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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 09-19-2010
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A Week of Engine woes....

... that all turned out OK. (though this is going to be a bit long......)

Now that summer's over and I'm reflecting over the great one we had here on BCs inner waters, I thought I'd spell out a bad news/good news sequence we went through at the start of the summer, in early July.

We were on our way to our club's annual July meet at Smuggler Cove, with planned stops at Plumper Cove on the way up and on the way back. Along the way I checked a recently repacked stuffing box to find the gland dry and cool, but noticed considerable water sloshing about under the engine. Quick process of elimination left us with, likely, a leaking heat exchanger core. Raw water was leaking into the FWC side, and overflowing the expansion tank into the bilge.

Stopping in Plumper as planned, we removed the core, tested it ashore and confirmed the failure.. what to do? Carrying on was nixed for now, and I got on the phone to a friend with internet service (we are on an island here, but not far from the city.)

Long story short, my friend located a supplier on line.. gave me the toll free number - I called and was please to hear I was talking to Tacoma, WA, not somewhere in New England. As a result of that conversation I was able to order a part (yet to be fabricated), get back to Vancouver, drive across to Bellingham where the thing was made, and had it in my hands within 8 hours of the original phone call. Kudos to AAA Marine parts of Tacoma, and Seakamp Engineering in Bellingham.

Saturday was spent installing the core, doing a few other chores that cropped up and we made it back to Plumper Sunday for a pre arranged meeting with SNer erps. Had a great dinner/evening with Ray and Sandy and returned home for a last week of work.

Departing again with a healthy engine, we rendezvoused with the friend that helped earlier in the Gulf Islands. Second day out I was appalled to find that there was suddenly a great deal of nice, new green coolant in the engine bilge... WHAT NOW?!?!?. No drips but releasing the cap prompted a gush from the shaft seal on the FWC pump.. great!

Again on an island, but with cell service I called yet another friend who located a part in Nanaimo, and left us a vehicle to go get it from Chemainus. We took the pump off the engine first so we could compare to be sure.. this proved more complicated as we had to remove the timing belt on this, an interference engine..

Carefully marking everything we could think of, off we went to get the new part. We did that, returned to the boat around 1700 and by 1900 we had it back together (after some drama when we noticed the camshaft had moved about 30 degrees in our absence).. spun the engine by hand through 2 full turns to ensure we didn't have any fatal timing errors, and damned if it didn't start right up and run like a top.

Things we recognized/learned:

- If you're not afraid to tackle engine maintenance you can avoid being "stranded" and/or towed ($$$$$)

- It pays to have a good network of friends.

- One must have ALL the proper tools at hand ( I didn't - but my friend had what I needed.. needless to say we went shopping at the first opportunity after that.

- I love my marinized VW.. new FWC pump cost $60.

Feeling pretty good about the whole thing afterwards, we started adding up the costs of these two episodes to someone not familiar/comfortable with these jobs and reckoned that we could easily have been out a couple of grand in towing & mechanic fees, not to mention possibly costlier/harder to find parts with some other brands.

Clearly, if needed, the costs of a diesel maintenance course will pay for itself in no time at all....
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Old 09-20-2010
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Faster

Wow, 60 bucks for a water pump! I think I paid over $200 for my last Yanmar pump and that was the goodguy price.

BTW, I pressed the bad bearings out of my non-rebuildable pump, installed new sealed bearings and have it on-board as a spare.

Kudos for being self sufficient when it mattered most.
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Old 09-21-2010
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Now one of the big selling points of both Yanmar and Bukh is that they are purpose built marine engines not simply a marinised auto engine.

VW Water Pump USD60.00 ....

Thermostat for Bukh...AUD210.00

Head Gasket (don't ask) for same Bukh....in excess of AUD400.00

Marinised engines may not be all that bad after all.
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Old 09-21-2010
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what's the conversion rate of AUD to USD? 10 to one right now, or thereabouts???
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdw View Post
Now one of the big selling points of both Yanmar and Bukh is that they are purpose built marine engines not simply a marinised auto engine.

VW Water Pump USD60.00 ....

Thermostat for Bukh...AUD210.00

Head Gasket (don't ask) for same Bukh....in excess of AUD400.00

Marinised engines may not be all that bad after all.
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Old 09-21-2010
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what's the conversion rate of AUD to USD? 10 to one right now, or thereabouts???
TD, if you'd like to report the above poster for personal abuse, maybe a moderator would take some action! Seems this is two instances in two days!
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1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"

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Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
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Faster, is that the original Brazilian engine that you have?
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Old 09-21-2010
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Well done Ron!

But you could have just waited for Senior erps to find you...he could have got you back up and running..with tooth picks, rubberbands and dental floss.....does he even carry tools?..
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Quote:
Originally Posted by copacabana View Post
Faster, is that the original Brazilian engine that you have?
Indeed it is.. by a (now defunct, I believe) company called Control. Similar to my earlier Pathfinder on a previous boat, with differences primarily in RWC pump, oil sump capacity and intake manifold.
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It's a geat little engine Ron. Smooth and quiet. There are PLENTY of them still out on the water here. The only complaint I've ever heard about them is the undersized RW cooling pump (for tropical waters anyway) that lead to overheating and sometimes to warping the aluminium head. This was corrected on later models. I believe Control is out of business as you say, but you can still get the engines and parts anywhere (and talk about cheap!!). They use them in VW vans. A few other companies marinize the same engine so parts are not a problem here. If you ever need something, just drop me a line.

Regards,

Mark
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Old 09-21-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by copacabana View Post
It's a geat little engine Ron. Smooth and quiet. There are PLENTY of them still out on the water here. The only complaint I've ever heard about them is the undersized RW cooling pump (for tropical waters anyway) that lead to overheating and sometimes to warping the aluminium head. This was corrected on later models. I believe Control is out of business as you say, but you can still get the engines and parts anywhere (and talk about cheap!!). They use them in VW vans. A few other companies marinize the same engine so parts are not a problem here. If you ever need something, just drop me a line.

Regards,

Mark
Thanks Mark - the same engine has been used in VW Rabbits and Jettas around here so there's no shortage of engine parts. One of the big advantages for sure.. For some reason they are not particularly popular in the US - but we've had one version or another now for the past near 20 years with few major issues.
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1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"

".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
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