Engine rebuild

Well, we are still busy with stripping interior wood!  It seems to be going on forever.  On the other hand, there have been some distractions that have prevented much time being spent aboard.  Setting up our new office has been one of those distractions!  Signage, telephones, website, computers and networking, furniture and moving. The apartment now has an almost empty room instead of a jam packed office. Tax season is busy and there is no time for getting into mischief or working on boats!

Engine before removal
Engine before removal

Karl finally found some time to start on the engine overhaul which we have been talking about since the fall.  The engine was running sweetly and seemed to have lots of power, but I don’t want to set off half  way around the world unless I can absolutely trust that power plant.  He spent a few hours thoroughly checking and analysing things I didn’t even know existed.  He patiently tried explaining compression ratios, blow-back, high pressure fuel pumps, circulatory systems and other totally incomprehensible concepts.  

We set strong spring-lines to the dock and ran the Nissan SD 23 up to full power and RPM for 45 minutes.  A list of parts to purchase and other things to do just got longer and more complicated.   The good news is that the engine is redeemable.  It is apparently a solid foundation on which to work and spend some money.  A budget was agreed with Karl and suddenly wood-finishing took a back seat to things of far greater importantance!  We decided that a geabox overhaul was appropriate concurrent with the engine being pulled out, and we would also paint the engine and acoustically sound-proof the engine room. Oh, and while we are at it, why not build an oil drip pan so the bilge stays clean after oil changes or bleeding fuel lines?  Oh, and yes, I almost forgot, why not do wiring, and plumbing and paint the bilge at the same time?

The Nissan SD23 (2.3 litre/58hp) is not ubiquitous in marine applications, but Hans Christian and a few other manufacturers installed them between 1978 and 1985.  Tens of thousands of these massively over-engineered and overbuilt engines are still widely used in road vehicles, fork-lift trucks, and as stationary water pump engines, particulalrly in Australia.  They reputedly go 10,000 hours or more before needing major rebuilds. As Karl said after checking it out a couple of weeks back at 4,500 hours: “Just about broken in and ready for another few years work!”

With the rebuild now imminent, it became “chocks-away” and a scramble to drape bare sanded wood to prevent diesel and oil splashes.

Masking tape and cardboard
Masking tape and cardboard



The overhead butterfly hatch was removed to provide a clear path.  A 4″ x 4″ beam was lashed to the boom to which would be attached the block and tackle.  What a nail biting opportunity!

Butterfly hatch removed and boom reinforced
Butterfly hatch removed and boom reinforced



A transformation will hopefully take place! 

Out she comes! Is that ugly…. or what?
renewed engine
Wow!  It has been said: “A thing of beauty is a joy forever!”






















Karl and Eric doing “their thing” with Teamwork efficiency.  Karl (Maritime Marine Engineering) has been an invaluable resource and is a real professional who obviously loves what he does!  That engine looks like it was just delivered out of the factory.


Karl and Eric
Karl and Eric doing “their thing” with teamwork efficiency








At last the iron-spinnaker is being dropped back into the “hole” which was cleaned and painted and insulated while the engine was out.  How I love that dry and dusty bilge!  All the peripherals such as pumps, filters, heat-exchanger, hoses  etc etc now have to be re-installed.  The “engine-room” has been altered so that far better accessibility to service items are now possible without having to “hug” the engine.



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