Saturday, May 30, 2009

Baby steps to real progress

First of all. There were a ton of little details that I don't want to talk about. As I start connecting the original equipment I find more and more flaws with it. I should have ripped it all out and started from scratch. The maintenance on this boat was terrible and I keep finding little things buggered up - apparently by some ham fisted grease monkey. I got through it. I don't feel like discussing all the problems.

The first year that I worked on the boat I covered up the engine to keep it clean. This turned into a fruitless exercise. This time I didn't bother. Now I needed to clean up the carburetor before I tried to start it up. Maybe I should have taped a plastic bag over the inlet though.

The inlet was filthy but the bowl itself looked okay. The jets looked brand new. Which they are actually. I ran the engine about 70 hours since I overhauled the carburetor.

With the carburetor cleaned up I re-installed it on the engine and rigged it properly to the controls. This is where some of the previous maintenance issues crept up. Eventually, it all worked but I may have to go back and address some concerns later.

Then I connected the fuel pump outlet to the carburetor. I forgot to take a picture. Its just a hose anyway. The last time I had a disposable fuel filter just before the carburetor inlet. I didn't bother with it this time. I have the Racor filter which should be sufficient. The little filter is just a holdover from my aircraft maintenance days where there are lots of filters in the system for backup to the backups. The only thing the little filter would protect is from a fuel pump coming apart. If it does I will deal with pieces in the fuel. Not important enough to clutter up my engine compartment further.

Then it was off to the other end; the exhaust.

The mounting for the wet muffler is rather crude but it works. I think I had a shelf in there last time but the new fuel tank gets in the way now. The muffler is now just a bit further outboard.

The muffler makes contact on three of the four corners. Getting the new hose cut to the right length was a project because the length turned out to be very critical to getting everything to fit. It doesn't fit great actually, I have some contact with the deck drain hose. I got tired of fighting to get the hose off and on and trimming just a bit here and there. Good enough for now. Add it to the 'Needs Improvement List'. (yeah right - I will get right on that!)

I had several pictures but the lighting made them all come out lousy. The new exhaust hose runs from the exhaust piping to the muffler and from the muffler to the outlet on the stern. All with double AWAB hose clamps of course. :-)

With the exhaust system connected I turned my attention to the cooling system. I had pulled the two impellors out of the pumps when I put the engine to bed so now it was time to put new impellors back in.

The raw water impellor is pretty straight forward. The pump is mounted on the front of the engine and is driven by the front driveshaft pulley. Once I got it back together I remembered that I wanted to improve the alignment left by the sloppy mechanic that originally installed the freshwater cooling system.

Add that to the 'Needs Improvement List' too.

The original water pump, once the engine was converted to freshwater cooling became the pump that pushes the antifreeze through the closed cooling system. I changed out that impellor too and greased up the shaft.

I have no idea how people service this pump without access from a nice big Bomar hatch in the cockpit.

Then I took care of a little detail that had been nagging me.

You can just see in the photo that the seacock handle hits one of the bolts that secure the seacock. After I installed the seacock, I noticed that the top end was a little loose on the base. When I tightened it, the handle came into contact with the bolt. I cut the bolt short but that didn't really fix the problem. It got better but I still couldn't open the seacock fully. So I tightened the seacock top half a little more. Tighter than I liked but I got enough of a turn for the handle to clean the bolt. I think this is kind of a stupid design flaw.

That addressed the last of my concerns with the cooling system so I moved on to the electrical system. Can anyone spot the problem?

I picked up a new battery to replace my old (and dead) battery this morning and it didn't occur to me to check which side the positive and negative posts were on. Apparently, they are not all the same. In this case, they were opposite from the old battery and my clean, no excess, battery wires wouldn't reach. In the end I made them work for now by re-routing them but I am not too happy with it as a long term solution so I am ordering more materials to re-make the battery cables.

I was a little nervous about turning on the battery swith. I had visions of large sparks and smoke. I wasn't positive about the connection on the starter solenoid and I half expected the engine to turn over when the battery was turned on. As it turns out, nothing happened. I checked for voltages and then started turning sytems on and found that everything was working normally. Its such a relief and a bit of a surprise when everything just works like it is supposed to.

The original blower motor sounded loud. I may have to replace it with a new quieter motor. Add it to 'The List'.

Finally, I changed out the oil. The engine had been left with a 50-50 mix of oil and Marvel Mystery oil (on a suggestion from Moyer Marine - aka 'The Atomic Four experts') I sucked out three quarts and put three fresh quarts in. This should get me close to a good mix. I will run the engine and then change the oil again.

And that is where it stands. I need to add coolant and bring a bucket for drawing water from inside the boat while I test run it. I also need to bring some fuel, pour it into the tank and then prime the fuel pump (which works, I bypassed the oil pressure safety switch and got the electric fuel pump running). Then pull the spark plugs, oil the cylinders and turn the engine over with the starter to get the oil flowing again. And then turn on the engine for the first time in four years.

Fingers crossed.

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