Engine Room Refit – Engine Mounting and Alignment
25 Monday Jul 2011
Warning. This post will have a ton of photographs in it.
Today started with getting to the yard early and asking the yard to go ahead and bring the engine over to use the crane and also to have the yard remove the propeller. They were actually on time.
As the yard was getting the motor ready I went ahead and scraped any old paint off of the flange of the shaft coupling and brushed it clean with a metal brush.
The motor being brought over via a forklift.
Positioning the crane.
We had to make sure it was still in there didn’t we?
Yep. It was still in there.
Dani, the eye in the sky taking more photos.
The yard used this strange device to hook the motor up to the crane via the lifting eyes.
Here it comes!
Meanwhile a yard worker pulled the propeller.
Notice the shiny new prop on the pallet.
While the prop was being pulled Bud and I began to rig up the setup we would need to finish the install of the engine. The key was that we may have to lift and lower the engine many times to fit and work things into place. Obviously we didn’t want to have to use the yard’s crane all day so we rigged a chain hoist to the boom to raise and lower the motor ourselves.
Shortly after getting the motor into the engine room we ran into our first major hurdle. Our prop shaft was angled such that the flange was very high in comparison to most Westsail 32s. Probably the result of the M50 motor that removed but we couldn’t say. The net result was that the plates that Bud brought to raise the engine did not raise it enough.
We sent Dani to the yard to have them make up some blocks out of star board to make up the difference. Sending pretty women always seems to get quick results. Moments later I went to see about these new blocks and they were already made up, drilled, glued and the yard worker was actually sanding them to make them look nice. I had to laugh.
You can see one of the aluminum plates Bud brought to raise the motor slightly sitting in the top of the photo. The new much thicker blocks of starboard in the front.
Not sure why I have this look on my face, but I’m pretty sure I looked like this much of the day.
We lifted the engine back up to get started on fitting the pads into place and drilling the holes before tapping them. Notice the rope tied between the lifting eyes to form a sort of sling to lift the motor. (It only weights around 400lbs.)
Here you can see the middle of the boom to which we attached the chain hoist. To prevent the boom from bending and adding extra support, we rigged the main halyard to the middle of the boom. Notice again that we made many wraps on the boom to which we hooked the hoist.
Remember yesterday that I had to grind out the corners of the engine pan because the plates couldn’t slide far enough outboard. Well… The new pads suffered the same problem. We simply couldn’t get them to fit with the corners on, so Bud marked them for modification.
NEVER EVER DO THIS. Dani wasn’t supposed to take a photo of me free handing the cut with a grinder. Once again, this is very stupid on my part. Ashamed photo evidence was taken. I cut off my finger. Okay not really, but it could have happened.
Sending back down the “finished” product.
To find where we needed to drill and tap the holes in the engine bed plates, Bud kept the motor mounts on the engine and we lowered it down onto the bed ontop of the riser plates. Bud marked where the plates were after some rough alignment.
I lifted the engine back up and Bud used a single plate to mark the holes after putting it down where his corner marks were. He then used a center punch to mark the exact spot for the holes to be drilled. Here you can see the pen marks we used to mark the position of the plates and then the holes. Ideally we would have been able to mark the holes outright but our punch wasn’t long enough for the long blocks and also our pen wouldn’t fit in the holes.
Dani took this artistic photo of the lonely motor mount with its block waiting for its final resting place.
Bud looking over our measurements.
We went ahead and took the opportunity to adjust the shifter and throttle cables while the engine was still up on the hoist. To do this we had to pull off the air filter. It was easy once the engine was in the air.
Finally we decided to start drilling out the holes. This was the part I dreaded most. Any screw ups and we’d have to start almost all over from the start. Bud was concerned so he actually drilled smaller diameter pilot holes to start with.
But then he kicked the drill over to me to get started on the real holes. Yikes.
I had to drill slow and steady to get the bit to bite through the metal. I also kept the bit lubed with some oil.
Next came the most difficult part. Tapping the holes. A tap is a tool used to cut threads into a hole. To tap a hole you must run the tap in slow with very even pressure on both sides. I kept it lubed too. Its easy to break them, so I went very slow. If the pressure got to much I’d back off a quarter turn then keep going. You can see the tap here between my hands as I slowly turned it.
Newly threaded holes.
Test fitting one of the bolts.
And a word about the bolts… Since the blocks the engine would be mounted on ended up to be much higher than originally anticipated, it meant that we didn’t have the correct sized bolts. Bud had only brought 2″ long bolts and we needed 4″ bolts. Luckily the yard had some in stock that Dani procured.
Tapping all eight holes was a long process that left my arms feeling like jelly. But it was done and I was riding high that we hadn’t mucked it up too bad. We removed the motor mounts from the engine and put them on their blocks to be screwed in. I didn’t have any loctite on hand so I put some thread sealant on the bolts.
Then disaster. Rain. And a lot of it on the way.
With our heads being wetted we lowered the engine onto its mounts for the final time.
Bud tightening up the motor mount nuts.
As the rain continued we moved onto installing the shaft saver. We discovered that the bolts that go through the flange were too big. I made another run over to the yard to pick up some 3/8″ SS bolts to use in their place. It was a lot of hassle and back and forth to find the right bolts and nyloc nuts to replace the ones that came on the shaft saver.
But luckily I got it bolted to the flange.
The final alignment went very easily. The thing almost lined up dead on perfect.
That was the last thing we were able to do today as water poured down from the heavens and into the boat. We cleaned up and got Bud back to the airport on time to catch his flight.
This leaves us with the following procedures to complete the engine install:
- Install fuel lines, filters, and valves
- Install battery lines
- Install and hook up engine panel
- Complete exhaust system through muffler
- Reinstall raw water strainer and connect to engine