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How To Look After A Marine Diesel Engine

At Sydney Diesel Marine we want your boat to run at its best all the time. Here are some simple tips on how to keep your boat and engine running well between services:

  • If you wish to close the sea cock off for the engine every time you leave the vessel, leave the key to the engine tethered to the handle of the sea cock. As you need to retrieve the key in order to start the engine, you can't forget to turn the valve on because of the tethered key.
  • Always remember to let your engine warm up before use. You will get better a better service life out of your engine by doing so.
  • Diesel engines do not like to be idled for long periods of time. By idling for long periods of time the cylinder bores will start to ‘glaze’ up. To clear the glazing if not extreme, run the engine hard at high rpm. This will generate more heat in the combustion chamber and clear up the bores.
  • For closed bilges under the engine try to keep it clean. Having the bilge clean you can notice if any fluids are leaking, i.e. engine oil, diesel, coolant and or seawater. No fluids should leak from a well maintained engine.
  • For Yanmar Sail Drives 31, 40 and 50. The ‘Top’ mark for the lubrication oil is the bottom line on the dipstick. If you go above this line the oil in sail drive under normal running operation expands from heat. Having the oil level on the bottom mark gives the oil room to expand. If you have the level at the top mark oil expands and has nowhere to go and is forced out the input shaft lip seal. The seal then gets damaged and oil will continue to leak out until the seal is replaced.
  • For new boat owners Sydney Diesel Marine suggests having the engine tappet clearances measured upon its next service. A lot of engines over the service history fail to have the tappets measured. Keeping them adjusted properly will give your engine a better performing and cleaner running life.
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