First, you use a small electric motor on the flywheel to start turning the engine over, its something like 20:1 reduction geared! The engine has to heat up from friction to start setting the piston rings.
When its time to start, air is forced into the cylinders as per firing order, its the only way to start something this large.
Once its spinning more than a few rpms, diesel injection takes over and keeps it running. Depending on the area where the ship is, they may switch over to Heavy Fuel Oil, which is black and nasty as hell, but also very cheap.
My dad was a Chief Engineer in the Merchant Marines, and I work on ships too. The majority of these engines are in the 5-7 cylinder range, and yes they are usually 3-4 stories tall, and redline at about 130 rpms.
Back in the day, to clean the carbon out of a cylinder, they would open the engine and split up the 2-piece connecting rods to disable the cylinder, then remove the head, and then my dad would climb inside the cylinder and clean it manually.
_________________ 2002 Galaxy Silver Sedan - LS cluster - Debadged - Intrigue compass/autodim mirror - DIC - Regal graphite leather seats - LS console with floor shift conversion - Monte Carlo black leather steering wheel - LS springs - KYB GR-2 Struts - GMPP sway bars and rear STB - Fog light frontend harness - LS Bumper with fog lights - Painted trim and side skirts
2006 Nissan Murano - Autodim/compass mirror
2006 Mercedez-Benz E350 - Stock for stock, its faster than an SS, woot!
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