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Old 06-05-2003, 02:01 PM
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Default Water inside outboard motor

I have a 175 hp 1989 Merc/Mariner, it actually says Sea Ray on the outside, it is on a 21' Laguna. After running the motor for a while water seems to collect in the bottom of the inside of the motor, under the plugs, maybe 2-3 cups worth. I would tilt up and it would flow out. I ran it with out the cowl on and couldn't see any water leak. The foam on the cowl is dry. There seems to be a lot of spray on the motor, probably from the depth finder, and when I slow down the "rooster tail" comes up to the motor to get it wet. I don't think any water should get passed the seal on the cowl. Could running it at higher rpm produce a leak that I wouldn't see at lower speeds?
The cowl seal was a little mangled so I replaced, and hope that will fix it. Have not tried it since due to the weather, but am taking it into salt water this weekend and wanted to see if I could get any other thoughts/suggestions. Thank you in advance.
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Old 06-05-2003, 02:06 PM
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Default Water inside outboard motor

I have a twin 89 mariner 150. The same exact thing happens to mine. I think the seals the covers are the problem. I also get alott of spray on the covers from the trim tabs. I think it is just bad design. I have removed the covers in calm water and ran them hard at 5000rpm and saw no water leak.
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Old 06-06-2003, 05:20 AM
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Default Water inside outboard motor

It probably is the seal, but probably NOT from spray! Take a look behind the motor the next time you slow down from speed and look how big the surge of water is that washes up on the back of the outboard. Abrupt stops are the worst and if the seal is no good that is probably where the water is coming from. Also the air inlet for most motors is in the rear of the cowling.
I might also add that "bracketted" motors sit lower in the water also and can, and do, get lots of "backwash" high up on the cowling when stopping and or slowing.
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Old 06-06-2003, 03:19 PM
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Default Water inside outboard motor

i have had water appear seemingly by divine
intervention on several motors, both my ob
and my current i/o...both had solid fiber-
glass covers over top of them, both had dry
and tight cooling hoses and blocks....both
were after ocean runs of some distance and
some high winds with spray blowing off the
tops of waves horizontally....i wilder types
of settings, i think the air and the water
can mix to the point they are inseparable
by the normal baffles at the air intake...
if this happens in calm water, i would sus-
pect the wake surging up against the transom,
but over beaufort five, i think water is a
given inside the engine if it is exposed.

dan
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Old 06-06-2003, 03:39 PM
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Default Water inside outboard motor

Check your lower cowling. A lot of motors actually have little drain holes in the lower cowling for water to drain out of. That is where most water comes from on that type of design. Yamaha's used to have them and spray from the depthfinder or tabs will definately find its way in there. Usually if the seal is leaking you can find the little salt trails from the seepage. Either replace the seal or put a good non damaging silicon or like product on the seal to keep it supple and that should fix it. Most owners manuals will tell you not to put transducers, etc so close to the motor to cause them to create spray near the powerhead or water ingestion can occur. Problem is you are usually limited on where to put the transducer to begin with so it is nearly impossible. my raytheon transducer produces so much spray it is ridiculous. I have been trying to think of a way to make a thin aluminum guard that would block the spray at the back of the transducer and knock it back down, but have not had the time to really devote to it yet.
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Old 06-06-2003, 06:28 PM
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Default Water inside outboard motor

Thank you all for the thoughts. I ran it again today and continued to have a large amount of water inside the motor. This is after replacing the seal on the botom of the cowling. It seems the longer I run it the more water. I tried to run it at an rpm which produces the least amount of spray on the motor, but there is still the big "backwash" when I slow down. I am not sure where the air intake is but am going to look into the lower cowling this weekend. I also heard of the drain holes and haven't found them yet to see if they are the culprit. I also thought the tell tale hose may leak at higher rpms, possibly due to an obstruction, and look into that. Just a wild thought. I refuse to let this one die. It just doesn't seem right.
Thanks again for everyone's help. This forum is a huge source of information. It is great.
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Old 06-06-2003, 07:13 PM
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Default Water inside outboard motor

My 91 Merc 175 got a leak on the water jacket at the rear between the heads. Where the cooling jacket for the regulater is. Couldn't see it until you really leaned over the running motor at speed. Just was leaking slowly at the bottom of the plate. If you're holding water in the cowl, the drain holes must be plugged. But I've never had water enter through the cowl, air intake is at the top. Dan
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Old 06-06-2003, 07:32 PM
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Default Water inside outboard motor

You may want to check the grommet where the wires from your power trim motor enter the bottom of the lower cowling on the starboard side of engine. A friend of mine had his trim motor replaced by a Mercury dealership and they left it out, everytime we came back the water would pour out just like you described.It took a while for us to find the problem, just cleaned the area well and siliconed it. The starter and other bolts started to rust pretty bad because of it.
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Old 06-06-2003, 10:23 PM
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Default Water inside outboard motor

Had the same problem on My Johnsons and it was both motors!!! But after looking hard at it for a while Found that the rubber sleeve on the bottom cowl where the shift rod passes though was dislodged when Foot was pulled. We did not see at time work was done. but after fighting with them got them back on no more water but boy the rust started on the bolts and starter after that!!!!

Good luck on your finding the problem!!!!!

23 Donzi W/A Twin 140 johnson 4 strokes allmost
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Old 06-07-2003, 08:15 AM
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Default Water inside outboard motor

I have a 96 60 hp Merc that did them same thing. First I found that the casing drain was clogged and would not drain water(held the water in). Actual problem water was the water pump vent hose was leaking at the discharge connection. Replaced hose and ran the discharge connection out side the housing. Problem went away.
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Old 06-08-2003, 07:22 PM
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Default Water inside outboard motor

Thank you all again for the help. Continued to look into the problem. Not 100% sure what the water jacket is. There is a rectangular structure inbetween the 6 cylinders, 3 on each side, and behind the distibutors(I think), that looks a little more worn on one of sides. I tried tightening the bolts and they were a little loose. Not so much that they would unscrew loose, but could be tightened and looser than the other side. Is this the water jacket or is it what the plugs are screwed in to, over the heads?
I still couldn't find any drain plugs in the bottom of the cowl. I tried taking off the lower cowl, but couldn't get it off. not sure how it is connected in the front. I would take any suggestions on how to solve that.
I am sorry I am not too much help. I have the Seloc manual, but isn't quite specific enough for a financial analyst desperately trying to be an outboard mechanic. I do appreciate all of this.
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Old 06-09-2003, 05:02 AM
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Default Water inside outboard motor

The jacket I referred to is between the heads (plates where the plugs go in). Cowl comes off from the starboard side. Has about six 5/16 hex head screws holding the two side together.Screws are recessed in the cowl itself so you have to get down low to spot all of them. email if you need help. Have a Clmer manual that covers your engine. Dan
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