that the engine runs normally at standard temperature, but when pressed to higher RPMS or loads (into a heavy sea or opposing wind), runs hotter. Fact of life on many old boats.

    Try to discover the fuel leak and troubleshoot known causes before calling a mechanic. That's better for both of you.
    Last edited by Christian Williams; 08-18-2019 at 12:47 PM.
    Thelonious II, E381 hull 513 (1984) Universal 5432
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  7. #7
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    Thanks working on it now

    Thanks Christian I'm working on it now tuned out to be the return fuel line so easy fix if I can find parts here today and I'm thinking the heat exchanger is gummed up so next I'll be diggin into that. Thanks

    Dan
    1988 E-32-200 M-25 engine

  8. #8
    Advanced Beginner bgary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soupy sails View Post
    ...I'm thinking the heat exchanger is gummed up so next I'll be diggin into that.
    Is a good healthy stream of water coming out with the exhaust?

    If no, there could be other things.... debris in the water intake thru-hull, or in the raw-water strainer (if there is one), or raw-water pump.

    I don't know much about engines (and can generally prove it), so my approach is usually to start at the "upstream" end, check the simple things, and try to eliminate those before digging into potentially bigger or more complicated issues.

    $.02
    Bruce
    "Makana" (ex-Thelonious)
    1985 Ericson 32-III #604
    Makana blog: here

  9. #9
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    Red in Bilge

    My antifreeze is red.
    1985 E32-3
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    Aylwin
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  10. #10
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    Your heat exchanger is probably not clogged. That doesn't 'fix itself' after you stop and cool down. What you described sounds suspiciously like the old seaweed/plastic bag sucked up against the raw water intake routine. While you are running the engine, the intake suction keeps the debris up against the through hull opening blocking the cooling water flow. As soon as you stop the engine, the debris drops away and everything is hunky dory again and you are left scratching your head.

    Had a big problem with that one year up in Ganges. The wind/tide had moved a huge bloom of the big 6" dia comb jellies to the end of the bay. Water was just thick with them. I would run about 100 yards before the intake got plugged and water stopped coming out the exhaust. So I'd shut down and coast, then start up and run another 100 yards before it plugged again. Once I was out of the bay everything was fine. Never enough suction to break them up and get into the raw water strainer, but was enough to keep them stuck to the hull while underway.

    If you are still stuck in Port Townsend, let me know and I can come down and take a look if you want.

    Kevin Wright
    E35 Hydro Therapy

  11. #11
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    Thanks Kevin

    Also thanks to everyone who replied to this thread. Kevin, yes I believe that you're right there is a ton of floating stuff in the water all along the route we were on so I'm pretty sure you are right about sucking something into the through hull port. It happened once again at the entrance to Agate Passage which was a little disheartening since there's a bridge I'd never been under before in that passage so I was a little worried until I got under it. Also thank you so much for the offer to come down to boat haven and have a look at it. One of the many things I like about Port Townsend is the boat community that always seems to be willing to help out if your in a jam. All ended well we got out last Monday the 19th okay. I just hope I can return the favors some day.

    Yesterday evening, once in port tied to the dock in Olympia I had an issue with the ice box located beneath the chart table starboard side. For some reason water from the through hull drain below the galley sink began to come back out through the drain it's a good thing I was on board still since if it was left alone long enough it could have sunk the boat. I've never had a boat with this many through hull fittings so it's something I'm really confused about. it's not been an issue the entire cruise and never happened before now.

    Thanks again to everyone who posted a reply through out this cruise.

    Dan
    1988 E-32-200 M-25 engine

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