Caterpillar 3508 engine installation

Tricky Workspace



During a recent vessel attendance to carry out an engine exchange, we came across what could have caused major issues!

The scope was to disconnect and remove the existing engine, swap all sensors and connections from the old engine to the newly overhauled engine, and then install and commission the new engine.

However, the scope changed slightly on arrival.

The engine was mostly already disconnected, and the plan was to remove the existing engine but leave the sump and engine bearers in the vessel. The gearbox had also been removed which raised some alignment questions when it came to the installation.

The disconnection continued while the shipyard made ready for lifting the engine out, and it was moved to the soft hatch at the rear of the vessel before being lifted out with the crane.

While carrying out the work scope, we noted that there was a preheat pipe and tap connected to a flange on the side of the Vee on the block, which is located behind the oil pump, oil cooler and surrounding pipework.

We realised that removing this pipe would be difficult, but refitting it to the new engine would be virtually impossible, without removing the oil cooler and surrounding pipework.

Luckily, the new engine had a blank with a tapped thread in it covering the hole.

So, to solve the issue, we made a flexi pipe with the tap on the end that we could screw in behind the cooler – with just enough room to fit a spanner in to tighten it!

The new flexi pipe fitted without removing any major components.

This saved time, and stripping a completed engine would have exposed the main oil channels, which we did not want to do.

The rest of the work scope went well without a hitch, but I just wanted to share that while tight spaces and restricted areas can be an issue, they do not need to stop critical work from being carried out.

If you have an engine that is in a tricky workspace, let us know, we’d be happy to help, and we do love a challenge!

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