Monday, November 18, 2013

Getting Turned On...

We have been waiting for this day since July 2012.  We finally turned on our brand spankin' new Yanmar.  We wanted to wait until we were closer to splashing before we buttoned up the engine project.  Mostly this was because we wanted to make sure that our fuel was polished before we turned the engine on for the first time.  We also didn't want to get it polished and have the fuel sit in the tanks, unused, for a year before we completed the rest of our ongoing projects.  As our to-splash to-do list is getting shorter and shorter, it was time.  We hired David Darby from Micro Clean last week to come polish the fuel and clean out the tanks.  As far we know, the fuel has been sitting in the tanks for at least 5-6 years, and there was no way in hell we were going to feed that to our new baby.  Some of our diesel had turned back into asphalt, and the filters that started off crisp and white began to quickly look like brown cardboard.  Dave was nice to enough to give us 30 days, after cleaning, to establish whether or not our fuel was even going to still be good, and deal with the removal if it turned out not to be.  Refineries give a 6 months shelf life for diesel, ours was 10 times that old :(

Fuel polishing setup
A dirty filter. These start off stark white
With the fuel cleaned, it was finally time to start bleeding the lines.  This was made slightly more complicated as we have 3 separate tanks that lead to a selector manifold that then leads to a primary fuel filter.  The trick was to get ALL the air out of the lines as well as the manifold.  Frank did this by turning one tank on, actuating the lift pump until the primary fuel filter was filled and all air was out; then shutting off that tank, draining the filter, and repeating that process to the 2 remaining tanks.  It was then on to bleeding the engine itself.  Compared to our old Perkins 4108 from our last boat, this was a breeze.   Yanmar 4JH4-TE has only one bleed point on the low side, and the high side is self-purging.  Simple.  Crack the one bleed point, actuate the lift pump until there is a clean flow of fuel with no bubbles, re-tighten the nut, and Voila!  Since the engine has never been run, it's important to crank it over for 5 seconds or so, without starting it, to distribute oil throughout the engine.  We did this by holding the stop level on the governor to its off position and cranking.  After this was done, we did a quick pre-heat with the glow plugs, held our breath, turned the key to start, and put-put-ROAR.  That's right, only two "puts" and our baby purrs like a kitten.  IT'S ALIVE…..IT'S ALIVE!!

video
Maning the bucket
Exhaust water
Normally marine-diesel engines are cooled by cycling raw salt water (from a thru-hull) through the heat exchanger.  This presented an obvious problem, as we are on the hard.  We've heard of people shoving a hose into the sea-cock, but didn't like this idea as there is no way to tell that the engine is getting adequate water flow and not air.  We chose to run a hose from the inlet on the engine, into a bucket that was filled with water fed by a garden hose.  This allowed us to monitor the intake of water from the engine, and ensure there was a constant flow without it sucking air.  After starting it up, we ran out to check and see that the exhaust was pumping water properly, and that there was no smoke.  We then went on to check the panel to see if all was right, and of course, thats when our daily dose of humility was fed to us.  The tachometer was not registering…boooooo!  Frank will trouble shoot that later today and figure out why.  Other than that, it has been a very exciting day for us.

6 comments:

  1. Hearing an engine start for the first time is a nice feeling. ;-)

    After not knowing when the last time my engine was running (oil filter had a date from 4 years before I bought the boat) I wasn't sure how it would go and I'm happy that it's running very well now.


    Another step closer to travels to far off lands ;)

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    1. it was pretty awesome to start our engine for the first time. Very nervous that it wouldn't. We were finally able to hear the engine once my heart stopped beating. ;)

      Yu

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  2. Hey,

    Congratulations on your big day. Outstanding progress. The bottom is painted the Yanmar is purring like a kitten. You are so close and the Caribbean cruising season is upon us. Where are you going to sail to first? How much time have you spent talking about that?

    I'm really happy for you…

    Brad

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  3. Brad,

    I can't tell you how many hours we have spent up at night talking about cruising…now that we're finally getting close, I must admit, it's scary as hell. We don't really know where we are going yet. We may be sticking around St Augustine for a little while to save up some money for the kitty as you know that refits are extremely costly. But who knows, we certainly don't.

    Yu

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  4. I think you guys should make a test run down to the Bahamas this winter, if only just to see us, but that's just me. :)

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    1. You know, Jess, I would be more than down to do that if we could, but unfortunately, that is not in the plans in the immediate future :( BUT….since we all know how much you love St Augustine, you guys should come up. But you know, that's just Me ;)

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