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Old 09-05-2010, 10:18 PM
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What about the little things?

Mates,
I've learned on this forum about maintaining the A4 to keep her going longer than anyone expected. It's generally accepted around here that regular oil changes, impeller replacements, fuel filters, spark plugs and acid flushes can keep the engine in good running form.

What I don't read about very often are some of the little things not related to engine performance that if let go, can make our lives miserable. Here are some that come to mind (certainly not a complete list, please add your own):
  1. Motor mount adjustment nuts. If they're not tight there's a risk of the engine falling into misalignment. Just ask Shawn.
  2. When's the last time you checked the tightness of the shaft coupler set screws? Throwing her into reverse and having the shaft slip out isn't unheard of. Keep those set screws tight and no problemo.
  3. When was the last time you lubed your bowden cable (the accurate term for the choke cable)? I did mine today with Lewmar winch grease and oh my, what a difference. A stiff cable might not allow the choke to fully close leading to hard starting or perhaps a broken cable.
And so on.
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prior boats 1987 Westsail 32, 1970 Catalina 22
Had my hands in a few others

Last edited by ndutton; 09-06-2010 at 12:47 AM.
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Old 09-06-2010, 12:34 AM
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Excellent points. After my massive overheating problem and thread a few months back I couldn't imagine there was anything that I could still do to my engine. I'll check all of these out right away and lube never hurts anything whether you think you need it or not.

FYI, my engine is running perfectly, even in those 100 degree days and really warm water that we had for so long in July and August. Once I check these items off I should be good for awhile.
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Old 09-06-2010, 01:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobH2 View Post
FYI, my engine is running perfectly, even in those 100 degree days and really warm water that we had for so long in July and August. Once I check these items off I should be good for awhile.
Rob-
First, glad everything is running smoothly now.
It's a great feeling, yes?

Question... (well, two)
Do you have a Facet Electric fuel pump?
If so, did you notice if it got HOT during those 100° dayz?
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Old 09-06-2010, 01:37 AM
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More for the little things list...

• Replace your PCV VALVE after 200 hours
• Clean your DISTRIBUTOR CAP and check for cracks
• Clean the FLAME ARRESTOR
• Check ALTERNATOR BELT tension
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Old 09-06-2010, 09:45 AM
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Yea, it's a great feeling knowing you can trust the iron jib. I just did my bottom and now if I want to waste gas I can motor at 6.3 knots, no overheating, no steam, no smoke. It's a beautiful thing. It can sit for 2 weeks and she starts on the first 1/2 revolution. My friends say she starts 'before' I hit the button it's so quick.

About the fuel pump. I never thought to check it to see if it got hot. I guess a hot fuel pump could cause intermittent malfunctions...or not...no experience with that. I will try to remember to go touch it the next time I'm out in really hot weather. I'm not sure what my pump is. Someone once told me it looked like a car pump. I'll investigate. I've only had the boat this year and never needed to mess with the pump so I'm sorry to say I lack indepth knowledge of it. It just works so I've left well enough alone. Given all that I did with the cooling issue I ignored it. Here is a photo. Maybe you can tell me what it is.



After a few more people post it might be great to make a punch list with all of the suggestions together in a single spot or list. That would be handy.
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Old 09-06-2010, 03:36 PM
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The fuel pump is the brassy device on the left. Racor fuel/water separator filter on the right. The wire going into the center is positive (DC power) and the wire on the mount is negative (DC ground). Presumably the positive wire runs to an oil pressure safety switch.
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Old 09-06-2010, 05:12 PM
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What about the throttle and shifter cables. I will have to find some replacements for mine. They probably should be done with the choke (already forgot the proper name but will remember it in the future!!!)
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Old 09-06-2010, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobH2 View Post
...I'm not sure what my pump is. Someone once told me it looked like a car pump. I'll investigate. I've only had the boat this year and never needed to mess with the pump so I'm sorry to say I lack indepth knowledge of it. It just works so I've left well enough alone. Given all that I did with the cooling issue I ignored it. Here is a photo. Maybe you can tell me what it is.
Yep, that's a Facet.
As Rigs said, it's the brassy job to the left of the Racor filter.

You're right. As long as they're "clicking" along, no need to worry about it.
Although, now that I think about it...
Technically, there is a component in the FACET fuel pump that should be added to the "little list"...
There's a very fine mesh filter inside that should be checked/cleaned probably about every 100 or so hours.
There's a hex-head nut built into the base at the bottom of the filter.
(You can just see it in your pic)
You put a wrench on that and twist the body counter-clock to open it up.
Very simple inside and easy to access the filter.
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Last edited by roadnsky; 09-07-2010 at 05:04 AM. Reason: clarity
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Old 09-06-2010, 09:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadnsky View Post
Yep, that's a Facet.

There's a very fine mesh filter inside that should be checked/cleaned probably about every 100 or so hours.
There's a hex-head nut built into the base at the bottom of the filter.
(You can just see it in your pic)
You put a wrench on that and twist the body counter-clock to open it up.
Very simple inside and easy to access the filter.
Jerry, are you saying that the fine mesh filter is in the bottom of the fuel pump or the Racor filter? You say filter above. I've changed the fuel filter but if there is a screen/mesh in the fuel pump's bottom I'll check that. If that is the case, does a lot of fuel drain out when you remove the nut?
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Old 09-06-2010, 09:52 PM
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Rob,
Jerry meant the fuel pump, there's a screen inside the bottom. Turn off the power except for the blower, put some sort of catchment under the pump and close the tank valve so a siphon doesn't flow. I expect you'll spill no more than a volume equal to the pump itself, likely less.
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1977 Catalina 30
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prior boats 1987 Westsail 32, 1970 Catalina 22
Had my hands in a few others
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Old 09-06-2010, 10:14 PM
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Sounds great. I'm on it... Thanks...
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Old 09-06-2010, 10:26 PM
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Post so many little things..so much time..is that right??

Engine alignment? Ha! I laugh at the motor mounts! (fortunately, all of mine still moved, mostly, so engine alignment was not a big issue..just a 3 foot iron pipe, a 25mm wrench and a small sledge hammer took care of that problem!)

Ok, not really it was a GPITA....but, um...what else??? Regular oil level checks for us MECHANICAL fuel pump guys, to make sure the oil level isn't inexplicably RISING, which might indicate a breech in the fuel pump diaphragm & fuel leaking in the crankcase. (I now have a fuel pump repair kit aboard!)

Also, don't forget to tweak the grease cup a few degrees on the non-Moyer water pump every few hours!!!
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"Twice Around" - '77 Catalina 30, #511 with original A-4 & MMI manifold.
She is even happier with fresh paint on the topsides!

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Old 09-07-2010, 05:09 AM
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yeah......I was wondering how much one has to tweak the grease cap. I seem to do mine at least a few degrees every couple or few hours and wondered if that's normal.
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Old 09-07-2010, 09:22 AM
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It's been quite a few years since I checked with FACET regarding the strainer in their fuel pumps, but it's my understanding that they never actually recommended it as a customer service item. It's really a plastic strainer which is coarser than most any filter in common use and they intended it mainly as a stop gap device just in case something got into the pump during handling.

Some years later, a salesperson from FACET (as part of a more general pitch to sell us more stuff) did ask if we'd consider stocking these strainers, but he backed away when we informed him of FACET's earlier position.

I haven't removed a lower cap in quite a while, but I don't recall anything bad happening when removing it (like parts falling out etc.), so I see no harm if you do decide to remove it. However, access being what it is on most boats, I wouldn't anguish over this particular item if you have to go to great lengths to get to your fuel pump.

Don

Last edited by Administrator; 09-07-2010 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 05-29-2011, 02:40 PM
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Two newbie questions.

- how do you clean the flame arrestor?
- what is the correct tension for the alternator belt. I fear mine is a touch loose, though I believe you should have a little play right?

Thanks!
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Old 05-29-2011, 03:22 PM
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1. With mine I just loosen the screw, pull it off and blow it out from inside with some air.

2. According to:
Written by Robert Hess
Atomic Four Engine Service
Vancouver, Canada

3/8 in depression between centres, pressing firmly with one finger

I'm sure if you search the Forum you'll find Don's recommendation for the belt tension. No one knows it better than him.
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Old 07-13-2015, 09:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndutton View Post
Rob,
Jerry meant the fuel pump, there's a screen inside the bottom. Turn off the power except for the blower, put some sort of catchment under the pump and close the tank valve so a siphon doesn't flow. I expect you'll spill no more than a volume equal to the pump itself, likely less.
Here's a link that shows the internals of the fuel pump: http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/f...el_pump_filter

There is a kit available with a new filter and new gasket. The standard kit comes with a 74 micron filter. But there are 200 and 400 micron filters available too.
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Old 07-14-2015, 01:28 PM
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While you're looking at the "little things" don't forget to check the fuel tank vent. Kinked or otherwise blocked vent hose can cause some running problems. Don't ask how I know this!
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