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Old 02-03-2016, 10:13 PM   #1
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Can somebody recommend a good entry level Engine book please?

Background: I am a computer guy throughout my life, knows very little about engines, been research on youtube, internet, but couldn't get a full picture. e.g. I don't know what's the difference between engine sleeve and liner? Are they the same thing?

Objective: Hope someday to own and live on a boat, would like to start learning about engines.

Question: Should I start with a gas engines? Or go straight to diesel engines? Could someone please recommend a basic, entry level book please? Better yet, is there a series of books from basic to advance?
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Old 02-03-2016, 10:25 PM   #2
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Greetings,
Mr. c. I can't recommend any particular literature but there is a plethora of information available on line. Your local library should have an automotive section as well. That being said, one can only read so much and at some point you have to get your hands dirty. Check with your local high school. They may offer night courses in small engine repair. A course or two should give you a bit of appreciation for how things feel (torque for instance), how things come apart and more importantly how they go back together.

If you're starting from square one, diesel or gas shouldn't make much difference. Baby steps...
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Old 02-03-2016, 10:29 PM   #3
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Why not sign up at the local college for a vo tec engine course? Hands on stuff and in this day and age where some can't find their hood latch, these courses are a godsend for many.

While you're at it, buy a 17' bow rider that needs some tlc. Plan on doing your maintenance and clean up. Make friends with a boat mechanic too. There is all sorts of fun stuff out there that won't require a smart phone or IPad.

Welcome to the glorious party called DIY.
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Old 02-03-2016, 10:33 PM   #4
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"Marine Diesel Engines" by Nigel Calder is a great book that starts you from scratch. It includes the theory of operation as well as troubleshooting aimed at the boat-owner who wants to maintain and fix their own diesel engine.

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Old 02-03-2016, 10:35 PM   #5
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Marine Diesel Engines by Nigel Calder
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Old 02-03-2016, 10:35 PM   #6
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Consider "Marine Diesel Engines" by Nigel Calder. He mentions gas engines.
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Old 02-03-2016, 10:36 PM   #7
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Richard, you beat me to it. Great minds think alike.
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Old 02-03-2016, 10:36 PM   #8
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Damn, now Bruce in in the game!
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Old 02-03-2016, 10:38 PM   #9
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Richard, you beat me to it. Great minds think alike.
I've also heard that "fools never differ." However, I prefer your conclusion!
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Old 02-03-2016, 10:40 PM   #10
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Nigel Bruce...no. Wait...what was the question again?



Start off with something elementary...
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Old 02-03-2016, 10:49 PM   #11
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3 contemporaneous independent recommendations for Mr. Calder, he`s doing well! Starts with a simple intro, how and why they work, lots of diagrams.
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Old 02-03-2016, 11:41 PM   #12
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Marine Diesel Engines by Nigel Calder
X2. Great book.
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Old 02-04-2016, 01:41 AM   #13
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Old 02-04-2016, 02:49 AM   #14
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If you've never had any hands on mechanical experience, I'd suggest buying a cheap, old small outboard engine. Strip it down, and rebuild it. You'll gain many skills which will be very useful, and you'll have a outboard for your future tender that you will know inside out.
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Old 02-04-2016, 07:02 AM   #15
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For most folks that are not mechanics , all you might be doing is a lube oil and filter change.

Flushing and replacing antifreez , and replacing fuel filters.

And replacing sea water pump impellers .

Da Book you will need is the big service manual for your specific engine. $75 to $100 or so.

This will usually have photos .

Trouble shooting and repair or rebuilding is not usually what most owners will do, gas or diesel.

A good book may help you decide which style engine your future cruising would be best served with.
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Old 02-04-2016, 07:59 AM   #16
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I'll add my endorsement of Calder, and also of taking a class or two on engines at your local CC, so you understand gas engines as well as diesel. Barring that, check out your local library, most will have a variety of choices and the price is right! You will end up with a gas engine of some kind, an outboard on a dinghy and/or in one of your first boats as main propulsion.
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Old 02-04-2016, 08:10 AM   #17
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Operating and maintaining an engine underway is a completely different animal than in a shop or a manual.


FF is correct in preventative maintenance is pretty textbook stuff. Based on a calendar or engine hour component and what many boat owners tackle...but when something stops working, or there is an alarm or sounds funny...they have to have someone else in the equation.


Repairing and tinkering with engines usually comes from over a lifetime of doing it, even in the PM only type stuff and picking up a little here and there along the way. It is as much about knowing what kind and how big of an oil leak is OK till you get around to it, or where that sound is really coming from and what takes to fix it, and even what tools and how to use them correctly to get the job done.


Please don't get me wrong....but the books are really best for their trouble shooting or explaining why a problem has occurred or is reoccurring. Without sitting the book down next to an engine (or you having the engine or component clearly in your minds eye), reading about it I am not sure has enough of a transfer till you roll up your sleeves.


Bottom line is as has been suggested, start working on stuff and following a manual, or take a hands on class, or hand around a friend who does it all the time.


My son was a tinkerer from the toddler stage...grew up building and rebuilding computers in his room, got a job out of high school as a mechanics helper and within a couple years went from computers to rebuilding heavy equipment and the entire asphalt plant with just minor guidance...picking up required skills such as welding along the way. In just a few years he skyrocketed past me and most in knowledge of all sorts of complex mechanical designs. He wound up becoming the IT guy for a very large construction outfit because of position and pay, but management still sends him out on mechanical repairs because of his troubleshooting and wrench turning skills. So it doesn't take forever to learn...but you do have to immerse yourself at some point to pick it up quickly.


Those books are good...but I suggest you beg, borrow or steal some trouble shooting tools unless you have them and start fiddling with everything from alternators to pumps to complete small engines along with those books as soon as possible. If you cant do all that, use a mechanical friend or befriend someone you can be a gopher for to gain experience
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Old 02-04-2016, 08:22 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chicagoq View Post
... e.g. I don't know what's the difference between engine sleeve and liner? Are they the same thing?
Give yourself a little credit. This kind of detail means nothing to the user. It's important to someone who rebuilds the engines.

Nigel Calder books
Chapmans Piloting, Seamanship & Small Boat Handling
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Old 02-04-2016, 08:47 AM   #19
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Book

My Bible #2 aboard

An old book still current today as ever what carries everything.

Motor cruising
By Miller, K M & Irving, John

Motor Cruising by Miller, K M & Irving, John: Seeley Service & Co Hardcover - Hunt For Books
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Old 02-04-2016, 09:58 AM   #20
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The us power squadron has an introductory engine course. USPS.org


Search for "how engines work" will bring up some videos that may get you started.
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