Posts Tagged ‘Maintenance’

Fuel Injector Maintenance & Why it’s Important

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

The idea behind maintaining your fuel injection system is pretty much a no-brainer; it keeps your engine reliable and ensures proper performance. Gunk builds up in your injectors from the process of cooling your engine. As the engine runs, the injectors are kept cool by the fuel running through them. When the engine is turned off, the temperature rises and the heat soaks the fuel injectors. This breaks the fuel down into gum and varnish. Whenever your engine is shut off there is plenty of opportunity for layers of gum and varnish to harden deeply inside and outside the tip of the fuel injector. Seeing as boats are stored for long periods of time and run for shorter periods of time (not to mention the winter months when the engine is not started at all), you can see where the problem comes in.

Sure, you can add chemicals into your fuel to stabilize or clean your injectors, but they cannot clean away those layers and layers of fuel deposits. Before you know it, your fuel injector is clogged and dirty and has left your once smooth-running boat without power while you’re trying to enjoy your weekend off. Not to mention the cost associated with engine repairs for these issues.

Bottom line is: Cleaning fuel injectors ensures proper engine performance and can guard against costly repairs. Don’t wait until it’s too late!

But you know, Sierra always has you covered…

Did you know that Sierra has an all-in-one fuel injection cleaning kit? We make it super easy to maintain your fuel injection system!

The E-GO! Fuel Injection Cleaning kit (pictured below) contains: Cleaning System container, hose, small fitting, large fitting, and carrying case.

For: Mercury, Honda, and Yamaha

  • Cleans away layers of fuel deposits when the engine is running.
  • Helps maintain the injector’s cleanliness and performance throughout the life of your engine.
  • For best results, use 18-8606 E-GO! Blast Fuel Injector Cleaner.

 

ECOTIP #2: Preventing and Cleaning Spills

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

 

Picture this, you’re enjoying your day out on the water when you see a rainbow looking film on the water. You think, “Oh no! Is that from me?”. Day ruined. 

Take a look at some tips that we’ve found from our friends at discoverboating.com so there is no worries next time you’re out and about!

 

  1. Spill-proof your oil changes: Use an oil change pump to transfer oil to a spill-proof container. Wrap an absorbent pad around the oil filter to prevent oil from spilling into the bilge
  2. Fueling up: Prevent fuel spills by filling fuel tanks slowly and use absorbent pads or reusable rags to catch drips or clean up spills. Don’t “top off” your tank, remember fuel expands as it gets warm, so leave about 10% empty.
  3. CLEAN IT UP: Never use soap to disperse fuel and oil spills. Not only is it harmful to the environment, it is also illegal.
  4. Maintenance on land: Try (as much as possible) to do all maintenance projects in the boatyard instead of on the water. If you do have to do maintenance on the water, use tarps and vacuum sanders to collect all debris for proper disposal.
  5. “Stow it, don’t throw it!”: Keep your trash on board! Never throw any type of garbage into the ocean and take advantage of shore-side facilities to recycle plastic, glass, metal, and paper. Sometimes, the wind picks up and blows out trash you were trying to keep on board. Try this cool trick to wind-proof your trash can. (Adapt the instructions for your particular size of trash can.)

Do you do any of these? Let us know! If you’d like to check out more tips, click here.

Why does Lloyd’s Type Approval matter when it comes to Shield’s Hose?

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

Type Approval from Lloyd’s Register (LR) proves that a product conforms to recognized industry quality standards and/or the LR Rules, through a process of independent design review, testing and verification of production controls.

There are two main steps to Type Approval. The first is Type Examination. Design data is submitted and reviewed to ensure it complies with the requirements of the specified standard(s) and/or LR rules. Then, samples of the product are tested to verify they meet the testing requirements of the relevant standards and any performance requirements associated with the product.

The second main step in the Type Approval process is Production Quality Assurance. This is performed to ensure the product (when mass produced) will be of an acceptable quality and will conform to the version that was prototype tested. Production controls are inspected to confirm that the product can be manufactured in accordance with the design data.

Once Type Approval is achieved, a Certificate is issued and is typically valid for 5 years. The product is then entered in the relevant part of the Lloyd’s Register List of Type Approval Products.

Why does this matter to you? It matters because this certification ensures you that our vendors and suppliers are capable of providing the highest quality product possible. You can trust your boat with Sierra.

How to Tell if a Starter is Bad on your Marine Engine

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

When the starter on your marine engine refuses to crank, the engine’s starter may have gone bad.

First, you need to make sure the starter is really the source of the problem.  Several other things: including a blown main fuse, not moving the throttle/shift lever into “neutral” before attempting to crank the motor, electrical connections that are not clean and tightly connected and wiring in poor condition can cause symptoms similar to those of a bad starter. So, go grab your multimeter and let’s do some testing! (NOTE: This is a good time to remove the lanyard from the emergency cut off switch to prevent the engine from accidentally starting)

Step 1: Turn the dial of a digital multimeter to the DC voltage setting. Place the red probe on the positive battery post and then the black probe on the negative battery post. If the multimeter indicates the battery is producing less than 11.3 volts, recharge or replace the battery before testing the starter.

Step 2: Set the multimeter to the DC voltage setting. Place the red lead of the multimeter on the positive terminal of the starter motor and then the black lead on the engine ground.

Step 3: Turn the ignition switch to the “Start” position. Read the voltage indicated on the multimeter.

Step 4: If the reading on the digital multimeter is greater than 9.5 volts, attempt to start the motor. If the motor fails to start when the reading on the digital multimeter is more than 9.5 volts, the starter requires replacement or rebuilding. A reading of less than 9.5 volts indicates a voltage loss between the battery and the starter; this should be corrected and then start the testing procedure again. (NOTE: This test is for a 12V operating system)

TIP: Before you crank the motor, shift it into “neutral.” The neutral lockout will prevent the motor from starting. Check the main fuse and inspect the wiring for broken or frayed wires.

Do you need help selecting the new starter for your marine engine? Give our technical support a call at 1-877-663-8396 or you can visit our website for a complete listing of our Rotating Electric Products here.

Usage, Inspection and Maintenance of Hose Systems

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

INSTALLATION, INSPECTION AND MAINTENANCE OF HOSE SYSTEMS

Don’t Neglect This Critically Important System On Your Boat

Shields Marine manufactures a wide variety of hoses for applications onboard pleasure craft.  Serving as conduits for fluids, air or exhaust, each Shields hose is designed for a specific application and meets strict standards set by the USCG, ABYC and other regulatory agencies. Hoses also serve as vibration absorbers, isolating components such as exhaust manifolds from the hull of the vessel.

Installers should be mindful of using the right hose for the job. Correct hose and coupling methods should be carried out as outlined by EPA, ABYC, USCG, SAE and the NMMA. Any questions regarding application, replacement or installation should be referred to the Shields technical service department at 217-324-9400.

Inspection
Hose applications aboard any vessel are likely to be mission-critical. Therefore, failure to inspect and replace worn or aged hose can result in the loss of property or possibly, the loss of life.  All mission-critical hose – fuel, wet exhaust, bilge pump, bilge vent and hoses connected below the water line – should be inspected prior to each use of the vessel. All fittings and clamps should be secure and properly attached.  All hoses and connections should be inspected annually by a qualified marine mechanic.

Maintenance and Replacement 
If inspection reveals hose damage, those hoses should be replaced consistent with industry standards.
Replace hose that exhibits any of the following signs:
• Cuts, gouges, cracks
• Exposed fabric or wire reinforcement
• Soft spots or bulges
• Loose covers or kinks
• Stiffness or inflexibility

Installation
Hoses shall be secured by corrosion resistant clamps equal to or greater that 300 grade stainless steel. Clamps shall not depend solely on spring tension. Clamps should not be over-tightened, as this may damage the hose or fitting. Fittings must be the proper size for the hose. Forcing a hose over an oversized fitting or clamping down the hose on an undersized fitting may damage the hose and cause failure.

Click here for a complete Shields Hose Product Application Guide.

Spring Boat Maintenance Tips

Monday, April 14th, 2014

As spring slowly approaches, it’s time to start planning for boating season.  In order to make sure your boat is safe and running efficiently, you must thoroughly inspect and address a number of items on your boat.

FUEL TANK

  • Completely empty your tank of any gas that might have remained through the winter. When filling up with a fresh tank of gasoline, use a fuel treatment, such as Sierra’s eGuard, to ensure better fuel economy.
  • Visually inspect the gas tank for any corrosion.
  • Check the primer bulb and make sure it is firm and strong. Replace the bulb if you notice cracks or if it collapses.

BATTERY

  • Since the cold weather can greatly deplete your battery, it’s important to allow it to fully recharge. You should also regularly change your battery every two years.
  • Battery cells should be filled with distilled water.
  • Visually inspect the terminals for corrosion. Clean them if needed.

OIL & LUBRICATION

  • Replace the oil filter if it wasn’t done in the fall.
  • Inspect the oil injection unit and clean or replace it if necessary.
  • Inspect the prop shaft and lubricate it if needed.
  • Re-lubricate all necessary parts.
  • Check the condition of the lower-case oil. If the oil appears milky or cloudy, it is likely there is a leak in one or more of the lower unit seals. This should be addressed quickly, as water in the gear case can lead to expensive repairs.

ELECTRICAL

  • Check spark plugs and wires for damage. If one needs replaced, your chances are relatively high that another one will go bad soon after, so save time and replace them all.
  • Check all electrical components.
  • Inspect fuses and replace those that may have damage
  • TIP: When you disconnect the ignition wires, be sure to remember the cylinders to which they correspond.  With larger motors this can be especially important because the timing is set to fire the cylinders in a certain order.

PROPELLER

  • Pull off the propeller and inspect for any damage or fishing line.
  • TIP: Make sure you keep track of the order you remove the washers, nuts, sleeves and adapters. This will ensure an easy reinstallation once you’re done.

ANODE

  • Inspect the anode on your engine and replace it if there appears to be heavy corrosion. An anode that is in good condition will keep the parts of your engine that sit in the water from corroding.

HYDRAULIC STEERING

  • If your boat has a hydraulic steering system like BayStar, SeaStar or SeaStar Pro, check the tilt and trim fluid for the proper fluid levels.
  • Address any leaks prior to launching the boat.

STEERING CABLE

  • Inspect your boat’s steering, shift and throttle cable.  If you notice any cracks or bulges in the outer jacket of the cable, this could indicate corrosion and warrants replacement of the cable prior to taking your boat out onto the water.

A spring tune-up of your boat can go a long way toward ensuring a trouble-free summer boating season and it is an essential part of spring maintenance for your boat!