Yanmar Mixing Elbow 3GMD Odessy
I just completed an upgrade to my Yanmar 3GMD. Last summer, my exhaust mixing elbow came apart, spraying my engine compartment with sooty saltwater (it's unfortunately a raw-water cooled engine, at least for now).
I wasn't able to locate a replacement anywhere in Canada after spending a couple of days on the phone making inquiries to Yanmar Dealers. I was told that a part could be ordered out of Chicago, and that if i paid a massive expiditing fee, I could have the piece 'rush' shipped, but that I should be prepared for the possibility that the part might be held up for days clearing customs. Essentially, the upshot was that a part that is designed to fail every 5-7 years, was not locally available, for a very popular engine, because the local dealers don't want to tie up money carrying inventory. I was, to put it mildly, furious.
My 9 day sailing holiday with my fiancee was being consumed trying to affect what should have been a dead-simple, same day repair.
I decided to go to a muffler shop and get the failed part repaired, though I'd have preferred to have replaced it. This was where my luck finally turned around.
I rowed ashore with the offending part bundled up in paper bags, and a couple of bikini-clad women helped me carry my dinghy above the high-tide line on the beach, promising to keep an eye on my tender while I went in search of a repair facility.
I'd had the good fortune of breaking down by a bay in a very affluent neighborhood, and the locals were both friendly and helpful.
As I began walking in search of a bus-stop, a woman exiting her gated driveway stopped to ask if I needed a lift. I gladly accepted. After a bit of conversation, she called her husband, a local building contractor, to ask who he'd recommend to affect my repair. He recommended two businesses; a local muffler shop, and a local machine shop. This angel drove me to the first shop and introduced me to the owner. He examined the parts, and determined that he didn't have the equipment required to make a decent weld on the material provided. Next, she took me to a machine shop, Tyls Fabrication Service, owned and operated by Joseph Tyls, in North Vancouver, BC.
Joe looked at the pieces, and determined that he could make a repair that would likely last the season, but determined that the material Yanmar had used wouldn't be any good for another season after that, and would likely perforate all over.
Joseph repaired the pieces cost-effectively, and later came out to my boat when I found I couldn't install it. He determined that given the stiffness of the new exhaust hose I'd had to install, the radius of the exhaust mixing elbow would need to be changed to allow easy instillation and to eliminate unneccessary stress on the part.
Back to his shop to re-cut the piece, then back to the boat to install it, glove on, zero grease or stains on the white fiberglass - what a pro!! We were underway first thing the next morning. This winter, long after the end of boating season, as anticipated, I spotted rusty moisture seeping through new perforations on the old part. Joe had commented that he wouldn't manufacture an ornamental hand-railing with the material Yanmar had used, much less an exhaust component in a raw-water cooled boat. The local Yanmar dealer wanted $375 for a replacement, that I knew would be at end-of-life in another 5 years. No thank you.
I brought Joe the old piece, and for a small premium over and above the cost of the shoddy Yanmar part, Joe built me a heavy-guage custom replacement with several engineering upgrades and the best grade of stainless for the application. According to him, this exhaust mixing elbow should outlast the engine, the boat, and me. I trust him - he's got a Doctorate in Industrial Engineering, has been building things out of metal since his childhood, and has spent many years maintaining luxury yachts. Thanks, Joseph, for making my boat more reliable!!!
Last edited by SeaLifeSailing; 04-27-2010 at 08:18 PM.
Reason: Grammar and punctuation