Sunday, 12 April 2015

Engine out for major service

Time to fix the oil leaks that plagued us last year. The beast is a Thornycroft 154, a 2.5L marinized BMC diesel engine. Mine was originally supplied in 1981 by ARS in Norfolk when Tui was made. The mechanic at Dekanian Yachts (who finished the hull bought from Oyster) ,  moved there when MacWester went bust. Older gaskets were made of cork, and I have a fairly complete set that came with the boat and we carry as spares. However they have a limited life and modern gasket material is much more long lasting.

The cockpit sole and "dinghy locker" removed its a long way down to the engine!

Finally its free

Flying engine

In the trailer and partly strapped down.

I had the engine craned out at Hull Marina, using the jib on their Wise hoist. I needed to remove the service alternator, the water pump and one of the legs  (the engine's mounting legs  not mine) to get it out and then it required some careful tilting and manoeuvring. The team at Hull Marina were very experienced, calm and helpful. For me it was somewhat stressful. Especially when we realised I had not disconnect everything (engine stop cable was one I missed).

 I had borrowed a small trailer (from Shipshape) and had wedged in large bits of wood so the engine mounts could sit on them and then held it down with ratchet straps and covered with a plastic tarp.

 The sump and two other gaskets were leaking and there was a hairline crack in the sump as well, that only leaked when the engine got up to working temperature. Rodney from Shipshape Marine Engineering in Hazel Grove has it all done now, and a coat of battle ship grey heat resistant paint. The lighter colour paint should make it easy to see any further oil leaks in the future.

I am going to call it Gandalf. Next time I will paint it white. We held it on to the wood using big wood screws and coach bolts but still used lots of ratchet straps.  This type of box trailer is not ideal - it has no suspension or brakes and while it is rated to take the weight I had to make sure the load was taken by the chassis not the flimsy box. I even reinforced the base of the load space with some hefty plywood.

Rodney suspected that we had used the wrong grade of oil. We use 20/50 multigrade mineral oil generally which agrees with the engine service manual.  In Tyboron we couldn't get that so used one with a lower SAE. Rodney recommends single grade SAE 30 oil (the older owners manual say SAE 20 or 30 depending on ambient temperature).

I painted the Bowman heat exchanger, oil coolers and associated pipes in blue Hammerite. Here it is ready to go back to Hull. I might have used an excessive number of ratchet straps but I am nervous about heavy things on trailers.

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