I went back to the boat armed with a water temp gauge, an exhaust
flapper, a waterpump rebuild
kit, and sundry other items to address unrelated issues. I already had oil
and a filter on board.
The anchorage was a nightmare. High frequency chop of 2-3 feet or so had the boat rocking from 25' to 25'. It was foggy so everything was wet wet wet. I would describe the conditions as generally miserable.
It turns out the exhaust
doesn't even exit the boat on the transom but under the hull
. Furthermore, it is not the sort of fixture that the flapper would fit on. So that job was put aside.
I opened up the motor
cover and tried to track down the water temperature sensor and was unsuccessful. Everything from the gauge cluster goes into a tube of electrical
tape and then is set free directly under the bulkhead from the lazerette to the engine
compartment. I was not quite motivated to strip off the whole electrical tape mummification job the previous owner did. I am not sure how much of my problem was the conditions vs. my experience. I am sure I can find the sensor here at port. I rationalized that while knowing the water temperature would be cool- that it wouldn't really make a difference in the temp. So I put that job aside.
I removed and disassembled the water pump. The impeller looked great and I could control the flow of water out of the removed pump by opening and closing the thru-hull valve. So I knew I had water and it looked like my pumping mechanism was in good shape. It was missing a gasket
and all the screws were fairly stripped. I tightened them as best I could with some pliers. After it was reassembled I had a bit of leakage and I wasn't sure if this was the plier tightening, the lack of a gasket
, or if I cracked one of the hoses. It was just a drop and I figured it would be fine since there is an unlimited supply of water.
As I mentioned before the heat exchanger
was off my radar
at this time and so I was about out of tricks in my bag. I figured I would run the motor
a bit and see if I was struck my inspiration. I turned the key, the right lights come on, I press the start button, and... nothing.
The batteries looked charged but the volt meter wired to them has fooled me before and I had a brand new battery
just sitting on the floor and some new 20' jumper cables
from West Marine
for 14 bucks! The computer tried to charge me 39 or something but I made the clerk look at the sign and got the sale
price) so I jumped in a third battery
. Still NOTHING from the starter button.
To avoid draining the new battery into some possibly fouled system I quickly unjumped it. Then I turned to Nigel Calder for help as I had found his marine diesel
book. The first thing I see when I open to the "not starting" section is something about how if there is plenty of power and the motor won't turn that there could be salt water
in the cylinders from back siphoning. If you recall
my original post this was my number 1 suspect on the overheating
mystery. The directions indicated turning the motor by hand with the decompression lever pressed to pump out the water- then trying to start the motor. I did this and it fired right up.
I quickly shut it down though so I can make sure I don't have other things to do to prevent a repeat or something. The book indicated that I needed to check for water in the oil
. I could not find the dipstick. Seriously, I will post pictures later- I cannot find the dipstick. Nor could I find the drain plug
. The book said they are often hard to find- I have no idea where the damn thing is. So I removed the oil filter
. The oil looked pretty good. I put a new filter on. Then I moved on to other projects.
Later in the afternoon I decided to run the motor a bit so I could charge some things. I go to start it and... nothing. Just like before. No way! But, feeling confident I run through my hand cranking procedure. Nothing. I return to Nigel for guidence. Now I am looking at a little choose-your-own adventure thing and I start working through. One of the steps involves jumping the battery terminal to the start switch terminal on the soleinoid. If this works, indicates Nigel, there is a problem in the starter switch system. Well damn! Maybe the button is just intermittent and my hand cranking was just an excercise?
Anyway, I disassembled the gauge cluster panel so I could access the back of the switch. I was hoping I would find something obviously loose but no such luck. Feeling a little defeated I called to see if I could get a water taxi back off the boat. I figured I would go spend more money
on stuff and come back the next day. The taxi was already shut down. I was stuck. Well, to hell with it then, I cleaned up my mess, dropped the mooring rope
, and sailed for home.
I had much better wind
than the trip down but still some longish periods of nothing. I fiddled with the start button so I could feel like I wasn't powerless until it happened to catch. Then I left the motor running most of the way home without any alarms. I am more convinced than ever that the overheating
was from the following sea clogging the exhaust.
Anyway, it took me 23 hours to get back to Redwood City from Capitola. I saw three whales in Half Moon Bay too!
I have plenty of jobs lined up for myself for the next few days but will probably start a new thread on the anti-siphon stuff in a week or so.