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Old 09-24-2016, 07:33 PM   #1
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Engine Analysers?

All,

Is there a value in having an engine analyzer or are they even available for marine engines.

Engine analyzers are used for getting information like cylinder head temperature, exhaust gas temp, fuel flow and perhaps other parameters. Very common in aircraft which you aviation buffs know.

I know there's a lot of fuel flow options, but are other parameters valuable to have? Would tell you instantly if a plug wasn't firing, or if you're overheating, or there's an issue with one cylinder and which one it is.

There's also a number of other warning information devices out there, like cooling water flow, digital battery voltage, amps, etc.

What info do you feel is really needed?

Comments? (mention if you have diesel or gas)
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Old 09-24-2016, 07:53 PM   #2
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How much do you want to complicate life ?
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Old 09-24-2016, 08:00 PM   #3
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I used VMSpc on motorhomes with Detroit engines that had DDEC electronic computers. Really nice to see what I wanted. Also it kept a log of engine codes. So the real question would be what engines have computers that provide that info?
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Old 09-24-2016, 08:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by folivier View Post
I used VMSpc on motorhomes with Detroit engines that had DDEC electronic computers. Really nice to see what I wanted. Also it kept a log of engine codes. So the real question would be what engines have computers that provide that info?
Foliver,

Good points but in a lot of cases you can add the sensors without computers and have a display on the helm. Just not sure what's available for this.

Gaston,

It's simplifying, not complicating. Once installed, it makes maintenance diagnosis pretty simple. Plug fails, and you know exactly which one, no guessing. etc.....
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Old 09-24-2016, 11:13 PM   #5
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Good bless my 40 something year old Perkins 6 one oil change a year check the oil and water/filters every 4 months weather it needs checking or not no fancy electronic and no worries. There is a possibility the tachometer is 500 rpm out but I drive it by ear. We just start her up at the marina and go. Any thing else to me is complicating
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Old 09-25-2016, 07:41 AM   #6
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When you start to hear knocking from the engine the human ear next to a long screwdriver is a great analyzing tool.

Enjoy ,
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Old 09-25-2016, 08:33 AM   #7
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New common rail engines with electronic controls have built in engine monitoring systems. The much maligned Cummins Smart Craft system did this.


But I much prefer the 100% mechanical engines like my Yanmar 6LY-STP. The engine has alarms for oil pressure and coolant temps and I have added an exhaust temperature alarm. I don't need or want anything else.


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Old 09-25-2016, 10:48 AM   #8
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If you already have a computer engine, EFI gas or common rail diesel, or electronic unit injector.. There is loads of data available in the computer that is handy to view. The stupid displays they use tend to have cutsey graphics but make it an utter PITA to toggle through menus and screens to see what you want. If you can find that datum at all. But the data are there. I think there are some aftermarket displays that are better and are plug and play.

The displays should have an "engineer's page". Hit that button and all the cute graphics disappear and you just get DATA. One can dream, right??

If you are blessed with an older mechanical engine, there is little data available unless you add lots of sensors, some are very expensive like flowmeters, and others are at least a bit intrusive into your sacred engine envelope. As others have posted above, with these engines you do not need all that monitoring.

If you have a mechanical engine, one bit of monitoring is absolutely necessary and often overlooked: A functional audible high temp alarm. It is not as easy to test as the low oil pressure alarm as that should beep on startup. But probably ten times as many marine diesels are killed from running hot than by running out of oil.

Figure out a way to test your alarm, even if it means pulling the sensor and boiling it. And consider adding snap disc sensors in a couple other areas like exh manifold on Cummins and exhaust mixers.
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Old 09-25-2016, 01:51 PM   #9
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VMSpc | SilverLeaf Electronics, Inc.

You can use a laptop, etc. to customize a screen with whatever info is available and how you want to see it. Really a neat system. Most users are RVers but if you have an electronic engine no reason it shouldn't work in a boat.
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Old 09-25-2016, 02:01 PM   #10
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Qoute : Foliver,

Good points but in a lot of cases you can add the sensors without computers and have a display on the helm. Just not sure what's available for this.


Maretron makes a whole bevy of sensors ,including connections to monitor certain engine types , which tie into their Nema 2000 backbone. Expensive, but are supposed to be very accurate, and reliable. Just another option.
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Old 09-25-2016, 02:06 PM   #11
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Such as this :


J2K100 J1939 to NMEA 2000® gateway

MSRP $395

* J2K100 may require configuration depending on application, see User Manual (Maretron DSM150, DSM250, USB100, or IPG100 needed to configure)
Link to knowledge base and frequently asked questions


  • Overview
  • Features
  • Applications
  • Documentation
  • Accessories
  • Example Systems
Maretron's J2K100 attaches directly into J1939 networks of compatible engines, transmissions, and gensets and converts the J1939 engine data to the NMEA 2000®marine digital interface. Critical engine, transmission, and genset data is then distributed throughout the vessel over a single cable where it can be monitored by any NMEA 2000® compatible display. All the information you need is available anywhere and everywhere you need it.
The J2K100 only listens to the J1939 network and draws no power from it (power is derived from the NMEA 2000® interface). The J2K100 does not transmit any information over the J1939 network so it will not interfere with existing engine control or status data in any way.
The J2K100 can also be used as part of a complete fuel computer. Simply connect the J2K100 together with the Maretron universal display (DSM150 or DSM250) and GPS antenna/receiver (GPS200) and you have a system capable of displaying gallons per hour and/or miles per gallon.


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Old 09-30-2016, 04:35 PM   #12
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I use these folks and I can highly recommend them. They send you free kits for the oil analysis and get the results back to you quickly. I would also recommend sending your samples all together in a box rather than as individual mailing. I would also sent it priority USPS.


Blackstone Labs
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Old 10-01-2016, 04:49 AM   #13
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I use these folks and I can highly recommend them. They send you free kits for the oil analysis and get the results back to you quickly. I would also recommend sending your samples all together in a box rather than as individual mailing. I would also sent it priority USPS.


Blackstone Labs
Alaskan,

Good idea. However, a word of caution. Oil analysis can give some questionable readings and one needs other info to verify. A trend over time (several samples) works best, but can still give some questionable readings. We changed some cylinders on a plane some years ago based on oil analysis and it was incorrect.

I also use Blackstone for aircraft engine analysis, but with caution. They are a small, but fine company, and produce results that seem as good or better than the competition.

I've found, over the years, the best health for engines is changing oil and filters on time and operating often and not exceeding any limits. And engine analysis, compressions checks and other routine inspections. I've been doing this in aviation for many year, but learning the marine stuff.... thus my question about an engine analyzer for marine use.
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Old 10-02-2016, 11:48 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Alaskan,

Good idea. However, a word of caution. Oil analysis can give some questionable readings and one needs other info to verify. A trend over time (several samples) works best, but can still give some questionable readings. We changed some cylinders on a plane some years ago based on oil analysis and it was incorrect.

I also use Blackstone for aircraft engine analysis, but with caution. They are a small, but fine company, and produce results that seem as good or better than the competition.

I've found, over the years, the best health for engines is changing oil and filters on time and operating often and not exceeding any limits. And engine analysis, compressions checks and other routine inspections. I've been doing this in aviation for many year, but learning the marine stuff.... thus my question about an engine analyzer for marine use.
Thanks. I am building a record, so I hope it is accurate. The folks at Blackstone are friendly and professional willing to answer any questions I have had.
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