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Old 27-04-2020, 13:50   #1
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Engine maintenance - what do you actually perform?

I have a Yanmar 4JH3E in my boat. Normally I change engine oil and oil filter and flush seawater side with antifreeze after haul out before winter. In spring I every 2-3 years change impeller. Today I changed the coolant for the first time in 8 years. I regularly check hoses and clamps (changed all hoses 3 years ago), I check and tightens the belt, I check and tighten engine mounts, I also try to remember to grease the drip less shaft seal. This is basically it. Maybe I should change diesel filters, gearbox oil and do all sort of other maintenance but I avoid it. Mostly because I donít know how to do it in detail and I find the owners manual really hard to follow. My question is what do you guys do and how often? Is there anyone that actually performs the whole maintenance plan according to the manufacturer recommendations?
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Old 27-04-2020, 14:14   #2
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Re: Engine maintenance - what do you actually perform?

Gearboxes are expensive, draining the oil out with one of those vacuum oil changers isn't difficult. Equally worth learning to change a diesel filter each year to protect the fuel injection pump, also expensive to replace. You might have to change and bleed the injection side at sea, so worth having a filter remover and know what size of spanner is needed to release the bolt to bleed the system.

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Old 27-04-2020, 14:19   #3
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Re: Engine maintenance - what do you actually perform?

I do all my own maintenance, changing transmission fluid etc is not as hard as an impeller, Adjusting valves is easy, so is removing injectors, but I do take them to a shop as I do not have the proper equipment to service them, no cruiser that I know of does.
Glancing at your list I’d change coolant more often, I do so every other year when I clean the heat exchanger, cleaning it every other year means it’s not that dirty, so it’s an easy job. My concern is the the coolant can easily become contaminated with salt water, so that is why I change it so often.

But other than being time consuming all scheduled maintenance is not that hard, and as I assume a mechanic charges about what a rigger does ($200 an hour) I don’t need to pay someone that kind of money, not when I can do it myself.
I don’t mind mechanics, but I won’t do bright work for example, and have always paid to have my bottom done.

However I exceed manufacturers recommendations, I’ve done that most of my life and I Believe it’s why I have only worn out one motor, and that was a chainsaw.
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Old 27-04-2020, 14:42   #4
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Re: Engine maintenance - what do you actually perform?

On top of the above , if you donít have a oil vacuum pump get one theyíre pretty cheap. If sized right you can drain the engine and transmission in one shot. Also installing a valve and length of hose to drain your coolant makes it and easy chore.
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Old 27-04-2020, 15:14   #5
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Re: Engine maintenance - what do you actually perform?

My Yanmar manual says to change the coolant every year. Why so often I donít know. I do it almost every year.
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Old 27-04-2020, 17:13   #6
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Re: Engine maintenance - what do you actually perform?

Pretty much what my manufacturer (Volvo) calls for. Plus (and very important) a wife who is very sensitive to new or unusual noises...
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Old 27-04-2020, 17:37   #7
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Re: Engine maintenance - what do you actually perform?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flod View Post
I have a Yanmar 4JH3E in my boat. Normally I change engine oil and oil filter and flush seawater side with antifreeze after haul out before winter. In spring I every 2-3 years change impeller. Today I changed the coolant for the first time in 8 years. I regularly check hoses and clamps (changed all hoses 3 years ago), I check and tightens the belt, I check and tighten engine mounts, I also try to remember to grease the drip less shaft seal. This is basically it. Maybe I should change diesel filters, gearbox oil and do all sort of other maintenance but I avoid it. Mostly because I donít know how to do it in detail and I find the owners manual really hard to follow. My question is what do you guys do and how often? Is there anyone that actually performs the whole maintenance plan according to the manufacturer recommendations?
Heat exchangers and water injection exhaust are maintenance items
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Old 28-04-2020, 10:20   #8
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Re: Engine maintenance - what do you actually perform?

Naturally, the preventive maintenance is completed as per the manufacturer's maintenance at a minimum with some items being done more frequently to maximize engine time between overhauls. Items that I'm not equipped to ( or don't want to ) undertake such as injector reconditioning are done by others who are paid.
This works for me with cars, boats, tractors and aircraft therefore I have very seldom had an engine related problem during the last 50 years.
Cheers,
Niall.
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Old 28-04-2020, 10:22   #9
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Re: Engine maintenance - what do you actually perform?

Fuel filter. I have racor's before the engine with the smallest microns allowed to pass. I never bother with the stock fuel filter.

I inspect the fuel lines for suppleness, connections, leaks. Also squirt a little lube on the moving parts for the throttle etc
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Old 28-04-2020, 10:42   #10
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Re: Engine maintenance - what do you actually perform?

You have a good start on the basics, but the other part is not hard either. Good on yer for changing those hoses and clamps Did you inspect the heat exchanger innards when you did that?
Our engine is Perkins, 1983 with almost 5000 hours on it. You may not have to do as much with a newer engine, but we don't have to worry about winterizing.
Mainly, don't forget the fuel system. We have Racor's on the generator and main engine and I inspect the element, something you can't do with the closed can filter on the engine. So far they always seem very clean, but I change them and the engine mounted filter every couple years.

Transmission oil should be changed depending on hours of use, Check the manual. That is probably easier, depending on access, than the main engine oil change.
I had been checking valve "lash" or clearance every year but do it less often now since it seems to not change at all. Head bolt torque I have done maybe twice on this Perkins in 25 years.

You may also want to check torque on the bolts that hold down the fuel injectors. One of mine came slightly loose and it took me a while to figure out the load noise!

I know I should replace the manual fuel pump gasket (got a whole new pump sittting in a box) since that can leak fuel into the oil, but didn't get around to it yet.

Periodically check for leaks at high pressure fuel points on the engine. We check the main engine at start-up and every couple hours when running. That's because we had a serious fuel leak on the Perkins once that was a bit scary (had to rebuild the injection pump) and another small but annoying leak on the generator as well.
Now, the thermostat. I never opened our thermostat yet (my bad), and don't think I will. Over 25 years the engine starts, warms up quickly and runs fine to 170F, never higher.

Just tackle it one at a time. None of this is any harder than what you have already done.
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Old 28-04-2020, 10:52   #11
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Re: Engine maintenance - what do you actually perform?

I’d like to get a reliable vacuum oil pump - can anyone suggest models that have worked well for them?
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Old 28-04-2020, 11:02   #12
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Engine maintenance - what do you actually perform?

Thanks for the replies. I have one of these pumps to do the oil change. https://www.amazon.com/Mercury-Preci.../dp/B001QFEVNA
It hooks up to the dipstick hole and makes engine oil change easy. Have to buy one with a tube to do the gear oil change I guess.
My engine have low hours. I think it have 650hrs (2003 model) and runs fine. I have had older Yanmars and Volvos before and they required more to keep on going
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Old 28-04-2020, 11:03   #13
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Re: Engine maintenance - what do you actually perform?

I found my shaft coupling remarkably corroded perhaps due to the dissimilar metals but now apply penetrating oil to it regularly..Im also curious about internal zincs on my cooling system I may not be aware of..Thanks for the prod. I better google the question
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Old 28-04-2020, 12:31   #14
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Re: Engine maintenance - what do you actually perform?

The main thing on the OP's list that should definitely be done is the fuel filters, and you must know how to do those or you may get caught with no engine at a critical time, particularly if you don't have a switchable back-up or a suction gauge to see the state of the RACOR. Recently a Yanmar tech told me NOT to skip scheduled heat exchanger cleanings as the elements can fuse resulting in an expensive job to repair. I do pretty much everything as listed and as scheduled in the Yanmar operating manual, but the timings sometimes go a bit longer, sometimes shorter.

One thing I do NOT do is service my winches every 6 months as the Antal book says! Once a year if they are lucky, once every 24 months more likely.
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Old 28-04-2020, 14:46   #15
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Re: Engine maintenance - what do you actually perform?

Nobody mentioned zincs: most important. Check your manual for location-usually one in heat exchanger, maybe more.
Check/replace as needed, especially in marinas that may have stray electrical current floating around. Just like the zinc on your prop shaft, you don't want the little buggers eating your prop or your engine.
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