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Old 04-03-2012, 05:14   #1
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Engine Spares; Preventative Maintenance Before Big Adventure

My boat is powered by a Yanmar 4JH3HTE 100hp turbo diesel. The engine has about 1250 hours on it and starts and runs perfectly except that it smokes a lot (has always done so; my surveyor said it's "just a smoky Yanmar").

When I bought the boat, the engine had 830 hours and I tortured the poor seller trying to cure the smoking -- had both the turbocharger and injection pump rebuilt, fuel tank cleaned out (twice), etc. -- at his expense. When I bought the boat, I also had all of the belts and hoses replaced, and installed dual Racor primary filters. Later I replaced all of the injectors with new ones. It still smokes, and I have now given up trying to cure that.

The engine does not consume oil, has normal fuel economy, perfect temperature and oil pressure, and starts up even in sub-freezing temperatures in what seems like half a revolution. So in general I'm pretty comfortable with the engine.

Nevertheless, the boat is now 12 years old and I don't want to take any chances this year -- I'll be cruising to Iceland in some pretty desolate places and wouldn't like to get caught out without engine power.

What spares do you guys think I should carry? And what preventative maintenance or checks should I do?

The exhaust elbow is massive piece of stainless steel which must have cost a fortune and looks bulletproof. I am not inclined to buy a spare of that. But maybe worth taking it out, cleaning/descaling it, and closely inspecting it?

Exhaust manifolds of these engines are prone to cracking -- I have heard. A pretty expensive thing to carry as a spare -- maybe better to have flown in in case -- God forbid -- it crack?

Maybe 12 years and almost 1300 hours is enough for one heat exchanger? Maybe I should replace it and keep the old one as a spare?

Lift pump for sure, and a set of injection lines.

I have always had a bunch of belts, filters and impellers on board (never needed) -- but what about the entire water pump">raw water pump? Maybe worth having a spare on board?

How about the fresh water pump? Good to carry a spare?

A starter? The Yanmar ones cost a fortune, but you're really screwed if it fails underway.

I will not carry spare alternators, because I have redundant alternate means of charging everything in case of alternator problems.

What do you guys think? Anything else? Any special tools?
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Old 04-03-2012, 05:25   #2
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Re: Engine Spares; Preventative Maintenance Before Big Adventure

Well, if this was a motorboat then yes for that journey, but don't forget you will be sailing there and back. So what's the worst that can happen? the exhaust manifold cracks and breaks up as you pass the Faroes? okay sail in and drop the anchor so where safe then sort the problem. Strong currents in the Faroes BTW.

There are very few places in the world that DHL can't get to in 4 days.

So yes, filters, belts and injector lines. Spare oil and antifreeze etc. How about a spare engine throttle/gearbox cable? if yes, buy the newer max/ultimo quicksilver type rather than than a standard 33c type as they bend to a much smaller radius and have much lower friction.

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Old 04-03-2012, 05:41   #3
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Re: Engine Spares; Preventative Maintenance Before Big Adventure

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
Well, if this was a motorboat then yes for that journey, but don't forget you will be sailing there and back. So what's the worst that can happen? the exhaust manifold cracks and breaks up as you pass the Faroes? okay sail in and drop the anchor so where safe then sort the problem. Strong currents in the Faroes BTW.

There are very few places in the world that DHL can't get to in 4 days.

So yes, filters, belts and injector lines. Spare oil and antifreeze etc. How about a spare engine throttle/gearbox cable? if yes, buy the newer max/ultimo quicksilver type rather than than a standard 33c type as they bend to a much smaller radius and have much lower friction.

Pete

You're right of course -- it's a sailboat. But a boat of this size is pretty hard to maneuver in port under sail, especially in any kind of weather, and anchoring or picking up a mooring ball without an engine and especially in bad weather can be pretty scary. Furthermore, one of the risks in summer in the Artic is dead calms where you might have to motor for days.

Therefore, I like the idea of being ready for the most likely types of engine problems and trying to ensure a high level of availability of engine power.

Great idea about cables -- I had not thought of that. I will look into that. I am having my steering system thoroughly inspected next week out of the water, and maybe it makes sense to have some extra steering cables, too.
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Old 04-03-2012, 05:48   #4
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Re: Engine Spares; Preventative Maintenance Before Big Adventure

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
The exhaust elbow is massive piece of stainless steel which must have cost a fortune and looks bulletproof. I am not inclined to buy a spare of that. But maybe worth taking it out, cleaning/descaling it, and closely inspecting it?
Yanmar recommends inspecting and cleaning the exhaust elbow every 250 hours or 12 months, so good idea to do that.

Quote:
Maybe 12 years and almost 1300 hours is enough for one heat exchanger? Maybe I should replace it and keep the old one as a spare?
Maybe.

Quote:
Lift pump for sure, and a set of injection lines.
Yes

Quote:
I have always had a bunch of belts, filters and impellers on board (never needed) -- but what about the entire raw water pump? Maybe worth having a spare on board?
I'd replace it and keep the old one as a spare.

Quote:
How about the fresh water pump? Good to carry a spare?
Don't know

Quote:
A starter? The Yanmar ones cost a fortune, but you're really screwed if it fails underway.
Replace it and keep the old one as a spare.

Quote:
I will not carry spare alternators, because I have redundant alternate means of charging everything in case of alternator problems.

What do you guys think? Anything else? Any special tools?
  • Spare injector nozzle.
  • Torque wrench.
  • Service manual.
  • Install water flow and/or exhaust temp. alarms.
  • Control cables (replace and keep old ones as spares)
  • Make sure you have enough bits and pieces to jury rig repairs (e.g., leaky exhaust hose)
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:04   #5
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Re: Engine Spares; Preventative Maintenance Before Big Adventure

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
Well, if this was a motorboat then yes for that journey, but don't forget you will be sailing there and back. So what's the worst that can happen? the exhaust manifold cracks and breaks up as you pass the Faroes? okay sail in and drop the anchor so where safe then sort the problem. Strong currents in the Faroes BTW.
Exhaust manifold cracking is not a nice issue to deal with: ours (3YM30) started with a hairline crack and, while we were trying to figure out where the salt water in the engine bilge was coming from, the crack worsened.

You have to catch the crack right away as you may be washing your engine in hot salt water - not a nice thing to do. As we were away from good chandleries/boatyards, we had to wait until we got back to the states to get the new manifold. In the meanwhile we tried 5200, epoxy, some other specialized glues my other half carries around, and the best solution ended up wrapping some aluminium foil around the manifold where the crack was to direct the salt water tricle into bilge bypassing the rest of the engine. This setup had to be checked every few hours running the engine as, no matter what, the foil would work itself away from the crack.

=> After coming back to the States, we contacted Yanmar and turns out our specific engine type and year was known by Yanmar for bad steel and manufacturing of manifold. We got upgraded manifold and the new piece even looked different: less welded seams and visually better quality metal.

If you're worried about the manifold, it might be worth contacting Yanmar and asking them about your particular engine. Maybe they already have a better part in stock.
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:31   #6
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Re: Engine Spares; Preventative Maintenance Before Big Adventure

The world is a smaller place since the internet, most parts can be had via the web, but you may have to wait a while for the bits..but whats the hurry. lift pump and starter motor plus consumables will keep you out of trouble.
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Old 04-03-2012, 07:27   #7
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Re: Engine Spares; Preventative Maintenance Before Big Adventure

I will add a thermostat, clutch repair kit, gasket paper and gasket corck sheet, and gasket cement.
Good luck
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Old 04-03-2012, 11:12   #8
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Re: Engine Spares; Preventative Maintenance Before Big Adventure

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
Yanmar recommends inspecting and cleaning the exhaust elbow every 250 hours or 12 months, so good idea to do that.

Maybe.

Yes

I'd replace it and keep the old one as a spare.

Don't know

Replace it and keep the old one as a spare.


  • Spare injector nozzle.
  • Torque wrench.
  • Service manual.
  • Install water flow and/or exhaust temp. alarms.
  • Control cables (replace and keep old ones as spares)
  • Make sure you have enough bits and pieces to jury rig repairs (e.g., leaky exhaust hose)
I agree with the above, and like the idea of swapping out old but functional things like pumps, injectors, and even the starter, having them serviced, giving everything appropriate a shot of Boeshield or whatever, and sealing it in freezer bags. I would also carry a selection of bolts, bolt extractors, spare hose, high quality SS clamps in many sizes, spare exhaust hose, a spare filter for the raw water strainer, a quick oil changer, or better, a remote mount for the oil filter so it's pointing DOWN and is not on its side (a pet peeve), and a couple of alternator mounts, which seem to break too easily. Throw in two spare motor mounts and seals for the heat exchange, oil cooler and a few other odds and sods, and you're good.

Top off with a "six-week diesel maintenace for cruisers" course and the Yanmar shop manuals for your engine for full effect.
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Old 04-03-2012, 11:57   #9
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Re: Engine Spares; Preventative Maintenance Before Big Adventure

Don't forget the transmission.

Change the fluid and filter?
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