Saturday, May 25, 2024

M25XP Damper Plate replacement Pt.11 ( Final part )

Finished the Damper Plate Replacement Project.

Ok, all done. The last few steps were easy.

Step 1 - Replace the Gearbox Oil
Step 2 - Check the engine at the dock.

Gearbox Oil Change.

Anyone that has had to change the gearbox oil on a C34 knows - Jack had be nimble - practice boat yoga often and you might be ready.

The good news is there is an easy way to change the gearbox oil.

Remove the Gearbox Oil Dipstick - this is located on the Port side of the gearbox near the forward edge. It's also beneath the Heat Exchanger so just unscrew the dipstick until it is free to lift up, then work it upwards between the heat exchanger and the engine. The dipstick is about 6" long. Pull it out and check the oil level. There's a single groove about 1/4" from the lower end of the dipstick that indicates the normal oil level. Wipe the dipstick down and reinsert it just till the threaded portion touches the body of the gearbox. Remove the dipstick again and note the oil level.

With the dipstick removed, move to the front of the engine and run a 'Fill Tube'  about 1/2" OD, down from the top of the engine just forward of the heat exchanger. The gearbox oil filler hole is just visible. Insert the tube as far down as it will go.

Make sure your oil suction pump is empty! You'll be measuring the amount of oil removed from the gearbox in order to determine how much fresh oil to put back into the gearbox.

Now insert the oil change pump suction tube into the Fill tube, again, as far down as it will reach.

With the suction tube in place, use your oil pump to suck out as much oil as you can.

Pour the removed oil into a measuring cup ( or a Paper cup will do ) and measure the amount of oil removed. If using a paper cup, then simply have a second cup of the same size and mark it where the fresh oil level needs to be to match that amount that was removed.

Remove the Oil suction hose from the  Fill tube and insert a small funnel into the top end of the Fill tube which should still be inserted into the fill hole of the gearbox.

Now pour the measured amount of fresh gearbox oil into the small funnel and let it drain down.

Remove the fill tube and reinsert the dipstick to check the oil level is correct. If needed, reinsert the fill tube and add a small amount of gearbox oil and then check the level again. Remember, use the lower en of the dipstick without screwing it into the gearbox.

Once the level is correct then replace the dipstick.

Check it again after running the engine for a while.


Ok, Next Check the coolant level.

As a lot of the coolant was drained out when I removed the engine and heat exchanger, there's quite lot of coolant to replace.

I removed the coolant filler cap and poured in coolant until it reached the rim just below the overflow outlet. 
Next we ran the engine quite hard! I pushed it up to 2800rpm and let it run until I saw the coolant temperature rise above 150 and shut the engine down before it got to 200ºF.

Giving the engine a few minutes rest and with a large rag covering the coolant fill cap, I released the cap. As I had not let the engine get too hot there was not a lot of pressure on the cap.

The coolant level was down, a good sign, as this meant that some of the air in the system was getting purged into the coolant tank. Again, top up the coolant to the rim and replace the cap. Run the engine again. Same process, push the engine until the temp starts to rise and shut it down before reaching 200ºF. Check the coolant level again as earlier and repeat.

I did this 4 times and the last time as soon as I started the engine, the temp was over 150ºF but it started to drop down within a minute. The temp stayed at the 150ºF mark and I allowed the engine to run for another 10 minutes. During that time I tested the gear shift, it easily shifted into Forwards, Neutral Reverse, Neutral several times and we tried to move the dock. The boat put a strain ou our dock lines and the engine temp stayed around 150ºF which has been our normal engine temp for the past 9 years.

Again: Phew!

I called Greg the Mechanic and gave him the good news. The engine ran a whole lot smoother than before, no more cackaling from the damper plate. All looked good

I checked the engine oil level again, we're still good. I'll check the gearbox oil when we get back from out trip.

So, it took 3 weeks but worked out great and really was not that expensive.

Now I can really say "See you on the water" in earnest.

See you on the water!

Thursday, May 16, 2024

M25XP Damper Plate replacement Pt.10

1st Start of our Universal M24XP after Damper Plate Change

Quick update on progress.

Today I reconnected the Oil Pressure Switch cable then the Alternator +ve Cable, the Starter Power Cable and then topped up the Coolant.

To bleed the fuel system I opened the Fuel Cock on top of the Fuel Tank, Turned on the engine so that the Fuel Pump would start to circulate the diesel fuel. Then once fuel leaked out of the top of the Fuel Filter I left the pump running for 20 minutes. My idea was that by that time, all of the air in the system should have been pumped into the fuel tank via the fuel return line.

Next was to run the engine. Engine Power Key to On, Raw Water valve opened, Ignition key to on, hearing the Low Oil Pressure warning, that's good. Next hold down the Glow Plug switch for 20 seconds. Make sure the Shut off is in the down position and Throttle a minimum and Gear in Neutral ( Prop Shaft is not currently connected to the gearbox coupling ) than Stab the Start Button. The engine started up without any hesitation. Life is good.

All that is left to do is the Alignment, change the Transmission Gearbox Oil and replace the Anti Syphon valve in the line from the heat exchanger to the Nipple on the exhaust riser.

Greg came down to the boat and between us we got the alignment completed, just as well because this was the last day of temps below 90ºF. We got the engine to shaft alignment to within 0.002" WooHoo.

I have to run the engine for an hour or so and then recheck the alignment and that all of the engine mount nuts and bolts are still tight.

Then I screwed up! 

I removed the Cap and valve from the top of the Anti Syphon, it's located inside the cupboard in the head and inside it is located just below the bathroom countertop as far aft as it could be.

I removed the old Anti Syphon cap and the 'duckbill' valve. Then I reached in with the new replacement and the duckbill valve promptly fell out of the cap and disappeared in the gap between the engine bulkhead and the hull - gone never to be seen again!  Oh CARP.

The reason for replacing the valve was that it no longer was air tight and would allow sea water to be syphoned into the exhaust from the muffler into the engine - DO NOT ALLOW THAT! So I didn't want to risk putting the old valve back in place. Greg agreed it was not worth the risk.  New valves ( yes, spares! ) are on their way, probably arrive by Monday next week :(

Ok, back to work. Next was the Gearbox Oil Change, this should be easy, but then it's on a boat not a tractor. 
Step 1: Remove the dipstick, wipe it clean reinsert it to the threads and withdraw it to check the oil level - it's up to the groove near the lower end of the dipstick.
Step 2: Suck out the Oil from the oil filler hole.  I used our Oil Extractor Pump, normally used for our engine oil changes, it only took less than a minute.
Step 3: Measure the Oil extracted so that I know how much to put back in.
Step 4: Pour the measured fresh oil back into the gearbox - This did not go well!

Good to see the
Cabin Steps
back in place.
The space below the aft berth is not a nice place to be, definitely high on the Boat Yoga Positions Index, I still have bruises on my left ribs from the contortions of trying to get two hands on the gearbox while trying, unsuccessfully to pour oil into the hole which is just below the heat exchanger.

After trying multiple methods of refilling the gearbox oil, I finally figured on getting a tube down into the gearbox filler hole from on top of the engine. Now all I need is get a funnel that fits that tube and refill the gearbox up to the dipstick mark.  Doing that this weekend.

We started to clean up the cabin, but cannot put the aft cabin back together as I need to complete the gearbox oil change, we did get a lot of tools put away so things are getting back to normal.

No pressure - we're preparing for the Memorial Day cruise next weekend. Plan is to leave the dock on Thursday just before High Tide and head straight down to Miami, about a 31mile trip via the Ocean, I detest the ICW trip which is long motor, no sailing. We'll be back to the dock on Tuesday/Wednesday.

Ok, nearly wrapped up this project.  One more update and we should be done.


Sunday, May 12, 2024

Running AC on a Catalina 34 with Batteries

We ran our AC for hours on battery

Working on the boat in May it was HOT!

So we decided to connect shore power at the dock and run the AC, we have a Dometic - ECD10K - Retrofit Kit 410A 115V - MFG NO.207500310. It's located under the V-Berth and has vents in the V-Berth and Main Salon ( ok, so we only have one salon :) )

After connecting Shore power ( 30amp 110V ) and setting the Victron to On, we noticed that the Multiplus 3000 was not running, we tried resetting it but no luck - Hmmmm. Perhaps the issue is with the shore power. I physically disconnected the shore power and reconnected it. Check that the Polarity was correct ( to our knowledge there has been no electrical work on the dock pedestal ) and all was ok. The Multiplus was now working - we're good to go. So I opened the thru hulls for the AC ( inlet and discharge ) and the AC started it's usual start up cycle. We had to move some of the cushions that were covering the cabin air outlet grill ( cushions were from the Aft Berth where we're working on the engine & transmission. ).

Down to work. There was a lot to do as we had only reinstalled the engine a couple of days ago and we needed to reconnect all of the water hoses, coolant hoses, electrical connections, throttle, Gear Change and engine stop cables and install the Alternator.

Just before 3pm both of were beat! Time to go home, finish this job on Monday. That's when I realized that the AC was running off of the Inverter! Not Shore power - Shore power was not even connected! What !!!!!

Seems that the shore power had disconnected ( at the pedestal ) and we had been running the Multiplus, it was inverting the 12v battery power to 110v AC and powering both our outlets which had a couple of battery chargers connected and the Air Conditioning all that time.

Later, at home, I pulled up the Victron VRM and looked at the data.

That shows that the deep discharge of the batteries started at 10:09am 

Note the daily drop in battery SOC is pretty consistent, the only things we have powered when away from the boat at the dock are the Main Bilge Pump ( shouldn't run, bilge is normally dry ) and the Dry Bilge Pump ( Runs for 1 minute every hour even if the bilge is dry ) 

Battery SOC dropped to 20% by the time we turned the AC off. The Inverter was running from 10:35am until 12:39pm just over 4 hours!!!

WOW - We can run the AC during the day for 4 hours if the batteries are at 100% and there is plenty of Solar Power.  This is just what we were hoping for but had not tested it in real world conditions.

Now we need to find out why this happened. I'll check the shore power pedestal and the shore power cable ( we have SmartPlug connection on the boat end of the cable ).

This was a good day.

Saturday, May 11, 2024

M25XP Damper Plate replacement Pt.9

Installing the M25XP engine after the Damper Plate replacement

Friday was a long day! We started by setting up the Air Conditioning, by 10am, it was already 96ºF and that was not easy ( see the post about  that here ).

With the boat cooling down, I started on the reinstall.

Here's the progress on the check off list.
  • Install Heat Exchanger
  • 4 Hoses connecting the engine and the heat exchanger to the exhaust system.
  • Glow Plug supply wire
  • Oil Pressure switch wire
  • Coolant Temperature wire
  • Coolant High Temp wire
  • Starter Solenoid Wire
  • Starter power wire
  • Raw Water pump hoses
  • Coolant pump hoses
  • Fuel supply hose
  • Fuel return hose
  • Install Alternator
  • 4 pin Alternator plug
  • Alternator +ve wire
  • Alternator -ve Wire
  • Alternator Temp Sense 
  • -ve Ground master wire to engine ( Bell housing )
  • Connect Drive Shaft
  • Connect Throttle cable
  • Connect Engine Stop Cable
  • Connect Gear change cable
  • Bleed the Fuel System
  • Change the Gearbox Oil
  • Refill the Coolant System
  • Tension the Alternator
  • Shim the Alternator support ( Alternator alignment ) 
  • Align the Engine to Propshaft

So that's the plan for Monday. Going to be busy but if all goes well, we'll be ready for the realignment for either Tuesday or Wednesday.

Note: In order to ensure there's no risk of shorting out the Alternator +ve wire while reconnecting it we have to ensure it is not a live conductor.  Before I reconnect the Alternator +ve wire which is currently insulated from shorting out against anything, I'll turn the Solar Master Disconnect switch to off, then turn off the Battery Master Disconnect, remove the temporary terminal insulation, connect the +ve wire to the alternator, turn on the Battery Master Disconnect switch and then the Master Solar Disconnect Switch.

Thursday, May 9, 2024

M25XP Damper Plate replacement Pt.8

Putting the M25XP back together with it's new Damper Plate

As planned, I cleaned the back end of the engine and the Bell housing with Total Boat Cleaner then sprayed the surfaces with High Heat gold paint - it's not really gold.

I was paying particular attention to the area of the engine below the raw water pump and the back/bottom of the engine sump.

That sheet of plastic was shielding the woodwork from the paint. Turned out pretty good - I would not win any art contest.

Peggy was helping quite a bit today so not many photos - ok, none! So here's the process.

I setup the chain hoist and raised the engine about 6" off of the floor ( soul ) and then fitted the Bell Housing onto the back of the engine, it was pretty easy if a little awkward as the engine was now free to swing about. Luckily we are tied to the dock in a canal, no fast moving, wake inducing boats around here.

With the Bell housing in position, I torqued the bolts to 10Nm but will have to see if that is sufficient. Time to go over the manuals again.  Those bolts can be reached from either above the engine or from the aft berth, so adjusting the torque should not be an issue.

I did think we had lost a bolt, but finally realized that empty bolt hole is actually the location of the Engine's Main Ground wire on it's own Nut & Bolt - it's in the magnetic parts tray, so not lost!

Ok, time to list what has yet to be connected/installed.
  • Install Heat Exchanger
  • 4 Hoses connecting the engine and the heat exchanger to the exhaust system.
  • Glow Plug supply wire
  • Oil Pressure switch wire
  • Coolant Temperature wire
  • Coolant High Temp wire
  • Starter Solenoid Wire
  • Starter power wire
  • Raw Water pump hoses
  • Coolant pump hoses
  • Fuel supply hose
  • Fuel return hose
  • Install Alternator
  • 4 pin Alternator plug
  • Alternator +ve wire
  • Alternator -ve Wire
  • Alternator Temp Sense 
  • -ve Ground master wire to engine ( Bell housing )
  • Connect Drive Shaft
  • Connect Throttle cable
  • Connect Engine Stop Cable
  • Connect Gear change cable
I think that's it.  Next is the Alignment and I'm having Greg come down and supervise me doing that. 

We have put off our trip to be Tuesday next week ( 5/14/2024 ) which is still looking dicey, we may delay it so that we're just doing a Sea Trial next week as we're going to join the sailing club's Memorial Day cruise at the end of the month in Miami.

Meanwhile, Peggy is adding things onto my HDL, I'm thinking of putting sticky notes up on our kitchen cupboards, much like Mads on Sail Life 

Day off today - kidding - but I am working at home today, lawn, hedges, etc. etc. Life goes on.

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

M25XP Damper Plate replacement Pt.7

 Installing the new Damper Plate on our Universal M25XP

I spent about 1/2 an hour cleaning up the Bell Housing and Gearbox, there's quite a bit of paint that has flaked off of the housing. The underside of the gearbox was particularly dirty, grimy, yuck!

Same process, scrub down using paint brushes and paper towels along with Dish Liquid.

I did carefully look over all of the gearbox exterior and what little is visible from inside of the Bell Housing, but could not find any markings which would help identify which model of gearbox we have.  I'll ask the guys on the C34 forum about that.

Next I moved onto the Engine Bay cleanup.

Came up pretty good. A second application of the dish soap and lots of rubbing with heavy duty paper towels.

I was able to clean up both Port & Stbd sides of the stringers, it looks so much better now.

I'll give the prop shaft end of the coupling a good wire brushing and treatment with citric acid before putting the engine back on it's mounts.

Will also tidy up the electrical connections to the engine, it should look a whole lot better.

Ok, Plan for Part 8 - Paint the engine, reconnect the bell housing and gear box then lift the engine back onto it's motor mounts. I'll get that done tomorrow ( Wednesday April 8th ) and even start on reinstalling the starter, heat exchanger and the Alternator. 20 minutes work.... Right!  We'll see how much we can get done. 

Oh! When I got home Peggy reminded me about my HDL ( Honey Do List )   So I took the old, no longer working, security cameras down and finished putting up the new units. The old were installed over 11 year ago, the new cameras are amazing! 

Having crossed one item off of the HDL, I worked on the Heat Exchanger mounting.

Spent 10 minutes working on it with a wire brush and chip hammer, treated the remaining rusty surface with Citric Acid and then Sprayed it with High Heat engine paint.

Second coat before turning in tonight, take it down to the boat in the morning and reattach it on the Bell Housing.

We're making progress.

Monday, May 6, 2024

M25XP Damper Plate replacement Pt.6

Universal M25 XP Clean up

I know, this is Day 7 since we started the project ( not including weekends ) but I'm taking it easy and only working 3 hours each day.

 Luckily we went down the boat today. The Divers were doing their thing cleaning the hull below the waterline. 

I say 'Luckily' because if you have been following our progress you'll know that we removed the engine last week. So when the divers checked the prop, they happened to move it forwards, didn't need to be much, a 1/32" movement would and did cause the PSS to leak like crazy. As I boarded the boat I noticed that the main Bilge Pump was running, just for a few seconds, but it repeated! I guessed the issue and so quickly opened the cabin, climbed into the aft berth and moved the propshaft back towards the stern and so stopped the water ingress. No big deal, and our Solar system could easily manage the power draw - but if it was still running overnight the pump could possibly run out of power.  

But, as I said, we were there and it only took a couple of seconds to stop the water coming into the boat.
Note! Next time tell the diver's company not to move the shaft or better still, tie the shaft aft.  Duh!

Here's where I started the cleaning. I had sprayed the gearbox with soap liquid before the weekend and wiped it off, this is how it looked first thing this morning.

I'll post pics of those two labels later.

So the gearbox and bell housing is sitting on some cardboard.

Step 1 ( today ) spray the gearbox and bell housing with more soap spray. Let it sit for a few minutes and then agitate the soap with a small paint brush.

Here's the result after wiping it down with a wet cloth.
If you click on the image so that you an zoom in, you'll be able to view the labels.
by the Oil filler it reads "Oil Grade "A" Auto Trans Fluid". By the Gear Change lever it reads " R.H. Prop - Lever Up - --> Reverse 
<-- Forward

Several areas of the engine and Bell Housing are bear metal, the paint has brushed off - obviously that was due to the method of paint application.

I cleaned them off with a bristle brush and cleaned them as best I could.

I read somewhere that this Bell Housing is an early version as there is no radius between the vertical back of the housing and the top, sides and bottom of the housing.  The newer versions have a radius of about 1/4" to 3/8" 

I also noted that there are castings on the sides of the engine where the aft feet could be attached ( the same system as the Front feet ) but on our engine ( probably all of the Marinized Universal engines ) the feet are part of the bell housing. That moves the aft engine mounts much further aft.

I followed the same process on the rest of the engine. Looks so much better, not perfect, but I'd give it a **** .

The top of this pic shows the engine bay, my first attempt at cleaning that area. This is the first time I have been able to get into the area at the back of the engine bay. 

I was done by this time so we cleaned up and headed home.

Tomorrow I'll take my portable shop vac to the boat to help get the loose bits from the sides of the engine support stingers.

Also, I have to find the torque settings for the hex cap bolts that hold the damper plate in place. I know they are 5mm x 25mm hex cap bolts part number. 

I looked up the part number for the hex cap bolt, it's a 298458M5 x 12 Capscrew Din 912 and looking that up on Google I found that the torque is 10Nm. So I ordered a new Torque Wrench.

EPAuto 1/4-Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench (20-200 in.-lb. / 2.26 ~ 22.6 Nm.

Should be here in a few hours ( tonight ) 

$30 plus tax. Gotta love Amazon Prime.

Plan for tomorrow:- Assuming the wrench arrives, We'll go down to the boat and finish the cleaning of the engine bay and complete the installation of the new Damper plate - an easy day. I doubt the Spray Paint will arrive in time, so that will have to wait till Wednesday, then it's paint, have lunch somewhere while the paint dries then reinstall the engine.  I'll arrange for Greg, the Mechanic, to come to the boat on Thursday pm and we'll get the alignment done. Friday we should be ready to go for a sea trial.

Moving along.

Saturday, May 4, 2024

M25XP Damper Plate replacement Pt.5

Day 6 Planning- Cleanup after removing the engine

Looks and Feels bad today
Thinking about how it will look 
Just clean it and smile

Last year ( 2023) our PSS - Prop Shaft Seal - began to fail and was spraying salt water into the area beneath the Aft Berth and aft of the engine.  That probably explains the amount of grot and  corrosion in the area of the Gearbox and Heat Exchanger. If you click on the image on the left, you should be able to zoom in on this photograph that shows our engine moved out of the engine bay and rotated 180º to grant access to the Bell Housing and Gear Box.

With the engine out and accessible for cleaning and some general love, I hope to be able to clean up the grot, remove any corrosion and apply fresh finish before putting the engine back in it's hole.

Went to the Dollar Store and purchased 6 various scrubbers and scouring pads, that with a bottle of Dawn power wash dish spray, should make a quick job of cleaning the outside of the engine and gearbox.  

As mentioned in my Haiku it just needs a bit of cleaning.

I tried a small area of the bell housing using the dish spray and it came up really easy.  

I also purchased a couple of cans of high heat Gold Engine paint. The plan is to clean the engine then wash it down with Acetone then a brass wire brush. Clean again and degrease and finally spray most of the engine surface with the High Heat Paint. I'll read the instructions on the can before I get to that point.

My hope is that we can get that far during Day 6 ( Monday May 6th 2024 ), it might take till the end of day Tuesday to get that far.

Assuming ( I know! ) that we finish that clean up by Tuesday - we'll let it cure overnight and start replacing the engine into the engine bay on Tuesday/Wednesday morning.

With the engine sitting on it's feet, on the mounts, I'll call Greg the Mechanic and will wait till he arrives before starting the alignment.  Greg will by my supervisor giving me the instructions so that learn to do the alignment for the next time.

So, that's the plan. If you have any advice or criticism then please leave a comment. I read all comments and delete anything that is unpleasant especially spam from website promoters. 

Friday, May 3, 2024

M25XP Damper Plate replacement Pt.5

Day 4 - Lifting the M25-XP Engine

This is the target!
The Universal M24-XP Engine Damper Plate

It connects the Flywheel to the Gearbox input shaft, the springs act a shock absorbers between the engine - a 3 pot diesel - to the Gearbox which likes to have a nice smooth input.

Prior trips to the boat this week involved removing the Starter, Alternator, Heat Exchanger and all of the hoses and electrical connections to the engine as well as the Throttle, Gear Shift and the engine shut of cables. 

Today after getting the boat setup for the engine removal, I disconnected the drive shaft coupling and removing the 4 engine mount nuts that were holding the engine down.

To lift the engine, I put a 4"x4" piece of wood across the cabin companionway just aft of the cabin top winches. Then I setup a 500lb chain hoist from the wooden beam to the engine.

The Beam was just forwards of the center point of the engine lifting line, so as the engine raised off of the mounting bolts, it shifted forwards. I noticed that there was still an electrical ground cable attached to the top of the heat exchanger mounting plate. Also, I had not disconnected the Raw Water discharge hose attached to the Oberdorfer pump.  They were quickly removed.

Now, lifting the engine an inch or so higher, it swung forward clearing the support stingers, this was working out a lot easier than I had imagined.

I had removed the rug from the deck in front of the galley to the Head door but Peggy said to put it back, we'll replace it and it would be better to protect the floor.

Now that the engine was vertically clear of the engine mounts,  I used a heavy hammer to move the support beam forwards thus moving the engine much further forwards.

We had put some puppy pads between the stringers to catch any drips from the open hoses.

With the engine basically out of the 'Engine Bay' I felt a lot better about the process.

Before lowering the engine, we put a square throwable cushion on the rug beneath the engine and lowered the engine so that it sat on the cushion. 

Despite the smile on my face, I was amazed at how grotty the back of the engine appeared. The gear box looks as though it is covered in a thick grime. In fact it was so thick that the white labels indicating the gear lever movements and the type of gear box oil were not even visible - I didn't know they were there until I sprayed the gearbox with detergent and wiped the surface off.

I'm guessing that the spray from the failing PSS late last year was the cause for the grot on the back of the engine and probably the corrosion on the heat exchanger plate.

At this point the engine is out and supported by a 3 line attachment to the chain hoist, It's sitting on the Red cushion but the bell housing nuts and bolts are not removed.

I first slackened the bolts with a manual wrench. Then we cut out a piece of cardboard and made 10 holes in it to hold the bolts. I used the new cordless socket wrench to remove the bolts and nuts from the housing.

As I removed the Bolts we put them into the cardboard and marked the board with the clock position as well as indicating anything special. ie. Some of the bolts screwed into the housing, others were nuts & bolts (N) and other were removed from the front edge of the housing (R) while all of the others were removed from the gearbox side of the housing.

The nuts were put into a separate container.

Once the bolts were removed, the bell housing is still held in place, there is a 'Pin' on the back of the engine that engages with a hole in the bell housing.

The housing is lose but need to be wobbled off of that pin.

I'm guessing the bell housing and gearbox weigh about 15lbs. It was easy to wiggle the housing off of that pin and lower the housing to the cardboard covered floor.

At last! first sight of the Damper Plate.

It's held on by 8 allen key bolts and came off in just a few minutes.

As soon as it was off we could get a close look at it's condition.

There was very little damage to the plate however, the springs do rattle around in there holders and the edges of the spring holders were showing ware.

Shaking the damper plate we could clearly hear the springs rattling and my understanding is that there should be no movement of the springs within the plate.

Ok, time to clean up and get the replacement.

I had reached out to TMI in Fort Lauderdale whom had confirmed they probably had the replacement plate in stock.  So, let's head down there.

We needed to lockup the boat. The engine was sitting on the cushion and was pretty stable but I wanted to remove the chain hoist. Lowing the engine so that the weight was off the hoist, I was able to lean the engine onto the side of the engine bay portside bulkhead.  Then I could remove the hoist.

We put all of the tools away, locked up the boat and headed to TMI.

Once we found TMI, GPS was not a big help but a phone call to them was answered by clear spoken lady and she gave us directions.

In the store they quickly found the new plate, it's identical and does not rattle!!!

With the new plate in hand and my credit card $133.75 lighter, we headed home to clean up.

Today was a good day! 

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

M25XP Damper Plate replacement Pt.4

Day 3 - Temporary Engine Stand

As mentioned, the plan is to hoist the engine on our next trip down to the boat ( Should be Thursday May 2nd 2024 ) and then move it forwards to provide easy ( Ha! it's a boat! ) access so that we can remove the bell housing and then remove the Damper Plate on our Universal M25-XP 3 pot diesel engine.

I'm going to make a couple of engine blocks ( to act like stringers ) to support the engine when it's out of  it's normally comfy engine room ( Ok, so the engine sits beneath the companionway steps = Engine room )

Basically they will be made from two pieces of 4"x4" wood for a base and then additional 4"x4" blocks on top to support the engine mounting feet, this way the engine should be high enough from the cabin floor so that the sump does not sit on the floor and solidly enough that I can work on the engine.  

The plan is to disconnect the prop shaft coupler from the back of the gear box, then with a line through the two lifting eyes on the top of the engine, I'll use a chain hoist to life the engine ( 1/4Ton hoist > 300lb engine )  Then when the engine is above the level of the top of the engine mount bolts, I'll drag the support beam that is resting on the rails alongside the cabin companionway hatch so that we ( Peggy & I ) can lower the engine onto the temporary engine blocks.

At least, that's the theory.

Once on the blocks, I'll detach the bell housing ( it will still be connected to the Gear Box ) 


After continuing my research about how to change out the Damper Plate, I found that the aft feet of the engine that connect to the motor mounts are not attached to the engine block but are attached to the bell housing ( or Flywheel Housing as it is known in the USA ) 

That means that when I separate the Flywheel Housing from the engine block, the engine will not be supported at the back end and the gearbox & Flywheel housing will not be supported at the front end.


Ok, how to deal with this.

I cannot leave the engine suspended as that means we'll be unable to easily get out of the boat - the companionway will be blocked by the Chain Hoist and support beam, it's asking Peggy a lot to get out via the V-Berth hatch - not easy even when the V-berth is empty  - it's not! All of the gear that was in the Aft cabin is now piled up on the salon seating and in the V-Berth.  

Searching the web, one owner used a fender to support the engine. Another owner used a block to support the front of the flywheel housing when it was detached from the engine block.

Not sure how this is going to work out but instead of making temporary mounting beams I'll try the fender process.

Now I'm thinking that if I lift the engine with the chain hoist and beam across the companionway, then there should be enough  room to move the separated flywheel housing astern over the top of the propshaft coupling.

If I can do that, then I could remove the bolts that hold the flywheel housing to the engine block and lower the gear box and housing onto a fender, even enough to slide it to one side in order to access fhe  flywheel and damper plate. Next I could remove the damper plate, reattach the flywheel housing and put the engine back on it's mounts. When I get the new damper plate, repeat the process but this time installing the new damper plate.

Sounds like a plan.

It's going to be a tough squeeze, but I think I can access the flywheel housing bolts from the aft cabin and with the engine raised on the hoist, I should be able to do this.

So now I'm going to take a few pieces of 2"x4" wood to use as supports and also a 2nd hoist to take the weight of the flywheel housing. I have a small fender onboard and a hand pump so that I can deflate it before putting it under the flywheel housing and then inflate it to where I need it.

The downside of this is that it does not give me the access I was hoping for in order to clean up the engine and give it a bit of love.  

We'll see how it goes.

Tomorrow !! 

Oh, I did order some new material to replace the grotty pieces that the heat exchanger was mounted upon, that should brighten up the back of the engine.

And, as I'll be working on the flywheel with all of it's bolts a couple of times ( 10 bolts ) I indulged in a new cordless rachet tool.

It arrived less than 3 hours from when I ordered it. Both batteries are now charged up and it's ready to go.