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Old 01-11-2015, 09:13 PM   #1
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Taking care of a Yanmar 4JH3E, 55hp

New to the world of cruising diesels I thought I would find out if there was more I should be doing in terms of maintenance for my little Yanmar,
Yearly oil changes 100-150 hours with new filter
Yearly anti-freeze/coolant change
Yearly tranny fluid change
5-6 years pulling the exhaust elbow to inspect/replace
Belts inspected every or every other trip
Every two years changing out the impeller
Thoughts on what I might be missing?
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Old 01-11-2015, 09:57 PM   #2
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Sounds like you have it covered, but how about fuel filters (which you probably forgot to list) and regular romps?

Do you have the operation and service manuals? They have the information you're looking for, such as timetables for when different parts need servicing, how to warm up and shut down, and when/how to check the oil level...(for some reason our manual says to check 3 minutes after shutting down - yours will probably be different).

I recently got the parts catalog for our Yanmar and it's a gold mine of information besides parts numbers.

How many hours does it have?
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Old 01-11-2015, 10:05 PM   #3
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Inspect the exhaust manifold carefully (especially the front) making sure sea water isn't leaking down on critical engine parts below. That was a problem on my 3HM35F Yanmar on my previous boat.
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Old 01-11-2015, 10:27 PM   #4
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I have the same Yanmar. The only things I might suggest you add to your checklist are:

1. Every couple of years de-scale or flush the raw-water side of your cooling system. I use Rydlyme, but Barnacle Buster, Trident or white vinegar work as well. After flushing, closely examine the exterior and interior of the engine oil cooler mounted across the back of the engine. They have been known to fail if they become corroded. There are no zincs on this engine, but the alloys were designed to work without them. I have read that there was an engineering change in the cooler material. The PO of my boat had a premature failure at 600 hours. The replacement unit still looks pristine 1,000 hours later.

2. Check raw water impeller annually. I installed a Speedseal Life pump cover and it really makes it easier to do.

3. Adjust engine valves every 1,000 hours.

4. Check the torque on the engine-mounted fuel filter mount. They have been known to loosen from vibration.

5. Check the contacts on the engine stop relay for any signs of corrosion. Clean and lubricate with Corrosion-X or similar. Same for the oil pressure sender connection.

6. Check the Yanmar engine mounts. They are very flexible and the factory recommends changing them every few years, but no-one I know does that. If they are compressed or cracked, they can introduce some significant shaft alignment issues. I just replaced mine at about 12 years, and the shaft was definitely out of alignment due to the worn mounts.

7. You might perform oil analysis with your oil changes to keep track of the chemistry as the engine ages.

I am very satisfied with the 4JH3E and can't imagine my boat with anything else. They certainly don't work hard in a W30, and should last a very long time with proper care.

Good luck,

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Old 01-11-2015, 10:32 PM   #5
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Sounds like a mechanic's $$ dream.
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Old 01-11-2015, 10:42 PM   #6
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Sounds like a mechanic's $$ dream.

All of that's pretty simple stuff, except for the valve adjustment.



On another note, changing the tranny oil every year? We usually change ours every other year.
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Old 01-11-2015, 11:24 PM   #7
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All of that's pretty simple stuff, except for the valve adjustment.
Actually, even the valve adjustment on a 4JH3E only takes 20 - 30 minutes.

You will need a 0.2mm (.008") feeler gauge, some basic hand tools and a rag. The valve cover gasket is actually an o-ring and probably won't even need replacement.

Caution, have an assistant press and hold the stop button while you turn the engine, or crack the injector tube nuts. These engines can start very easily!

With the engine stone cold, remove the valve cover and rotate the engine until the #4 (front of engine) Int and Exh valves are at "rocker position" then adjust #1 Int and Exh, #2 Int and #3 Exh.

Rotate 360 degrees and adjust #2 Exh, #3 Int, #4 Int and Exh.

Replace the valve cover, tighten the injector nuts if loosened and your are done. Easy breezy.

Have fun!

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Old 01-11-2015, 11:33 PM   #8
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Actually, even the valve adjustment on a 4JH3E only takes 20 - 30 minutes.

You will need a 0.2mm (.008") feeler gauge, some basic hand tools and a rag. The valve cover gasket is actually an o-ring and probably won't even need replacement.

Caution, have an assistant press and hold the stop button while you turn the engine, or crack the injector tube nuts. These engines can start very easily!

With the engine stone cold, remove the valve cover and rotate the engine until the #4 (front of engine) Int and Exh valves are at "rocker position" then adjust #1 Int and Exh, #2 Int and #3 Exh.

Rotate 360 degrees and adjust #2 Exh, #3 Int, #4 Int and Exh.

Replace the valve cover, tighten the injector nuts if loosened and your are done. Easy breezy.

Have fun!

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Well then there you have it folks!
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Old 01-11-2015, 11:43 PM   #9
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I'll continue to leave valve adjustments to my mechanic. And as for sparkplugs, I'll leave those to the sparkplug fairy.
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Old 01-12-2015, 08:45 AM   #10
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changing coolant yearly is a bit much. Does the engine call for an anti cavitation coolant additive, often called SCA?


By all means see what the makers handbook has to say. They are usually very detailed.


Of course you do want to verify rated RPM propping and participate in that discussion.
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:26 AM   #11
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Every year for coolant sounds excessive, but that is what Yanmar recommends.
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:57 AM   #12
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It only has 800 hours so no vavle adjustments yet I guess. I don't know if this is "normal" for a cold diesel or Yanmar but when first started the idle isn't steady. I raise the RPMs to about 900-1000 and it stays idling fine. Otherwise the idle will pulse up and down for about three minutes. I read in the owners manual about a high idle pull but mine has none.
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:50 AM   #13
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Quote:
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changing coolant yearly is a bit much. Does the engine call for an anti cavitation coolant additive, often called SCA?
I researched this subject a couple of years ago. When I contacted Yanmar they referred me to Mac Boring & Parts Co. who provided the following information in their "Published Yanmar Service Bulletins" document.

Regardless of the recommendation of the coolant/antifreeze manufacturers it is YANMAR'S requirement that the solution is changed every 500 hours (On the YANMAR Model 6LP 250 hours) or once a year whichever comes first.

We do not recommend any other additives be added to the cooling system. Purified or distilled water mixed with the approved coolant/anti-freeze is the only protection approved by YANMAR. Concentrations of the Enix-ture should follow the recommendations of the manufacturer. The coolant/anti-freeze must be compatible with aluminum. The coolant/anti-freezes that have been tested and approved are shown below:
  • Texaco Long Life Coolant Anti-Freeze both regular and pre-mixed Product codes 7991 and 7998. This product is available in gallon containers, drums and bulk. It is recommended that the cooling system be drained and flushed before filling. Only Texaco Long Life Coolant should be used for top-off. This product has a much longer shelf life than conventional coolants provided the integrity of the container is maintained. For additional information and availability contact Texaco at 1-800-782-7852.
  • Havoline Extended Life Anti-Freeze/Coolant. Product code 7994. This product is available through Texaco gas stations, Procedures are the same as with Texaco Long Life Coolant Anti-Freeze.
  • Dex-Cool Long Life Coolant. This product is available through GM service centers worldwide.
  • Prestone Extended Life Coolant. Product code AF888. If the above coolants are not readily available, Prestone Extended life coolant is satisfactory.
While this seems a bit extreme when talking about 'extended life coolants' I suppose it guarantees the effectiveness of the coolant package. I don't change mine that often, but I do monitor the condition of the coolant, clarity, voltage and pH.

As to the uneven idle when first starting a cold engine, mine does it too. I just advance the throttle to 900-1000 for a minute or so until it warms a little and settles down. Mine does not have the fast idle control or intake air heater either. I think those are cold-climate accessories that do not come standard on base engines.

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Old 01-12-2015, 01:36 PM   #14
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The aluminum probably requires fresh anti corrosion inhibitors.


Un even idle after start might indicate a bit of fuel drain down due to a small air leak except maybe in cold climates.


Uneven firing of old gas engines was caused by gas not getting to or, some flooding, and not firing in all cylinders. Just loved listening to the sound of old rotary aircraft engine cylinders joining the party at start up.
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Old 01-12-2015, 02:49 PM   #15
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Yes ,
The reason for the extended life AF is because of the aluminum parts exposed to the coolant. I talked w Yanmar about this.

If you're aluminum free you don't need ELAF. Haha but this is coming from a guy that says you don't need MV lube oil. I use the green stuff as there's no aluminum on my engine or in the cooling system.
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Old 01-23-2015, 09:42 PM   #16
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Another question,
So the engine has only 800 hours on the meter. I notice when started that it smokes a little until completely warmed. Is this usual for the smaller marine diesels?
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Old 01-23-2015, 10:03 PM   #17
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Another question,
So the engine has only 800 hours on the meter. I notice when started that it smokes a little until completely warmed. Is this usual for the smaller marine diesels?
I have the exact same engine and it is completely normal. You will find a pretty good discussion here on the proper operation of these engines. Mine runs cleaner after a hard run than after prolonged slow operation. Its just the nature of the beast. Make sure to run it hard enough to keep the cylinder bores from glazing.
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Old 01-24-2015, 07:52 AM   #18
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Depending on the construction , weather the cylinders are exposed to coolant or stuck in a sleeve may be the reason for the yearly anti freez change.

In larger engines with exposed to coolant cylinders a SCA additive is required to be installed , measured with strips and maintained at the correct level.

Loads easier to say , dump it , than explain the proper drill for maintaining a modern engine
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Old 01-24-2015, 09:54 AM   #19
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I would not use any cooling flush not specifically recommended by the maker. Aluminum, iron and rubber all together can do weird things in the presence of acidic solutions.


Do check the exhaust install to be certain that the water mixing area cant drain back into the engine. This installation failure is not uncommon.
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Old 01-24-2015, 12:19 PM   #20
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My small (37hp) Mitsu smokes at startup so little you've got to look hard to see it. And only for a minute or so. No amount of throttle will produce smoke when warm. The engine is a 3000rpm engine propped to 3050.
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