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Bartech Marine Engineering

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Last time I talked about the first major problem with engine maintenance contracts, and how to deal with the difficulty of sourcing parts for engines that are out of production.

And as promised, I’m back with the second major problem:
The consistency of support and standardisation across multiple engine types.

Starting a project of new builds, there is sense in commonality, but with changing assets, this isn’t possible. It can also be that different engines are more suitable for different applications.

How many different engine models do you rely on?

With this variety comes the consideration of the best support. What’s the best approach?

Clearly, lots of people choose to stick with the OEM or agent, but if you’re going to do that, how many different companies would be needed to cover all your key equipment?

The problem with using multiple companies looking after your equipment is there are different philosophies used, covering everything from maintenance schedules to problem resolution techniques.

Then there is the cost of having someone who is only looking at one engine on site.

What if you need servicing on one engine and high-temperature concerns looked at on a second different engine?

Does this mean you have to coordinate two different companies and pay for both to attend?

The best solution we have found is to offer engineers who are trained by multiple OEMs, with experience across various engines.

Not only do the owners get the reassurance of OEM guidelines, but the breadth of experience can be utilised for faster fault diagnosis and more improvement recommendations.

The 3 main operators we have long-term maintenance contracts with have also found this approach saves money and time whilst making their life easier working with one engine maintenance partner.

Which companies do you trust with your engine maintenance?

If you missed my post – The 1st major problem with engine maintenance contracts...

If you’re after a trustworthy engine specialist with an excellent track record for your job, email us or call +44 (0)1206 673101.
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Last week we shared a post about an MTU 396 engine having to be removed from its location to our workshop for an overhaul. (If you missed it, you can read it here:

The overhaul’s in full swing, and today we’ve carried out some testing rarely asked for by our clients.

During the inspection process, you’ll be aware of the various measurement and crack detection checks, including the pressure testing of the cylinder heads, but have you been involved in this type of testing?

This pressure testing of the crankcase was requested to check there wasn’t any internal damage to the complicated water system.

The alternative would be X-ray, but on an item of this size, that would be a very expensive option!

The focus is usually on the pistons, rods, bearings etc, but as the crankcase is such a fundamental part of the engine, that needs to be thoroughly checked as well.

If there was any internal damage, it could easily result in significant downtime and problems from an engine seizure.

The pressure test proved there wasn’t any internal damage, so the rebuild could continue, but that’s given added confidence in the future of the engine and all for only an extra 2 hours.

For me, it’s refreshing that our client requested it themselves – it’s great working with people who have the same high standards as Bartech.

Are there any testing regimes YOU insist on?

If you’re after a trustworthy engine specialist with an excellent track record for your job, email us or call +44 (0)1206 673101.
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MTU 396 - Setting engine timing

• Only one gear has a timing mark
• Cylinder A1 is set to top dead centre on the firing stroke
• Camshafts are aligned with markings on the crankcase
• Timing gears are then fitted ensuring nothing moves that may disturb engine timing
• Fuel injection pump drive gear is then fitted, aligning with marking on crankcase*

*This ensures that when the fuel injection pump is fitted the engine is in the correct position.

If you’re after a trustworthy MTU engine specialist with an excellent track record for your job, email us or call +44 (0)1206 673101.
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We’ve got an MTU 396 in for a complete overhaul at the moment.

It came to us due to the rubber mount in a hydraulic pump failing, causing the ball bearing to break up & releasing the roller balls into the gear chain & beyond – quite the chain reaction, & quite the mess too!

However, I’m not writing about the failed bearing or the resulting damage.

Instead, I just wanted to highlight how work can sometimes not be as straightforward as the operator may want it to be.

Generally, an operator will always rather the work is carried out in-situ, as removing an engine for overhaul or maintenance work can be a major inconvenience.

But unfortunately, sometimes it’s impossible to avoid removing the engine.

This isn’t a new fad of synchronised engine work, but instead, the process for correctly tightening the bearing caps, which you can see is by no means straightforward.

The studs are first fixed with Loctite at a height within a 0.7mm tolerance. The inner nuts are then torqued down simultaneously to a set reading, then an additional 270°+20°.

Finally, the outer nuts are torqued down by the same process, all utilising the specialist MTU tooling to hold the studs whilst the nuts are tightened.

Would you be able to carry this out on site?
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We are currently overhauling an #MTU 396 engine which came to us after a bearing failed, causing extensive damage.
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As you may know, it was the #RAF100 Royal Air Force centenary last week.

Events like this are always good fun, & these particular celebrations included a “flypast”, which saw up to 100 aircraft (old & new) take off from Ipswich & fly across to Buckingham Palace.

Before the flypast, we did some research & worked out the time they would be travelling over Colchester (which was right on the flight path)

The whole team went over to the park to watch this historical event.

See the video we shot:

Not great is it?

We had the right time, & the flypast happened over Colchester, but if we’d done a bit more research, we'd have realised that the park would not be a great vantage point.

It’s the same as when you look after your engines.

With the best research, you get the best results; whether that's rectifying a problem or improving performance, safety or reliability.

Granted, with the volume of responsibilities, not everyone has time to dedicate to looking after their engines (as much as they'd like to) & this is where specialists like Bartech can help get the results you need.

If we'd done our research better, we could've seen:

If there's any rectification or improvements you'd like help with, let me know.
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Recently we were supporting an operator with the overhaul of a Cat 3306 engine.
As part of the work scope, we needed to source a crankcase assembly, so we found an overhauled one.

It was from a “reputable” supplier, but when we inspected it more closely, we uncovered some major concerns.

First off, it didn’t look great.

And yes, it’s absolutely true that you can’t always judge a book by its cover, and that the true quality of the main operating components is the most important thing, but to me, alarm bells start ringing when I see something look this bad from the first glimpse – if it’s been allowed to get into that state, then I have to question how much care has been taken with the internals!

Overhauled Cat 3306 Crankcase
Would you be happy with flaky paint and debris in the gears?
As it turned out, our fears were entirely justified.

We dismantled the crankcase and found the big end bolts had not been tightened fully to the required torque – a recipe for disaster.

Other areas our inspection found were:

Rust on locating pins
Rust on crankshaft webbing
Used, heavily marked thrust washers
Undersized crankshaft
This didn’t compromise the engine, as correct bearings were used, but no information was provided that the shaft was undersized.

Please make sure, when you’re purchasing reconditioned assemblies that a thorough inspection is carried out and the supplier can back everything up with measurement and test sheets because you could be the one feeling the effects of poor quality.

If you aren’t sure what checks should be carried out or want a second opinion, please get in touch.

For a trustworthy engine specialist with an excellent track record for your job, email us or call +44 (0)1206 673101.
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Looking forward to watching #RAF100 flypast later outside our workshop in Colchester!
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A couple of weeks ago I shared some information on a recent job, where we weren’t seeing any oil pressure when running the engine.
And last week we got a stark reminder of how quickly things can be affected if the lubricating oil is not circulating.

We were carrying out an initial test run on a rebuilt engine, and straight away it was flagged up that there wasn’t any oil pressure, so the engine was shut down after less than a minute.

We fitted some extra gauges to try and determine the cause of the lack of oil pressure and ran the engine for another minute.

Again, no pressure.

After carrying out some further investigations and checks, the engine was started for the third time.

Again, no oil pressure.

To diagnose the cause, we began a more intrusive examination, here is what we found:

After just 3 minutes of running the crankshaft was badly scored and main bearings needed changing.

If you are ever experiencing lack of oil pressure, make sure it is checked out ASAP as it can quickly turn into a failure.
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We had a call the other day, with an offshore customer reporting problems starting their MTU 16V2000 engine.

The offshore engineers had already established that there was air in the fuel system, so they were already bleeding the fuel system before starting.

This method was working as a stopgap option, but it was no good as part of the emergency generation system unless an engineer was paid to be there 24 hours a day, round the clock.

We deployed our engineer Matt, and his immediate focus was on locating where the air was getting into the fuel system.

First off, he checked all the pipes and fittings to see if there was an obvious route, but all checks suggested that there was nothing wrong with either.

His next port of call was to loosen the returned pipe, and that’s where things started becoming clearer.

By loosening the pipe, Matt was able to not only see the amount of air, but also tell by the smell that it wasn’t clean air, but combustion gases.

Armed with this information, the next step was to check the fuel lines to the cylinder heads, and after removing the injectors, it was found that one of the sealing washers was damaged – that was enough to allow air from the cylinder into the fuel line.

All the washers were replaced, and the engine was brought back on-line, with no need to repeatedly bleed the fuel system.

The result was a safety critical engine able to start when needed without intervention.

If you’re having to regularly bleed the fuel system on your engines, checking the type of air getting in will be a big help in locating the source.

And if you want us to take a look at it, contact us via email or over the phone.

For a trustworthy engine specialist with an excellent track record for your job, email us or call +44 (0)1206 673101.
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