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  #1  
Old 02-08-2009
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Finally changed my own oil & filter (Universal M12)

I was a little intimidated by the engine (Universal M12 Diesel) when we first got our boat a couple years ago... never had an inboard before. Finally, after two years of learning what i could from my neighbor, you guys and my mechanic, i decided to take on a few engine projects by myself. I have to say that it's really easy and i encourage you new inboard owners out there to give it a try. It will save you money in the long run and better than that, you will become much more comfortable with the in and outs of your own engine... always a good thing. I finally got around to changing the oil, the oil filter and the impeller... also adjusted the stuffing box. Next trip i'll be changing the fuel filters and bleeding the system if needed.
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Good for you Joel, welcome to the dirty finger nail club!!
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Old 02-08-2009
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Good for you Joel, welcome to the dirty finger nail club!!
good god what a mess!!! i'll be better prepared next time. the filter holds A LOT of oil!!
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Good for you Joel! We used to cut down 1 gallon milk containers to catch the filte and all the crud. Also found strap wrenchs were ideal for getting the filters off as they are so easy to work in tight spaces.
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Remember, hand-tight on that filter!
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WHAT!

You got married last year! What's your wife doing? How's it feel to be the only guy on sailnet whose wife doesn't change the oil in his engine?

btw,
You can buy absorbent pads that will soak up oil, but not water, that may make things easier. Or, us Dutch types, scrounge up some old cloth diapers that are worn out and use them. They'll soak up a bunch of oil.
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You can also take a spike and punch a hole in the filter and let it drain in a more controlled manner into a container, before you remove it, depending on your set up.
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This may sound funny, but I keep disposable diapers on board just to use when I changing oil. I break the filter lose with the filter wrench and then with one hand turn it lose and with the other hand I have a diaper up under the filter to catch oil.
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This may sound funny, but I keep disposable diapers on board just to use when I changing oil. I break the filter lose with the filter wrench and then with one hand turn it lose and with the other hand I have a diaper up under the filter to catch oil.
It only sounds funny to those who don't know why you never seem to run out of diapers. When's your next kid due?
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Originally Posted by Joel73 View Post
I was a little intimidated by the engine (Universal M12 Diesel) when we first got our boat a couple years ago... never had an inboard before. Finally, after two years of learning what i could from my neighbor, you guys and my mechanic, i decided to take on a few engine projects by myself. I have to say that it's really easy and i encourage you new inboard owners out there to give it a try. It will save you money in the long run and better than that, you will become much more comfortable with the in and outs of your own engine... always a good thing. I finally got around to changing the oil, the oil filter and the impeller... also adjusted the stuffing box. Next trip i'll be changing the fuel filters and bleeding the system if needed.
Joel,

I think we were all intimidated by the engine when we started. All the stuff you've done is good to know. None if it is rocket science. Diesel engines are very robust and it's hard to hurt them. They need three things: clean fuel, clean air and raw water to cool the engine. If those three things are working 99% of the time you're in business.

I'm no mechanic, but I can now do most of the routine maintenance that's required. Here's how I learned: 1. read a lot;, 2 hired a mechanic to do the work and then sat there and watched, asking questions about everything he's was doing. I've found most tradesmen are happy to share their knowledge. Hiring a mechanic to basically teach you how to do it yourself will slow the mechanic down somewhat (you'll pay for an extra hour or so), but consider what you'll save next time when you do it without him (ops, or maybe her).

The first time you do something "major", like setting valve clearances or pulling apart the cooling jacket to clean the tube stack, do it at a time when you won't need the engine immediately. Then, if you mess up, you call the mechanic back for another lesson.

I've found one of the best parts of boating is learning all the new technologies. Keep at it and some day you will be able to DIY the entire engine.
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