Friday, 12 December 2014

It's the time of boat chores. (2)

Cold days are not good for working in the the boats engine bay. Well not unless you run the engine for a while to create a nice warm engine block to sit on. I like to do this in cold weather. especially when I change the various fluids and filters. Yes, its that time of the year - its engine maintenance time. 

Wasp W-30STM/D
I always start with the diesel filters - on Rosie there are two in line filters. The first is a wasp filter type W-30STM/D. This is a water trap and 100 micron stainless steel filter unit all in one.  The first job is to turn or the inlet and return diesel taps. This stops the pipes from allowing the diesel to run back into the tank and the pipes filling with air. Slack off the top bolt and bleed screw on the filter. next place a small plastic butter tub under the filter and slacken the butterfly screw. Allow a small amount of fluid to enter the tub. Check it for dirt and or water. If its clean then nip up the top bolt butterfly wing nut and bleed screw. If there is any dirt or water, remove the butterfly and the bowl containing the stainless steel filter. Wash the filter and then replace the bowl. I fill the bowl with a bit of clean diesel prior to refitting the filter. This makes bleeding the system of air much easier.

Here is the trick - open the diesel stop taps and immediately start the engine and wait for it to begin to stutter or stall. Usually takes about a quarter of an hour on engine tick over. Now the fuel has carried the air in the pipe through to the engine filter.  Turn off the diesel stop taps again. You can now unscrew the engine diesel cartridge filter. I always do a quick visual check for any signs of dirt in the filter. Now replace the old cartridge with a new one. Now open up the stop taps again. Press the small plunger on top of the filter to pump fuel through the system. Listen for the sounds of diesel trickling back through the return pipework into the tank. keep pumping the diesel into the filter for about another twenty strokes. Start the engine, don't be surprised if it takes a few pulls to get going. You might also get a bit of black smoke generated. Run for a few moments and then stop the engine again. Go back to the manual pump and pump the diesel through the system until you hear the diesel going into the tank again. That should have bled the pipe work and filters of any air.

Start the engine and let the engine block warm through again. Now we are going to replace the engine oil and filter. On the Beta 38 engine there is an inbuilt oil drain pump. This saves draining the engine through the sump plug. I pump out the waste oil into an empty oil container for disposal. (ensure to close the valve on the pump) Next I slack off the engine filter and then place a small container with an oil absorbent pad under the filter. Quickly screw off the old filter. Get a dab of the old oil on a finger and moisten the rubber 'O' ring on the new filter. Tighten up by hand and then use a filter spanner to tighten a quarter of a turn past hand tight.

Now I use the top half of a 2 litre milk bottle as a funnel to aid filling with fresh oil. The engine holds 4 litres and a bit of oil.  I fill with the full 4 litres of oil. I replace the engine filler top. Start the engine for about 30 seconds. This circulates the new oil, filling the oil ways and filter. Wipe the dipstick and test for level. Depending upon how thorough you have been with the oil pump will depend upon having to add any additional oil. I have a 1 litre bottle which covers the final topping up for about 3 oil changes.

Last two items to be replaced, the first is the air filter. On the Beta Engine its a pull off push on unit. This is a once a year filter change. The last item are the alternator drive belts. Rosie comes with a pair of alternators.  Now, the Beta branded items can be quite expensive. The power plant is a marinised engine based on a 4 cylinder Kabota engine unit. Purchasing Kabota spares can work out considerably cheaper.

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