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2002 Catalina 270
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1,583 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was a little intimidated by the engine (Universal M12 Diesel) when we first got our boat a couple years ago... never had an inboard before. Finally, after two years of learning what i could from my neighbor, you guys and my mechanic, i decided to take on a few engine projects by myself. I have to say that it's really easy and i encourage you new inboard owners out there to give it a try. It will save you money in the long run and better than that, you will become much more comfortable with the in and outs of your own engine... always a good thing. I finally got around to changing the oil, the oil filter and the impeller... also adjusted the stuffing box. Next trip i'll be changing the fuel filters and bleeding the system if needed. :)
 

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Owner, Green Bay Packers
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1,000 Posts
WHAT!

You got married last year! What's your wife doing? How's it feel to be the only guy on sailnet whose wife doesn't change the oil in his engine?:D :D :D

btw,
You can buy absorbent pads that will soak up oil, but not water, that may make things easier. Or, us Dutch types, scrounge up some old cloth diapers that are worn out and use them. They'll soak up a bunch of oil.
 

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Owner, Green Bay Packers
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1,000 Posts
You can also take a spike and punch a hole in the filter and let it drain in a more controlled manner into a container, before you remove it, depending on your set up.
 

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Owner, Green Bay Packers
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1,000 Posts
This may sound funny, but I keep disposable diapers on board just to use when I changing oil. I break the filter lose with the filter wrench and then with one hand turn it lose and with the other hand I have a diaper up under the filter to catch oil.
It only sounds funny to those who don't know why you never seem to run out of diapers. :D :D :D When's your next kid due?:p
 

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I was a little intimidated by the engine (Universal M12 Diesel) when we first got our boat a couple years ago... never had an inboard before. Finally, after two years of learning what i could from my neighbor, you guys and my mechanic, i decided to take on a few engine projects by myself. I have to say that it's really easy and i encourage you new inboard owners out there to give it a try. It will save you money in the long run and better than that, you will become much more comfortable with the in and outs of your own engine... always a good thing. I finally got around to changing the oil, the oil filter and the impeller... also adjusted the stuffing box. Next trip i'll be changing the fuel filters and bleeding the system if needed. :)
Joel,

I think we were all intimidated by the engine when we started. All the stuff you've done is good to know. None if it is rocket science. Diesel engines are very robust and it's hard to hurt them. They need three things: clean fuel, clean air and raw water to cool the engine. If those three things are working 99% of the time you're in business.

I'm no mechanic, but I can now do most of the routine maintenance that's required. Here's how I learned: 1. read a lot;, 2 hired a mechanic to do the work and then sat there and watched, asking questions about everything he's was doing. I've found most tradesmen are happy to share their knowledge. Hiring a mechanic to basically teach you how to do it yourself will slow the mechanic down somewhat (you'll pay for an extra hour or so), but consider what you'll save next time when you do it without him (ops, or maybe her).

The first time you do something "major", like setting valve clearances or pulling apart the cooling jacket to clean the tube stack, do it at a time when you won't need the engine immediately. Then, if you mess up, you call the mechanic back for another lesson.

I've found one of the best parts of boating is learning all the new technologies. Keep at it and some day you will be able to DIY the entire engine.
 

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ancient mariner
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439 Posts
the most important engine book to have on board is the service manual for the engine you have. if i am going to work on an engine it is a lot easier if the shop service manual is aboard.
 

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2002 Catalina 270
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1,583 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Cam... i probably have room for a container under the filter i just didn't realize the amount of oil in that thing! I'm pretty sure my neighbor that was helping me was letting me make mistakes just to help me learn. :laugher I did use a strap wrench... worked like a charm.

Rockter, Thanks... got it.... after the seal came in contact i turned it another 3/4 by hand.

Sway... haha... She's gonna learn this too! Great idea on the spike to drain before taking it off... that would certainly make a difference.

Bubb... I did get an oil pad to clean up with... also got one to keep under the engine to help catch any drips while underway.

Billy... Thanks, all great advice. This has been my approach so far and i've had a lot of fun along the way. My neighbor works as a certified diesel mechanic in town so i have hired him a couple times and he has been very helpful with questions. I expect over the next year or so that i will get the basics down and if anything major happens then i'll hire him to take care of it.

CaptBill... I have the service manual on board with me... it has answered a lot of questions. I keep the hard copy on the boat and reference a pdf version here at the house.
 

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Joel :

If you just change the oil regularly, in the sump and the gearbox, very little is likely to go wrong. Valve clearances, once set, tend to bed down and don't go out of adjustment much.

Learn how to bleed the fuel system. Fitting an electrical fuel pump is an idea too. Stewart Warner make a good one, the 235A-D, and it's not too expensive, at about $80. It really eliminates air ingress and makes bleeding easy and rapid.
 
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