MerCruiser Water Ingestion

Testing for MerCruiser Water Ingestion

So up to this point, we have rebuilt the top end in my 2007 Sea Ray 210 select. Additionally, we were not able to definitely identify where all the water in the engine came from. I suspect a myriad of issues like wrong or used head gaskets, used head bolts, and improper head bolt installation. In addition, we found a bad exhaust flapper and the wired open-thru hull exhaust. Lastly, there was no attention to any detail whatsoever, with missing bolts and things left loose. Things like crankshaft pully bolts and tensioner brackets. So we now have to test if the work we have done up to this point will address the MerCruiser Water Ingestion into the motor? We have started it a few times after fixing a wiring issue.

How to Test for MerCruiser Water Ingestion

So how are we going to test for Water Ingestion ? Well it’s quite simple. Firstly, we will top off the oil in the crankcase. Its nice an clean now. We will then hook the water ears up to the out drive and run it till it hits normal operating temperature for the thermostat to open. This should be about one hundred sixty degrees or so. We will also get to run the engine for longer than ten seconds so we can look for proper operation and leaks. That’s the plan, lets see if she agrees to cooperate.

Starting her up and checking for proper operation

So I turn on the water and do a quick inspection that things are good to run her on the water ears. The whole point of all of this is to see if the work we have done addresses the MerCruiser water ingestion. With the turn of the Perco switch to on and the ignition to on, we start her up and she starts and idles nicely. Just the normal trim sender alarm, nothing else. There are a few leaks, and I tighten a few clamps. There is a rattling of the flappers in the through-hull exhaust and a leak at the flapper on the starboard side. So she is running for about two minutes the engine temperature is ninety degrees. So far so good right?

She is running then idle slows and stalls

So the engine temperature hits about one hundred and three and then she stalls. A decrease in idle speed and then she stalls. I start her back up, she runs about thirty seconds and does the same. I hook up the fuel pressure tester and watch what happens there. Nothing obvious, but it does sound like she is starving for fuel. I go through her stalling several more times. When she restarts she sounds like she wants to stall at first and then recovers and smooths out. Giving here throttle on the fifth restart seems to address the issue. I turn her off wait a few minutes and again hard to start. So much for getting her up to normal operating temperature and testing the Mercruiser for Water Ingestion!

Pull out the Rinda Diagnostic tool

So we are at the point here that there is nothing on the SmartCraft gauges indicating a problem, other than the trim limit. Firstly, we will connect the Rinda Diagnostic tool to the Diagnostic connector? Well, that took a bit of work, it’s actually plugged into the Depth Finder! The connector for this engine is 94006 – Mercury / MerCruiser PCM adapter. The kit I bought uses a computer instead of a hand held device.

MerCruiser Diagnostic Connector
MerCruiser Diagnostic Connector

So I hook up the diagnostic tool and pull the codes in history. This is my first time using this tool. I’m a big believer in using the right tools! So I pull the codes, and there are codes for all the stuff I didn’t hook up or forgot. The odd thing is that there are no codes in the ECU other than what I have done to the boat. The nice thing is that the ECU shows the engine hours for the error and the counts (Frequency). Very nice data, I’ve posted the data below.

What the diagnostic tool tells us

So the first entry is the latest error condition. It looks like something with Entry 0- EST1 OPEN. This would indicate there is something wrong with the #1 Spark Plug Wire or Ignition Related. Entry 1 – TRIM CKT HI, this is the trim error I have gotten every time. Need to look into this, but that is not an error that will stop the boat or that I’m overly concerned about yet.

There are a few more relevant errors, OIL PSI CKT HI and LOW OIL PSI STR. This may explain the oil pressure gauge not going to zero and bouncing around. I’ll order a new one. There are a few more errors like NEUTRAL OVERSPE, FUEL LVL CKT HI, ECT TMP CKT HI and PITOT CKT LO. these were all from not hooking something up or testing a circuit while the boat is powered up.

So no codes associated with the stall that I can tell other than this

Error 0
Error 0

So I’m going to assume this is the error related to the engine stalling, but it makes no sense. The temperature does not look right either. So maybe it’s related to the no power to the fuel pump? Additionally, the Run Time time stamp 351.85 is only off by .03 hours or 2 Minutes . If you look the total hours are now 352, and the lowest hours are 385.83. This code does not appear to line up to the stalling condition. So I’ll put it back in the shop and drain the oil and see what I see. It really didn’t run that long or warm up a whole lot.

What the oil reveals?

So getting the oil to drain is a pain. It didn’t warm up enough and it took me a bit getting this back into the shop! First, I pull off the oil filter and remove the oil cap, and oil dipstick. I then remove the quick drain plug and it start to drain. No milkshake on the dip stick, but the oil filter is full of it and the initial draining does not look good. Additionally, I let it drain and come back hours later. The oil is actually a little bit yellow. That’s a good sign! There is also about a gallon and a half of oil that drains out. Not too bad!

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