Thursday, November 14, 2013

The One Hour Oil Change part 1.

My new Skipper has really impressed me. I was a little worried at first, but in April when he went to that diesel self help class, I knew then he was committed to me. -Corleto

The weather had cooled off from those balmy days of September and early October and I knew it was time to get my hands dirty and perform some engine maintenance. My first foray into this dark and mystical world of mechanics would be the OIL CHANGE with a replacement of the OIL FILTER. Keep in mind, until earlier this year, I had no idea what a diesel engine even looked like.

After my trip to NAPA to stock up on the right filters for my engine

After checking my notes from my April class, I made a list of supplies that had to be picked up. There was a fuel filter that the PO left for me. As it happens- its not the right one. So a trip to the local NAPA store fixed that. Confidence was high as my friend Aaron skipper of the Rosa Marie and all round boating and diesel engine Yoda was also scheduling his oil change on that same day. He had offered his electric oil pump to assist in this potentially messy task.

With Saturday upon us and the weather too messy for a sail, I confidently set out for the Marina to perform this vital operation. As I am driving along it suddenly occurred to me that I may not have enough oil aboard to effect a successful out come.

No matter, I would just stop off at the Canadian Tire and budda boom, oil shortage averted. But wait what the hell was the viscosity number?? A quick text to Yoda Aaron and boom- he sends me a photo of the oil he is using.

Now you would think that in a Canadian Tire superstore, one that has an entire wall from one end of the building to the other, dedicated to ENGINE OIL, I would find what I was looking for. Nope. It appears that they are not "More than just tires".
Yoda directs me to the closest Lordco which is just a couple of blocks away. There I find a 4 litre bottle of the very finest Alberta 15W40. By now I am over an hour behind.

Arriving at the dock and dropping off my bag of engine goodies, I went to check on Aaron. He was just finishing up his Oil change and we chatted for a few minutes. He briefed me on the operation of the electric oil pump and told me to run the engine before I begin extracting the old engine oil.

The tiny engine compartment 

I went to Corleto, started her up and ran the engine for about 15 minutes.

I hooked up the oil pump to a battery and prepared to begin. The beauty of these little pumps is there is no spillage, something that is very important to a marine environment. I figure I should be about an hour and I would be done. I inserted the tube down the dipstick shaft and started the extractor.
A wave of unbelievable well being came upon me over the drone of the little pump.

The extractor hose down the dipstick well. 

Not so fast Murman-

There's a knock on the hull, Aaron has come to check on his apprentice Oil Changer.
"How you making out?" he asks
"Good, I have been going at this for about 45 minutes" I said.
He reached in and felt the tube.
"It's not very warm, how long did you run the engine?"
"15 minutes or so" I replied.

He explains that he ran his for 45 minutes and that cooler oil will take some time to extract. He is on his way for a bite and invites me to join him. I decline opting instead to wait for the pump to finish its task.

Another hour elapses and I figure most if not all of the oil is now out of the oil pan. It is beginning to get dark as the day wares on. I remove the tube, check the dipstick, and begin to add the new liquid gold into my engine. This is not an easy task as there is very little room. I use a flexible funnel and pour carefully. The PO's notes indicate I only need 3 quarts. I measure and pour.

This takes a bit of time, but after 3 litres, I check the dip stick.

Its almost to the top of the stick, well over the high oil mark on the stick.


I decide to retire for the evening, I will have to plan a different method for day 2.

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