A Tiny Step Forward ?

Alongside Ushuaia
Weather: Drizzle, calm, cool

This morning I went to see Diesel Jorge to pick up the refurbished fuel injection pump and while there had the injectors checked out just to be sure. Back at the boat I soon had the pump fitted and was ready to start the engine. I bled all the fuel lines and made sure the pump was working - it all looked good. I cranked the engine over and noted some smoke but couldn’t work out where it was coming from. Using the old screw driver across the starter solenoid manoeuvre so I could turn the engine over and observe what was happening at the same time it was apparent that the smoke was issuing forth from the side of the block. “Oh dear!” I thought, “it looks like this head gasket is no good either.” I went and talked to a couple of experienced sailors on the dock to share my woes and consult their opinion as to what I should do next. Ultimately the conclusion we came to was that I had to pull the head off again and see what was going on, perhaps see if I could get the old head gasket back and try refitting that. With heavy but resigned heart I trudged back to old Sylph, rolled up the grimy sleeves and started to pull the head off yet once again. I got a bucket, closed the sea cock and drained the water out of the engine, then removed all the water hoses. The next thing was to remove the exhaust manifold. I disconnected the exhaust hose from the mixing elbow and undid the eight nuts holding the exhaust manifold onto the head. I carefully slid the heavy exhaust manifold off and … hang on, what’s this? On the centre cylinder there were two gaskets, not one. Hmmm, I started thinking, maybe the smoke wasn’t blowing out of the head gasket at all but rather out of the exhaust manifold. I once again went and consulted with my adopted mentor, Roger of Philos, and we agreed it was definitely worth a try to put the manifold back on without the superfluous gasket and see what happened. This I did and after firmly tightening all the manifold nuts tried again. The engine coughed a bit, sort of gave hints of life but still refused to start, but no more smoke out of the side of the block. Maybe, just maybe, a little bit of progress. My thought processes and trouble shooting methodology are perhaps a bit vague and hit and miss and I am not even sure of the logic I eventually followed but at this late stage of Saturday night I have come to the conclusion that the injection pump has been put back together incorrectly. When you turn the throttle up, the pump injects no fuel, and when you turn the throttle down, the pump injects maximum fuel. Something is definitely wrong! Now I need to study the engine manual and see if I can work out what it is. I am assuming that perhaps Diesel George put a component in the wrong way round. It is hard to imagine this is so but I can think of no other explanation. I am hopeful that this is the problem and if so am optimistic about getting the old beast that lives beneath the floorboards up and running soon.

Alleluia!

All is well.

Bob Cat:

For my part I am a strictly secular feline. No, after many years of observation I have concluded that while the Universe is indeed a very strange place, strange does not warrant any leaps of irrational judgement, but then, hey, I’m only a cat. What I do know is that the skipper once more is paying an inordinate amount of attention to that sick cold creature that spends all its time hiding beneath the floor boards. If it wasn’t such a noisy beast when it does spring to life I’d almost feel sorry for it. But I am gravely inconvenienced. My litter box is moved, the cabin is complete disarray and the food bowl is almost impossible to get to. I am not a heartless soul but I reckon let’s just dump the beast and go for a sail. (Sorry beast, but when your numbers up …) Anyway , in the meantime, not much I can do but …. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz