Best way to gain some familiarity with diesel engines - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 10-26-2008
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Best way to gain some familiarity with diesel engines

Can anyone recommend a way to become more familiar with diesel engines in general? (And then perhaps the one I own specifically Perkins Sabre 72?)

I'm looking for a way to become more familiar with the most complex thing I own. I'd be willing to invest some time, energy and money into this. I don't want to stay a novice with diesels. (I tried Google and there's just too many options and not sure which ones actually work well.)
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Old 10-26-2008
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i have heard about a diesel school in nj where you learn trouble shootiing and everything you need in a 2 day course that may be of interest
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I'd highly recommend taking a diesel maintenance course. Mack Boring holds them... as do several other companies. Some of the voc-tech type training schools might also have diesel maintenance courses, but they may not be focussed on marine diesels which have slightly different requirements than terrestrial diesels.
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A course at a local community college on the basics and a manual for your particular engine.....or lots of beer for a buddy who can work on yours with you.
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Search around for a good diesel mechanic that is tolerant of you working with him.
I was lucky to find a guy locally who has 30 years of deisel boat engine experience. He has been willing to let me work as his assistant/pupil with the full knowledge I am trying to learn to do without him.
My boat has unique setups that no other boat has, so taking a theory course doesn't help me figure out just how to drain the genset with a plug you can't reach and whether I got all the fluid out and how to get all the new fluid back in.
This isn't the only thing I'm doing. I've read Calder's books several times & surf various websites looking for more info. So I get general knowledge from books and specific practical application from my mechanic/teacher.

You also need to develop a good set of suppliers for your equipment. TAD is a good source of Perkins parts and also a good source of help. Depco pump is excellent with ALL things pumps. They are very helpfull over the phone.

Hope this helps...
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The wooden boat school in maine has a class. week long covers yanmar ford and several other diesels. I took this and learned alot. Great people

Annapolis School of Seamanship. I took both the diesel and the electrical class. weekends basic and advanced. I took both electric. Very good. Great for updating your systems.

Mack Boring. I have never taken a class with them, but have bought parts and talked to them at the boat show and sat in on a short session and found them very sharp and a good instructor. I would think they would be great also.

The thing I liked about the Wooden boat school is that it was one week with room and board and alot of great people. I have been three times and find that 90% of the people have been there many times before. I will go next summer. A great vacation, sail, quiet, great food and friends.I have no connection other that of a student.
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Welcome to J-Way Enterprises. The Diesel Engine Specialists
This is one up your way.
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Sailingdog recommended Mack Boring I've taking them many years ago I highly recommend it. There is a basic class and Hands on class. You will be working on Yanmars but in the end it will get you comfortable with any diesel regardless of the manufacture. It's in Jersey but also offered classes in Rhode Island if remember correctly. Larry Berlin was the instructor at the time he was great if he's still around. Buy a Serloc book or Peter Compton's Troubleshooting Marine Diesels and get your hands dirty. The basics are quite simple most of the time. Do your-self a favor if you don't have good access to your engine cut out access panels carefully so the work will be easier and less frustrating. You'll save time and money. Good luck PEACE
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I agree with every thing said above, however I have my own method. I unbolt every I can from the engine and put in a duffel bag. I shake said bag 3 times. I reach in with my eyes closed and find a part. Then I try to figure out where it goes back on the engine. If the engine ever runs runs again, think of what I have learned.
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That only works on land. Make sure you give it 4 shakes and do it on water at night under sail. Anybody can change a clogged filter at the slip.
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