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post #1 of 14 Old 06-23-2012 Thread Starter
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Diesel engine books?

What would be the best book to have for an understanding of how an elderly diesel marine engine works? Or doesn't work--troubleshooting, repairs, etc etc?
I have Calder's "Boatowners Mech and Elect. Manual"--a great book--but I'd like something that covers engines in a little more detail.
My boat's Westerbeke 27 is of indeterminate age and history and I need to be able to deal with problems as they come up.
Thanks for any advice.
John V.
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post #2 of 14 Old 06-23-2012
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Re: Diesel engine books?

I don't imagine diesel technology has fundamentally changed. This book has done well by us.

BARNES & NOBLE | Marine Diesel Engines by Nigel Calder, McGraw-Hill Companies, The | NOOK Book (eBook), Hardcover

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post #3 of 14 Old 06-23-2012
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Re: Diesel engine books?

In addition to Calder you may want to look at "Troubleshooting Marine Diesels" by Peter Compton International Marine, 1998. Very well illustrated and user friendly. Recommended to my by our local diesel forensic expert here in Seattle.

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post #4 of 14 Old 06-24-2012
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Re: Diesel engine books?

In addition to the owner's manual and generic diesel books, it'd be wise to ensure you've got the service and parts manuals for your own particular engine. Those are the only ones that will give you the info to determine whether or not your engine parts are still within spec tolerances. The parts manuals are often key to knowing whether or not an earlier repair was done well or simply a patch job that never got properly addressed.
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post #5 of 14 Old 06-24-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Diesel engine books?

Thank you for the replies. From looking at what's available at Amazon, Calder's and Compton's books looked like the top choices. Calder's books are great and though he goes into more detail sometimes than I need, you come away feeling like you understand the subject. Compton gets good reviews, looks a little more like a practical how-to book. I probably should get both.
I have all the relevant engine manuals.
A little wad of gunk in my fuel seperator's check valve made for 2 very stressful days motoring down the Hudson last week. I didn't know why the engine kept bogging down until I found it by accident in NYC harbor. So I want some confidence that I can diagnose problems. Fixing them is often the easy part.
John V.
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post #6 of 14 Old 06-25-2012
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Re: Diesel engine books?

You're exactly right. I have both books, they've helped me do all my maintenance.
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post #7 of 14 Old 06-25-2012
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Re: Diesel engine books?

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Originally Posted by VallelyJ View Post
... more detail sometimes than I need,
Personally, I think that when it comes to engine work, you can never have too much detail.
Ditto on all of the good advice so far- Calder, Compton and the shop manual for your engine will save you hundreds, possibly thousands of dollars, and definitely your bacon and your sanity.

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post #8 of 14 Old 06-25-2012
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Diesel engine books?

Hey, thanks for this thread! Coincidentally I woke up this morning thinking I should pick up some diesel references and, presto!, there was the info I needed.
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post #9 of 14 Old 06-30-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Diesel engine books?

Just got both Calder's and Compton's books in the mail.
They both look great.
(Though neither of them says to clear out the ball of crap that's intermittently getting sucked into the fuel seperator check valve's elbow.)
John V.
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post #10 of 14 Old 06-30-2012
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Re: Diesel engine books?

Sounds to me like it might be time for you to check out your fuel tank if it has crap in it.
Having the fuel polished might not be a bad idea, or completely draining and cleaning the tank.

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