Fireworks and Engine Work

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…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….

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0 Replies to “Fireworks and Engine Work”

  1. Wow!! While doing all this you were fortunate to have a few breaks with family and friends to relax and enjoy them and the 4th. Sorry to hear you are having to go so far into your engine. I guess that it's necessary without having to take the whole thing out. Hopefully, this latest step will prove useful. I would imaging that quite a bit of weight has been removed thus far which if it wasn't re-assembled for that next test might make removal of the rest of the engine somewhat easier. Here is hoping you don't have to make that last step.

    We have just about sold our Salisbury residence and will settle Aug 1st. Been sorting for over a month and starting to pack this week. Will live in Cambridge while looking for Charleston real estate.

    We are both fine.

    Hope the rest of the summer goes well for you both.

    See you on the water.

    Gerry & Larry

  2. Hello Hayden,

    You may have previously mentioned how many hours are on your Yanmar, but if not, how many does it have? I know you faithfully changed the oil and checked on its smooth operation, but was there any advance warning to your problems?

  3. Bobby:
    Yes, we had a compression test as well as the injectors pop tested before tear down. #1=440 PSI, #2=420 PSI and #3=360 PSI. So we knew we had a problem with cylinder #3. (Yanmar numbers from back to front) At that point we removed the head to evaluate and hopefully just need a valve job. Once the head was removed we discovered #3 piston was loose and woiuld drop down from TDC about 1/16" indicationed a connecting rod bearing issue. At that point we pulled the engine for inspection of the crankshaft. Since Mack Boring no longer rebuilds engines, they sent me to Alfred at Schooner Bay, WI. We will have a remanufactured engine 3JH2E, exact match shipped in Aug 6th and we will reinstall it ourselves. Thanks for checking in….it is no fun, but it did happen near home.

  4. Hayden:

    Looks bad – saw that cylinder #1 looked abnormal from the start. Did you do a compression test before going down this road?

    How long before you have the engine back in?

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