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Old 27 September 2021, 04:33   #1
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Country: UK - Scotland
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Make: Honwave
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Hydrolock - newbie fail

Was all set to launch last week up in Oban, fitted a pair of Beachmaster removeable transom wheels to my Honwave T38IE. Inflated it on the slip way nose down, lifted the rear wheels and lifted my Yamaha F15 outboard on. All looking good, I nipped up with my girlfriend to get changed in the dive centre only to return 5 mins later to find the whole boat full of engine oil!. I cleared it up with an old rag and continued the launch thinking there wasn't that much oil spilled from the leak.

lowered the engine into the water, primed the bulb and went to give it a pull start.....SOLID, wouldn't budge! check neutral selection and tried again...totally locked, the pull cord moved about an inch. I removed the cover and checked the gear lock mechanism, manually opened it so I knew it should pull...again solid, no movement and locked again. Eventually after some time of checkin things we gave up and packed it all up.

After some research the symptoms were identical to a hydrolock, in my case oil (not water) had filled the cylinder head and created a block. the fix was easy. take out the plugs, and do a few pulls to clear the oil. I did this and it splatted out loads of oil all over the boot of my car!!! (note to self - always target the engine away from the car next time)

wiped up loads of oil draining out, refitted spark plugs and at least it turned over now but no life. Considered the carb next. opened the drain screw to see loads of oil flooding out, so let it drain completely then pumped some fresh fuel through. Cleaned the plugs again and tried again. Eventually a bit of life returned to the engine and it started in a haze of blue smoke (oil burn). I let it run in an bucket of water for about 30 mins until it was running smooth and clean again.

Morale of this story - never let you engine bottom raise up higher than the cylinder head or you'll incur the same issue.

same process applies for a water hydrolock, but you need to flush out any salt water really quickly before it starts to corrode things. this can start in mins of removing it from salt water, so its best to have it submerged until ready to flush and lube.

next time I hope to have a less stressful launch.
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Old 27 September 2021, 04:46   #2
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What an absolute pain... nothing worse than the anticipation of getting on the water being thwarted by a problem.

When I ran 4-strokes as well as being sure to lay down in the car on the advised side I would pack so something raised the powerhead a few inches. My pack had the powerhead to the right of the loadspace with the prop to the left so I would moderate speeds on long sweeping left hand corners too.
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Old 27 September 2021, 05:41   #3
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I assume the engine was on full tilt, I wonder if with the benefit of hindsight half tilt would have been safe with the boat on a downward slope.
Such a shame to mess up your day like that & oil in your no doubt nice clean boat. Glad to hear the engine survived.
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Old 27 September 2021, 05:48   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldman2 View Post
I assume the engine was on full tilt, I wonder if with the benefit of hindsight half tilt would have been safe with the boat on a downward slope.
Such a shame to mess up your day like that & oil in your no doubt nice clean boat. Glad to hear the engine survived.
yes, it was on full tilt. My slippery mistake on the slipway. Just wanted to make other newbies aware of this.
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Old 27 September 2021, 06:59   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgo67 View Post
Was all set to launch last week up in Oban, fitted a pair of Beachmaster removeable transom wheels to my Honwave T38IE. Inflated it on the slip way nose down, lifted the rear wheels and lifted my Yamaha F15 outboard on. All looking good, I nipped up with my girlfriend to get changed in the dive centre only to return 5 mins later to find the whole boat full of engine oil!. I cleared it up with an old rag and continued the launch thinking there wasn't that much oil spilled from the leak.

lowered the engine into the water, primed the bulb and went to give it a pull start.....SOLID, wouldn't budge! check neutral selection and tried again...totally locked, the pull cord moved about an inch. I removed the cover and checked the gear lock mechanism, manually opened it so I knew it should pull...again solid, no movement and locked again. Eventually after some time of checkin things we gave up and packed it all up.

After some research the symptoms were identical to a hydrolock, in my case oil (not water) had filled the cylinder head and created a block. the fix was easy. take out the plugs, and do a few pulls to clear the oil. I did this and it splatted out loads of oil all over the boot of my car!!! (note to self - always target the engine away from the car next time)

wiped up loads of oil draining out, refitted spark plugs and at least it turned over now but no life. Considered the carb next. opened the drain screw to see loads of oil flooding out, so let it drain completely then pumped some fresh fuel through. Cleaned the plugs again and tried again. Eventually a bit of life returned to the engine and it started in a haze of blue smoke (oil burn). I let it run in an bucket of water for about 30 mins until it was running smooth and clean again.

Morale of this story - never let you engine bottom raise up higher than the cylinder head or you'll incur the same issue.

same process applies for a water hydrolock, but you need to flush out any salt water really quickly before it starts to corrode things. this can start in mins of removing it from salt water, so its best to have it submerged until ready to flush and lube.

next time I hope to have a less stressful launch.


Iím assuming you replaced the lost oil
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Old 27 September 2021, 07:08   #6
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Originally Posted by Pikey Dave View Post
Iím assuming you replaced the lost oil
yup but keeping it nearer the lower limit than higher in case it happens again. Also carrying some spare oil in the car too
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