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post #1 of 8 Old 04-05-2011 Thread Starter
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Diesel engine course in SF bay

Can anyone recommend a course in the SF bay area? I have a Universal 5424 and would like to learn how to maintain it.
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post #2 of 8 Old 04-05-2011
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KKMI has free seminars now and then. Check their website.

General maintenance is regular oil (and filter) changes (every 100 hours or so); or at least annually. Replace the heat exchanger zinc regularly. Depending on the size of the zinc and the amount of eletrical activity in your marina you will need to change it more or less often. Check it after 3 months and if it looks good then put it back in and re-check it at 6. When you see that it needs changing you can then set a schedule. Change your fuel filter(s) annually. Check your raw water impeller annually, change it if any of the blades begin to look cracked or worn.
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post #3 of 8 Old 04-06-2011
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Check with List Marine in Sausalito. They are great mechanics. They have a Diesel 101 course now and then. They charge, but it's about a 5 hour class and is very complete. Tom List has one of the best reputations on the west coast and his son, Hans, is continuing with it.
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post #4 of 8 Old 04-17-2011
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don't waste your time with classes.

Find a local diesel tech on craigslist that likes to sail, fish or even just drink beer out on the water.

In exchange for your beer/food/fuel/boat get him to show you the ropes of servicing your diesel.

I'm a small engine tech. I've worked with many many many guys that took classes at both private vocational schools and technical colleges and all of them had one thing in common...they knew enough to be dangerous.

It's nice to have a buddy you can call and ask "my engine is doing this, what can i do".

luckily diesels are pretty simple creatures.
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post #5 of 8 Old 04-17-2011
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Well the List Marine in Sausalito sound good. About vocational school mechanics, my brother has a transmission shop and refuses to hire any of them. He is not against learning as he and the guys that work for him take in three transmission repair seminars a year.

The tech and vocational schools do not really teach a person how to do transmission repair, and the graduates think they know it all and many times will not listen and learn. He would rather start someone out pushing a broom and see how it goes from there.
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post #6 of 8 Old 04-17-2011
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teaching someone how to be a technician is like teaching someone to be an artist.

you can be taught to draw a circle or a line but we would never want to see your stuff on display at an art show.

They can teach you the basics of an engine but not give you the mechanical aptitude to diagnose issues real time. Many good techs can diagnose an engine before even before starting it and hearing it run.

I've got certifications from many of the larger small engine manufacturing companies (briggs MST, kohler, Stihl, etc) and they are pretty much about as handy as damp toilet paper.

I learned the ropes as lakesuperior said, i started by pushing a broom and cleaning air filters.
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post #7 of 8 Old 05-02-2011 Thread Starter
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Well I recently did a minor overhaul on a Jaguar V12- new fan clutch, 12 injectors, a lot of fuel lines, 14 ignition leads, 2 thermostats, about 100 hoses, 1 injector wiring loom, all the millions of vacuum hoses, etc. So I can maintain a gasoline car engine. Just need to know the pitfalls of a marine diesel.
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post #8 of 8 Old 05-02-2011
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Well, if you can do all that, you won't have a problem with a marine diesel. Hans List of List Marine said that 95% of all marine diesel problems are in the fuel system—usually crud, water, or air in the line. These can be fixed by bleeding the primary and secondary fuel filters and the injection pump.

Again, I highly recommend going to the Diesel 101 class at List Marine in Sausalito. That way you're getting info from the best mechanics. If you listen to the guys on the dock, you'll get a different way/solution from each of them.
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