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Old 14-09-2020, 08:34   #1
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Diesel 101?

Hello All,

Has anyone had experience with diesel classes at either Maine Wooden Boat or Narraganset Sailing School? Or preferably something closer to coastal NH/MA?

I am comfortable with commissioning (thanks to You Tube and practice) as well as bleeding the engine (thanks to necessity) but would like to become familiar with other common issues/repairs. I am not looking for a multi class program, i/e mechanic certification but more of a hands-on walk through the engine systems, ideally a Yanmar.
Thx
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Old 14-09-2020, 09:14   #2
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Re: Diesel 101?

I'm going to recommend that you start with a book or two and then decide whether you need a course. For an introduction, try Nigel Calder on this Amazon page, and for more depth, Andrew Simpson farther down the page.

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=boat+dies...ref=nb_sb_noss
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Old 14-09-2020, 09:25   #3
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Re: Diesel 101?

Yes what post #2 said.
Also get the service manual for your particular Yanmar. You don't say what engine you have but check the CF library.
Our Yanmar YSM8 service manual is very good.
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Old 14-09-2020, 09:47   #4
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Re: Diesel 101?

I do have the manual, and have read it through as well as referred to it many times. At this point, and as a visual learner I really would like to get my hands dirty and engage in some interactive back and forth with a tech/teacher.
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Old 14-09-2020, 09:54   #5
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Re: Diesel 101?

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Originally Posted by djousset View Post
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
but more of a hands-on walk through the engine systems, ideally a Yanmar.
Thx

The ONLY class worth taking is one that works on the engine that is in your boat.


Really, not "ideally a Yanmar." Don't even consider or bother spending any time at all on anything else or any other engine.


YOUR engine is the ONLY one you need to learn more about.
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Old 14-09-2020, 13:58   #6
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Re: Diesel 101?

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Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
The ONLY class worth taking is one that works on the engine that is in your boat.


Really, not "ideally a Yanmar." Don't even consider or bother spending any time at all on anything else or any other engine.


YOUR engine is the ONLY one you need to learn more about.

I agree.
What I hear you saying is to hire a mechanic experienced on YOUR engine to come and teach you on your boat?
I’ve thought about this often as I Youtube/Manual along.
Has anybody done this?
In the end, I haven’t bothered, as most of the regular items are fairly simple and “YouTubable”, and for the less frequent/more complex issues, my lack of experience would make me hesitant to apply my knowledge with scant/no experience without a mechanic present anyway.
Interested in what others have done.
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Old 14-09-2020, 14:52   #7
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Re: Diesel 101?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
The ONLY class worth taking is one that works on the engine that is in your boat.

Really, not "ideally a Yanmar." Don't even consider or bother spending any time at all on anything else or any other engine.

YOUR engine is the ONLY one you need to learn more about.
I understand, and I agree. I will research that, and am also of the thought that the best mechanic is not necessarily the best teacher. Mack Boring offers a Yanmar specific class, but it's in NJ. Narragansett and Maine offer 2-7 day diesel courses but no make specified and although I've been told "in practice a diesel is a diesel" I would like to recognize what I'm looking at. I may need to gas up the car for this one.
Diane
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Old 14-09-2020, 15:28   #8
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Diesel 101?

Quote:
Originally Posted by djousset View Post
I understand, and I agree. I will research that, and am also of the thought that the best mechanic is not necessarily the best teacher. Mack Boring offers a Yanmar specific class, but it's in NJ. Narragansett and Maine offer 2-7 day diesel courses but no make specified and although I've been told "in practice a diesel is a diesel" I would like to recognize what I'm looking at. I may need to gas up the car for this one.

Diane


Diane

I am stumbling along this road as well. What I have learned so far is that almost nothing is about the diesel, but mostly it is about the things attached TO the diesel. And as Stu suggested, just what and where exactly it attaches to your diesel.

Have you thought about just making up your own curriculum, and then arranging for folks to help you get comfortable with it?

As you said, you don’t want didactic classes. You can read. All the theoretical stuff is in there. You already know stuff.
Would you be able to come up with a list that you work through? If you tackle it a bit at a time, perhaps with different friends/helpers/mechanics, you will easily be able to sort the grain from the chaff.
One thing that has proved very helpful for me is using parts diagrams and service manuals as bedtime stories. This prepares you for the questions.

HTH
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Old 15-09-2020, 07:33   #9
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Re: Diesel 101?

djousset, I learned my engine by hiring a diesel mechanic to help me install it and get it running. Yours is already in place. Perhaps you could take what you've read, and start doing some more than casual maintenance, such as changing filters, replacing impellers, changing anodes, changing belts, adjusting the throttle, and other tasks suggested in particular in your service manual. That experience would take you through all the repairs that you are likely to do. If you get to a step that is confusing, get a mechanic to show you how.

It's wonderful that you want to understand your engine. It will help you rescue yourself when something goes wrong in a few years. Too many owners just start and stop a black box, and they'll never get themselves out of a jam. They'll also pay $100 an hour for someone to do what they could have done, and not realize when a problem is brewing until it bites them. Go get your hands greasy.
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Old 15-09-2020, 07:48   #10
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Re: Diesel 101?

here in North Florida there are vocational schools that teach about diesel engines in day and evening classes. They basically rebuild a diesel engine from scratch.

I would suggest you peruse area schools ,colleges and universities that may also provide this. Some schools provide adult evening classes for engine repair.

Nigel Calder wrote a good book, but to understand what he is saying requires that you already know the fundamentals of a diesel engine.

There are several other typical type courses here in Florida, so must assume NH/Ma have similar resources.

Try google these schools or courses in your neck of the woods.
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Old 15-09-2020, 11:24   #11
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Re: Diesel 101?

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Originally Posted by tkeithlu View Post
djousset, I learned my engine by hiring a diesel mechanic to help me install it and get it running. Yours is already in place. Perhaps you could take what you've read, and start doing some more than casual maintenance, such as changing filters, replacing impellers, changing anodes, changing belts, adjusting the throttle, and other tasks suggested in particular in your service manual. That experience would take you through all the repairs that you are likely to do. If you get to a step that is confusing, get a mechanic to show you how.

It's wonderful that you want to understand your engine. It will help you rescue yourself when something goes wrong in a few years. Too many owners just start and stop a black box, and they'll never get themselves out of a jam. They'll also pay $100 an hour for someone to do what they could have done, and not realize when a problem is brewing until it bites them. Go get your hands greasy.
Thanks for the encouragement tkeithlu. I have replaced all filters (air, fuel, oil), and the impeller, belts, and adjusted the throttle. I've even replaced the stuffing box packing...on the water.....under duress. I gain confidence with every task and am amazed when they don't result in disaster. The pumps do intimidate me, as do all the internal workings as I have no base knowledge of engines in general. As you say, my goal is to be able to at least get out ahead of the common issues that tend to create fire drills.
I've read and learned plenty, here on the CF and elsewhere, and watched videos, and find I am still unfamiliar with many of the terms. So .....more reading it is, along with some hands-on help from the local mechanics. I appreciate your input.
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Old 15-09-2020, 11:40   #12
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Re: Diesel 101?

I do not know about your location but I thing diesel 101 courses are well worth attending.


As if having an older diesel engine kept in the garage ... to exercise ;-)


b.
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Old 15-09-2020, 12:08   #13
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Re: Diesel 101?

I'm new to the forum and I'm not a mechanic but I have done a lot of shade tree mechanical work in the past from repairing mechanical pocket watches to building high performance racing engines.

A reciprocating engine is an engine whether it's gas or diesel, air or liquid cooled. It has pistons, cylinders, connecting rods, a crankshaft, and so on. Fuel injectors are fuel injectors. Fuel lines are fuel lines. Injector pumps are injector pumps.

In short, those things are easily sorted out no matter where they're placed on any particular engine so, in my opinion, no specialized training is necessary to find them on yours whatever make it is.

What it seems to me that djousset is looking for is trouble shooting knowledge. Why won't it spin over when I hit the key? Why won't it run even though it spins over and there's fuel to the pump? Why does it make that weird sound when it...? And so on.

That kind of knowledge you won't get from a class that teaches basic engine rebuilding. It's a set of diagnostic skills that you'll only get after seeing/hearing the problem and fixing it. You can prepare for when it happens by getting and reading books and trying to set up some kind of step by step diagnostic sequence, but until you run into a clogged injector or stuck valve, you won't know what it looks/sounds like.

On the other hand, holes in the side of the block with the piston rod hanging out are usually obvious.

Best advice is to see if you can make friends with someone who repairs heavy equipment or big rigs and ask them what are the common problems beyond clogged fuel filters and bad starters and what to look/listen for so you can figure out what's wrong when it happens. Your workshop manuals will help you with step by step repair of the broken bits specific to your engine, but unless you know what parts are malfunctioning, the manual isn't much help.
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Old 15-09-2020, 12:55   #14
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Re: Diesel 101?

Quote:
Originally Posted by djousset View Post
Thanks for the encouragement tkeithlu. I have replaced all filters (air, fuel, oil), and the impeller, belts, and adjusted the throttle. I've even replaced the stuffing box packing...on the water.....under duress. I gain confidence with every task and am amazed when they don't result in disaster. The pumps do intimidate me, as do all the internal workings as I have no base knowledge of engines in general. As you say, my goal is to be able to at least get out ahead of the common issues that tend to create fire drills.
I've read and learned plenty, here on the CF and elsewhere, and watched videos, and find I am still unfamiliar with many of the terms. So .....more reading it is, along with some hands-on help from the local mechanics. I appreciate your input.

dianne, when you think about it, you're already way ahead of the "black box" skippers, and already ahead of common issues. Doing your stuffing box in the water sets you apart from "the hordes" who repeatedly ask if they can do it. You, along with many of us, suggest it ain't gonna sink your boat.


Pumps: there are two kinds on most engines, the ones with replaceable "rubber" impellers usually for raw water cooling, that are both serviceable and repairable/re-buildable, and the fresh water/coolant type that usually have metal vanes and can be replaced, although much longer lasting, many for the life of the engine. I hesitated to rebuild mine at first and bought new because the shop said it would cost more to rebuild than replace. Then I learned how to do it:

Oberdorfer Pump Rebuild 101 - http://c34.org/bbs/index.php/topic,6766.0.html


Maine Sail does a rebuild of a different pump on his www.marinehowto.com site.


I also put off learning how to bleed my engine for the first couple of years, and then learned, that on my engine, its as simple as turning a small knob!!! Learn how on your engine. If it's a Yanmar, there are scores of posts and how-to-do on the web. Rather than using the mechanical pump on the engine and killing your fingers, consider getting a fuel lift pump, either for continuous use (like mine) or for simplicity in bleeding.



Replacing hoses is easy.


Other than that, I can't think of much more that one needs to know to keep things going. Most of us are simply NOT going to do head-end rebuilds. Some have tackled head gaskets and valves.


In reality, given what you have shared and already done, your list is getting shorter. I don't believe you need much, if any, professional help at all. Certainly not for things you can't find on YouTube or in text, and then are better prepared to ask more specific questions.


Think how much time and $$ you'll save avoiding "classes" that you could spend on your boat!


Good for you!
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Old 16-09-2020, 15:38   #15
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Re: Diesel 101?

To those who encouraged me to spend time with my own engine and manuals before jumping into classes....the universe conspired to give me fire drill training today. Turned the engine over, ready to head out and no water out the exhaust pipe. After a few moments of panic I started to go through all the possible reasons...seacock, raw water strainer, hoses, belt, mixing elbow.... Got to the belt and noticed inconsistent wear on it (anyone seen this?). I replaced the belt and tightened things up and was shocked when it worked. One more box checked on my engine syllabus! Now I need to find out why that happened because there has to be a reason...
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