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  #1   IP: 165.225.38.187
Old 09-03-2019, 05:28 PM
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Just another overhaul thread

Good afternoon,

so as it was bound to happen, my engine is about to let me down, due to my laziness (and POs'). Short history: I purchased my 1979 Catalina 27 4 or 5 years ago.
-- At the time of purchase, it had been winterized in the same yard in Rhode Island for many years, but the latest 2 winterization reports mentioned the fact that 2, then 3 of the spark plugs could not be removed. The mechanic told me he put as much torque / impact he though reasonable, trying to avoid to break the spark plug (that would have required to remove the engine from boat on a C27). I tried several times to let penetrant oil / mix ATF and Kroll oil during weeks (and several other receipes recommended by Steam boiler mechanics), tried to wrench or impact with engine cold or hot with no luck. And then I gave up trying, praying that I would loose my engine only at a season end (knowing that I do not go out of the Narragansett Bay, and so have a lower engine safety requirement, having already sailed back to the marina several times during my charger vs batteries issues). And that day has come...
-- I had to change the "engine side plate" that developed a hole a couple years ago (shipped in emergency by MM, saving the summer), removing a bunch of mud and crap for the bottom of the block.
-- I also changed the exhaust system to a MM new one, due to the exhaust gases leak
-- Even now, engine starts perfect, runs nice (appart from combustion gases leaking - no comment)

Anyway: long story short, this block was and is very rusty, and I never took the time to re-paint it; the access of a C27 is really really bad; I know it is not an acceptable excuse. And last Saturday, leaving the marina for Labor Day week-end to Newport, when rev-ing up, the engine started to exhale a very distinct "rpm-synched, gas blowing noise". Quickly found out there was a combustion gases leak somewhere around the first spark plug pit.

So Engine head is clearly junk. Now the questions to you guys the experienced mechanics:
-- Based on the pictures below is the rest of the engine dead too? Should I even try to save it, or go try to find another one? (the MM new ones are $$$)
-- Is it possible on a C27 to remove the head without moving the engine out, and install a new head?
-- All the head bolts look pretty bad, what is likely to happen when I will try to remove them?
-- The large bolt holding the engine to the boat, loacted in teh vicinity of teh water pump, looks very rusty. Is there any trick to remove that one if need be? Or jigsaw // torch ( I hate open flames in boats)

Thank you in advance for your experienced opinions!!!
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Last edited by Surcouf; 11-05-2019 at 04:55 PM.
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  #2   IP: 165.225.38.187
Old 09-03-2019, 05:29 PM
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Old 09-03-2019, 05:31 PM
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  #4   IP: 32.211.28.40
Old 09-03-2019, 11:49 PM
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I take it the engine still runs. If you have 'Winter' where you are, that's a good time to pull the engine and get it someplace to work on until the return of sailing season.
There's a lot of corrosion there - the head corrosion is unusual. My question is: What's dripping on the engine?
Don't let the corrosion scare you. A little iron make a LOT of rust. You've got your work cut out for you cleaning that up. Buy a face shield or at least safety glasses with side shields. Like the safety poster says 'Protect your eye'.
Head may not be toast. Depends on what happens when you remove the spark plugs. They can be removed - it just depends on how much of the head goes along with them.
Removing the engine from a Cat27 is a challenge - no experience with that, just glad I had a Tar30! There are Cat27 folks here who will guide you.
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Old 09-04-2019, 09:21 AM
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Are you sure it's the head? The rust and corrosion around that #1 plug looks bad enough that maybe the leak you hear is simply the spark plug being compromised? Like Al mentioned, I would get in there with a Dremel and a wire brush (and all the safety gear like goggles and masks and a shop vac, etc.) and clean the area up first.

You obviously have some problems, primarily, what is causing all the rust on and around the engine? I'd be looking to fix that pronto.

Secondly, you are overdue for new spark plugs. Past overdue. Removing them now is going to be an adventure. Depending on what is found after cleaning things up, there might be an obvious breach in the head, in which case I would pull the engine and move it the shop for a rebuild. If the head looks okay, I'd try to remove the plugs in place with the expectation that one or more plugs is going to break off in the hole. Then I would pull the engine and move it to the shop for a rebuild.

IMHO, you might get lucky and be able to pull the plugs intact and replace them. At this point, I think you'll be lucky if you don't have a plug break apart. I'd be seriously contemplating the best way/time to pull the engine and catch up on maintenance while standing up in a warm shop versus contorted in a cold bilge.

Best of luck!
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  #6   IP: 72.69.36.126
Old 09-06-2019, 02:04 AM
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I think you’ll need to replace the head and the engine mounts but the rest of the engine doesn’t look bad at all. Check what you can with it out of the boat and with the head off, but if she’s running well now...the right answer MIGHT be to wire brush what rust you can, put on a couple of coats of new paint, and put her right back in.
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Old 10-29-2019, 02:28 PM
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And what had to happen.....

So life is funny.

after allowing us to enjoy the Labor day week-end, and a few other nice days of fall sailing, Saturday was "moving day" from the "summer marina", to the "winter dry marina". Beautiful day on Narragansett Bay, engine takes us out of the marina, sails are set, easy sailing for the 2-3 miles to Warwick, RI. Arriving at the harbor channel entrance, furl sail, start engine, and engage our boat into the channel. At this point, the Sea Tow boat passes us... as a good superstitious sailor, I should have known it was a bad sign... 100 yards later, engine starts making a weird noise, and shut down. I try to re-start it, it starts right back-up (with an increased "whistle noise", aka the combustion gases leak), as soon as I engage the prop, it shuts down. So sailor get back in action: with the remaining inertia, U-turn toward the bay, sail out and back to Safety of the open sea.
Fast forward a few minutes once anchored safely, I checked on the engine... and miracle!!! my 3-years stuck spark-plug is moving!! Moving so much I was able to pull it up, without any rotation!! let's call that a bad sign...
Call to the insurance towing department, who ask his usual scripted questions. Once he knows where I am and what happened, he asks for the name of the boat, I answer the truth: "Almost There", and here we go for 5 minutes of an uncontrollable laughing session!

Fast forward today: boat is at the marina, and the head is likely very damaged.

My situation: I am supposed to ditch / donate that boat as I will be leaving the US next year. So I have no appetite to spend big bucks in an overhauled engine etc... But I like that boat and its engine despite its temperamental character, and I would love to know it is sailing again in the future. So I am willing to spend some little money (and a lot of time) to have a running engine again.

My assumptions - ideas:
- the head is dead. This seems easy based on the spark plug moving up and down like a piston, and previous pictures. Anybody to disagree?
- the best case for me is to pull the engine out (it is a Catalina 27, impossible to remove a rusty head while in place), take the head out, remove all the studs, find a used one, put all back together, paint the whole thing and put it back in place. I can feel this is going to be a huge amount of time... but what I am looking at money-wise, best case? A used head, gaskets, new studs? new engine mounts? ((I do not even want to consider what can go wrong on a very rusty engine disassembly))
- Any other idea // Comment??

Thank you !!!
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Old 10-29-2019, 07:10 PM
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Hello Surcouf.

I see you are nearby and perhaps in need of a replacement head. When I rebuilt my A4 a couple of years ago I decided to get a new MMI head. This was overkill on my part, as compression and cooling were good; please don't tell my wife. You are welcome to the old head. I commute from Narragansett to Providence workdays, and could meet you somewhere in between. Let me know if you're interested.

Best regards,

Jack
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  #9   IP: 96.233.156.105
Old 10-29-2019, 11:47 PM
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Of course I am interested! I contact you directly.
Thank you!
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  #10   IP: 100.40.58.241
Old 10-30-2019, 09:44 PM
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I've sent you a PM with additional information.

-Jack
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  #11   IP: 100.36.65.17
Old 10-31-2019, 12:53 PM
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If the only problem is that the spark plug hole is stripped out, you may be able to simply put in a helicoil. I used to do this on my Volkswagen engines, as the aluminum heads they used stripped or cross-threaded easily.
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Old 11-02-2019, 09:22 PM
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Engine removal questions

Hello,

So I recruited my father in law, and after 3 hours of efforts:
- all cables disconnected (there are way too many electrical wires on this engine...)
- 2 engine silent blocks fully loose (top nut and both bottom screws)
- silent block below water pump: both bottom screws are fully rusted, the “bolt-heads” of those screws are totally rusted round, nothing to do here, but I could remove the top nut
- alternator removed, shaft disconnected, water lines removed, exhaust disconnected, water pump removed
- the front starboard is gnome block: one of the 2 bottom screw is rounded, other one removed. Top nut not coming out. Sawzall ready for tomorrow...


The remaining issues and questions
- starter: how do you remove the starter? We have removed the two bolts located “behind the flywheel”. But how do I remove the starter from there? Is there a hidden bolt? A trick? ((I went quickly through the MM manual, could not find anything on how to remove starter
- weight: what halyard do you use to lift the engine? Main sail and front sail together (to split the load)? How much does an engine weight? How much tension is a halyard able to take during sailing?

Thank you!!!
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  #13   IP: 96.233.156.105
Old 11-02-2019, 10:19 PM
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Status tonight
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  #14   IP: 96.233.156.105
Old 11-02-2019, 10:29 PM
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First answer Already on forum

Let’s say that on this thread, question was asked in a better English.

http://www.moyermarineforum.com/foru...tarter+removal

Answer is as you could be expected: hit harder!!!
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Old 11-03-2019, 07:40 AM
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Don't forget to drain the oil, it will save making a mess.

chapster5
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Old 11-03-2019, 09:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chapster5 View Post
Don't forget to drain the oil, it will save making a mess.

chapster5
Thank you for this wise advice. Sadly, I do not have anything to suck the oil out, and nobody works at the yard on Sunday, so we may be up for a indoor spill...

Is there a plug below the oil pan?
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Old 11-03-2019, 10:07 AM
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There is a plug in the pan below the starter at the flywheel end of the engine.

Please be aware that there is no main seal at the flywheel end of the engine so if you tip it forward, oil will pour out if you have not drained the oil.

Good luck with the job and be careful - it is a heavy lump.

Peter
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Old 11-03-2019, 01:17 PM
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#%**%# coupling!!!

So engine is now loose on the front (engine mount cut), but we still have an issue on the coupling: the bolt that I believe I need to remove to be able to move the coupling backwards is solid frozen. See the picture
Questions:
- if I decide to cut the coupling, where is the prop shaft likely to end?
- How long is the engine side of the coupling compare to the flange? I cannot separate the 2 flanges more than 4-5mm, and cannot see the end of the engine shaft.

Plan B is to find a way to cut the engine mounts at the back, to be able to move engine forward first to clear the coupling, and not up first to clear the engine mounts... but access to cut is extremely poor..


Thank you for your help!!!
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Old 11-03-2019, 01:39 PM
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If the immediate goal is removing the engine, remove the hose clamp from the shaft, clean the crud off of the shaft with emery cloth strips in a shoe shine motion, slide the coupler/shaft aft with a twisting motion until it clears the flange nut. You're almost there, not too much more needed.
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Old 11-03-2019, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndutton View Post
If the immediate goal is removing the engine, remove the hose clamp from the shaft, clean the crud off of the shaft with emery cloth strips in a shoe shine motion, slide the coupler/shaft aft with a twisting motion until it clears the flange nut. You're almost there, not too much more needed.

Is this going to work with my boat still being in the water , and shaft probably pretty dirty just before the cutlass bearing ?
Thank you!!
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Old 11-03-2019, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Surcouf View Post
Is this going to work with my boat still being in the water , and shaft probably pretty dirty just before the cutlass bearing ?
Thank you!!
I can't speak to the condition/maintenance of your underwater equipment but for sure the clamp and shaft condition in your picture is working against movement. Where's the risk in trying?
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Old 11-03-2019, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surcouf View Post
...Plan B is to find a way to cut the engine mounts at the back, to be able to move engine forward first to clear the coupling, and not up first to clear the engine mounts... but access to cut is extremely poor...
If you remove the screws holding the engine mounts to the stringers, you can slide the engine and remove it with the mounts attached.
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Old 11-03-2019, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardc View Post
If you remove the screws holding the engine mounts to the stringers, you can slide the engine and remove it with the mounts attached.
Yes would be ideal... Of the 8 screws, 4 are already removed, the 2 below the water pumps do not have heads anymore due to rust, but still hold on (chisel is next once engine is off).. one rear port one has not been attempted yet. one front has been «*rounded*», during previous attempt (the engine mount bolt was cut on that one).

I am stuck at a kiddo swim meet, back to the boat in a couple hours to attempt the recommendation on pushing back the shaft.
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Old 11-04-2019, 07:44 PM
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It is out!!!

I will post details later, with further questions... but the beast is home. Thank you for all advices... and one thing is true, baby is heavy!!! So removal was clearly not pretty, not even always safe, it involves cutting, pushing, pulling, swearing etc... but it is done. Now for overhauling, cleaning and sadly spending ...
Thanks again
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Old 11-04-2019, 11:06 PM
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So a few notes regarding the A4 extraction from a Catalina 27:
- we had passed above the back of the engine my "car engine removal bar". It would have helped us lift the engine if we had found a way to move it away from its super-rusty engine mount (the one below the water pump). We ended up cutting that one.
- once the engine mounts are free, you can basically "pull the engine from its bay, with the front of the engine hoisted. The back of the engine slides nicely on its freed engine mounts, or blocks of wood.
- baby is HEAVY, and has a tendency to show it to you swinging widely when it gets out of its cave. A couple nice scratches on the fiberglass to prove it.
- drained the oil with the plug behind flywheel for first time, with engine lifted. Pretty convenient. Plug inaccessible in a C27 usually.
- and thank you for the advice on the coupling. I cleaned the shaft before the stuffing nut, then tried the nice advice to "push while rotating"... I ended up prying with a large bar and rotating with a not less large 2nd bar... and the shaft went back half inch suddenly. Something that will be looked at once on the dry


thank you to all threads I could found and read on this forum regarding rigging the engine out... this was the worst part. My comments:
- I used both the main halyard and the front sail one, creating a "loop", to divide the tension of those by two. Nevertheless, I am pretty concerned of any potential damages done to the rollers of the pulley located at the top of the mast. Even with my main sheet 4 wires lifting devices, it was very hard to lift that engine...
- one of the best advice I go from the forum was one regarding attaching a line of the boom to control its swinging. Indeed once you start pushing the boom to rotate it to bring your engine to the dock, boat heels, and without that line to control and limit rotation, I could have easily made a nice hole in the sailboat located on the other side of the dock

The rest is surely known to anybody who did that job. But I would like to give an Oscar, not to my father in law who spent 8 hours swearing-sweating with me, but to the best tool that we used today: the ladders!!! Of course the engine got on the dock with the night, and we arrived to the wagon (no pick-up) at night, with the perspective to lift the engine in the trunk, breaking our back. We used a ladder to lift the engine in the car in less than 2 minutes, same for moving it out. Best trick ever. Just put the end of the ladder on the back seat (head rest removed, and something to protect the seat), then attached the engine to a rung in the middle, and then lift the other end of the ladder, and push it it (making sure not to destroy your windshield).

A few pictures of the operation
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Almost There - Catalina 27 (1979)

Last edited by Surcouf; 11-04-2019 at 11:09 PM.
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