Sunday, November 20, 2011

Westerbeke Again by jon

Well most of you know that we over heated the engine last year on our way over to the Berry Islands. We were Lucky enough to have landed on an Island that had Great people, charter flights from the states to get parts and generally a great place to hold up. We had rebuilt the engine and moved on last year but near the end of the season we were having another problem with the engine. Air was getting into the cooling system, causing an  air bubble that would make the engine over heat again. At the end of last season I had not felt I found anything and woke many times though the summer at Fair Point Marina in a cold sweat thinking and worried about it.  Then at the end of the summer I had a head gasket blow on the travel lift in the yard. Now I had just replaced that head gasket last year and thought it was stange,....UNTIL I realized I had not re-torqued that gasket!! Could the same stand true for my Westerbeke? Looking at the manual it says re-torque after 50 hours,.....I didn't do that. The engine ran fine last year for about 75 hours after the rebuild and then the second problem started to show up. It was starting to make sense.
Once at the boat after cleaning it up enough to sleep on it, and cleaning the outside, we put away all stores we brought with us and fired up the batteries, Yeah 12.6 volts, fired up the refer unit, Yeah cold beer. Then I headed straight for the engine, I re-torqued the head and started to adjust the valves, but noticed a lack of compression on # 2 and #3 cylinders. Well the head had to come out of the boat again. As I was taking parts off I noticed the exhaust manifold had unburnt fuel in it, a sure sign of incomplete combustion. As the head came off I was hoping to find a huge hole in the gasket but didn't see it. Eric, the service manager at Indiantown Marina, had a look at the head gasket and right away pointed to TWO spots where there was blow by from the cylinder to the water jacket, #2 and  #3. YEAH YEAH YEAH. There were also other signs in the water jacket of anti-freeze being burnt from compression blow-by. Now was the head warped or the block?


The head went to a speciality shop "Blockheads" The report came back great, he too saw 2 spot with blow by, and machined only .008 of and inch off to make it straight. All thinking is that if the head wasn't warped the block would be fine, as the block has a lot more mass to it and a lot more water around it for cooling. The good news to date is that the head job only cost $160.00. I also took the advice from the great guys at Blockheads and sent the fuel injectors to be checked. Another Great  small speciality shop looked at them and confirmed "Wow these babies got hot". He showed me how they should work and what mine didn't do. How much to rebuilt them please? $27.00 each plus a 10 dollar part, they'll be ready on Monday. So the bad news is the gaskets and parts were $650.00 with the head gasket alone being $225.00 Ouch.

Well the head is back on and all painted up now we are just waiting on the injectors to come back Monday and we go in the water on Tuesday. We then can really test the engine under a load and get our confidence back in it. Hey if she gets 50 hours on her you want to bet I'd re-torque the head!!

We had visiters here already, Tom Gardener and Terri from Fair Point Marina (Ponytail Tom for all you, theres too many Toms here, people) came on Sunday last week and spent the afternoon here walking around and looking at all the boats here. They also took us out to dinner, then drove home. They are on the west coast of Florida during the winter so it was a 3 hour drive each way for them. It was great to see them and show them around here and Kasidah. They hadn't seen her since we left NY in '09 and all the work we've done to her since we left.

Looks like we'll stay here at indain Town for Thanksgiving, there is 4 days of events, just as a tease there is a real Steel Drum Band playing Monday night and it just gets better from there. I don't think I'll take part in the dinghy ran, roamer has it the alligators win every time.

Thanks for looking.

1 comment:

Paul and Deb said...

Good troubleshooting. Makes me think about my un-burned fuel/white smoke problem. Only when cold. Think it's an injector.
Hope you guys got it taken care of now. Nice meeting you guys at Jacks. Sorry we did not get down to Little Sodus this year.
Paul