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Old 12-02-2014, 04:21   #1
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Rebuilding a Groco Type K head

Our Groco Type K service kit is on it's way. There is one catch: in the only review of the procedure I can find online, the guy gives up and buys a Jabsco. Any one got any tips?
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Old 12-02-2014, 08:58   #2
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Re: Rebuilding a Groco Type K head

I did this last year. The smartest thing I did was take pictures as you take things apart so you know how they go back together. Oh yeah, the first thing I did was disinfect everything buy soaking the pieces in disinfectant.
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Old 12-02-2014, 19:44   #3
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Re: Rebuilding a Groco Type K head

Thanks a lot. Any other tips? No worries putting it back together as long as you knew where everything went?
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Old 12-02-2014, 21:00   #4
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Rebuilding a Groco Type K head

I did mine last year. The instructions/diagrams that came with the rebuild kit were very easy to follow. Taking photos as one takes things apart is always a good idea. Not sure of any "tips". Maybe have somebody else do it while you supervise with a frosty beverage. :-)
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Old 13-02-2014, 07:47   #5
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Re: Rebuilding a Groco Type K head

The groco exploded drawing are on line.
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Old 13-02-2014, 08:16   #6
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Re: Rebuilding a Groco Type K head

There is nothing particularly hard about rebuilding a Groco K toilet. The instructions should be in the repair kit.

Click on K Series and K-Overhaul to get the owners manual and re-build instructions.

Be careful when installing the rubber seals around the crank shaft and pedal shaft. They have a tapered hole through them. The small end goes in. If you put them in backwards, they'll leak.

The Groco K is a very good toilet. I think new ones are around a $1000 today.

Just curious but what happened that you feel the need to rebuild it? The piston rings eventually wear out and I've seen the cam thing get loose on the pedal shaft.
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Old 13-02-2014, 11:03   #7
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Re: Rebuilding a Groco Type K head

Thanks for the tips. The comments and experience of those in this thread give me some confidence.

I am rebuilding the head because the seal around ths water intake pump handle connection has started to leak and the leak is becoming progressively worse.

Decided to rebuild because the Groco feels like a solid piece of equipment and rebuilding might give us another ten years. l

I am nervous about doing it because there is nowhere around here to buy a replacement head and wifey might get wild if I tell her to use a bucket until we get somewhere we can fix it
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Old 05-03-2014, 17:42   #8
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Re: Rebuilding a Groco Type K head

I spent a lot of time and money trying to rebuild an old skipper bombproof head, and then when it still leaked I bought a jabsco for $150 instead of another $125 rebuild kit.

The real question is how much do you like that toilet, and how much time do you want to spend working on it?
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Old 07-03-2014, 07:12   #9
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Re: Rebuilding a Groco Type K head

Quote:
Originally Posted by autumnbreeze27 View Post
The real question is how much do you like that toilet, and how much time do you want to spend working on it?
In the US, I think you are right. But out in the wider world where big box marine stores are rare, shipping charges crippling and duties unpredictable the balance leans more towards rebuilding the head. If I was in Marathon, Deltaville or Annapolis I would probably replace it with a Jabsco.
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Old 07-03-2014, 07:27   #10
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Re: Rebuilding a Groco Type K head

I have 2 of these heads, great system. I have rebuilt mine as well as others. The hard part is removing the piston from the crank shaft. This applies more so on the older models. You will find that you have to follow a specific order. First remove the handle, then open up the intake assembly. Remove the bowl this gives you access to the top of the piston the knewer versions have a bolt that goes through the pistion to the rod. I had a older version took me a while to figuire out how to get this done. Take your time. Jack
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Old 07-03-2014, 07:47   #11
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Re: Rebuilding a Groco Type K head

Groco K's are lifetime heads, they last years of daily use between rebuilds other than changing out the joker valve occasionally. It would be a good time to repaint the base if you can handle the downtime. Do note the instructions not to overtighten the bolts holding the bowl to the base!
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Old 07-03-2014, 08:02   #12
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Re: Rebuilding a Groco Type K head

Thanks Jack and Sailormantz for the reassurance and technical assistance. We have the rebuild kit and are getting a marina slip in Jamaica when we get there in a week or so. Hopefully that will mean less time presure to get it right. We only have one head on this boat and I am too scared to ask the missus use a bucket!
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Old 18-03-2014, 18:00   #13
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Re: Rebuilding a Groco Type K head

The head is rebuilt. The process helped me appeciate the quality of the unit and he precise engineering of the components. Will probably last as long as the rebuild kits are available. A lifetime unit, alright.
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Old 03-06-2016, 13:06   #14
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Re: Rebuilding a Groco Type K head

Additional notes:

1. Our two Groco K toilets are now exactly 30 years old and still work great. Why anybody would replace them is beyond me.

2. If you over-tighten the bolts holding the bowl to the pump, you can break the bowl. When this happened to us, there were no new bowls available. Fortunately, one of the yards in Turkey, where we were cruising, had a Groco bowl lying in the junk heap!

3. Sand comes into any salt-water head and eventually wears the cylinder. There's an easy fix: Remove the pump and take it to a good machine shop. Have them grind or drill out the cylinder so it's round again. Then find some Teflon or other long-molecule self-lubricating plastic (the generic ones are cheaper than Teflon and just as good) and have the machine shop make you a piston that JUST FITS the cylinder. This piston requires no rings and works better than the new toilet did! If you're adventurous you can design the new piston so it comes up about 1/4" more than the old one did -- don't overdo this or you'll block the exit hole at the top of the stroke!

4. Tell your guests to partially empty the bowl first, then pump new water in. This cuts the number of pump strokes by about 2.
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Old 03-06-2016, 13:41   #15
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Re: Rebuilding a Groco Type K head

Quote:
Originally Posted by HopCar View Post
Be careful when installing the rubber seals around the crank shaft and pedal shaft. They have a tapered hole through them. The small end goes in. If you put them in backwards, they'll leak.
That is key and easy to mess up... the small end goes in.... means what? ... away from the crank handle!

I think this is a weak part of the design...

I find the handle design tightening detail crappy too.
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