Many Projects (Including Oil Change)

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

As one gets closer to important deadlines, it is well known that we become more active, or focused or whatever. We become more productive. I am undergoing this phase currently because I am preparing to return to Toronto early next week.

Let me start by saying a big thank you to BigJohn and his friend Alexandros. We met John and Manolis during our visit to Kea in January and they have kept in touch through the spring. Since I am not a seasoned (or competent) mechanic and have never changed the oil on a boat, I need to learn to do this on my own and BigJohn introduced me to Alexandros and his wife Voula (who is a Canadian, from Montreal). Alexandros knows his way around diesels and this evening he and Voula (who helps with translation) came by where I watched a pro change the oil on the generator and the main.

This post, like some of my others, are more journal entries for myself, than commentary for public consumption, feel free to skip over the oil change bit that I am tacking on the bottom, but I will try to make it interesting just the same.

Okay, back to life.   Yesterday I rode 140km, along the shoreline toward Korinthos, which meant more flat than what I have been doing lately.   The featured picture is of some poppies along the roadway looking out over the water towards Corinth.

I have three interesting pictures from the ride.   The first is this wall, built into the side of the cliff.   It looks pretty non-descript, but those holes are, I think, gun positions.   Don’t know how old the wall is, but it is clearly a defensive structure.


The next picture is more of the same.   About 20km further down the road, there are these gun turrets built into the wall.  Hardly noticeable.   They are clearly new as the barrel holes are smallish, and the turrets are too small to be for cannons or large caliber weapons.  Perhaps a large machine gun turret or a handheld missile.


This area is pretty heavily militarized.   The waters here are a busy port, but also submarine training grounds, or so it says on the nautical charts.   Here is a nice view of the ships at anchor to offer a sense of the commercial aspects of this area.


With amazing weather, the ride was fun.  I am now tanned and look forward to making all of you jealous upon my return to snowy Toronto.

At the end of the evening, I realized that I had all the parts and pieces to start on the rope lighting for the aft and port side of the salon.   So I pulled out all of my equipment and got back to work.   About 80% of the salon is now wrapped in the white light from this new accent lighting, and I can simply splice in the remaining 20% on my return.   Here is a partial photo to give you an impression of what the salon looks like with these lights installed.


Today was another very busy day.  While I didn’t get everything done, I did get in 50K on the bike and the oil change, laundry, and refilling the water tank, so it was a good day.

That’s it for now.

————————- Oil Change Stuff ———————–

First off, the previous owner has stockpiled many oil and fuel filters, so I had many of the bits on board already, including about 15L of engine oil, but I acquired some new oil to make sure that I had enough.  I had 20L of Rimula R4 L 15W-40 delivered to the boat for €108 cash, ensuring I would have plenty of oil for the change. The main takes 20.1L and the generator takes about 8L (verify the correct number).

Home Free is equipped with a plumbed, oil change system that will remove the old oil from any of the three engines and replace it, (from a bucket) as well. The system (as I now know) has a bit of a glitch as the valve stopping oil from entering/leaving the generator doesn’t close properly. A separate ball valve at the base of the generator would be a useful addition.

On the generator, remove the oil filter (NEED A OIL FILTER WRENCH; put something beneath to catch the oil that comes out), and replace.  If replacing the fuel filter (I didn’t at this time, it looks very clean), pour the diesel into the new filter (USE A FUNNEL) and then install.   Make sure to have lots of rags around for both of these procedures.

Once the filters have been replaced, use the pump to load oil back into the engine crankcase.   If it isn’t measured exactly, watch the dipstick to ensure you don’t overfill.

Start the engine to ensure that it works.   In this case it died because it needed to be bled a bit.  There is a small pump near the fuel filter to clear the air.

For the main, empty the oil from the crankcase first, then remove the fuel and oil filters.  With the fuel filter, again, remember to fill it with diesel first.  Clear the air/bleed the line with the pump just below and to the right.

After refill the crankcase with oil.  Start the engine.   Again note the oil level to ensure that it is fine.

In this case, the error with the plumbing meant that we filled the generator, then proceeded to accidentally pull all the oil back out (into waste) when trying to pull oil out of the main.   I had enough spare oil that it wasn’t a big deal, but it was 8L of high grade synthetic oil that simply went into the garbage.

In this case, the marina came to pick up and discard the old oil.   Cleanup was a pretty easy, but harder than usual because we tried to fill the genny from the fill cap and it kept over flowing.   Much better to use the pump.   The cleanup took about an hour (some still needs to be done in the morning).   Make sure to have a sturdy bag or other receptacle for old filters.   They will be messy.  Make sure to have a LOT of clean rags at hand as well.  About 8-10 should be enough if you have a small spill.

As well, normally I should carry 10-20L of fresh oil and an empty 20L jug for waste oil.  I will get more tomorrow so that I have some aboard.

———————— End of oil change procedure   —————–


2 thoughts on “Many Projects (Including Oil Change)

  1. Hi Don. Just a quick tip. I always refill the oil via a funnel in the oil filler cap. I know it takes longer but at least you are not allowing any used oil back into the crankcase via the oil pump. Dave

    1. Thanks David, we did that and had two spills because it is absorbed so slowly. I may try again on my own. I hope to do this myself from now on, just so I can be up close and personal with the machine.

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