How many drive train spares? - SailNet Community
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 11-01-2008 Thread Starter
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How many drive train spares?

It was a good day-- raining like a fire hose at the boat, but I managed to change the oil and filter of my Volvo 2030 for the first time. I also replaced the transmission dipstick that snapped off in the hole last weekend-- a Dremel is required gear for me...

My next target is the fuel system-- two new fuel filters, and a change of oil in the transmission.

As I buy filters, I'm picking up two of each, to keep a spare on the boat. I already have a Volvo 2030 spares pack aboard (belt, fuel filter, impeller, electrical parts, etc.), but now I will have spares of all main filters to add to the extra fuel, oil, coolant.

If we were to go long range (across the Atlantic to the Caribbean), what's the Sailnet wisdom surrounding drive train spares? Two each of main filters? An extra starter or alternator? Two extra belts?

Space is limited, so there isn't room for extra kitchen sinks...

Jim H
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post #2 of 9 Old 11-01-2008
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A lot of fuel filters! never know when you get a dirty batch of fuel.
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I'd second Xort.. fuel filters can be tough to find in foreign ports, and if you get a bad batch of fuel, you'll got through a lot of them in a very short time.




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My diesel guys carry two different engine kits...one for coastal and one for cruising. Here is what they include:
MAJOR KIT
Injector
Fuel Washer Kit
Salt Water Pump
Salt Water Pump Kit
Fuel Lift Pump
Oil Filter
Fuel Filter
Thermostat
Thermostat Gasket
Fresh Water Pump
Top Gasket Set
Bottom Gasket Set
Alternator Belt
Fuel Washer Kit
Salt Water Pump Kit
Oil Filter
Fuel Filter
Thermostat
Thermostat Gasket
Fuel Lift Pump
Alternator Belt


MINOR KIT
Fuel Washer Kit
Salt Water Pump Kit
Oil Filter
Fuel Filter
Thermostat
Thermostat Gasket
Fuel Lift Pump
Alternator Belt








Of course this is engine spares only. I agree on a spare alternator (upgrade to a high output and save the old one.)...disagree on a spare starter and think a half dozen racor filters and 2 complete oil changes should be carried for a long voyage.







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post #5 of 9 Old 11-02-2008 Thread Starter
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Thanks to everyone for the detailed replies.

Lying in my engine space yesterday, I found the fuel line cut-off and a secondary drain line, which I assume is is for draining off water and debris directly from the bottom of the tank. I may try this when doing the fuel system.

Fuel filters-- I believe that I've read stories of the tank getting so screwed that it took 2-3 new filters until the junk stopped flowing. Thus, I see the need for many duplicate filters.

Alternators-- many stories of them failing, and then people waiting in foreign ports for parts. I've heard the same about starters, but it sounds like the ones most at risk are those in bilge-mounted engines. In fact, I need to see if I can even access mine with the engine in the boat-- it's in a tight spot.

As I was using my dremel to remove the snapped-off transmission dipstick (cut a notch for a screwdriver to remove it), I touched the tip against the main fuel line. The dremel was off, and the rubber line was unscratched, but it also made me aware of needing to carry some spare hose for the engine of the appropriate type and diameter. I would carry some for fuel and water lines.

I may send some pictures at some point-- I like our boat but the tankage and storage space is small. I was reading about katydyn water makers last night, and I might be able to install one of the Powersurvivor 40 units, but I'm not sure yet if it is worth the investment.

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post #6 of 9 Old 11-02-2008
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Cam :

Check out the costs of those kits. You could take another used engine with you instead.

2 Fuel filters, 2 oil filters, 2 oil changes plus reserve, alternator and starter motor (if you can afford a Volvo starter motor???), some hoses, maybe a spare engine mount, and a spare final drive coupling and 2 final drive oil seals would just about do it for me.

Don't under-estimate the amount of oil your motor will burn on a long haul, particularly if its an older motor. Compare hours with oil consumption before you go.

I can recommend the Ample Power alternator.... mine is the small frame 100A model. That is one damn good alternator. Beware "uprated" alternators. I bought one, and it lasted minutes at 50 A It was "uprated" to 100A. I mean it.... minutes.

I would fit a decent wind generator in case the motor fails completely. I have had that happen. With fridge off, the wind generator will meet all your electrical loads easily.

Last edited by Rockter; 11-02-2008 at 07:38 AM.
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Rock...I know the cost...I have one of the majors and it certainly did come in handy. When you are in non-first world countries, you can often find someone capable of any work you can't do yourself...but the right parts can be a problem and getting them shipped in and through customs and FOUND sometimes can cost you days of weeks of waiting. To me...it was worth the cost and I know I saved in marina fees alone what it saved me in time. So...guess it depends WHERE you are gonna cruise to.
No arguments with your other thoughts!
By the way...if anyone has a Perkins 4236 and wants such a kit...I no longer need mine so give me a PM to save a bunch over a new one.

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Fuel polishing system is a nice to have...
Small, fuel rated, pump plumbed to the very bottom of your fuel tank. Feeds a Racor 500 filter system and then clean fuel returns to the top of the tank. Keeps fuel nice and clean
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim H View Post
I may send some pictures at some point-- I like our boat but the tankage and storage space is small. I was reading about katydyn water makers last night, and I might be able to install one of the Powersurvivor 40 units, but I'm not sure yet if it is worth the investment.
The watermaker question is one with which I am struggling also. I carry large tanks, but part of that is ultimately ballast. A watermaker is a very good idea on a small-tanked boat, but it is a maintenance and consumables commitment and they eat a lot of amps, meaning a rethink of alternators and/or battery banks, and, once installed, must be either used or "pickled": they can't just be used on occasion and then left for three months.

I like Cam's list, and your thinking, but would encourage the following ideas: Six months before you go, install a new starter and a new alternator. Seal the old, working ones in bags with dessicant and store in a dry place. Six months with a new alt and starter should reveal any issues, like whether you need to upgrade your belt.

If your diesel is old and has been run seldom, consider a "prophylactic overhaul" whereby the cranks, rods and journals are inspected, the bores observed for scoring, and so on. Boat diesels can die from underuse, not overuse, usually. Replace anything that looks off-spec, and sail away secure knowing that the odds of throwing a rod, etc. are very much lessened. This is also an opportunity to service engine mounts, paint the bilges and to derust and paint the engine a light colour that will show oil leaks.

Impellers can and do fail. Bring several. Consider switching your raw water pump cover to "Speed seal" or whatever that thumbscrew cover is. Consider a high-temperature alarm and a low-oil pressure alarm.

Bring engine zincs, another "consumable" that can be hard to source.

Bring at least enough hose for a complete replacement, and bring enough hose clamps (aka "jubilee clips") for two complete replacements.

Consider a beefed up fuel filtering system, as in one with its own pump to pressurize the fuel side without the engine running or one which can polish fuel BEFORE it goes to the daytank. Invest in a Baja-type filter for your deck fill to get dodgy particulates out before your tanks.

Consider a daytank, perhaps gravity fed. Rig your fuel and return lines so that the daytank contains x litres of "certified clean" fuel, even if your main tanks are filled with dirty goo.

Consider rerouting the fuel and water vent lines away from the topsides/under the gunnels to higher and drier in the boat. The first three causes of diesel death are water in the fuel, from what I've gleamed.

Consider getting rid of the spring-thing in the exhaust loop and simply run an open hose high into the cockpit or someplace where the occasional spurt of water will PROVE the pump is working and which cannot fail, sucking water back into the manifold.

Bring spare gaskets, gasket goo and gasket paper of different thicknesses. Frequently, a gasket will fail slowly, leading to a weeping pump and partial loss of pressure. To you, it looks like your diesel's running 10 degrees hotter. Look in your bilge and/or keep oil pads beneath your sump. The location of water or oil will tell you where to look for problems.

Figure if there is any method that will start your diesel with zero battery volts. Practise this method, if any, a few times.

Go over the entire engine in situ and figure out how you would remove parts for a regasketing, say, when the engine was cold, hot or when you were in heavy weather. Picture the tools you would need and the steps it would take to do these things. Type up the procedure and put them in laminated pages in your maintenance log. You will find a reason to buy fairly esoteric tools, like right-angle screwdrivers, crow's foot wrenches or socket ends and other single-use, frustration relieving devices.

Start a maintenance log!

Get a single-volume book, like Calder's Mechanical and Electrical, that covers basic to intermediate maintenance of diesels and electrical topics. Take a basic diesel course.

Do all these things, particularly the bits about keeping your fuel free from dirt and water, and you will avoid 90% of the common dead diesel issues.


Hope this helps, Jim.
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