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Old 05-23-2015, 10:25 AM   #1
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MrJim's Avatar
City: Panama City
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Irish Miss
Vessel Model: Mainship 30 Pilot Rum Runner Classic
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 170
Got a mechanic I can borrow?

I launched my new-to-me boat on March 27. Same day, I called the local Yanmar certified shop to arrange for some much-needed preventive maintenance. I've called him several times over the weeks and he kept re-assuring him that they'll get to me, "probably next week." After a month of this, I got a referral to another guy from the marina office. I called him 2 weeks ago and left a message. No response.

As far as I can tell from looking at the service records, this boat hasn't been serviced (or used much) in over two years. I want to get the fluids and filters changed, the engine zincs checked/replaced, etc. I also want to have the aftercooler pulled and inspected/cleaned. I really don't want to use the boat until I get this stuff done, though I've made 2 short trips in it: From the launch site across the bay to the marina, and one 5 mile round trip to the beach when we had out-of-town guests.

So, I'm thinking about doing the PM stuff myself, and worry about the aftercooler later. Reasonable? I have average mechanical skills and have done most of the PM on prior boats I've owned. But this boat is entirely new to me and I've never owned or even touched a diesel in my life. Would I be biting off more than I can chew?
What could go wrong, right???

Better yet, anybody know a good, reliable, and AVAILABLE marine diesel mechanic in the Panama City area?

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Old 05-23-2015, 11:04 AM   #2
RT Firefly's Avatar
City: Slicker?
Country: Bumpkin?
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 7,859
Mr. Jim. HAH! That's the story of my life in S. Florida. Either "We'll get right on that" or "Open up your veins, we need blood and your firstborn male child". If you have the Yanmar service manual and the proper tools (no vice grips or crescent wrenches please) I see no reason not to roll up the old sleeves, put on the safety glasses and have band-aids standing by. If you don't have a service manual, get one first then a box full of oil diapers.
Most, if not all,l service procedures will be similar to a gasser (fluids, belts, filters) but I can't advise on the aftercooler. Wouldn't recognize one if it fell on my foot. If you're REALLY worried, put the local hospital on speed dial....

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Old 05-23-2015, 11:41 AM   #3
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City: Savannah, GA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: In Sanity
Vessel Model: 1981 Mainship 40'
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 141
Hey Mr Jim,
we did BOTH of the dreaded perkins heat exchangers on our new to us twin diesel mainship. The mechanic kept jerking us around so we told him to bugger off and we did it for less than half of what he wanted, and faster! ! Like the city slicker says, lots of diapers, the manual, and a basic set of the right tools are the necessities.

One job at a time with a labeled photo of what you're looking at. The mechanic can always come clean the mess up later, haha
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Old 05-23-2015, 01:11 PM   #4
djmarchand's Avatar
City: Essex, Ct
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Bella
Vessel Model: Mainship Pilot 34
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 2,003
DIY Maintenance

Oil and filter changes, fuel filter changes and zinc replacements can all be done by a competent DIY. All it takes is a filter strap wrench (or for the more adventuresome, a screw driver poked through the filter housing) and a crescent wrench.

Doing the aftercooler takes more tools, time and smarts. Refer to this photo essay by Tony Athens of Seaboard Marine about doing the Yanmar 6LY aftercooler: Yanmar Aftercooler Maintenance

A couple of tips:

The core or tube bundle may be difficult to push out particularly if it has been a number of years since serviced. Use a block of wood and gentle hammer blows. If it won't come out squirt lots of WD40 around the o-ring joint and inside the air side so it drips down to the inside of that joint. Then if still a no go then heat, then ....replace the whole thing or send to Seaboard and let them have a go at it. Or just send it to Seaboard from the get go. The will return it pristinely cleaned, greased and tested.

Clean the sealing joints meticulously to leave smooth sealing surfaces. Use new O-rings. Liberally grease the o-ring joint with waterproof grease and reassemble. Then pressure test with a radiator test kit that you can rent from your auto parts store. Pressure up the water side and let it sit for ten minutes and listen for leaks and watch the pressure gauge.

I did mine in about 6 hours of work.

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