Sunday, June 14, 2009

Vroom vroom

The engine runs and runs well now.

That's nice because everything else about the day sucked. I was wet all day.

I should have listened to my gut when I saw an electrical schematic for the electronic ignition module that shows a positive and ground wire connected to the coil. My instinct told me that looked funny. I had never seen that before. But, I figured, I didn't really understand how the electronic module works (I do now) and the schematic must be right.

In the end, I decided that at worse I would fry the electronic module if I changed the wiring. That wasn't so bad since I have a spare now. I simply removed the ground wire and made it look like every other coil I have ever seen. The engine fired off on the first or second revolution and purred like the day I put it to bed four years ago.

I know I took pictures of the instrument panel with the engine running but my camera seems to have removed them :-(

Anyway, the engine ran smoothly and I let it run for about half an hour at different speeds until I felt sure it was going to keep running with no problems. Plus, I simply liked listening to the motor run fter the last few frustrating weeks.

When I finally decided it was time to move on I shut the engine down and pumped out the oil again and filled with more fresh oil. That makes two oil changes since I put in the heavy 'preservative' mix of Marvel Mystery Oil and I think I got the old yucky stuff diluted out enough (you never get all of the oil out of an Atomic Four).

Dropping the oil sump plug into the deep bilge precipitated a thorough bilge hose down. I expect it will take a couple more before the majority of dust/mud is flushed out. I also noticed that a bucket of old used hardware had tipped into the bilge so I guess I will be finding odd bits of hardware in the deep bilge for the next few years too.

With the engine running, it was time to install the propeller. I inserted the shaft through the cutless bearing, assembled the packing gland and slipped the coupling over the end of the shaft. Then I pushed the shaft in to seat the coupling. It was a little sticky so I tapped the shaft with the hammer. I was tapping a bit harder until I remembered destroying my original shaft when I hit it too hard. So I thought I would take it back out and clean up the mating surfaces a bit. Problem was, the coupling was stuck on tight; neither on nor off.

It took me nearly an hour using the socket in the middle trick that someone showed me when I first got the boat and had to pull the shaft.

The long bolts pull the coupling towards the engine. The socket in the middle stops the shaft from coming along. Turning each bolt half a turn at a time will pull the coupling off. It was slow going. At first I used a 9/16 socket and that was a problem because it was a bit too big and that too got stuck in the coupling. In the end it all came apart.

Then I spent half an hour first lightly buffing the shaft and coupling and then actually sanding the shaft and running a drill bit (forstner since that is all I had on hand that big) and a scotch brite pad on the drill motor into the coupling. The two pieces really did not want to go together. Eventually they were persuaded and the whole shebang went back together.

The shaft tube was extended last fall so that I would have more room for the attaching clamps on the hose. That extra length really cut into my working area and it was a bit fussy working with the remaining length.

I had bought some new Gore-tex dripless packing in two sizes to be sure I would have the right size on hand.

Even following the manufacturer's recomendations the packing wound up being too thick. Oh well,what's another $50 of unused material on my basement shelf... I had some plain old flax packing and lots of dripless 'putty' that gets sandwiched between the flax. I tried it the last time I launched and it worked fine so I went ahead and used it again.

The new stuff was supposed to be better but I guess I will have to wait until I decide to order it in the right size. For the record, I have a 7/8 inch shaft and the 5/16 recomended packing size was too big.

I didn't have the wrenches on hand to tighten the gland. Hopefully I will remember to tighten it before I launch. Altogether the shaft took a couple of hours to make happy. So much for dropping the old working parts back in in fifteen minutes.

Thankfully, the propeller didn't put up a fight like the coupler did.

Then I took the first steps towards cleaning up my mess.

You just never know what you are going to need so I was loathe to take anything home. I still am frankly. I would like to sail with a full complement of hardware and supplies but that just isn't going to happen.

While I was straightening up and I was preparing to go home, the sun came out. After the long cold wet day the sun made the day feel young and fresh again.

I stayed around a bit longer and ran my running rigging and tied up the mast in preparation for transport.

I was hoping to take a few days off from work but the boss started shedding tears and mumbling something about being overbooked so it looks like the next day I can work on the boat will be Wednesday the day before launch. That means I am going to be a very busy boy on Wednesday.

On that note, its past my bedtime and I need to get some sleep.


brushfiremedia said...

What? No night-before update???

Britton said...

Its 11:30 pm. I just got home. I have to be up early to get the coffee and donuts for the spectators.

No. No updates today.

At the moment I hate boats...