I'd also purchased a very inexpensive (and hopefully somewhat reliable) digital reader off Ebay from some place far-far-away, in hopes that my friend's advice was good, that it would at least read the revolutions per minute of the alternator which then would permit me to calibrate my tachometer to some level that would give me an idea of how my diesel is running. At least that's what I thought I was doing when something unexpected and exciting took place and derailed that process...
|Hope this little jitney performs one function, just give me the RPM reading...|
But, something struck me as strange when I arrived aboard this late morning. There in the drip pan below the engine was something that appeared like a piece of tree bark. Well, my eyes were not able to see it very well, so upon closer examination, my fingers revealed it was a quarter-sized chunk of rusted material? Well, no problem, the boat is 40 years old, what to expect I thought? A clue perhaps though?
Readying my Chinese manufactured strobe light, I taped a piece of reflective tape on a blade of the alternator pulley. Feeling a bit of mechanical hubris sweeping over me, I hauled myself out of the salon and sat on the cockpit bench to turn over the diesel. She started right up like it had just been run. "A good engine she is," I thought to myself smartly. As the now warm sun felt great after a cool winter this year, there was suddenly that smoke again, this time quickly appearing. And then in an instant, the engine changed sounds, there was a rattle and the sound of a water hose spitting out water in spurts. Water! Emergency! Go fast!
I immediately shut down the diesel to stop the water. I could hear it dripping into the bilge. "Am I sinking now?" I thought to myself as I catapulted into the salon and began looking at the damage. Looking all over the engine I knew I'd had a hose either come off somewhere or a clamp give up. There was too much water down in the bilge, and that pump had started evacuation procedures while I furtively passed my eyes and hands around my little diesel pal. Confident this would be an obvious fix, I calmly examine her small power-plant to find the break.
But it was not what I expected at all. I had actually purchased a new section of water-exhaust hose months previous thinking that since all hoses need replacing it too would get some attention. But I hadn't been able to easily remove the exhaust hose, and I left it for later. This, was later. The photo of the culprit is revealed lying on my work bench at home. After beating the daylights out of the elbow to release it from the flange, I discovered massive corrosion to the point that the result was pressure blew out the weak point of the elbow.
|Massively corroded and weakened by years of salt-water the elbow just exploded under pressure.|
With all the trepidation which comes from sourcing parts, I anxiously awaited the pricey components. Arrived in 2 days from ordering they looked like diesel candy.
|Flange, gasket and elbow with nipple already intact lying side by side with the original soldier.|
A little bit of calling around and taking advantage of my neighbor being in Charleston, I was able to schedule a pickup within a couple of hours and get the revised hose size for implementation the next day...it has to get done cause we have sailors coming!
And it ain't cheap.
More to follow....