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 Here we go again! Engine or Transmission Problem ?

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Ocean Spray Posted - Jan 10 2008 : 20:07:04
OK, II :(
33   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Ocean Spray Posted - Jan 21 2008 : 20:17:32
Brought the boat there today, and they said that they will not have to pull the engine to replace the seal, if thats what it is. We shall see! I will keep you all posted.
nohst Posted - Jan 19 2008 : 01:21:48
OS, have you tried to contact Meridian directly? If not, give Chuck Holiman a call. He is the service manager of Meridian. He took very good care of us when MarineMax failed to do so. His contact number is (866)824-7489.

Good Luck!

Tom & Lisa
Ocean Spray Posted - Jan 17 2008 : 20:02:30
I let MM know today of the leak.
Ghost Posted - Jan 16 2008 : 11:44:59
I don't like that leak. That's a hell of a mess by my standards. You need to have diapers down all the time. Once your bilge gets dirty like that, its a hazard to bilge pumps and attracts sticky dirt that clogs limber holes and everything. If you have oil spray, making it hard to identify, then diaper the engine itself, all over the suspected leak area (temporarily). Then run it long enough to have the spray hit closer to the source so you can find it. Bilges should be nearly spotles, or a small leak is one that you can identify and wipe up every trip.

The vibration coming and going. I wonder if the engine is moving on its mounts? Moving in/out of alignment. Also, running at 4100 cruise. I've been saying this for years and quite a few disagree with me, but running at 4100 rpm is buying the sales brochure hook line and sinker.

Why do boats get designed like this? Because if you set a well designed boat with good hatch access and internal access next to the gingerbread boat, the consumer will buy the ginger bread every time. Sorry, but mfg's give people exactly what they ask for, whether its what they should be asking for or not. Your faulting a salesman for not giving you the information that would cause them to not make the sale and go out of business? Take a look around at the best quality historic boat brands. Most of them have gone out of business, or the live on in name only, having been bought by the big outfits and truly lost most of their souls. Some survive, but they are niche players. I think I have to call Tiara, Hatt and others "niche" players. I didn't think about it that way previously, but it all seems to make sense.

Bottom line, there is research and there is research. You have to do your homework. Sorry.

The good news is that the kind of problems you are having, in my opinion, are all fixable. In the meanwhile, bite your upper lip and trudge forward. While that boat has quite a few compromises designed in, it is far from being unworkable.

Get that oil cleaned up and those bilges need to be spotless clean.

PascalG Posted - Jan 15 2008 : 21:41:12
at least you'd have to pull it from teh tranny... chances are room is too limited.

it shoudn't take 3 months obviously... but you are probably right to plan on that.

if the leak isnt' bad, and sicne you dont' have to add oil it's not, you can live with diapers. BUT comes times to sell, you'll have a bigger problem.

Ocean Spray Posted - Jan 15 2008 : 20:04:46
Walter, I can reach underneath them, and I have tried taking a pic or two, but it did not help. I will try a rag and see if I can spot something.

I'd ask anyway!?
Big Bliss Posted - Jan 15 2008 : 14:54:46
Clean everything up. Cover the engine with baby powder and run it. It will show you exactly where the oil is coming. I always have the oil absorbent pads under my engines, it is just easier to tell if something new has started to drip.
walterv Posted - Jan 15 2008 : 14:36:29
If the engine room is to tight to see all arond the motor you might want to try this:
In another post here, someone mentioned they bought a camera in Wall-Mart for around 20 bucks, you may want to pick one of these up, attach it to a pole and poke around with it to see where the oil is coming from.

PascalG Posted - Jan 15 2008 : 14:06:10
picture is not going to help findind dark oil streak on a black block... :-)
you need to wipe aroudn, checking the rag until you find the spot.

there is no such thing as an internal seal... a leak is external. before assuming it's the rear main seal, you need to eliminate otehr possibilities.

btw, does oil level affect the leak ? sometimes an engine will leak a little more if it is full or overfilled.
Ocean Spray Posted - Jan 15 2008 : 13:41:06
I tried to snap a pic under the engine to see if I could see anything, but no luck. Its comming from the back of the engine, like its an oil seal or something internal, I don't see anything on the outside, and I have also had MM check before and they culd not locate the origon of the leak either. I am just surprised that a new engine would leak like that with todays technology, must be a GM thing!
PascalG Posted - Jan 15 2008 : 09:16:26
it's pretty small, I agree with walter, probably not worth letting these clowns touching it.

try looking around and see if you find the source... could be something simple like a camshaft cover or oil pan... coudl be something simple but potentially serious like a hose fitting about to go. it's not rocket science, just feel around, wipe with clean rags, look with a flashlight, etc...

the diapers spread it out ? not sure what you mean by that, could it tbe that the oil is sprayed by something that's turning ? iwas wondering when i looked at the pics if it not sprayed. look near pulleys, belt, etc...

glad to see their is no tranny issue... always important to double check before you start thinking the worst .
Ocean Spray Posted - Jan 14 2008 : 22:47:24
We used to have the diapers underneath the engines, all it does is spread it out. MM took them out at the last service. The leak has been there since day one, its not that bad, this is the worse I have seen it so I am assuming that its getting worse over time.
walterv Posted - Jan 14 2008 : 22:27:13
IMO, just oil, you have a leak but don't see anymore than that. Does this kill me to see this? Yup. Can you clean it up and put down some pads to trace the source? I would recommend you try this so you can lead the butchers at MM in the right direction before the mess you boat up.

Ocean Spray Posted - Jan 14 2008 : 22:08:13
OK, so I took her out this weekend and all is well, no more vibrations, must have been something on the shafts. I did manage to take some pics of the oil leak, tell me what you think?

PascalG Posted - Jan 12 2008 : 11:28:00
replacing an engine is not a big deal and shoudln't affect value especially if you can document that the problem was not caused by abuse and all done under warranty.

engines are removed and replaced or rebuilt all the time, it's not an issue.

the big issue is whether or not you can trust them with the cabinetry, cutting out hatches, etc... that's the real problem. indeed will it all fit back together like new ? i hate to say this but probably not unless they do it right.

but dont' assume the worst, a minor leak maybe as simple as replacing a gasket or torquing down a bolt.

although you really want to see if there isnt' nothing that's about to fail. a rear main seal isnt' going to just blow out and dump all the oil in the bilge. But things like hoses going to remote oil filters, coolers,etc.. make sure that this is not where the oil comes from as you dont' want to blow an oil hose. that woudl likely mean the engine has to be replaced.

wrklot has a good point. you dont' have to use Marine Max or a meridian dealer. ANY good factory approved mercruiser shop can work on your engines and under warranty. The key is find a good shop.

back in 99, I had some problem on a Maxum 37 with the infamous Mercruiser Velvet vee drives. both had to be replaced, one before the other and under full warranty. I used a small shop i had used for years, volvo and merc approved, they handled everything including fighting Merc to get the second tranny under warranty eventhough it was past 1 year. I had to pay for labor but not for the tranny.

and even though the trannies were replaced (they didn't have to remove the engines, jsut slide them back a little), i didn't loose confidence in the boat. replacing engines and trannies is no big deal, dont' loose sleep over it.

so you may want to ask around and see if someone can recommend a good mercruiser shop. They may not have to pull the engine...
wrkalot Posted - Jan 12 2008 : 10:20:05
I know how you feel Patrick however, when we had the engine replaced in our Maxum, all problems were solved. It sucked because we never trusted it again... but it was flawless until we traded it. If it comes to that point (which I still doubt it will) you can have the work done by any Merc outfit. It doesn't need to be MM. Let me know how things go. For that matter, any engine warranty work you have done can be done by another shop. I have a connection in the area that can help you find a decent shop. Just PM me on the owners forum.
Ocean Spray Posted - Jan 12 2008 : 10:09:57
I have gone over the senario of pulling an engine over with MM.
RamSport47 Posted - Jan 12 2008 : 08:25:15
The issue with the Meridian hatch is that it is centered and barely large enough for a human to get thru...I don't think ther'd be room to get an engine block thru there
wrkalot Posted - Jan 12 2008 : 08:24:42
Pascal: I couldn't agree more. It's not just engine removal that they don't design in though. It's water lines, wiring harnesses, you name it. I challenge any one to get to the water lines that run from the engine room to the galley on my boat with out cutting larges chunks of fiberglass out.

A friend with a SR 480 SB has NOT ONE access hatch in the salon!

Anyway, I think we are getting ahead of ourselves and scaring Patrick! I seriously doubt that they'll need to pull an engine or tranny at this point.
Tanqueray Posted - Jan 12 2008 : 00:14:29
"If a motor has to be removed, make sure they can't break the motor down in the boat before they chop up your boat."

The guy at my Marina has had alot of engines out this way,,,,
He REFUSES to cut up a boat to get the engine out. He gets in there and disassembles it where it is and brings it out in pieces. Not really all that bad if you think about it.
Yank the Intake and the Heads. Obviously the Manifolds and other bolt on stuff.......two guys can lift and remove the remaining Engine Block.
PascalG Posted - Jan 11 2008 : 20:01:10

manufacturers have been building sedans/convertibles for decades, there are no excuse for not having hatches to pull an engine up.

on an aft cabin, it gets a little more interesting because of the doors layout. onc eyou have the engine up in the saloon, it has to come up a few steps and out on the aft deck... thats a different issues. on a sedan, you should be able to reach in there with a boom, pick it up and out.

let's face it... engines and trannies eventually have to come out.
walterv Posted - Jan 11 2008 : 18:10:46
Before I forget, take lots of pictures of the boat, the guy that pulled my motor was a pig, he stained my carpet and scratched alot of wood work.
walterv Posted - Jan 11 2008 : 18:06:46
"Sadly, in it's class and price range, there would not be many options if that was a deal killer."

I agree with that, 100%, the sad thing is most consumer are more interested in space in the salon, pretty interior etc and never think about the service aspect and ease to service the boat.(OS, don’t take this as a dig about you) I had to have a motor pulled from my boat in 2006, it was real easy to get out, floors came up in the salon, pulled a few parts off the motor and it slid right out the sliding door.

When I was at the NY boat show I was interested in the new 441 Merdian and was able to go down in the bilge, to make a long story short, I told the salesperson that until they have a floor in the cockpit that will allow a normal sized person to service these motors, I wouldn’t buy this boat.

If a motor has to be removed, make sure they can't break the motor down in the boat before they chop up your boat. I hope like hell they don't have to cut up your boat, the thought of that makes me want to puke.

“MM has told me that they have only done one before, and they were not comfortable doing it which scares me! “

You need to address this before they do this, maybe the work can be farmed out to someone that has more experience with this. Whoever does the work, I would suggest a survey when the work is complete.

Best of luck and hope all works out


wrkalot Posted - Jan 11 2008 : 16:03:23
Originally posted by PascalG

i got to ask.. why are people buying boats where the engines can be pulled out with cutting up the interior?

Sadly, in it's class and price range, there would not be many options if that was a deal killer.
PascalG Posted - Jan 11 2008 : 15:51:58
dont' get me wrong, I'm not trying to defend them!

what kind of grit ? it coudl be something else, which doens't come from the engine and oil. if concerned, do an oil analysis, NOW !

i'm not sure i believe they'd have to cut the unterior to get the engine out... i agree taht's unacceptable on a boat like that. but then, i got to ask.. why are people buying boats where the engines can be pulled out with cutting up the interior ? i know it's fairly common to cut open the hull side on some LARGE yachts to replace engines but it shoudln't be on a small boat.

in all fairness, a minor leak is not that unusual... yes, a new engine shoudln't leak but if the leak is real small, no big deal.

3 months out of 9 is completly un acceptable...

you shoudl take the boat for a run asap to know if the vibration issue is for real
Ocean Spray Posted - Jan 11 2008 : 15:28:12
On the way back that same day, after I had my son reverse the engines, it may have freed up something on the shaft, that was why I had him do that.
PascalG Posted - Jan 11 2008 : 11:29:00
engine aligigment can cause damage to the tranny, its bearings and seals but not not the engine.

i don't see how an oil leak could cause vibrations, sounds like two unrelated items. How much oil is leaking ? how often do you have to top it off, and how many quarts ? compared to the other engine.

obviously because of the history, (didnt' you have prop prblems?) it tempting to blame the dealer or buidler but coudl you have possibly hit something, grabbed a pot, without noticing ?

you say... "We throttled up again, and it was ok to get her back to home port, another 20 minute ride, all is ok. " doesn't this mean the vibration is gone ? if so, it could have been something caught on the shaft which clear itself when you put it in reverse.

what you were feeling running in 4 footers / 30kts may have been normal, could have been caused by a slightly bigger wave for instance.

so do you still have the vibration or not, your post isnt' clear on that.
h61orangeman Posted - Jan 11 2008 : 11:13:26

-That's what happens when you say "ba-humbug" to Christmas.......Good Luck- hope you can fix all these problems.
Woodsong Posted - Jan 11 2008 : 10:14:53
Ocean Spray,
Not able to diagnose your problem but wow- I HATE to hear you going through this. It is absolutely wrong of dealers to treat people this way, particularly customers that have bought huge investments. Absolutely wrong that you are not getting this stuff addressed. Shame on MM. I bought my previous boat from MM and can ENTIRELY relate to your frustrations.

walterv Posted - Jan 10 2008 : 23:47:04
Support me here:

RamSport47 Posted - Jan 10 2008 : 21:18:19
6.2s sounds a little light in the power department.
Ocean Spray Posted - Jan 10 2008 : 20:31:41
4500 rpm to 5000 rpm, thats the new 6.2 engines. I dont think they will last at these rpms.I can get wot at 4900 rpm at 24.5 to 26 knotts depending on conditions.
rommer Posted - Jan 10 2008 : 20:27:38
4100 RPM cruise? Sounds more like a fast run to me. What is the WOT on your boat?

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