Monday, July 21, 2008

Preparing for adventure!

Over a couple of weekends I ploughed on through the engine maintenance schedule and learnt quite a lot more about diesel engines in the process. I changed the engine oil & filter and gearbox oil, both of which were fairly grim, but weren’t too difficult to do.
With the help of John from Quayside Marina, I removed the external fuel filter and cleaned the glass bowl. The filter looked like an oil filter as it was really black and filled with sediment so I was quite shocked when John told me they are usually fairly clear. I managed to snap the little plastic drain tap when I tried to remove it to clean it, so John drilled it out for me and found me a spare. Then he gave me a spare glass bowl and swapped my base with one he had in his spares box. When we tried to prime the new filter with diesel, the engine fuel pump wouldn’t work to manually pull fuel through so at John’s suggestion, I bought a diesel priming bulb to put in the line before the filter. In the meantime, he primed the filter with an electric pump so I could test the engine.
I also changed the cooling water which looked pretty revolting with lots of sediment, but is now shocking pink due to the corrosion inhibitor and anti-freeze! The only thing still outstanding is the oil in the Silette leg but so far, we haven’t managed to get the dipstick/filler cap off. As it’s nylon, there’s only so much force we can put on it without damaging it, so if my pipe pliers don’t work, we’ll have to wait for the 25mm hexagon tube spanner to arrive as we haven’t yet found a spanner to fit (options have only been 24mm or 27mm).
We tried out our new generator and think we can probably survive 5-6 days in anchorages before having to find a marina for fuel and water, and needing to shop for fresh food.