The oil change job


This morning i planned on changing the oil on both of Western Flyers engines.   In case you are not up to date,  the recent trip (one week ago)  total was approximately 1,000 miles bringing the Western Flyer from Portland to Los Angeles. 

Trip hours approximately 140. 

One manual tells me to change the oil every 150 hours and the other says 200 hours.  

Here is what the guru says about changing oil!

By Don Casey

Revised by BoatUS editors in April 2012

Engine manufacturers typically recommend an oil change every 100 hours, and at least once a year. Even if your engine manual allows for a longer interval between oil changes, changing the oil more often will extend the life of the engine.

One hundred engine hours between oil changes is fine for gasoline engines,

**** but diesel engines are much harder on their lubrication. You should change the oil in a diesel engine about every 50 hours.

The shorter interval is especially important for sailors who use their engines for only an hour or two per outing. Dirty oil sitting idle becomes destructive to the internal surfaces of the engine. If your boat will be idle for a while–over the winter, for example–it is imperative to remove the contaminated oil and fill the engine with clean oil.

Unfortunately regular oil changes are more often the exception rather than the rule, mainly because changing the oil in a boat engine can be a difficult and messy job. While it takes only a minute to drain the oil from an automobile engine, the oil drain plug in a boat is most often either out of reach or non-existent.

And even where the plug is accessible, there is usually inadequate space beneath the engine for a container to catch the draining oil.The trick to hassle-free oil changing is to find a method that works for your engine installation. ////////////////////////////////

This oil change job i did today is a $500 job if I was paying for it.   What I failed to do is take pictures so you can see why some say it’s worth paying the price .   I didn’t want to show you the mess I made.  

The Ford Lehman 135 Super engines are 1950’s era technology built in the 1960’s and placed in the Western Flyer when she was built in 1989.  The original owner opted for twins instead of the single diesel also offered.  

She looks and feels like a classic car engine to me,  so I am now starting to enjoy working on her more and more .    Today’s oil change is also brought to you by my chiropractor or better yet $20 therapeutic massage,  as I am now worn out from moving about manuevering the pump,  single and five gallon containers,  in a toasty,  LA heated diesel engine room.  


Shell was interviewing a petroleum geologist, a geophysicist and a petroleum engineer, the kind of person that makes these oil reserve estimates. So,  the question was asked, what’s 2 times 2,

the geologist thinks for a while and says “well it’s probably more than 3 and less than 5″.

The geophysicist punches it into his calculator and answers that it’s 3.999999.

The petroleum engineer gets up, locks the door, pulls the curtains, unplugs the phone and says,

“What do you want it to be?”

Since she is old technology straight 30W is what is recommended so that is what she got.   A Long Beach supplier of bulk oils and filters made purchasing in quantity that much easier,  still,  15 gallons of oil,  assorted filters,  bioguard,  degreaser etc.  was still in the hundreds of dollars.  Almost 50% savings from buying oil,  filters,  from West Marine.   

Since I don’t yet have an engine installed pump I use a pump on a Home Depot lid a top a 5 gallon bucket.   Each engine takes 4.6 gallons of oil plus one filter.   The pump sucks it out in about 15 minutes.  

Today I found out why each engine uses a different filter.   The port side has a thread down pattern for a spin on truck filter (Napa 1515)  and the starboard engine has a larger capacity (551843) spin on filter as shown in the picture above.  

Unfortunately for me I did not have the correct spare so I needed to drive back to Long Beach for a new filter. 

The used oil drains into a home depot five gallon bucket that I then cap off and dispose of at the marina office oil disposal center.   I keep the bucket for future oil changes.


About trawlercat

Retired and now moving on from the cruising life jeeps, adventure bike, gardening, and travel. Always in search of the next great adventure!
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