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Diesel Inboard Engine Service

  • 23-05-2022 12:33pm
    Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 12,111 Mod ✭✭✭✭ AndyBoBandy

    Since I got the boat almost 4 years ago I have not serviced the engine yet, and though it has never missed a beat, I feel I'm somewhat tempting fate at this stage so looking to have it serviced (I've kept an eye on the oil and topped us as needed).

    I'll happily do the service myself, but was thinking I'd maybe like the security of having it done by someone experienced first and lean what to do so I can do it myself in future.

    The engine is a Volvo Penta 2002 (19hp), and luckily enough we had the same engine in a First 32s5 my dad owned about 30 years ago, and I'd consider myself to have a basic enough knowledge of that particular engine.

    What's involved in a marine diesel engine service?;

    • change engine oil
    • change oil filter
    • change fuel filter
    • change impellor
    • change engine anode
    • change gearbox oil

    Anything I'm missing?, as I'd give myself a fair crack at doing most of that myself.. The only concern I'd have would be the impeller and it's cover as 1 of the 4 screws looks to be broken, so would be weary about taking that on... and either trying to remove the broken bolt or maybe use it to swivel the plate around to allow access to the impeller!! Then the engine anode, I wouldn't be overly familiar with that.

    Secondly, anyone know any trusted mechanics/places that service marine diesels in Fingal?


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 6,150 Mod ✭✭✭✭ fergal.b

    New glow plugs also. I have heard good reports on these.

  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 12,111 Mod ✭✭✭✭ AndyBoBandy

    Yeah, the glow plugs, that’d be lost on me…..

  • Registered Users Posts: 353 ✭✭ Mick Tator

     I’d get a good pro to do this service, get him to do a full report and you will know that nothing has been omitted. Plus if there is a breakdown you won’t blame yourself. Most yachts only get runtimes of 30 minutes periodically going into/out of a marina. It is not sufficient to keep a diesel engine happy - they like to work, it keeps things moving, parts well lubricated, valves clean and joints and seals in order.

    A few more items to check (I’m an ex-raggy, moved to motor, single inboard so I’m paranoid!). I don’t know your engine model so some of this might be superfluous.

    Check the seal on the raw water seacock and also the strainer for weed / debris.

    Do you have a primary fuel filter/water separator? It usually has a glass inspection bowl at the base; look for clean diesel without dirty deposits or water at the bottom. Drain it. If you don’t have one I would recommend fitting one, they are not expensive.

    Look at the general condition of the engine & engine bed, look for any leaks or drips.

    Check all hoses and fuel lines for cracking and friction wear.

    Belts – Look at the condition of drive belt(s). Frayed? If there is a lot of black dust around it/them, time to replace.  Twist the belt through 90 degrees, if it goes any further it needs tightening.

    Engine mounts - check the condition of the mounts, look for corrosion / cracking and check the tightness of the nuts

    Gear and throttle linkages – check and grease if necessary, ensure that casings are firmly secure in their retaining clips.

    If the stern gland is not leaking the shaft seal probably is OK but add a replacement to the future ‘to do’ list.

    Any of the books by Nigel Calder are invaluable, coherent and readable. A definite ‘add’ for a present to yourself, birthday or Christmas list!

  • Registered Users Posts: 134 ✭✭ Corbally

    That broken bolt would be a concern.

    Take the pump off and bring it to a machine shop to get it drilled and tapped. If that fails replace the pump.