Thursday, 8 March 2012

Engine servicing tips and advice Beta BV1505

Last three times I have had RCR service my engine. They have done a great job and we have to date we have only had one breakdown to a leaking coolant hose - running on the engine and over time the rubbing/vibration wore a pin size hole into it from which we lost coolant.

Anyhow I emailed RCR last year and they took ages to reply eventually asking what my engine was etc - all information they have I think. I did not reply as I intended to do it myself as many of you guys do. Last time RCR did it I watched the guy and it was oil, oil filter, fuel filter and air filter. He tightened up the alternator belt and did some visuals checks and that was it.

So anything I should look out for - I presume I run the engine to warm up the engine oil to get it out easier - I have a sump pump fitted so that is easier. Last time I recall he charged up the replacement oil filter before fitting it, it this essential?

When he fitted the fuel filter he has to prime the system I think there is a lever to do this to charge the filter before restarting the engine?

The alternator belt I have done before so I am ok with that. I also check the wiring and coolant runs  plus engine mounts routinely. I do not expect to have to change the gearbox oil - the check is just to remove the filler cap and ensure the oil level is ok and the oil is clear honey coloured as it went in?

One thing I need to track is the fact the coolant warning light does not come on as the oil and electricity warning lamps do on starting the boat. Its not the bulb as I have tried that - any advice as to where the sensor is so I can check it and the wiring from it?

Any advice gratefully received. I am planning to do it this weekend.

One other question.... I have no expansion bottle on the coolant. So when checking cold it is not to the top when the filler cap is removed. I have topped it up but it spits out the overflow pipe as it expands. I assume this then results in it finding its own level but how do I know what to top it up to if needed. I am tempted to fit an expansion bottle - I might talk to Midland chandlers about this when I go and get the bits.


Bruce in Sanity said...


FWIW, note I'm not an engineer:

1) Oil filter, no need to prime, when you restart the engine, the siren will sound for a few seconds as the filter fills, then the gauge jumps up and all is well, hopefully. Check that the old sealing ring has come off with the old filter.

2) Gearbox oil, you're correct, though the oil may look a bit dark from being munched up by the gears

3) Fuel filter, on my Beta 43, the priming pump is worked by the big black button on top of the filter housing. The bleed screw is alongside it. Pump button with screw slack until no more bubbles come out, tighten screw, check button is now hard to push down, and away you go.

4) Coolant, I've run the overflow pipe into a clean 1 litre milk carton with a hole cut in the cap, and hung up somewhere handy with a cable tie to a bit of the framing. That way, you can see how much water gets spat out, and it doesn't end up in the bilge. Top up the water, run engine to hot, turn off and leave to cool, open water filler and stick finger in to judge where the level is. Much easier than faffing around with expansion bottles you don't need!

HTH and good luck


Nev Wells said...


Very helpful reply thank you. I think the fuel pump on the Beta I have has a small leaver to do the same job.

Top tip on the coolant both the bottle and the finger measure.


PS - finally got round to buying your book - a really good read and plenty of useful info not just for the builder but the retro fitter.

Alf said...

The above is the link to the Beta site for your (& my !) engine. Lots of usefull info.
Also I find when bleeding the fuel filter after a change, I some times have to "crack" the joint to the rearmost injector to purge the air through, it then starts ok.

Alf said...

P.S. I also change the oil in the gearbox once a year, its easiest if you have a suction pump to remove the old oil through the dip-stick hole. I have never been able to remove the drain plug nut under the box !

Bruce in Sanity said...

Nev; You are very welcome, glad to be of use.

Thanks for buying the book; I can recommend Sheila's for the more general cruising tips as well1


All the best


Marine Antifreeze said...

I also check the wiring and coolant runs plus engine mounts routinely. I do not ...