Salt away killed my engine?

hellsgatehellsgate NaplesPosts: 49 Greenhorn
put a cheap, but new, engine in my 85 century. V8 iron block open cooled. Kept me on the water for a couple grand and I knew it wasn’t going to last 10 years or anything like that. Used saltaway after every use.  Less than a year freeze plugs started to go. 18 months and thing is toast. I’ve got a good engine guy and the only explanation he has is the salt away after ever use was too much. The acid ate away at the internal passages. Anybody hear of such a thing?

Replies

  • The Cat's EyeThe Cat's Eye Posts: 1,298 Officer
    edited December 2018 #2
    On your next engine have brass freeze plugs installed. And if you can.... have brass value guides installed, if you can afford it replace the steel intake manifold with an alum one, or better yet get the premier alum intake manifold that has the water cooled passages lined with brass. Lastly install a Stainless steel exhaust manifold. That is what i did when i rebuild a four bolt main Chevy 350 ci way back in 1984. When i sold the boat in 2003 the engine was still running. i also replaced the intake manifold and exhaust manifold bolts with stainless steel ones to facilitate removal when the gaskets needed to be replaced. Car engines weren't really designed to have salt water running through them.

    (Side note: Replace the intake manifold gaskets every three years),
    Giimoozaabi
  • BarrellBarrell Posts: 1,200 Officer
    edited December 2018 #3
    hellsgate said:
    put a cheap, but new, engine in my 85 century. V8 iron block open cooled. Kept me on the water for a couple grand and I knew it wasn’t going to last 10 years or anything like that. Used saltaway after every use.  Less than a year freeze plugs started to go. 18 months and thing is toast. I’ve got a good engine guy and the only explanation he has is the salt away after ever use was too much. The acid ate away at the internal passages. Anybody hear of such a thing?
      Salt away says its biodegradable, non toxic, and water based. What makes you think its an acid? I fish everyday so I only use the salt away once every week.
  • StankBaitStankBait Posts: 386 Deckhand
    edited December 2018 #4
    If the block did not have brass plugs when installed, it was not set up for marine use.
  • hellsgatehellsgate NaplesPosts: 49 Greenhorn
    StankBait said:
    If the block did not have brass plugs when installed, it was not set up for marine use.
    Ya I knew that going in but I got it very cheap. Figured the salt away would help me get 4 years out of it.  Just a random number. I was wrong
  • hellsgatehellsgate NaplesPosts: 49 Greenhorn
    Barrell said:
    hellsgate said:
    put a cheap, but new, engine in my 85 century. V8 iron block open cooled. Kept me on the water for a couple grand and I knew it wasn’t going to last 10 years or anything like that. Used saltaway after every use.  Less than a year freeze plugs started to go. 18 months and thing is toast. I’ve got a good engine guy and the only explanation he has is the salt away after ever use was too much. The acid ate away at the internal passages. Anybody hear of such a thing?
      Salt away says its biodegradable, non toxic, and water based. What makes you think its an acid? I fish everyday so I only use the salt away once every week.
    Main ingredient=sulfamic acid
  • BarrellBarrell Posts: 1,200 Officer
    The constituents in Salt-Away that compose the formula are determined to be non-toxic, non-hazardous, and biodegradable according to the guidelines of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Salt-Away Products, Inc. is in compliance with the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) which states that manufacturers of chemicals must report on the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) any hazardous substance in the product. Since none of the constituents in Salt-Away are hazardous, none of the substances are listed. The purpose of the MSDS is not to report a formula of any product, contrary to a popular assumption of some members of the public.
  • BarrellBarrell Posts: 1,200 Officer
    Sulfamic acid is used as an acidic cleaning agent, sometimes pure or as a component of proprietary mixtures, typically for metals and ceramics. It is frequently used for removing rust and limescale, replacing the more volatile and irritating hydrochloric acid, which is however cheaper. It is often a component of household descaling agents, for example, Lime-A-Way Thick Gel contains up to 8% sulfamic acid and pH 2 - 2.2,or detergents used for removal of limescale. When compared to most of the common strong mineral acids, Sulfamic acid has desirable water descaling properties, low volatility, low toxicity and is a water soluble solid forming soluble calcium and iron-III salts.
  • R DaysR Days Posts: 95 Greenhorn
    There are tons of people who use salt away after each use without issue.  I doubt that it killed your engine.  
  • The Cat's EyeThe Cat's Eye Posts: 1,298 Officer
    edited December 2018 #10
    i don't know what type of V8 you had , but early small block Chevy engines have a weak spot where there is only about 3/8's of an inch of gasket between the two rear cylinders and the cross over cooling passage ways in the intake manifold.  Eventually salt water will "eat" its way through the gasket at this very spot and go into one of the cylinders. Then the whole engine is toast.  i do not know if newer Chevy small block V8's  are any different. The only was to safeguard this from happening is too replace both intake manifold gaskets every three years.
    Giimoozaabi
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