Join Date: Jun 2006
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Boy, do I feel stupid...
I was having intermittant trouble with my ignition/starter on my old Yanmar 3GM30. Sometimes, th e ngine started without any trouble, other times I got nothing, not even a click. I knew there must be a problem in the wiring, so I brought the boat to the yard. They fixed the starter, replaced the ignition button, and tested everything. Seemed fine. Worked once or twice - no trouble.
Then we left for a week-long cruise. First day, fine. Next day, the engine wouldn't start again. We were a few miles offshore with no wind, so I tried to short-circuit the solenoid to start her up. I had done this successfully a couple of times before, and although I knew this was not something you want to do often, I had little choice. After I I had the engine cranking, I closed the decompression switches, and then -Bang! We heard a loud noise, and then had black smoke billowing from the air intake. I knew that wasn't good. Called the towboat to nearby harbor. Spoke with a helpful diesel mechanic, who gave me the advice that killed my engine.
He said I might have bent a valve in one of the cylinders, and I shouldn't run it. I would have to sail the 20+ miles to our home, but he said if I needed to, I could run it very slowly for a few minutes to get into our harbor inlet, just not for a long time. He reassured me that it would be OK for a few minutes.
After a torturous fifteen-hour sail home in very light air, we started the engine for the last 1/4 mile to our mooring. Vroom! Started right up (with ignition button - the correct way). Though the engine was only running on two cylinders, we thought we were home free, but as we approached our mooring, we heard a loud snap/crackle & pop, and then the engine seized. I fear we wrecked the engine.
Our local diesel mechanic is scheduled to look at her this week. He said it doesn't sound good.
Question: Shoud I consider a rebuilt engine? Should I have mine rebuilt? Or should I bite the bullet, and buy a new one? Yanmar doesn't make the 3GM30, so I'm not sure the new 3YM will fit the dimensions available.
Needless to say, our sailing season has probably come to a quick end. What a mess...