Thursday, 20 September 2012

Boat-man III: 'Aquarius Rising'........

Royal Engineer Mark, James Duck (The Buoy Wonder) and I have been helping out a fellow boater.

This gentleman has on the receiving end of a most unpleasant shafting from a River Cam-based so-called "boat engineer".

This individual promised to supply and fit a 'recon' engine, took a large wodge of the gentleman's cash for same, then, having ripped the old engine out and having nicked all he could carry off it, (starter motor, inlet manifold, you get the picture.....) he then buggered off as fast as his little legs could carry him and has neither been seen nor heard of since.....

Shabby behaviour.

Truly shabby......

Tsk tsk tsk......

The gentleman's problems were compounded by the fact that he was evicted from his mooring at a derelict riverside pub in Chesterton, which is being re-developed..

So, homeless and engineless.....

But in a flash of The Boat-Signal, (and no flashing at all from some, by now, fairly well known characters in spandex....), he was towed to the 48's at Clayhithe.

Where he ran out of water.......

Enter The Mighty Pippin, stage left.....


Which solved the immediate crisis.....

While on the 48's, we got the wonderful Rob The Mobile Welder out to sort the newly adjusted engine mounts and weld them firmly into place:


A BMC 1.5 motor and gearbox expertly aligned by The Royal Engineer and The Bouy Wonder...




Rob The Mobile Welder knits with flames....

So after that, the engine was well and truly united with the boat it was intended to propel...........

Fab! Lets hook it up to the battery bank, spin it up and off we go!

Yeah.

Right.......

First, the number of nuts on the thermostat housing was 50% short of complement, (they were a weird Imperial size, so there was no way the otherwise excellent Mackays of Cambridge were going to be able to help), and the housing was, therefore, destined to leak like a Welsh patriot....

This was a job for Uncle Roger......

I won't go on about him, (as too much exposition can get in the way of the narrative flow), but suffice to say he owns an Alvis Speed Twenty-five, a 1936 Riley Kestrel and an MG TD....

He is also a chum.....

A quick trip to Uncle Roger's man-cave in the village (The Royal Engineer was drooling over the lathe and the cars and the quality engineering on display...) furnished us with enough BSF threaded nuts to do the job plus one for what I call 'splosh-factor'....

So we swerved around that problem.....

Only to find that the battery bank was, as James succinctly put it, "more shagged than a King's Cross sex worker"

(Actually, you know, that's not what he really said, but I have to edit gently in the fond hope this blog post will make it past The 'Auntie Mary' Filter....)

Hmmmmmmm.........

Anyway, it would seem that when the gentleman had had solar panels installed four years ago, the installer neglected to connect an essential wire..

The gentleman had been adjusting the panels every day, twice a day, for four years....

And not a solitary amp had he gained for his trouble......

(You might well ask 'What part of the '00000' read-out on his charge controller didn't he understand.....'

Don't worry, so did we..... then shook our heads and carried on.....)

Fortunately, the installer of his wind turbine was made of sterner and more competant stuff.... That, at least, worked......

But the old engine was wired into the leisure bank for starting. A quick check with the multi-meter showed those batteries to be holding 10.2 amps.....

(A note for those not immersed in the Dark Arts of Electrickery: that's basically bugger all. Squared.)

So there was no power to turn the engine over.....

I think at this point, The Engineer, The Buoy Wonder and I repaired to a local hostelry to consider our predicament......

(We are doing this work for free at weekends.... Mind you, I think our respective wives and partners are suspecting it's all long finished and we're just using it as an excuse to meet up and get pissed......

If ONLY that were true............)

We resolved the erg problem by the simple expedient of nipping down to the local car spares shop and buying the hoofiest 'go-away-and-stop-messing-with-me' battery we could find: 330 Cca... which in layman's terms, is dead butch, love.....

So now we cranked the engine over, hoping to prime the fuel system and make it go chug chug chug....

"Woo-hoo!" quoth I," I spy fuel peeing out of a union!"

"Fuel? Is it Bollards!" replied The Engineer, "That's lube oil....."

Auntie Mary, I'm so sorry........

Fork-fork-fork-forketty-fork and Bollards!

Yes, oil was positively wazzing out of a hole in the block.....

Fortunately, it was a threaded hole.....

The thread was for an oil pressure sensor..... notable on this particular BMC 1.5 by it's complete absence.....

Once again, a tricky Imperial thread....

I made the, by now, rather embarrassing sortie to Uncle Roger's.....

He had exactly the right bit to plug the hole, plus a copper washer for good measure....

Truly, the man is a Saint.....

So another problem resolved with rather worrying ease......

Another week elapses, and The Buoy Wonder, The Engineer and myself are once again deep in the engine room of the gentleman's boat:


The "engine 'ole crouch" is much easier for youthful, springy, and above all, short people than it is for their much taller, less malleable, and extremely knackered "elders".......

So why is it not running yet?

Well, er.......

The F.I.P is totally banjaxed....

Yes, yet another Imperial thread has stripped... this time in the housing into which the idle control screw threads...

(Note: F.I.P. = Fuel Injection Pump)

A trip to Uncle Roger instigated a serious bout of tooth-sucking.....

'Well, we could machine-off the original thread, run another die-nut down the plain shank, then insert it into a sleeve with a nice big Whitworth thread that has some chance of holding in the aluminium casting which we will tap to accept same.................................or can you find a 'spares' F.I.P on ebay............?'

We found a 'spares' F.I.P. on ebay.......

And here are some pictures of that most beautiful thing.....
Okay, it looks a bit like a postal haggis....






Now, I'm no expert, but that looks like the nadgers to me!

More of this interminable saga to come!


7 comments:

  1. Now I can see the rusty part we require... Is it ok if I don't wear spandex this weekend as I get funny looks when I cycle down...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are excused spandex.

      As overalls go, one's super-hero suit does leave a little to be required, doesn't it?

      And the cape is a definite Health and Safety issue, ask Mr Incredible....

      :-)

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. DEFINITELY no capes, darlink....

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  3. I hope you didnt pay to much for that lump with no plugs to keep the crap out.
    Good luck with getting it going, it will take more than 10.2 Volts

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It cost £40 plus £8 postage. It seemed reasonable to me bearing in mind we only need to replace part of the existing F.I.P with a 'good' bit from the spares one.

      Calcutt are charging around £290 for recon ones......

      Once the F.I.P. is fixed, the fuel system primed, we will see how well the flippin' thing goes.......

      Delete