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Old 08-08-2007, 15:23   #1
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Study hall 2400 hrs

Every 2400 hrs
Have starter motor and alternator serviced.
Have Fuel Injectors serviced and calibrated. In some cases, Fuel injector Pump should also be considered for servicing.
Have Valve clearances checked and adjusted if required.
Check Idle speed and general performance of engine.

What does starter motor and alternator service entail?
Does an auto electrician do this?

My first motor problems started when I had the fuel injector pump serviced. Diesel and Turbo in the Hutt and the Yamaha agent could not get the timing right when the serviced pump was put back in. $3,000 to service the pump, $800 for the injectors etc and I ended up selling the thing. I agree with the servicing of the injectors but I reckon if the pump is going ok, leave it.
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Old 09-08-2007, 01:42   #2
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Darryl, that's criminal. 3K to service the pump is more than a new pump. And then not being able to time it is just poor workmanship. Then the injectors, these will cost between NZ$80.00 to NZ$130. per injector. $800 is a rip off.
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Yamaha agent
Do yu mean Yanmar agent??
Starter and alternator should be sent to a spraky to be checked over. The brushes and bearings will be getting rather run down, if they haven't failed already. It is better to service and replace bearings than to allow them to collapse and destroy the entire unit. My Starter costs NZ$2500 to replace. I rebuilt it for $60. A Leece Nevel 120A Alt costs NZ$795.00. A service will be much cheaper than replacing.
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Old 09-08-2007, 04:26   #3
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It's a long story. Diesel and turbo pump account actually came to over $3k and then Paula got it down to around $2,500. Their mechanic had no idea what he was doing. He threw the spacers for the timing away even! That was when they got the Yanmar agent involved.
I had receipts for over $5k for that motor and ended up selling the thing. It never went as good after it was touched.

Then we had the drama with the new Volvos that you know about after that.

My mota has only done 150 hours. Was just wondering.
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Old 09-08-2007, 12:32   #4
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Seafox, you make the case for "it if ain't broke, don't touch it."

Alternators and starters don't really require any routine maintenance in normal use. What can a technician do? Bench test it? Replace the coils? Replace the bearings? Mainly, those are good or bad and they are normally allowed to wear until they show signs of failure, i.e. bearing noise. I don't remember how long alternator brushes last for, perhaps 2400 hours is time to change them but that's an easy job, no technician needed. If you think of it as 150,000 miles in car use--it might just be time to replace it with a remanufactured unit, forget the technician because there's not much he can do that a remanufacturing facility can't do better faster and cheaper. Heck, maybe just pull the unit, replace it, and keep it as a working spare instead of inve$ting in rebuilding it.

One friend of mine replaced the alternator in his car recently, after two shops both said "by the way, your alternator bearings sound shot". Another friend had no problems--till his alternator bearing seized, froze, tore the serpentine belt and ran him up a $200 tow plus the new alternator. (If that had been SeaTow, just add one more digit at either end., right?)

With a $5 mechanic's stethoscope you can peek around these things and get used to what the normal sounds are, then worry when and if they change.

Injectors and injector systems can be more problematic, but again, I think most folks ignore them till something is wrong--because it can be so easy to make them worse instead of better. Yes, dirty injectors can waste a lot of fuel/power. But for some of us, the cost of injector servicing would exceed the year's fuel use, and 2400 hours would be an awful lot of engine time. I think I'd rather invest in fuel filtering, fuel additives, and a mutual "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy with the injectors.
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Old 09-08-2007, 14:10   #5
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2400hrs is a long time. Once again if it was raod vehicle, we are talking a very high milelage. Some boat owners may never even see this in the time they own the boat. Do you replace or clean the spark plugs in your car at an interval or just when the car starts to miss?? Injectors are no different. It has nothign to do with the smoking or performance of the Diesel. Infact changes in those two are just a small sign as to a more dangerouse situation going on inside the engine. An injector has to have just the right spray pattern. When the pattern changes,nyou lose efficiency, but the be danger is that you can also cause internal damage. The injector maybe spraying onto a valve head or piston head and eating either away. Unburn't fuel could be washing down the sides of the bore, cause major issues elswhere. The hrs suggested is a rule of thumb that usually suggests that injectors etc are now at the point where this sort of thing mabe occuring. The ramifications of it occuring are far more severe than a simple miss in a Petrol engine.
If you can replace brushes in an Alt or rebuild your starter like I did, then great. But I would think most would be happier to take to a service guy. Once again remember, this is just a rule of thumb and hopefully will be helpful to those that have no clue. If anyone wants a reliable trouble free engine, the only way to endure it is as much as possible, is to follow a regular maintenance schedule.
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Old 09-08-2007, 14:29   #6
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I agree with you, Wheels. As I said, 2400 hours could be 150,000 miles on a car and most get thrown away by then.

But to take those parts to a local shop--at least in the US--is totally economically unfeasible. A good shop is going to charge $60-120 per hour for any kind of technical labor in any real sized city in the US. Alternator/starter "rebuild" shops do a varying job on quality, and even 30 years ago, finding one that did anything more than "repairs" was difficult. Today, the remanufacturing business is a big business, and they literally break the thing down to a bare frame, then start with micrometers checking for specs and tolerances and replacing *everything* so it meets or exceeds new specs. No one at an alternator shop is going to bother pressing out the bearings, just to measure them and see if they are still good.

Preventive maintenance is a good idea, and I'll again quickly agree that valves and injectors are often neglected and ignored. But it is that same problem again--find a competent shop that won't make things worse! Perhaps they are easy to find in NZ, but in the US, even a "licensed master mechanic" at an authorized dealership is often a disgruntled, overheated, sleep deprived wage slave who really doesn't give a damn about the quality of the work. Finding the real pros--who DO take pride--is a real snark hunt.

If I could find them, and afford them, I'd be way more likely to use them.
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Old 09-08-2007, 21:09   #7
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An alternate (pun intended) idea for the alternator is to learn how to change the brushes and keep a set on board.

Periodically pulling the belt and pushing and pulling the pulley will give an indication of bearing condition. These telegraph their state well in advance of failure.

Brushes can actually be seen with a light and mirror on most alternators and changing the brushes is a 1 hour job in most cases. The brush holder often comes right out the back of the alternator after removing a couple of screws.

However changing the brushes alone does nothing for the rotating part the brushes ride on. A good examination of this area and possible cleaning up with some light grit paper will help but I would suspect the new brushes will wear a little faster due to the tracks already made in the rotor.

After a brush change I would be looking to get the alternator rebuilt at about half the life as a first run.

BTW - Brushes are a bit of a misnomer. They used to be a wire braid "brush" in grandpas day and you could see all kinds of sparks flying in old generators. Now they are blocks contoured to match the rotating part and the sparks no longer fly...
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Old 10-08-2007, 00:44   #8
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disgruntled, overheated, sleep deprived wage slave who really doesn't give a damn about the quality of the work. Finding the real pros--who DO take pride--is a real snark hunt.
That sounds exactly like what we get here!! Must be exported.
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