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Old 13-09-2009, 15:45   #1
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St. Augustine Local Transport Samaritan?

Well, as always, in cruising, stuff happens. This time it's the Honda eu2000i genset, which we'll have to get to a service shop, my having exhausted my troubleshooting and spare parts abilities.

We're anchored off the City Marina north of the Lions (currently in storage for those in the know about the bridge); is there anyone reading who might be willing to run us to whomever we find who can work on it? Yes, of course, we can taxi - but we'd rather make the acquaintance of another cruiser and avoid the cost/inconvenience if it works out.

Respond to skipgundlach@gmail.com or 770-887-0397; we have a killer connection here, allowing our vonage phones and other internet capabilities.

Thanks.

L8R

Skip

PS Thanks to all the prior respondents WRT channel and anchorage and dinghy docking. Uneventful entry and anchoring, we have used the marina dinghy dock and enjoyed the showers :{))

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Old 14-09-2009, 11:38   #2
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Abort, Abort :{))

We have two girls aboard who are homeschooled. In Loco Parentis, we are charged with giving them at least one new concept every day.

So, in prep for some of the input I'd received WRT the Honda generator, and pursuing my unwillingness to give up so easily, I set to additional troubleshooting today before calling any of the leads I'd developed for service.

I called the girls out and gave them a seminar on internal combustion engines, including troubleshooting. We checked the oil (full), so if there were an interrupt it would have been the oil level sensor. While I'd determined how to bypass it, I wanted to isolate the problem, so I didn't address that directly.

As the only thing which prevents an IC (internal combustion) engine from running is ignition, fuel or air, I started at the top (literally) and pulled the spark plug, having discovered the correct gap in the manual (always, I RTFM [read the freakin' manual!] when I'm stymied; usually I do it first, but the spark plug had looked great, so I didn't start there in my first explorations). It was within tolerance, but at the wide end, so I showed them how to read and gap it to the short end, and how to reinstall it with the proper level of torque.

Still no joy. On to the second: I disconnected the fuel line at the carburetor (they learned about fuel injection and carbs in the introduction) and was rewarded with a steady flow. Put it back on and tried to drain the carburetor. No joy in getting the screw to move, so I couldn't prove that there was fuel there. Also, while I'd spritzed it repeatedly with WD40, trying to get ignition in my earlier attempts, I theorized that it wasn't volatile enough, and had been wrestling with how to get gasoline into the opening.

I settled on a paper towel, held under the fuel line while I pulled it off. Saturated, I wadded it up and stuck it into the opening with the choke opened, and pulled the starter.

It ran :{)) - and I let it run for a bit, presuming it was getting its fuel from the towel, but also, fully choked by virtue of the paper towel, may have been pulling fuel through the carb. So, I stopped it after a bit, and extracted all the little bits of paper towel stuck to the choke plate, choked it, and started it again.

Still running, I ran it rich for a time, and turned off the eco-switch, which when on forces it to run full throttle all the time. Still runs. JOY!

Switched the eco back on and it purred like a kitten. I presume it was the same sort of problem I'd met in both the outboards, which weren't very happy starting initially, either - crummy Bahamas fuel, which had been in each. So, the lesson also included information about varnish formation, and the importance of adding fuel stabilizer if the engine is going to be left for some time. Of course, our initial expectation had been that we'd be there for a very brief time, so I hadn't done that. Lesson for me, too, and, likely, being in teaching mode helped me more efficiently arrive at the solution, so it was very helpful to have been put in the position of teacher for the girls...

Lesson ended, I shut it down, buttoned up the various things like the filter housing (I'd taken it off to get to the carburetor), spark plug cover and main housing access), moved it over to the shore power input, and, as I type, the Xantrex inverter charger is putting 70 amps continuously into the system.

Now, on to sourcing another 15HP impeller, as long as we're stuck here for a bit, it being afternoon already, and my wanting to have fully charged (and also equalized, which I'll do after it's all the way up) batteries.

So, thanks to all respondents public and private. I really like the Honda eu2000i, despite my own stupid pet tricks (not stabilizing the fuel is my expectation on the problem but adjusting the spark plug no doubt helps) causing the problem in the first place. The more I cruise, the more I find that's usually the reason for some problem (my stupid pet tricks) :{/)

L8R

Skip and crew, relieved

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Old 14-09-2009, 14:13   #3
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Good Job Skip!

I bought my Honda 1000 there in St. Augustine, and was hesitant to refer you to the service department... they overfilled the oil so badly that the case leaked for weeks after I bought it.

Glad you got it sorted out.
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Old 14-09-2009, 15:37   #4
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Skip- I just read your blog. Sorry I didn't do so before you left SSI. I am at Golden Isles next door on a Hunter 375. If you get back this way to see the kids, drop me a note.
David
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Old 14-09-2009, 15:48   #5
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Sorry - we don't expect to be back to the US until we sell the boat, we hope not for many years, once we actually get to the bahamas...

L8R

Skip
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Old 14-09-2009, 16:09   #6
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skip, i'm sure you've heard this before, but just in case....

always run the engine out of gas. i do that with my honda 1000 and my 2 stroke outboard. when i don't do that i have starting problems. because i just use the honda to charge batteries i usually fill the tank with what i think i'll need and then let it run until it's empty. then i choke it and start it again - usually runs a bit more while it's emptying out the bowl...

did you get to sailors exchange???
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Old 14-09-2009, 17:18   #7
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I try not to run the engine out of gas if I'm running for a while, as we are now, charging, because it's a nuisance to restart. Left as turned off, it starts on the first pull.

Now that we're cruising again, we'll be using it relatively regularly, and fuel quality (other than getting some bad stuff, perhaps) won't be an issue.

Sailor's Exchange is closed mondays, per one of our contacts, so it will be tomorrow, courtesy of another reader of this list, along with a trip for some boat parts and perhaps a couple of groceries.

We've not checked in with Chris Parker, but we're hopeful we didn't miss our window to go by staying a couple of days longer than expected.

Ironically, just as I was in the middle of the above line, it ran out of gas. Fortunately, it started on the choke, but frequently I've got several pulls to make it go again...

L8R

Skip
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Old 14-09-2009, 17:23   #8
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Skip,

If it runs out of gas, refill it and let it sit for a few minutes. The 1000 / 2000 are gravity feed, so letting them sit for a bit seems to help with the re-start after running out.

I let my 1000 run out too, no ill effects but it does keep the carb from mucking up if not used for a while.
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