MAIN ENGINE BREAKDOWN DUE TO CYLINDER HEAD CRACK :


Y.V. Ram Mohan, 3/E

The vessel was a crude oil tanker, main engine Sulzer 7RTA58. During the midnight watch one day, it was found that the expansion tank level was coming down and the JCW pump pressure was fluctuating. Informed C/E and Bridge and the engine was stopped. Found one of the units’s cylinder head cracked. This cylinder head was replaced recently during decarbonisation. Main engine was stopped and the unit was replaced with an overhauled one.

Proper tightening was done as per the sequence given in the manual. Engine restarted and the vessel sailed. The reason attributed was that the tightening would not have been proper during decarbonisation.

Lesson learnt :

while overhauling or replacing the spare parts, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions as given in the manual.