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Old 06-07-2013, 12:46   #1
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Vancouver Diesel Mechanic

Can anybody recommend a diesel mechanic in the Vancouver area? I'm moored in Coal Harbour. A Westerbeke person would be great, but right now I have a generic problem that any decent mechanic could help with.

I sheared off a bolt and haven't been able to get it back out despite a few hours of effort. I'm pretty sure I've reached the point where I'm doing more harm than good.
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Old 06-07-2013, 15:21   #2
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Re: Vancouver Diesel Mechanic

The guy in Sydney is really good. Garthside Marine. I had him put in a Beta for me and was really impressed with the install. Haven't had a problem with it since. (2+ years).
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Old 06-07-2013, 15:26   #3
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Re: Vancouver Diesel Mechanic

Sorry, cwyckham... all the good ones I knew and worked with are either dead, retired or have left the area. You might try some of the commercial yards around Steveston, BC where alot of the gillnetters get their service done. Since Nelson Bros. Fisheries shut down, don't know which way to send you on the mainland. Good Luck... cheers, Phil
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Old 06-07-2013, 15:56   #4
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Re: Vancouver Diesel Mechanic

Maybe if you described your problem and showed us a picture or two we might be able to help. I was once an expert at removing sheared bolts as my training mechanic made sure I fixed all my own f**k ups.

Without having a clue as to what you have done (or what bolt is sheared off) a good set of easy outs, sharp drill bits and a steady hand should help you out. Now, if its stainless in aluminum it just might be worth drilling out completely and using a larger bolt, if that is possible.

Heat concentrated for a few (10 - 20) seconds on the sheared off bolt after soaking with penetrating oil may loosen it enough for the easy outs to work. Wipe up excess and remove all flammables first.

Good luck.
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Old 06-07-2013, 16:13   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwyckham View Post
Can anybody recommend a diesel mechanic in the Vancouver area? I'm moored in Coal Harbour. A Westerbeke person would be great, but right now I have a generic problem that any decent mechanic could help with.

I sheared off a bolt and haven't been able to get it back out despite a few hours of effort. I'm pretty sure I've reached the point where I'm doing more harm than good.
I know a non marine diesel mechanic, who's pretty good at that job if you're interested. He's leaving for Hawaii later this week, but is quite reasonably priced. he's worked on some marine engines for us as well as cars and trucks.
. If you go the easy out route, I prefer the square ones you can put a little wrench on. Not a job for cheap tools as breaking one off will not be fun.
Depending on size and location, drilling out and a helicoil may be easier and better.

We can do the job as well, either at coal harbour, or on our service dock at Granville island, but I'd suggest the mechanic I know, if cost is the deciding factor.
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Old 06-07-2013, 16:33   #6
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Re: Vancouver Diesel Mechanic

and why can you not extract it yourself?
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Old 06-07-2013, 16:55   #7
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Re: Vancouver Diesel Mechanic

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Originally Posted by jgbrown View Post
I know a non marine diesel mechanic, who's pretty good at that job if you're interested. He's leaving for Hawaii later this week, but is quite reasonably priced. he's worked on some marine engines for us as well as cars and trucks.
. If you go the easy out route, I prefer the square ones you can put a little wrench on. Not a job for cheap tools as breaking one off will not be fun.
Depending on size and location, drilling out and a helicoil may be easier and better.

We can do the job as well, either at coal harbour, or on our service dock at Granville island, but I'd suggest the mechanic I know, if cost is the deciding factor.
Thank you, jgbrown. I am definitely interested in your guy. Can you send me his contact info?
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Old 06-07-2013, 16:57   #8
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Re: Vancouver Diesel Mechanic

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Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
The guy in Sydney is really good. Garthside Marine. I had him put in a Beta for me and was really impressed with the install. Haven't had a problem with it since. (2+ years).
Ben Gartside in Sidney is fantastic. Too far for me to go with no functioning engine, but he was my mechanic when I had the boat in Sidney, and I would recommend him as well.
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Old 06-07-2013, 17:17   #9
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Re: Vancouver Diesel Mechanic

OK, for Deepfrz and scoobert (and for everyone else's entertainment), here's the whole ridiculous story.

I was reinstalling my injectors on my Westerbeke W27. I've only used a torque wrench once before, and this was my first time using this one. I set the torque for half the final torque value and started snugging up the two hold down nuts by alternating a half turn each. I was using an extension due to access issues.

The wrench never clicked and I sheared off one M8 bolt. I was thunderstruck. In retrospect, I should have done some mental math on how much force I should expect, especially since it was twice the length of my normal ratchet.

I backed off the second bolt a whole turn, reduced the torque setting way down (thinking that I had missed the click somehow) and tried again on the second bolt. I was trying to diagnose whether I had a problem with the torque wrench. Even though I had backed the other bolt off, it immediately snapped off as well. In retrospect, with only one bolt in the holder, it must have been torquing the bolt longitudinally, so it snapped at the base.

At this point I had a few words with myself.

Once I was done with the words, I took the wrench to the dock and played with one of the bolts on the dock. I found that the wrench wouldn't click no matter what force I put on it. After fiddling a bit longer, it started then working consistently. It had been stored for a long time (set at zero torque), and I guess somehow it had jammed up. Seems to be working now.

So I have a bolt extractor that isn't an easy out and a 12V cordless drill. I drill into the bolt (it comes with a little left threaded drill bit side and a ribbed cone side), jammed in the cone and withdrew the bolt using the drill in reverse. Easy-peasy and I felt like a million bucks.

Second bolt was a bit behind the lifting lug and it didn't occur to me until much later to just unbolt the lug (funny story: once I did unbolt the lug and it's attached glow plug relay, I then shorted it to the heat exchanger, couldn't get it unstuck because it was jammed, didn't think to turn off the master switch, and melted right through one of the heat exchanger hold-down hose clamps).

Anyways, long story short, the lug and awkward position meant that drilled a bit offset on the second bolt. Not good. I then spent a couple hours trying to get the bolt out. I used a dremel to cut a bit of a slot and tried a screw driver but just sheared away the bit of metal on the thin side of the bolt. I borrowed a neighbour's easy outs, I drilled deeper and deeper.

By the time I was done, I had a deep hole that seems to start off to one side and then slant towards the threads from there. I'm pretty sure that I've either mangled the threads or whatever I do next certainly will. There may be a bit of drill bit stuck in there too for good measure. I'm not sure.

I never tried heat because of the electrical bits nearby (which are now moved out of the way, but I'm now a bit late, I think). The bolt just went in a couple days ago, so it isn't corroded in or anything.

Worst case is just need to drill it out and use a helicoil. There's plenty of meat there for it. However, the bolt hole is at about a 15-20 degree angle, and I don't trust my ability to do this work without a drill press. So I could do it myself, but I'd need to pull the head off and borrow a drill press somewhere.

I'm thinking that a decent mechanic may have the finesse to fix this without a helicoil, or even to drill it out and insert the helicoil in place. I also may learn a thing or two from him or her.

Part of it is that I've just botched a pretty easy job and now I have a delicate job on my hands. Not sure I should keep going!!
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