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LeuCat Adventures
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Draining Oil The Easy Way

...and then slip the copper pipe into the hose of your pump that you use to suck the oil out. Viola! A nice and easy way to remove the dirty oil and sludge from your genset!

Draining Oil The Easy Way

Just screw on the copper pipe to the end of the drain hose...

Draining Oil The Easy Way

This is the little copper tube with a pressure fitting and a nut that screws onto the end of the drain hose. You can make this yourself by just running over to the local hardware store and getting the pieces.

Draining Oil The Easy Way

This is the drain hose that leads to the drain pan at the bottom of the engine of the genset. You can see the copper fitting at its terminus.

Year 5 Day 170 Getting Ready For Indonesia
07/23/2012, Fanny Bay, Darwin, AU

We are scrambling now as we try to get everything in order for our sail to Indonesia. We leave this Saturday so time is quickly running out. Today was the day to work on the generator and start work on the sails and battens.

We have an 11KW Onan generator and it was time for its 500 hour maintenance. It is really quite simple but it takes a bit of time to get to some of the areas since you have to go into both the front and the back of the unit. To get to the back of the genset, I have to empty out one of the cupboards in the salon that is just off the floor. Once all the pot and pans and stuff are removed, I can then open up a "secret" panel that leads to the genset. I need to do this to check the pencil zinc that is located on the backside of the heat exchanger. What a pain...

Draining the oil and changing the filter was next and that was followed by inspecting the impeller. One of the blades was cut so I also changed the impeller just to be safe. The whole process took a few hours and by the time I was done, it was noon.

I mention all of the above in a bit of detail only to have you understand that doing even the most simple thing on a boat takes so much longer than if you were doing it on land. Three hours of this process seems to me to be a tremendous amount of time to do three easy things on an engine. Yet, that is what it took and I am now pretty proficient at it. Go figure...

The afternoon was spent running to shore to go to the chandlery to pick up some things I need for the boat and working on the sails. When I went to shore, it was very low tide and, once again, I had to anchor the dinghy well offshore and wade a couple of hundred yards to reach the beach. When I returned from the chandlery, the tide had receded further and the dinghy's stern was sitting high and dry on its dinghy wheels. The wheels were stuck in the silty sand and it was very difficult to pry them out.

I have two battens that needed work. One was a temporary thing I threw together in Lizard Island and it needed replacing. The other was one that somehow had popped out of the batten holder that tie into the batten car. Both had torn small holes into the sail. Thus, armed with my rusty, trusty 3M 5200 and sail tape, I first started the repair work on the sails. I needed to remove the above half of the sail from the sail track to bring it down on to the roof of the salon where I could work on it. All of this took the rest of the day and I still have a bit more work to do. Ugh!

Tomorrow we have the rally technical meeting so I don't think I will be getting much done. Plus, in the morning we have to go to the meat market to place our order for meats.

Techno-Tip Of The Week: An Easy Way To Drain Oil From Your Generator

We have an Onan generator and it comes with a tube that is installed at the drain plug of the engine. This makes draining the oil a bit easier. Some people just slip a thin tube into the drain tube and push it in as far as it can go. Then they turn on their little pump and suck the oil out. That method is fine but you don't get all of the dirty oil out that way. Plus, if there is any sludge in the bottom of the drain pan, it will not be removed this way. The CatCo folks back in BVI taught me a little trick that works much better.

The end of the drain hose terminates with a screw on copper cap. To drain the oil you remove the cap. However, if you build a little copper pipe with a nut and a pressure fitting on it, you can screw that pipe onto the end of the drain hose. Now you can slip the copper pipe into the hose of your pump and using a hose clamp you have a perfect seal. This lets you get full suction on the drain hose and you can suck all of the dirty oil and sludge out. Pretty neat, huh?

I will post a few pictures to show you what I just tried to describe.

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