Friday, September 25, 2015

It's All In Our Head . . . We Think . . .

The Exhaust Manifold and Mixing Elbow, Pulled and Laid Out on Our Floor
(These Had to Be Pulled Before Pulling the Head)
    So we finally think we've made some progress on our engine.  After going though several mechanics, countless no-show appointments, and more money and time than we ever thought we'd spend . . . we think, think, we're almost done; we think we've found the problem.

   The mechanic that we are currently using, Gary, was first acquainted with our problem when our last mechanic simply stopped returning our calls . . . (It is sooo hard to find a descent mechanic around here and the work is slow at best).  The staff here at the marina suggested the diesel mechanic that they use.  We were pretty iffy about putting our hopes in yet another mechanic but, we were pleasantly surprised.  Gary was of the same mind as Bill; Bill had thought all along that something in the engine head might be to blame.  The other mechanics suggested everything from pulling the entire engine and rebuilding it to buying a whole new one.  For whatever reason, they refused to believe that it could be the head.  This guy was different.  As soon as the situation had been explained and a few preliminary tests had been run, Gary suggested we check the head . . . no drastic engine pulling until every other option had been exhausted.

   Sure enough, as soon as Bill and Gary pulled the head to be rebuilt, they found the first problem - a cracked head gasket (that explained a lot).  The next issue came when, in the process of giving the head a good once over, Gary's guys found so much gunk in the valves and seats that they needed replacing (I'm sure that didn't help our previous efforts).

   After a few weeks of trying to coordinate schedules, running tests, and replacing parts, Gary showed up yesterday to do one more check before bringing back our newly rebuilt head.  He added oil to the tops of the cylinders.  If the oil level held, the rings were ok and we could proceed with putting the head back on.  If the oil level didn't hold, well , . . . the engine would have to come out . . . However, when he came back this morning, he saw that the oil level was just fine; No ring issues.  Whew!

   On Monday (the next day that Bill has off), Gary will be back with our head.  They'll put the head on and check the the timing on the injection pump (the other possible branch of our compound issue) at the same time.  Hopefully, . . . Hopefully  . . . I will come home on Monday afternoon to a running engine.  

Clips on Our New Lazy Jacks
   In case you're wondering how we've been dealing with being grounded during all of this, I can tell you that we would much rather be out exploring new waters but, it has afforded us the ability to work on our ever-growing project list.  The money we're having to put out to be here (slip rental, electricity, bus fare, etc.) is a bit painful.  However, our jobs at West Marine give us great employee discounts.  This, combined with the fact that Bill and I are doing all the labor, means that we can afford the get the projects done at a quicker rate.

The Red Lines are the Lazy Jacks
   I mentioned the leaky port hole in my previous post and that is still in progress.  Bill has also made new lazy jacks (a system that makes it easier to get the mainsail down), replaced almost all of our navigation lights, fixed our air conditioner that temporarily refused to work due to barnacle growth, and is working on fixing the handle on our main hatch . . . I have, as you know, given the boat a full bath, sewed a tote bag for storage (and picked up a few ideas for future projects) . . . and that's just the most recent stuff.

My Newly Sewn Tote

   Well, we're getting things done, working on reviving our finances, and are hopefully nearly done with our engine problem . . . hopefully . . .        


   Please let us know what you think. Feel free to ask questions and leave nice comments. (If no one has commented yet, there will be a "No Comments" link near the bottom of the post. If someone has already commented, there will be a number and the word "comments" beside it. Just click whichever of these is there, click, "add comment" when the window opens, and type away.)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please let us know what you think. Feel free to ask questions and leave nice comments.