Saturday, 9 November 2013

Craftsman Marine Diesel Commissioned

Hi everyone,
Yesterday we fired up our new CM3.27 engine for the first time.  Alan the dealer and Frank from Kokomo were on hand to witness the event.  The engine started immediately and ran well.  It took a while for water to appear at the transom but that was due to the 10 litre muffler/waterlock taking a while to partially fill before throwing out water.

The only issue found was that I had assumed the gear lever moving forward on the ZF10M gearbox was "forward" gear.  It isn't.  We ignored that minor issue and gave the engine a workout in gear in forward and astern, and briefly up to max RPM in neutral.


This morning I topped up the engine oil and coolant, and configured the engine morse controller to select the correct gears.  I then took the ferry in to Langkawi and bought a Dremel power tool.  Back at the boat I used it to cut out a mounting plate for the engine control panel.  The tool made the job far, far easier than using a saw, particularly given the surround was made from 3mm laminex only 40mm wide.    It would almost certainly have split if I had used a saw.  The panel is now mounted in the cockpit and looks good.

The panel has voltage, coolant temperature and oil pressure gauges, as well as RPM and engine hours.  The temperature gauge isn't working yet since it is necessary to remove the thermostat housing to fit the optional temperature sensor.  I didn't want to do that before initial trials of the engine.

Engine Control Panel mounted in the cockpit
This afternoon I ran the engine for an hour at various revs in both forward and astern.  The correct gear is now selected.  The engine certainly pushed a lot of water around the marina.  The engine mounts appear to be working well.  To check alignment I rested a pencil on the propellor shaft both horizontally and vertically and there's no sign of vibration.  So all seems good.

Trying to push Rebak to Thailand!
So that's Zen Again's engine replacement done.  The only work remaining is the replacement of the exhaust system which will take a day or so when we have all the necessary parts and return to Rebak.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Craftsman Marine Diesel Installation

Hi everyone,
Our new engine is now installed and commissioning nearly complete.  Later today we plan to fire her up for the first time.

On Sunday, and with the aft mounting nuts turned down to half-height and fitted, I was able to align the engine to the old shaft coupling.  Amazing.  I remembered to check the coupling was placed with the shaft centred in the stern tube.  This was with the engine sitting about 1cm forward of its correct position - where the correct position would compress the PSS shaft seal as required.  Finally I moved the engine back the required 1cm and checked all around the coupling with my feeler gauge's thinnest feeler - no gaps!

On Monday the Zainol the mechanic arrived and took a close look at the engine, the mounts and the shaft position.  He declared everything good and gave me the go-ahead to mark and drill the holes required for the mounting bolts.  He also suggested I cut back the engine bed sides adjacent to the engine bell housing which had only 2mm clearance each side.

On Tuesday I moved the engine out of the engine compartment onto the cabin sole.  I did it alone, which shows I just might be getting the hang of this stuff!  I drilled the required mounting holes and then got to work cutting back the engine bed sides.  Luckily I'd been discussing this job with Duncan of Sea Topaz and he loaned me his burrs, which made the job far, far easier.  I then fitted the mounts, happily finding that the bolts, with 4cm washers, could be fitted from below.  They passed up through the engine beds and the mounts and so I could easily fit washers and nuts above.  That made the job of finally tightening the nuts with the engine in place much, much easier.

Engine mounts in place
On Tuesday afternoon Zainol arrived and set to work removing the old shaft coupling.  It came out quite easily and revealed that the shaft end was tapered.  That caused momentary alarm until we lay the new coupling alongside and realised the taper was forward of where the new coupling would touch the shaft.  Phew!  Zainol then fitted the new coupling to the shaft and the flexible coupling to the gearbox.

Old shaft coupling off - note tapered shaft
Next we lifted the engine onto its mounts, which was made very much easier by the slings I'd rigged inside the compartment.  Zainol then aligned the engine and we finally tightened the engine mount bolts.  The shaft rotated easily with the only noises being the "clonk" of the propellor blades opening/closing.  Finally Zainol connected the exhaust system.  This was only possible with the old muffler/waterlock at an angle, but which he assures me is OK for tests in the pen.  We connected the 40mm engine exhaust outlet to the 50mm muffler by fitting a 50mm length of 40mm hose inside the 50mm hose to the muffler, which was a perfect fit!

New shaft coupling and flexible coupling
On Wednesday I connected up the electrics, water and fuel.  The electrics included ground to the lower starter motor mounting bolt, +12V to the starter motor and the control electrics to the instrument panel.  The water included raw water in, raw water out to vented loop and raw water from vented loop to mixing elbow.  Each of these hoses needed a tight 90 degree bend, and happily I managed to find suitable hoses at MultiQuip in Kuah.  The fuel included supply and return which was very simple.

Later in the day on Wednesday I filled the engine with oil and coolant, and filled the gearbox with automatic transmission fluid.  I discovered several errors in Craftsman Marine's Engine Manual, which I have advised them of, and may list in a future post.  One was an incorrect oil quantity in the Commissioning section, which resulted in my having to try out my engine oil extractor.

On Thursday I bled the fuel system and attached the control (morse) cables.  The gearshift cable was a challenge since the old Yanmar fitting is "welded" to the end fitting.  I tried releasing fluid and freezer spray to no avail, so kept the fitting on and managed to fit it.  Not ideal but appears to be functioning fine.  Lastly I lubricated the engine control cables, working them the ensure they're free, no to mention that the throttle has the correct sense (ie idle = idle, not full power) and forward lever selects forward gear!

Ready to run!
So the engine is now ready for final inspection and then start up!  Looking forward to that.