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Old 18-01-2012, 08:20   #1
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Engine Sitting for Almost 2 Years - Bad ?

I'm interested in a boat wich needs some TLC. The boat was hauled out about two years ago and will soon hit water. What does that mean if you are talking about the diesel engine? Anything I should replace or maintain because it has been sitting for that long time?

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Old 18-01-2012, 08:44   #2
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Re: Engine sitting for almost 2 years - Bad?

Check the oil level and look for moisture before starting. Bleed the lines and fire it up. Diesels are amazing for their toughness. After running watch temp and make sure water flow is good. After running you may want to change the oil and filters.

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Old 18-01-2012, 08:46   #3
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Re: Engine sitting for almost 2 years - Bad?

Diesel engines typically do well layed up for a long periods because diesel left in the cylinders on shutdown acts as a lubricant and rust preventer. But there are a couple of things that you can do to avoid problems on startup after sitting for a few years.

Replace the impeller and put a little bit of organic lube on the vanes- butter or preferably Lanicote which won't harm the rubber and will wash off soon. Impellers can break off after sitting around for a while.

Pull the shutdown lever and crank the engine for about 10 seconds before starting. This will do two things. It will prime the fuel injection system and it will prelube the bearings.

Once you do try to start it, don't crank for more than 30 seconds. If it takes any more than that, something is wrong and needs to be fixed- like the fuel system is dry and needs to be bled. Also pull the plug on the bottom of your water lift muffler and drain the accumulated water, so it doesn't back up into the exhaust system before trying to crank it again.

Or close the raw water thruhull valve until the engine starts. This is where the impeller lubricant really helps prevent damage until you turn the water back on. Don't run for more than a minute without raw water flowing. Check the exhaust for water flow and shutdown if you don't get water flow in a few seconds. But a new impeller with a little lube on it will make it easy for the raw water pump to pull a prime.

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Old 18-01-2012, 08:58   #4
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Re: Engine sitting for almost 2 years - Bad?

Change the oil and coolant before getting started.

Change the oil filter, impeller, and zinc if there is one. Pull the heat tube and check for clogs, check all the seals on the cooling system. Make sure the raw water thru hull operates. Check the filter basket and make sure it is clean. If the boat has an antisiphon valve make sure it isn't clogged. Once the motor fires make sure a good stream of water is coming out of the exhaust.

Drain the muffler if it has water in it. Make sure there is no valve or clog in the exhaust line. Make sure the pipe before the water injection is wrapped so you don't burn yourself.

Check all the motor mounts. If they've had diesel on them they'll be corroded rubber by now. Check the bolts and make sure nothing is snapped. If you fire the motor and experience high amounts of vibration you'll want to start looking here.

Check the fuel filters AND THE FUEL TANK if the fuel has been sitting it may have growth in it. Make sure the on engine filter is clean along with any others. Make sure the fuel you're feeding the motor is clean. Bleed the system according to the manufacturer.

Make sure the battery is charged and the connections between it and the starter are good. Make sure the stop button works and if not make sure you know where the manual kill lever is. Make sure the alternator is connected and be sure where the battery switch should be while using the engine.

Make sure your engine throttle Morse control level is still connected correctly and the throttle isn't rusted or stuck.

If the engine has glow plugs, make sure they work. Don't power them over the recommended intervals to avoid burn out. Also don't run the starter over the recommended interval if the motor isn't initially firing, you don't want to burn it out.

Not as bad as it sounds, just take your time and check it all out.
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Old 18-01-2012, 11:25   #5
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Re: Engine sitting for almost 2 years - Bad?

If the boat was winterised in a cold country, you will need to replace the coolant - we will mix much higher ratio for below zeroes and this stuff does not cool the engine as well as the regular mix does.

If the boat was properly winterised, the oil may be a special inhibiting/winterising oil and need change too. BTW a regular oil that has been in te engine for 2 years may well be (or not be) beyond its best. Replace it.

If it is a small engine, you can turn it by hand to check if it is not stuck.

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Old 18-01-2012, 11:33   #6
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Re: Engine sitting for almost 2 years - Bad?

Everything Target9000 said and right before you try to turn over the engine, pull the valve cover and take a squirt can of oil and liberally oil all of the upper engine parts. Or if you have available, pressurize the lube system with a pump.
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Old 18-01-2012, 11:44   #7
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Re: Engine sitting for almost 2 years - Bad?

Test if it turns first by turning the crankshaft by hand... probably need a big socket and breaker bar, maybe not. if it doesnt move at all, Remove injectors and spray wD 40 or similar in the cylinders liberally and let it sit over night. Try again. (this would be good to do even if it turns really, dry cylinder walls could cause damage like a broken ring or piston land... especially if it's a Yanmar..) Change the oil and filter. Personally I would put light weight oil in it and change again after running it maybe half an hour. I wouldnt worry about other maintenance until you see how/if it runs...

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