2nd Class EK Motors exam help from Martin's Marine Engineering Page

Certification Assistance for Marine Engineers

Canadian Second Class ME 
Engineering Knowledge - Motors

In Canada, Transport Canada administers the Marine Engineering examination process; visit the Training Page for details on the process. The actual exam consist of nine (9) questions randomly drawn from a question bank of the various subject. Six (only) must be answered in a 3.5hrs time frame. The exam questions are similar to these, presented below, and are drawn heavily from similar question in the Reed's Marine Engineering series of books. 
Brought to you by www.dieselduck.net comments to webmaster@dieselduck.net
Transport Canada has ask us to advise users of this webpage to keep in mind that these questions are not the exact questions found in their exams. Martin's Marine Engineering Page - www.dieselduck.net is not affiliated with Transport Canada and these questions have been gathered from various sources.
NL sent us the following exam questions, encountered while taking the 2EK Motor exam, in May 2018. - Thanks !
  1. What is a timing diagram. Sketch and describe a timing diagram for a single acting 4-stroke engine. How can this be used to time an engine
  2. What is the heat value for fuel used in a diesel engine. What percentage of this fuel is actually used for useful work in the engine. What are the losses. What can be done to regain some of these losses. What is the composition of exhaust gas.
  3. Sketch and describe an injector which you are familiar with. What type of engine is it from. What type of injection system is used with it.
  4. Describe a scavenge blower for a large 2-stroke engine. Is water cooling necessary.
  5. How are piston rings constructed for large internal combustion engines. What materials are they made of and why. What are the butt and side clearance values. Do these values change with relation to which position the ring is in, if so explain why.
  6. Sketch and describe a fresh water cooler as found on a large deep sea going vessel. How is contamination of fresh water from sea water prevented.
  7. What is a flywheel. Why is it fitted to an engine. What governs its size and the material it is made from.
  8. Describe a water jet propulsion system as used on a high speed craft. How is it reversed
  9. Sketch and describe a relief valve for an air receiver. How many starts can be achieved from a full bottle before replenishing. Sketch a block
AT sent us the following exam questions, encountered while taking the 2EK Motor exam, in December 2015. - Thanks !
  1. What are detuners ? Describe any type of detuner you know, purpose, construction and working
  2. Sketch a block diagram and explain electronic fuel injection system used in modern diesel engines, what are the advantages of this system over traditional system
  3. Explain the purpose, and construction of inter coolers, advantages
  4. Describe any rotary type scavenge blower , construction and working
  5. Modern diesel engines does not use indicator diagrams and light spring diagrams what are the new methods employed in measuring temperatures and pressures of these type of engines
  6. What are the impurities contain in fuel oil and lube oil , effect of this on engine
  7. Explain a bi metal pyrometer , how it is different from a thermometer. Advantages
  8. Explain construction of 4 stroke diesel engine cylinder , liner, cylinder head . State the material used
MH sent us the following exam questions, encountered while taking the 2EK Motor exam, in April 2015. - Thanks !
  1. What is thermodynamics. Compare indicated power to brake power. Where are the losses in the engine?
  2. Sketch a fuel system from double bottom tanks to main engine. Why are settling and purification systems in place?
  3. Describe a multi stage air compressor. Why are drains fitted? Temps and pressures at various stages. Safety devices?
  4. Describe supercharging. How does it affect temperatures and pressures? Affect on power
  5. Explain causes and precautions...
    1. Crankcase explosions
    2. Start airline explosions
    3. Air compressor explosion
  6. Describe a purifier. How is the oil separated?
  7. Describe how an engine is constructed and the materials used. How are liners fitted and kept watertight. Why are Pistons tapered at the top
  8. Problems with starting an engine in cold climates. What is done to assist in this?
  9. Sketch a pump for lube oil main engine. Show the path of oil over the wheels. How is the oil pumped in a uni directional engine when the engine is run in reverse?
Mike sent us the following exam questions, encountered while taking the 2EK Motor exam, in Nov 2013. - Thanks !
  1. Describe the operation of a governor for an auxiliary engine.
  2. Sketch and describe a rotary blower for supercharging a 2-stroke diesel engine. Is cooling required? Explain how the blower operates when the engine is reversed.
  3. State the meaning of constant volume and constant pressure cycle. Show PV diagrams showing important points in both cycles. Give examples of engines using these cycles.
  4. Sketch and describe the construction of a 4-stroke cylinder head, include hold down arrangement and common defects of a cylinder head.
  5. How is starting and reversing achieved in a large direct reversing engine? Name the type of engine.
  6. Explain possible causes of a crankcase explosion and explain how they may be prevented or the severity lessened.
  7. A 4-stroke diesel engine has a leaky fuel injector. Give the symptoms you would look for; explain the dangers involved and the action you would take to continue the safe operations of the engine.
  8. Sketch and describe a lube oil system for a large marine engine with oil cooled pistons.
  9. Sketch and describe a quick-closing valve as used on a fuel line. Explain fully how it works and the reasons why it is fitted.have experienced at sea. How were repairs affected?
Tom sent us the following exam questions, encountered while taking the 2EK Motor exam, in Nov 2011. - Thanks !

What is stress when referring to engineering materials? Name the types of stress set-up in the following:

a) a cylinder cover stud
b) the crank web
c) the connection rod
d) the shaft forward of the thrust collar
e) when the piston is on the down stroke
f) the propeller shaft aft of the stern tube

Describe a machinery breakdown you have experienced at sea. How were repairs affected?

Sketch and describe a bilge and ballast system suitable for a 7500 ton cargo vessel with a cellular bottom. State the number and capacity, in tonnes per hour, of the pumps required for each system

What is the density of seawater? What is the maximum density a boiler could be operated if undistilled water had to be used and what would an increase or decrease of this density result in?

Describe a dry type sprinkler system for a passenger vessel. How is the compressed air maintained in the system and how is the valve reset after tripping?

Explain the procedures for dry-docking a vessel for a full survey. What precautions are taken before undocking?

Name three types of metals used in construction of propeller blades; state the advantages and disadvantages of each.

What is spontaneous combustion? How can it be prevented in the engine room spaces?

Sketch and describe a windlass with which you are familiar. State the procedures of operation.



Exam 01

01 - Describe how to check wear down on tail shaft using lignum vitae bushing and what wear to allow on 12" shaft also result if greater wear occurs.

02 - Describe an indicator. How to obtain MEP and IHP, use example to work out.

03 - How is a large IC engine secured. What provisions are made to tank tops? Sketch holding down bolt.

04 - Referring to tensile test for metals what is: (Give readings you would expect)

  1. Ultimate strength
  2. Yield point for mild steel tail shaft
  3. Elongation

05 - Describe fire fighting equipment and detecting equipment etc. for passenger vessels including full sketch of sprinkler system.

06 - Using double bottom water ballast tanks what type valves are used and wily? How are they filled and emptied. Describe operation. What provisions are made for venting and dipping and where?

07 - Describe and sketch any flexible coupling you know.

08 - Referring to anchor chains and steering cables where is wear and associated problems likely to occur and how would you rectify them?

09 - Describe fully a telemotor system.


Exam 02

01 - What is the difference between a blower and a compressor? Describe at least three methods of controlling the output of a compressor. Sketch a compressor valve with which you are familiar.

02 - Sketch the mid ship section of a ship on which you have sailed.

03 - Name the steps taken in starting up and paralleling a diesel driven auxiliary, generator.

04 - Name three types of clutches used in marine diesel engines and describe one.

05 - Enumerate the precautions to be taken prior to and during the bunkering of a vessel. Sketch and described tank contents gauge of the pneumatic type, and state whether not this instrument is accurate.

06 - How thick would you expect to find the steel plating of a 15,000 ton cargo ship? If you wanted to find the exact figure where would you look on board ship? What are scantlings?

07 - Assume the ship on which you are sailing had grounded and was due to dry dock at the end of the voyage. What troubles would you anticipate during the rest of the voyage and what would you do In dry dock?


Exam 03

01 - What are bilge blocks? Discuss what you consider the duties of a second engineer when the ship is in dry-dock for a four year survey.

02 - Describe the functions of the following: synchroscope, borescopes stethescopes, stroboscopes, obilliscope and microscope and state which would be used or carried on board ship.

03 - Differentiate between forced, induced, and balanced draft, and state the advantages and disadvantages of each.

04 - Compare at least six qualities of at least three -different refrigerants.

05 - State the provisions to prevent damage to the steering gear in:

  1. a steam steering system 

  2. an electric hydraulic system

  3. an electric system

What time would you expect a steering gear to take to go from hard over to hard over? What should prevent a steering gear from turning- beyond the prescribed limits?

06 - What is the purpose of an inclining experiment? What effect has a slack tank on a vessel's stability? Does it matter whether slack tank is high or low?

07 - State all the safety equipment required for the operation of your choice of refrigeration equipment, including the cold rooms.


Exam 04

01 - Name six types of pumps indicating in each case if it is positive displacement. What types would you use for the following services - lube oil, domestic water, main circulator boiler feed, fuel oil transfer, bilge.

02 - Sketch the bilge system fitted to your last ship.

03 - Sketch and describe an evaporator. What are the advantages of a multiple effect evaporator.

04 - Describe an arc welding system. What are the purposes of the flux on the electrode?

05 - Sketch and describe a reducing valve.

06 - Describe the following tests and indicate where or on what parts of a ship these would be carried out:

  1. - hydrostatic test
  2. - hose test
  3. - head test
  4. - drop test
  5. - hammer test

07 - Name two methods of measuring electrical resistance and describe one of them in full.


Exam 05

01 - Sketch the connections for ground lamps on a D.C. switchboard. How do these lamps indicate a ground and how would you proceed to locate a ground if one was indicated?

02 - What is meant by forced draft, induced draft and balanced draft? Compare the three methods.

03 - List all the emergency equipment required on a large passenger ship together with its location and testing routines.

04 - Sketch and describe either

  1. A Scotch marine boiler or
  2. A waste heat boiler.

05 - Sketch a typical AC switchboard for a large vessel naming all instruments switches, etc.

06 – Describe in full the procedure for making a riveted joint in pressure vessel.

07 - Describe the process of remetalling a white metal bearings


Exam 06

01 - Give four causes of brushes sparking on a DC machine and the steps you would take to remedy these.

02 - Describe with the aid of a simple sketch long shunt, short shunt, series and compound windings for a D.C. generator. Which windings would be heaviest, the shunt or series?

03 - Sketch the fuel oil system for a ship with two boilers burning bunker C fuel.

04 -

  1. What are the causes of fire on board ship and what steps can be taken to eliminate these?
  2. List the methods of detecting fire used on board a cargo ship.

05 - Describe the procedure for drawing a propeller shaft for inspection. What defects would you look for? What is meant by a continuous liner?

06 - List four methods of lubricating bearings. Compare white and roller bearings. Describe the procedure for removing and replacing a ball bearing.

07 - Describe a Michell Thrust Block. Give a sketch of a pad showing the method of achieving an oil wedge and state the clearness you would expect.


Exam 07

01 - What effect has carbon content on the physical characteristics of steel? Give typical carbon contents of cast irons tool steel and cold rolled steel.

02 - Describe the processes of annealing normalizing and case hardening.

03 - Name four methods of non-destructive testing and describe one of them in detail.

04 -What precautions would you take when taking bunkers? What information would you expect on the bunker slip you receive from the Oil Company? Give typical values for a bunker C oil.

05 - Sketch and describe a safety valve.

06 - List the steps necessary to take a boiler off load and prepare it for an extended lay up.

07 - What is pH and what value of pH would you consider desirable in the water of a marine water tube boiler. Describe a test to determine the hardness of boiler water.


Exam 08

01 - What is galvanic action and where on a ship would you be likely to find evidence of this? Define the following in a few words:

  1. Sacrificial anode
  2. Impressed Current system

02 - Sketch and describe a Heli-shaw pump as used in a steering gear.

03 - What is a hunting gear? Show all temperatures and pressures.

04 - Draw a line diagram of a refrigeration system with which you are familiar. Show all temperatures and pressures.

05 - How are fires classed? Name the types of fire fighting mediums used to fight these. Sketch a portable extinguisher suitable for use on a class C fire.

06 - Describe an inert gas system such as would be used on a tanker.

07 - Describe a CO2 flooding system as normally fitted on a cargo ship. What steps should be taken before this system is operated in the engine room?


Exam 09


  1. How is anchor chain measured?
  2. What is meant by ranging the anchor cables?
  3. What maintenance procedures and inspection should be carried out when the anchors are being ranged?

2 - How is the main engine thrust transmitted to the vessel? Use a sketch to explain.

3 - Describe a lube oil purifier of the centrifugal type.

4 - Draw up a typical job list for work to be done on a ship during her annual dry-docking.

5 - Sketch and describe a hydraulic steering gear with which you are familiar.

6 - Describe the Ward Leonard steering gear.

7 - Describe a process for making steel.

Posted April 2002

Test 10 

1. What is meant by “Port Scavenging”. Valve Scanvenging and Supercharging? Give an advantage and disadvantage of each.

2. List the possible causes of a crank case explosion and explain how they may be prevented.

3. What is meant by “Open” and “Closed” flash points? Describe the apparatus used for testing flash point. Give the approximate flash points of “Parafin”, Diesel fuel, Boiler fuel and gasoline.

4. Describe a fuel pump for solid injection. Explain fully its operation and the material it is made of.

5. Sketch a describe the cam location of a 4 cycle diesel engine. What effects would cam wear have on engine performance? 

6. Sketch and describe a Fresh Water cooler fitted to a sea going vessel. What provision is made to prevent salt-water contamination of the system.

7. Describe any “ Detuner” you are familiar with.

8. Describe a 3-stage air compressor. Give the temperature and pressure of each stage. What would be the effect of over lubrication.

9. What is meant by “Compression Ratio?” What is average ratio for Diesel Engines? Would an increase in volume alter the compression Ratio?

Test 11

1. Describe the construction of an opposed piston engine and name the materials. Give the advantages over a single acting piston 2 cycle engine.

2. Why are intercoolers used on air compressors? Explain how you would examine and test an intercooler. What type of sir compressors require intercoolers?

3. List the difference exhaust and scavenge systems in a 2 cycle engine. Describe one of these systems and give pressures and temperatures for inlet and exhaust maniflod.

4. Sketch and describe a lubricating oil system for a large diesel engine.

5. Describe a fuel oil system for a Diesel-Electric propelled vessel.

6. Describe a fuel oil system for a Scotvh marine boiler.

7. Why are a governors fitted to diesel engines? Describe a governor you are familiar with and explain its action.

8. Describe a 3-stage air compressor and give the advantages over a single stage.

9. A 4-cycle diesel engine has a leaky fuel valve. Give the symptoms you would look for, explain the dangers involved and the action you would take to continue the safe operations of the engine. 

Test 12

1.State the reason for explosions taking place in the following and in each case, the precautions necessary to prevent their occurring.
a) Blast airline
b) Starting line
c) Air compressor
d) Main engine crankcase

2. Describe how you would take over a watch of a large diesel engine vessel

3. Describe in detail the construction of a 2 and 4 cycle diesel engine and name the materials used.

4. The exhaust temperature of one cylinder is higher than the remainder. What would be the cause of this, and describe the maintenance carried out to prevent this occurring?

5. State the reasons for a cylinder line overheating. What would you do to prevent such an occurrence and give the results of your failure to do so.

6. Describe the different types of air starting and the full details and operations of one system with which you are familiar.

7. Describe a lubricating oil system for a large diesel engine, and explain how the oil is kept in good condition

8. What are the characteristics of a lubricating oil used with air compressors? How is this flash point of lubricating oil found.

9. Sketch and describe a centrifugal type governor. What is its purpose.


Additional Questions Submitted by Colin B.

01.     State the reason for explosions taking place in the following:

  1. starting air pipe

  2. air compressor

  3. main engine crankcase

Also state the precautions that should be taken to prevent such an explosion.

02.     State how explosions are prevented in fuel tanks.  What gases are you likely to find in empty fuel tanks?

03.     List all the auxiliary machinery for a safe and efficient operation of a large motor ship.

04.          Describe the advantages and disadvantages of the' following:

  1.  port scavenging valve scavenging

  2. valve scavenging

  3. supercharging

05.     What does supercharging as referred to a diesel engine mean?  Describe a system of supercharging as fitted to a four-cycle engine.

06.          Describe fully the construction and operation of a scavenge pump for a two cycle diesel engine.  Is cooling necessary and at what air pressure does the pump operate.

07.          Describe all the ways air is applied to 2 cycle engines.  Go into detail on one you are familiar with.

08.          Describe the construction and principle of operation of a diesel engine silencer.

09.      Describe a detuner with which you are familiar.  What is its purpose?  How does it work?

10.          Describe with the aid of a sketch a governor for an auxiliary engine.

11.     State the composition and calorific value of diesel fuel oil, explain the meaning of the following giving a numerical example of diesel fuel oil.

  1. specific gravity

  2. closed flash point

  3. fire or burning point

  4. pour point

  5. viscosity

12.     State calorific value of fuel.  Describe efficiency of an engine and how you would improve on it.  What are the constituents of stack gas.

13.     What impurities are found in lubricating and fuel oils?  What effects do these impurities have on a diesel engine?

14.          Describe a quick-closing valve as used on a fuel line.  Explain fully how it works and the reasons why it is fitted.

15.          Describe any centrifuge separator (oil) that you are familiar with.  Describe its operation.

16.          Describe the construction of an oil filter as used for a diesel engine.  State the materials used, and what the filtering action is.  Explain the procedure for cleaning an oil filter used on a running engine.

17.     Sketch and describe lube oil system on a diesel engine having a dry sump showing the filter by-pass system.  State how many pumps are employed.

18.          Describe a system for piston cooling using oil as a medium.  State the advantages over fresh and salt water systems.  Why is it necessary to have the oil analyzed periodically?

19.          Describe a feed water system for an auxiliary boiler.  Name all the fittings in the system and the reasons for using these fittings.

20.      An 850 kPa auxiliary boiler is taken apart for refit.  What do you look for?

21.      Sketch and describe the construction of a waste heat boiler including the boiler mountings and name the boiler selected.

22.          Describe the construction of a cylinder including the head and liner.

23.     Sketch and describe a cylinder head for a 4 cycle diesel engine, name material and all valve fittings, reasons if cracked.

24.     Sketch a piston for a large heavy-duty diesel engine and show how it is cooled.

25.          Describe a trunk-type piston, stating materials of construction.  Describe construction of floating wrist pin, and state how it is prevented from gorging into inner wall.

26.     Sketch and describe a liner for a 2-stroke diesel engine.  How is sealed at the top exhaust ports from the cooling water?  What is its composition and why is it made of this?

27.          Describe how wear is measured in cylinder and on piston.  What causes wear?  What is considered a normal amount of wear over a given period of running?

28.     How are piston rings manufactured?  What material is used and why?  What allowances is made for side and butt clearances?  Do these clearances vary with the position of the ring on the piston?  If so why.

29.          Describe an exhaust valve unit of 4-stroke engine.  Describe the valve seating arrangement, guide, spring and keeper assembly.  State materials from which each is made.

30.          Describe the construction of a 2 stroke and 4 stroke S.A.I.C. engine.  State materials used.  How are liners fitted and retained in position.  Describe the cooling water seals.  How do you know if these are leaking?  Illustrate your answers with line sketches.

31          Describe a double acting four-stroke diesel engine.  Compare with a single acting diesel engine.  Why is it more efficient?

32.     Give the compression pressures and temperatures for a 2 cycle and 4-cycle diesel engine.  Give the terminal pressures and temperatures for a 4 cycle and 2-cycle diesel engine.  Explain the differences, if any.

33.          Describe a semi diesel engine and explain fully its function.  What would be the compression and firing pressures?

34.     Name the types of internal combustion engines which are fitted respectively with carburetors, vaporizers.  What is the purpose of this fitting?  Give the type of fuel diesel in each case and describe the system of ignition for each.

35.     In large heavy oil engine what kind of stresses act on top and bottom and bolts of:

  1. Single acting four-stroke cycle engine

  2. Double acting engine.

Would the design of the bolts be affected?

36.     What is a timing diagram?  Draw the timing diagram for a single acting four stroke diesel engine and explain how the timing of this engine is carried out.

37.     Sketch timing diagrams for:

  1. A two stroke single acting diesel engine

  2. A four stroke single acting diesel engine

  3. An opposed piston diesel engine

38.     Sketch an indicator diagram for a naturally aspirated four-stroke diesel engine.  Show in a dotted line the effect if the engine were supercharged.  Explain the advantages and effect, if any, of supercharging.

39.          Describe fuel injector for a 2-cycle solid injection common rail system.  Name causes for defects and how to avoid them.

40.          Describe a common rail injection system for a 2-stroke diesel engine.  Explain what defects can be found with this system and what maintenance is required to keep it in good working condition.

41.          Describe the procedure of servicing a fuel injector, stating what tests must be carried out during testing.

42.     Sketch and describe the construction and function of a plunger helical release type on Bosh type fuel pump.  Explain how the amount of fuel pumped is regulated.

43.     State the dangers of having a leaking fuel valve in a large 4-stroke diesel engine.  How would you find a leaking fuel valve?  State what could be done to run the engine temporarily under safe conditions.

44.     Sketch and describe a fuel oil system for a large diesel and aux. boiler. Show all fittings and the maintenance required.

45.          Describe all the reasons for smokey exhaust in a diesel engine. Explain the conditions required for complete combustion.

46.     Sketch and describe an air compressor for starting a main engine. Show piping from the relief valve to the starting air valve.

47.     Sketch an air starting system for a large diesel engine. What is meant by overlap and what is its object.

48.          Describe a starting receiver, stating materials of construction and operating pressure. List all fittings and where found on receiver.

49.          Describe a 3 stage air compressor. State the pressures and temperatures of each stage. Where are drains fitted? What type of lubricating oil is used and why? What provisions are made for overheating and excessive pressure?

50.     How is a three stage air compressor protected from overload? State any common problems with air compressors and their remedies.

51.     With reference to air compressors why is air compressed in two or more stages in preference to one stage? What are the common faults with air compressors and how are the remedied?

52.          Describe the construction of an intercooler for compressor. State why drainage of the cooler is essential. What means is provided to prevent overpressure in the cooler?

53.     What is the object of a compressor intercooler? What type of compressor requires intercoolers? How would you proceed to examine and test and inter cooler?

54.     Sketch and describe a relief valve for a starting air receiver. When the receiver is at maximum pressure how many starts is it required to be capable of for the main engine?

55.     State the exact meaning of :

  1. constant volume cycle

  2. constant pressure cycle

Give examples of engines using these cycles, give the pressures and temperatures of the important points in both cycles.

56.     List several causes of engine failing to start, tell how you would identify and correct these faults.

57.      Describe reverse-reduction gear box as fitted to a high-speed large diesel engine.  Show how thrust bearings are incorporated and detail how reversing is accomplished.

58.     Describe a water cooling system for a diesel engine.

59.     Sketch and describe a “fresh water cooler” as may be used on deep sea runs. How is salt water prevented from leaking into the system?

60.          Describe a diesel electric propulsion system. Explain how it is controlled and reversed.

Brought to you by www.dieselduck.net comments to webmaster@dieselduck.net
Transport Canada has ask us to advise users of this webpage to keep in mind that these questions are not the exact questions found in their exams. Martin's Marine Engineering Page - www.dieselduck.net is not affiliated with Transport Canada and these questions have been gathered from various sources.