Friday, July 18, 2014

BOAT = "Bust Out Another Thousand"

This last week we have had a boat in the shop. This is a first time for a boat and I wasn't sure it would fit in the garage. As you can see, it barely fit. I like to get projects that I am working on into the shop so then I am more motivated to get them done and out of the garage. I hate seeing projects sitting in the shop taking up space so I am more apt to go out and get them done when they are in there. It is especially motivating in the winter when Dixie is reminding me how cold it is! For some reason, my bug never really gets kicked out of the garage. It has an advantage being so small so it generally can fit in no matter what. This time things have been interesting because I have the boat pulled in as far as possible to get the garage door closed. That means if I want to get to the front of the boat I need to go out the front door of my house and if I need to get to the back of the boat I go out the door to the garage. Ha ha, it's only temporary so that makes it OK.
 This is my friends boat. He bought it, took it out on the lake for the first time and it was running good. Then it wasn't running good and it was making a funny noise. He checked compression and the #3 cylinder had none. He asked if I wanted to take a look at it and I jumped at the chance to work on a boat. I am always interested in working on different things and this fit the bill. I hooked up my leak down tester and number 3 was leaking like crazy. It sounded like it was coming out the exhaust but when I pulled down the bellows I realized it wasn't coming from there. I searched some more and felt air blowing out between the combination manifold and the head. I looked closer through a mirror and found the reason.
 It's a blown head gasket so I started tearing apart the engine. This boat has very good access to everything. I did some research and it looks like there are a lot of boats that require you to pull the engine to do much of anything to them. This one was not the case luckily.
 The manual did say that you could pull off the combination manifold while the engine is still in the boat. I am here to tell you that you cannot do it. In this picture you can see the exhaust pipe that prevents the manifold from coming off. It is thick cast iron metal and it does not move at all. If the manifold didn't have 2 studs on it you would be able to do remove it but because of the studs the pipe is in the way. I reattached the manifold to the head and removed it along with the head as 1 unit. It weighed a ton and I think I may have gotten a hernia from lifting it off the engine.
Here is a good shot of the failed head gasket.
 I am not sure why the gasket failed. The head and block are fine. It is a good thing because hopefully when all is said and done, a few gaskets are all that will be needed.
 You can see the #3 cylinder and where the gasket failed.
 After I checked out the head and found the valves to be in good shape and the head not warped Scot ordered some gaskets and I started putting it back together. Here I installed the combination manifold back onto the head so it can be put back onto the engine.
If you find yourself doing this kind of work, make sure your gasket sealing surfaces are spotless. It will save you from any leaks in the future.
 I have a tool table in the shop and it worked great for the boat. I was able to raise it up and it fit perfectly under the back of the boat. Here I have placed the head and manifold which weigh about a ton and scooted it as close to the engine as i could.
 I didn't want to mess up the new gasket trying to heft the 4 ton head onto the block so made some alignment pins to help align the head. I also took the time to get the #1 cylinder at TDC so I could adjust the valves right after I got the head installed.
 Here is a close up of my alignment pin. I just bought some longer bolts and cut the head off them. It cost me 3 bucks for piece of mind knowing the head gasket was located and stayed in place while I installed the head.
It's very important to keep your push rods and head bolts in the same spots that they came out of. I find the easiest way to do this is to just get a cardboard box and label it in a way that you can make sense of it. Here are the head bolts and push rods from the engine.
 Here you can see I labeled the front of the engine. It doesn't matter how you label it as long as you can read it. I wrote the number on the head bolts that pertain to the torque sequence. It makes it easy to quickly torque the bolts. This engine requires you to torque the head in a 3 step process so it ends up being a lot of torquing.
So at the end of today the engine is completely together and I am in the process of adjusting the valves. It should be running tomorrow and hopefully out on the lake soon after that. With any luck it will give years of good service for my friend.