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Author Topic:   Mercury 90 FourStroke: Water Pressure Hose Leak
chuck21401 posted 04-19-2009 08:30 AM ET (US)   Profile for chuck21401   Send Email to chuck21401  
I launched my 2008 170 Montauk for the 2009 season yesterday. I noticed a small amount of water leaking from front of the engine at the base of the engine cover.

I pulled the engine cover to find the water pressure sensor line leaking. The line was cracked in two places and looked like it was kinked. My theory is that the line was crushed when removing or installing the engine cover. The line was loose under the cover and was not routed with enough cable ties.

From what I can tell the line runs continuously from the sensor to the guage. How can I repair this leak without replacing the line? Could I splice the line? Should I look for a fitting to make the union or perhaps slide a large piece of hose over the leak and secure with some hose clamps? Or should I bite the bullet and replace the whole line? Is the line 9/32 OD? Hard to tell from my pictures. What is the ID of the line?

Here are some pictures:

pressure sensor:
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t55/cwillmarth/0418091438a.jpg

front of engine
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t55/cwillmarth/0418091438.jpg

gratuitous picture of my Montauk
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t55/cwillmarth/DSC00056.jpg

Thanks.

Chuck
Annapolis, MD

jimh posted 04-19-2009 02:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The pressure contained by that line is relatively low, on the order of 15-PSI, so you may be able to repair the line.

I am not familiar with the hose and connector that is used. If the connector is a field replaceable connector, I suggest you remove the connector from the hose at the engine end. Obtain some heat-shrink tubing. Cut a piece of heat shrink, slide it onto the line, and shrink it in place over the damaged area. Since the line is small diameter, the hole must also be small, and with the pressure rather low, 15-PSI, a hole of a very small area will only have a small pressure. Use a double layer of heat-shrink tubing.

Or, check the installation to see if there is any excess hose that is coiled up in the rigging. If you have enough excess hose to allow, cut off the damaged end and re-install the connector. It looks like you need only a foot or two of excess hose. There may be some coiled up in the rigging.

If the connector is not a field-serviceable connector and cannot be disassembled and re-used, your options will be reduced--you'll have to replace the hose assembly. Since the motor is under warranty, check with the dealer to see if this is covered. Even if not covered you may get a break on the replacement hose charge.

jimh posted 04-19-2009 02:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Regarding the cause of the damage, could there have been some water entrapped in the hose which might have frozen over the winter?
SC Joe posted 04-19-2009 03:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for SC Joe  Send Email to SC Joe     
I feel sure you could repair this with a double ended barb; however, if you felt up to it, I saw a roll of the hose (probably 20-feet) for $9 at West marine last week. I believe speedometer pitot tubing will work the same, and can be fastened tight with a tie wrap around the barb or connection.
SC Joe posted 04-19-2009 04:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for SC Joe  Send Email to SC Joe     
My mistake; that is a different tubing than I was thinking. I found the exact same manufacturer and size doing a seacrh on ebay. Incidently, the conectors on the engine ar very high quality and basically unobtainable. If you want to change the tubing, press IN the black plastic ring on the fitting while pulling the hose. It seals very well, even after multiple uses.
swist posted 04-19-2009 04:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for swist  Send Email to swist     
Don't forget there is a direct analogy between electrical systems and are pressure systems - you can splice as long as you don't introduce enough "resistance" to drop the pressure enough to throw the reading off. I would make sure your cut ends are very smooth and square and that they don't misalign when you butt them. If the pressure is as Jim H suggests, I would think that a careful splice with shrink wrap might well work.

The air line in my Montauk is bundled in with the rest of the tunnel cable - you could never replace it - you'd have to run a new line from engine to gauge - a real pain.

chuck21401 posted 04-19-2009 10:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for chuck21401  Send Email to chuck21401     
>>Regarding the cause of the damage, could there have been some water entrapped in the hose which might have frozen over the winter?

I thought about that, but looking closely at the line it looked like it was pinched rather than it burst. And the pinch mark is right near the engine cover latch point.

chuck21401 posted 04-19-2009 10:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for chuck21401  Send Email to chuck21401     
>>>I am not familiar with the hose and connector that is used. If the connector is a field replaceable connector, I suggest you remove the connector from the hose at the engine end. Obtain some heat-shrink tubing. Cut a piece of heat shrink, slide it onto the line, and shrink it in place over the damaged area. Since the line is small diameter, the hole must also be small, and with the pressure rather low, 15-PSI, a hole of a very small area will only have a small pressure. Use a double layer of heat-shrink tubing.

Good idea. I think I will try this first. I was thinking about using a short section of rubber hose (like vaccum line maybe) and some hose clamps. I'll give shrink wrap as shot too.

>>>Or, check the installation to see if there is any excess hose that is coiled up in the rigging. If you have enough excess hose to allow, cut off the damaged end and re-install the connector. It looks like you need only a foot or two of excess hose. There may be some coiled up in the rigging.

There isn't much slack at the engine and I didn't see much more under the console at the guage. I will check again to be sure, this would be the easiest fix.

chuck21401 posted 04-19-2009 10:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for chuck21401  Send Email to chuck21401     
>>>I feel sure you could repair this with a double ended barb; however, if you felt up to it, I saw a roll of the hose (probably 20-feet) for $9 at West marine last week. I believe speedometer pitot tubing will work the same, and can be fastened tight with a tie wrap around the barb or connection.

I looked at the line again today, it says 5/32" OD. Not exactly what type of double end barb to try if I go this route. I'll have to visit West Marine and see what they have.

chuck21401 posted 04-19-2009 10:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for chuck21401  Send Email to chuck21401     
>>>> If you want to change the tubing, press IN the black plastic ring on the fitting while pulling the hose. It seals very well, even after multiple uses.

Thanks for the tip.

I'll let everyone know how it goes. I might try a repair first and if that doesn't work I'll have to replace the whole line.

SC Joe posted 04-20-2009 08:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for SC Joe  Send Email to SC Joe     
Chuck--as stated above, I was initially mistaken on the hose you were dealing with. I am familiar with that hose and you won't find a double ended barb to fit it; my opinion is that patching it will be difficult due to the very slick nature of the hose and the small inside diameter of the tubing.

The good part is that the gauge also has this same reusable connector on it. I would search Ebay for the hose (I think the black tubing is polyethylene), and just replace the whole thing. Your dealer may have some as well, but they may be costly.

jollyrog305 posted 04-20-2009 09:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for jollyrog305    
Chuck,

Take it to BW dealer in Annapolis. Being a 08, it should still be under warranty.

johnhenry posted 04-20-2009 11:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for johnhenry  Send Email to johnhenry     
Not necessarily under warranty. Who pinched the hose, you or the dealer? If you pinched it, due to improper reinstall of cowl, and know it, guess who should pay. If it happened because of factory, or dealer error/mistake/defect, such as not having that hose properly secured/routed then it is on them. Good Luck. I have a 08 170 and hope that this is not a usual occurance.
chuck21401 posted 04-20-2009 01:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for chuck21401  Send Email to chuck21401     
>>>Take it to BW dealer in Annapolis. Being a 08, it should still be under warranty.

I was hoping to avoid a trip to the BW dealer since it is over the Bay Bridge. I might be able to find a Merc Dealer close to my marina, this would be a Merc warranty claim rather than a BW claim?

However, this could be an excuse to take it to the dealer to have the rear bench seat at the same time. :)

>>> Not necessarily under warranty. Who pinched the hose, you or the dealer? If you pinched it, due to improper reinstall of cowl, and know it, guess who should pay. If it happened because of factory, or dealer error/mistake/defect, such as not having that hose properly secured/routed then it is on them. Good Luck. I have a 08 170 and hope that this is not a usual occurance.

Please do check the routing of this line under your engine cover. On my engine the hose is secured with a couple of cable ties after the pressure sensor (though not seen in the pictures I posted) but no cable ties after that until it exits the engine. Maybe Merc rigged my engine on a Friday? :)

I don't know if I pinched it or not but from my perspective the line should have been properly secured with ties from the factory.

>>>> I am familiar with that hose and you won't find a double ended barb to fit it; my opinion is that patching it will be difficult due to the very slick nature of the hose and the small inside diameter of the tubing.
The good part is that the gauge also has this same reusable connector on it. I would search Ebay for the hose (I think the black tubing is polyethylene), and just replace the whole thing. Your dealer may have some as well, but they may be costly.

OK thanks.

jollyrog305 posted 04-20-2009 01:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for jollyrog305    
If it is just kind of "flopping around" in there, I think you/dealer could make a case with Mercury. My experience (to date) is that Mercury customer care has been nothing but excellent. No harm in asking???
jollyrog305 posted 04-20-2009 01:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for jollyrog305    
Chuck - again, equally impressed with the BW dealer. Give them a call and see if they can send a tech to the Annapolis store (if they don't have one there). I have them do all the service on mime - some things require me to bring it to them, but they have also traveled to the marina I keep the boat at. Generally, there is a "milage" charge, but if it is warrenty work, I believe Merc covers that as well.
jimh posted 04-20-2009 01:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
This opinion [i.e., the one I am about to give] is not particularly authoritative, but I suspect that the burden of warranty of the installation of the motor accessories like this gauge would fall on Boston Whaler, as they were the installer of the new motor. Boston Whaler factory rigging is coordinated with an on-site Mercury factory outboard specialist, so problems like this don't seem to come up very often.
jollyrog305 posted 04-20-2009 05:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for jollyrog305    
My opinion is based on my experience(s) with the local Boston Whaler dealer and Mercury customer support. I am in no way speaking for the dealer or Mercury, as they may or may not choose to handle this differently after reviewing the problem. I am simply suggesting that Chuck might want to see if this is a viable and beneficial option. The worst thing that could happen is they say no and he can pursue other solutions. But he won’t know what the dealer and or Mercury can/are willing to do, unless he asks. Good luck…
jimh posted 04-20-2009 09:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
ASIDE: I think jollyroger misread my comment. I wasn't offering an opinion on his opinion. I was just offering my own opinion.
fishinchips posted 04-20-2009 11:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for fishinchips  Send Email to fishinchips     
At least your 2008 mercury 90hp sender unit is easy to get to. The 2003 & 2004 merc/yamaha 90hp sender unit is HARD to get to. It often clogs frequently if you use it in salt water. Even if you flush it out after every trip. It will clog after a while.

Ken

jollyrog305 posted 04-21-2009 07:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for jollyrog305    
Thanks for the clarification – my bad. I did want to express though that (in Chuck’s case) the dealer/Mercury may take a different stance with his particular issue. Hopefully he will post a follow up on the outcome.
chuck21401 posted 04-21-2009 10:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for chuck21401  Send Email to chuck21401     
I've ordered a $4 push-in fitting that I think will work to repair the line:

Union connector, part number 20-180P
http://www.fittings4less.com/onlinecatalogpage.php?page=228

Or I might take it to the BW dealer, haven't decided if it is worth the trouble for such a minor repair.

johnhenry posted 04-21-2009 10:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for johnhenry  Send Email to johnhenry     
Just make sure that any repairs you make will not void the manufactures warranty.[Changed topic to begin discussion of automotive engine warranties.] Good luck.
jimh posted 04-21-2009 12:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Chuck--That plastic hose union for $4 looks like an excellent solution. Let us know how it works out.
jollyrog305 posted 04-21-2009 01:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for jollyrog305    
Not to beat a dead horse, but please call Mercury and asked them before proceeding with the union. This to me would be considered a modification and potentially void the warranty. OK I’m done…
chuck21401 posted 04-21-2009 09:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for chuck21401  Send Email to chuck21401     
>>> Not to beat a dead horse, but please call Mercury and asked them before proceeding with the union. This to me would be considered a modification and potentially void the warranty. OK I’m done…

I think that would be a stretch. Maybe I'll try duct tape for now. :)

chuck21401 posted 04-28-2009 12:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for chuck21401  Send Email to chuck21401     
Well I couldn't bring my self to cutting the line and using the $4 connector I bought. Instead to used some electrical tapes as temporary fix until I could find another reason to take it to the dealer. And it actually worked. The leaks in the line are pinholes so it didn't take much to stop the leak. I ran the boat for over two hours at various speeds and no leak.

Of course I did find a reason to take it to the dealer...yesterday I found that the through-hull fitting in the bilge is leaking. I'm going to post another message on that topic.

jollyrog305 posted 04-28-2009 09:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for jollyrog305    
and get the rear bench seat :)- might as well while your there
jimh posted 04-28-2009 09:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
This morning I had a weird coincidence. I was out at one of our remote plant locations to set up some new data networking. The plant supervisor had several bags of hose fittings on his desk--including the plastic union fitting mentioned above. The hose just presses into the fitting and it is retained like Chinese handcuffs. In the plant they use them to couple plastic hose used to distribute nitrogen gas under modest pressure.
ktm3ten posted 05-10-2009 12:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for ktm3ten  Send Email to ktm3ten     
Well I got the snake bit water pressure line yesterday. I used Electrical Tape that I happened to have as an on the water fix but will also be looking for a more permanent fix. I'm curious if the original poster has some sort of resolution other than electrical tape as a definitive fix and also if he had any luck with the dealer or merc to fix this?
chuck21401 posted 05-10-2009 01:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for chuck21401  Send Email to chuck21401     
I dropped my boat off at the dealer yesterday to have the water pressure line fixed and to have the through-hull fitting in the bilge resealed. I should know more, re: cost or warranty later this week. I made the case that the line should not have been flopping around under the engine cover from the factory and they are going to take a look at it.
chuck21401 posted 05-16-2009 09:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for chuck21401  Send Email to chuck21401     
>> Well I got the snake bit water pressure line yesterday. I used Electrical Tape that I happened to have as an on the water fix but will also be looking for a more permanent fix. I'm curious if the original poster has some sort of resolution other than electrical tape as a definitive fix and also if he had any luck with the dealer or merc to fix this?

Update: Repaired by the dealer, no charge. Solution was to use a plastic union like the one I purchased and add some cable ties to properly route the line. So now I have an extra union.

ktm3ten, if you need it I am happy to mail you the union I bought.

For other owners, I recommend checking the routing of the water pressure line to avoid this problem.

ktm3ten posted 05-16-2009 12:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for ktm3ten  Send Email to ktm3ten     
Chuck--

I sent you an email. Thanks

jimh posted 10-25-2009 08:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
In the image linked above you can see the legend on the water pressure hose:

"POLYURETHANE 5/32 O.D."

In a recent posting, experienced Mercury mechanic sosmerc notes that Mercury has apparently discontinued use of this small diameter semi-rigid hose for conveying the water pressure from the engine to the water pressure gauge, and instead now uses a larger diameter rubber hose. See:

Mercury 90-HP Water Pressure Reading Low
http://continuouswave.com/ubb/Forum8/HTML/001397.html

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