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Captain’s Log: Overhauling an Engine

This cruise we are overhauling one of our five engines. Overhauls are scheduled based on the amount of running hours they accumulate. The engine is totally pulled apart. Cylinder heads, cylinder liners, valve lifters, pistons, bearings, vibration dampers, injectors, fuel pumps. Everything is inspected, cleaned or replaced and finally put together again.

A small group of engine mechanics travel ship to ship to perform these jobs that can take up to three weeks to complete. Here are some pictures of the bits and pieces.

But first the men who do this job.

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Wiper Rizal Suaib and Engine Mechanic Charlie Abalon.

Charlie is one of the team that travels around overhauling engines on the HAL fleet. He does about eight engines each year. Here they are in the process of putting together one of the 12 pistons. For the gearheads. You might notice there is no pin connecting the piston to the piston rod. These pistons rotate within the cylinder so that they wear evenly. There is actually a gear mechanism inside the piston that makes this happen.

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A look in the crank casing. You can see the crankshaft and top middle two piston rods attached to it. This engine is a V12.

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One of the pistons just after it came out of the engine. This puppy produces 1000 HP by itself.

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One side of the V12. The wooden covers are to prevent bits and pieces (and the engineers) from falling in the engine.

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Overhauled cylinderhead ready to go back on the engine with 4 valves and a hole for the fuel injector in between them.

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Rocker arm box. This bit goes on top of the cylinderhead and operates the 4 valves.

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A fuel pump.

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Some of the pistons being dye-tested for cracks. The sheets are there to protect the piston rotating mechanism from dirt.

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