Engine Maintenance

There’s a love-and-care gap exposed by visiting the Red Ranger only on weekends. This leads to weirdness. 

Once upon a time, we covered so many miles in one year (something like 2,000) that oil changes happened pretty often. It’s about 200 hours, which (at 6 knots) is about 1,200 miles.  Down to Florida. Change the oil. Back to Norfolk. Change the oil.

Now. It’s once a year just after launch. Beautiful June weekend? Sail? No. Change the oil instead.

There’s a little bit of a problem there. With infrequent oil changes there’s infrequent love and care for Mr. Lehman. 

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Example. There’s a hose running from the “emission valve” on the top of the valve cover to the air cleaner. I’m guessing it’s supposed to recycle exhaust gasses that somehow bypass the ordinary exhaust manifold and accumulate in the engine block. In the parts diagram it’s a “vent tube” and there are notes about a “smoke control valve” on the rocker cover.

The hose has cracked clean off the emission valve. Rubber hose. Cracked. Clean. Off. Cracked. Like it’s brittle.

How long has that been like that? Things rarely simply “break”. Almost everything evidences signs of impending failure. It will crack or leak or something. 

What size is it?

Grab the broken end. It’s ½″ ID.  

I have a lot of old hose. A lot of it is ⅝″ ID. None of it is ½″. 

But that’s not a real problem. I live in a swanky apartment. I’ll order 6′ of ½″ ID automative hose. It will be delivered. The concierge will notify me. Sweet. I’ll install it this weekend, right?

Here’s where it gets weird.

The fitting at the air-cleaner end of the hose won’t accept the ½″ ID hose. It’s not like it’s tight. It Will. Not. Fit.

Break out the calipers. From this I learn the air cleaner fitting is ⅝″. Clearly. The parts diagram says ½″ The emission value fitting is ½″. The air cleaner isn’t. Huh.

While that’s bizarre and frustrating. However, I have a lot of ⅝″ hose. The job’s done.

Oil’s changed. Engine runs. 

New Electronics Package

All of the old Waypoints and Routes have been moved from the old Standard Horizon char plotter to the new B&G plotter.

  1. I wired a NMEA-0183 to USB interface to the old chart plotter. It’s mounted in the nav station. It runs independently with it’s own GPS. I could connect it via a NMEA-0183 gateway so that it can repeat instrument data from the B&G instruments. I still like the idea of independence. 
  2. I wrote some software to capture the waypoints and routes.
  3. I wrote some more software to translate NMEA sentences to GPX documents.
  4. I copied the GPX details to a MicroSD card and plugged it into the new plotter.

Damn! I have *all* of my old data.

I also have a rudder position indicator. I’m hoping this will help me get out of the slip expeditiously.

There are some other BIG jobs we need to tackle sooner rather than later.

  • Water Tanks need to be cleaned and shock-treated. When we lived aboard, we used a lot of water. It rarely sat in the tanks. Now, we need to use water at a senseless volume to keep it moving through the system. Long showers daily on each day of the weekend.
  • Sail covers need to be reworked. We have a design. Parts are on order.
  • The ground tackle snubber need to be reorganized. This is quick, but awkward.
  • Figure out of the dinghy outboard still works. (Odds are good that it does, but, it hasn’t been in the water in two years.)

None of these are show-stoppers. Once the engine and electronics work, we’re ready to party on the bay. The big jobs are for rainy days.

  © Steven Lott 2017