Must-Heed Maintenance Commandments
Our resident curmudgeon, outboard expert and Motor Doctor, Grid Michal, recently found an interesting list as he and his brother were culling their father’s papers. Their father, who was with diesel train-engine maker Electromotive in the 1930s and ’40s, had saved a list called “Ten Commandments for Diesel Maintenance” written by Chief Mechanists Mate W.C. Conder who served aboard USS Tatnall, a U.S. Navy destroyer that served in World War I and WWII.
Michal said his many decades of work on outboard engines have convinced him the word “outboard” can be substituted for “diesel” in nearly every instance and not lose a whit of accuracy. DIYers might want to hang this list in their garage or workspace.
1. Thou shalt keep thine engine clean and in adjustment, that thy life in its company shall be long, and that the owner shall increase thy pay.
2. Know thine engine and all its parts and functions, else thou shalt be in some unholy spot.
3. Be not wise in thine own conceit; remember the factory instructions and keep them holy, lest repairs be thy undoing.
4. Be not loose in thine jaw hinges, for no man knoweth all about diesels (outboards). The truly wise absorbeth much knowledge and exceedeth little, and he who so doeth shall gain repute among his fellows, and favors among his superiors.
5. For all things in this life that thou desireth thou shalt also pay plenty, and for the wisdom of experience, no less. Advice from the multitudes costeth nothing, and is usually worth just that.
6. In the books thou mayest read what to do, and when, but only the voice of experience may tell the why and how, else thy reading of what and when shall plague thee with smoke.
7. God maketh the Earth to rotate endlessly without bearings or oil, but not thy diesel (outboard).
8. Curse not thine engine when it turneth not. Curse, rather, thine own stupidity.
9. Steam engines and gas engines may long turn over, though sloppy; a diesel (outboard), not so with gauges and mikes.
10. The eternal eye watcheth universal operations, but thou shalt not rely upon it as to thy diesel (outboard). Thine own vigilance is the price thou payest for thy job.