Saturday, March 7, 2009

Making connections

Continued with the engine wiring today.

Last week I suddenly decided that I wanted to put in fuses on the battery and alternator feeds. Luckily, there was room to add them in neatly. I also added in an on/off switch for the battery. Not sure how important that is but I have it. Its for the long term. Someday I will think I want one and now I have it. There really wasn't a great place to put it so I just put it in front of the battery. I want to keep all the battery wires the same size and I didn't have any 2 guage wire on hand so I wasn't able to finish up those connections. Close, but not quite done. I also ran the power wire off the starter post (which in turn is directly off the positive battery terminal) out to where the ammeter will be installed at the aft end of the cockpit. Then I ran a similar wire back from the future ammeter to the 'battery bus bar'. The Alternator feeds into the other end of the battery bus bar and whatever needs to take of power from the battery will be connected to this bus.

My original plan for the bilge pump hoses was to run them alongside the engine beds inside the engine box. Its becoming apparent that it is going to get crowded in there so today I decided to cut some holes and route the bilge pump lines under the platforms aft of the settees.

The small bilge pump is out for the moment. The larger Rule 3700gpm pump is located on a shelf about six inches from the bottom of the bilge (It would be impossible to retrieve if it was any lower). I pulled the 1.5 inch outlet hose from that pump away from the engine beds...

... out under the starboard aft platform and past the starboard drain seacock (note the handy access via the cheezy plastic hatch)...

... and along the fuel tank through the starboard cockpit locker. When I get the boat cover off next month I can install the thru-hull fittings in the counter where the hose will terminate. At least for now I am no longer tripping over that hose.

The wiring, the hose, shoveling a few cubic yards of leftover snow and a quick brake job on the truck finished up my Saturday. Hopefully I can squeeze in another blog update tomorrow.

The Countdown never ceases...



Spent another hour or so on the boat Sunday. (sorry camera was at home charging)

I laid out the engine control cables and was a little scared for a bit when I realized that the transmission cable wouldn't go over the fuel tank as I had thought it would. The approach angle was too much for the heavy type 64 cable. Luckily, it does seem to work going under the fuel tank. That means attaching at the lowest hole on the transmission shift lever which won't help with the leverage much. On the other hand, its a heavy type 64 cable and it would probably lift my car if it needed to. I spent a good bit of time frantically trying to figure out how to route the cable and where the other end of the cable should wind up since my primary idea was a failure. Luckily, bending it as much as I am comfortable with, it just fits on the aft end of the port cockpit locker. That location was one of my preferred locations from the beginning anyway. Big sigh of relief.

In the future I think I should have spent time with an old junk cable to try out different positions and lengths. It ended well so that is good.

The throttle cable too has to be changed from its original run. It had a funny awkward loop in it from the beginning anyway. I had always assumed I would be buying two control levers and mounting them in different locations but now it looks like a two lever single unit might work out well. I am going to do some snooping online tonight and see what my options are.

The choke cable should be pretty easy. I did use my throttle cable as a stand-in however just to check out how it would run. It turned up a few errors in my original ideas but it will work out okay.

I must say it was also hard to remember which way the cable needed to go to make the engine operate correctly. Now was that forward on the cable to push the throttle open or closed? Does pushing the lever forward make the cable go in or out?...

Nothing is easy.


Tim said...

For something with a 50/50 chance of getting right the first time (throttle cable actuation direction), it sure seems like in practice the average is to get it wrong the first time more often than not.

Have you given up on the baked bronze shift lever assembly?

I don't know if you can use the 64 series cable with it or not, but check out the Vetus Sisco.

Britton said...

I am pretty sure the bronze lever isn't going to be worth the effort. Or rather, before I started looking around I didn't think it was worth it. Now I am re-considering.

1.) Simple single lever controls are few and far between. Seems like everyone wants a single lever dual control setup.

2.) How can a simple lever cost so much?! The pricing for these levers is absurd. I am thinking of going to a machine shop and have one custom made for me instead. Or maybe drop off that bronze lever and see if they can get it working with the tools they have available to them.

The dual function levers are intriguing but I have never heard of a successful installation with an Atomic Four. I don't know if I want to be a guinea pig at the prices these things cost.

That particular Vetus model might be tough. It appears from the description that the levers hand down around 9 inches. That means mounting the lever quite high in the cockpit well in my case. The lever would be higher than the cockpit seat.

Maybe if I could see the backside of these levers I would know if I could make it work. Only being shown the pretty side doesn't tell the installer much about whether the model would actually fit/work in a particular application.

One of the myriad of details to work out. The search continues.

Tim said...

Note that you can turn the "inner works" of the Vetus control (and most others) into other positions (such as horizontal) to allow clearance. This doesn't affect the outward appearance or operation of the control. I sent you some pictures of the back separately.

When you say "single lever" in your text, I think you were really referring to "single function", which requires dual levers. I misunderstood when you said single lever (which to me means "single lever, dual function), not "single function").

The Vetus control is for both trans and throttle, and thus probably wouldn't work for you. I don't think most of the newer controls accept the 64 series cable anyway. Still, this is a very nice single lever, dual function control, and is worth its price.

You ought to take that bronze one to a shop and let them have at it. I think that control was a good solution for you, if only you can get the shaft out. That would be my first try if it were me, particularly given the lack of suitable replacements (and yes, the ridiculous cost).

I think one reason there are so few decent sailboat controls is that most sailboats now have wheel steering, with engine controls on the pedestal. There aren't many good choices to fit with older boats and particularly with the big, high-force levers on the A4. New transmissions have tiny levers that are easy to move, and all the controls are aimed at this market.

Britton said...

My bad. When I wrote "single lever" I meant single action. It seems everyone else understands a single lever to mean dual acting too.

I just need a simple lever. Why does this need to be so hard?

Tim said...

You wrote: "Why does this need to be so hard?"

Britton, meet Boat Projects. Boat Projects, this is Britton....