Melbourne River Cruises: Diesel Lubrication Review

Supplying correct diesel engine oil for marine applications is no easy task. Engines quite often run at one consistent RPM and can rarely reach full load resulting in bore glaze and smoking problems if the correct lubricant is not selected.

This was the case with a number of the diesel engines among Melbourne River Cruises extensive fleet. With 21 engines across eight vessels from a range of manufactures including Cummins, Volvo, Yanmar, Kubota and Onan finding one oil to run across the whole fleet was never going to be an option.

Enter Ian Worchester, our Lubrication Specialist. Ian performed an entire review of the MRC fleet, cross referencing each of the manufactures individual requirements with his own extensive industry experience. Along the way he discovered that while MRC were using a good quality CI4 multi-grade 15W/40 in their Cummins and Volvo engines, this oil being designed to also run in modern engines, had additive levels that were too high for marine applications and was contributing to the bore glazing being experienced. The same could be said for the Onan engines that were being run on the same Mono Grade 30 oil as the Yanmars and Kubotas.

Based on Ian’s recommendations, Hydraulics Australia supplied our premium imported Morris Ring Free XHD 15w/40 CG4 multi-grade oil for the Cummins and Volvo engines. CG4 has lower additive levels then CI4 but is still within the Cummins and Volvo manufactures specifications. Morris XHD 30 was then supplied for the Yanmars and Kubotas which require a CF approved mono-grade oil and Morris Supreme 30 which has a reduced CC rating for the Onans.

After changing out the oil on a number of the problem engines, and then loading the engines up to remove the bore glazing that had previously accumulated, the engines displayed immediate improvements with noticeably less smoke from the exhaust gases. With increased operation, the bore glazing shows no signs of returning with reduced oil consumption as a result.