Join Date: Nov 2016
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Electrical problem, alternator replacement, bracket upgrade, now exhaust coolant leak
Hi all. Due to various circumstances, I have finally been able to get back to the boat work and the starting issue I had earlier this year. The non-start issue was traced to a faulty fuse holder in the start lead that goes to the starter solenoid. Once that was identified and temporarily bypassed, the engine started easily as always. Now the fun begins. To get to the wire connection at the starter solenoid, the alternator needed to be removed. Since the starter had been acting flakey, I decided to replace it. SInce I was replacing the alternator any, I figured it was time to do the alternator bracket upgrade. We have an early Universal M-18 Diesel with the original alternator bracket mounted to the front timing gear cover. Which of course is subject to breaking the ear off the cover. So A upgraded bracket was ordered. As I was preparing to install the bracket, I discovered the exhaust manifold studs, so the exhaust manifold had to be removed so the studs could be replaced. So the riser elbow had to be removed too. I was able to remove the elbow from the hose that goes to the water lift muffler without much issue, and get everything out without too much trouble. Getting it all put back together went mostly without incident. Re-filled the coolant and got all of the wires re-connected, opened the seacock and she started right up and runs as good as ever. So I am feeling pretty good at this point. So I run her for a while to get the air out of the cooling system. Checked the forward and reverse gears. Everything as it should be. Still feeling pretty good at this point. Figured I would give it one last visual inspection before I called it a day. Crawled back down the quarter birth with a flashlight and took a good look. That's when I saw the "new" problem. It appears the water lift muffler is not mounted solidly to the hull, and during the removal of the exhaust hose, the muffler moved a bit and appears to have cracked the fiberglass elbow that is between the muffler and the through hull. The current plan is to replace that fiberglass elbow with one made of stainless tubing. I found stainless tubing ones made out of 304 stainless that should work. Has anyone in the group had to replace this elbow? If so, how did you go about access it? Our N-28 still has two of the original plastic gate valves connected to the cockpit drain through hulls that need to be replaced too. So I may try and do them at the same time I do the elbow replacement. From the looks of it, it is going to be a very difficult job due to access. Hopefully I am wrong. Here is a couple of pictures with the leak area circled in red.