Maintenance Tip of the Week: Fuel Filters 11/30/2015

Maintenance Tip of the Week – Fuel Filters 11/30/2015

When changing fuel filters, it is important to always “bleed” air from the fuel lines to ensure that the function properly and that the engine is not starved for fuel.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Marinediesel wishes our US customers a Happy Thanksgiving!

Maintenance Tip of the Week: Cruising Speed 11/23/2015

Maintenance Tip of the Week – Cruising Speed 11/23/2015

Your Marinediesel engine was rated to be operated at WOT (Wide Open Throttle) a certain percentage of the time. Indeed, your warranty lists the limitations of WOT operation. Exceeding these limitations and ignoring the recommended cruising speed of your engine drastically reduces the life of the engine. If you will need higher performance than our standard warranty allows, you need to advise your local Marinediesel distributor at the time of order so that the engines may be appropriately rated.

It’s Exhausting

Marine exhaust systems are actually fairly complex systems: much more complex than a layman would think. They are simply the “tailpipe” of the boat, right?

This misconception is often a problem. One critical part of the vessel exhaust system is the exhaust risers, and these can often fail. The function of the riser is two fold:

  1. They keep water from backing up into the engine.
  2. They channel cooling water to the engine.

The design of the exhaust riser is critical, and is a situation where it often is beneficial for the engine manufacturer and the shipyard or naval architect to work closely together. If the angle of the riser is incorrect, or it is modified, water can accumulate, leading to bad corrosion issues. Poor design, especially with aftermarket additions or modifications, can also create serious back pressure problems on the engine, greatly impacting engine performance.

Water and metal do not mix well. This is why the gaskets and the risers should be frequently inspected and replaced if necessary. Even in cases with no leakage, the risers should be removed and periodically cleared of any rust or scale that may have formed.

Some engine manufacturers provide risers with the engines, and other do not (they are optional with Marinediesel). In some cases, they must be custom designed in order to fit into an engine compartment. In any event, there is a golden rule with exhaust risers: NEVER use aluminium risers. Yes, they are cheap, and risers can be one of the more expensive components to buy, but they are short on life span and can cause serious problems over the life of the engine.

FRP – Is it the right service option for my business?

Vessel downtime is a bottom line killer. The costs of a vessel being out of service can far exceed the cost of maintenance or simply replacing an engine should failure occur.

Though Marinediesel are experts in manufacturing engines for heavy use and long life cycles, our engines occasionally break down and require repair.

The best way to minimize the cost of downtime on vessels with extremely critical operating schedules is Marinediesel’s FRP – Factory Replacement Program. All Marinediesel distributors are fully trained and can offer these service agreements.

The FRP ensures that should mechanical failure occur, the quickest possible maintenance will be immediately in force.

How does the program work?

  1. The customer contracts in advance with Marinediesel to provide a spare engine on loan at the MTBO.
  2. The existing engine is removed by the local distributor and sent to the factory for overhaul.
  3. When complete, the newly overhauled engine is returned to the customer and installed by the distributor.

What are the advantages of this type of contract?

  1. As the manufacturer, Marinediesel is well-positioned and equipped to completely overhaul the engine, quickly, correctly, and to “as new” standards.
  2. Vessel downtime is minimized. A spare is kept by the distributor locally. “Pop it out and drop it in”. Quickly, and with no bottom line impact.
  3. Maintenance costs are known in advance and kept under control. No surprises for unexpected “rush” or “express” services.
  4. While the engine is being overhauled, the latest upgrades can be performed at the same time.

If you are interested in FRP on your next project, simply contact Marinediesel or your local distributor for a quote.

Power Take Off

Marinediesel offers various PTO options with all of the engines we manufacture. In fact, the list of applications would be quite large, were we to list them all. Some examples of PTO options we have provided in the past, for both marine and industrial uses include:

  • Alternators
  • Pumps
  • Hydraulic Motors
  • Fire Control Systems
  • Blower Systems
  • Lifts, Davits, and Cranes

In fact, PTO is a standardized option, and a variety of shafts and couplings can be provided, depending on the use. You need merely ask your dealer or distributor to add it to your purchase and we will do the rest!

MD VGT + Jackshaft closeup

At what point does saving money become a project?

We all want to save money. Sure, it is human nature to spend the least, but get the most. However, there is the old idiom about being “Penny wise, but Pound foolish”, often incorrectly attributed to Benjamin Franklin, that often applies when comparing options.

We once had a suspiciously large parts order from a new, unknown customer. When the parts department received the order, they were perplexed: When did we sell an engine to these guys?

They combed through our accounts history and found nothing. What was going on?

It turns out that the customer had been given a GM engine block on the aftermarket (an old GM truck engine) and was trying to marinize it himself to use it on his boat. There are a number of different reasons why this is not a good idea for the average home mechanic, no matter how experienced or no matter how good his mechanical aptitude:

  • Most workshops lack the facilities for proper marinization.
  • You generally cannot use automotive parts in a marine engine, due to corrosion issues.
  • Marinization is a highly technical process. Without experience, the process can quickly become complicated and expensive.
  • Engines perform differently on the water than on land. The power and torque curves are completely different, and on an electronic engine, significant software knowledge is required.
  • Modern emissions requirements are tricky. In some locations, operating a vessel without certified emissions is illegal. It is very difficult to meet emissions requirements without the proper testing facilities.


Most of all….

Marinediesel, as a manufacturer, has certain economies of scale when purchasing components. Quite simply, when you buy thousands of injectors, you pay much less than when you are buying two. Additionally, though it really isn’t a secret, most manufacturers make most of their profit from spare parts and service, rather than from the sale of the engine. That is why there is usually a big difference in markup on spares, but very little difference in price between similar engines (ie. Volvo Penta D6 vs Marinediesel VGT 400).

In the end, he was a little shocked that refurbishing his old engine would end up costing almost as much as a new engine. We finally convinced him that he would spend so much time and money that he really would save very little in the end, and most likely end up spending more. A project, indeed…

Maintenance Tip of the Week: Vibration 11/16/2015

Maintenance Tip of the Week – Vibration 11/16/2015

Vibration is a leading indicator of engine, gearbox, shaft, and propeller problems. If, while underway, you feel an increase in vibration, or unusual vibration, the propulsion system must be inspected immediately as soon as it is safe to do so. Continued operation with damaged propellers or shafts will quickly ruin your gearbox and damage your engine (This type of repair is also usually very expensive).

Wiring Color Coding

When you take a look at an engine, it can easily resemble a mass of wires and cables. However, one of the tools provided to assist in maintenance is the color coding of wiring. Wiring is standardized according to SAE regulations, of which Marinediesel is compliant. However, color codes between manufacturers may vary slightly from make to make.

Marine wiring is twisted pair, shielded, to minimize interference (EMF). It is required to be both oil resistant and able to withstand heat of at least 75° C.

There are a few minor differences between marine wiring and wiring intended for land vehicles, normally the fact that vessels require a higher gauge and extra moisture resistance due to their environment.

So, what are the color codes?

Marinediesel has numerous charts listing the color codes to specific engine components in our electrical manual, available for download.

Though there is some variation, as mentioned, between manufacturers, there are some general consistencies:

marine wire


Fitting the square peg into the round hole

Marinediesel engines are compact. How compact?

Well, our VGT Series of engines are take up a mere 0.625 cubic meters of space.

Compare this to our competition (taken from the product data sheets produced by the manufacturers):

Yanmar 6LY3 – 0.926 cubic meters

Cummins QSB 5.9 – 0.762 cubic meters

Cummins QSB 6.7 – 0.856 cubic meters

Volvo D6 – 0.699 cubic meters

FPT N60 – 0.896 cubic meters

With an engine as compact as the VGT Series, and as flexible with remote component location (like the intercooler or starter), the VGT Series will fit into cramped engine compartments, such as those found on RHIBs or small patrol boats.

Additionally, smaller size translates into a much lighter engine, a critical feature when discussing vessels that will exceed 40, 50, 60, or even 70 knots in speed.

With this size and space differential, using one of our competitors’ larger engines truly is a case of trying to fit the square peg into the round hole.