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Old 02-14-2011, 06:24 AM   #1
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Oil Analysis?

In checking out a possible boat purchase someone recommended an oil analysis. I haven't looked into this for maybe 20 years, but back then many thought it was unreliable and a waste of money. Is it worth $60 per engine?

The engine is a Perkins 6.3544M with less that 2000 hrs.


Thanks for your input.
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Old 02-14-2011, 07:02 AM   #2
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RE: Oil Analysis?

Oooo... I too might want to do this too. I have the same motor. What I can tell you from everyone I have talked to (especially non-solicited opinions from guys at the diesel shops I've been to of late) is that with proper care, this engine will be a solid motor for many thousands of hours.
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Old 02-14-2011, 08:39 AM   #3
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RE: Oil Analysis?

Quote:
dvd wrote:

In checking out a possible boat purchase someone recommended an oil analysis. I haven't looked into this for maybe 20 years, but back then many thought it was unreliable and a waste of money. Is it worth $60 per engine?


The engine is a Perkins 6.3544M with less that 2000 hrs.


Thanks for your input.
Oil analysis*costs less than $20 per engine through your local CAT dealer.* At least from Gregory Poole CAT, Fluid Analysis Laboratory, P.O. Box 469* Raleigh, NC 27602 PH**919-836-4494 OR 800-451-7278 http://gregorypoole.cat.com/<font face="Arial,Bold" size="1"><font face="Arial,Bold" size="1"></font>*</font><font face="Arial,Bold" size="1"></font>*

That includes the sample bottle and a prepaid return*shipping container. * Not sure where the $60 each comes from.*

As far as is it*worth it? The first one only gives you a base line but it will tell you if there are some unwanted items in the oils from the get go.* Anti Freeze, Fuel oil, etc.

Here is a lost of whats on it. A lot of valuable information for sure.

Ag = Silver, Al = Aluminum, B = Boron, Ca = Calcium, Cr = Chromium, Cu = Copper, Fe = Iron, P = Phosphorus, K = Potassium, Mg = Magnesium, Mo = Molybdenum, Na = Sodium, Ni = Nickel, Pb = Lead, Si = Silicon, Sn = Tin,V = Vanadium, Zn = Zinc, A = Antifreeze, F = Fuel, W = Water, P = Positive, N = Negative, T = Trace, E = Excessive, NIT = Nitration, OXI = Oxidation, ST = Soot, SUL = Sulfation, ISO = ISO Rating, PFC = Percent Fuel Content,

PQI = Particle Quantifying index , NaW = Salt Water, FL Pt = Flash Point, TAN = Total Acid Number, TBN = Total Base Number, H2O = Karl Fisher result, V100 = Viscosity@100C, V40 = Viscosity@40C
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Old 02-14-2011, 10:27 AM   #4
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RE: Oil Analysis?

Valuable info -- thanks. The $60 must cover time & labor for sampling. I called my local CAT dealer -- $16 total, including sampling kit.

The dealer recommended NOT using any built-in oil change pumps (don't even know if the boat has one) but getting a fresh sample from the dipstick opening. Since all my tools/gear are still in storage (waiting for my house to be finished) any ideas on a simple, cheap method of collecting the oil sample?

Thanks.
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Old 02-14-2011, 12:49 PM   #5
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RE: Oil Analysis?

Some of the kits have a clear small dia hose with a squeeze pump. You can also put your thumb over the end of the small hose and pull oil out...might take a few repetitions to fill the sample bottle.

I once took a sample of my tranny oil...analysis showed 10+ times the alloted amount of iron and was told by an expert that the tranny was toast. In retrospect I think I had the sample hose on the magnet that was inside the pan...oops. (I didn't know there was a magnet there...neither did the manual or the expert).
This was a case where the sample results were useless.
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Old 02-14-2011, 12:59 PM   #6
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RE: Oil Analysis?

Oil analysis is extremely valuable but may be useless as part of a pre-purchase inspection.* If the oil has been changed, you won't have a reliable reading of what's going on now.* If it hasn't you can get an opinion on whether the amount of different metals is consistent with expected wear patterns for an engine of equivalent use and hours, but you'll have no way of knowing if the indicated wear has appeared suddently because you have no previous results to look at.

The most value from oil analysis comes with comparative results repeated over time.

So, if the oil if fresh, my opinion would be it probably isn't worth it.* If it isn't, it probably is.
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Old 02-14-2011, 01:01 PM   #7
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RE: Oil Analysis?

dvd wrote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


In checking out a possible boat purchase someone recommended an oil analysis...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------






dvd: See if the current owner has recently changed the oil. You won't get get a true picture of the engines condition with fresh oil.
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Old 02-14-2011, 02:04 PM   #8
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RE: Oil Analysis?

Quote:
Larry M wrote:

dvd wrote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


In checking out a possible boat purchase someone recommended an oil analysis...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
dvd: See if the current owner has recently changed the oil. You won't get get a true picture of the engines condition with fresh oil.
Yes and no.* I agree that if relatively new you wont see any really good numbers but you will see if there is Diesel Fuel in it or Anti Freeze in it so there is still some value to be had for $32 combined.*

As far as the sample goes the kit from Cat will have a plastic tube that will go down the dip stick.* The way the tell you to sample it is to take some in the middle of an oil change. Not on either end of the change but*in the middle.* But if you are not changing the oil I'd run the engine and get it good and hot then take one of those cheap*Jabsco*oil change pumps that fits on the drill motor.* Find someone with a sailboat they will have one.* Stick the tube down the dip stick hole pump some out into a can then stop and pump some into the sample container.* That will be a clear sample.** Repeat on the next engine, can then sample bottle.

Hope that helps.

*
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Old 02-14-2011, 06:46 PM   #9
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RE: Oil Analysis?

DVD,
I worked for the local Cat Dealer and have taken numerous oil samples. As was mentioned, the oil needs to have some time on it and you will need more than one to begin to see wear trends.
Cat uses it for several reasons, but one primary goal is " before failure" repairs. On high usage dirt equipment the hope is to see as long a service life out of a component as you can without experiencing a catastrophic repair. Engines, transmissions, differentials, hydraulic systems, etc. are all candidates. The oil labs has software that compares PPM against the determined acceptable PPM for a given compartment. The make up of the component- gears, bearings, wrist pin bushings, end plates on a gear pump, etc. Allows each sample to be tested specific to Cat's info on the component.
Having said all that- when I send a sample from my Lehman's - the lab can tell me how many PPM each has, but they won't be able to specifically apply it to my engine. 0f course, if it is a 3116 or a 3208 they are the champ. I still think for SOS they Re the best.
Last point,
The correct way to pull a sample for a Cat oil lab is to first purchase the bottles from the dealer, a paid shipping package is included. You will also need to purchase the sample gun that pulls the oil and enough of the clear hose to throw it away after every sample. Yes, every sample. I actually keep tape over the ends of my clear tube and when I cut a piece off I add new tape. I also clean the suction gun after use and keep it in a zip lock bag.
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Old 02-14-2011, 07:51 PM   #10
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RE: Oil Analysis?

This has been a very enlightening discussion. Since the engine is fairly low-time, it has had regular maintenance documented, it only has a few hours on it since the last oil change and has a past history of reliability, I may forego the pre-purchase oil analysis. It seems like the main risk I am taking is not finding water or diesel fuel in the oil, since the other analytic components probably are not reliable with the recent oil change. The seller always had the boat professionally winterized and had all the routine maintenance performed, so chances are good that the engine is OK. If the sale goes through, though, it makes sense to get a baseline analysis (kind of like a baseline EKG when you're 40 so you can see if you have damage when you get chest pain at 60).

Made an offer today, with the usual contingencies on successful survey, sea trial, etc.

Thanks
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Old 02-14-2011, 08:22 PM   #11
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RE: Oil Analysis?

Excellent! Keep us posted.
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Old 02-15-2011, 04:57 AM   #12
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RE: Oil Analysis?

Before spending bucks try to find out WHAT oil and antifreeze was usually dumped in the engine.

Not all "professionals" understand the requirement for the correct diesel oil , and even fewer understand the requirement (some engines) for diesel antifreeze.
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Old 02-17-2011, 08:12 PM   #13
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RE: Oil Analysis?

Well, the seller doesn't seem to be interested in much less than the asking price.

Still boatless.

Still looking.
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Old 02-18-2011, 04:47 AM   #14
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RE: Oil Analysis?

Well, the seller doesn't seem to be interested in much less than the asking price.


Perhaps he simply priced the vessel properly ?

Instead of 40% - 60% higher to give amateur would be rug salesmen a chance to "bargain"?
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Old 02-18-2011, 07:56 AM   #15
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RE: Oil Analysis?

FF,
It seems I remember a good thread on diesel anti-freeze a while back that you were involved in. It seems like certain diesels (pre combustion chamber maybe) created a "ping" lika a bell when firing. As I recall, the flexing of the liner during the ping could lead to a crack in the liner, and the correct AF coated the liner- minimizing the vibration of the ping.
Again, all this is what I THINK I read. Can you give us the facts again?
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Old 02-18-2011, 10:02 AM   #16
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RE: Oil Analysis?

FF,

You have a point - although both the seller and buyer have to get to some alignment on value before a sale takes place. If the seller values the boat more than I value the boat, that's fair - they can wait until someone comes along and shares that value. It's not a bad thing, and I don't blame the seller for doing anything wrong. He and I could argue about what "market price" is, but ultimately, "market price" is what the boat sells for. In this case, I feel the boat needs at least an immediate $30K to get it acceptably ready for sea, and that's not "Bristol" condition. The seller apparently doesn't agree, but I'm not going to shell out a thousand bucks for survey, etc. just to prove my point.
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Old 02-18-2011, 10:36 AM   #17
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RE: Oil Analysis?

"acceptably ready for sea"

Ah, there's the rub as this is a very subjective point.
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Old 02-19-2011, 04:47 AM   #18
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RE: Oil Analysis?

"acceptably ready for sea"


Since probably less than .01% of power boats can go to SEA , and do a passage, RFS (ready for sea) is really more likely to be ready to cruise rivers, bays and stick the nose out once in a blue moon.

A jet ski and an outboard did the loop 40 years ago, so I would guess the boat simply is not outfitted with your desirements , instead of the PO .

No owner is going to lower the price because his Toy list was different from your Toy list.

The use of diesel antifreeze is required on every engine where the actual ( usually replacible)cylinder walls is exposed to the coolant.

Pre combustion chamber or not , when the cylinder fired that knocking sound is the cylinder wall ringing like a bell.

The rapid vibration causes cavitation in the coolant , the collapsing air (or steam) bubbles erode the cylinder walls.

Diesel antifreeze coats the cylinder exterior with a SCA , a green slime that simply moves the bubbles away from contacting the cylinder.

The bubbles are tiny , so the distance required is small.
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Old 02-19-2011, 07:50 AM   #19
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RE: Oil Analysis?

Thanks FF
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Old 02-19-2011, 06:05 PM   #20
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RE: Oil Analysis?

Next boat, or maybe this one yet, sample the transmission(s) as well to establish base lines there as well. Could provide some interesting clues as to PO maintenance. Good luck
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