Routine engine monitoring saves engines and lives
How are you finding things with the COVID-19 restrictions in place?
Whilst there are more than enough trials for those having to adjust to being constrained at home, you’ll also be aware of the challenges of supporting critical engines which are still relied on, even with the UK’s partial lockdown.
In case you haven’t seen, we’ve put together a completely free 24-hour technical hotline on +44 1206 645070, where we will work with you to rectify any issues utilising a video call like Facetime, so there will be no need for anyone else to attend the site.
We will also continue to share real-life experiences, to help you identify and deal with issues you may come across.
Just the other week we received a call to investigate and rectify an engine-driven emergency generator installed at a local hospital which was suffering from fuel in the oil. This can have disastrous consequences if not detected and rectified, but fortunately, the site has a good process in place, checking these critical engines routinely.
Our response team attended the site where the oil of the MTU 18V2000G63 engine was checked to find the level was 4 to 5 inches higher than it should be and there was a very strong smell of diesel.
The most likely cause is the injectors, and they would usually be checked using the diagnostic equipment on a short run, but with so much contamination in the oil, this was too dangerous. Instead, we removed the injectors to carry out a visual inspection, where they all looked in good condition.
The next step was a borescope inspection, which showed some diesel resting in the crown of 3 or 4 pistons.
However, there wasn’t enough to cause concern and certainly not enough to cause a 4-5 inch increase in the oil level.
The pistons themselves appeared in good condition, as did the liners, with the honing marks still very clear and no scuffs or scoring present, so there was no internal damage.
Having checked the injectors, pumps and fuel lines for damage, the next most likely cause is from a pipe connection or another fuel system component not sealing properly when the engine is running.
This can be difficult to detect without running the engine, so they were replaced as a matter of course and after new washers, O-rings and seals were fitted to the injectors and fuel pump, the fuel pipework had to be refitted, with special attention to MTU procedures:• The internal fuel pipe was tightened to 45Nm, then slackened off, then re-tightened to 45Nm. • The injector clamps were tightened to 50Nm • The high-pressure fuel lines were refitted and the union at each end tightened to 30Nm.
Finally, the oil and filters were changed, and the engine put back on-line again. With no evidence of a definitive cause of the leak, it is vital the inspections and monitoring continue to check the leak has stopped.