Leaving Antigua, W. I.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Out with the Old

On Monday, February 7, we moved Play Actor from our favorite anchorage in St. Martin to the work dock at the Island Water World Marina, where we plan to do the engine replacement.
Engine in the galley

We immediately removed the old, unsuspecting Volvo from the engine compartment and set it on the cabin sole near the galley, using a hoist rigged to the main boom to lift and move the 800 pounds of iron.  We've done this a number of times over the years, for various maintenance activities.  Tomorrow, we'll warp Play Actor around to the crane, and lift the old engine out of the boat for the first time in 32 years.

It's out!

Tuesday morning, February 8
As planned,  we had the boatyard use their big crane to lift the engine out our companionway and off the boat. It took about 30 minutes, including moving the boat back and forth using warps and muscle power.  Now we have some heavy cleaning ahead of us.

So, here's a look at the old engine, just before we removed it.  Not bad looking for 32 years old, is it?  Runs well, with only 5,000 hours on the clock - less than halfway to the first rebuild, more than likely.  What a shame we can't get parts for the transmission any longer.  We'll miss seeing that massive flywheel, and the three individual cylinder blocks. It's easy to see why the new engine weighs only about half as much as this one, and it's about 2/3 the size.  The extra space in the engine compartment will allow us to move the raw water strainer into the engine compartment.  That means  that cleaning it will no longer require unloading the cockpit storage lockers for access to the storage space under the cockpit where the old sea strainer was located. 

It will be a real pleasure to have maintenance access to everything by just removing the engine cover at the foot of the companionway ladder.  Changing impellers in the fresh water and seawater pumps on the Volvo was a three-hour job.  Looks like about 10 minutes on the new engine

The Volvo Engineering Drawings were wrong…
Years of grime

With the old engine out of the way, the propeller shaft looks much lower compared to the engine beds than we expected from the Volvo drawings.  This is a worry, as it means we will have to lower the beds more than we expected, and there may not be room to cut them down enough before we hit the hull.  While thinking about this, we spent the day cleaning years of grease and oil from the sump and thee beds.  We removed the old instrument panel and the wiring in engine compartment.  The old vented loop, and the shelves from the lockers above engine had to come out as well.  The old engine had a 5/8 inch seawater intake line, and the new one requires 1 inch, so we have to replace the vented loop and do the carpentry required to fit the new vented loop into the space above the engine. 

Bed on the left has been cut down already.
After several hours of scrubbing, we put the engine template in place.  As we suspected, it sits far too high on its mounts to match up with the propeller shaft coupling.  Did the Volvo drawings lie?  Yes!  A quick measurement of the old engine reveals that the rear mount brackets are a full two inches higher relative to the crankshaft than shown on the drawings.  Unfortunately, there was no way to measure this with the old engine in place.

We cannot cut down the engine beds enough to install the new engine with Yanmar mounts, which we are determined to use, as shorter mounts alter the geometry of the engine such that vibration will cause dynamic alignment problems.  After some study, we decided to slide the new engine forward about 8- 1/2 inches.  Because the line of the shaft is at a steeper angle (15 degrees) than the new line of the beds (8 degrees), that makes room for everything to work, but we will require a new propeller shaft.  This will add some time to the project, as it will necessitate a haul out to do the shaft work, but this will also allow for machining the new coupling and shaft in a lathe to ensure that they run true, which is always best when replacing a coupling, and it’s time for new antifouling paint anyway.

Shaft extension

After surmounting this problem, we made a temporary shaft extension to allow aligning the rebuilt beds with the engine template, so that we can proceed with the engine installation without the new shaft.  With the template in place, we marked the old beds and began cutting away the top portion.  After some experimentation, we decided to use a Fein Multimaster instead of our big angle grinder to do the cutting.  The Fein makes almost no dust, and is much more precise than the angle grinder, although it's not quite as fast.

Good Bye!

The shape of the old bed


One rail in place temporarily

Top down of the cut down beds

Cut down beds

Aft end of Port side bed.

Template in place after beds are cut down

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