Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Repowering Project Day 3

Fort Pierce

We made very good progress today. I did all the minor work in the engine removal. I disconnected all the wiring, the fuel, the cooling, and the exhaust.

Then my brother Ed came down from Melbourne to help. Even better, Ed brought his friend Steve. Steve is a mechanic and he has the right tools. Their trip down here was not uneventful. Steve failed to securely close the tailgate on his pickup truck, and some of his tools fell out. When he discovered the loss he was very upset and he retraced his movements for the day attempting to find them. He didn’t succeed. Sorry about that Steve. I know the feeling.

Ed and Steve helped me with the two things I couldn’t do alone with the tools I have. Steve took the nuts off the motor mounts, and he unbolted the shaft coupling. To get the propeller shaft out, we have to remove the propeller and the tiller. The tiller prevented the rudder from moving enough to the side to allow the shaft to be withdrawn. I have a Max Prop, a geared, adjustable and self-feathering propeller. It has internal gears and parts. We disassembled it and accomplished everything except removing the propeller hub from the shaft and the keyway. A gear puller will be required to do that.
On Monday, the boatyard can bring their fork lift and lift out the engine, and they can use a gear puller to pull the propeller hub off and then remove the propeller shaft. Then the engine removal will be complete.

That will leave me two days, Tuesday and Wednesday to clean up and repaint the engine compartment. Bud Taplin will fly the redeye special here and will arrive on Thursday morning. Sounds like a good plan.

As a side activity, I’m going to re-take my exam for the general class ham license on Wednesday night. I took that exam last year on February 11, 2006 but I did not complete the Morse Code test. Despite three months of daily practice and learning with Morse Code, I could never manage to copy reliability with an accuracy better than 80%. It never began to feel natural or become easier to listen to code. Anyhow, I I hoped that they would change the rule to not require the Morse Code. They did change the rule but not until February 23, 2007. My exam was only good for 365 days, so I missed the deadline. Therefore I need to take it again.

Repowering day 4

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