Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Making friends with our Benz

Frank finally decided to tackle the engine a few days ago because we were having some overheating issues.  He spent 2 days thoroughly going over the engine, scraping loose paint, treating areas of rust with Ospho (great stuff!), and detailing it.  He also changed the oil, oil filters, fuel filters, replaced all the zincs, sourced spares, changed the coolant and cap, and repainted the whole engine.

Partial blockage in transmission oil cooler 

All of the debris from the raw water side

At the same time, he removed the alternator, which had seized and attempted to rebuild it, however it was futile as it ended up being beyond repair.  A new Balmar alternator has now made it onto our shopping list (ouch!).  In the meantime, to address the overheating issue, he started at the beginning of the raw waterline, disassembling and checking as he went.  First problem he found was in the transmission oil cooler, which no longer had a zinc left in it (probably due to the fact that replacing it meant standing on your head in the bilge).  He replaced the zinc and cleared blockages that had developed inside the cooler.  As you can see from the photo, there was quite a bit of buildup in it.  Some of the debris made it down the line into the engine oil cooler, blocking some of the tubes in the heat exchanger.  Although we can't start the engine until we install a new alternator, as the belt on the alternator also runs the fresh water pump; we believe that these are some of the causes of overheating.  He also installed an expansion tank, which was missing and also the cause our corroded alternator (when the coolant boiled over it poured all over the alternator, ruining it).   We now have a nice, newly painted engine to start from scratch on.  Any leaks can now be easily spotted and remedied.  Still have some work to do, but at least we're off to a good start.




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