Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Northern Virginia
Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Rep Power: 8
Almost didn't do a stupid thing
But not quite. Back in the winter I planned to inspect the mixing elbow on our Yanmar 2GM20F because I had no idea how old it was and suspected it was an original 23-yr-old part. I was mainly concerned with carbon buildup. But I had so many demanding projects and the damn thing looked shiny enough, and I could picture struggling to unscrew that big coupling and hurting myself in new and exciting ways, so it didn't get done.
Friday we were motoring out about a mile from the marina when I heard the engine suddenly sound different, and then saw no water coming out the exhaust. I cut the engine and we put up the main to have some control while I looked things over. I figured we had sucked a plastic bag into the intake.
Nope, nothing blocking the water. Instead, the mixing elbow had broken off at the engine exhaust side completely! Cooling water was spurting back into the bilge and exhaust was venting into the engine compartment. I had no temporary fix for this, so we were towed back to the marina.
Inspection showed the break was in the threaded coupling between the engine and the elbow. The threads were actually eaten through in spots other than the break, which makes me think it might have been leaking some exhaust for a while. Yikes!
The elbow itself was carboned up pretty bad so I replaced the coupling and the elbow. I imagine if I had tried to remove the elbow back in the winter, that coupling would have ripped right off at a more convenient time. Oh well. It actually could have happened at many much more inconvenient times and places, so I lucked out in the end.
2000 Beneteau 331
Northern Chesapeake Bay
Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy ~ Steven Wright