Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sojourn’s Repower Underway

I’ve embarked on a sojourn of a different sort – repowering Sojourn. As I write this, she leans slightly to starboard in her slip, burdened by 340 pounds of cast iron sitting on her cockpit seat. 2011-03-24_13-16-56_234

I had planned to get a chain fall, some additional muscle and some other tools to remove the old Volvo MD7A, but the decided to go down and get started. I disconnected the control cables, wiring, exhaust, fuel and cooling hoses.  I then removed the bolts from the motor mounts and prop coupling and the motor was free, save the forces of gravity and being something of a square peg behind a round hole – or was it the other way around? By calibrated eyeball, the opening was about 2 inches shorter than the distance from the bottom of the flywheel to the top of the valve cover.  Further, the flywheel was too low in the hole to get a three-jaw puller on it.

To expose the flywheel, I tied the main halyard to the alternator bracket and hoisted, tipping the engine up, giving me the clearance I was hoping for.  The three jaw puller I borrowed from work must have weighed 45 pounds and seemed adequate to remove the wheel from one of those earth movers you see on Big Machines. After applying most of the muscle and all of the cajones I had, it would not budge.  I had screwed so much energy into it that I was having visions of it popping off and subsequently harpooning the forward bulkhead.  In fact, I damaged the crankshaft stud pretty badly.2011-03-24_13-17-10_503

Plan B was to remove the valve cover, rockers and injector lines. Now, at least, it was a smaller peg.  And, it was halfway out of its hole.  I decided to keep going.  I tightened the halyard a little more and gave it a tug.  The engine practically popped onto the battery box.

The impatient man in me wanted to keep going so the engineer did a seat of the pants calculation.  340 pounds.  7/16ths halyard. 5 inch winch. 12 inch handle. Some friction. – about 70 pounds of armstrong.  I figure I give it at least 50 pounds of armstrong on the last crank when hoisting the sail.  A 7/16 line, even as old as this one should have 1000 pounds of breaking strength. I went for it.

The impatient man re-rigged the halyard, tied a line between the end of the boom and the halyard to keep the engine from swinging toward the mast and proceeded to crank the winch.  As soon as it pulled free of the battery box, the whole boat listed to starboard with the engine swinging likewise.  I think I heard a goose in a very good Homer Simpson voice say “Dohhhh!”  The impatient man tied a line between each of the cabin top winches and the halyard.  This worked very well. I continued cranking the winch as the old Volvo emerged from the companionway.

Before I knew it, Sojourn’s old engine (and perhaps someone’s new anchor) was sitting on the starboard cockpit seat and there was an  empty hole under the cockpit.2011-03-24_13-17-22_147

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