MER in Seattle does classes for Yanmar engines and probably John Deere too, if you can find several others to do the class with you. These folks have the chops. They service fishing boat fleets up and down the west coast. I just did a class for 4JH series diesels and it was well worth the money and time. Kind of funny, 5 of us sailboat guys looking at the this puny little sailboat diesel while all around us were these behemoth 6 cylinder jobs. They covered cooling, battery and charging, valve adjust, injector removal and testing, impeller replacement and any questions we had. Time well spent. Their classes are not well publicized, I never would have know of them had I not stopped in to buy some Yanmar parts and chat a bit with them. Stevie is in charge of classes.
I do not wish to stick my nose where it may not be wanted but..
Be sure to take a class relative to " your engine in your boat".
The reason i say this is i work with Heavy Diesel all day but not a single engine i see has any thing " other than fuel" to do with what is in a sail boat.
Dutz, volvo,Universal etc are their own animals and do not share much with its larger brother's. A C15 Cat engine does not run, fire or even distribute fuel the same as say a small 3 cyl Volvo.
Trust me on this i have an injector that is larger than the volvo engine in my sail boat..
Care and feeding of a Diesel..
Quite simply put..
CLEAN FUEL is the biggest must of all.. The fuel MUST be clean and free of water. Water
in a Diesel engine should be considered to be stainless steel ball bearings.. Water does not compress
and will destroy a diesel engine faster than anything even lack of oil!!!
1)Have a very good water separator, a Racor or such. Never rely on the stock filters to remove water from fuel.
2) Only use a oil rated for your engine " do not use walmart gas car oil".
Diesel's need a high detergent oil in order to control soot in the oil " rotella t, or delo 15w40.
But you must check with the engine builder what oil you require.
3)Air.. You must have a good fresh supply of air. Its just like you it need air and lots or it. The same rule apply's it must be free of water! More engines die from a gulp of water than any other way!
4) Power.... any thing below 12.63 volts is a dead battery! do not try to start your engine if the power is below that. You damage the starter and can fuse the start relay/solenoid solid " the engine will continue to try to start or stay engaged even after the engine starts. " This is very destructive and may only cost you a starter but i have seen it cost MUCH more.
5) Power #2 ... Your alternator is not designed to recharge dead battery's!!!
It is designed to maintain them. Jumping off the engine and using the alt to try to recharge them is dumb. it will tax the hell out of the alt ,and all of its cables. Your normal alt can to this just a couple of times then its dead! That is if it does not fry the cables, wires and any other stuff ,like the voltage regulator, relays etc.
6) Power #3 ... Grounds, and cables... You can never have to many ground cables.. the more , the bigger the better.. Zink's going away fast?? more and better grounds!!
7) Temp... Over heating is the #2 on killing diesel engine's..
sea pump, fresh water pump etc.. Your cooling system is very neglected and i am not even looking at you boat and i know this.. an air vent on the top of the engine which allows air to escape is very important and eliminates hot spots. The cylinder head is the hottest place on a diesel engine and if there is air in there your engine will not last long.
8)Belts... Lots of engine rely on the belts for cooling, power. dont neglect them.. Would you drive your family to another state of those belts in a car? If the answer is no then...
9)Idle time.. When you start up a diesel you MUST give it time to heat up!
A Diesel engine fires on the heat of compression not a glow plug..
Let the engine warm up before you go crazy with the throttle..
10) idle time #2 Cool down.. if you have just traveled for a good distance in or out. let the engine cool down before you shut it off.. it called heat saturation and it will boil the oil! Let the little guy idle in neutral for a few min before you shut it down. An engine is at its highest temp 10 min after shut down.. You have all this heat and no cooling system any more..
Theses are the 10 basic rules of Diesel engine's.. Follow them and you and that little thumper will live a long time. Bend/break them and its your pocket book that will hurt the most.. hopefully you get that lucky that its just the pocket book.