Monday, April 20, 2009


GovernorI've been working on the engine again this weekend.

Up to my elbows in dirty black oil.

Here you see the inside of engine speed control and the governor tension spring.

When running the main engine, the governor was not responding as fast as it should/used to. The main issue being when putting Lady Jane into gear, the engine almost stalls with the drop in revs.

The actual governor mechanism is on a flywheel, to the right of the picture, inside another casing.

I'm expecting that this strip down and clean-up will fix the issue. I'll only know when I next run the main engine up.


  1. Fred (WWR)5:15 PM

    OK, here is where I show my ignorance. Is it normal that a ships engine oil is black and dirty? How often is it supposed to be changed and does it have a filtering system like an automotive engine only larger?

  2. Hi Fred

    It seems to me that diesel engines in general have black, dirty, oil. The oil apparently has some kind of detergent built into it.

    There is a good filter installed in the oil line. It's cleaned regularly by simply turning the mesh it has inside it. I then clean the resulting gunk out every once in a, long, while.

    I also put a big magnet in the oil header tank, right under where the oil is returned into the tank. This collects any stray ferrous metals in the oil which pass the filter. The magnet stays pretty clean.

    As to changing, the manual recommends replacing the oil 'by analysis'. This I presume means you need to send an oil sample to a firm which specialises in this, and they tell you when it should be done.

    I've got all the details of an analysis company, who happens to be based locally, but have not got round to sending a sample (sounds a bit like delivering a specimen to the doctors). The analysis people can apparently tell all kinds of interesting things about an engine from the oil sample.

    I don't run the engine that much, a few hours each month, so have changed my oil only once so far. It was apparently also changed just before I bought the boat. It won't be long before I change the oil again though, as it's two years since the last change.

    The engine takes some 240L (53 US gallons) of oil, so an oil change is not to be taken lightly.

    I hope that helps.



  3. Hi Tim !
    Agree whit You, oil can be a heavy cost. I, by me self have only 20l
    and use the Omega 757. This Oil gives me 150 hours running.
    Have You thougt of this as an extra
    filter ? Would extend the oilchange

  4. Anonymous8:16 PM

    I've been searching for data suggesting typical oil change intervals for large marine diesels. I can't find a lot, but what I see suggests that oil change intervals would be in the 500+ hour range. One article I found was saying how a fancy filter system increased the interval on a multi-thousand-HP tug from 1,000 hours to 2,000 hours.

    When your interval is long and the amount of oil (240L!) is so large, I can see wanting to analyze the oil to see what you *really* need, not just preemptively change it because it's been so many months.

    I remember reading that your last batch of oil went to the recyclers. Is it possible at all for your engine to burn lubricating oil as fuel? I think the jobs that run on #4 bunker could, but not sure about LJ.

  5. Hey TZ. Please keep me posted on how the governor cleaning goes. I had to bring the revs up a little more than normal this last season to keep the main engine from stalling when shifting into gear. Might very well be the fix. Cheers Tim and Hector says hello...Karen too!

  6. Hi Tim on some of the more commercial vessels I have been on. I noticed that they often have a fuel polisher (Alfa Levall) which with a change of "internals" could be used to refurbish engine oil. a sample can then be sent away when it has been "polished" and the company will tell you how much added ingredients you may or may not need Like "moly" etc. so you have clean fuel at all times and and fery little cost oil changes? what the cost of the system I am not sure but when I looked last some three years ago with the intention of building a mobile system for use on the thames etc it was around 2.5 K for the basics, but in talking to many tug owners since they seem not to use them for some reason so a pre used one may be available? they are also used in the dairy field to reduce he fat in milk so may be another area for a preused one? just a thought

  7. Fred (WWR)1:31 PM

    OK! Thanks for the education. I figured it was a little more than changing the oil in my Bronco :), but certainly didn't realize how different. From the size of it, it is apparent that it is not a trivial expense. The ensuing discussion has been very interesting also.

    I wonder what impact it would have on the world oil demands if automotive oil changes were done this way.

  8. Hi Anonymous

    I'm not sure how many hours the oil I have has done, but it's not that many, all told.

    Analysis at this stage would be interesting.

    LJ cannot burn engine oil, so far as I know.

    As you say, the last lot went for recycling, but I've been thinking of building an oil burner and using my old oil up that way.

  9. Hi there Rick, Karen & the menagerie.

    Good to hear from you again.

    I'll post on the governors performance when I next run up the engine. Been busy with other stuff on board meanwhile.

    Let me know how you got on with your cylinder heads experience, I'm keen to know.



  10. Hi Fred

    Good point, though I suspect it's not in most shop's interests.



  11. Hi Rob

    Interesting. It all sounds very high tech and therefore desirable!

    Overall I'd put it on the nice to have list, more mundane things like ropes and anchor chain probably come before that in the grand scheme of things.



  12. Hello Again !
    Instead af Alfa Lavall.....
    Check this Oil polisher from
    Dieselcraft, nice price to

  13. Hi If

    Looks interesting, and worth following up on at some point.