Clean Up Your Diesels Problems
By Rich Johnson
I spend most of my time on the water fishing and while a large segment
of the boating community may not like or want to fish for recreation, they would rather
spend time just cruising and entertaining. If any of you fall into this category and run a
vessel over 25-foot, you more than likely are powered by diesel engines. Many of these
entertaining vessels can be rather large and when it comes to fuel economy and large
cruising vessels, diesel power is the only way to go, no doubt about it!
Any diesel-powered owner will tell you and rightfully so, that the dependability of his
engine is very difficult to beat. Initially, they may be more expensive to purchase, but
over the long haul they are more fuel efficient than gasoline, less prone to fire and
require a lot less maintenance. Sounds like the perfect engine right?
However, if you ask a passenger on a diesel vessel, theyll complain of foul and
noxious fumes sucked into the cockpit, which can be a major contributor of seasickness if
not just a nuisance. If you ask mechanics in charge of maintaining diesel engines, they
may sound off on a messy or puddle engine room floor, the oily discharge from crankcase
breathers, or stressed seals and gaskets that allow an oily film to coat everything in the
engine room compartment. These folks may not be so inclined to rave on about the positive
attributes of diesel engines. Even diesel owners themselves have to admit to some of this
in their own hearts.
How would you like to get rid of all these diesel problems in one fell swoop? Sounds
like a dream doesnt it? The experts, and by that I mean charter and party boat
captains, mechanics and marina operators or those that run diesels for business or
pleasure, know these problems are a thing of the past and are optional if you choose to do
so. Walker Engineering of California created the solution to such problems,
with their Walker Airsep. While others have tried to duplicate the process and have come
close, Walker is still the undisputed king with the know-how and technical support to make
this dream a reality.
The oily film that coats an engine room is caused by the diesels powerful
"positive" pressure, which spurts out a mist of oil and fuel emissions. Some of
it may come from the crankshaft rotation, but the compression that slips by the piston
rings and into the crankcase during the combustion of fuel and air in the cylinders,
really intensifies blow-by problems.
What is blow-by? After each upstroke of a piston, the explosion of the combustion that
forces the piston to the down stroke creates gases. Some gases pass the piston and end up
in the crankcase below. The situation becomes worse as piston rings and their tolerances
deteriorate through time. This positive pressure can create great stress and even failure
of gaskets and engine seals that will seep oil, creating a real mess in the engine room.
The Walker Airsep system separates and re-directs oil blow-by, back into the crankcase
while at the same time, reduces positive pressure, which in the long run will add years of
life to your diesels. This separator forms a "closed crankcase" breathing system
by retrofitting and engines air intake and crankcase breather.
With no moving parts (like an autos air filter), the Airsep catches oil saturated
air coming from the engines crankcase breather and then separates the oil and fuel
emissions before returning them to the crankcase and air intake system respectively. This
is accomplished through a centrifugal type air circulation system that swirls the blow-by
gases. We know oil is heavier than fuel, so it is drawn to the outside and into a drain
hose leading back to the crankcase. The remaining fuel rich gases (volatile) and water
vapors are reintroduced into the intake system, which keeps components and passengers
clean and eliminates noxious fumes! The bottom line is that blow-by in the engine is
eliminated, creating "negative" pressure in your engine, greatly reducing the
strain and stress on gaskets and engine seals.
The reducing of positive pressure into negative pressure and the reduction of strain on
seals or gaskets results in smoother, overall engine performance and you may even squeeze
an additional rpm or two out of this deal. This comes as an added bonus to substantial oil
savings, sometimes as much as 30%, but the average is closer 20 to 25%. Better fuel
economy and cleaner engine rooms are an added bonus and something every diesel owner
wouldnt mind having. If you need further proof, top diesel companies like Detroit
Diesel, Cummins and Caterpillar install them as factory standards on many models.