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Old 21-04-2015, 16:43   #1
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Properly Check Engine Oil Level

Total newbie here.

Simple question for you all. I have an E37 with a Perkins 4.108 engine. My dumb question is how to I proper check the oil.

the manual really is a bit ambiguous in its description or they assume a higher intellect than mine. I checked oil cold and it reads on the bottom fill line. I checked while running after ilding for two minutes and I was spot on full. What do I believe if any. Could someone spend a few minutes and give me some idiot proof instructions. I never owned a boat or diesel engine until a few weeks ago when we boat her. Thank you.
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Old 21-04-2015, 17:03   #2
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Re: Properly Check Engine Oil Level

Engine oil is generally checked with the engine off and allowed a minute or two to drain back. Oil should actually be slightly lower when running.

To check the oil, you pull the dip stick. wipe it off, reinsert and pull again and read where the oil hits. You'll want it near the full mark. All this done with the engine off.
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Old 21-04-2015, 17:14   #3
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You can drain all your oil, add the amount as listed in your manual, then mark your dipstick as the full mark. This will compensate for the angle of the engine.
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Old 21-04-2015, 19:11   #4
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Re: Properly Check Engine Oil Level

I measure cool (not cold) well after I stop the engine.

Plugs have various designs and often the instruction is to measure fully in (fully plugged in for rubber cap/blade).

The blade (at times a stick) may show an upper and lower mark. This is the case with Sabres, Yanmars, VP, etc.

You do not want to overfill nor to underfill, hence hitting the half way distance on upper-and-lower marked sticks is your goal.

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Old 21-04-2015, 19:56   #5
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Re: Properly Check Engine Oil Level

As I recall, the upper and lower lines represent 1 quart.
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Old 22-04-2015, 09:19   #6
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Re: Properly Check Engine Oil Level

On my Perkins, I mopped the leaked oil from underneath the engine, estimated the amount (aprx. 1pt/20 hrs), added that much in fresh oil, and checked the dip stick. After re-powering with a Beta 37, I just check the dip stick. Since i'm no longer constantly refreshing the oil, I do have to perform regular oil and filter changes now. And I can hold a conversation with the engine running.
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Old 22-04-2015, 09:28   #7
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Re: Properly Check Engine Oil Level

Check what the manufacturer calls for. I would imagine Perkins has an online PDF Owners Manual for your engine. Don't guess!

Too much oil has the potential of blowing out the oil seals.
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Old 22-04-2015, 09:29   #8
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Re: Properly Check Engine Oil Level

On my Yanmar 2Gm20FC there is supposed to be 2 liters of engine oil. When i change it i run the engine for a while to make the oil warm so it will flow easily and then i shut the engine of and pump out. Now, although i have mounted fixed oil pumpoutpumps(!) right at the bottom of the sumps i still wont get more than little over a litre of oil out. This has been the case over the last ten or more changes i've made so i dont bother anymore, but its strange.
Another tough one is how to change oil in the SD20 saildrive while in the water, but thars another tread i guess.
/petter
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Old 22-04-2015, 09:42   #9
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Re: Properly Check Engine Oil Level

Off the subject, but maybe of some help. As an owner of a 1979 E-37 A plan, I've found the Endeavour Owners Forum helpful. You can Google it. Most of the posts are old, but still apply as the E-37 hasn't been built since 1983. But they did make 476 of them, so there's a bit of info out there.
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Old 22-04-2015, 09:43   #10
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Re: Properly Check Engine Oil Level

Quote:
Originally Posted by meridian28 View Post
You can drain all your oil, add the amount as listed in your manual, then mark your dipstick as the full mark. This will compensate for the angle of the engine.
This will work if the engine is brand new and you can drain it from the bottom. If the engine is old, it may have sludge deposits in the oil pan which will reduce the capacity. If you are sucking the oil out through the dipstick, you won't be able to get it all out and refilling with the "oil capacity" listed in the manual will overfill it.
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Old 22-04-2015, 09:47   #11
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Re: Properly Check Engine Oil Level

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Originally Posted by sailorchic34 View Post
Engine oil is generally checked with the engine off and allowed a minute or two to drain back. Oil should actually be slightly lower when running.

To check the oil, you pull the dip stick. wipe it off, reinsert and pull again and read where the oil hits. You'll want it near the full mark. All this done with the engine off.
That's how it's done and it's the same as with a car or truck. Something I learned at about age ten.

I check mine in the morning before starting the engine. All the oil that will return to the oil pan has had a chance to do so. Checking it too soon after running the engine will show less oil than you actually have and filling it to the fill mark then will result in overfilling the engine. This is not a case where more is better.
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Old 22-04-2015, 09:50   #12
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Re: Properly Check Engine Oil Level

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
I measure cool (not cold) well after I stop the engine.

Plugs have various designs and often the instruction is to measure fully in (fully plugged in for rubber cap/blade).

The blade (at times a stick) may show an upper and lower mark. This is the case with Sabres, Yanmars, VP, etc.

You do not want to overfill nor to underfill, hence hitting the half way distance on upper-and-lower marked sticks is your goal.

b.

This is what I do as well, but I've noticed a quirk with my Yanmar.
Seems the stick seals so well that as the engine cools, oil is drawn up the stick and will give a false high reading if you do not do as Sailor Chic suggests, that is pull the stick, wipe it off and then re-insert and take your reading. If you just pull the stick and look, it will read as much as a half qt. high.
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Old 22-04-2015, 09:59   #13
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Re: Properly Check Engine Oil Level

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
This is what I do as well, but I've noticed a quirk with my Yanmar.
Seems the stick seals so well that as the engine cools, oil is drawn up the stick and will give a false high reading if you do not do as Sailor Chic suggests, that is pull the stick, wipe it off and then re-insert and take your reading. If you just pull the stick and look, it will read as much as a half qt. high.
I would have thought everybody would know to wipe the dipstick first. I guess teenagers don't play with cars anymore like we did back in my day.
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Old 22-04-2015, 10:57   #14
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Re: Properly Check Engine Oil Level

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Originally Posted by essej4269 View Post
Total newbie here.

Simple question for you all. I have an E37 with a Perkins 4.108 engine. My dumb question is how to I proper check the oil.

the manual really is a bit ambiguous in its description or they assume a higher intellect than mine. I checked oil cold and it reads on the bottom fill line. I checked while running after ilding for two minutes and I was spot on full. What do I believe if any. Could someone spend a few minutes and give me some idiot proof instructions. I never owned a boat or diesel engine until a few weeks ago when we boat her. Thank you.

Stick it cold, if it's OK between the lines, don't get ulcers. Just check again after running and cold. You may want to change it since you just bought her. Just put in what Perkins said with filter since you don't do it without a filter change. Best of luck with her.
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Old 22-04-2015, 11:12   #15
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Re: Properly Check Engine Oil Level

essej4269 - I have a Perkins 4-108 in my 1971 Cal 39. (a 2006 replacement of the original Perkins 4-107) The way I've done it since I bought the boat in 1978:
With the engine NOT running pull the dipstick, wipe it clean, re-insert the dipstick all the way in the tube, wait at least a quarter second, pull the dipstick and read the level. It should be anywhere between the top line (the full line) and the bottom line (the add line). Never add enough oil to bring the level above the Full Line. Never try to add oil before it gets close to the Add Oil line because only one quart (the amount in the plastic bottles sold) will result in overfilling. Overfilling can cause blown oil seals.
Don't worry about oil leaks from a Perkins unless you have to add oil very often. A Perkins will always have minor leaks. Change oil every 100 hours as recommended and you should never have to add oil.
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