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L124C 03-13-2009 08:17 PM

Oil level in Yanmar 2GM
I have a Yanmar 2GM. The manual calls for a little over 2 quarts of oil. The full mark on the dip stick is Probably a quart higher than two quarts would register. The PO's ran it at the two quart level. I called the Yanmar dealer hip and they wouldn't say anything without looking at the motor (of course). I've been running it at the higher level without a problem thinking that more oil (within limits) is better. Another guy with the same motor told me he does the same. I assume the mechanic who did the installation (replaced an A 4)probably determined the high mark and should have the last word. Thoughts?

Gary M 03-13-2009 08:34 PM

I have a 2GM and my manual calls for 1.9 litres which is about 1.8 us quarts. Of course the correct amount could vary depending on when built and any factory changes to the pan etc.

It is definately not OK to run an engine with too much oil. I would confirm that you have the correct manual and then trust it. Your dip stick may not be the original one and therefore wrong.


Sanduskysailor 03-13-2009 08:37 PM

At a diesel seminar last week the mechanic said that he would rather see the oil level near the bottom mark than the top. He noted that people with Yanmars tend to overfill them which causes problems.

JohnRPollard 03-13-2009 10:06 PM

Go with the manual recommendation for oil quantity.

It sounds like you may have the wrong dipstick, or your engine is installed with some inclination, or your boat trim is off (are you on the hard?).

My conversion formulas put 1.9 liters at slightly more than 2 U.S. quarts.

P.S. We had a 2GM20F in our previous boat, and at 2 qts it showed full on the dipstick.

Omatako 03-13-2009 11:05 PM

I agree with Gary that it's not good to run with excess oil. Truth is, if you don't keep topping the oil up, it will burn down to the correct level quite quickly (and probably smoke more than you would like in the process).

I agree with John P that 1.9 litres is 2 US quarts and also second (or is that third) that the dipstick is probably not original or the tube cap has moved down the stick. When next you do an oil drain, put in the recommended 2 quarts and remark your dipstick at the known value.

Sandy, the guy who said that the oil is better too low than too high is not making allowances for motoring in heavy seas when the motor oscillates through a big enough angle to cause it to cavitate. Best keep the level where it belongs, it's not hard and it'll save some heartache.

denby 03-13-2009 11:13 PM

I have a 2GM20F and it takes two quarts.

jason3317 03-14-2009 10:16 AM

It's a 2 qt crankcase fill. No more, no less.

The reason your dipstick misreads is due to installation angle....the oil pools higher towards the lower section of the pan. Or, as someone else suggested, you have the wrong dipstick....which is very, very, doubtful.

Too little oil is bad. Too much oil is much worse. The increased pressures can damage seals, rings and other very sensitive expensive parts.

Selkirk 03-14-2009 10:39 AM


The problem is that when you have too much oil in a diesel the blowby, cause by the piston on the downward stroke, causes oil to enter the combustion chamber and is ignited during the compression stroke.
The result is an uncontrollable source of fuel and the diesel will run away. You will not be able to shut it off and the engine usually destroys itself as RPMs get way off scale - up to 5000, by the way!
The only way to shut it off it to place a hard object (not your hand) over the air intake and deprive the howling monster of air. But when you hear one run away you'll probably be cowering in the cockpit in full fetal position.:laugher

Read more Diesel engine runaway - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

arf145 03-14-2009 11:10 AM

Just to reinforce what others have said, our 2GM20F shows the oil at the full mark with around 2 quarts.

Omatako 03-14-2009 02:13 PM


Originally Posted by Selkirk (Post 462015)
The only way to shut it off it to place a hard object (not your hand) over the air intake and deprive the howling monster of air. But when you hear one run away you'll probably be cowering in the cockpit in full fetal position.:laugher

Yes it's a relatively stressful minute that it takes to get the tools from the locker and take the air cleaner off so that you can do block the intake :D

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