Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Repowering Project Day 16

Fort Pierce



This morning we had to move out of our apartment, so Libby stayed behind. I went to the boatyard with a single task in mind -- to reconnect all the wiring.

It wasn’t hard. I just took my time, taking one wire at a time, checking its identity, and length, and continuity using an ohm meter. In a couple of ours everything was connected and made fast with tie downs. I also installed the two new flooded batteries. In the process I discovered two wires from Tarwathie’s original that were redundant -- they simply paralleled other wires.

After lunch I started on the pre-start checklist for a new engine. I had trouble getting fuel to the engine. The fuel lines were full of air, and the lift pump didn’t seem to lift anything. I used a vacuum pump to suck fuel into the fuel lines, then I pumped the lift pump for almost an hour. No fuel appeared at the bleed screw.

I was reaching the point where I was going to call for help when I remembered Bud Taplin’s words on the subject. He said, “The engine is self bleeding. The fuel pump and injector lines are already filled with fuel. Just start it.” Even though this contradicted the checklist, I decided that I had nothing to loose.

I ran our hoses over to the nearest water faucet and made a temporary hookup to the sea water cooling inlet. It leaked but that was OK.

I turned the key to run. The panel lit and an alarm sounded. GOOD. I turned the key to Start. She cranked. I let it go for 5 seconds, and it coughed. I cranked it a second time and she started right up. HOORAY! The first thing I did was to test the stop solenoid. (I’m haunted by the runaway engine incident in Elizabeth City last year.) It stopped right away when I pushed the button. GOOD. I started it again. I checked the cooling water flow. It worked. GREAT. I checked the throttle and the shifting. It revved up. It shifted into forward and reverse. Libby was standing on the ground and she saw the propeller spinning. WOW. It revved up more in forward than reverse so I have a small adjustment to make. OK I checked the battery voltage 12.6, then revved up the engine, the voltage changed to 13.8 . WONDERFUL It was charging OK.

So, our Repowering Project is complete except for the clean up. We need a day or so to clean up, and put things away. We need to do something with the gel cell batteries that we’re not using any more. (No nibbles on my for sale ads on the batteries.) Pay the bill. Launch. And take off on a shakedown cruise. The manual says to change the oil and to recheck all bolts for tightness after 25 hours of operation.

Repowering day 17

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