Yanmar 3JH2-E Removal Replacment

..Out with the engine…

After removing the cylinder head for a valve inspection and possible valve job, we discovered piston #3 with evidence of connecting rod bearing issues or possible main crankshaft issues. We could identify this by the scoring marks on piston #3 where it hit the intake and exhaust valves. We also had movement on piston #3 from top dead center. When tapping lightly on this piston, it moved down slightly; the other two pistons did not move at all. This was NOT GOOD. Now we needed to remove the entire engine block to gain access to the oil pan and to inspect the crankshaft and connecting rods. The question still remains, WHAT HAPPENED? We know we had an overheat to 255F for about 5-10 minutes. We found we have a partially blocked mixing elbow. We know we had one impeller blade break off. So, we were looking for the problem to be with the valves in the head , but now we found a problem in the piston. So, out with the block.

Yanmar 3JH2-E Lifted with halyards

We lifted the engine out using our main halyard and one spare halyard as a safety. The block might weigh about 300 lbs. We received great advice from fellow IP owner John D. who told us to add in the use of the jib sheets to control the lift. This turned out to be the real secret to lifting the engine out ourselves. We originally had planned to be towed over to the next marina where we had hired a crane operator to lift out the engine. But, lucky for us, we have a very good friend and master mechanic here in town, Don B, IP420 Hallelujah. Don helped us with the lifting, moving down the dock and loading.

We lifted the block to the cockpit stoop, then to the cockpit floor, then to the cockpit seat and then to the dock finger pier. It was amazingly controlled and easy. The final trick was to use the finger pier piling with a sheet line back to the motor and the jib winch. This allowed us to winch the engine out and off the boat by pulling with the winch around a piling on the finger pier. Brilliant.

Using the jib sheets to control position aft

It all worked very well and only took about 30 minutes to lift the block and secure it on the hand truck. Down the dock we wheeled it to the parking lot where Don used a Kubota tractor to lift the engine into the rented Uhaul van, where we secured it on an old tire. Good idea, Freddie! We drove it to my other mechanic Chris O. in Stevensville, MD for evaluation. The next day, good friend Jeff G. IP35 Lucille and Radeen and I drove to Chris’ place where he directed us on how to take apart the lower block and pistons. There he showed us the spun connecting rod bearing on piston #3. Time for a rebuild evaluation.

Chris teaching us how to remove the crank

The next day, Chris called and informed us that the cost of parts, machining the crankshaft and replacing the heat ex-changer would run $6,500 plus labor for rebuild. He thought it was not worth rebuilding. So our wonderful and reliable Yanmar 3JH2-E engine that has run over 10,000 nm is dead! We will need to re-power Island Spirit. The cause: Blocked or poor oil delivery to connecting rod bearing #3, all other bearings were perfect! Added to this problem was a restricted exhaust mixing elbow.

At this point, we will be going with Alfred R. Holzer at http://www.SchoonerBayMarinaLLC.com/ where he re-manufactures diesel engines. Mack Boring in NJ, where we took our diesel service classes, referred us to Alfred. Other IPY owners, Kevin and Ceal and John also referred us to Alfred. He has a fantastic reputation! He has engines in stock and he will build you exactly what you want for about 50% the cost of a new engine. So this is the way we will proceed. If we installed the new Yanmar 3JH5, we would need to change out our exhaust system which was newly installed by the Island Packet Yacht’s factory 6 months ago during our refit. Looks like I should have ordered an engine then as well 🙂


Island Spirit will get a new re-manufactured exact replacement engine in 3 weeks. Radeen and I along with Don, our friend and master mechanic, will install the engine. You do know the acronym B.O.A.T. don’t you?

B. O. A. T. 
Break Out Another Thousand
$$$$$$, in this case it will be 6+ Boat Units! $$$$$$
Here are some photos:
The start of pulling the engine. 

Disconnect the prop shaft, pull the transmission, rig the lifting bridle

Lift the engine with the main halyard and a spare

Control the position with the jib sheets and winches

Pull AFT to oppose the forward pull of the halyards

Lift and then use the jib winches to position the engine to the side

We took the aft line and went around a piling to pull it aft, then up and off the boat.
Worked great

Hayden, Ray (IP27 Wye’s Guy owner) and Don B.,  our mechanic

Our engine on a hand truck with no transmission

Lift it into the van with a Kubota tractor

This new GMC van was surprisingly quiet and comfortable!

Jeff and I were instructed by Chris on how to take apart the lower block

There it is, the bearing that is frozen to connecting rod #3
This failed bearing costs $10.00 but will cost us $6,000 to $7,000 in the end

Piston #3, my new paper weight

The crankshaft bearings were all fine and so were pistons #1 and #2

Radeen, Chris, our mechanic, and Jeff ,our good friend
(Note “Every Penny” in the background, Chris’ record holding race boat!)
We all tried our best to fix this engine…..but….

We now await the delivery of a re-manufactured Yanmar 3JH2-E, our exact replacement engine, which we will install with the help of Don B.
What will we do differently next time????
  1. CHANGE OUT THE MIXING ELBOW EVERY 3 YEARS (if in salty ocean water) They cost about $200!
  2. Have an engine oil analysis EVERY YEAR using: http://www.blackstone-labs.com/ Thank you Rich W. (IP350 Azure Leizure) for that reference.
  3. Change the impeller EVERY YEAR. Why NOT?
    Ours was 1 year old and with only 6 months of use. It was fine the morning we left, but it broke one blade. This may have contributed as well.
If you really want to see MORE PHOTOS of this process, 
50+ photos, then see this album at IPYOA

Fireworks and Engine Work

…Our cylinder head on the galley counter…

We are not in Block Island, Toto, nor is this Kansas!  We are in Rock Hall, MD with our engine block torn off of our diesel engine. Yes, we are doing our own rebuild as we try to solve the problem with our engine tapping, overheating, and the loss of horsepower.

After doing the easy items like fuel fittings and line inspection as well as a full cooling system rebuild, we are now into the engine block and the engine head. We are looking at the valves, push rods, rocker arms and valve springs.

Yesterday we removed the cylinder head, which requires you to…

  1. Drain all coolant
  2. Drain all sea water
  3. Remove…
  4. ..Exhaust mixing elbow
  5. ..Heat exchanger
  6. ..Intake manifold and fuel lines
  7. ..Fuel Injectors and fuel pipes
  8. ..Coolant water pump
  9. ..Thermostat and all coolant hoses
  10. ..Valve cover
  11. ..Valve rocker arm assembly and pushrods
  12. ..14 head bolts using a breaker bar and hammer to loosen these
  13. ..FINALLY, remove the cylinder head
  14. …..Take to Chris Oliver diesel mechanic for rebuild
Our engine torn down
With the cylinder head removed, we can now take it to a machine shop and have the valves re-seated and new valves and new springs installed. After that, we will reverse the above steps and reassemble the engine and see if it runs any better!  If it does not run better at that point, it looks like we could need a new engine! 
Sherry, Paul and Hayden at the Monument

The highlight of this job has been our July 4th celebration with cousins in Washington DC on the National Mall. Their family & friends have been enjoying the fireworks at the base of the Washington Monument for 20 years. Sherry and Paul organize this event, complete with a massive tailgate party at the Pentagon. 

The Washington Monument
After the tailgate, we walked the 2.5 miles from the Pentagon parking lot, over the Memorial Bridge to the Lincoln Memorial and around the park and up the hill to the Washington Monument. There we all set up chairs and blankets and enjoyed the bands, various games and, most of all, each other. There is nothing like visiting family and spending time together with the ones you grew up with, the ones you LOVE. Thank you, Sherri and Paul and Diane and Tim for a wonderful visit and a fantastic and memorable Fourth of July!
Boat buddy Ken at the cookout
Returning back to Rock Hall, we were then guests of our new sailing and boating friend, Ken, who invited us to his condo cookout which we shared with Ken’s wonderful family. It was a beautiful picnic with about 50+ people enjoying the lovely day and then the massive Rock Hall Fireworks with patriotic music. Ken has a beautiful 3 story condo on the harbor and we enjoyed the fireworks from his rooftop balcony as the fireworks reflected of the harbor waters below. What a fun time. Thank you, Ken!
Hayden and Radeen 4th of July in DC
Happy 4th of July to everyone, we hope you are healthy, happy and doing well. We will keep working on the motor. 

Wonderful family visit, Paul, Radeen, Allison, Brea and Ben

Walking past the Lincoln Memorial

Shopping with Sherry, Radeen and Diane, Love Love Love

The Rock Hall, MD fireworks over the harbor from Ken’s rooftop deck

Step one, remove the exhaust mixing elbow.
This will be replaced. These clog up. It was cleaned 3 years ago.

Step two, remove the heat exchanger. Oops, it hits the wall! Now what?
The threaded rods in the head will un-thread and then it could come out.

Step three, dump all engine parts in the kitchen sink!

Sort out and inspect all engine parts on the galley counter…NOT fun


Head bolts are really TIGHT….use a breaker bar (pipe) for more leverage

We broke off NO head bolts, lucky us, now off with the head!
Here is another fun family photo with Hayden’s Dad and Peg for his recent 80th Birthday celebration

We know engine work is not as exciting and beautiful as sailing photos, but this is all part of the cruising adventure. We are just so glad to be at our home dock….