Current location for King Malu

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Engine working... not!

When we arrived we put the foredeck grab rain down on the deck, upside down, as an indicator of where it will go and then tried positioning the life raft container we had borrowed for sizing from Ilias yesterday. It looks like a new cylinder life raft will just fit on the for'ard cabin roof giving maybe 5 centimetres space to the for'ard hatch. And it should fit such that it will not obscure sight line to the bow, maybe just hiding the bow fairleads, but basically we know it will now fit.

We also realised that putting the life raft there we can convert the life raft locker to have a drain to the hull side and use it for both a petrol (gasoline) locker and store the mizzen staysail above the petrol for easy deployment.

Today was get the engine going day. Tim and I had previously installed the injection pump that had been serviced and got to the point where we are confused as to how the tacho sensor fitted on the rear of the injection pump.

Ken (resident expert and teacher) met us at 8:30 and started where we had left off. The tacho sensor is supposed to have an anti-clockwise thread so that a nut with clockwise/anticlock thread would pull the sensor to the injection pump. However... the thread to mate with the injection pump was non-existant and had been gunked up with some kind of glue that had now departed the world of the living and was thus not helping. After cleaning and checking and thinking about it we will add some engine grade epoxy (Pratley's Putty) and all should be well. We left that and moved on...

We reassembled the water system, fitted the timing belt and checked the timing on the engine. All looked great. Took the engine round two revolutions to check that the timing was still in.

OK, so I glossed over 'fitted the timing belt'. There is a tensioner wheel on a swinging arm against the timing belt, which has an extremely powerful spring to tension up the belt. How do you fis this? The service manual just says something helpful like 'fit the tensioner'. Last time Ken took the spring off, used the machine vice to bring the spring together, tied it with brown string, refitted it all than then cut the string. With three off us we were sure we could find a better way...  we tried levering it... we tried attacking cord and pulling it... we tried everything we could think of... after a couple of hours trying we reverted to the brown string method. When Tim used the boat safety knife to cut the string it was like launching a boat: I name this ship Brown String.

Mid morning Charmiane came by and dropped off our genoa and mizzen staysail. The genoa had been quite a lot of work, but the staysail was just one small patch. Tomorrow, if there is low wind from the right direction I will dig out the genoa cover and we will try hoisting and leaving it up. King Malu is coming back to life!

Back to the engine: The fuel goes through a separator before a filter before the lift pump. The separator was brown with gunk. So we stripped and cleaned it in paraffin (kerosene). That took quite a while, but in the end the you could see light again through the filter holes. The glass had been brown with sediment, eventually it was clear and you could see the fuel. When we'd tested the engine before servicing the injector pump we had bypassed the main fuel system, and looking at it as we cleaned it, we wondered how the engine ran at all coming into Larnaka all those years ago.

OK, now with everything fitted its ready to try it. After a couple of revolutions there was fuel pumping out of the injector pump... but only for cylinder number four. So having bled it to the injector Ken tightened that up, expecting to see it then come out for cylinders three, two and one. But nothing did. The lift pump appeared to do its job, fuel was where it should be. Ken tried this and that and eventually had to admit he was baffled. So we will all go down to the workshop that serviced the pump on Monday morning. We're all hoping it's something simple, and not that they will say 'bring the pump back, that sounds like a fault'.

The weather was strange most of the day, overcast in the morning and almost looking like rain at lunchtime so I didn't do any painting till mide afternoon when it looked obvious it wouldn't rain. My target was a layer of grey paint over the stern cabin. We had decided to change the paint over the stern cabin from white to grey to match in with the Treadmaster we are going to use there. Originally we had planned white with white Treadmaster, but we realised that we will be boarding off the stern all the time and so the white would likely as not look very tatty very quickly. I cleaned the white with a dry cloth and then cleaned it with Awlgrip reducer (as per their recommendations) but it didn't seem to take very well. I don't know why.

As I was painting one of our neighbours came by, a Russian guy who has been sailing for more than 40 years, and asked about what I was doing. He often stops to watch and pass the time of day. He's another Awlgrip paint fan. I explained just what I did in the previous paragraph... to which he asked 'Yes, but why grey?' Well, there's no answer to that really, other than we think it will look smart.

Ken and Tim meanwhile were working out how to mount the alternator. You may think this was just a case of 'put it back where it was' but when we bought the boat the alternator was not mounted on the engine and the adjustment mount was broken. We hummed and harred about it and looked and wondered... eventually Ken went home for some 8mm studding he had and we mounted it off that, with a new hole drilled in the broken adjuster bracket. It looks in exactly the position shown in the service manual, but we have no idea at all how it was mounted in the past as there are no fittings on the boat that would work.

Well, that's it for the day. We really were hoping that the engine would be running today. We could hear cylinder number four firing and the engine attempting to run, but it needs more than one cylinder firing to run.

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