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Old 04-11-2019, 10:30 PM   #1
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Beginner's Diesel Book Recommendations?

(don't laugh...)

Having never owned a diesel engine before, I'm looking for a good BEGINNER's guide (Diesel engines for idiots...).

It might be nice to hear a couple of recommendations of a book or two to look at for once I know my way around the engine room a little better (after I get over the euphoria of actually being able to move around in the engine room...).

But first order of business is a book that covers the basics, including how to bleed the injectors, etc...

Recommendations for books I can order on Amazon would be excellent!

Thanks!
John
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Old 04-11-2019, 10:38 PM   #2
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Troubleshooting and repairing diesel engines by Paul Dempsey, very interesting one for me, I loved it.
Marine diesel engines by Nigel Calder
Diesels Afloat by Pat Manley

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Old 04-11-2019, 10:39 PM   #3
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I'd start with an owners and service manual for the engine you have. If you don't have them, try ebay. The general information on how a diesel works is probably here and all over the web.
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Old 04-11-2019, 11:15 PM   #4
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I'll second Lepke.
Get the owners manual, the parts manual/book and the service manuals. Not only for your use but when you need work done or parts ordered your ownership will reduce, hugely, the nonesense some go through to figure out what they need for service and repairs.

First try the engine mfgr. Often manuals and such are available in CD form or wait for print but they are available.

If that fails then try Ebay.
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Old 04-12-2019, 01:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou_tribal View Post
Troubleshooting and repairing diesel engines by Paul Dempsey, very interesting one for me, I loved it.
Marine diesel engines by Nigel Calder
Diesels Afloat by Pat Manley
L

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Originally Posted by C lectric View Post
I'll second Lepke.
Get the owners manual, the parts manual/book and the service manuals. Not only for your use but when you need work done or parts ordered your ownership will reduce, hugely, the nonesense some go through to figure out what they need for service and repairs.
+1 to all of the above.

Marine Diesel Engines won't tell you HOW to bleed YOUR specific engine, but will teach you WHY you need to, WHAT you are trying to accomplish by doing it.

My owner's manual doesn't tell me why I have to bleed my fuel injected diesel (but not my fuel injected gas truck!), but it does have diagrams and a specific process to accomplish the bleeding, so getting your manual is important too.

A couple more suggestions, depending on how you learn:
  • Search this forum: there are some great threads here from people learning the quirks of their engines/boats, from people doing things right, doing them wrong, learning and sharing with the rest of us how to do it. For example, I have Lehman engines. A custom google search for Lehman Bleeding gives a few awesome threads, even with photos or manual references. The forums are a great supplement to the books and manuals because you hear it from different people, from different perspectives. Here's a link to what I use (came from another member's signature, I didn't come up with it)

    Google Custom Search

  • Take a class: I haven't done this, but would consider it if I didn't have some past learning in engines classes in high school. My son attends a marine technology school where we live in the Pacific Northwest. The school also hosts a Cruiser's College where they have classes in a bunch of different boating topics - one is Marine Diesels. Its a day long class where they introduce you to some basic operational and maintenance information using their classroom/lab engines. Look for something like that around where you live. Here's a link to one of the "boat owner" classes at my son's school:

    https://cruiserscollege.org/class/d-...att-mardesich/


    The admiral and I are taking a class there this weekend to ramp up our preparations for longer range (for us) cruising up to the north.
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Old 04-12-2019, 04:58 AM   #6
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In addition to above recommendations, check out https://boatdiesel.com , a searchable forum. As in all forums the quality of replies varies, but this one tends to be relatively focused. You can often find references to specific problems with specific engines. Also has an archive of engine specs, manuals and calculation templates related to power vs boat specs. Different access levels depending on subscription price. A level 2 membership is reasonable and well worth the cost if you intend to do your own troubleshooting and repair.
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Old 04-12-2019, 09:47 AM   #7
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And on boatdiesel.com, Peter Compton's book:

https://boatdiesel.com/Store/item-detail.cfm?ID=Books-1
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Old 04-12-2019, 09:49 AM   #8
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I'll second Boatdiesel.
lots to learn from it even when it doesn't pertain to your engine specifically.
I've seen many get the help they needed and then drop away but the cost was worth it to them.
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Old 04-12-2019, 11:37 AM   #9
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If you have a Detroit Diesel, the Student Handbook from WW2 is still available second-hand and is very useful.
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Old 04-12-2019, 12:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lepke View Post
I'd start with an owners and service manual for the engine you have. If you don't have them, try ebay. The general information on how a diesel works is probably here and all over the web.

The problem with this approach is that it is more like reading a textbook with a lot of facts and figures that, without having a general overview, lots of it can be confusing. The joy of learning is lost in the frustration of trying to figure out what the terminology and measurements mean.
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Old 04-12-2019, 12:14 PM   #11
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I found Marine Diesel Engines by Nigel Calder a perfect "starter" book for a former gear head with lots of gas (auto) engine experience but zero diesel experience.
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