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Old 18-07-2007, 22:19   #1
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Question about diesel engine course

Hi, Just cruious, does anyone know if there is a diesel engine course in Auckland area? I dont need the coast guard course, as that seems to be basic maintenance stuff which I already know, I was interested in something more in depth. All I can find are courses that are full time and train you to be a full on certified mechanic. Is there any night class or something similar around? The book learnin only goes so far.

Thanks,
Brian
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Old 19-07-2007, 01:27   #2
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Pity you weren't down here. I could teach you in my class ;-)
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Old 19-07-2007, 15:02   #3
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I did not know you held a class. Cool. Since there does not seem to be anything like what I am looking for up here, are there any books you can recommend. I have taken a few out of the library, but I think I am not good enough with the terminology, and somewhere along the line lose the plot. I have read Nigel calder cover to cover many times and have a good grasp to that level, but want to know more.

Also, have you any experience with transmissions? Is a repair of a hurth transmission (with either a worn thrust washer (whatever that is) or worn clutch plate) a reasonable job for an amateur? The price of a new transmission is thousands, and some shops have said its easier to just buy a new one. With the engines, I would want to be capable of doing a basic overhaul, but that might be too far into the ream of a pro.

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Brian
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Old 19-07-2007, 19:21   #4
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Also, have you any experience with transmissions? Is a repair of a hurth transmission (with either a worn thrust washer (whatever that is) or worn clutch plate) a reasonable job for an amateur?
Transmissions are an advanced course item. Too many parts

A small engine overhaul isn't basic. Not that it wuld not be a good goal but it's not beginner stuff. Normally a rebuild is something that sort of works up on you. It's not an emergency thing.

Start with basic stuff you need to do all the time. Like engine oil, bleeding air from fuel lines and changing filters. Thats the bulk of the engine then you get into water pumps and the assorted attachments, and fianlly you might need to open up the engine.
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Old 19-07-2007, 19:55   #5
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I thought maybe that was the case

I can do all the basic maintenance work, and have dealt with taking off and putting back on with pretty much everything that bolts onto the block (on a gasoline engine though), but I fall short after replacing a head gasket when it comes to getting iside the thing.

I guess the thought was that If I can do a rebuild, or at least pull things apart to the point where a shop can do the more complicated stuff then when the time comes, if I do get the big boat we are looking for that if its engine is junk that I could avoid spending 20 grand or more on a new one.

That said, its possible that the level of skill I want to have can't be had without some sort of formal training (like a proper course spitting me out at the end as a certified diesel mechanic), but Darn it I hate not knowing how it all goes together!

As far as the transmission - I looked at an online forum where someone said that replacing the transmission clutch plates was not very hard, so I thought it might be possible. But then again I think sometimes I search online till I find the answer I want to hear!

Sorry if im beating a dead horse, but to get an oil-eating, smoke billowing, worn out engine back to life, what needs replacing. My first thought would be rings, cylinder liner, bearings, crankshaft, Camshaft (do those wear out?), and maybe new valve seats?

(oh, by the way, this question officially has me swimming in way over my head, if its too naive to answer, or I obviously wont understand what needs to be done no offense will be taken)

Cheers,

Brian
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Old 19-07-2007, 20:38   #6
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if its engine is junk that I could avoid spending 20 grand or more on a new one.
Nothing wrong with wanting to be able to do a rebuild but most folks don't. If you know the engine needs a rebuild then maybe the alternative is to pass on that boat. Learning how to tell if it needs rebuilding would be the better goal.

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But then again I think sometimes I search on line till I find the answer I want to hear!
That can be a problem. You find anything on the INTERNET. I think once you get started you can sort out the the things you really want from the things that are not worth it. Sometimes being able to do something isn't worth the effort when you only need to do it once. Do you want to be a sailor or a mechanic? Both are serious avocations. If you would rather be a mechanic then work on trucks, construction equipment, or buses - it pays much better.

All that aside you'll find a lot here on the many topics concerning engines and all the assorted attachments. Start with the bigger picture and then start to get into it more. It is possible to do it all yourself but you want the hope of getting to the end too. While the engine is being fixed the boat could be sinking.
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Old 19-07-2007, 21:04   #7
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What do we want to do today...

My suggestion is that rather than looking at cruising as a collection of small and large jobs that you decide on some long and short term term goals.

At the same time it is helpful to look inside ourselves and try to get some idea of our real motives.

Jim Trefethean's book, "the Cruising Life" is a lighthearted approach to this subject. I found it to be well worth reading.
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Old 20-07-2007, 00:00   #8
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Learning how to tell if it needs rebuilding would be the better goal.
That's it in a hutshell. If you can already repair all the parts on the outside of the engine, then you are 98% of the way there. The inside is is actually easier. But the difficult part is identifying if the parts are worn and by how much and what the best course of action is. That's the difference between a person that is good with tools and a Mechanic. Even though I teach engine theory and could advise someone like say Pat on theory, I don't have the experiance that someone like Pat would in hands on. He would have the experiance to know how a part wears and why on a particular engine because that is how it is with that engine. I don't get to play everyday with all engines. Anyway, I digress and sop to get back on track. If you have a Diesel that is in need of a rebuild, the majority of it is not something the mechanic does anyway. The block would be sent out ot be rebored or have new sleeves inserted. The head would be sent out to have new valve guides and maybe a plane if needed. New pistons would be required along with new Rings and Bearing shells. The crank would be ground and maybe even the camshaft. New Seals and Gaskets. And the list goes on. So much of the cost incured is not something you can save on by doing it yourself anyway as you can't. Only the labour of dismantle and assembly would be saved and that isn't all that big in the big picture of the cost. The difficult part of doing this yourself would be assertaining if bearing shells are of the right tolerance and other precision parts. If you are clever enough, you should be able to follow the manual which would cover those things.
The gearbox is a little different again. Only in that it requires a few special Tools. But they are not the scary places some would have you believe. I have pulled a 4 speed Auto apart and fully rebuilt it and have had no training in that area at all. The important points are to have a large clean workspace. A good digital Camera to take lots of pre shots and notes and take things slowly and carfully realising that there are lots of little springs and detents and so on that can go shooting over your shoulder to find the darkest most inaccessable parts of your workshop floors and corners. Once again, it is knowing what to look for in wear that is the hardest part of the box.
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Old 20-07-2007, 06:05   #9
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realising that there are lots of little springs and detents and so on that can go shooting over your shoulder to find the darkest most inaccessable parts of your workshop floors and corners.
With a boat parts always go into the water (a bilge will sometimes be enough) or the tool does. Whichever is more expensive or time consuming to replace will dictate the order of exit under it's own power. Parts that are worn or broken never get lost.
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