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Old     (vlxray)      Join Date: Mar 2005       05-01-2008, 7:05 PM Reply   
I posted a while back about my buddies MC X30. He was told that he didn't have to winterize because he has the Caddie engine with the sealed system. Well the boat was running really rough when the Marina guys moved it and would only move in reverse. He had MC pick it up for service and the dealer said that he had a cracked block and that the oil looked like chocolate milk. Obviously my bro is extremely bummed because he doesn't have the 9K to replace the engine and has written his boat off for the season.

Now here's the thing I need some input from you boat gurus on. I went riding with the dude when he first took it out in March and the thing seemed to run normally. We even did a couple of sets each that day. He left it overnight and when the marina guys tried to move it the next morning was when the problems began. Would a boat with a cracked engine seemingly run for an hour or two and then kick the bucket? Is it possible that he has a lesser problem or can a block sometimes be repaired? I really wish that I could deliver some potentially good news to him. He's bummin' hard.
Old     (05mobiuslsv)      Join Date: Apr 2006       05-01-2008, 7:16 PM Reply   
You wouldn't be able to crack an engine block overnight unless it was well below 20 degrees. If you were out riding the day before I doubt the block cracked that night.
Old     (882001)      Join Date: Nov 2003       05-01-2008, 7:16 PM Reply   
yes a boat can run fine with a cracked block. i wouldnt take someones guess as to what the problem is. could be a head related problem. did the boat overheat? could also be an exhaust filling the piston and leaking thru the ring into the oil. but i re-read i would think the dealer would check before making that call. drive up there and put your eyes on it.
Old     (vlxray)      Join Date: Mar 2005       05-01-2008, 7:24 PM Reply   
Hey nubu, it would have had to freeze while in storage. We took it out first time for the season and it was very warm that night. It was never winterized because he has the sealed cooling system with a radiator much like a car. In the past he has always winterized but he called the dealer and some guy told him that no winterization was needed so he bailed on it this year.

Yeah, he needs to go look at it. I think he just accepted it face value and doesn't want to face it now because he expects the worst and doesn't have the cash to fix it. I would be there in a heartbeat with my boat and getting the lowdown.

Thanks for the replies.
Old     (polarbill)      Join Date: Jun 2003       05-01-2008, 7:34 PM Reply   
If there was antifreeze in the closed cooling system I don't understand how it could crack. Maybe the exhaust manifold would crack because they have water in them. Did he just put water in the closed cooling system or something? Sounds really weird.
Old     (tanner)      Join Date: Oct 2005       05-01-2008, 7:36 PM Reply   
He can probably pick up a used block cheap enough. What's he got... 5.7 350? Find a mechanic other than the dealer that will pull your motor out, and transfer everything over. Shouldn't be that expensive... well... not 9K at least
Old     (882001)      Join Date: Nov 2003       05-01-2008, 7:38 PM Reply   
if he is a hands on guy he could pull it and stick a shortblock in it for way way under 9k. i pulled mine and stuck a longblock in for 1600. but i got quotes before hand and people want to gouge you cause you dont know. its actually pretty easy and straight forward. mechanics are bad but a boat mechanic will screw you in a heart beat
Old     (vlxray)      Join Date: Mar 2005       05-01-2008, 7:43 PM Reply   
My buddy said that the boat required marine antifreeze or something. I'm not so sure about that one. I suspect that maybe there wasn't enough antifreeze although by friend never topped it off himself. I would think the dealer who serviced it last should have done that.

I'm not sure what the exact size of the engine is. It's a 2003 with the optional Cadillac engine which I believe is a big block.

I can't imagine that happening to my Bu. I would get majorly intoxicated the day that I got the news.
Old     (burtonrider77)      Join Date: Nov 2007       05-02-2008, 11:07 PM Reply   
it sounds like there wasnt any antifreeze in the closed cooling system. the engine uses fresh water for the heat exchanger and also for the trans cooler. if i were him i would pull the plugs out, remove the lanyard and slowly bump over the motor. you want to get out the water out of the cylinders and see if they fill back up. but remember the water dosent compress and you can ruin internal parts quickly.change the oil multiple times, and try to isolate which side the problem is on. it could be something like a head gasket...

ohh and the motor is a 6.0 which is a stroked 350 small block...
Old     (bac)      Join Date: Feb 2008       05-02-2008, 11:40 PM Reply   
Vaughn is correct on the motor size. Unless there was absolutely NO coolant in the motor, I don't see it possible to have cracked. As mentioned above, I would definitely look into a head problem first, definitely cheaper to fix than dropping in a rebuilt or rebuilding what you have (if possible). It could easily be a gasket and someone is just taking advantage of your buddy lookin to make some quick $$$. Ask around, you should be able to find a reliable shop. Or find a buddy that knows about motors, they should at least be able to tell you about the heads. Normally if a block cracks, you'll know right away. A blown head gasket would be something that could cause a problem to creep up like that.
Old     (jpuckett)      Join Date: Apr 2005       05-03-2008, 6:27 AM Reply   
Call the local Cadillac Dealer and see if they will work on it. The MC dealer just wants to pull it out and replace it not fix it. The Northstar is a complicated engine and if you don't know what you are doing you'll have a bigger mess. I work for a Cadillac Dealer. If you can't get anyone to fix it let me know and I'll check at work. There are a lot of guys I work with that might do it.

Old     (sailing216)      Join Date: Oct 2007       05-03-2008, 7:14 AM Reply   
Was it overheating? If so, blown head gasket maybe. You can run it very shortly with blown head gasket but have to shut it down before it gets hot (don't pull a set).
Chocolate milk oil sounds like some water in the oil.
Have a mechanic look at it for a hundred or two.
Old     (woreout)      Join Date: Aug 2006       05-03-2008, 7:44 AM Reply   
Take it to a dealer and at least find out the problem. He doesnt have to fix it, but theres no sense in guessing or letting everyone on WW armchair quarterback the problem. At least if he finds out he will know whether or not continuing to use it will harm it more or not. He could go from a simple cheap repair to a very expensive one by continuing to use it.
Old     (99_slaunch)      Join Date: Oct 2005       05-03-2008, 8:20 AM Reply   
^^^ He said he had the MC dealer pick it up already and they are the ones who said it has a cracked block. HOWS that for an armchair quaterback? LOL!!
Old     (woreout)      Join Date: Aug 2006       05-03-2008, 9:08 AM Reply   
I guess I didnt really understand when the dealer said it had a cracked block. Before or after he went riding in March. Did they say he had a cracked block before and then he went riding, or did they say it had a cracked block after he went riding?
I think I would get a second opinion from another dealer to say the least.
To me it sounds more like a tranny issue, not moving forward and only moving in reverse.
9k sounds a little steep as well.

(Message edited by woreout on May 03, 2008)
Old     (99_slaunch)      Join Date: Oct 2005       05-03-2008, 9:37 AM Reply   
Yes Sir always get a second or third opinion. 9k is most likely for a complete engine intake to oil pan (crate engine).
Old     (burtonrider77)      Join Date: Nov 2007       05-03-2008, 10:07 AM Reply   
if hes in northern california, he can take it to us @ Nor Cal Mastercraft...
Old     (tdiggity)      Join Date: Dec 2006       05-03-2008, 12:33 PM Reply   
I agree with 882001 9k is way overpriced,a chevy longblock runs 1600-1800 delivered to you and most mechanics would charge another grand or so to switch over the intake etc. and put it back in.And not all us boat mechanics will screw you in a heartbeat.
Old     (882001)      Join Date: Nov 2003       05-03-2008, 2:21 PM Reply   
sorry trey, cant put every one together. the ones i talked to about my motor were crooks. i owned a bmw and the stealer will screw you.
Old     (norcalmalibu)      Join Date: Jun 2004       05-03-2008, 8:56 PM Reply   
I think you guys are missing the point on how this is a 9k motor. For one its not a 350 its a 6.0L with Aluminum heads with a full roller valve train. Have you seen the price of a black scorpion same 12k online.
Old     (cyclonecj)      Join Date: Jul 2001       05-03-2008, 9:34 PM Reply   
No doubt, it's not a crate 350 anymore in these boats. The marine engine in my Toyota Epic (Lexus) retailed for 16k. I am a freak about winterization for that reason. Skidim lists the 6.0 Vette motor long block for $9640.00

Even though the boat has a closed loop cooling system, there is still fresh water that runs through the exhaust manifolds and through the heat exchanger, possibly the V drive cooler, etc. The system needs to be flushed at the end of the season. If you have water in your oil, the boat will run fine for a while until the lack of lubrication destroys the engine. If the trans had water in it (trans cooler ruptured) you could fry the trans the same way.
Old     (yubasanger)      Join Date: Jul 2007       05-03-2008, 10:31 PM Reply   
Hey guys I guess you missed a key word in the original post (Caddie) i.e. Cadillac motor. This is the LQ9 motor and the long block is over 4k alone add in the time to change every thing over re-align motor, put boat back together and test I would say 6-7K so price is kind of high but not as high as you guys are making it out to be.
Old     (882001)      Join Date: Nov 2003       05-04-2008, 6:48 AM Reply   
why a long block? something wrong with the heads that i dont know about?
Old     (tpyle)      Join Date: Feb 2006       05-04-2008, 10:14 PM Reply   
Just a thought out of left field...could the root cause be an oiling issue? Would only run in reverse? Does reverse put a different thrust on the crank that would allow it to run but not in forward? Not knowing exactly how the Caddy engine is set up but does it use an engine oil cooler that could have ruptured due to high oil temp?
Old     (mobv)      Join Date: Jun 2002       05-05-2008, 5:09 AM Reply   
The northstar engine has an aluminum block with inserts for cylinder walls. GM considers the engine to be "throw away" if it looses oil pressure. I friend had one in a car that lost oil pressure at 90K miles and dealer quoted $10K to replace. Major rebuilders will not touch the engine.
Old     (yubasanger)      Join Date: Jul 2007       05-05-2008, 2:53 PM Reply   
Itís not a northstar motor. Itís the motor they put in the escalade. But that was my first though is that it was a northstar motor and they are cash, buddy has one in his sand rail.
Old     (roverjohn)      Join Date: Dec 2007       05-05-2008, 3:10 PM Reply   
Another option is to replace the motor with something cheap, for now, and then wait for a crashed Caddy to show up at auction. Sell the replacement engine then. I have a friend in Ohio with a 350 Mercruiser, I think it's a 275hp engine with all marine fittings and risers that he wants $800 for. Finding a bell housing would be a snap and I might have one. If he had to run around with less hp for a year it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.
Old     (illini88)      Join Date: Oct 2007       05-06-2008, 9:25 AM Reply   
Won't the engine overheat if the block is cracked?
Old     (snowboardcorey)      Join Date: Jan 2004       05-09-2008, 10:17 AM Reply   
Runability would depend on where the crack is.

An internal crack will end up dumping water into the oil so it's not a good idea to run the engine, pulling the dip stick should tell you if you have an internal crack because the oil will look milky.

An external crack may run for a long time, you will need to make sure your bilge pump works well because you will be dumping water into the boat whenever the motor is running. Depending on where and how severe the crack is will play into how well and/or how long the engine will run.

I'd tell your buddy to get a second opionion on this one.
Old     (ridealready)      Join Date: Feb 2006       05-09-2008, 11:07 AM Reply   
Kind of off topic but you need to have him file a formal complaint with the BBB. Most companies
dont want to be on a black list.
Old     (ryan27r)      Join Date: Oct 2006       05-11-2008, 8:01 PM Reply   
Old     (nubb)      Join Date: May 2006       05-13-2008, 9:18 AM Reply   
I assume your buddy has check with his insurance company. Many times things of this nature are covered.
Old     (rodmcinnis)      Join Date: Sep 2002       05-13-2008, 5:46 PM Reply   
What I don't understand is the issue of the boat not being able to move except in reverse. That would suggest that the transmission also had major problems.

Was it the engine oil that looked like chocolate milk, or the tranny oil?

Milky looking oil is a sure sign of water in the oil. Like others have said, the engine could appear to be running fine with a crack in the cooling system but water is a really poor lubricant and the damage being done internally would be significant. Just sitting overnight after being run with a lot of water in the crankcase could create all sorts of problems when the engine started the next day.

None of that explains the reverse only problem. I wonder if the transmission oil cooler also bit cracked due to the freeze and the transmission is toast as well.

Old     (troylaw)      Join Date: Mar 2008       05-14-2008, 3:17 PM Reply   
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       05-14-2008, 3:50 PM Reply   
BBB - don't waste your time. I filed a complaint on a dealer that blatantly lied to me on a warranty issue (told me it was GM Certified when it wasn't), and then pretended they couldn't reproduce several problems I was having. The general manager even basically admitted such in their inquiry response. The BBB didn't do crap, and even noted that the dealer had made reasonable efforts to remedy the problems.

I'm having a hard time putting all the symptoms together too, especially since it ran fine the day before. Is it possible someone took it on a joyride?

Whoever told him that he didn't need to winterize his boat is certainly liable here too.
Old     (curtisco24)      Join Date: Dec 2005       05-14-2008, 5:02 PM Reply   
as stated above caddy engine is very expensive and even if it is just northstar ignition finding someone to work on that beast will be difficult.
Old     (vlxray)      Join Date: Mar 2005       05-14-2008, 8:32 PM Reply   
Thanks for all of the posts on this. My buddy still hasn't been to check the boat out because he is strapped for cash right now and is just letting it ride for now. I'm going to give him the lowdown from all of the comments that I've gotten here. Maybe he can get the insurance company to kick down on the repair or something.


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