Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Don't feed your engine Vegitables

Engines don't like Veggies


A friend asked if I could help her out. Her heat exchanger had been taken apart and thoroughly cleaned but it needed reinstalling. Her boat, an Erricson 32, has a very similar engine to my boat. Universal M25XP (her's may not be an XP) and the cooling system is really simple.

This image shows the whole cooling system.

The Sea Water Thru Hull connects to the Oberdorfer water pump, the output of the pump is fed to the Heat Exchanger and the output of the Heat Exchanger is fed to a nipple on the Exhaust where the water is blown through the muffler and out of the back of the boat with the exhaust.

Follow the Blue line that transitions to a yellow line in the heat exchanger.

The problem occured when the skipper started the engine and no water was being blown out with the Exhaust. After discussing it with a few people she suspected the Heat Exchanger. It has a Zinc anode installed in it's body and that zinc was missing, presumably inside the heat exchanger. Hence her reason for servicing the exchanger.

With the exchanger serviced, it was ready to put back together and reinstalled. Not having a lot to do that afternoon, I agreed to help her get it installed and get the engine running.

After checking out the engine for any other obvious issues I reassembled the heat exchanger and reinstalled it. All hoses secured, Coolant replaced, Oil level checked, it was time to flash up the engine.

Thru hull opened, battery selector on and ignition ready. Blower motor ran for nearly a minute, Glow plugs for 20 seconds, check the stop lever was fully in, press the start button and the engine starts up. That's a good sign.

Sadly, still no water pumping out with the exhaust!

The skipper confirmed that the Impeller on the water pump had been inspected. I suggested that perhaps the thru hull was blocked or that the hoses were blocked.

To check the hoses meant disconnecting the raw water hose from the Thru hull, putting it in a bucket of water and running the engine, if the hoses were blocked, then we would know, if they were not then it's a blocked Thru hull.

After spending a few minutes releasing the two hose clamps securing the hose to the Thru Hull, it only took a few seconds to pull off the hose.

We immediately knew the problem.

Yep, that looks like a Green Bean stuck in the Thru hull! I could not pull it up nor push it down (when the valve was opened).

I broke it off at the top of the plastic fitting and then used a wire coat hanger to push the remainder down and out of the Thru Hull. Obviously, water started pouring in so I closed the valve.

Reconnecting the hose, we started up the engine and WooHoo! water was being expelled from the Exhaust.

We let the engine run for about 20 minutes while we checked for leaks and dried everything up.

Moral of the story: Don't feed your engine Green Beans, nor any other type of Vegitable.

Post and Photo with permission of the Skipper.

See you on the water.

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