Saturday, 24 March 2012

Engine Adventures

Hi all,
Another busy month with more preparations for our departure from the marina in May.  More on that below.

We had one week with lots of rain courtesy of a wannabe cyclone which crossed the coast well SW of Darwin.  Since then the monsoon trough has disappeared and there's talk that could have been the last heavy rain of the season.  We'll see.  The mornings certainly seem to be cooler.

The most important work we've been doing recently relates to our trusty Yanmar 3GM30F diesel.  The engine was installed by the first owners in South America in about 1990.  She seems to have been well looked after but we thought we'd give her a good look-over before departure.  As mentioned in the preceding blog we had purchased a set of spares.

New raw water pump
The spares included new starter motor / solenoid assembly, water pump and mixing elbow.  The first two we installed ourselves since they are readily accessible.  The new starter motor made a huge difference to starting the motor!

New mixing elbow
Today the local Yanmar mechanic from ShipStores checked and adjusted the tappets, removed the injectors for service, and removed the old mixing elbow.  The elbow was severely blocked, with only about 1/4 of the cross-section still clear.  The exhaust pipe was about 1/2 blocked so he removed the exhaust manifold, and found the passages from the engine block to the manifold were about 1/3 blocked too.  We'll replace the elbow and clean the others.  We should have a lot more power once this is fixed!

Old exhaust pipe 50% blocked
Old exhaust ports 1/3 blocked
The mechanic checked the compression of the cylinders and they seem to be OK.  The anodes were checked too and were fine.

All in all, I'm glad I reread Nigel Calder's book "Marine Diesel Engines" and took his excellent advice!

The engine hasn't been the only "adventure" we've had recently.  We've also...
  • Compiled an inventory of (so far) 500 items stowed aboard
  • Checked and topped-up the First Aid kit
  • Updated the boat manual
  • Scanned all equipment manuals and other paperwork, and disposed of the paper!
  • Removed u/s ST40 Wind instrument
  • Mounted diesel jerry cans on side decks
  • Fitted lights in the engine compartment
  • Reorganised cockpit locker stowage
  • Loaded bags of cold weather clothing to put into storage
About one month to go before we escape the marina!

Hope all's well where you are.

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