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Diesel Maintenance

DIESEL engine, transmission and generator repair and maintenance discussion forum.
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Scurvy Dog
Scurvy Dog
Posts: 16
Joined: October 18th, 2013, 2:52 am
Vessel Info: 1989 4207
Location: Channel Islands Harbor, Oxnard, CA

Diesel Maintenance

Postby mikekomm » March 17th, 2014, 1:05 am

I have an '89 Carver 4207 with twin Cat 3208's (375 HP). We plan to take the boat every weekend once we get some repairs taken care of. How often should we be starting up the engines, how long should we run them for and at what RPM?

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Big Guy
Scurvy Dog
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Vessel Info: Now own a 2004 46 ft. Carver Voyager. " Italian Galleon" Boating in Lake Erie since 1985

Re: Diesel Maintenance

Postby Big Guy » October 31st, 2014, 11:16 am

Read an article in one of my boating magazines that said you can run your diesel at 80% of max. If you take your boat out every weekend there should not be a problem on starting them. The article also said that warm up was not necessary since the engines won't get hot ie: engine oil until its under a load. During the time from the dock to cruise they said not wot . Start out slow and increase speed until water temp is normal.
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Re: Diesel Maintenance

Postby Hugo » May 13th, 2015, 9:55 pm

Diesel engines do take a long time to warm up idling so after 5 minutes or so of making sure everything is okay take her out and run it but I usually run for 10-15 minutes in gear before going on plane to give the oil a chance to thin a bit and the engine to warm up a bit.

As for how long to run, think about this... Water boils at 212F. When you start your engine you introduce (or have already) moisture into the oil and it's a good idea to bring the oil up to at least 212F in order to burn off that moisture before you shut it down again. Load on every engine and every boat is different but I think that once you're on plane that oil temperature is going to go up quick. An oil temperature gauge would be nice but maybe run it on plane 20-30 minutes... You can check oil pan temp with a temp gun if you want to be picky...
Last edited by Hugo on April 4th, 2016, 9:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Scurvy Dog
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Joined: April 29th, 2015, 12:11 pm
Vessel Info: 1999 Trojan 440 Express by Carver

Re: Diesel Maintenance

Postby Hogan » June 28th, 2015, 10:12 am

The more you run them the better they work and the longer they last. Join Boatdiesel.com and read all you can about maintaining them

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