Rust damage from engine storage

Critical circulation

Engine Maintenance


We currently have a Caterpillar 3508 engine in the workshop from a dredging vessel.

The engine in question was removed from the vessel a while ago and kept dockside, prior to being sent to us for overhauling.

And it appears that this has had an impact – we found rust on the camshaft, which has penetrated too deeply for us to rectify by machining – this will now require replacement.

Weather damage on Caterpillar 8V3508 camshaft and cylinder liners

This is not news any operator wants to hear, but the good news is that it can often be prevented.

The basic steps you must follow when preparing an engine for storage are:

  • Run the engine using the correct preservative fluids (oil, coolant and fuel) before taking out of service
  • Prepare the engine for storage as per OEM guidelines
  • Cover all openings
  • Ensure the entire engine is then covered and kept in a dry environment

The above steps are the minimum requirements when storing an engine to preserve its condition.

In this case, however, and many others we have seen, there is a fundamental step that is often missed and is essential to ensure the longevity of the internal components:

Manual turnover.

Engines in storage must be manually turned over as per the manufacturer’s instructions and left in a different position each time, to ensure continued protection of internal surfaces.

There may also be other tasks that require completing. Again, the engine manufacturers advice should be followed.

Regardless of OEM, all engines in storage still require attention regularly – the intervals for this will be detailed in the manufacturer's instructions.

Do you make sure these steps are followed?

If you need help with stored items or advice on storing your assets, get in touch, we’d be happy to help

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