Category: 2018/2019 Engine Refit

2018/2019 Engine Refit

Day 37 – The Test Run

I didn’t sleep much last night. After all the work we have done getting this project completed, it all came down to today. Will it start? Did I put everything back together correctly? So I woke up early and decided to get out of bed and try to read and relax. I had a mechanic lined up to help me go over the engine, inspect everything and help with the initial start up. He was going to meet me at 9:30, it was 6:30.

Anyways, I managed to get through a very long couple hours and then headed to the boat. The mechanic showed up right on time and we proceeded to go over the engine one system at a time. During the inspection we noticed that the injector pump timing needed to be adjusted, so we got busy on that and 30 minutes later we were ready to start the engine.

Kim showed up just in time, as the mechanic hit the start button and the engine came to life.

After running for about half an hour and doing some spot checks, the mechanic shook my hand, said “Nice job, enjoy your new engine.” and with that he was off.  It was actually kind of anticlimactic!  Not sure what I was expecting, but there it was running and fully functional.  

It was time to move the boat back to her berth, but before that Kim and I took the boat on a slow 5 knot sea trial out of the harbor and back in.  Everything ran perfectly, and the new engine and prop bearing made for a smooth running experience.  

We got the boat back to her berth, reinstalled the winter cover so we can do a few smaller projects while she is dry and headed for home.  I was exhausted and needed a nap!

I am really looking forward to breaking in the new engine and getting ready for our upcoming cruising season.  Thank you so much to all those that offered support:  Kim, Nichola, Marisa (the family), David Smith, Dan Cumming, David Hilderman, Bert Reinecke, Bob Shuck – and all of those that gave me encouragement through the tough parts.  This was a big undertaking.

2018/2019 Engine Refit

Day 36 – The Launch

With the engine complete and assembled, it was time to do the regular maintenance – scrape and paint the bottom and install the zincs. Thankfully I had a team of guys (Dan, Dave and Bob) show up to do the scraping/sanding so it went fast. Then it was over to me to paint the bottom and install the new zincs. It went pretty quickly, and in no time the boat was ready for launch.

With all that done, it was launch day.  Our launch time was 2:30pm, so naturally the crew showed up around 3pm – I ended up pacing the entire marina for 45 minutes.  Running through my mind anything that might be out of place.  Kim and Marisa wanted ice cream, so they headed off in search of a suitable source.  Nichola showed up just as the crew was taking the boat off of the blocks.  The ice cream appeared, along with Kim and Marisa so we all snacked while watching the process.

The tide was pretty low, so the boat was hanging waaay up there in the slings.

Once it was floating, we paused for a beverage – and I crawled around looking at everything just to ensure we were not sinking.  All good.

At 4:30pm, we brought pizza and drinks to the boat and several of the folks that helped us through this process showed up to celebrate with us.  We also shanghaied them into helping remove some of the last bits and pieces from the boat.  So there she sits, floating and ready for tomorrow – that is when we start the engine!

2018/2019 Engine Refit

Day 35 – Engine is DONE.

Big milestone today. The engine is fully assembled, the only outstanding action is to do a shaft alignment before launch.

The injector pump came back to me in less than a week looking all shiny and rebuilt. I’m glad I decided to do this, it was the one thing that hadn’t been looked at.

Today dawned sunny and clear, which was a really nice change.  Despite this I had a heck of a time getting myself motivated and out to the boat.  Around 11am, I was finally packed up and ready to leave.  A quick stop at the Home Hardware in Sidney, where I ran into the Cumming clan and then down to the boat.  The first order of business was doing the final dry fit of the pillow block assembly.  It fit perfectly so I marked the final hole locations and removed everything for the last step.  A quick trip to Beacon Auto to get the final few fasteners and then back to the boat to install the injector pump. I also managed to get all the injector lines installed as well, which was a rather tedious job.

I filled the injector pump with lubrication oil, replaced the raw water pump impellor and with that it was done.

I can now turn my attention to getting the pillow block installed, which will allow me to do the engine alignment.  Then there are a few items that would have been on the “to-do” list for our annual haulout – replace the macerator hoses, do the spring maintenance on our generator, clean and wax the hull, prep and paint the bottom – then install new zincs. 

Our launch date of March 24th has been booked, and I am ready to see if this engine runs.

2018/2019 Engine Refit

Day 34 – Battery, Injector Pump and Shaft

This is starting to get old. Fast. I have set the launch date as March 24th which is just over a month away. We are down to the final details, and it is slow going. The engine is fully assembled, however I decided it would be really smart to have the injector pump rebuilt. I was trying to save some money this season and rebuild it next year, but in the long run it just isn’t worth the risk. Removing the injector pump requires setting the engine on the right timing marks and then removing the pump. This way, it is a matter of installing and lining up the pump when it comes back. The challenge is that the timing marks are accessed through a port on the side of the flywheel housing that is right up against the engine stringers. So, I used my handy inspection camera to get things lined up and removed the injector pump.

At some point during the last month, I discovered that my 8D engine start battery had officially died.  A quick check of the starter to turn over the engine resulted in a quick death of the battery.  No matter, it was on the boat when I bought it so it is the only one that hasn’t been replaced.  Dan met me at the boat and we wrestled out the 130lb battery, loaded it in the car and headed off to get a new one.  A few hundred dollars later, we headed back to the boat and lugged the replacement battery back into place.  A quick check confirmed it was operational and just needed a bit of time on the battery charger to top it off. 

One of the other projects that needs to be completed is the installation of a pillow block on the prop shaft.  We are right at the upper range of unsupported prop shaft length and I believe that we need an additional bearing on the shaft – so I am installing a pillow block just ahead of the shaft seal.  The components have all been fabricated and were test fit in place.

With the fit confirmed, alignment blocks were glued in place to facilitate final installation and the parts were removed.  This weekend will be spent fiberglassing the marine plywood shear pads and doing final painting on the metal components.  This is a real bear to reach and I have been doing it all through a very small hatch in the floor, with one or both arms almost fully extended.  I have bruises and welts all over my arms at the moment.

Over to a bit of fun, I decided to install the brand new hourmeter.  No sense using the old one when this one starts at zero to match the new engine.

The final steps for the day were boxing up the injector pump ready for shipment to Vancouver for rebuild.  I have a bunch of extra exterior grade plywood, so I build a box for it rather than use cardboard.  A quick sand of the exterior to round off the edges and keep anyone from getting slivers – voila, ready to ship.

2018/2019 Engine Refit

Day 33ish – Sick and Snow

Things have been moving slowly the past couple weeks, as I was first down for a week with the flu, and then – snow.  Lots of snow.  Did manage to get the new sea strainer installed, and the starter relay hooked up.  Discovered in the process that my starting battery is dead – so I need a new one of those.  I have replaced all the other batteries, but this one was on the boat when we bought it so I guess I am not surprised.

So the snow brought some challenges, in that I spent most of my time trying to keep accumulations off of the cover to prevent damage.  Last night saw 25cm or more dumped on the area, and this afternoon was the first opportunity we had to get out there.

Nichola, Marisa and I dug out the car and headed to the boat where we proceeded to remove as much snow from the cover as we could.

Once the snow was cleared, I decided that the extra help would come in useful so we dismantled the gantry in the main salon.  Now we can have unfettered access to the engine.  Look at that nice shiny sea strainer!

Hopefully we can speed things up a bit now as the snow is supposed to melt and we will get back to more normal temperatures.  I need things to get above 2ºC so I can use some adhesives on the pillow block installation.

2018/2019 Engine Refit

Day 32 – Almost There

After a quick stop at Windsor Plywood for some marine grade ply (for the next project), and of course Beacon Auto for some hose, hose clamps and a few other little bits – it was off to the boat.

First order of business was cleaning up and installing the sea strainer. After staring at the old one for a bit, I decided to see what a new one costs. All these new components in there, and I was having a tough time putting this old one back in. Also, I didn’t feel like cleaning it. All Bay marine in Sidney hit the right price point, so I ordered a new one from them.

Putting the sea strainer installation aside until the new one arrived, I instead focused on getting the shift cable bracket and the cable itself installed. I had to modify the bracket to make the cable fit properly, it went back the same way I had removed it – but I just wasn’t happy with it. Some quick work with a drill and the grinder, and I had the bracket just perfect. Spent a bit of time adjusting the cable to ensure that the transmission properly hit the forward, neutral and reverse detents. With that done, I moved to the front of the engine and installed the throttle and stop cable mount, along with the cables. It was then time to put in the floor joists, cross members and drop in the hatches. The main cross member needed some adjustments to fit properly so I took the time to do that.

Then I turned my attention to installing the cooling system overflow reservoir. In order to complete that work, I needed a screwdriver that was way across the salon. Luckily, Bert happened to drop by just as I was thinking about climbing out of the engine room. He handed me the screwdriver and I was off to the races.

With the new engine, I am installing a new hour meter so we can start tracking engine hours from first start up.  I removed the old hour meter from the gage cluster, and I fired it all up and hit “Start” to see if the engine would turn over.  Sure enough it rotated along just like it should, ready for the day we launch and fire it up for the first time.

It was getting late, so I decided to quickly collect up all the garbage, and remove the chain hosts and beam trolleys from the gantry.  I stacked up all the tools and bits that would need to be sorted at some point.  That can wait for another day.

2018/2019 Engine Refit

Day 31 – Align and Clean

While cleaning up the injector pipes prior to giving them a fresh coat of paint I noticed that the #1 pipe was worn almost half way through!  Glad I caught this.  So, I contacted the supplier and ordered replacements.

During my lunch break I stopped by Eppic Waterjet and picked up my shims, they were done in record time.  Then after work I headed right down to the boat, stopping at Beacon Auto to pick up some silicone grease in order to lubricate the engine intake seacock.

I got straight to work installing the new shims and aligning the harmonic balancer, water pump and alternator. Those round bits on the absorbent pad were produced on the waterjet and they fit perfectly.

It was straightforward to do the alignment but slow going.  The final result ended up being very close to perfect.  Heading over to the starboard side of the engine, I cleaned and lubricated the intake seacock ready to install the sea strainer.  Of course, when I looked at the sea strainer mount prior to installation I realized I should probably take it home and give it a good cleaning.  I’ll install it next time.  The rest of the evening was spent cleaning and tidying up the mess.  Things are starting to look close to done!

I am currently waiting on the injector pipes, which will arrive in about a week.  I am also waiting on a new anti-siphon valve for the wet exhaust injection line.  It should be here in just over two weeks.  

Once the engine is done, it is time to remove the lifting gantry and all the extra parts/pieces, install the prop shaft pillow block, wax the hull and paint the bottom.  Then we will be ready to splash.

2018/2019 Engine Refit

Day 31 – More Cooling, Electrical

Once again I had to stop by Beacon Auto for some fasteners, fittings and hose clamps in order to finish my objectives for the day. With the parts picked up, it was over to Home Hardware to pick up a couple cheap buckets and funnels. I was also hungry, so I popped across to Tim Hortons and grabbed some breakfast – then headed to the boat.

My friend Bert did a half lift on his boat today to have the bottom pressure washed and replace the zincs. While it was up on the hoist we had a look at the swimgrid to see what challenges awaited him as he installed a Weaver davit system. Things look straightforward, so I left him to his work and climbed up onto the Waves of Grace.

With the proper hose clamps, I managed to get the fresh water cooling hoses all buttoned up and the alternator temporarily installed. I am waiting for the waterjet cut shims to finish the alternator job.

I then turned my attention to installing the oil sending units, and hooking up the hot water tank feed on the left side of the engine.  

I still have to hook up the alternator, and zip tie the wiring neatly in place. Oh look, my sneaker managed to photo bomb the picture. It was now time to fill the engine with coolant – and it takes a LOT of coolant – just under 20L. With the coolant filled, I also took the time to fill the transmission with fluid. I am very close to being done the engine installation!

A couple pro tips for you if you own a boat. First – always install the little protective end covers on the hose clamps (see photo – the little red bits).

I have been cut badly by the unprotected end of a hoseclamp a few times, and it happened again a couple days ago.  

My approach is to always wear vinyl gloves when working on the engine, and change them often.  After cutting myself on the hose clamp, I kept having to change them as they were constantly filling with blood from the wound.  Hose clamp and sharp zip tie ends can make you bleed.  Heed my warning.

My second pro tip applies to those of you that have the venerable Ford Lehman engine in your boat like we do. Notice in the picture that I always tuck a spare serpentine belt in place ready to go should the installed one fail. On the Ford Lehman, you actually have to remove a cooling hose to install a belt – a pretty dumb design. With the belt zip tied out of the way, you don’t have to worry about taking the cooling system apart if a failure occurs.

So there it sits, pretty darn close to done.  I’m sure that these last few steps, while significant, are pretty boring from a picture perspective.  No sweeping visual changes, just subtle progress.

What’s needs to be completed before I declare the engine done?

  • Paint and install the fuel injector lines
  • Paint and install the throttle and stop cable bracket
  • Install the throttle cable
  • Paint and install the shifter cable bracket
  • Install the shifter cable
  • Install the raw water strainer
  • Install the waterjet cut spacers and align the serpentine belt
  • Align the engine

It is getting close.

2018/2019 Engine Refit

Day 30 – Exhaust and Cooling

Slow.  That is how things are going at the moment.  Lots of small things to do, and often I find myself needing a bolt, a hose clamp or a brass fitting and I have to wait until the next day to pick them up.  I just want it done, but it seems that the last portion is more deliberate crawl than sprint.

Today on my lunch break I dropped off the material and digital files to the fabricator so that they could produce the harmonic balancer and water pump alignment shims with their waterjet cutter.  I have used them for all sorts of stuff, and they always come through.

After a really long week at work, I popped home and changed, then headed to the boat for a couple hours.  Tonight was all about getting the new exhaust elbow installed, along with a new piece of exhaust hose between the elbow and the water lift muffler.  I stopped by the RVYC workshop on my way to the boat and disassembled the old water injection fitting from the old exhaust elbow.  The injection port fitting is in decent shape and still useable.  With that complete, I popped around the corner to the boat and got the exhaust installed.  I also took some time to wire up the starter and confirm what size fittings I would need to complete the hot water tank coolant supply.

Back to the front of the engine, where I was able to wire up the overtemp alarm and the water temperature sending unit.  The new thermostat and header tank could then be installed along with the final fresh water cooling system hose.  This hose needed to be cut in half to accommodate the fitting for the hot water tank hose.

It was at this point I realized I was short some hose clamps and fittings, so work ground to a halt and I decided to head home.  Tomorrow I will stop by my favorite auto and marine supply store Beacon Auto in Sidney to grab what I need.  Seriously, Beacon Auto is the best

More slow, hard earned progress to report tomorrow hopefully.

2018/2019 Engine Refit

Day 29 – Fuel, Oil and Cooling

Still working on getting all the final bits and pieces mounted. It might not look like much is happening, but there are lots of little details to take care of. Tonight I finished installing the fuel lines running from the engine lift pump to the engine mounted filters, and from the filters to the injector pump. I then wired up and installed the electric priming pump and decided to prime the fuel system. New Racor fuel filters were installed, and in no time flat I had the fuel system primed right up to the injector pump. The new priming pump system is pretty slick for quick filter changes.

Focusing back on the engine itself, there was no reason not to put the oil into the engine and confirm that the proper level was showing on the dipstick.  Then it was time to install the water temperature sending units and the header tank mounting studs.  I then test fit the thermostat, gasket and header tank to make sure it all fit up properly, which it did.  With that I promptly ran out of steam for the night and decided to head home.

2018/2019 Engine Refit

Day 28 – Fuel and Oil

After work today I headed to the boat, grabbing the fitting that I was missing. I also purchased 12L of oil for the engine – it is getting that close. Tonight I managed to get the engine oil cooler hoses and oil filter installed. It was more of a fight than I had originally thought it would be, but I eventually prevailed.

I then moved on to the fuel system, getting the engine mounted fuel filter assembly installed.  In order to facilitate easier filter changes, I bought and installed adapters that allow spin on filters to be used instead of the cartridges.  The new filters look slick.

After that, I installed filters into the bulkhead Racors all ready for the final assembly steps and priming of the system.  The remaining fuel lines and injector lines are currently being painted, so it will be a few days before those go on.  That’s it, 3 hours of work and it is time to go home.

2018/2019 Engine Refit

Day 27 – Cooling

Things are kind of slowing down a bit, there are so many little things to think about. Every time I sit down to finish something up, I find that I need to run out and grab some supplies, or another part. Today I managed to get the transmission cooler and hoses installed. It actually turned out to be a bit of work to accomplish. Once I had figured out exactly how to locate everything, of course, I had to run out and grab a 45 street elbow to make it just right. The finished job looks pretty tidy.

With that buttoned up, it was over to the other side of the engine to install the oil cooler and raw water hoses.  That went pretty quickly, and the final configuration looks pretty tidy.  

Next step was to install the oil cooler lines and the oil filter…… except I was one fitting short!  Ugh.  Oh well, time to go home and get that sorted out tomorrow.

2018/2019 Engine Refit

Day 26 – The Manifold

This past week was spent painting parts and running around picking up all the bolts, nuts, washers, studs, sealant, thread locker, and hose necessary to get the final assembly done.  With all those items sourced and in the car, it was time to finish up the final task that I was avoiding.  

During the disassembly process, I managed to twist the head off one of the bolts that hold the forward endcap to the manifold.  Additionally, one of the other bolts was totally frozen and I had to cut the head off.  I needed to address these broken bolts, but the intake/exhaust manifold as quite heavy,  and is a real pain to move around.  I just wasn’t looking forward to it.  Pushing through the mental barrier, I managed to get one of the broken bolts out using penetrating oil and some heat from a MAPP gas torch.  The other wouldn’t budge.  So I ended up having to drill it out and install a helicoil.  To be honest, of the 500 bolts and fasteners (or however many there were) that I undid, if only two gave me trouble then I actually don’t have much to complain about.

Most of this morning was spent cleaning up the gasket mating surfaces on the manifold – both the ones that cover the water jacket, and the intake/exhaust surfaces that mate with the block.  Once that was done I headed out to the boat.  My buddy Dan came and gave me a hand lifting the manifold up into the boat, and then into place.

With that step done it was time to start installing the fresh water cooling hoses and components.  For whatever reason, having the manifold in place seems to make it look a lot closer to done!

The rest of the day was spent installing the fresh water cooling components, and the raw water pump.

Tomorrow I finish up the fresh water cooling, install the remaining raw water hoses, the oil cooler, the transmission cooler, the engine mounted fuel filters and some fuel lines.  Things are cooking along now.

2018/2019 Engine Refit

Day 25 – Lots of Tiny Bits

The last couple weeks since the engine went back in place have seen very little progress from an assembly point of view.  In the background however, I have been cleaning up and painting all of the little bits and pieces that need to go back onto the engine.  I briefly thought about not painting some of the parts, but I convinced myself that time spent now painting things would prevent me from thinking “I should have painted that” in the future.

Once I am done with all the painting, I can start the task of final assembly.  

In the meantime I did manage to get the new starter installed, along with the new heat exchanger.  I am not taking any chances with this engine, it is getting all new items in areas that I feel are important – like the cooling system. 

I then was able to hop to the other side of the engine and finish up the fuel hookup to the lift pump (which is new, of course).

Then it was off to the front of the engine, to work on aligning the new serpentine belt system.  The original engine comes with a 1/2″ v-belt to drive the alternator and fresh water pump.  We want to drive a nice large high capacity alternator, and in order to do that I have installed a Balmar Alt-Mount serpentine kit.  The components need to be properly aligned, so I spent most of the evening confirming where each component would be mounted.  Turns out I need to produce some shims in order to get everything lined up properly.

I finished up the evening preparing CAD drawings and digital files of the necessary spacers, ready for waterjet cutting.  I love waterjet cutting, and I love the fact that I can do CAD.  In fact, this past week I completed the design for a pillow block mount that will add an additional bearing to the prop shaft.  I know that we are right at the limit for maximum unsupported shaft length, and wanted to take the opportunity to improve on this.  Those parts are currently with the fabricator.  Once I get them back, it will be time to test fit, paint and install.  It feels slow right now, but I am right on schedule!

2018/2019 Engine Refit

Day 24 – It’s In

Today was a significant milestone, but it took a tremendous amount of preparation. There were a thousand small things that needed to be picked up in order to finish lowering the engine into place. I spent a couple days this week getting it all ready, and then Nichola and I headed out to the boat early to finish installing the final bits – the fuel lift pump and the remote oil filter plate. With that done, we also finished up installing the new fuel filters and priming pump boards.

Kim and Marisa showed up ready to help lower the engine into position, we got everything cleaned up and dismantled the wooden floor structure. With that loaded out of the boat into the trailer, we started the process of lowering the engine. Kim and Nichola manned the front and rear chain hoists while Marisa and I guided the engine onto the front mounts and into location between the rear mounts. Marisa and I then proceeded to support the rear end of the engine on a bottle jack, which allowed us to remove the floor joist supports. With the supports gone we were able to install the rear engine mount brackets. With that, it was done – everything went smoothly and it looks great in there!

There are still a lot of small things to do, but it certainly feels like we are over the hump and well on our way to finishing this job.

2018/2019 Engine Refit

Day 23 – Ready to Lower

I took it easy this morning as I honestly didn’t really feel like doing much on the boat today.  Around 1pm I finally decided to head down and see if I could get the final details in place.  The first order of business was getting rid of some extra plywood on the engine supports so that I could climb in and out of the engine room a bit easier.  With that done, I had very nice access but had to keep remembering not to miss a step!

With the available access I was able to finish up a couple small details prior to the engine going back in.  This included locating the fuel lines and grounding wires back onto the stringers, and flaring the fuel lines ready to accept the new fuel management board.  I then spent some time cleaning up and getting things ready for lowering the engine.

Take a good look in there, since once then engine is back in you won’t see most of the new paint unless you really work at it.

With that I was done for the day – And the engine can go back in at any time now.  That is a huge deal.

I have arranged for a mechanic to come down to the boat sometime in the next week and verify that I have set the injector pump timing correctly.  It is so much easier to do with the engine out of the engine room.  Once he gives me the thumbs up, I will then drop it back in place.

There are lots of small things to do, most of which can be done with the engine in place or where it currently sits so the pressure is off. The tiny things seem to require the most thought as I have to remember the correct tools and supplies. So I took some time and sat down to write out a list for the coming week.  It was a beautiful evening so I wandered around for a bit, looking at the boat and thinking how glad I will be once the major work is done.

On my way home I stopped by Dan and Tara’s place to drop off a bunch of tools that he left on the boat.  After a quick chat I headed home – and when I stopped at the end of their street I was confronted with a view that reminded me why I own a boat.  It would have been a wonderful day to be on the water.

2018/2019 Engine Refit

Day 22 – The Big Stuff

Today was gloomy and rainy, a perfect day for working inside the boat.  I headed down to the boat around 11am this morning, a bit earlier than I had planned.  Once at the boat I dug in – starting with a quick retorque of the oil pan bolts.  With that done I removed the bellhousing and then managed to get the flywheel rolled in place on my own.  For the second time I torqued the flywheel bolts using my new torque wrench, and then folded the metal keeper plates onto the bolts.  Deciding to think things through I thought it would be a good idea to confirm that the drive damper spline mated to the transmission properly. Which it did.

Installing the drive damper was more complicated that I had anticipated because there were so many holes, and so many possibilities.  I finally found the appropriate mounting arrangement and bolted it on.  With that done, it was time to mount the bellhousing and torque it to spec.  Next came the transmission.  Using a series of wood blocks and the chain hoists I was able to maneuver things into position and slide the transmission on.

Once again, my trusty torque wrench came in handy as I torqued all the fasteners to proper spec.  Look at that nice shiny transmission.  I wasn’t planning on spending the extra money to have the transmission rebuilt, but now I am glad that I did.  This was a major step completed and with the transmission in place it isn’t long until the engine can be lowered back into the engine room.  I took a moment to admire it from a couple different angles.

I briefly thought about heading home for the day, but decided instead to install the injector pump.  This requires setting the engine at 20° before TDC using a timing mark in the bellhousing, and then sliding the injector pump in place and rotating it until the timing marks align.  In order to confirm that the engine was at the proper position, it was necessary to remove the valve cover and observe the #1 cylinder position.

That done, it was time to confirm the timing marks on the flywheel, and then install the pump.

I managed to get the pump installed and the proper timing marks lined up after quite a bit of fiddling and fussing.  At this point I was pretty tired and decided it was best to head home and take another look at everything the next time I am down at the boat.  I didn’t get a picture of the injection pump in place (it goes in the big grey hole at the top right of the picture above) – seems I was in a bit of a hurry to go.  I’m a little sore from lifting the transmission and flywheel and am looking forward to a hot shower.

2018/2019 Engine Refit

Day 21 – One Step Backward, One Step Forward

Not wanting to overdo it today Dan and I decided to take it easy in the morning and meet up at the boat around noon.  The intention was to finish cleaning up the oil pan, and then install it – hopefully also getting to the transmission.

I went down a bit early to finish the prepping the oil pan, and when Dan arrived we hoisted the engine up and did some dry runs, testing how we would do it for real.  With the flywheel in place it was tough, but it appeared doable.  It took quite a while to prep the oil pan gaskets and end seals, but once that was done we started the process of installing the oil pan.  This is where we hit our first snag – it was darn near impossible to install the oil pan with the flywheel in place.  We couldn’t keep the rear seal properly lined up.  So time for Plan B – remove the flywheel, that we just installed yesterday.  Darn – I got some bad advice, having been told the process was flywheel first, oil pan second.  Fortunately, the flywheel came of easy and we proceeded to quickly get things buttoned up with a few fasteners.  Then came the slow part, installing all 29 of the oil pan bolts.  Dan worked on one side, and I worked on the other.  It was a little slow going.

In order to properly align the oil pan, we also temporarily installed the bellhousing.  Once everything looked good, it was time to torque up the oil pan bolts to spec.  

Things tightened up really well, and I am happy with how it went.  Erring on the side of caution, we elected to leave the engine as it was for now until everything settles in, then retorque the oil pan bolts tomorrow.  Once that is done, we can remove the bellhousing, reinstall the flywheel, install the drive damper plate and then put the bellhousing back on.  After that it will be time to mount the transmission!  Dan and I tidied up and called it a day at 2:45 – so that wasn’t too bad.  Better to do short days, and move purposefully than make a mistake.

Once the transmission is in place, we can install and time the injector pump.  Then the engine is ready to lower back into the engine room, which is a significant step.  Once in the engine room it will be time to install all the ancillary equipment – cooling system, injector lines, starter, electrical, exhaust.  It is quite a list, but it does feel like we are moving along slowly but surely.

2018/2019 Engine Refit

Day 20 – Small Stuff

I took the last couple days off to relax and enjoy some time with my family.  Yesterday was Christmas and we hosted the turkey dinner at our place, it was a wonderful meal.  Today I had arranged with my buddy Dan to meet at the boat around 1pm, so he could help me with the big job of lifting the flywheel in place.  I had a nice relaxing morning, then worked up my courage and headed for the boat.  Dan arrived right on time and we set to work putting the flywheel in place.  This went pretty smoothly, and we used my new Christmas gift (a big torque wrench) to tighten up the flywheel bolts to spec.  With that done, we turned our attention to properly installing the engine mount brackets which had been installed to allow the engine to mount on the dolly.  We removed each bolt, applied Loctite and then torqued them to proper specification.  

Dan worked on cleaning the mating surfaces of the oil pan, which was pretty tedious.  I took the opportunity to examine the injector pump and verify how to properly install it so the timing is correct.  Looks like it is pretty easy.  The next step was to install the new oil pump.  I had to run out and grab some lock washers for installing the pump, since I didn’t like the looks of the originals.  While I was gone, Dan spent some time sorting and organizing the workspace, which was appreciated.  Once I returned with the washers, we crawled under the engine, located the oil pump and pickup tube in place, and torqued them down.  You can certainly appreciate how new everything is when you have a good look under the engine, all shiny and lots of new parts.

Once the oil pump was in place, I needed to push out a dowel pin on the aft end of the block, since my bellhousing already has them in place.  I also cut some 4″ threaded rods to help install the oil pan, since it is so large and bulky.  You can see one sticking down in the picture above.  The idea is that we can slide the oil pan into place, locate it on the threaded rods and then slowly lift it into place using the four nuts.  This will help with the final placement.  

Fortunately Dan is as fussy as I am, and we didn’t quite get the oil pan mating flange cleaned up to our standards.  At this point it was approaching 4:30pm so we elected to knock it off for the day, and come back tomorrow to finish up the job and do the install.  Hopefully we can get the oil pan, bellhousing, damper plate and transmission installed tomorrow.

2018/2019 Engine Refit

Day 19 – New Engine Lift

Today was the big day – lifting the new engine, transmission and various bits and pieces into the boat.  This past week we experienced a tremendous storm in our area that saw extremely high winds and torrential rain – it was so bad that no ferries ran all day between Victoria and Vancouver on Thursday.  Lots of power outages, some folks are still without power.  I checked on the boat in the middle of it all, and I was pretty sure our winter cover was going to be destroyed.  It survived, no worse for wear.  Last night and all today there has been another wind warning up, and the threat of rain.  I woke up early to gusting wind and pouring rain, which didn’t bode well for our intentions today.  Luckily the wind died down, and the rain held off for us!

First order of the day was picking up the trailer from Kevin and Shawna’s place, and heading out to the boat.  I was able to install the lifting brackets and engine mount brackets onto the new engine prior to the crew showing up.

Once everything was ready, Kim and I waited for the crew to arrive, along with the yard forklift.  The weather looked foreboding, but the wind stayed down and the rain held off.  Our crew arrived, and we got to work getting things ready for the lift.  The lift crew today consisted of Nichola, Marisa, Bert and Dave.

Once the forklift arrived, we got right to work transferring the engine and transmission out of the trailer.

The engine needed to be lifted, and the dolly attached – so we could wheel the engine into the boat through the door.

Once the engine was ready, it was placed onto the large platform on the forklift and slowly lifted into place.  Marisa and Nichola took charge from above giving hand signals down to me to co-ordinate with the forklift driver.  The rest of the crew stood by watching to make sure things were clear of the boat.  It took a bit of fiddling to get the forklift lined up properly, but we eventually got it and I climbed up to help the girls roll the engine into the boat.

I don’t usually allow myself to be photographed straight at my butt from a low angle, but there it is for y’all to see.  With the engine rolled into place, it was time for the transmission, oil pan and bellhousing.

With that done, Bert and Dave headed off.  The Smith crew was getting hangry, so the girls did a Tim Hortons run for some lunch while Kim and I lowered the engine into the assembly position.  This required a bit of finesse, and removing most of the wood structure used to move the engine between the salon and the door.  There it is!  The new engine is in place, ready for it to be reassembled before lowering it back into place.  This step will involve installing the following items:  Oil pump, oil pan, flywheel, drive damper, bellhousing, transmission, harmonic balancer and the injector pump.  With that done, we will then be ready to lower it back into its final resting position.

The girls arrived back with our lunch, and we ate it out on the back deck.  With some food in our bellies, it was time to remove all the unnecessary wood from the boat and load it into the trailer.  I managed to move this all into the boat myself, but I sure appreciated the help getting it unloaded.  It was a big job.  With the trailer loaded up, we buttoned up the winter cover and headed off for home.  The plan is to take a few days and enjoy Christmas, I don’t go back to work until the 2nd of January.  So, I intend to use some of my time off to get a start on the reinstallation process.

2018/2019 Engine Refit

Day 18 – Painting and Tidying

Things are moving a bit slower now as I focus on cleaning and painting the bilge, fabricating the fuel management system and painting engine parts.  Thanks to a friend, Jeff Scott who allowed me to use his spray booth, I managed to get the first batch of engine parts painted and ready for the install.

This week I will be working on getting the final bits and pieces in place prior to Saturday when we will reverse the process and lift the new engine into place.  Once the engine, transmission and all the bits and painted parts are lifted into the boat it will be time to start putting things back together.  This will be a real turning point, which is good because I am starting to get a little discouraged!

2018/2019 Engine Refit

Day 17 – Industrial Engines

Well today is the big day!  I am heading to Industrial Engines in Vancouver to drop off the old engine, and pick up the new one – and my rebuilt transmission.  They are also providing a new starter, a new oil pump and a bunch of gaskets that will be needed for the reassembly.

It was an early start for the 7am ferry, Nichola didn’t have school today so she tagged along for the ride.  I just had to bribe her with breakfast buffet on the ferry.

The trip went easy, and it was nice having a chance to spend some time with Nichola.  We managed to arrive at Industrial Engines around 9:10am, and they were ready to help us unload the old engine and load up the new.  Just one thing to do first – pay for it.  This was probably the hardest part of the whole project!  Oh well, at least we get airmiles on the credit card.

The guys at Industrial Engines are great, they took time to go through everything with me and gave me some advice on the next steps.  We hadn’t planned on doing anything with the transmission, but I am glad we did.  They showed me the old parts, and it was definitely in need of some TLC. I have no idea how old the transmission was, it could be original for all I know.  At least we are starting with a clean slate.

Nichola and I pulled out of Industrial Engines at 10:15, and decided to try for the 11am ferry back to Victoria.  We made it from Annacis Island to the ferry terminal by 10:40…… and made it on to the 11.  Yay.

I had made arrangements with my good bud Kevin to store the engine and trailer in one of their covered barns, so once we got off the ferry we headed there.  We took the time to retarp and cover everything up for the week or so it would be stored, until we are ready for the lift back into the boat.

Here is a picture of the engine, transmission and trailer tucked away beside Dan and Tara’s boat – the Deo Gracias.  Might as well get used to each other, as the engine and transmission will be alongside the Deo Gracias many times in the future!  

All in all it was a good, but expensive day.  Now it is time for a nap….

2018/2019 Engine Refit

Day 15 and 16 – The Small Stuff

Things have been moving slower since the engine came out of the boat, mostly continuing with cleaning the bilge under the engine (it is a bit dirty….).  Have also been working on the new fuel system.  I am adding some newer style filters, getting rid of the old ones – this should make fuel filter changes a lot easier.

Managed to also pick up my cleaned engine parts from Anderson Precision Engines, and they look fabulous.  This was a no brainer decision from my end.  The parts are clean and ready for paint.  

A couple more days of cleaning and prepping and then we can reverse the whole process and start putting things back in.  The new engine and my rebuilt transmission are ready for me in Vancouver.  I plan to head over on December 10th to pick them up.  Exciting.

2018/2019 Engine Refit

Day 14 – Cleaning

Day 14, it seems like a big number!  Most of my time is after work or on weekends so sometimes I only get in a couple hours of work in a day.  So when I considered that it made me feel a bit better.

Yesterday when I stopped in to the local auto supply store to buy some wiper blades for Kim’s car, I also grabbed a huge jug of degreaser.  The guy behind the counter looked at it and asked me what exactly I intended to do.  So, I explained that I need to degrease a bunch of engine parts and prepare them for painting to match my reman engine.  He suggest that I talk to a local company called Anderson Performance, just down the road from where I work on Keating.  They do complete engine rebuilds and have the ability to clean parts and strip paint.  So I emailed the business and the owner responded immediately, suggesting I bring the parts by for a look and a quote.  This morning I loaded the parts into the car and swung by the shop.  The staff was fantastic, and they suggested it would be around $200 to clean the parts up and strip them down to bare metal ready for paint.  I told them to have fun, let me know when they were ready.  I can’t even get excited about it for that amount.

This evening I proceeded down to the boat after work with the intention to continue cleaning up the bilge.  As I got changed into my work clothes, I looked over at the berth in the master stateroom and laughed – it is loaded with engine parts.

On to the cleaning – I lowered myself into the engine room and set to work.  Quickly coming to the conclusion that the bilge was disgusting.  After about two hours of effort, I had all the water and engine fluids extracted, and had managed to wire brush down the gelcoat surface to some extent.  In general everything cleaned up pretty nicely, still some work to go but at least I can see progress.  While I would love to coat the bilge with a fresh coat of paint, the reality is it would need to be completely degreased and prepped in order for the paint to properly adhere.  This is a lot of effort, and I’m not even sure it would completely work.  I got to enjoy the benefits of slowly peeling bilge paint on my last boat, and it was terrible – things like blocked bilge pump screens aren’t any fun.  So, I think I will just clean it up as nice as I can, which is still a huge improvement from where it was.

So, I’m about half way through the effort.  Probably another day or two of work to get it where I need it and then I can move on to the small stringer repairs and upgrading the fuel system.

2018/2019 Engine Refit

Day 13 – Engine Room Time

I basically took yesterday off and did nothing.  It was nice.  Our old engine is sitting in the trailer, nicely covered up and ready to head off to Vancouver.  This morning I got an email from Industrial Engines letting me know that there was a delay on the transmission rebuild due to Thanksgiving in the US, and a related delay in shipping out the parts that are needed.  No big deal on my side, I still have to get things ready for the new engine install.

Tonight I headed down to the boat and stripped off some of the wood structure, so that I could gain access to the engine room.

With that done, I was able to pop down and spend some time inspecting the bilge and stringers that were hidden by the engine.  The first step was to pull out all the absorbent pads that had been marinating in the engine fluids, and drop in some new ones to soak everything up.  Over the years, the bilge has accumulated a considerable amount of items:  old gaskets, bolts, nuts, unidentifiable metal bits, and various other goodies.  Once I got that cleaned up, I wiped down the stringers and had a good look.  During the previous engine work, some doody took a red spray can and gave the engine a fresh coat of paint.  They also managed to get overspray all over the bilge and stringers.  This always bugged me, so I had planned to sand it down and apply some fresh paint over the gelcoat.  A quick scrub with a wire brush, however, revealed that the overspray comes right off and the gelcoat looks pretty good.  Excellent, no repaint required.

Turning to the stringers, I decided to give them the tap test with a hammer, looking for internal voids.  They tapped out pretty nicely, no surprises.  There were a couple small voids that will require some investigation and repair, but nothing major.

With everything out of my way, I was able to fully inspect the fuel lines that normally run under then engine.  It is a good thing I did!  The copper fuel line that runs from the bulkhead fuel filter to the engine transitions to a flexible, braided hose assembly – it is mostly worn through, and in fact the fuel line has collapsed.  This is a good find, I can’t imagine that it would have lasted much longer!  Obviously it needs to be properly repaired, and I will take full opportunity to check the rest of the fuel lines out as well.

So, the last step was to spread out some new absorbent pads and leave them until tomorrow when I will go down and continue the cleanup process.

I like a really clean engine room, so the mess is bothering me a bit.  The good news is, it will actually be a lot cleaner once I am done.  Also, the new engine won’t leak as badly so there won’t be such a mess.

Time to relax.

2018/2019 Engine Refit

Day 12 – Phase 1 Done

I woke up early this morning, just wanting to get on with the day and finally complete the first phase.  The weather turned out to be in our favor, overcast but not raining.

Step one was a hearty breakfast cooked up by Kim, then it was out to get the trailer loaded and we were ready to head off to the boat.

Arriving around 11am, Kim and I set to work organizing the work space and getting the small bridge portion of the plywood set in place.  The team arrived.  We got a before picture with the crew – Dan, Bert, David (and his two boys Calvin and Riley), me and Dave.  You can see the engine peeking out the door, ready to go.  I jokingly said this would be the kind of picture you would see at the Royal BC Museum in the year 2100, showing what people did back in 2018.

These two lovely ladies showed up with the Tim Hortons, just to make it a truly Canadian affair.

Once the snacks, were done and the drinks consumed we waited around for the forklift operator to get back from lunch.  Nichola finally got tired of waiting, headed to the office and somehow got the young fellow out and onto the forklift.  First order of business was getting the forklift positioned and the engine rolled out the door.

This part went very smoothly, and the engine was lowered to the ground. Which also went smoothly.

Next step was to get the engine lifted up using a chain and transferred to a pallet.

The engine was then rolled onto it’s side, strapped down and loaded into the trailer.

So it is now shrink wrapped in the trailer, waiting for the completion of our transmission rebuild.  Then off to Vancouver for the swap.

I had considered starting to work on the engine room cleanup, but wiser heads prevailed and convinced me this was a big enough step for today.  It didn’t take me long to agree.

Today was a big step, completing Phase 1 and successfully getting the engine out.  I sure appreciate the support and all the extra hands today.  Thanks everyone!

2018/2019 Engine Refit

Day 11 – T-Minus 1 Day

Tomorrow is the big lift day, I have a crew of folks ready to show up and lend a hand.  The weather is shaping up to be better than the pouring rain we got today.  Although the afternoon was nice!

The morning started with an email from the guys in Vancouver that have our transmission, it failed testing so it definitely needs a rebuild.  A bit of extra money needs to be spent, but I would rather do it right and get a full warranty!  Plus, I just don’t want to have to pull this engine again if I can help it.

Things are quiet at the parts supplier in the US, due to their Thanksgiving, but next week I expect a flurry of activity as they complete and ship our parts for the new engine install.

Tonight I had one remaining step to do – installing the guide strips to prevent the engine from rolling off into the settee or aft cabin, and moving the engine to the door.  Dan came down and helped me roll the engine into place, as I didn’t think I should do it myself.  He was momentarily stunned by the massive wooden play fort I had built, but he shook it off and we set to work.  The engine was disconnected from the chain hoists, we unlocked the casters and ……. it rolled effortlessly into place at the door.  Almost like it was excited to leave.  The fact this was so easy has encouraged me for the big lift tomorrow, as the engine on casters is way easier to handle than I anticipated.  So there it sits.

After Dan left I thought about getting a jump on some of the tasks that needed to be done in the engine room.  That is as far as I got, thinking about it.  I decided to instead head home and relax with the family – save my energy for tomorrow.

One peek into the engine room confirmed my decision.  Despite my best efforts to keep everything tidy, I ended up with a cocktail of engine coolant, oil, transmission fluid, and water in the bilge.  Liberal application of absorbent pads has started the process, but it really needs to be cleaned up.

I’m going to take advantage of the fact there is no engine in the boat to really give the engine room a good tidy, and replace some hoses and things that are easily accessible.  I expect I will be up bright and early tomorrow morning.

2018/2019 Engine Refit

Day 10 – Tinkering

Today was mostly tinkering with the final small details prior to actually removing the old engine from the boat.  Specifically, I needed to fabricate the small “bridge” between the door sill and the cap rail that would allow the engine to roll out the door.

With this in place, it is now possible to bring a forklift alongside the boat and roll the engine right on to it.  I’ve booked a time with the boatyard for this coming Saturday, and will be calling on some volunteers to help me persuade the engine out the side door and onto the ground.  I wanted so badly to get this all done by today, but I just didn’t have quite enough time this busy weekend to get it all taken care of.

I think that engine looks a little worried….

2018/2019 Engine Refit

Day 9 – The Home Stretch

Today I headed down to the boat after work with the following goal in mind – install the plywood flooring near the door, remove the 80lb flywheel and the injector pump.  Was hoping to lift the engine up and lay down the 4×4 joists and plywood to bring the engine level to the doorway.  I would have to see how long my enthusiasm held out.

Managed to remove the flywheel, injector pump and install the door plywood with no issues.  It went very smoothly.

With that done, I was able to lift the engine into it’s final position and get it ready for the next step – rolling it over to the door.

So there it sits, ready to head out the door.  Rather than move it into position myself I decided to tidy up and enlist some help to move it on the weekend.  The plan is to slide it out the door on the casters, and onto the yard forklift.  This seems to be the most appealing and simplest route to go.  Once the engine is out the door, I can take down some of the wood structure and start cleaning the engine room, and painting the stringers.  The plan is to slow down a bit and tackle the next steps in a logical and injury free manner.

The good news overall is that, despite being on Day 9, I am really not into it for an excessive amount of hours at the moment.  Things went really smoothly, not a frozen bolt or nut anywhere, everything came off easy and with minimal effort.  Thank goodness!

Most of the effort was expended in mental energy trying to figure out exactly how to do the lift, and then fabricating all the bits and pieces.  Now that it is all done, however, I could probably slide the new engine into the boat in a day!  But I won’t.  I will take my time.

2018/2019 Engine Refit

Day 8 – The Doldrums

It was pretty tough to get into it today, to be honest.  I drove myself crazy trying to figure out how to do the next step, which is framing in near the door so the engine can be rolled over in preparation for the lift truck.  After some procrastination, and time with the CAD program I had a plan – dropped Marisa off at her job, and headed to Home Depot for some 4×4’s.  Swung by home after to finish fabricating the metal brackets for the aft end of the engine, and after dropping one on the top of my big toe, I limped off to the boat.  First thing was to tackle the framing near the door, which had to come up quite a bit to match up with the door sill.

It was a sunny day, so I took my saw with me and set up next to the boat – which proved to be a VERY good idea.  By the way, I am LOVING my trailer!  So handy when you don’t have a truck.  I couldn’t have done this job without it, and we bought it from the nicest retired couple so that was fun getting to interact with them.

A bit of head scratching, but after measuring and cutting I was able to get things settled and it went quite quickly.  The 4×4 posts were cut and test fit along with the plywood.

I set everything aside and finished up the dolly, mounting the brackets to the back of the engine, which made everything nice and secure.  The next step is to move the engine up another 7-5/8″ using the remaining 4×4 timbers and plywood, then it is ready to roll over into the door opening.  That is for another day, so I cleaned up and headed home.  Will have to call the engine supplier in Vancouver tomorrow, as I am not sure if I need to remove the flywheel or if the new engine comes with it.

There was one more task for the day, and that was to box up the transmission in preparation for shipping to the engine supplier in Vancouver – they are going to test and rebuild/reseal it as necessary.  I just can’t see not doing this, with all the effort that we are going to on this job.  Time to limp into the house, have a hot shower and see what my toe looks like!


2018/2019 Engine Refit

Day 7 – I Got Smart

So the first thing you may notice is that I have decided to number these posts based on “Work Days” rather than calendar days.  This contradicts my last post, but I had it explained to me that the thousands of people viewing this blog will find it confusing if posts jump from 7 to 30.  Ok, I guess I agree.

A slower start to the day today, but at least it was sunny.  Nichola and I headed out to the boat early to install the first of the 7″ lifts needed to get the engine up to the door sill height.  We also struggled with lifting the transmission onto the side deck, in preparation for the guys coming down at 1:00pm to help lift it into my trailer.  My cousin David had his boat out of the water for zincs and bottom paint, so we visited for a bit before heading home.

I dropped Nichola off at home and headed to the lumberyard for some 3/4″ sheathing plywood.  They cross ripped it for me so I wouldn’t have to get out my table saw.  Then a quick trip to Metal Supermarket for some 3″ angle, this will be used to support the back of the engine on it’s stand.  Back out to the boat I went, managing to get the plywood floor in place and trial fit the wood components for the dolly.  With 30 minutes to spare before the guys showed up to help with the transmission, I had a brilliant idea.  A quick enquiry with the boatyard office, and we had a forklift that would provide the lift.  Dan, Tara and Bert showed up on time and so did the young fellow with the forklift.   Made very quick work of it, loading off both the transmission and the oil pan.

An inspection of the oil pan in daylight confirmed what I had observed – a good bit of metal chunks accumulated in the aft end of the pan.

After my helpers left, I ran out to Princess Auto and bought the casters needed for the dolly.  The only way to get the engine over to the side door is to  build a wood structure and roll it over on some casters!

The evening ended with a fully built dolly, along with a quick test run to ensure it would roll properly.  Easy peasy – I could move it myself.  A hot shower was needed to work out the kinks, and yes, for those of you that wondered – my butt cheek bruise is still amazeballs!


2018/2019 Engine Refit

Day 6 – A Little Slower

Today I went back to my day job, so not much got done.  After the big push on the weekend, I needed a few days to recover and collect my thoughts.  The supplier in Vancouver sent me pictures of our reman engine wrapped up and ready to ship, so that got me motivated.

Tonight I cut some of the wood necessary for the next step, and generally took it easy.  No more progress until the weekend, so standby for more updates.

I was asked how the “Day” numbering was going to work, which was a good question.  It will increment based on calendar days, BUT I will only update it when I actually do some work.

Time to relax and watch some TV, still have to watch how I sit on my bruised butt cheek, however it is getting better.

2018/2019 Engine Refit

Day 5 – I’ve Had Enough

Starting to feel like groundhog day.  Got up, had coffee, ate breakfast, drove Marisa to school and then headed to the boat.  Today was focused on two things – removing the transmission, dropping the oil pan and removing the oil pump.  Ok, so that’s three things.  Once this is done, the engine is ready to go out the door.  I told myself if I achieved that early, I could take the rest of the day off.

Once again, the engine looked the same as it did the night before.  Bummer.

Removing the transmission was actually easier than I originally thought it would be, through judicious use of the chain hoists, some wood blocks and my amazing strength it came off.  Got the bell housing separated and removed the damper plate assembly.  The transmission got set aside, at 200 lbs it was a bit much for me to carry out and down the back ladder by myself.  I then turned my attention to removing the oil pan, and once again it came off fairly easy with assistance from the chain hoists.  A couple light taps and it popped off.  Removing the oil pump allowed me to pull the oil pan out, and then I resettled the engine onto the blocks.

A quick look at the oil pan confirmed what I was expecting – some metal chunks caught in the baffles at the bottom.  Will have to confirm with a magnet, but I’m thinking this is what’s left of the rings on the #6 cylinder.  The next steps involve having some help to load out the transmission, which will be sent out for a rebuild, and the oil pan.  Removing the oil pan and the oil pump takes about 8″ out of the overall engine height, and we need all we can get to fit out the door.

I’m done early, but decided to sit and visit with the engine for a bit while I tidied up.  I have to be back at my real job tomorrow, so it is evenings and weekends from this point on as the engine gets moved into position at the side door.  From there, the plan is to have a picker truck grab it and put it onto my trailer.  It then can travel with me to Vancouver, where we will swap it for the remanufactured engine.

I’m glad to have finished early, I am feeling tired.

2018/2019 Engine Refit

Day 4 – Progress!

I won’t bore you with how today started, because it started pretty much like yesterday did.  After my coffee, I dropped Marisa off at school and headed out to the boat.  Unfortunately, the little engine faeries I had hoped would appear and finish the job didn’t so everything looked just as I left it.

The first order of business was to get everything cleaned up, pull up the hatches and get the rest of the engine stripped.  The morning was spent removing the fuel system, the oil filter and the oil cooler, along with remnants of the raw water cooling system.  Had to take a quick trip into Sidney to grab some threaded rod so I could fabricate a puller to remove the harmonic balancer.   I also removed the exhaust manifold – which was WAY heavier than it looked, so I used the chain hoists to get it up and out of my way.

Nothing remained to remove, so I hooked up the chain hoists and lifted the engine up off the stringers.

Once I was convinced that everything appeared to be working and in place, I said a prayer and began the task of lifting the engine up into the main salon.  It took a bit of pulling but up it came, and thankfully everything held just fine.

My original plan to use an elaborate 2×6 structure to support the engine in the salon became too complicated, and I decided instead to just spend some money and get some real wood.  This required me to grab some help, so a quick call to Nichola and she met me at Home Depot to help with the wood.  Marisa met us at home and we sawed it to length, loaded the trailer and headed to the boat to finish the job.

After the girls left, I set about removing the oil pan bolts in preparation for tomorrow. I didn’t have much enthusiasm for the job – but Dan appeared to check in and see if I needed anything.  After a visit and some pointing and grunting, Dan headed off and I returned to removing the oil pan bolts (how come there are so many?).  I was once again starting to wane when my cousin David showed up to check on me.  He handed me a beer and we grunted and pointed – except he is a rigger, so his grunting and pointing was informed.  It’s his job to lift stuff much bigger than my engine.  We had a visit, finished our beer and called it a night.  Tomorrow I finish removing the other 1000 oil pan bolts, pull off the transmission and then get the engine ready for the move to the side door.

My entire body is sore, but the bruise on my butt cheek is absolutely amazing – it looks like a constellation.  I was about half way through trying to get a photo for the blog when my brain kicked in and vetoed the whole idea.  A bit of good news arrived, the company doing the remanufacture of the new engine sent us a video of the test run today.  It passed all the tests and is heading to detail and paint.  I’m tired.  Good night.

2018/2019 Engine Refit

Day 3 – The Mountain

I slept well with the assistance of a couple extra strength tylenol, but woke up SORE from my fall yesterday.  Obviously my body was angry with me and so I decided to get up and make use of the “extra hour” the time change gave me.  Made myself an Americano and reviewed my “to do” list for the day – and that is when it hit me how big a job this was.  Quite a mountain to climb, but I only need to do it one day at a time.

It was a beautiful, dry morning with a decent weather forecast which encouraged me as I climbed into the car.  My good mood was short lived however, when I saw the note that “yesterday Ryan” had left me for today.  Stuck to the dashboard was a pink sticky note that said “Hey Stupid, Forgotten Anything?”.  What a pain in the ass that guy is…..  but he was right, when I stopped to think about it I had forgotten the keys to the boat.  I decided to leave the note on the dash for the day as a reminder to think about what was needed, and what to do next.

The focus for today was to get the gantry installed into the boat in order to facilitate the lift.  It is a multi-person job to lift it into place, and I wanted to make sure it was accomplished when folks were available.  First, however, I needed to shore up the cabin floor in order to support the weight of the engine and hoist.  A quick hop into the engine room confirmed that my plans had to be changed.  In order to install the aft cabin floor supports, I had to remove the rear engine mounts.  With the floor supports in place it would be difficult to access the rear of the engine, so I decided to strip it down.  Starting from the front of the engine I removed the electrical system components, drained the coolant, removed all the coolant hoses, disconnected and removed the exhaust elbow, the transmission cooler, the heat exchanger, the starter, the water pump – the list is long.  Once these major components were removed, I was able to block up the rear of the engine and remove the rear engine mounts.  Good thing I have replaced all this stuff over the last few years, as the bolts all moved freely and I didn’t bust any knuckles!  Everything got labelled and stored in zip lock bags, or cardboard boxes for the reassembly task.

With all the major components removed, I headed home for lunch and grabbed my compound miter saw.  I felt myself running out of time to get the gantry installed, so I was feeling a little rushed.

Returning to the boat I got everything set up and the floor supports went in rather smoothly.  My crew was arriving around 3:30 to help my install the gantry, while waiting for them I got the hatches put back in place and moved the main wood gantry components into the cabin and assembled them.  Kim, Nichola and Marisa arrived and with their help the I-Beam was lifted into place on the uprights.  We also installed the gantry trolleys and loaded on the chain hoists.

All in all it was a productive day.  Tomorrow I will need to spend some time tidying up and getting some of the remaining components removed.  That should set me up to do the first phase of the lift – getting the engine up into the main salon.

2018/2019 Engine Refit

Day 2 – The Lift

I actually didn’t sleep well last night.  The nerves got to me a bit, a sense that I just wanted to get on with it, but also recognizing that this is a BIG undertaking.  When I woke up it was rainy and dark.  I was feeling anxious so I downed two Americanos and headed out the door as my  family slept.  As I pulled onto the Pat Bay and headed North,  I realized that I hadn’t had anything to eat in my hurry to get going so I stopped for some breakfast at Tim Hortons in Sidney.  Probably isn’t anything more Canadian than that!  Arrived at the boat, sat and ate my breakfast listening to the rain fall.  Had a staring contest with a Blue Heron who seemed a little perturbed at my early arrival, but wasn’t about to move from the piece of dock he (she?) had staked out.  I lifted the boat cover up and over the hand rails so that the lift operators would be able to use their pike poles properly. The lift operators arrived ten minutes late, and without even a good morning or a word to me, set to work.  These guys aren’t the most congenial types but they got the boat lifted in between pulls on their vape pens.  I didn’t have much to do except sit and wait as they got the boat up and blocked on the hard.

With the boat all blocked up I got the boat cover all settled back where it should be, connected up the shore power and tidied up the topsides.  By that time my feet were soaking wet, and I was cold.  If this is what I can expect during this project, then I was going to need better footwear.  I headed home, got into some dry clothes and went into town – purchased some duck boots from Marks and an IP camera to take timelapse pictures of the project.  Interesting to see how that turns out.  After a brief stop at home, I headed to the boat and met up with Dave and Dan who provided the much needed muscle, and comic relief, to load up the dinghy and outboard into the trailer so I could take it home.  After the guys departed I decided to tackle the first big problem, so up into the boat I went.  First order of business was installing the camera for the timelapse picture.

With the light stuff done, it was time to dig in.  To lift the engine with the gantry I built, it is necessary to support the floor by reinforcing it to the stringers.  The engine weighs 1200 lbs, so this is an important step.  Up came the floor boards and into the engine room I went to take some measurements and disassemble any items that were in the way.  Turns out that the furnace ducts were ALL in the way, so I had to tear them out.  Terrible deal putting them back in, I am sure, but that is months away.  After taking the necessary measurements, I decided to do a quick check of the prop shaft to ensure it was running straight.  Just as I was trying to figure out how to turn the prop by hand from under the boat, while viewing it in the engine room, Bert showed up for a visit and assisted me in the process.  It was definitely in his skill set to sit under the boat and spin the prop, so we got that done in short order.

Ran home after to cut some wood and head back to install it.  Kim, in her wisdom, suggested that I had the next four days to work on the boat and perhaps I should take it easy?  Sounded like sound advise, but dumb me, I didn’t lock up the boat when I left thinking I would be back – so I cut the necessary wood and grabbed a bunch more supplies that would be needed.  In the back of my mind I decided I would try and install the forward floor supports before coming home, despite Kim’s suggestion to take it easy.  Got to the boat, passed everything up to the deck, opened the door to the aft cabin – and promptly missed a step as I entered, landing hard on my bad arm, my left butt cheek (man that one hurt, was something pointy) and then my left knee found the only hard, metal part being stored in the cabin.  After a small moment of rather blue air, I realized that I might be hurt worse than it appeared, and began to gingerly get myself into the upright position.  It could have been worse, my bad arm is sore, my butt cheek is really sore, and my knee is bleeding but other than that I escaped permanent harm.  This was a good lesson for me.  Don’t rush, be safe, take the time and ask for help if you need it.

I headed home for the night, time for some Thai food with Bob and Michelle.  When I told Kim and Nichola what happened, I was told in no uncertain terms that I was NOT to work longer than 8 hours per day on the project and I was to be CAREFUL.  I was also to lock up the boat and shut off the lights ANYTIME I left, just in case I didn’t feel like returning to the boat.  This is good advice, I will try and stick to it.

That was a big day.  I’m tired physically and emotionally.  Let’s see what Day 3 holds, I hope it is less exciting and shows more progress.


2018/2019 Engine Refit

Day 1 – The Dash

The focus for today was to get the boat over to the haulout dock so it was ready for the lift at 8:40am the next morning.  Thanks to Dan and Tara it went smoothly, and pizza showed up as well!  Kim and I went home for a glass of wine, a bit of TV watching and an early to bed.  Tomorrow is the big day.