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Old 08-02-2014, 15:13   #1
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Occam's Razor Fails Again

'anyone else having a problem with Occam's Razor? - the principle of problem solving that suggest the least complicated hypothesis with the fewest assumptions will be most likely true.

Do you also find that two separate simultaneous problems will cause you engine headaches? ...or maybe, like me, you cause a secondary problem when trying too fix the first problem?

Brief summary & vent: My Kubota generator stopped suddenly and my first thought was fuel starved, -sucking air from a leak or filters clogged. I was due to chance the secondary filter & a little early, but I changed my two parallel Raycor 500 elements too. I restarted, but without success it sputtered and died, so I felt the canister of the electronic fuel pump with the key on,- no tell tale clicking of the pump. I gave it direct 12VDC and, sure enough, the fuel pump was "dead". I could not easily buy the pump where I was so I decided to head on dowm to North Palm Beach. I'm in Vero Beach with a good number of miles to the inlet at Fort Pierce so I knew I'd have much motoring, and then the winds were not favorable for slogging south against the Gulfstream, so my plan was to motor all the way down the ICW for about fifty miles. I decided that any of the air in my Kubota lines would not be sucked into my Yanmar propulsion system because the return volume on my Yanmar is so great, even though both diesels draw from the same fuel supply without a cut off separating them. Well, after 42 miles of my 50 mile trip my Yanmar stopped and it's air in the system. I first thought I must have been wrong about the Yanmar sucking air out of the Kubota side, but then I saw that the Raycor supplying my Yanmar was down beneath the fuel effluent and full of air. While trying to fix my first problem, I had caused a second failure. One of my Raycor 500 series is the older model that does not use the O-ring on the T-handle, while the newer model does. I had put the O-rings on both when I changed the filter elements and the Raycor I was drawing fuel from sipped air from the crimped O-ring that did not belong.

I'll admit that I can't really blame Occam's Razor here, but I am frustrated by causing a second problem while trying to fix the first!

Help me out here! There must be other stories of causing added problems while trying to solve one problem. (By the way, all is repaired now!)
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Old 08-02-2014, 15:20   #2
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Re: Occam's Razor Fails Again

This is the first time you have broken things while fixing something else?

Amateur!

Mark
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Old 08-02-2014, 15:26   #3
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Re: Occam's Razor Fails Again

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
This is the first time you have broken things while fixing something else?

Amateur!

Mark
Wait! I failed to mention that I also over-torqued my air bleed screw on the Kubota so I'm now keeping a diaper under that fitting. It's just a few drips for an hour's run, but I don't want Nancie calling out for the source of that diesel smell! Maybe I won't break anything else when I try replacing the air bleed fitting.
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Old 08-02-2014, 15:29   #4
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Re: Occam's Razor Fails Again

"Why I've broken three or four things before breakfast." usually just after saying "This will just take a second."

apologizes to Lewis Carroll.
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Old 08-02-2014, 15:34   #5
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Re: Occam's Razor Fails Again

Well, been there plenty of times but the worst.

Decided to replace the stock alternator on my Volvo MD17C with a larger Leece-Neville. Of course it wouldn't fit the standard bracket so we had a custom bracket made (for a princely sum). After much tweeking and many foul words we got the alternator installed and it worked great. Pumped in many amps and kept our large DC appetite satisfied but was really going through the small stock belts. On the Volvo the belt rides in a groove on a large, external flywheel (looks like an old time spoked wagon wheel). So bright idea, lets take the flywheel off, take it to the machine shop and have the groove cut to hold a larger belt.

Did so, looked great, reinstalled the flywheel, cranked the engine to give it a go and turned out the guy installing the flywheel didn't torque down the nut holding it on. Flywheel starting shaking and wobbling and jumped off the motor, tearing up the end of the crankshaft in the process. Bottom line, ended up having to replace the crank which was pretty much rebuilding the engine.

Most expensive alternator in history.
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Old 08-02-2014, 18:18   #6
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Re: Occam's Razor Fails Again

Skipmac

"Most expensive alternator in history. "

That's a lot of boat Bucks for a little juice.....
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Old 09-02-2014, 05:30   #7
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Re: Occam's Razor Fails Again

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptForce View Post

Help me out here! There must be other stories of causing added problems while trying to solve one problem. (By the way, all is repaired now!)

Yeah, my yesterday wasn't so successful either. Easy "10-minute job" that ends up going down the tubes.

Minor plumbing issue in the house. Bathroom sink cold water valve needs new O-rings/seat/spring and/or maybe even new stem. Minor details, easy fix.

Might as well fix the other at the same time? Broke the hot water valve's inlet tube, trying to remove the bonnet nut. <Sigh>...

And of course it took long enough to get the whole hot water thing off that I was too late for the local plumbing supply place. >Sigh>...

Ah, well. Monday, I can re-visit that issue...

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Old 09-02-2014, 06:23   #8
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Re: Occam's Razor Fails Again

Quote:
Originally Posted by brutb View Post
Skipmac

"Most expensive alternator in history. "

That's a lot of boat Bucks for a little juice.....
But it was a really, really good alternator.
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Old 09-02-2014, 06:30   #9
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Re: Occam's Razor Fails Again

Told my undertaker friend, headstone Must read,'"Seemed like a good idea at the time"
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Old 09-02-2014, 07:04   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac
Well, been there plenty of times but the worst.

Decided to replace the stock alternator on my Volvo MD17C with a larger Leece-Neville. Of course it wouldn't fit the standard bracket so we had a custom bracket made (for a princely sum). After much tweeking and many foul words we got the alternator installed and it worked great. Pumped in many amps and kept our large DC appetite satisfied but was really going through the small stock belts. On the Volvo the belt rides in a groove on a large, external flywheel (looks like an old time spoked wagon wheel). So bright idea, lets take the flywheel off, take it to the machine shop and have the groove cut to hold a larger belt.

Did so, looked great, reinstalled the flywheel, cranked the engine to give it a go and turned out the guy installing the flywheel didn't torque down the nut holding it on. Flywheel starting shaking and wobbling and jumped off the motor, tearing up the end of the crankshaft in the process. Bottom line, ended up having to replace the crank which was pretty much rebuilding the engine.

Most expensive alternator in history.
Ouch!!!

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Old 09-02-2014, 10:25   #11
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Re: Occam's Razor Fails Again

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Ouch!!!

Oh yeah. Big ouch. AND, the rest of the story.

This happened in St Thomas, USVI. While we were doing the mods on the engine we learned early on that the local Volvo dealer was a bit of a pain. When we had to rebuild the engine it got worse. The guy was not only a jerk but thought he had us over a barrel and quoted a huge price to do the job there.

So, we crated up the engine and shipped it back to Ft Lauderdale where I knew the dealer and, even after shipping, got the job done for about 1/3 less than the local guy wanted.

The only good part of the ordeal. When the engine arrived back in St Thomas I went to collect it at the freight office and was told I had to clear customs. Was a surprise to me since it was the US Virgin Islands. So went to the customs office with the paperwork and the guy told me I would have to pay import duty on the engine. No says I and whipped out the paperwork showing the engine had been shipped from St Thomas to the US and back so not an import. He fumed and fussed, double checked the paperwork and even verified the serial number on the engine.

He was just about ready to admit total defeat when I saw his eyes light up. He asked, "were new parts installed in the engine when it was rebuilt?". Well of course so I showed him the invoice from the shop that broke down the parts and labor and he charged me duty on the new parts. He didn't get his pound of flesh, had to settle for a few ounces but was content that he at least got something.
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Old 09-02-2014, 10:31   #12
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I just spent most of yesterday running wire that I thought would take an hour tops abd in the process of drilling through a bulkhead, I slipped with the drill and and chewed half way through my vhf antenna cable. So your story is par for the course
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Old 09-02-2014, 11:00   #13
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Re: Occam's Razor Fails Again

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptForce View Post
'anyone else having a problem with Occam's Razor? - the principle of problem solving that suggest the least complicated hypothesis with the fewest assumptions will be most likely true.

Do you also find that two separate simultaneous problems will cause you engine headaches? ...or maybe, like me, you cause a secondary problem when trying too fix the first problem?


Help me out here! There must be other stories of causing added problems while trying to solve one problem. (By the way, all is repaired now!)
Thanks Cap'nF !!! This has the earmarks to be the most entertaining thread on CF!!!

My take on it... We the "Jacks of all trades" WITH skipper/mate/social responsibility attention diversions... must make concessions to accepted failure rates... If our only duty was to swap out filters as a certified Racor tech... Probably woulda not goofed... If you press yourself, I'll bet you have a 90+% success rate... Not too shabby!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
This is the first time you have broken things while fixing something else?

Amateur!

Mark
I'm on the board membership committee with Mark...

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptForce View Post
Wait! I failed to mention that I also over-torqued my air bleed screw on the Kubota so I'm now keeping a diaper under that fitting. It's just a few drips for an hour's run, but I don't want Nancie calling out for the source of that diesel smell! Maybe I won't break anything else when I try replacing the air bleed fitting.
I have data in my "permanent record" as well...

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
Well, been there plenty of times but the worst.

Decided to replace the stock alternator on my Volvo MD17C with a larger Leece-Neville. Of course it wouldn't fit the standard bracket so we had a custom bracket made (for a princely sum). After much tweeking and many foul words we got the alternator installed and it worked great. Pumped in many amps and kept our large DC appetite satisfied but was really going through the small stock belts. On the Volvo the belt rides in a groove on a large, external flywheel (looks like an old time spoked wagon wheel). So bright idea, lets take the flywheel off, take it to the machine shop and have the groove cut to hold a larger belt.

Did so, looked great, reinstalled the flywheel, cranked the engine to give it a go and turned out the guy installing the flywheel didn't torque down the nut holding it on. Flywheel starting shaking and wobbling and jumped off the motor, tearing up the end of the crankshaft in the process. Bottom line, ended up having to replace the crank which was pretty much rebuilding the engine.

Most expensive alternator in history.
Coulda been the biggest "cruising hospital stay" OR "Pine box shipment" .... Atheists will protest this one...

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post

AND, the rest of the story.

Well of course so I showed him the invoice from the shop that broke down the parts and labor and he charged me duty on the new parts. He didn't get his pound of flesh, had to settle for a few ounces but was content that he at least got something.
GOOD MAN!

Now... Who wants to help me wire a 25 HP 3 phase converter with 3 motors, 2 contactors, 2 time delay circuits, and 480/240/120 loops???
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Old 09-02-2014, 11:02   #14
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Re: Occam's Razor Fails Again

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Originally Posted by neptunesjester View Post
I just spent most of yesterday running wire that I thought would take an hour tops abd in the process of drilling through a bulkhead, I slipped with the drill and and chewed half way through my vhf antenna cable. So your story is par for the course
Just reminded me of another one of my screw-ups. Had an aft cabin boat with only the companionway hatch for ventilation. Thought it would be a good idea to install a small deck hatch over the bunk to get some cross ventilation.

Found a perfect sized hatch, measured not twice but multiple times. Checked clearance on the deck for any lines, winches, fairleads, etc anywhere near. Checked all around inside the cabin to make sure there were no issues there. All looked good so cut the large hole in my deck for the hatch. Pulled out the plug to see that the DC wiring for the stern light and propane tank solenoid were glassed inside the deck exactly where I cut the hole.

The fix wasn't that much trouble, some extra wire and a few splices but still. Seems like no matter how well you plan there's always that hidden gotcha waiting to jump out and bite you on the butt.
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Old 09-02-2014, 11:26   #15
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Re: Occam's Razor Fails Again

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
Just reminded me of another one of my screw-ups. Had an aft cabin boat with only the companionway hatch for ventilation. Thought it would be a good idea to install a small deck hatch over the bunk to get some cross ventilation.

Found a perfect sized hatch, measured not twice but multiple times. Checked clearance on the deck for any lines, winches, fairleads, etc anywhere near. Checked all around inside the cabin to make sure there were no issues there. All looked good so cut the large hole in my deck for the hatch. Pulled out the plug to see that the DC wiring for the stern light and propane tank solenoid were glassed inside the deck exactly where I cut the hole.

The fix wasn't that much trouble, some extra wire and a few splices but still. Seems like no matter how well you plan there's always that hidden gotcha waiting to jump out and bite you on the butt.
This borders on "Thread Foul"....

Due diligence not withstanding... more of a bad luck instance instead of premeditated "questionable repair/refit practices"

However... Should you wrap any wires around a bit, or cleanly cut them in a blind panel penetration in the future.... You shall receive one smart rap on the noggin' with a rubber mallet...

This was your learning curve...
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