Engine vibration damage
One of our client’s Deutz DFP6 1013 C20 fire pumps failed the other day, and our engineer Andy has been looking into the root cause.
And what he’s found is a great example of how much damage can be caused even on low hours engines and how it can be prevented.
The engine arrived at Bartech after excessive movement was found on the crankshaft, and an assessment was needed to see if the engine could be repaired, or if a replacement was needed.
What we quickly realised was that – in addition to the crankshaft movement, there were also visible cracks to the bell housing area.
Once dismantled, the severity of the internal damage got worse, as not only had the crankshaft snapped, but the list of parts requiring replacing included:
• Main bearing caps
• Bell housing
• Starter motor
The engine is still being fully inspected, but early indications are it has been suffering from vibrations.
This is unlikely to be from the engine, but most commonly from another part of the fire pump system, and because of the motions of a reciprocating engine, it is the engine that feels the effects.
When an engine is experiencing excessive vibrations, the damage quickly escalates, and in this case, a knock-on effect of the damaged crankcase reducing lubrication was that the camshaft bearing became dislodged and wrapped around the camshaft.
How can you identify vibration problems?
Whilst there is specialist vibration monitoring equipment, one of the indicators is the looseness of bolts around the engine. Whilst a decision is made on the engine, it’s vital that the couplings, vibration mounts, connecting shafts, pump and all components of the fire pump system are checked to make sure the same damage is not repeated.
To prevent this damage in the first place, regular vibration testing is available and should be added to routine health checks.