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Old 06-04-2020, 09:32   #1
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First time oil change advice

Going to change my oil and filter for the first time. Westerbeake 33a. Supposed to have a drain hose with threaded fitting but need to confirm that. Without a drain hose, I'll be sucking the oil thru the dipstick tube.

Any recommendations on the various manual pumps?

Also, thoughts on which Rotella T6? 5W-40 or 15W-40?

I rarely use the boat in temps below 40.

Manual says 10w - 30.
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Old 06-04-2020, 09:50   #2
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Re: First time oil change advice

If the manual says 10w-30, then that is what I would use. I have used a variety of synthetic and semi-synthetic oils in my truck and tractor engines, mainly due to easier cold weather starts. If the engine room is going to be warm and you change the oil every year not sure a synthetic and semi-synthetic oil is worth the price.

From memory, my truck and tractor manuals specify a 40 weight oil for the higher air temps in my area.

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Old 06-04-2020, 10:02   #3
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Re: First time oil change advice

As far as pumps go, my boat came with the Jabsco oil change pump with bucket, which was easy to use but hard to store. Also, it's way too expensive, in my opinion. I have also used the Jabsco 'Little Pan Hand Pump' which is easier to store and less expensive but takes slightly more effort than just throwing a switch.

As far as which oil to use, I would definitely go with the manufacturer's recommendation. Also, I would avoid a synthetic oil unless the manufacturer specifically recommends it.

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Old 06-04-2020, 10:03   #4
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Re: First time oil change advice

Nothing wrong with sucking it out of the tube, its most often done.
Of course you want to to be operating temp oil or close to it anyhow.
There is no need for T6, however it certainly won’t do any harm at all. I would use the 15W-40 myself, in fact I am, but have used the 5W-40 as well. I use it largely because I use one oil in everything, makes it easier to only carry one oil.
If you are using it with the idea of its such a good oil you won’t need to change it as often, don’t. We change our oil because it gets soot loaded, not because it’s breaking down.

High grade synthetics in my opinion just aren’t needed in the average sailboat motor, we just don’t stress oil that hard, but it won’t do any harm either. Again in my opinion the best thing you can do for a motor is change it’s oil frequently, if money is an issue, your better off with a much less expensive quality oil and changing it more frequently. Rotella straight weight T-1 as an example.
I like a manual vacuum pump, the kind that sucks the air out and the oil in.
I abhor the little drill motor pumps.
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Old 06-04-2020, 10:09   #5
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Re: First time oil change advice

I like the vacuum plunger type of device, unless you want to install an electric pump. Less messy than the electric pump system I had even. Keep the oil in where it's pumped. Less open transfer or hoses to drip when done.
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Old 06-04-2020, 10:14   #6
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Re: First time oil change advice

I use one of those large West Marine oil suction canisters. Warm the engine, run the suction tube down the dipstick tube, pump the handle a few times, and wait an hour or two. I use a baggie or small plastic bag to catch the oil filter and drippings.

My boat is laid up over winter, so I use Rotella 40W. I tend to burn a tiny bit of the mixed weight oil (a quart) over the hot summer season, but I do not burn any of the straight weight oil.
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Old 06-04-2020, 11:00   #7
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Re: First time oil change advice

I use a drill pump on my cordless drill, works fine for me.


The gold Jabsco hand pumps work too, just a little more work but no power required (except your arm).
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Old 06-04-2020, 12:39   #8
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Re: First time oil change advice

Easy peesy, first get the West Marine vacuum pump.

Run the engine to warm the oil a little so it flows easily.

Turn off the engine (doh!) and start the vacuum pump. Take a 10-15 min nap, or read something. (I prefer the nap). Easy and darn near idiot-proof.

Every other oil change, after sucking the oil out, I put a bunch of the oil absorbing rags in the engine containment tub and open the drain plug. This get 100% of the oil out.

Much easier and cleaner than messing with drill pumps. AND you get a nap in!
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Old 06-04-2020, 12:55   #9
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Re: First time oil change advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV Aquavit View Post
Going to change my oil and filter for the first time. Westerbeake 33a. Supposed to have a drain hose with threaded fitting but need to confirm that. Without a drain hose, I'll be sucking the oil thru the dipstick tube.

Any recommendations on the various manual pumps?

Also, thoughts on which Rotella T6? 5W-40 or 15W-40?

I rarely use the boat in temps below 40.

Manual says 10w - 30.

Add the exact quantity of oil stated in your manual

Run the engine

Stop

Then mark the dipstick

Marking the dipstick to account for engine installation angle is seldom done at commissioning
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Old 06-04-2020, 13:28   #10
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Re: First time oil change advice

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Originally Posted by slug View Post
Add the exact quantity of oil stated in your manual

Run the engine

Stop

Then mark the dipstick

Marking the dipstick to account for engine installation angle is seldom done at commissioning
How sure would you be that you have taken all the oil out with whatever device you’re using? Maybe there is half a litre still in the sump and re-marking the dipstick results in the engine being half a litre overfull from now on.

Your recommended process is fine when the engine is “new” and the sump is guaranteed empty. I know that when I suck the contents of the sump out, I never get the volume out that the manual says it takes. There is always a residual amount left in the sump. How much? Not sure. I fill to the original dipstick marks.

YMMV.
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Old 06-04-2020, 14:14   #11
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Re: First time oil change advice

No, he is right, the exact angle of the engine will different from one make of boat to another, and I can assure you that no engine manufacturer supplies ten different sticks to meet different installation angles.

However any good engine manufacturer will ensure that the dip stick sticks as close as is possible to the middle of the pan, if it’s in the middle then within reason no matter how much angle is out on the engine the dip stick reading stays the same.
Plus in truth it’s not an exact science, if you have too little oil, it overheats and breaks down plus the oil cooled parts of the engine overheat, often the crankshaft bearings.
It’s usually a very low level though, my 540 cu in aircraft engine that held I think ten quarts had a min safe bearing limit of 1. 5 quarts going off of memory, which is insanely low.

Too much oil and the crankcase bests it into a foam and that can lead to high oil temps, excessive consumption, even an engine run away, but that usually at least 2 qts overfilled.
So if your between full and add, your good.

Back to the airplane thing, a turbine engines oil sump is usually at the rear of the engine in the accessory gearbox, vast majority of turbine engine aircraft have nose wheels and sit level on the ground.
But if you manufacture a tail wheel turbine aircraft, you tell the owners to keep the oil level a little low, cause the engine isn’t sitting level.
So if that was needed in a sailboat motor, I would expect at least one boat manufacturer would say in the owners manual to run oil level a little high or low, md as far as I know, none do, so I suspect the factory marks are just fine.
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Old 06-04-2020, 14:26   #12
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Re: First time oil change advice

In the specifications section in my engine owner's manual there's an asterisk where it gives the engine oil capacity.


The note that the asterisk refers to says that the specified value is only a guideline and to always add oil to achieve the proper dipstick reading because the oil level may vary due to the angle of inclination of the installation.
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Old 06-04-2020, 16:06   #13
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Re: First time oil change advice

Thanks for all the sound advice. Went with a vacuum pump off Ebay that looks like the WM one, but half the price. And going to use Rotella T 10w-30 conventional diesel oil as recommended in Westerbeake manual.

Particularly like these suggestions: remove the filter in a plastic bag and remove the drain plug and catch the last of the old oil in absorbent cloth.
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Old 07-04-2020, 04:34   #14
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Re: First time oil change advice

An aluminum pie plate bent and folded into the space under the oil drain plug can help catch the last drops, once suctioning done. Especially if you put a handful of absorbent material into it. I don't like the suction approach, crud stays in the pan, removing the plug lets the (warmed up) oil flush out loose stuff.
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Old 07-04-2020, 04:51   #15
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Re: First time oil change advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dymaxion View Post
An aluminum pie plate bent and folded into the space under the oil drain plug can help catch the last drops, once suctioning done. Especially if you put a handful of absorbent material into it. I don't like the suction approach, crud stays in the pan, removing the plug lets the (warmed up) oil flush out loose stuff.
You are lucky with a plug in your oil pan. Many marine diesels don’t.
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