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Old 30-05-2009, 04:54   #16
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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
I agree. Neither you, nor those truck operators understand idling issues.

Excessive idling produces sulphuric acid that breaks down the oil and eats into bearings, rings, valve stems and engine surfaces, which can increase maintenance costs and shorten the life of the engine. Idling wadtes fuel, and releases unnecessary emissions.



That’s not what the engine manufacturers and other experts say.

Detroit Diesel Diesel engine idling, from an authority: Detroit Diesel « BusBuilding.com

Cummins ➥ http://www.planningforpeople.ca/is/s...ee_Cummins.pdf

NRCAN ➥ Technical Evaluation of Automatic-Type Transmissions for the Heavy Truck Market

USEPA ➥ http://www.epa.gov/NE/eco/diesel/ass...uck_Idling.pdf

FWIW: You'll never see an idling UPS truck or tractor without a driver in it.
As someone who was born in and lived in Alaska I find all this information quite amusing. In AK many diesels are rarely if ever shut off in the winter, even with engine block heaters, and they still last a good long time. Most of it is driven by environmental concerns and with good reason.

While these days more and more folks are "plugging in" there are still many up there who idle for long, very, very long periods. The same happens here in Northern Maine too..

Personally I think part of the reason we hear so much complaining about engines and engine re-builds in sailboats is short run times & the sheer lack of good maintenance.

Among the things already mentioned starting your engine can create internal condensation and if you don't run it long enough to burn this off it can be very detrimental to your engine. I have spoken to more than one diesel mechanic who feels that condensation in the oil, and the moist bilge air are bigger contributors to glazing than idling with no load. Another contributor, they feel, is that many boats have the wrong size prop. But like anything this is their personal opinion.

My buddy Daren owns a large landscape, excavation and irrigation company. Some of his smaller diesel have as many as 10,000+ engine hours on them with no rebuilds! Most of these engines are either Yanmar or Kubota, some are Mitsubishi and on the bigger stuff Cat or Cummins the same as in boats. The difference is that Daren's engines run from sun up until sun down...

These engines also idle for LONG periods of time each day with no loads, rather than being shut down, and none of them ever develop the dreaded "glazing" of the cylinder walls we hear so much about in boats.

I actually asked him about glazing and he said "what?". No rebuilds, no excessive consumption of oil and the main difference is that he runs them day in day out. He has over 30 diesel engines in his fleet, with about half of them being identical blocks to what we have in sailboats, the majority of these engines have over 3k hours on them and most have over 5k and even a few have 10k+..

Our boat is a perfect case study for a real world application;

She spent almost six years as an "on the hook" full time cruising yacht with the previous owners who are friends of ours. The Westerbeke engine is less than 8 years old and now has almost 2900 hours on her. Oil analysis comes back nearly perfect and she burns no oil and I barely even have to clean soot from my transom (maybe once or twice per season).

Most boaters consider an engine with 2900 hours of use dead. I can assure you this one is just "broken in".. A good majority of those engine hours & time was spent at IDLE while on the hook. No glazing, no issues but the one thing Norm, the PO, and I ALWAYS do/did is to run the engine long enough to burn off any start up condensation. If my engine starts from cold it runs for no less than 30 minutes.

I am not saying glazing can't or does not happen but I do feel that a depleted bank, with a 100 amp alt, chewing up 3-4 hp on a 16 hp motor is probably not going to do any more damage than the lack of maintenance you are probably not already doing anyway..

This is our engine that has been idled while running refrigeration as she currently sits at 2900+ hours. Care and maintenance can also play a role in marine engine longevity.
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Old 30-05-2009, 04:56   #17
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This is the top end at 2878 hours - for the engine to be that clean it has been looked after with frequent oil changes which backs up the point of care.
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Old 30-05-2009, 05:33   #18
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I've worked a lot of diesels, boats and trucks. That is the cleanest six year old, 3k hr engine, and engine room I've ever seen. Huge Kudos.





Originally Posted by GordMay
I agree. Neither you, nor those truck operators understand idling issues.
Ouch!! Now that wasn't friendly.
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Old 30-05-2009, 05:52   #19
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Diesel engines are, for the most part, remarkably robust; and can take an exceptional amount of abuse*.

Once again, I see the controversy as an issue between the lowest common denominator (the least/worst we can “get away with”), vs the higher standards represented by best practice.

My objection, is to unnecessary and excessive idling. Whereas, the efficacy of cold weather idling is debatable; occasional dockside testing may be necessary. I suspect that, whilst unbusted didn’t do his engine any good, neither was he likely to have caused any significant harm. The dockside testing may have been akin to “foul-tasting medicine” (with minor side-effects).

I worked in northern Manitoba, where our heavy equipment was not only kept running 24/7, but additionally, had hoarding and fire pots burning under the engine overnight. We didn’t even shut down to re-fuel or change oil.

* I’m ashamed to admit that I’m a life-long smoker, and notwithstanding that abuse (& others), have lasted quite a long time. I have no doubt, however, that I would have lasted longer, and in better health, had I not smoked.

I apologise for the "unfriendly" tone of my remarks - both earlier & following.

I find it incredibly frustrating when I read unexamined observations, masquerading as “common sense” practical opinions.
Until an informed analysis is undertaken, statements such as “many diesels are rarely if ever shut off in the winter, even with engine block heaters, and they still last a good long time” (etc) are mere immaterial trivialities.
What is (quantatatively) “a good long time” and how does it compare to the lifetime of an engine which isn’t idled excessively?
What does “seem to last” mean qualitatively?
Such statements can be worse than meaningless - offered by respected contributors, they can be downright missleading.
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Old 30-05-2009, 06:08   #20
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Once again, I see the controversy as an issue between the lowest common denominator (the least/worst we can “get away with”), vs the higher standards represented by best practice - others always seem to describe issues better than I do - well said Gordon
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Old 30-05-2009, 06:09   #21
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I've learned over time that there's always the exception to the rule. A good friend of mine always brags that he never changed the oil in his car and got over a 100k miles before he sold it. Diesels are robust and can take a lot of abuse no doubt, but excessive idling is well known to cause glazing issues in particular. I've rebuilt enough diesels to know two things, you can kill a diesel with kindness and excessive idling will get you a visit from the diesel doctor.
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Old 30-05-2009, 06:32   #22
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As a truck driver, we don't even think about an overhaul until 25,000+ hours on an engine. equivalant to 1,250,000 miles with good maintenance, 2878 hrs is just barely broke-in as quoted.
My old volvo has over 10,000 hrs on it and will be overhauled before our next circumnavigation, still runs great, but easier to go ahead and do it now at home, than who knows where. Plus I've had the overhaul kit for 20+ years, so now's a good time to use it.
I idle mine also, but, almost always have a load on the engine, if it's running it's in gear pushing the boat. not just burning fuel.
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Old 30-05-2009, 06:44   #23
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Looks good, you obviously take care of the engine, as you do the rest of the boat. I am always amazed that boaters will let a boat run down down with little or no maintanance.

We change oil and filters twice a year, I feel the most important change is year end so the engine sits over the winter with clean oil (no sulfur) eating the soft metals for 7 months. We also installed a pre-luber with pre and post cycles. Not sure if it helps but it can't hurt to pressurize the galleries before starting and oil changes are extremely easy with it.

We buy fuel filters by the case online and make an effort to keep clean fuel coming to the engine.

One thing though, we do not tend to idle, our charging efforts while on the hook are completed by the 5kw genset.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
Really?

I have owned all three and so far the Mitsubishi has been the absolute most reliable. I say this as she sits with over 2900 hours on her!

This is the top end at 2878 hours.


Oh and a LOT of these hours are IDLING running my Sea Frost refrigeration.

She has only ever had Shell Rotella 15W-40..
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Old 30-05-2009, 07:25   #24
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One thing not mentioned is that many trucks, buses, etc use a secondary oil filter system (http://www.puradyn.com/) that removes moisture, other contaminants and extends oil life. Oil changes are neede much less frequently and the engine is protected from the contaminants. I have one on my 160 hp Yanmar but still change oil and filter yearly.
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Old 30-05-2009, 13:38   #25
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Those are some links that really don't have anything to do with the way we use our boats. No one on here "idles" their engine for 6-8 hours. Even if you are charging your batteries you won't run the engine more than about an hour. I seriously doubt the OP is idling at the dock for 6 hours. Yes, I will agree that idling trucks for 6-8 hours while you sleep is wasteful and is not good for an engine. Will it cause an engine to suddenly fail from idling induced damage, NO. It WILL accelerate the normal wear processes of the engine. Will it do so to any noticeable degree that we as boat users could possibly notice, NO. Most of the diesel engines in sailboats suffer more from not being run enough and external corrosion than wearing out from use.
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Old 30-05-2009, 13:51   #26
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Nice passive aggressive "apology". I see nothing in any of your posts here that provide the type of hard data you expect us to provide to back up our "unexamined observations, masquerading as “common sense” practical opinions". Try again to prove your point. Providing links that do not provide supporting data doesn't make them any more true than our observations.
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Old 30-05-2009, 16:05   #27
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Idling your engine whilst you top off the batteries is a waste of time as alternators dont produce full power below 1500 rpm.

All your doing is glazing the bores
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Old 30-05-2009, 16:40   #28
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Old 30-05-2009, 17:48   #29
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I am surprised that no one has mentioned the condensation generated in idling diesels and that no diesel will get anywhere near the operating temperature required to burn off this condensate without a load. No you will not induce catastrophic failure by no load idling but you will shorten the lifespan. Most sailboat engines in my yacht club are done at 3-5000 hrs. because the Wednesday night racers fire her up, hammer her out of the harbour and shut her down. The engine never gets up to operating temperature and they wonder why they have so much trouble with them.
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Old 30-05-2009, 18:30   #30
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...... Wednesday night racers fire her up, hammer her out of the harbour and shut her down. The engine never gets up to operating temperature and they wonder why they have so much trouble with them.
Thsi is very hard on any engine.
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