Why have diesel oil tested? - SailNet Community
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 9 Old 12-12-2010 Thread Starter
with Robin Lee dreams
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 42
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Why have diesel oil tested?

I've asked for much guidance on Sailnet. You've all been very helpful.

One fellow asked me how many hours were on the engine. It's a 1985 Yanmar RWC 2GM and the tach shows only 80, which I find dubious. He also suggested I get the oil tested.

Seems, from what I've learned here, that salt water in the cooling passages will kill the engine before anything else. But, that said, do you know a place I can have the oil tested? Have an idea what I should pay for that service? What will test results tell me?

Finally, right now there is only an engine overheat light (Yanmar Panel type B (for Basic!). Could I fit a sensor to the 2GM (max water temp 100 F) to power a water temperature gauge? Or if you had one gauge to tell you if the engine was running happily, what gauge would you want?

Thanks for any guidance you can offer...

One other little question. I posted a boat pic, and my User CP page shows that pic, but it doesn't show up when I ask or answer a question. It's 61 KB, maybe too close to the 64 KB maximum?
coreywoodworking is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 9 Old 12-12-2010
Dirt Free
boatpoker's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Toronto
Posts: 1,553
Thanks: 19
Thanked 58 Times in 55 Posts
Rep Power: 9
Check out my article on oil analysis ...

Be the man Sharon thinks I am - wg
I can do that
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
- wg
Be the master of your own disaster - wg
If you're not laughing, you're not doing it right. - wg
if you can live with the consequences, go for it. - wg
I yam what I yam an' thats all that I yam. - Popeye
boatpoker is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #3 of 9 Old 12-12-2010
Senior Member
mitiempo's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Victoria B.C. Canada
Posts: 7,799
Thanks: 0
Thanked 111 Times in 102 Posts
Rep Power: 10
You test the lube oil, not the diesel oil the engine burns. It shows metal content resulting from wear. Lube Oil Analysis
I think it would be more useful when buying to help determine engine condition than after the purchase.

Yes you can fit a temp sensor and water temp gauge. Any good auto parts store should be able to help.

The picture is way too big for an avatar. An avatar is limited to 150 x 100 pixels or 19.5 kb, whichever is smaller. Click on user CP then click on EDIT AVATAR on the left side.

If it is a current pic of your boat a water temp gauge is probably the least of your problems.

Living aboard in Victoria Harbour
mitiempo is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #4 of 9 Old 12-12-2010
Needing Apehanger Helm
HDChopper's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: AZ
Posts: 495
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 7
Lube oil for diesel engs should be checked from time to time simply for washdown ,that is the diesel going by the rings and diluting yor lube oil , let alone for really bad stuff like metal shaveings ( failure of bearings like timkens & balls uasually) ,bronze powder giveing the oil a bronze color ( uasually from bushing cam & crank berings wear) ect.. all of which accelerates with washdown condition.

Yes the eng hours are low but piston rings loose thier springeness over time & if one doesn't turn the eng over for years then the rings can leave a bad corroded ring around the clynder wall ( like sitting on the hard for years)

Just some things to look for hope this helps...

There is no right way to do the wrong thing
HDChopper is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #5 of 9 Old 12-12-2010
islander bahama 24
newhaul's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: bremerton wa
Posts: 1,837
Thanks: 7
Thanked 61 Times in 61 Posts
Rep Power: 8
you can have the lube oil tested by any reputable diesel semi truck repair facility check with local international or kenworth dealer.

Illegitimus Non Tatum Carborundum.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
newhaul is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #6 of 9 Old 12-12-2010
Senior Member
LakeSuperiorGeezer's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 551
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 7
I would put audible alarms on the oil and temperature gauges. If you loose oil pressure on a diesel the bearings go out very quickly because of the high compression so get an oil pressure switch that triggers a horn or loud buzzer at a rather high pressure but below normal operating pressure. It will give an alarm when trying to start the engine, but shut up a few seconds after startup. Also get a voltmeter that reads about 8 to 16 volts, I am not exactly sure of the range as it depends on the manufacturer. The voltmeter should also be fitted because a dead battery means no engine and you would have to dock using sails only. It would be a good idea to practice engine out procedures anyway as several other problems could also leave a dead engine. Get an accurate voltmeter with marks for each volt. A digital voltmeter is best as they can be very accurate. Wire it into the on/off key for the engine, but also have a momentary button that will read voltage with everything off. If a battery sits for about six hours or longer with no charge or discharge, this is the resting voltage and it tells how much the battery is charged. At 11.9 volts it is dead, at 12.06 it is 25% capacity, at 12.25 volts it is 50%, at 12.45 volts it is 75% and at 12.65 volts, it is fully charged. These voltages will be higher when the temperature is really cold and of course lower when temperatures are high. The voltages above are at 68 degrees Fahrenheit. With the engine running for 15 minutes or so after startup the charging voltage should have reached the stable voltage necessary to charge the battery to capacity, which is 13.8 to 14.7 volts with 14.4 volts a good compromise. The lower voltage results in less erosion of the battery plates, but takes longer to charge. A voltmeter is also a good idea if you have solar panels.
LakeSuperiorGeezer is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #7 of 9 Old 12-13-2010
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: milwaukee
Posts: 10
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
these people will test your oil to the extent you ask(pay) for: look up "blackstone labs" my post count is too low for me to post a direct link. i'm a stupid newbie i guess....
ingasguns is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #8 of 9 Old 12-13-2010
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 706
Thanks: 11
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Rep Power: 8
Blackstone Labs

Blackstone Labs

I use them for my boat and cars.
LinekinBayCD is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #9 of 9 Old 12-13-2010
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 12,346
Thanks: 6
Thanked 181 Times in 178 Posts
Rep Power: 13
Blackstone is probably the big name in mail-order test labs. Some of the auto chains sell the test kit mailers for $25 or so, but some diesel shops or dealers may test for well less than that.

Blackstone and others explain what the test results mean. Basically, the metal content will tell you if there is bearing metal (bearing wear) indicating a failure to come. Fuel or condensate or antifreeze contamination. Silicon indicating the engine was easting a lot of dust (no air filter). There's a lot you can tell by the percents of "that's not oil" that are in your oil. And, they'll tell you the actual viscosity of the oil, which does break down over time. Or if they show your engine is full of 50-weight when it is supposed to run on 30...you can figure someone has been trying to hide oil leaks or consumption.

Well worth the $25 to get a baseline of what's really going on in your engine. On bigger engines that use (literally) barrels of lube oil, it also tells you whether you can still run your oil, or need to change it. Big cost saving.
hellosailor is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook

Quick Reply

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Universal diesel Kobuta oil filter is a Fram PH3593A looking for diesel fuel filter dave hirsh Diesel 4 06-07-2010 09:01 AM
BBQ implements - or - How I tested stainless steel at the hardware store Bene505 Cruising & Liveaboard Forum 5 03-01-2010 02:22 PM
Auto Diesel vs Marine Diesel / Addatives NewsReader Mass Bay Sailors 0 07-11-2007 06:15 PM
Ultra low sulphur diesel and the older marine diesel Valiente Gear & Maintenance 2 10-20-2006 12:10 PM
marine diesel/diesel carisea General Discussion (sailing related) 6 04-04-2002 01:56 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome