Archive for April, 2009

Fixed rubbing belt (needlessly mucked with water pump, then shimmed alternator)

The problem: the alternator belt was rubbing on the idler pulley.  This is a strange problem to have, because I never noticed it before, and we didn’t really change anything.  Except that we replaced the water pump–so maybe the pulley on the new water pump wasn’t as close to the engine as it was on the old water pump?  Then I started worrying that I hadn’t pressed the pulley far enough onto the pump–I recall it seeming like it was a millimeter farther on the old pump, and since this was the only thing we changed, I assumed this must be the problem.

So jonny pulled the pump off the engine again, and I took it down to the Tech Shop with me this time (last time I tediously managed to pull it off with a vice, but it was definitely the wrong way to do it, and now I have a tech shop membership anyway).  I pressed the pulley farther on–too far in fact, it stopped being able to turn–then I used a puller to pull it off just enough so it would turn freely.  So I am positive that I have the pulley as far on the pump as it will go.  I gained MAYBE a millimeter out of it.

Then we had to laboriously scrape and clean off all the old gasket material (well secured with permatex!), buy new gaskets, and reinstall the pump.

After doing all that, the belts still rubbed.  So then I took off the alternator and added a couple of washers to shim it farther out, and then finally the problem was solved.  I don’t believe that I messed up the belt alignment through my actions; if anything, it looks like the alternator belts line up better with the added shims (though it is extremely difficult to tell by eyeballing it).

Replaced oil pressure switch, capped vestigial oil hose

One of the terminals on the oil pressure switch that triggers the low pressure alarm broke off.  The oil switch is mounted to a little manifold; also mounted to this manifold was a foot long hose that served no purpose.  I took it off and capped the hole with a bronze stopper (before I did, I called Sherri at Transatlantic Diesel to double check–too often we take something off that we don’t understand only to later realize that there was a good reason for it).

(image shows new switch without wires attached; bronze square headed plug is to the right)

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Found, fixed three diesel leaks

For two months we have had a frustrating diesel leak, just enough to cause the engine to lose its prime after sitting for a day.  We can start it back up right away after running it, no problem.  But wait a day, and we had to bleed the system again.

Pete thought that the fuel switch located on the injector pump was leaking, so Jon replaced that.  Didn’t fix the problem, though I think it was part of the problem.

An injector started leaking from around the nut on the feed line.  I discovered a tiny scratch on the surface of the nipple of the injector, undoubtedly created by some errant shard of metal when we put the injectors back in.  I removed the injector and took it to Diamond Diesel in Oakland and they replaced the piece for free (I had them all rebuilt just a few months ago).  This was definitely part of the problem, but it still didn’t fix our priming issue.

I decided that the fuel manifold to which the fuel switch is mounted was leaking, because it didn’t have a copper washer to seal it properly (no idea why).  Took it off and added a copper washer.  Leaking stopped, engine doesn’t lose its prime now.

Overhauled cooling system (replaced hoses, exhaust fittings)

The engine has been overheating when pushed hard, so I was thinking that it was a reduced cooling capacity rather than an outright problem.  I started by replacing the seawater hoses from the through-hull to the strainer and strainer to the v-drive.  Jon replaced the hose from the pump to the heat exchanger, I replaced the hoses from the heat exchanger to the anti-siphon fitting and anti-siphon fitting to the exaust elbow.  Jon soaked the heat exchanger, oil cooler, and transmission oil cooler in muriatic acid.  I replaced the impeller when I added the speedseal cover.  I soaked the anti-siphon fitting in muriatic acid. There was no way of telling how corroded the exhaust fittings were without taking them apart.  In order to take it apart we had to cut it off with the grinder, so then we had to replace it regardless of the condition. I pieced together all the necessary fittings out of galvanized steel from a great hardware store over in Alameda called Pagano’s (it’s close to Svendsens, so convenient).  One of the guys at Svendsen’s warned me that it might kill us to use galvanized (as opposed to bronze or stainless), and I know that the galvanized coating is dangerous when it gets hot enough to burn off, but a) I doubt it gets hot enough  b) the previous fittings were galvanized c) I’m not paying $300 for bronze fittings for our exhaust elbow.  We can’t afford to be cancer free!