Sailfeed
July 27th

Overheating

Posted by // July 27, 2013 // COMMENT (1 Comment)

Cruising, Maintenance, ,

Man, that day did not go as planned.

It started off well enough. I picked up the fish—yay! Still alive. I can’t believe it.

July26 1This is how you transport a fish on a Mexican bus.

Then I got back to work on the engine. A while back I noticed that I seemed to be losing coolant. This could be from a head gasket leak, so I decided to try Bar’s Head Gasket Repair. Step one was to drain all the coolant in the system. I did that and flushed it a bunch of times. Then I disconnected the hot water heater hoses and just ran a new hose directly between the two engine fittings. Next it was time to add the Bar’s. This stuff is basically tiny flakes of metal and who knows what else. It’s supposed to run through the system and when it gets sucked through a crack I guess the metal piles up and seals it.

Following the directions I ran the engine for five minutes then added more water to top it off. Next I ran it at idle for fifteen minutes. About twelve minutes in the engine overheated. I did not see that coming. I shut the engine down and immediately drained the system again, getting all of that Bar’s stuff out. After draining everything I refilled the system with water and decided to run it again for a few minutes and see what happened before draining it once again.

The temp quickly climbed beyond normal and I shut it down again. Now I was getting worried that the Bar’s screwed something up.

July26 2

At one point I managed to bust a wire off of the alternator. It broke off because it was so corroded. I consider it a small miracle that I was able to get it reconnected. A new high-output alternator was supposed to come down with me but didn’t quite make it in time. That will be a nice upgrade.

I didn’t have enough coolant to fill the system so I made a trip to the store, came back, and filled everything up yet again—this time with nothing but a good clean coolant mix. I fired up the engine and crossed my fingers. Five minutes, one-hundred-five degrees. Ten minutes, one-hundred five degrees, higher RPMs, one-hundred-fifteen degrees, five more minutes, one-hundred-fifteen degrees. Breathing a sigh of relief I left it running and went outside to work on securing the propane tanks. Half an hour later the engine was still humming along at one-fifteen.

So it appears to me that the problem was with running only water through the system. With the coolant back in I’m good to go again—though I probably didn’t fix any problems.

Because I had to wait for the engine to cool so often this little project ate up my whole day.

I need to get out of here. The weather looks good, though it does appear there will be liberal use of the engine as there is so little wind forecast. Not a hurricane in sight.

And though I try, I just can’t get inspired to take pictures here.

July26 3 July26 4

One Response to “Overheating”

  1. If you keep having problems with overheating, look at the size of your heat exchanger. What had been fine for our boat with previous owners in the PNW with cool water was woefully undersized in the Sea of Cortez in summer.

    Got one that was 50% larger and suddenly everything was right with the world . . . except for that dent in our wallet . . . and having to figure out a whole new way to mount it, since of course it didn’t fit where the smaller one had :)

Leave a Reply