Engine upgrades and repairs

The starboard engine is getting it’s overhaul. Here’s all that was done:

  • Replace makeshift oil sensor setup with a new one
  • Replace the Balmar 75A alternator with a 100A Electromaax
  • Replace the starter with a gear reduction starter
  • Add a pulley conversion kit
  • Replace the raw water pump belt

Still to do:

  • Pull the water pump. There are a few reasons outlined below.
  • Replace the diode. I have an electronic one which has zero loss when charging, and gives priority to the starting battery first.
  • Replace the regulator. The regulator currently reads the voltage right from the alternator’s output, ignores the diode trio voltage, and doesn’t know anything about the shunt, so it’s marginally smart.

The oil sensor assembly was the biggest problem. On the right, you can see the broken oil sensor assembly, sheared right off. I had to rebuild it from scratch. I finally got all the parts necessary, and so the warning light/alarm switch as well as the pressure sensor for the pressure gauge are all working again (hooray!). The trick to this was finding the right brass adapter fittings since the engine uses a 18” BSPT port for the sensor, but almost everything uses 18 NPT threads. So, I found this GlowShift 18 NPT Female to 18 BSPT Male Adapter Reducer and attached that to a Brass 90° M/F Elbow Fitting 18” NPT, and finally to a Street Tee, 18” Female Pipe x 18” Male Pipe x 18” Female Pipe. From there, the two sensors, one for the dummy light and the other for the gauge, get attached. This is kind of a mess; a better way is to find the second oil pressure port and move one sensor there. But this works, probably will last a long time, and it’s more out of the way than the last contraption.

I also installed the pulley conversion kit. You can read about why here. This includes a new serpentine belt, a 10 groove belt upgrade to prevent slippage. This works great! The engine doesn’t vibrate at idle; it’s a LOT quieter.

That plus a new 100A Electromaax alternator (manual), and I’m producing 25 amps at idle. The engine is also a LOT quieter.

The raw water pump needs to be pulled and checked. Here are all the reasons why:

  • I seem to have damaged the water pump pulley when reassembling things. I tightened the bolt while it wasn’t quite lined up, so it got dinged a little bit where it’s keyed.
  • The pulley was already in bad shape. It had some rust and the paint had peeled off.
  • I want to replace and inspect the impeller, both so I know where it is and how to replace it in an emergency, and also because I seem to have a pile of spare impellers and gaskets.
  • I want to inspect the raw water hoses and clamps for wear. If they are worn, I’ll get new ones.
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