Date: 5 June 2014. Bearing Bad News.
Priority Insertion because I
could use some assistance about now!
(Be sure to read the Addendum and
Comments sections. Thanks. J.)
latest engine news regarding Seaweed is about as bad as you can get:
it's most probable my bearings are blown, and that means the engine
has to come out to repair same. I'm disappointed, and picking up the
pieces of my shattered heart. Perhaps not quite that dramatic, but
this is a serious blow.
a Bad Bearing:
I've been having a
cascade of small issues. First, an intermittent oil ooze --
not enough to be called a leak and generally happening after
shutdown but nonetheless, not fun to clean up. Thank
goodness for diapers*.
*Diapers are these
miracle paper rectangles that absorb oil and fuel spills but
not water. They are cool as heck, and prevent discharging
oil over the side. That's illegal, but more importantly:
it's just not a nice thing to do to the fishes.
Then I had an overheat
issue (that article is upcoming -- everything's
discombobulated at present!) and was towed back into
Steinhatchee. In the meantime I've tried every suggestion
offered and gradually the engine was turning over slower and
Some of the suggestions
Checked all cables to
insure power is getting where it belongs (including ground
Verified there is
plenty of power and tried starting when batts at 13.4 with
10+ amps incoming via solar panels
Confirmed belts are
tight, but not too tight
Filled water hoses
Cleared 1/2" of
muscles out of Perko raw water filter (not an issue/cause)
Verified water would
flow through system
Found a helicoil at
the aft end of the manifold that was not well seated --
temporary fixed (still leaks, but won't effect engine
Finally, it was suggested
that I remove the belts from the starter/generator and make
sure it was turning at speed. Have you ever wished something
was a $500 problem?!? Yes, that was me: hoping the issue
was going to be the replacement of the start/gen. Alas, that
was not to be.
My tachometer read
3200rpm, and that's appropriate. So, the tentative diagnosis
is a blown bearing. And that's serious as all get-out.
I'm less than 70 miles from Carrabelle, where my mechanics have
their business. Still, to get Seaweed there is either going to take
a tow or a trailer ride, and trailers are $$$. Okay, $450 is
the best price found -- and that's 1.5 months of my income. Ouch.
asked me if this would put me off boating, and I had to tell him
"NO!!!" Everyone has disappointments and not everything goes
as planned. That's the nature of life. Seaweed is my home, and I
love her. Robert however (the engine) is as I wrote once
before a recalcitrant child.
other hand, we'd intended to paint the engine (white, so any fluid
leaks will be easy to locate) and that wasn't done prior to my
departure. This time it will be, before the engine goes back into
Carrabelle is less than
seventy miles from Steinhatchee.
meantime, I'm safely anchored in Steinhatchee and checking with
locals to see if anyone is planning to cross the Gulf, and willing
to tow Seaweed across with them. Once I'm over there (Carrabelle
area) then I'll pick up the pieces and again get my home mobile.
If you know of
anyone able to help move my Seaweed, please let me know.
the motor removal and replacement should be far quicker -- the new engine
beds are in place and it "ought to be" easier. I surely hope
Wish me luck!
Addendum. 12 July 2014.
I've had a lot of advice and help in trying various means of
identifying the problem and coming up with solutions. Thank you
to both Ron and Will for the mechanical advice, and to Pam for
the good wishes. Please read the Comments section below for full
Alas, the weather window we
had has collapsed. I will be having Seaweed hauled back on a
trailer to Carrabelle for the next stage of the
Get-This-Engine-Up-And-Running this coming week.
All the suggestions as
outlined in the Comments section have been of use and helpful.
I've learned more about what the issues are, and are not. Oft
times knowing something is not a problem is as valuable as
knowing the reverse.
The key is that
this engine is not ruined: it is fixable.
Seaweed once again can be all she was before the bearing went
She's a boat. Stuff goes
wrong and we fix it. Of course there is a level of
disappointment as I'd really wanted to get to the Keys and visit
the place where I spent time with Son.
I'll get there but not this summer and that makes me sad.
Still, there is time and a
bit of rough weather is to be expected in life. Pam shared
with me this newest addition to my Aphorisms file:
Iím an idealist, I donít know
where Iím going, but Iím on my way. Carl Sanburg.
I'd could use some words of encouragement about now.
And, has anyone else had a bearing issue with a diesel? How did it turn
In the Bilges,
Budget Boating ~
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