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Old 10-30-2013, 08:31 PM   #1
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What have you done?

I changed the oil on our Lehman 120 today. This is the second time for me to change it. I bought an oil change kit from American Diesel that is basically a hose that connects to where the oil pan drain plug is. First I removed the oil through the dipstick tube with a pump and a piece of copper tubing that slid down the dipstick tube to get as much oil out as possible, then finagled a plastic container into the bilge and under the drain plug. I removed the drain plug and got at least another two quarts of oil out. I then pumped that oil out of the container so I could get the container back out from under the engine. What a pain. I then installed the oil change kit so from now on I will be pumping from the bottom of the pan.

It got me to thinking. The motor has 3400 hours on it. Assuming proper maintenance was done, that is 33 oil changes. If someone had done this a long time ago it would have been much better for the motor to have all 12 quarts of oil changed instead leaving 2 quarts of old oil in the motor. Also when I put the 12 quarts of new oil in the level on the dipstick showed 2 quarts low. So the dipstick was marked wrong all this time as well.

The point of this thread is what simple things have you done to your boat that make a big difference and you can't believe someone hadn't already done.
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Old 10-30-2013, 09:14 PM   #2
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Good points.
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Old 10-30-2013, 09:17 PM   #3
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Good idea for a thread.

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Old 10-30-2013, 09:43 PM   #4
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I just added the oil change kit as well. I did the finger in the dike routine. I only lost a small amount of oil on a bilge diaper by the time I got the hose connected. On a previous boat I used clear tubing and clipped it to a bulkhead and marked the full level with a zip tie. Then I could see the oil level without using the dip stick.
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Old 10-30-2013, 09:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captrigney View Post
I just added the oil change kit as well. I did the finger in the dike routine. I only lost a small amount of oil on a bilge diaper by the time I got the hose connected. On a previous boat I used clear tubing and clipped it to a bulkhead and marked the full level with a zip tie. Then I could see the oil level without using the dip stick.
Cool idea.
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Old 10-30-2013, 10:07 PM   #6
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I placed a gate valve on each toilet's incoming waterline right at the push button that simultaneously activates its incoming flush water and evacuation pumps. This does not alter the evacuation pump's operation. However, by careful inter actions between reducing incoming water as compared to outgoing fluids/solids the bulk water into holding tank is minimized. Caution is recommended though as the incoming and evacuation pumps should always have at least some water in them to keep impellers top condition. In other words... don't simply shut off incoming water completely. Maintain at least a trickle!

Happy Boating Daze!
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Old 10-31-2013, 01:01 AM   #7
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On our last boat we had no windlass. I often would pull the hook in the morning before everyone else was up so since I was alone I had to figure a way to raise the chain by hand and wash it down. I installed a t-fitting at the washdown. Ran a braided stainless steel supply hose (Lowes) to a brass hose spray nozzle. I carefully mounted the nozzle to spray the chain as it passed over the roller.

Installed underwater lights on this boat just between the rudders and the props so I can see what's going on down there without diving on her.

Purchased two additional GPS wire harnesses and installed one on the flybridge and one in the dingy. The GPS can now be moved to any location.

Put waterproof LED lights in the shower ceiling to brighten things up.

Digital (Auto) volt meters instead of the pathetic amp meters to see the alternator outputs.

Hand held wireless remote control for the second or anywhere on the boat, auto pilot controller.

Computer mushroom fan installed on the intake side of the battery box to keep the batteries cool.

A quick connect hose ends to all of the oil pan drain hoses and one permanently mounted transfer pump with enough hose to reach anywhere in the engine room with a quick connect fitting on it.

Oscillating wall mounted fan in the engine room to keep me cool while in there.

Fold down flat screen TV over the helm with HDMI input to feed the PC based plotter to if wanted/needed.
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Old 10-31-2013, 08:23 AM   #8
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I haven't done this yet but it's on the winter work list for changing oil in the Simms fuel injector pump (from the Grand Banks forum):

M8-1 to 1/8 pipe fitting in the bottom in place of the drain plug. Then put a 90 degree ice maker needle valve in the fitting with a 12" piece of ice maker tubing on it.

When ready to change the oil in the pump and with the engine hot, put the tubing end in a catch container, open the valve and the oil drains right into the bottle. Take the fill cap out to aid in oil flow.

Tighten the valve back closed, refill with oil, either a measured amount or to the bottom of the level hole and you're ready to go, no muss, no fuss.




You can google the fitting or probably get one at a good auto supply shop.
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Old 10-31-2013, 11:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by READY2GO View Post
The point of this thread is what simple things have you done to your boat that make a big difference and you can't believe someone hadn't already done.
I added a hatch in the salon floor to give me easy access to the oil & coolant fill. I can't believe the builder didn't do this.
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Old 10-31-2013, 11:30 AM   #10
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Double the bilge pumps with alarms as back up or just in case. Also removed/filled in all the through hulls below the water line except the engine in takes. All the discharge water is pump above the water line and converted the toilets to fresh water. Also removed 50% of the through hulls above the water line and combine the connections/use. 2 thru hulls below the water line and 9 above the water line.

Brought the AC/DC electrical and other areas up to recommend ABYC. Additional alarms, and fire extinguishers. Rewired the pilot house and organized. Added additional lights in most of the areas that did not have adequate lighting. The engine room is bright as day so all areas/access are easy to see/work on. Change fuel system to include fuel polishing/transfer. Re sheaved/modified the hydraulic pump/bow thruster to variables speed increase PSI and re sheaved the cruise gen so it does not brown out as low rpm. Installed a Webasto diesel boiler heating that also re heats the main 671, and keeps the whole boat including the engine room 65+ degrees.

Built two additional large storage box on the roof, changed mast boom to electric winches, canvas enclosed the stern and pilot house for additional useable living space, and additional refrigeration and freezer. Basically have gone though the entire boat updating.
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Old 10-31-2013, 11:39 AM   #11
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Do you mean as a DIYer or a "checkwriter?" As a DIYer, installed a 5K Westerbeke gen set in the boat, as it did not have one when we bought it.
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Old 10-31-2013, 02:49 PM   #12
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For all the shoddy work the POs had done in the past, I can forgive the one that had the foresight to install an electric pump to change the oil. Lines from the bottom of each oil pan go to a pump, then to a 3' section of capped line. Get the engines to operating temps and shut down. Hook the hose to the pump and put the discharge in a 5 gallon bucket. Turn on pump, and listen for it to finish. Almost all the old oil is gone. If you want to be anal about it, pour some fresh oil in and pump out till it looks clean. Easiest thing ever!!!!
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Old 10-31-2013, 03:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by READY2GO View Post

It got me to thinking. The motor has 3400 hours on it. Assuming proper maintenance was done, that is 33 oil changes. If someone had done this a long time ago it would have been much better for the motor to have all 12 quarts of oil changed instead leaving 2 quarts of old oil in the motor. Also when I put the 12 quarts of new oil in the level on the dipstick showed 2 quarts low. So the dipstick was marked wrong all this time as well.
Maybe the dipstick is correct for the tilt of the engine. Having oil submerge the rear seals and flood the bottom end of the piston rods is not always recommended. Many dipsticks are set up for level and not recalibrated for a 10 degree tilt. The purpose of the fill mark is to prevent too high an oil level, not to store oil.

I'd say the POs did something right, many in fact if this engine has made it 35 years. Mimic the POs succes, do your fun changes and necessary improvements and you'll be one happy camper.
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Old 10-31-2013, 03:47 PM   #14
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My nomination goes to ........ drain valves for the engine oil pans plus a small Harbor Freight impeller pump to do the heavy lifting. I was feeling rather pleased with myself when the install was done and posted a brief write-up with a couple of pics.
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Old 10-31-2013, 06:58 PM   #15
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One out of the normal change which has had a major difference for us is the addition of an amplified warning klaxon on our anchor alarm. We use a computer based chart plotter for the anchor alarm. The addition of amplified speakers raises the noise level. It does wake me even from a deep sleep. Thus I sleep more easily.

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Old 10-31-2013, 09:28 PM   #16
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What have you done?

On my 2005 Mainship trawler, I noted that the bow cleats did not have backing plates under the deck cleats. There are threaded Phillips head bolts screwed into the deck through the cleats and I assumed there's something metal imbedded in the deck to bolt to, but that seemed weak. There wasn't even a nut and washer in the bolts under the cleat. I placed a 1/4" 3" X 8" plate under the cleat and bolted through the plate and attached washers and locking nuts... this mod can't hurt - might even help secure the cleats.


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Old 10-31-2013, 11:15 PM   #17
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Simple mods we made include

-two 22" round tables in place of one 48" long rectangle table allows easier access to settee and greater flexibility with additional table mount base in cockpit.

-Led lighting throughout including the anchor light

-improved systems monitoring of battery SOC, freshwater and holding tank status

-replacing the power winch with a real windlass with helm controls and wireless remote controls.

-added Honda generator and small 1000 watt inverter with 660ah house bank

-replaced old's head with new Jabsco QuietFlush head.

-added 2nd refrigerator.

Each of these projects were DIY and have made a significant improvement in ease of operation, reliability and convenience.
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Old 11-01-2013, 01:18 AM   #18
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Raised the bottom of the anchor locker, created hatches under the forward berth, added a blow-by oil-recovery system, installed steel strips to the edges of the pilothouse roof, and added a cannon. If interested, ask why.
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Old 11-01-2013, 01:24 AM   #19
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So far at about the one year mark for ownership, absolutely nothing.

Have a few projects planned and materials purchased but without the time I'll just continue fueling, detailing and enjoying. I did not buy a "project boat" for a reason.
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Old 11-01-2013, 01:39 AM   #20
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Craig, what about your horn and radar plans? Get moving!
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