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How to keep older equipment in service for much longer

Supplier: Cost Effective Maintenance
17 December, 2014

Let's face it: vehicles and machinery don't last forever. Sooner or later they need major overhauls or replacement.

However with very little additional effort, even fairly old equipment can be kept in service much longer than expected AND with better reliability than before.

Here are 4 Basic Ways to Extend the Service Life of Your Old Equipment.

Clean up and keep all systems clean

First up, of course, good housekeeping principles are always essential. External contaminants (dust, water, paint flakes or whatever) should be prevented from entering major components through seals, breathers, air intakes, fuel systems, contaminated oils or other sources.

Regular cleaning provides the opportunity to remove built up dirt and grime, as well as spot any damaged seals, leaks and other potential problems, before they become costly.

Fuel system deposits

Deposits formed internally increase stress, wear and shorten component life. They form in engine oil galleries, sumps, piston ring grooves, fuel systems, cooling systems, combustion chambers, exhaust spaces, turbochargers and more. Deposits also form in transmissions, diffs, final drives, automatics and hydraulics.

Commonly, deposits form by degradation of fuel and oil during service, oxidation, effects of heat and oil aging. These deposits inhibit efficient operation and full lubrication, so are counter-productive to our goal. With time and age, most components will generally have enough internal deposits to reduce operating efficiency and lubrication efficiency.

Fuel treatment like Cleanpower tidies up petrol and diesel fuel system deposits, while CRD Fuel Enhancer looks after common rail and modern high tech diesel systems. Clean fuel systems are critical for injector and fuel pump life, accurate fuel metering and correct spray patterns, and will reduce deposit formation in combustion spaces. 

FTC Decarboniser safely burns off all hard carbon from combustion and exhaust spaces (including turbos). This carbon build-up increases stress, wear and hinders the flow of air and exhaust gases, so engine efficiency also suffers. Catastrophic failure (dropped valves, piston seizure, turbocharger failures etc) often results from excessive carbon deposits.

FTC also catalytically enhances combustion to produce a cleaner burn, with less combustion soot passing the piston rings causing abrasive wear. The amount of soot is much reduced and smaller in diameter, so wear to all lubricated parts is also reduced…so much so that engine service life is normally increased by 20-25 per cent by FTC use alone. Some engines, of course do have severe carbon issues, and very poor engine life, and service life can be dramatically improved in these cases.

Oil system deposits

Oil system deposits are another major contributor to accelerated wear and higher component stresses. Problems of over-heating, reduced lubrication, piston ring sticking, turbo bearing failure and excessive cylinder blow by are commonly the result of oil system deposits. In transmissions and hydraulics, hydraulic response and cooling are adversely affected. Lubrication to bearings may be inhibited due to oil system deposits to the point where a whine becomes audible.

Flushing Oil Concentrate, which contains a specific detergent chemical that targets stubborn, normally hard-to-remove deposits, is used to soften, dissolve and disperse deposits in engines, transmissions and hydraulics so that they can be safely removed to allow full lubrication to all parts requiring it.

Cooling system failure

Cooling system failure is reputedly the biggest killer of engines, so it is vital to maintain them properly.

Water pumps, radiators, thermostats, fan hubs, hoses, electrolysis of cylinder liners, scale build-up etc are common problems with cooling systems.

RMI-25 Cooling System Treatment cleans up and keeps clean all cooling systems by removing rust, sediment and scale. Cooling efficiency is restored, while all components are protected. Water pump failures normally start with seal failure. Abrasive sediment and scale chew out the seal resulting in bearing failure after water entry. RMI-25 is very effective in prolonging water pump seal life and reducing pump failure.

Maintain full lubrication

A film of oil (or grease) must be fully maintained on every part requiring lubrication, so that metal-to-metal contact is minimised.

Higher loadings during equipment service result in more metal-to-metal contact than at no load situations. Also, cold starts after a period of shutdown result in the oil draining back, and are a major contributor to wear.

Use of AW10 Antiwear is recommended, as it creates a semi-permanent bond to lubricated parts, which is present and effective during cold start up in engines and transmissions in particular. The high load carrying ability ensures far superior protection against abrasive and adhesive wear. And is suitable for engines, transmissions (incl automatic) as well as hydraulics – a very effective step in keeping all equipment in service for much longer. (It is not recommended for wet clutches.)

With grease applications, we recommend always going for high quality, long life, water resistant products that stay put, with enough tackiness to seal out extraneous contaminants, while providing the necessary mobility to ensure continued lubrication.

Protect against corrosion – internally and externally

AW10 Antiwear also provides a powerful anti-corrosion barrier to protect internal components against rust and other forms of corrosion.

For panel work and all nuts and bolts and components that are exposed to corrosive environments, Xtroll Rust Conqueror is recommended, as it penetrates, seals and encapsulates rust, and is stable against UV radiation. It leaves a dry tough film that enables easy removal of mud and dirt, and can be painted over it required.

With ever increasing electronics, stray current is a bigger concern now than it ever was. Radiators, cylinder liners and thermostat housings are destroyed by stray current. Even radiator hose life is shortened by electrolysis, which initially affects the reinforcing between the rubber layers. RMI-25 eliminates stray current by encapsulating electrolytes, dissolved solids and salts. It can double the life of water pumps and hoses, while eliminating corrosion throughout the cooling system.

Reduce component stress

The less stress and loadings placed on each individual part within engines, transmissions etc, the longer everything lasts. This is achieved by a combination of the above, and is usually evident by smoother operation, cooler operating temperatures, improved performance and/or efficiency, less noise and vibration.