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Aannsha’s Blog #140 – Will the engine work?

It was a nail biting week this week, as Baz put the engine back together in readiness for testing. In the back of both of our minds was the unspoken thought: “Will it work when Baz fires it up?”

Before we could begin the test though, the parts we’d removed had to be put back on and the whole thing took about five hours, mainly because the engine compartment is confined and spaces between engine parts are narrow, making it difficult to position tools like spanners.

Adjusting the impeller puller

One part that was difficult to change was the impeller. As you may remember from a couple of weeks back, Baz had bought an impeller puller, but the centre shaft was too long to fit in the space. However after a brilliant suggestion from a subscriber, Baz cut a part of the shaft off the front end of the impeller screw mechanism and was able to fit it, and then use it to remove the old impeller. The old one was very misshapen and so he replaced it with a new one, easing it in with washing up liquid.

Everything else fitted as it should eventually. And that meant it was time to test the engine.

I was so nervous at the thought of what may or may not happen. There were so many things that could go wrong, although I trust Baz’s attention to detail and knowing how he used to service his cars back in the day before computer additions to engines, another part of me was confident it would all work out fine.

Make sure there’s enough water to cool the engine

I just didn’t have to stuff up what I had to do. Which was turn on the hose pipe so Baz could fill up the makeshift holding tank and buckets with water, and also the raw water intake. Basically, he needed to have as much water ready to pour into the raw water intake once the engine was fired up. It’s a water cooled engine and usually sea water is drawn up, passes other pipes that are filled with fresh water, which circulate around the engine. The heat is exchanged from the fresh water into the raw water and that’s dumped out of the boat’s exhaust with the exhaust fumes from the engine.

Because we were 3 metres off the ground, the amount of water coming out of the hose pipe wasn’t a fast enough flow to fill the raw water intake once the engine was switched on. Hence the holding tank and extra buckets of water.

We also have a hot water system that is heated by the engines fresh water system, so Baz had to take into consideration the extra fresh water that would be channelled to the hot water tank once the water achieved the temperature to open the thermostat.

So apart from turning on the hose – which I did actually stuff up, as I turned it halfway and when Baz shouted “Stop!”, I turned it full on, instead of off … so he ended up with a puddle on the floor by the time I’d realised my error! Woops.

Not a great start.

I have to start the engine

Baz managed to maintain his cool and proceeded to the next phase which was instructing me to “Fire her up!”

All I had to do was turn the key in the ignition. I was so nervous, I could hardly breathe.

I turned the key.

After the beep, I turned the key fully and …


I did it again. Again, beep and nothing.

Now I was scared, wondering if I’d done something wrong.

Baz asked me to tell him what lights were showing on the instrument panel. In the video, you can hear the tremble in my voice as I replied.

No I hadn’t done anything wrong. There was a fault.


Baz disconnected, cleaned and reconnected the cables to the starter motor and we tried again.

This time it fired up!

I did as he’d asked and began to film the water squirting out of the exhaust, and then heard him shouting to turn off the engine, which I did.

A win!!

Baz happily came up on deck and reported he was pleased with how it had all gone, and was going to call that a success!

We were both so relieved, we cried. On video.

Then we had a beer.

I’m so proud of Baz

Given everything that we discovered needing to be fixed once we removed the exhaust elbow from the engine in October 2019 (remember that far back?), I am extremely proud of what Barry’s accomplished. What he didn’t know about (which was a lot as he’s not worked on a diesel engine before), he learned about from the internet. Then with his incredible perseverance and diligence, he ordered the correct parts, and put it all back together. In working order.

Wow. What a bloody legend.

Until next week, I wish you a very pleasant week and that you get a little closer to your dreams and aspirations.

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