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Old 21-03-2014, 07:46   #16
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Re: Yanmar Problems

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
That's really interesting! I don't lose any coolant at all, and my smoke is not black (rather slightly bluish-tinged gray), but I think it might really be a good thing to pull this out and check it, and pull out and clean the heat exchanger while I'm at it.

Did you do the work yourself? Was it a PITA? If you didn't do the work yourself, how many hours of engineer's time did you pay for?
I had the engineer aboard for another reason and it was his idea to pull the charged air cooler. As soon as he did so he said, "Well, here's your problem." The smoke is much less now and just like you I am not burning oil.

Total cost for his services on two trips plus shop work to clean the cooler plus reconditioning the heat exchanger at a radiator shop was $1,000. They charge $100 an hour here (Seattle).

You can pull it off pretty easily yourself and take a look inside. The gaskets are re-usable. I would do that first, if you have the time, before calling in the big guns as you may not have the problem I did.

Cheers.

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Old 21-03-2014, 08:07   #17
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Re: Yanmar Problems

I, had an almost identical problem on my 4JH3E. Grey to light blue smoke on start up also on shut down from 28 to3000 rpm's. No oil consumption. I , treated the fuel in the tank with a combination injector cleaner and fuel conditioner. Sea Foam. No more smoke.
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Old 21-03-2014, 08:35   #18
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Re: Yanmar Problems

our last UK sailboat had a 4 JHE which had 4000 hrs plus on it. It smoked (bluey grey) a bit on startup until warmed up. Our excellent YC engineer was a big fan of Soltron fuel treatment (Startron is the same stuff apparently) and he told me to dose the tank with that then use it every fill up which we did. The smoky start up reduced a little but was still there until warm. he engineer said it doesn't like the exhaust elbow being cold, but once that is warm it is fine. Anyway that engine always started instantly with no pre-heat even in depths of winter, never used a drop of oil either between annual oil change services and was the very best engine we had ever had and we had a few over the years, so I guess I could forgive it smoking a tad for a few minutes first thing.

WE now have a 3GM30F Yanmar with just 1200hrs on it and just recently it refused to start, no problem as we are still fitting out, albeit afloat. Problem traced to a blocked primary filter which allowed a few seconds run, then starved the engine of fuel. We just fitted a new Racor primary filter setup (to replace the original Benny fitted one that was almost impossible to get at for service) with a 30 micron element and now have an easy starting motor again, no smoke either (and we are using Startron as Soltron isn't available here). We don't have a nice Brunton Autoprop like we used to have, but will see how the regular 3 blade fixed one works out once we start cruising again proper.

PRIor to the 4JHE mentioned above we had a MD22L Volvo which we fitted to our then Westerly 33, actually a Perkins Prima with Volvo green paint and again although an excellent and reliable engine it used oil from the get go, not visibly burning it nor leaking it, that engine didn't use oil on short trips but run it for any real length of time like an overnighter and it guzzled it. OThers with the same engine reported similr oil usage characteristics.

Maybe we should dump motors and stick to sails!
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Old 21-03-2014, 08:45   #19
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Re: Yanmar Problems

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Originally Posted by Dhillen View Post
I had the engineer aboard for another reason and it was his idea to pull the charged air cooler. As soon as he did so he said, "Well, here's your problem." The smoke is much less now and just like you I am not burning oil.

Total cost for his services on two trips plus shop work to clean the cooler plus reconditioning the heat exchanger at a radiator shop was $1,000. They charge $100 an hour here (Seattle).

You can pull it off pretty easily yourself and take a look inside. The gaskets are re-usable. I would do that first, if you have the time, before calling in the big guns as you may not have the problem I did.

Cheers.

Dhillen
Cool; thanks! That's got to be prudent preventative maintenance in any case at 1600 hours -- I'll do it. How long did it take him to pull it off? Was it an hour or less?

If it's not too great a hassle I will just do it myself and take it to a radiator shop for pressure testing.

Cheers, Dockhead
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Old 21-03-2014, 08:46   #20
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Re: Yanmar Problems

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Originally Posted by casual View Post
I, had an almost identical problem on my 4JH3E. Grey to light blue smoke on start up also on shut down from 28 to3000 rpm's. No oil consumption. I , treated the fuel in the tank with a combination injector cleaner and fuel conditioner. Sea Foam. No more smoke.
Hmm, but mine did just the same thing even with brand new injectors.
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Old 21-03-2014, 08:49   #21
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Re: Yanmar Problems

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Originally Posted by Robin3 View Post
our last UK sailboat had a 4 JHE which had 4000 hrs plus on it. It smoked (bluey grey) a bit on startup until warmed up. Our excellent YC engineer was a big fan of Soltron fuel treatment (Startron is the same stuff apparently) and he told me to dose the tank with that then use it every fill up which we did. The smoky start up reduced a little but was still there until warm. he engineer said it doesn't like the exhaust elbow being cold, but once that is warm it is fine. Anyway that engine always started instantly with no pre-heat even in depths of winter, never used a drop of oil either between annual oil change services and was the very best engine we had ever had and we had a few over the years, so I guess I could forgive it smoking a tad for a few minutes first thing.

WE now have a 3GM30F Yanmar with just 1200hrs on it and just recently it refused to start, no problem as we are still fitting out, albeit afloat. Problem traced to a blocked primary filter which allowed a few seconds run, then starved the engine of fuel. We just fitted a new Racor primary filter setup (to replace the original Benny fitted one that was almost impossible to get at for service) with a 30 micron element and now have an easy starting motor again, no smoke either (and we are using Startron as Soltron isn't available here). We don't have a nice Brunton Autoprop like we used to have, but will see how the regular 3 blade fixed one works out once we start cruising again proper.

PRIor to the 4JHE mentioned above we had a MD22L Volvo which we fitted to our then Westerly 33, actually a Perkins Prima with Volvo green paint and again although an excellent and reliable engine it used oil from the get go, not visibly burning it nor leaking it, that engine didn't use oil on short trips but run it for any real length of time like an overnighter and it guzzled it. OThers with the same engine reported similr oil usage characteristics.

Maybe we should dump motors and stick to sails!
Well, your experience tends to support what my surveyor said back then -- "typical smokey Yanmar".

I can't imagine it's the exhaust elbow, as that stays stone cold due to seawater flowing through it, but I guess there are other parts of the system which might need warming up.
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Old 21-03-2014, 08:55   #22
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Re: Yanmar Problems

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I was just at a Mack Boring diesel class last weekend, and the instructor, at several different points in the class, over 2 days, made everyone repeat after him: Never use anything smaller than a 30 micron fuel filter in your Yanmar…ANY sailboat Yanmar (GM, YM, or JH). Their fuel pump can't pull enough through the smaller filters. In this case, smaller is not better. Tends to cause problems nobody can figure out.
I call BS on this (as a broad sweeping statement). The Racor 500a I use can flow about 10x as much fuel as the motor (Yanmar 4jh5te) will use. Given the surface area, resistance is very unlikely to ever be a problem.

Now I will agree with him if the statement was quantified by saying not to go smaller the 10 microns in the smaller filters.....
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Old 21-03-2014, 10:44   #23
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Re: Yanmar Problems

And I'll call BS on the " all Yanmars smoke", ours has over 3000 hrs. and never smokes, does not consume a drop of oil and has no problem at any rpm. I use a 2 micron filter in a Racor and have no lift pump. I am suspect of any so called "mechanic" who uses such a lame excuse as "they all smoke" to cover their lack of knowledge or experience or prejudice against one brand or the other. If yours smokes there is a problem. There are many reasons for this problem, you just have to find out which one (or more than one) yours is suffering from.
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Old 21-03-2014, 10:52   #24
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Re: Yanmar Problems

Pretty much all diesel puff out smoke on start up, but once up to operational temps there should be none. One big factor is where you get your fuel and its cetan rating, we switched to Valvtec fuel, higher cetan and all the right amount of additive package and bingo very clean. This fuel also has lubricity additives which is important with todays diesel blends.
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Old 21-03-2014, 10:57   #25
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Re: Yanmar Problems

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Originally Posted by bethflkys View Post
I was just at a Mack Boring diesel class last weekend, and the instructor, at several different points in the class, over 2 days, made everyone repeat after him: Never use anything smaller than a 30 micron fuel filter in your Yanmar…ANY sailboat Yanmar (GM, YM, or JH). Their fuel pump can't pull enough through the smaller filters. In this case, smaller is not better. Tends to cause problems nobody can figure out.
all pumps push way better than they suck. Makes sense. I've been told not to use less than 10 microns.
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Old 21-03-2014, 13:42   #26
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Re: Yanmar Problems

Adding to above post.I stand corrected the product I used was FPPF 8+ Centane Improver. I added this after the engine had been serviced by a Diesel Tect injectors cleaned plus a slew of other work PM. This stuff worked. Sorry for the bad info.
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Old 21-03-2014, 14:28   #27
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Re: Yanmar Problems

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...

The smoke is gray-bluish, and comes out in billows on startup. The smoke just about disappears at normal operating temperature and speed. Since the engine doesn't consume any oil (maybe half a liter between 100 hour changes), I presume that this is not oil smoke, but fuel.....
Dockhead: I share your enthusiasm for simple, non-electronic engines, but then they go and stick a turbo on them, which kind of stuffs things up, in several ways.

Including on startup: it's normal for lots of unburned diesel to pass through such an engine until it reaches a steady-state equilibrium.

This happens because the turbo doesn't initially supply the engine with the required amount of air, because it has to "bootstrap" its output from the thermal energy of the exhaust gases ... and of course on starting, the latter is in short supply.

The electronic engines (when running properly) should navigate this phase more elegantly, by injecting only as much fuel as the CURRENT supply of air will sustain. Some would see that as an argument for electronics; it suits me to see it instead as an argument against turbos (for auxiliary engines)

ON EDIT: It's often said the smell of unburnt fuel is a giveway when trying to distinguish it from lube oil haze. I don't have a keen sense of smell, but even to me it's sometimes helpful for diagnosis. For me it means getting down near the exhaust.
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Old 21-03-2014, 14:30   #28
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Re: Yanmar Problems

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Originally Posted by s/v 'Faith' View Post
I call BS on this (as a broad sweeping statement). The Racor 500a I use can flow about 10x as much fuel as the motor (Yanmar 4jh5te) will use. Given the surface area, resistance is very unlikely to ever be a problem.

Now I will agree with him if the statement was quantified by saying not to go smaller the 10 microns in the smaller filters.....
I don't think you get to say it's BS and then backtrack. Anyhow, I asked him about the engine filter and he didn't specify the micron rating, but said only use the specified Yanmar filter there. Call him up, his name is John Farrell and he does all the Mack Boring training, including dealers and military and owners (Larry Berlin used to do the owner training, but he retired). Tell him he's BSing. And be sure to pipe us all in on the conversation!
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Old 21-03-2014, 14:33   #29
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Re: Yanmar Problems

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Adding to above post.I stand corrected the product I used was FPPF 8+ Centane Improver. I added this after the engine had been serviced by a Diesel Tect injectors cleaned plus a slew of other work PM. This stuff worked. Sorry for the bad info.
The 8+ Cetane Improver was also recommended in the class I attended.
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Old 21-03-2014, 15:09   #30
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Re: Yanmar Problems

Having had five JH series Yanmar engines in two sailboats (Freedom 45CC and Privilege catamaran), I would strongly argue against the claim that "all Yanmar diesels smoke". My Freedom blew the turbo after 3k hours, but otherwise ran true, well over 4k hours when I sold the boat. I swapped out the two original 3JH units on the cat at 5500 hours; no smoke, insignificant oil consumption and compression on both engines at spec. Curently have over 1500 hours on replacement 4JH3E engines and have never had smoke, even at startup. However, about ten years ago, I fitted Algae-X devices on the fuel lines before Racor primaries, which have reduced filter element changes by a factor of at least three and now only as a routine maintenance event. Clean fuel; clean oil and clean air. Engines are run at least once each week under load at 2000-2500 rpm for at least 15 minutes, even dockside. Yanmars may have other deficiencies, but I would not include smoking and oil consumption in that list. PS: my Racor primary filters are R20S (2 micron) and have vacuum gages fitted downstream before the engines.
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