Troubleshooting Marine Diesels

Troubleshooting Marine Diesels

by Peter Compton


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780070123540
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing
Publication date: 09/01/1997
Series: IM Sailboat Library Series
Edition description: Net
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 793,597
Product dimensions: 7.40(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Peter Compton's dream of bluewater cruising finally became reality when, after 20 years in the Aerospace industry, he quit his job in 1986 to build a small catamaran and sail south with his family in search of sun and sand. Some 11 years and 20,000 miles later, the Comptons have settled in the British Virgin Islands. With a background in troubleshooting that includes several years as Engineering Department Head analyzing complex system designs, Peter now applies these skills to the marine diesels he deals with every day. Peter's current project is an independent and informative website that covers every aspect of marine diesels. Visit it at

Table of Contents

Maintaining Your Diesel
Good Operating Procedures
Routine Maintenance
Surveying the Engine
The Initial Inspection
The Startup
The Sea Trial
Preventing Corrosion
Laying Up or "Winterizing" a Diesel
Troubleshooting Marine Diesels
Main Menu
Check Crankshaft Turns Freely
Performance Problems
Oil Problems
Excessive Exhaust Smoke
Temperature Problems
Noise and Vibration Problems
Starting System Problems
Charging System Problems
Turbocharger Problems
Fuel System Functional Check
Engine Fails to Stop
The Mechanical System
Engine Block
Cylinder Head
Timing Gears
Pistons and Cylinders
Engine Mounts
Engine Alignment
Table of Mechanical System Faults
The Lubrication System
Oil Pump
Oil Pressure - Regulating Valve
Oil Filter
Priming the Oil System
Oil Contamination
Table of Lubrication System Faults
The Raw-Water Circuit
Raw-Water Strainer
Raw-Water Pump
Reconditioning a Raw-Water Pump
Heat Exchangers and Oil Coolers
Sacrificial Anodes, or "Zincs"
Antisiphon Valves
Raw-Water Hoses
Hose Clamps
Raw-Water Thermostats
Table of Raw-Water Circuit Faults
The Coolant Circuit
Header Tank
Circulating Pump
Coolant-Circuit Hoses
Table of Coolant Circuit Faults
The Fuel System
Fuel Tanks
Primary Filter
Fuel Lift Pump
Secondary Fuel Filter
Injector Pump
Cold-Starting Aids
Fuel Injectors
Air in the Fuel System
Table of Fuel System Faults
The Intake and Exhaust System
Air-Intake Filter
Exhaust Manifold
Exhaust Injection Elbow
Exhaust Hose
Mufflers and Lift Boxes
Exhaust Backpressure
Table of Intake and Exhaust System Faults
The Electrical System
Battery Switches
Starter Motor
Typical Engine-Installation Circuit Diagram
Table of Electrical System Faults
Controls and Instruments
Throttle Controls
Gear-Selector Controls
Engine-Stop Controls
Control Cables
Engine-Panel Gauges
Warning Circuits
Table of Control and Instrument Faults
Appendix: Diesel Engine Toolkit
Copyright Information
About the Author


From the Author

A Must for the Boat Owner's Toolkit!
Troubleshooting Marine Diesels was written with the average boat owner in mind. It doesn't assume any previous experience with diesel engines, nor does it delve into theory or major overhauls that need a workshop and special tools. Instead this book takes a fresh approach to the topic, using great illustrations from Jim Sollers and Rob Groves to guide you through very detailed troubleshooting and maintenance that corrects faults before they become serious and expensive problems. The troubleshooting chapter uses flow charts to point you towards the most likely cause of any problem. More detail can be found in the system chapters on the function of each component, what maintenance is required to keep it reliable, what you can do yourself or when you need to call in the professional. You'll find lots of advice and neat tricks that the pro uses every time he's called out to a sick engine. The secret to a reliable diesel is not how to repair your engine but knowing how to maintain it so you don't have to repair it!

If you're looking for a book to help you overhaul a diesel, then you need the manufacturer's workshop manual. However, if you looking for a first-aid-manual to carry aboard, that will help you diagnose and correct the vast majority of faults that can occur with any marine diesel, then join the many thousands who've already bought this volume. I don't think you'll be disappointed and if I've done my part right you'll enjoy your boating that much more.
— Peter Compton (, the Author

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