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Old 02-21-2016, 01:17 PM   #21
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Ski,
A lot of chemestry goes on in the crankcase that is imposible in the bottle.
Condensed moisture, fuel oil and other contaminants pollute the oil.
Biggest thing is moisture. If that is not there, chemistry should stay pretty stable over time. That's what samples are for.
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Old 02-21-2016, 02:07 PM   #22
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The engine manufacturers do the research, recommend the oil and the change interval. Make up your own schedule and use whatever oil makes you feel all warm and toasty - why not?

I'm with Tony Athens on this one.

Can anyone cite a boat diesel failure caused by oil? I don't mean a cooler failure or having it all run out?

Turbos fail but that's usually from running the bag off the engine then shutting down without a cool down. Like the water taxis that arrive at the dock on the plane then immediately tie and shut down.
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Old 02-21-2016, 02:32 PM   #23
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All great feedback. We're in the "school" of every 200 hours which is about a 6 month interval. We also generally replace the engine zincs at that interval as well. As others have said if we are at less than that but leaving on a trip we do it anyway. We use a local Volvo mechanic rather than doing it ourselves as it also provides us with a through engine "check up" and check the Volvo EVC system. Case in point on the service a couple of weeks ago the mechanic found leaks from both engines heat exchangers. They were starting to leak sea water externally as shown by the salt deposits growing between the end cap and the housing.
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Old 02-21-2016, 03:25 PM   #24
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Cancer doesn't kill anyone, it's the failure of the vital organs that does. If you believe that "no need to change" malarkey (which I tend to doubt is an accurate quote of Mr. Athens, and if it is he must of have been drinking that day or looking for new business), then go ahead, never change your oil, why be a sucker? Ya feelin' lucky?

Here, by the way, is Detroit Diesel's justification:

"During use, engine lubricating oil undergoes deterioration from combustion by-products and contamination by the engine. In addition, certain components in a lubricant additive package are designed to deplete with use. For these reasons, regardless of the oil formulation, regular oil drain intervals are required."
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Old 02-21-2016, 03:40 PM   #25
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If you believe that "no need to change" malarkey (which I tend to doubt is an accurate quote of Mr. Athens, and if it is he must of have been drinking that day or looking for new business), then go ahead, never change your oil, why be a sucker?
George

I re read the posts and see nobody nor Mr Athens quoted as saying never change your oil. I whole heartedly agree going by the book and have so stated. DD 2 strokes need an additional caveat regarding importance of using correct oil. That fact appears well understood by dedicated DD users.
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Old 02-21-2016, 04:58 PM   #26
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The manufacturer will surely not skimp on oil change or other maintemance recommendations so go with what they say.
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Old 02-21-2016, 06:30 PM   #27
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The manufacturer will surely not skimp on oil change or other maintemance recommendations so go with what they say.
exactly...most pros/boaters do it on interval so those that do it at half or 1/3 interval should ask themselves... "Do I really have a reason other than oil changes are cheap so just do one?"
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Old 02-21-2016, 06:37 PM   #28
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Let me ask a simple question. How long is an engine supposed to last, how about the turbo? My point is that engine manufacturers have an expectation of engine and component life. In many cases the life is based on wear which likely increases as the lublicity of the oil decreases. Frankly, I would like to significantly exceed the manufacturer's life expectation for my engines. Is there anyone here who believes the oil they're taking out of the engine after 200 hours is as good as the new oil they're putting in? To my way of thinking, by changing the oil more frequently, I'm raising the average quality level of the oil in my engine. For the C series Cummins engine in my charter boat, it's about $100 for an oil change. That's a rounding error in the annual operating cost of that boat.

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Old 02-21-2016, 06:46 PM   #29
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Ted...man..... I respect your philosophy...so I can see your point...


But yes...my engine oil analysis says my oil at 250 Hours is still doing it's job of "standard wear"...at a 200 hour change...I am beating that number by a significant amount.


That's the whole concept of decent oil analysis, to see if the quality of the oil is still there at whatever interval is recommended and the wear is "progressing" normally....which with new or old oil should stay within "normal wear numbers".
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Old 02-21-2016, 06:58 PM   #30
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Ted...man..... I respect your philosophy...so I can see your point...


But yes...my engine oil analysis says my oil at 250 Hours is still doing it's job of "standard wear"...at a 200 hour change...I am beating that number by a significant amount.


That's the whole concept of decent oil analysis, to see if the quality of the oil is still there at whatever interval is recommended and the wear is "progressing" normally....which with new or old oil should stay within "normal wear numbers".
I'm looking for below "normal wear numbers ".

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Old 02-21-2016, 07:03 PM   #31
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Me too...this last sample was the shortest interval yet ....85 hrs...others have ranged from 110 to 160 and the numbers are all the same with the recommendation to double the change interval.


I will let you know how the 85 hr number stacks up...if the same wear as the 160 hr interval...I can only guess it is saying that up to a certain point wear is exactly the same if the oil is maintaining the specified requirements.


Of course, using wear numbers from a Lehman compared to most diesels might be like comparing blood samples of a wooly mammoth to a triple crown winner....
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Old 02-21-2016, 07:15 PM   #32
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Let me ask a simple question. How long is an engine supposed to last, how about the turbo? My point is that engine manufacturers have an expectation of engine and component life. In many cases the life is based on wear which likely increases as the lublicity of the oil decreases. Frankly, I would like to significantly exceed the manufacturer's life expectation for my engines. Is there anyone here who believes the oil they're taking out of the engine after 200 hours is as good as the new oil they're putting in? To my way of thinking, by changing the oil more frequently, I'm raising the average quality level of the oil in my engine. For the C series Cummins engine in my charter boat, it's about $100 for an oil change. That's a rounding error in the annual operating cost of that boat.
Ted, I don't know what type of operations your charter boat engages in. I will assume that it sees much higher usage than most cruisers do each year. In that situation, I can see trying to extend the life of your engine by a significant amount in the hopes to avoid, or delay a repower.

OTOH, how many folks here are likely to "wear out" a diesel engine? I really don't know. You asked a rhetorical question, but I would like to ask a real question: What is the life expectancy of say a Cummins 5.9 QSB engine? It, and its sisters are very common in the typical trawler. Second question that is harder to answer I imagine, is by what factor would increasing oil change frequency also increase engine life?

Maybe a related question is how many folks have had to repower recreational trawler because the engine had simply worn out?

Maybe the same question should be asked of the ubiquitous Norther Lights 6kw or 8kw genset?
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Old 02-21-2016, 08:20 PM   #33
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Ted, I don't know what type of operations your charter boat engages in. I will assume that it sees much higher usage than most cruisers do each year. In that situation, I can see trying to extend the life of your engine by a significant amount in the hopes to avoid, or delay a repower.

OTOH, how many folks here are likely to "wear out" a diesel engine? I really don't know. You asked a rhetorical question, but I would like to ask a real question: What is the life expectancy of say a Cummins 5.9 QSB engine? It, and its sisters are very common in the typical trawler. Second question that is harder to answer I imagine, is by what factor would increasing oil change frequency also increase engine life?

Maybe a related question is how many folks have had to repower recreational trawler because the engine had simply worn out?

Maybe the same question should be asked of the ubiquitous Norther Lights 6kw or 8kw genset?
The Cummins in my Dodge pickup is a B series engine. In boating terms it's a 6BT 220 HP. The turbo isn't liquid cooled like on a marine engine. Mine has 410,000 miles on it which roughly equals 8,200 hours. Haven't changed anything inside the engine or the turbo. Goes 5,000 miles between oil changes doesn't use any oil. While this motor has a great track record in Dodge pickups, 400,000 is probably in the top 10% category and even rarer to have the original turbo. While I don't drive my truck hard, I credit frequent oil changes as part of the success. I just hope Dodge keeps making parts for the truck.

Can't really answer your second question. I have found that changing fluids more frequently also extends the life of ancillary equipment. My pickup has the original transmission, differential, power steering pump. Most mechanics would tell you that stuff doesn't last that long. I believe the increased life can at least partly be a tributed to changing lubrication oils.

I doubt any of us are going to wear out a new diesel in a recreational boat. That being said, if you have a high output motor such as a 375 HP Cummins B, you need to do everything you can to reduce heat and wear to get a reasonable life out of them. Think it's very tough to say what the leading causes of engine failures in boats are as many times it may be how the previous owner used or abused it.

One day when I sell my trawler, I'm hoping the prospective buyer will look at my maintenance records and think, "nothing to worry about here".

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Old 02-21-2016, 08:40 PM   #34
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Think it's very tough to say what the leading causes of engine failures in boats are as many times it may be how the previous owner used or abused it.
Ted
There are direct and indirect charges. You won't see a failure and be able to then say, "not changing oil caused this." However, I believe well maintained will outlast less well maintained. I do believe deterioration of oil and failure to change as needed can definitely contribute to failure of various parts.

I ran into similar in business. I could never prove the benefit of routine maintenance as I sure wasn't going to run a test, half on it and half off. However, I did inherently believe it extended the life of equipment and led to fewer problems.

Now, determining what is necessary can be done many ways. I prefer to leave the proper scheduling of maintenance to the manufacturer. I then do believe in analysis as well. But we do now and will continue to change oil and do all other service no less frequently than the manufacturer recommends.

We also prefer to do the majority of oil changes and routine maintenance at home and so do what we are approaching the schedule for at home prior to leaving on extended cruises. That is definitely not possible at all times.

Two other factors in our situation. One is to preserve the warranty on all equipment. The other is for potential resell. We do want to be able to present well functioning equipment but also a history that shows all maintenance done as recommended.

We do have fairly new equipment and have experienced no problems. I have put many years and hours on boats with no issues. Can I prove that following service recommendations has contributed to the lack of trouble? No, I can't. Do I believe it? Yes, I do, so will continue to do as I have. I also know that it's a lot less costly to prevent problems than to fix them.

Now, I'm not encouraging anyone to go to shorter schedules than the manufacturer recommends. I see no benefit to that. We only do shorter because of impending cruising. As to extending the time between changes and getting oil analysis. I don't want to ever have an analysis that shows degradation so I won't go beyond the recommended schedule. I'm not going to push it until it shows a problem.
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Old 02-21-2016, 09:20 PM   #35
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The last thing to wear out of in these boats is the motor. In 30-40 years good luck finding the parts that need replaced. Most important thing in life do what makes you happy!
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Old 02-22-2016, 02:25 AM   #36
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Amen!
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Old 02-22-2016, 07:16 AM   #37
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"The last thing to wear out of in these boats is the motor. In 30-40 years good luck finding the parts that need replaced."

Perhaps with farm implement motors or marinized taxi or pickup truck engines,

DETROIT DIESEL does just fine with WWII vintage parts.
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Old 02-22-2016, 10:32 AM   #38
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In 30-40 years good luck finding the parts that need replaced.
In 30-40 years I'll probably be more concerned with parts of me that need to be replaced.
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Old 02-25-2016, 10:25 PM   #39
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I said I would get back after my 85 hour interval came in...planning on changing after I get to Charleston...maybe 40 hrs from now but will hold off on a test sample till summer after another 120 hrs past Charleston.

Blackstone comments on sample...

For the first time in almost a year, the viscosity is in the proper range for 30-weight Shell Rotella T.
We didn't consider the slightly lower readings for the past several reports to be problems, but they were
keeping us from giving this engine perfect reports -- but that's not the case here. Wear metals continue to
look great, and there are no signs of harmful contaminants or other problems, so this is a flawless,
highlight-free report at 2,107 hours. The shorter run is why iron is lower than usual, but that's fine -- you
could leave this oil in use a while longer if you want.
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Old 02-26-2016, 06:05 AM   #40
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Volvo Penta recommend oil changes for my engines as 100 hrs or annually.

As luck would have it I tend to do around 100 hrs use a year so it always gets changed about bang on the manufacturers recommended interval. And I know it was done by the previous owner who was meticulous about this. So the engines are in really good condition mechanically.

But there's more to changing the oil because of perceived wear rates.
To me it's more about the fact that the products of diesel combustion are acidic as well as abrasive. The additives in the oil compensate for this (TBN number and such). But clearly they deteriorate with use as has been mentioned above.
The most important thing is not just the hours run but the environment.

I always change my oil in the autumn, just before the boat gets left for several months over the winter. It's essential it has fresh oil in it for this period because if it had, for want of a better expression stale oil (used) the acidic components can eat into the bearing shells whilst it's sitting stationary over the winter, potentially leading to early (or earlier) bearing wear. The wear factor isn't necessarily the only major problem - it's the acidity and other factors.

I wouldn't have the slightest problem doing 200-250 hours in a season before changing the oil (although I would be monitoring its condition closely via feel on the dipstick) because I can tell that at 100 hours it still has plenty of life left in it. It's clean and only slightly discoloured. But it would definitely get changed before laying up for the winter, as it has after seasons when I've only done 75 hours.

It's not just about hours run, it's about changing it before laying up
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