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Diesel Course

On Saturday 13th January, 2018 Mark Trevarton, Mark Jones, Laura Fitzgerald, Gaynor Portlock and Richard Steel enjoyed a diesel maintenance course run by Steve Barrowman.

During the morning the five members of Liverpool Yacht Club found out about adiabatic compression, which is squeezing air so quickly that it combusts fuel such as diesel.

They also found out the various sections that are in a typical diesel engine on a yacht, such as the low pressure fuel system, the high pressure fuel system, the cooling system, the gear box and all the other bits that go in to making the engine.

After lunch, the course went outside where the group got hands on experience of trying to start a diesel engine. Of course the engine did not start, so they went through the diagnostic tool that they had learned in the morning session. WOBBLES, which stands for Water, Oil, Battery, Belts, Leaks, Electrics and the Sea Cocks and Sea Strainer. They also learned how to remove an impeller, bleed the engine and tighten the fan belt.

The course was very enjoyable and the attendees got a lot out of it.

  • Mark Trevarton – Sails on Aquaholic and got a better understanding of how diesel engines work and found out exactly which component you should hit with a hammer. (Its the solenoid as this can sometime stick at start up) .
  • Mark Jones – Sails on Max Too and owns Alean which is moored in Greece. He learned how to look after Alean’s  engine.
  • Laura Fitzgerald – Owns May Bee and she will be taking better care of her engine, as she has found out that blowing up parts of the engine can be very expensive.
  • Richard Steel – Owns Whispered Secret and he learnt more detail about a diesel engine
  • Gaynor Porlock – Is currently looking for a boat and feels that once she gets her engine, she will be able to look after it.

Of course going on the course is the best option, but here are a smattering of the things they learned

Two stoke - inefficient

Four stoke - This has four stokes of the engine

  • Induction - At the start of the induction cycle the pistons are level, the large piston then sucks the air into the system.
  • Compression - Squuezes the cylinder which compresses the air. When the air is squeezed the fuel is injected into the pump using the high pressre fuel sysyem/
  • Power - The fuel is ignighted and expands very rapidly
  • Exhast - The last part of the cycle is the Blow, which expells the gas after the explosion

Things to remember

When the air is cold, then heat the air with a glow, this improves the chances of getting the diesel to combust

The fuel is at a ratio of 14:1 or 800psi in the high pressure fuel systems, so if you have an issue with this part of the engine, get a professional in

Keep your diesel tanks at least 50% full - The more air that you have in your tank, the more condensation you will have. Condensation leads to a milky white fuel and the proliferation of the diesel bug which lives in the water in your tank.

Using Quick Start is a waste of time as it is Ether and will evaporate very quickly, thus lowering the temperature of the engine

If your engine is a turbo, then there will always be a delay before the turbo is applied as, the turbo user the exhaust gasses to accelerate the air going into the engine

To make a diesel engine run correctly, you want cold air, so that means a colling system

Basic diagnostics

As soon as the engine is runnig, make sure water is coming out the end

If you hear pinking, then you probably havecontaminates in your fuel which are clocking up your fuel system

Black smoke - Bad Combustion

White Smoke - Steam

Blue Smoke Oil

If you have a diesel problem use WOBBLES

  • Water
  • Oil
  • Batter
  • Belts
  • Leaks
  • Electrics and the
  • Sea Cocks / Sea Strainer.

The order is not correct, but its the best word that they could come up with

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