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Diesel Mechanic Class - How I spent my winter vacation-gctid345929

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    Diesel Mechanic Class - How I spent my winter vacation-gctid345929

    I attended the Annapolis School of Seamanship (Annapolis MD) for their Basic Diesel and Diesel II classes in January 2012. Each class is 2 days, and I was able to get into the back to back classes (Saturday-Tuesday).

    The basics class covers the theory of Diesel engines, engine part identification (so is that an oil filter or a secondary fuel filter?), basic maintenance (oil change, fuel filter change including how to purge the high pressure side, coolant change) and some basic diagnostics on what things can happen. For example what does brown milky oil mean, what are the causes of the oil level rising in the engine. We took apart a 4 cylinder engine to see the inner workings of the pistons and valves.

    My Basics class had 4 powerboat owners and 12 sailboat owners. The demo engines were 3 and 4 cylinder Yanmar and Generals. (Theory is the same, just easier to reach around the engine).

    The Diesel II classes was focused more on trouble diagnosis and repair. The 4 people in the class were the power boaters. We were given engines that had broken down and had to get them running again.

    We dealt with electrical problems like slightly bad battery sets, dead starter, blown fuses in the starter circuit, bad glow plug circuits, and a corroded ground on the electrical fuel pump.

    Fuel problems were: clogged fuel lines, broken mechanical low pressure fuel pump, crimped high pressure line, clogged fuel tank vent (engine runs for 3 mins and dies, after 10 minutes starts and runs for 3 until the vacuum becomes too high).

    Cooling: Blocked inlet, spun raw water pump, carbon buildup in exhaust riser

    We replaced starters, fuel pumps, impellers. We also did valve adjustments. We looked at injectors that were good, had bad spray patterns, had pressure issues and what they did to engine performance. Lots of bleeding of high pressure lines.

    All in all I learned four key things:
    • If you look at each subsystem (Fuel, Air/Heat, Electrical, Cooling) as a standalone component you can figure things out.
    • If you know how they interrelate and symptoms they cause (white smoke, black smoke, blue smoke, steam) you can figure things out.
    • Begin at the source and trace the entire way through the system, don't jump around. There may be more than one problem, take the extra 10 minutes to look at everything.
    • Most problems are simple ones. The complex and expensive problems have been warning you for awhile, you just were not paying attention.




    I thought it was worthwhile. While it didn't make me into an "Earl level mechanic", but when he comes and talks to me about "low injector pop pressures" I'm not going to have a blank stare on my face.

    I will admit that I went through many cycles of "I can do that" to "OMG, sell the boat now while that's still working". I have a much higher comfort level of what is going on below my feet.

    http://www.annapolisschoolofseamanship.com/

    There were people from Alaska, Florida and Maine in the class. They said there was not similar classes in their area, which prompted me to write this article. If you've been looking for some hands on training on your diesel this may work out for you.
    Yep, my 4588 Bayliner IS my happy place :whistle:

    #2
    Foster wrote:
    All in all I learned four key things:
    • If you look at each subsystem (Fuel, Air/Heat, Electrical, Cooling) as a standalone component you can figure things out.
    • If you know how they interrelate and symptoms they cause (white smoke, black smoke, blue smoke, steam) you can figure things out.
    • Begin at the source and trace the entire way through the system, don't jump around. There may be more than one problem, take the extra 10 minutes to look at everything.
    • Most problems are simple ones. The complex and expensive problems have been warning you for awhile, you just were not paying attention.



    Amen, and in particular #3 ..... or what some of us refer to as the P of E (Process of Elimination!) One item, and one item ONLY at a time.

    Pete K and I have both touched on this over the years..... Pete much more eloquently than I.

    This link appears to be broken, but there were a few excellent comments by Pete. I wish that it was still active.

    http://www.baylinerownersclub.org/fo...t=13569&page=3

    How about injector timing in relationship to crank angle?

    I recall learning a small amount about this years ago......, and I found it interesting having had mainly gas engine experience.

    Good for you on taking the class..... you'll be much better equipped to solve problems in the future. :coo-

    .
    Rick E. Gresham, Oregon
    2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
    Twin 280 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
    Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
    Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set

    Comment


      #3
      that's cool. I didn't know such a thing existed.

      I agree with the engine size used for training. We use a mix of Cat 15L engines and 3 and 4 cylinder Kubotas for basic disassembly/assembly training. As unbalanced as the class looks, by the end of the semester, the students appreciate that it requires all the same knowledge to work on the smaller units.

      Comment


        #4
        Good for you. This will make you a much safer boater. I took a similar class when I bought our boat. I knew a lot about gas engines but could not even spell diesel

        Comment


          #5
          Foster wrote:
          Fuel problems were: clogged fuel lines, broken mechanical low pressure fuel pump, crimped high pressure line, clogged fuel tank vent (engine runs for 3 mins and dies, after 10 minutes starts and runs for 3 until the vacuum becomes too high).
          I might have chance in some of the areas you mentioned, but would be lost here. Looks like a great class, wish we had something like that locally. Price was reasonable as well. Thanks for posting on the experience, Dean

          Comment


            #6
            Good job!nthego:

            Comment

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