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port main engine exhaust turns to steam
Posted: Monday, February 9, 2009 4:18 PM
Joined: 31/01/2009
Posts: 4


Would appreciate suggestions for the following:

Shortly after startup theport engine exhaust turned to visible steam.  

There is a noticable temp. difference between the port main engine and starboard main engine exaustpipe outlets.

The portside is very hot, steam is comming out of the exhaust and the exhaust is giving off a strong burn smell.

THhe engine temp is normal and the hi temp occurs only after the exchanger. The heatexchanger was stripped down and cleaned and on inspection looked clear.

The port side sea chest is clear, the raw water pump was opened and looks ok,
Both engines run at 1000rpm's and have 12psi raw water pressure, jacket water temp is 90 deg cellsius and oil temp is 90 deg. cellsius too.

any ideas were to look for the problem?


Posted: Monday, February 9, 2009 4:45 PM
Super Hot exhaust exits the engine into the exhaust system and is cooled down at the water injection jacket.  These injection jackets can carbon up , calc up, over time and restrict the water leaving to engine.   This constipates the whole cooling cycle.  Take  off the water injection jacket and clean it, pump water thru with a garden hose and make sure that it is not plugged internally.  My generators need de carbonizing at the jacket every one thousand hours.    
Posted: Monday, February 9, 2009 11:42 PM
Joined: 23/11/2008
Posts: 42

wouldn't be a bad idea to tell us what kind of engines you're running...

have you checked the impeller?  there could be enough water flow to keep the engine cool but not enough to cool the exhaust.

Posted: Wednesday, February 11, 2009 4:07 PM
Joined: 03/07/2008
Posts: 9

I agree with pascal in that you could have a damaged impeller in the port engine raw water pump, causing a reduced flow.

However, you could have a leaking cylinder head gasket allowing water into the exhaust gases which would then flash off into steam.

This might not show up on the engine temperature reading, dependent upon where the sensor is fitted.

Safe Seas,


Posted: Wednesday, February 11, 2009 4:41 PM
Joined: 03/07/2008
Posts: 9

Further to my previous post. Are you loosing coolant from your cooling system ?

That is, are you having to top up the level more frequently than before ?

If so, this would be an indication of  a leaking cylinder head gasket or even a cracked cylinder head.

Safe Seas,


Posted: Wednesday, February 11, 2009 6:27 PM
Joined: 23/11/2008
Posts: 42

good point about coolant level...

and if the impeller has been replaced, make sure you found all the pieces.  if not, a piece of a vane may have travelled to the next cooler, reducing flow.

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