Wednesday, June 10, 2015

My Engine Solution

Hi all.
Well I had many ideas as to what to do with the engine problem, so spent a few days mulling over these ideas to see which one I could accomplish in the easiest way. There were many varied things that would stop each idea dead. Lister Petter (Hawker Siddeley) I finally decided, has achieved their goal in re-manufacturing this Alfa Series Engine to become less reliable than the bullet proof original, and I quote a salesman in 1992 at Southampton Boat Show, who told me, 'that because it was so reliable, once a person bought one it would last a lifetime, without the owner needing to come back for spares or new engine etc. and this Fact was putting the company in danger of failing due to lack of engines sold'.
Having now had three engines since 1993, (I bought one on the strength of what he said), the last of which didn't achieve 5 years old and 600 hours running, I have decided to change the engine for another companys product.

So getting a new engine will put me having to re-install everything from scratch, which I really didn't want to do, not just the work involved but also the cost as well.

So Plan A is this. Clean up the defunked engine, take out all the bits concerned with the No. 1 cylinder and re-build it with only 2 cylinders, put it back in the boat, see if I can get it working, it will have to charge batteries and get me in and out of harbour, also pump the bilge all at the same time, this will have to be without shaking the boat to bits with vibration. It only has to last me for a three day sail to St Lucia from here at Jolly Harbour, maybe 6 hours at the most. I have ordered a new engine from a BRITISH company called Beta Marine Ltd. It is a Beta 30 @ 30hp, same power, same cylinders 3, and its cheaper to buy in UK and have it sent to St Lucia, its a hell of a lot lighter and to save money I can use the bullet proof PRM 160D2 gearbox on the old engine and put it on the new.
The new engine will have all the bits the old one had so that I will not have to add things to it later.
I started Plan A last week, cleaned out all the shattered piston bits from the sump, also removed the pump and made sure nothing was going to get in the oil, I overhauled the gearbox itself, and finished it off with the same paint job as the new engine, Letterbox Red! I had to renew the Gearbox hydraulic cooling pipes due to corrosion and make a few gaskets, also had to buy a stop pull cable, but engine went back together OK. Tried to think of everything that could go wrong with running the engine on 2 units, 1) modified the fuel supply manifold by sawing the pipe off the 'T', 2)  removed push rods. 3) put a blank gasket on the exhaust for No.1 as exhaust back pressure would pressurerize the crankcase, left inlet open. 4) fuel spill line modified.

Came to the day, Friday night 6th June 1855hrs and after bleeding the fuel lines I managed to start the engine!!!! stopped it then I went to the PUB!!!
Saturday I ran the engine continuous for three hours at 1200 rpm, 1 hour ahead, 1 hour astern and 1 hour ticking over at normal tick over speed 850 rpm with no speed adjustment needed.

On Sunday I had left the batteries to go low over night and re started the engine to test the charge system, this is what I was doing when the engine blew up. It ran for 30 minutes and then horrors it blew up again!!!! So much smoke poured out of every orifice the engine had, and I just crumpled to the floor, I pulled the stop cable while I was down there but the engine carried on running for a good 30 seconds. Can not use the words I want here to explain what I felt like.

Monday 8th June, I thought about it a bit and came up with the answer! It must be the blank gasket on the exhaust! pressure must have blown that open, and pumped oil from the No.1 rocker space into the inlet and the engine was running on Oil!! It still meant taking the engine to bits again which I did! Monday night at 6pm I had the engine running again!!
Engine side of plan A is now complete, it only requires me to get the boat cleaned up and ship shape and get it to St Lucia.
Following are a couple of pics

Engine clean with new hydraulic hoses

view out from the dock

Engine ready to be lifted back in with my boom as the crane

needed something made of steel for the exhaust

I was right, the blown gasket

now a steel one still OK
So everyone I'm just about ready to leave dodge, will let you know what happens

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