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Old 23-07-2021, 09:48   #1
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D343 CAT--- Maintenance

I am on an 80 tender /liveaboard and have been remodeling since last year.
Staying at the dock.

How often should i start the engine, how long should I run it, and how many rpms should i hold.

SAme question for my Northern Lights 10kw genset. Raw water cooling.

Should i be turning the screw on a regular basis?
What about the 3 foot bow thruster???

Logic tells me they all need run in, but i need to know the preferred schedule -if there is such a thing--

Thanks,
My first boat and learning daily!!!
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Old 23-07-2021, 17:32   #2
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Re: D343 CAT--- Maintenance

Thatís a damn fine engine, it probably weighs as much as my boat. Iím for running it maybe once every 2 weeks and only to recoat all the moving surfaces with oil, it would take a while to get her up to operating temp in your location and running that much horsepower against the mooring lines to load it up is not a good idea so just shut it down Luke warm. Caterpillar identifies dry starts after more than 2 weeks as being detrimental ....but Cat is very conservative about how itís engines should be treated and a lot of them get fired up cold and dry with years between startups, ....just not by Cat mechanics. I guess youíre familiar with the preheat on the D343 and if ever she wonít start, check the glow plug circuit.
The generator is easier but if itís been idle for a long period of time itís a good idea to warm up the live end by putting a heat source such as a 100watt bulb under it to dry out any moisture buildup. Usually we only do this on larger open generators and if your engine room is heated it wonít be necessary. Run the genset up and when it heats up a bit put a few loads on it for half an hour then take off the loads for 5 mins and shutdown. Has the NL got a dry exhaust like the Cat?
Pete.
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Old 23-07-2021, 18:36   #3
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Re: D343 CAT--- Maintenance

skipperpete knows more than I do but I'd get some kinda oil or sump heater for your main engine if you are going to start every 2 weeks & not be able to run loaded.
You will get lots of condensation in the engine if you run it many times without getting it up to operating temp.
I'd put the generator under some load after 5 mins warm up.
The old man was a fire chief & he made sure all the fire engines had sump heaters at they'd get hammered instantly of course on a call out.
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Old 23-07-2021, 19:14   #4
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Re: D343 CAT--- Maintenance

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipperpete View Post
That’s a damn fine engine, it probably weighs as much as my boat. I’m for running it maybe once every 2 weeks and only to recoat all the moving surfaces with oil, it would take a while to get her up to operating temp in your location and running that much horsepower against the mooring lines to load it up is not a good idea so just shut it down Luke warm. Caterpillar identifies dry starts after more than 2 weeks as being detrimental ....but Cat is very conservative about how it’s engines should be treated and a lot of them get fired up cold and dry with years between startups, ....just not by Cat mechanics. I guess you’re familiar with the preheat on the D343 and if ever she won’t start, check the glow plug circuit.
The generator is easier but if it’s been idle for a long period of time it’s a good idea to warm up the live end by putting a heat source such as a 100watt bulb under it to dry out any moisture buildup. Usually we only do this on larger open generators and if your engine room is heated it won’t be necessary. Run the genset up and when it heats up a bit put a few loads on it for half an hour then take off the loads for 5 mins and shutdown. Has the NL got a dry exhaust like the Cat?
Pete.
No it has a wet exhaust.

I am in SE AK and it isnt very cold at all right now--- most of the year it is in the 50s at least.
I can keep a heater in the ER no problem--- plenty of shore power.
I didnt really remember how to start it as I am a travel nurse and by the time i got back I forgot the sequence. I finally got it cranked last week and ran it only for a few minutes--- MAN does it sound radical.

WHat about turning the screw and the bow thrusters?? Might blow out some of the crud that is building up..

When i finally get all the correct info and procedures down pat -- i am going to make a small notebook to leave on hangin next to the engine --with a maintenance calendar too. IN BIG FONT-- I already put in 4 lights and am going to put 4 more down there--- i like to see what i'm doing--

Can i use flexible fuel lines from my tanks instead of the copper ones that are pretty old now---- it was built in 1943

I am labeling all the new wiring we put in--- 1500 feet of marine wiring !!!!!----instead of the house romex that i found had been used in the past.

Going to talk with the owner tomorrow who had it for a number of years and pick his brain-- video him if he will let me--- take pictures of all the old pictures he has of the boat in her prime...

I have plenty to keep me busy since Im retired now !!! hahahaha
Retired and boat ownership shouldnt be allowed in the same sentence!

Oh BTW-- a crew of CAT mechanics used to come up and fish this boat every year and they alway dolled up the engine while they were here and usually left some king of parts, filters, o ring, starters, turbos,,,,hahaha
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Old 23-07-2021, 21:59   #5
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Re: D343 CAT--- Maintenance

Iím really surprised you have a wet exhaust, itís something that has its own set of rules and cautions.
Yes, that engine sure does make a lot of noise and smoke when you bring it to life thanks to indirect injection but it all settled down once the engine warms up
Be really careful putting her in gear while secured to the dock,you can do it and itís ok with smaller yachts with less horsepower but you have at least 200 through a Maybe 5:1 reduction gear to a huge screw.... that could get messy.... especially if the bridge has pneumatic shift and power controls that take up to 30 seconds to disengage.
Is the thruster hydraulic? You could do a brief spin of that prop but you said it was 36Ē so ....expect a lively response.
The checklist and ER log book is an excellent idea
Yes, you can replace the original fuel lines with flexible but you might have to comply with fire/flameproof regulations for commercial survey or insurance.
I would be inviting the Cat guys up for a complimentary fishing trip.
Great boat, excellent machinery! And you are now out of retirement
Pete
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Old 24-07-2021, 10:06   #6
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Re: D343 CAT--- Maintenance

Where you from Pete?
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Old 24-07-2021, 15:41   #7
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Re: D343 CAT--- Maintenance

Iím in Australia, Townsville where it rarely gets cold. I used to drive a tugboat with the same main engine as your vessel but with a Kort nozzle on the screw hence my caution about running against the dock lines.
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