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Old 03-07-2017, 09:53 PM   #1
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Help a trawler newb with maintenance schedule

Coming from sailboats with small diesel engines with not many hours on them to a trawler with a Cummins QSB 5.9L 380hp engine, I am not used to the maintenance. I also am not used to the more extensive systems compared to the relatively simply ones I had on the sailboats.

I can figure out how often to do routine maintenance, as long as I know to do it and then remember to do it. Case in point. I just now changed out the engine zincs. I read something here on TF and thought "Damn! I haven't checked those zincs." They were last replaced in May by a mechanic who serviced the aftercooler. 9 months was too long and one of the three was almost gone. Ted mentioned O rings in another thread.

So what type of systems do you use to remind yourself to do the normal maintenance? How do you implement it?
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Old 03-08-2017, 12:43 AM   #2
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Dave, you can find dedicated software to purchase that can document maintenance.

For me, setting up a Word file, then cut and pasting tasks that are engine hour and date specific fills the bill. The first thing to get your head around are all of the recommended maintenance tasks for every system and appliance on the boat.

After reading each manual and populating a "maintenance log", you can then schedule tasks as appropriate. You will find that there are tasks based on engine hours and calendar time. By putting your own "maintenance log" together, you truly start to become familiar with your boat.
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Old 03-08-2017, 12:47 AM   #3
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That looks good Jay. Good ideas.
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Old 03-08-2017, 01:21 AM   #4
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I adapted a file from someone else for my needs. Feel free to do the same. i couldn't upload the excel spreadsheet so converted to PDF. Turns yellow when coming due and red when past due. If you want the excel, send me your email.
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Old 03-08-2017, 06:33 AM   #5
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If you are going to do your own maintenance your first order of business should be to get a factory service manual. That will give you the CORRECT items to be maintained and the required intervals. It will also be a great way to get to know your engine. Not sure what is available from Cummins but a parts manual is also very handy to have. When you take something apart and you have a pile of bits and pieces, factory parts diagrams become very handy. Or when your parts guy hands you a bunch of stuff......being able to compare the numbers on the packaging with the diagrams in the manual is very reassuring and lets you know what might be missing or even not necessary. If the numbers don't match you can find out why. Maybe a supersession ......... or the wrong part. Nice to know before you pull things apart.

These manuals cost me $100 each from Yanmar years ago but are worth their weight in gold before, during, and after the project.
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Old 03-08-2017, 06:53 AM   #6
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If you are going to do your own maintenance your first order of business should be to get a factory service manual. That will give you the CORRECT items to be maintained and the required intervals. It will also be a great way to get to know your engine. Not sure what is available from Cummins but a parts manual is also very handy to have.

Agree. Had to have our local Cummins-certified tech order a service manual for us, using our engine serial numbers. That seemed a bit over the top, but anyway, we got it and it's VERY useful... with both specified intervals and "how to" steps for much of the work.

Ours came with an included DVD version, too, so I can make notes in the hard copy but also refer to the softcopy (with keyword searches) on the laptop...

As to keeping track... I set up an Excel spreadsheet. Separate worksheets (pages) for each major area (hull, mains, genset, plumbing, dinghy, etc.). Just now I'm adding to a new page, all about our various ports of call with this boat over the years. A bit off-topic from my original "maintenance log" idea, but I think it'll be useful; much easier to consult than the 5 paper log books that we've created so far...

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Old 03-08-2017, 10:48 AM   #7
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Help a trawler newb with maintenance schedule

Great information. I do like the idea of an Excel spreadsheet since it can easily be used on my Android phone and PC at home. It can also be viewed at least on my iPad. Drb, I will send you a PM.
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Old 03-08-2017, 12:28 PM   #8
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Dhays was speaking of many things that are not in a factory service manual. I think a list like 1025 has can be an excellent tool. We have software but still found ourselves adding things over time that we'd overlooked. The O-Rings example pointed out here is an excellent example of something often not thought of. I'd say build a list like 1025 has but look around, think, observe, and add to it.

The other thing we have and I don't know how many others do is a pretrip checklist tailored after pilots' pre-flight checklists. Far better than leaving things to memory or just general ER check. Even on the way if you check the ER say every two hours, having a standard list of things you want to check is a great tool. I noticed changing hoses on 1025's list, but where a lot of problems come from is not checking hoses and connections frequently enough. Bilge pumps need to be checked. One thing I see overlooked too is changing of impellers. Then one more thing and that is checking spares. If the impeller in your spares was purchased at the same time as the one being used, you may have a big problem when you need it.

I think you start with lists but you constantly add to them.

The best thing too I find about lists is they enable you to do things when convenient. Let's say it's an oil change due at 200 hours and I currently have 150 hours, but I'm leaving on Monday on a six week cruise. I'm going to change the oil now so I don't have to do so at Podunk Marina in Outer Tippaconoe in awful weather two weeks from now.
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Old 03-08-2017, 01:38 PM   #9
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Great information. I do like the idea of an Excel spreadsheet since it can easily be used on my Android phone and PC at home. It can also be viewed at least on my iPad. Drb, I will send you a PM.
I also like and use Excell spreadsheet - I've added worksheets for additional helpful info e.g. replacement part #'s, sources & recent pricing, "How To" weblnks for service, tech service rep name / phone# / websites, etc, etc
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