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Old 01-02-2002
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Leaking Exhaust Hose

I have a leak in one of the hoses attached to the exhaust manifold that I need to replace, but the problem is that the hose is under the headboard of the bed and it's hard to reach. How can I remove the headboard to get access to the hoses connected to the exhaust manifold and the water tank?

Sue & Larry respond:
Your leaking exhaust manifold is a potentially very dangerous problem due to carbon monoxide poisoning, and you are right to address it quickly.

Finding appropriate access for replacing engine parts is a very common problem on a boat after everything has been put together at the factory. Itís been our experience that we often take more time analyzing how to access an area than the actual time it takes to tear it apart once we decide on the best method. In analyzing how to find access behind your headboard, try to recreate the steps that were used during assembly, then reverse them to plan your attack of disassembly.

Because we don't know how your particular headboard is configured, weíll discuss two methods. First, itís likely that your headboard is simply a large piece of wood, held in place with trim. The trim could just be screwed in with visible screws, or have bungs hiding the screw heads. The bungs can be chiseled out, screws removed, then new bungs inserted later when you reassemble the area. Itís also possible that the components are held together with a small amount of glue. Carefully pry the pieces apart to break the glue bond. If you happen to split a piece of wood during disassembly, donít freak out. You should be able to epoxy the split wood back together, then sand, and refinish it. A careful glue and repair job will mend a split that youíll never detect.

If youíre certain that you canít disassemble the headboard, then the simplest and quickest solution is to cut one or more access holes. These holes can be fitted with removable covers. In highly visible areas, youíll want to use a nicely finished piece of teak, or other wood that matches your interior. In areas that arenít visible, a round plastic deck plate assembly can be a neat and simple way to deal with the hole. In either case, you are left with a removable plate that will allow you to easily inspect the same area over the years to come.

Best of luck getting to and solving your problem.

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