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Old 03-11-2012, 18:20   #16
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Re: How Often to Start a Diesel Engine?

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Related question: Lets say your engine has not been started for 7 months. What would you do to minimize potential issues when starting for the first time?

I ask, because I have recently been informed that the bone-head who was supposed to be tending to my boat has apparently not even set foot aboard since July.

My plan so far is to fog the cylinders, turn over slowly by hand a few times to spread some lubrication around and (hopefully) fire it up. Other suggestions?
If the boat was out of the water, pull and lube the raw water impeller. If it was in the water, you will probably need to dive and make sure the prop and the raw water inlet are relatively free of barnacles. I wouldn't worry about fogging it. but you could turn it over for 15 seconds with the stop on to spread some oil around.
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Old 03-11-2012, 18:24   #17
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Re: How Often to Start a Diesel Engine?

7 months? I would just start it up and slowly throttle up in gear until the temp guage reads normal, then hold throttle for a while.

The oil pump will spread the oil you need before it gets hot enough to gall or score.
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Old 03-11-2012, 18:38   #18
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Re: How Often to Start a Diesel Engine?

I think fogging the top end is a good idea. Crank it over for about 15 seconds with no compression. Then start up. I would change the oil and filter after running it up to full temp.
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Old 03-11-2012, 18:48   #19
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Re: How Often to Start a Diesel Engine?

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Because the owner wants the boat to be ready to go at any moment - without having to open the raw water intake, removing the rags from the air intake, etc..
Why not leave the dock once every week or two and run the engine through its paces for an hour or so?

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Old 03-11-2012, 18:54   #20
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I agree with drpfrz. Get some lube on the cylinder walls. At job we run the back up generators for 20 minutes every week. They rarely get a load or need because of grid failure. Does a bunch of things. Fuel gets circulated and burned, cylinders get lubed. If a piece fails we know during the test not later. I would replace impeller, spray lube cylinders, replace filters and drain water from racor. Extra thought use a small fuel pump and run fuel through a 2 micron water separating filter.
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Old 03-11-2012, 18:56   #21
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Once a month at a minimum. And run it until it comes fully up to operating temperature, even if that means putting it in gear at the dock. That's what spring lines are for.
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Old 03-11-2012, 19:24   #22
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Re: How Often to Start a Diesel Engine?

It may take longer than ten minutes to get the oil heated up enough to cook off any condensates in it, along with raw fuel that contaminates it during startup. I've been told to run an engine 20-30 minutes if you're going to run it at all, in order to cook off the water and fuel contaminating the oil, but obviously that will vary with how fast your engine gets and what is getting into the oil. I suppose you could pick the schedule of your choice, and midway through the winter send out an oil sample to see if you're getting it right.
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Old 03-11-2012, 19:30   #23
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Re: How Often to Start a Diesel Engine?

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
If a boat is tied to the dock (not meant to go sailing in foreseeable future) and if her owner does not want her engine winterized, then how often should the engine be started and how hard should it be run?

To say: if not actually used for motoring, what is the optimum diesel starting regime/schedule?

-once a week, just start it?
-once a week, run it hot?
-a different schedule?

And why?

b.

Where I am, warm water, my guru says once a week, helps keep the barnacles clear. Don't just leave a diesel idling. Idling is not a good thing to do to diesel engines.
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Old 03-11-2012, 19:34   #24
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Re: How Often to Start a Diesel Engine?

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Once a month at a minimum. And run it until it comes fully up to operating temperature, even if that means putting it in gear at the dock. That's what spring lines are for.
I agree: I do this as I'm dead in the water for Hurricane season. And something which gets forgotten: If you put the gear in you ensure that any little creatures which will start to grow in your shaft seals or so get a hard time as well and do not grow to big over time.
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Old 03-11-2012, 19:37   #25
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Re: How Often to Start a Diesel Engine?

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A winterized engine Is ready to go (but protected from freezing). To -"unwinterize", just open the seacock and start it assuming the belts are tight and the impeller is in. Just curious - How long does it take to remove a rag?

Sarcasm aside, periodically starting an engine for a few minutes does more damage than good. If someone is too busy/preoccupied/lazy to do it properly, I doubt he will get much empathy from everyone else.
The rag I could reach, but I am not sure I would remember and then ... The seacock cannot be reached without opening the cockpit floor.

You said "proper". Define the proper procedure - that's what I am after!

What is the procedure / optimum frequency / to start a non-winterised engine. We are talking about a boat sitting at the dock.

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Old 03-11-2012, 19:40   #26
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Re: How Often to Start a Diesel Engine?

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
Where I am, warm water, my guru says once a week, helps keep the barnacles clear. Don't just leave a diesel idling. Idling is not a good thing to do to diesel engines.
OK. I am listening.

How soon after starting should the engine be put in gear then? Because they say too that it should not be put in gear immediately after being started.

Say: start it, idle 5 minutes, put in gear and keep in gear till it reaches its running temp?

b.
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Old 03-11-2012, 19:43   #27
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Re: How Often to Start a Diesel Engine?

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Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
Why not leave the dock once every week or two and run the engine through its paces for an hour or so?

It is simply not part of this exercise. I know it is a good practice. But in this particular case I am interested in the best procedure for a boat that is not leaving the dock.

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Old 03-11-2012, 19:54   #28
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Re: How Often to Start a Diesel Engine?

OK. Have read all your posts guys. Thank you very much EVERYBODY and I have two side thoughts:

- how long should I keep the engine in idle before I rev it up (in gear)?
- how long to idle after before I stop the engine?

barnakiel
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Old 03-11-2012, 19:56   #29
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Re: How Often to Start a Diesel Engine?

I turn my engine over by hand several rotations, once a week. That seems to keep the cylinder walls oiled, without the wear of starting it up.

I know **** about diesels and that may be a stupid thing to do. . . but its worked ok so far for me.
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Old 03-11-2012, 20:01   #30
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Re: How Often to Start a Diesel Engine?

Go to about 1000 rpm after 5.5 seconds at idle, precisely. Then reduce to idle after 35.6 seconds, put in gear, throttle up to 1200 for 2 minutes, 1500 for 5.32 minutes and them up to cruise rpm...

What does your owner's manual say?
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