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Old 17-03-2019, 19:14   #1
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What Diesel Engine repairs should one know how to do?

Here is my list of Diesel Engine repairs I think one would need to know how to do when cruising.

Let me know if I am missing anything.

1. Raw water system
Hose inspection and replacement.
Strainer inspection and cleaning.
water pump">Raw water pump inspection and impeller replacement.

2. Engine Coolant system
Coolant check and replacement.
Heat exchanged chemical cleaning flushing

3. Fuel System
Fuel line inspection and replacement
Fuel Tank vent inspection and cleaning
Fuel primary filter (water separator) inspection and replacement
Fuel secondary filter inspection and replacement
Fuel system bleeding (removing the air)

4. Lubrication System
Oil level inspection and replacement
Oil filter inspection and replacement

5. Other
Belts inspection and replacement
Alternator inspection and replacement
Starter inspection and replacement.
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Old 17-03-2019, 19:20   #2
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Re: What Diesel Engine repairs should one know how to do?

One needs to know how the starting circuit works: is there just a solenoid or a relay as well? How to bypass the relay... or the solenoid. How to stop the engine when the stop switch doesn't work.
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Old 17-03-2019, 19:54   #3
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Re: What Diesel Engine repairs should one know how to do?

Replace seals in raw water pump (fairly often in older pumps) and replace the bearings whist at it.

Jim
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Old 17-03-2019, 20:32   #4
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Re: What Diesel Engine repairs should one know how to do?

Air filter replacement
Stop solenoid or cable replacement/bypass
Injector replacement
Control cable bypass/replacement - engine AND transmission

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Old 17-03-2019, 20:41   #5
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Re: What Diesel Engine repairs should one know how to do?

Maybe separate naturally aspirated, turbo + aftercooled, and full modern electronic (which is usually TA + electronic?).

I'm very interested too - watching...
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Old 17-03-2019, 20:57   #6
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Re: What Diesel Engine repairs should one know how to do?

Its not just doing, its access to parts as well. Your starter goes in some remote anchorage you might be seriously pooched. Best to have a good collection of parts ready at hand.



There may be a zinc or 2 in the raw water system that needs replacing. This could be very important. Depending on your motor these maybe hard to source out island.



Need to have spare alternators on board. My engine has 2. The standard alternator and a high output one. If the high output dies,, no big deal. if the bearings go on the standard alternator the engine is out of commission. Alternator in Toronto, $200.00. Alternator down island or in Guatemala priceless.



A spare starter on board would be good.
The replacement starter for my boat is 185$ in Toronto. Priceless down island.



Where is the air filter and how often does it need replaced. Again location is huge when factoring the cost. Much better to have them on board then be looking for them.


Are the alternators external or internal regulated. If external you better have a spare and know how it works.


If starting and house are separate how are they combined in case of dead starter battery.


Transmission fluid, level inspection and replacement.
shifter and throttle linkages, checking and hopefully not replacement.



Spare belts before you leave. At least 2 replacements, perhaps more.



Does the engine have fuses, if so where and do you have replacements. My Beta 75 has fuses.



Fuel system bleeding can be a chore. I have an electric fuel pump for this task. Absolutely essential.



Water pump. Does it take more than an impeller. My Beta 75 also needs a special seal replaced at the same time. This requires complete removal of the raw water pump from the engine and special tools.



Do you have a way to catch the little bits if the impeller dies a horrible death. This can be essential. If you don't have this then you have to be able to take apart the entire cooling system to collect all of the impeller bits. This will require gaskets, O-rings and arms like Gumby to remove all of this stuff and clean it out. I am currently working on a solution for this and will post more if it works.



Inspection of battery cables to starter, and alternators. When my Beta was 2 months old we completely fried the starter motor cables while trying to restart after out of fuel. We connected the cables okay at the standard connection point and figured that Beta had covered the rest. Nope. The connection to the starter was loose and it fried.



Fact of the matter is, if your cruising and you can't fix all of this stuff yourself, your either pooched or your wallet is on a weight reduction program.


Red Green ( Canadian comedy) always said, if the girls don't find you handsome they should at least find you handy. On a cruising sailboat, the handy might be way more important.
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Old 18-03-2019, 06:27   #7
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Re: What Diesel Engine repairs should one know how to do?

Based on the good posts above I have updated my list
Notice I am not including major engine repairs just the standard maintenance items.

Diesel Engines are very reliable.
If the regular maintenance is preformed and you keep the fuel clean they should run for decades without any trouble.

As to spare parts it depending on where and how long you will be cruising.

1. Raw water system
Hose inspection and replacement.
Strainer inspection and cleaning.
Raw water pump inspection and impeller replacement.
Zinc Inspection and replacement.

2. Engine Coolant system
Coolant check and replacement.
Heat exchanged chemical cleaning flushing

3. Fuel System
Fuel line inspection and replacement
Fuel Tank vent inspection and cleaning
Fuel primary filter (water separator) inspection and replacement
Fuel secondary filter inspection and replacement
Fuel system bleeding (removing the air)

4. Lubrication System
Oil level inspection and replacement
Oil filter inspection and replacement

5. Other
Belts inspection and replacement
Alternator inspection and replacement
Starter inspection and replacement.
Air filter inspection and replacement.

6. Electrical
Learn how to start the engine even if the switch is broken.
General Electrical trouble shooting and repairing skills are also needed.
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Old 18-03-2019, 08:51   #8
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Re: What Diesel Engine repairs should one know how to do?

Valve adjustment and cylinder honing and replacement of cylinder rings...
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Old 18-03-2019, 08:59   #9
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Re: What Diesel Engine repairs should one know how to do?

Lots of good advice here. I carry a spare starter, and will be upsizing my alternator and making the stock one a spare. I would say it's a good idea to be familiar with (and to be able to field-test and repair) your engine's wiring harness.
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Old 18-03-2019, 09:09   #10
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Re: What Diesel Engine repairs should one know how to do?

I forgot the link for the honing work.

https://www.google.dk/url?sa=t&sourc...x9i-TuthWj5D1V

The gaskets made myself except the cylinder head gasket. It is possible to get the gaskets made by a shop after a blueprint of the old, but I choosed to buy this gasket and the rings at Volvo. Very expensive!
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Old 18-03-2019, 09:25   #11
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Re: What Diesel Engine repairs should one know how to do?

Fresh water cooling. I carry spare impellers and a spare pump ready to go. Repairing the impeller etc is no big deal at the dock but can be in a seaway. Replacing the pump at sea is fast and easy. You also need to know how to burp the system. get all the air out or you will have overheat problems.
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Old 18-03-2019, 09:31   #12
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Re: What Diesel Engine repairs should one know how to do?

As a related question for those of you who know how to do:
how did you learn? By trial and error? Did you have a friend who showed you? Did you hire a mechanic to show you? Did you take a class?

I have read a couple of the usual books on diesel engines, and I am at least familiar with the parts and their operation, but when it comes to actually performing some of these repairs, it is still challenging, especially on the parts that are very difficult to access, then you do not quite have the right tool, etc. Mechanics of course have figure it all out, but with trial and error the learning curve is steep...
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Old 18-03-2019, 09:35   #13
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Re: What Diesel Engine repairs should one know how to do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vortec View Post
Valve adjustment and cylinder honing and replacement of cylinder rings...
You beat me to it, but I think the key is valve adjustment, which along with your initial list should cover virtually everything in an annual/100 hour or whatever "tune up".

Since the prop shaft is immediately connected to the engine, I might suggest removal/replacement of the coupling bolts and checking the engine alignment to the shaft. I still find this mysterious, but I think you'd want to be able to determine if you were aligned. it's also a great reason to make sure that your engine mounts are lubricated and corrosion free so you can actually adjust them when the time comes.

Chuck
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Old 18-03-2019, 09:48   #14
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Re: What Diesel Engine repairs should one know how to do?

Great thread. I am just trying to decide on and collect spare parts cache.

Am I right to assume that having a working panda generator (and good solar panels) makes spare alternator less "mission critical"?
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Old 18-03-2019, 09:49   #15
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Re: What Diesel Engine repairs should one know how to do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Replace seals in raw water pump (fairly often in older pumps) and replace the bearings whist at it.

Jim
Some older pumps are difficult to chsnge bearings as in my bmc .carrying a spare might be better
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