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How do you replace a cylinder when running..?

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by vlafrank, Apr 30, 2010.

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  1. vlafrank

    vlafrank Senior Member

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    I dimly remember an ad in a yachting magazine a while after the Sarah Beth was launched and commissioned. Apparently Burger put Deutz engines in the vessel as original equipment, and somewhere off the west African coast, one of the cylinders in one of the engines "went south" and was replaced at sea by the simple (?) expedient of somehow unhooking the piston's con rod from the crankshaft, sliding in a new cylinder "kit," reconnecting the con rod to the crankshaft and re-starting the engine. The Deutz ad made the process sound so simple that any reasonably ambitious sea scout could do it with his trusty Swiss army knife.

    I really would like to know how simple such a procedure really is.
  2. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    It's a piece of cake.

    If you like hot oily sweaty bloody knuckles rolling around in the trough cursing the naval architect who designed the piping flavored cake.

    Seriously though, it is a common enough procedure. That is why the engine room bulkheads on a ship are adorned with a spare cylinder and head plus a valve or two and an overhead crane is standard equipment.

    There are no cell phone engineers out there.

    Here's a picture of the process of removing a connecting rod out the side of the engine. This was a large engine but even smaller engines, especially those used as main propulsion on some tugboats and as generator engines on large ships carry a "power pack" that includes head, cylinder, piston, and rod and are designed to be changed out rapidly.

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  3. slowroll

    slowroll New Member

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    Difficulty of this type of repair is subject to "Packaging" meaning size of engine room including above and below engine. No, engine to be repaired can not be running. Ship can be under way provided it has multiple engines and enough space between engines. Large ships with new engines and all equipment required just an inconvience. Smaller yachts with old engines = hugh PITA. Engine construction is also a factor Wet sleeve, Dry sleeve, or Free standing. It isn't a "Sunday Afternoon Project"
  4. travler

    travler Senior Member

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    many years ago i had a tuna bait boat with a cat D 353 main we broke a piston 100 miles north of cliperton island we changed it and had the engine going in about 36 hours if my memory serves me well, not a fun job , from habbit i carry some spare engine parts even to this day you never know what will break next or where it will happen

    heading north travler
  5. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    The D 353 is or was a very tough engine.

    They have good access through the big crankcase doors and were built to last.

    I was on a yacht that had those that developed a good size hole in the Charge Air Cooler, it filled up the cylinders with Sea Water and stopped the engine.

    With the heads off we could only find one bent rod and damaged liner.

    A change of piston, liner and rod and it was away again as good as before.

    The repairs were done by myself and a willing deckhand whilst on charter, I doubt the guests knew we had a problem.
  6. travler

    travler Senior Member

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    HI

    K1W1

    where those the good old days or did we just learn to adapt and over come what ever the problem was ,i better be carefull i might date my self

    travler
  7. Mark in SBA

    Mark in SBA New Member

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    Depends if your engine has power assemblies, allowing quick field changeout by unbolting 4 hold downs and disconnecting the conrod from the crankshaft. Entire cylinder, along with the piston and head, just slide out the top.

    Attached Files:

  8. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    That would depend if you are running EMD's I guess
  9. NEO56

    NEO56 Member

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    LOL...even if I had the knowledge and experience to do such a chore...I'd rather have someone pounds my nuts flat with a wooden mallet! I'd rather limp in on one engine and pay someone who knows what they're doing. But nevertheless, and interesting thread.
  10. kmb1949

    kmb1949 New Member

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  11. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    Get back to us when you have an engine and spare cylinder for sale.
  12. ychtcptn

    ychtcptn Senior Member

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    I'm wondering how many of these new "yacht engineers" would be able to this?
  13. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    No problem, it's on the speed dial.
  14. kmb1949

    kmb1949 New Member

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    Buck engine

    All it will take is someone who sees the benefit and is willing to provide the funding. A V16 with 3000 horsepower can be just this easy to repair. Suppose I could also tell you which cylinder was in need of repair before you even witnessed a problem?
  15. SomeTexan

    SomeTexan Member

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    Not hard to do. Individual cylinder pyrometers and a good eye and you can catch them at just a few psi difference.

    A lot of us like your engine, but no one wants to get their hopes up, just to never see it hit the market. If it is a durable design, with the ease of maintinance, it will be a hit. Also, people today are spoiled. They want to see a well established dealer network with parts on shelves and more waiting to be shipped before they will even consider the engine. Getting some EPA testing done and then sending "test" engines to say, a few commercial fishermen for long term testing and there would be more interest. When the Buck engine is the talk of the dock, interest is a lot easier to find.
  16. kmb1949

    kmb1949 New Member

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    Buck engine

    The way to inspect cylinder condition underway is through dynamic cylinder pressure monitoring and dynamic cylinder pressure balancing. This is possible with other engines but if you can't change the damaged cylinder quickly and easily, why bother. That is where the Buck modular design shines.

    I agree that it is tough to see a good design and not have access to it. I am trying to make it available but funding is the holdup. This is not rocket science, it is only space, machines and people. The technologies are well proven for more than a 100 years and this design only needs building and testing. First test cell testing and then actual application testing. The 400 hour NATO test and the 1000 hour Navy test will uncover any longevity issues. I already have hundreds of offers to field test the engines as well as dealer request.
  17. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    What shines is an engine that reaches the end of its useful life without having to change a cylinder quickly or easily.

    If your only claim is that when it breaks it's quick and easy to fix doesn't impress those of us who want an engine that goes forever without breaking something that leads to unscheduled maintenance no matter how quick and easy it is.

    And just for the record, seldom does a cylinder or piston fail without creating or being caused by other more complex and/or widespread issues. To paraphrase what someone else said, what a manufacturer or designer thinks is the bee's knees may not count for squat in a real life application.

    Turn a few of your engines over to heavy users and see what happens before touting them as the most efficient diesels ever made and the most easily repairable by a user who has probably never changed an engine part in their entire working life.
  18. kmb1949

    kmb1949 New Member

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    Buck engine

    Marmot,
    I run into people sometimes who make stupid outlandish comments and at those times I am almost at a loss for words but not quite. First of all I have never said that these engines will be "the most efficient diesels ever made". Even though for marine use they may ultimately be. Secondly, I have never seen an engine that didn't break down or wear out at some point. I have skinned my knuckles on enough stuff over the years, that I appreciate something that is easy to repair, maybe you don't. I have seen boats with huge holes in the sides and I have seen boaters down for months for engine repairs. Except for very large engines in very large ships, all engines in boats are generator, truck or car designs. They weren't designed to be light enough, small enough or serviceable enough for the marine application. If you wish to continue this conversation and to throw cold water on what I am trying to do, maybe you should tell everyone how many diesel engines you have designed and built from scratch with your own resources. If you wish to ask reasonable questions, I will do my best to answer them.
  19. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    And the "outlandish" parts of post #17 are what?

    Claiming a BSFC of .28 lb/hp-hr for a 4 stroke high speed diesel makes the claim that it is one of the most efficient diesels ever built.

    I don't need to design, fund, and build an engine in my garage to acquire the right to question claims and statements made by someone looking for financing on a boating forum.
  20. kmb1949

    kmb1949 New Member

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    Buck engine

    Marmot,
    You are obviously happy with all the current product offerings so you have my permission to ignore anything I have to say.