Well it's happened again..the unexpected.... last Thursday 14th I had finished rebuilding Fred and fixing him back to the boat, so now with everything ready I had to make a decision on where to go safely, all bilge pumps in perfect working order, all rewired and re-piped, about time too. Just then I was offered a free dock by a very nice lady (Pamela) who owns a 40ft racing yacht. It now would be possible to temp re-fasten the hood ends which would make it possible to go as far as Tyrral Bay Cariacue, I have a teak plank waiting for me there, and I will need it to make a proper repair, so I accepted the offer.
So in the morning I was charging the batteries after sorting the charge system out. The engine was ticking over and putting about 20 amps into the batteries. Then.....
Well I've had this engine supplied as a short block and installed it 28th June 2010 after it was shipped it out to St Lucia, this was after my original engine failed completely.
The Engine has since done a total of approx 600hrs since then. I have thankfully had no problem with engine since fitting it.
3 days ago whilst at anchor in Jolly Harbour Antigua W.I. I started the engine for battery charging duty, running engine at 1000 rpm. Once current had reached 10 amps my normal practice is to reduce eng rpm to tick over which is set at 850 rpm. I was in the cockpit and heard a short sharp hiss continuously in time with the engine speed, it sounded like the drive belt catching something, I went down below and checked around the engine but could not see anything happening, there was then a clunking noise and the engine stopped! This had sounded serious, so I turned the engine manually to see if it had seized up, I could rock the engine back and forth but didn't try to start it again. I then took out the injectors and removed the rocker covers to see if anything was amiss. I found the first cylinder on none drive end exhaust valve spring in 3 pieces! and no valve stem visible, Shit! I have since removed the engine, once I had been towed to the dock. After stripping the engine down I have found the piston so unbelievably damaged, with liner and cylinder head suffering serious damage as well. The shaft of the exhaust tappet appears to have sheared off about an inch above the valve, close up it looks like a crystal type fracture on the stem. The Valve obviously fell into the cylinder, and as I have never seen a failed piston with this much shattered pieces, it seems it snapped in two then jammed at top dead centre so the con-rod just pulled the little end straight out of the piston !!!!!!
Unfortunately this is not an easily resolved situation.
The 5 year warranty was provided by Lister Petter Dursley to provide extended cover after the expiry of the standard 2 year period.
During 2013 Lister Petter Dursley went into administration and the assets were sold to another company, Dorset Road 1, but without the liabilities. The original company was then wound up and no longer exists.
As a result of this I regret that there is no longer any warranty cover on the original engine and the new owners have no liability as far as the 5 year cover is concerned.
We will obviously do what we can to facilitate the supply of parts for rebuild but I suspect that the engine is probably beyond economic repair.
I am copying this to Tony Wells at Dorset Road 1 who might be able to make recommendations as to how you might proceed and will also forward him your original mail so he can view the pictures of the damaged engine.
So everyone I will have to wait to hear from the guys who now have control of Lister Engines,
It looks like another short block if available or a new engine complete. Have no idea why this has happened as the engine was only ticking over.
Will post with news as I get it