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  #101   IP: 45.49.35.172
Old 03-04-2020, 04:21 AM
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Reading your saga brings back some not too distant memories (and stomach wrenching) and a possible glimpse into a not to distant future. I'll keep my fingers crossed (for the both of us). Thank you for contributing. "May the four winds blow you safely home again."
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  #102   IP: 67.79.68.21
Old 03-04-2020, 10:49 PM
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If a picture's worth a thousand words....Picture Dump!

All dressed up and nowhere to go

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When your neighbor buddies are sick of helping you lift a 400lb engine, $189 and a trip to Harbor Freight for an engine hoist will fix it. Back to the workbench for disassembly.

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That's one fancy (but mismatched) rebuilt oil pump

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  #103   IP: 67.79.68.21
Old 03-04-2020, 11:04 PM
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A smarter man would've recognized the different bevel between cap and block as an indication of a lurking problem. I'm not that smarter man.

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An old Airline Pilot proverb: "If we don't help each other nobody else will."
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  #104   IP: 67.79.68.21
Old 03-04-2020, 11:07 PM
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Did I ever mention that I had to buy a brake cylinder hone to enlarge the lifter bores after replacing the lost lifters with new ones? Well, I did. They wouldn't fit when I went to install them. See, I knew I was going to miss some things time-warping this thread to present day!

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  #105   IP: 67.79.68.21
Old 03-04-2020, 11:31 PM
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Just so I don't temporarily end this thread on a "woe-is-me-debbie-downer-my-engine-rebuild-went-to-hell" theme, here's a couple pictures of a small cabin improvement I made. It's no showboat like Niel's Catalina 30 cabin but I've become somewhat of an LED strip light connoisseur. These were the 3rd iteration of the strip lights I installed. First was a white-only, non-waterproof, 3500k color, 3258 size strip (Diodes 32mm x 58mm). I didn't like "cold feeling" white so I ripped them out. Next I installed an RGB (red green blue) 5050 (50mm x 50mm size) waterproof strip but later decided I wanted the ability to do white after all and ripped them out. Last week I installed RGBWW (RGB+Warm White) strips and so far have the v-berth and above the toilet sections soldered in. I know its unrelated to the A-4 but sometimes you just need a win.

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Cheers from Brisbane Marina, San Francisco

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  #106   IP: 108.34.135.205
Old 04-04-2020, 11:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndutton View Post
I'm trying to recall if we have EVER heard of a casting crack that didn't involve the water jacket and therefore would not be uncovered by a pressure test.

Can't think of a single one.
I guess I have the one.... :’(
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  #107   IP: 24.152.132.140
Old 04-05-2020, 03:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surcouf View Post
I guess I have the one.... :’(
I went back and carefully read the early posts in your "Just another overhaul" thread looking specifically for the results of the pressure test. In post #28 you were asked if a pressure test was performed, in post #29 you reported that there had been no pressure test and by post #35, 12 hours later, you had the head studs out which eliminated the possibility of a pressure test from that point forward. Now you're suggesting it passed a pressure test that failed to uncover this 10 inch crack.

So . . .was a pressure test performed prior to disassembly of the engine or not? How many PSI did it hold and for how long? That crack is precisely what the pressure test is supposed to uncover, to confirm you have a viable block before proceeding with a rebuild.
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  #108   IP: 108.34.135.205
Old 04-05-2020, 07:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndutton View Post
I went back and carefully read the early posts in your "Just another overhaul" thread looking specifically for the results of the pressure test. In post #28 you were asked if a pressure test was performed, in post #29 you reported that there had been no pressure test and by post #35, 12 hours later, you had the head studs out which eliminated the possibility of a pressure test from that point forward. Now you're suggesting it passed a pressure test that failed to uncover this 10 inch crack.

So . . .was a pressure test performed prior to disassembly of the engine or not? How many PSI did it hold and for how long? That crack is precisely what the pressure test is supposed to uncover, to confirm you have a viable block before proceeding with a rebuild.
Hello,
The crack in at the bottom of the block close to the lip where the oil pan is bolted.
Would a pressure test have bee useful to detect that one? As far as I understand it the pressure test is in the water system no?
Thank you!
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  #109   IP: 174.254.194.42
Old 04-07-2020, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Launchpad McQ View Post
Did I ever mention that I had to buy a brake cylinder hone to enlarge the lifter bores after replacing the lost lifters
Nice! How much was that tool? What would you rate the difficulty level of honing those cylinders?
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Old 04-07-2020, 02:34 PM
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Exclamation Post #103

Jonathan, that pic shows a set of 2 different blocks. Either that or it has been assembled without the guide pins in place.

Once a block has been cast and the "flat surface" machining has been done, the pins installed and everything torqued up THEN the "boring" begins so the pieces match perfectly. I can see that not even the machining marks match and they should. Be very careful. What is the pic of?

Another point for "rebuilding", how are you going to clean out the abrasive material from your honing? And how are you protecting the assembled rotating assembly? Another be careful.

Dave Neptune
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  #111   IP: 67.176.27.175
Old 04-15-2020, 12:53 AM
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Nice! How much was that tool? What would you rate the difficulty level of honing those cylinders?
$12.90

https://www.amazon.com/Lisle-10000-B...82&sr=8-1&th=1

So easy a caveman could do it.
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  #112   IP: 67.176.27.175
Old 04-15-2020, 01:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Neptune View Post
Jonathan, that pic shows a set of 2 different blocks. Either that or it has been assembled without the guide pins in place.

Once a block has been cast and the "flat surface" machining has been done, the pins installed and everything torqued up THEN the "boring" begins so the pieces match perfectly. I can see that not even the machining marks match and they should. Be very careful. What is the pic of?

Another point for "rebuilding", how are you going to clean out the abrasive material from your honing? And how are you protecting the assembled rotating assembly? Another be careful.

Dave Neptune
Sorry if I glossed over the explanation since that picture is seemingly the key to the post-rebuild low oil pressure mystery/debacle that destroyed a perfectly good (new) crankshaft and cost me an additional $1000 (and counting). The picture in post #103 is a closeup of the front face of the front main bearing cap/engine block interface. The mismatched bevels and textures between the upper half (cap) and lower half (block) is due to my (very, very ill-advised) using main bearing caps from a different block (not the originals mated to the engine)

There’s been some recent doings with the engine. I’ll update the thread when I get my laptop back from the repair shop hopefully later this week. Hmmmm, on second thought, I’m starting to see a theme here. Maybe I should just stop repairing lost causes and just bite the bullet to buy new....

Nah. Way too easy. To be continued....
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  #113   IP: 12.54.112.201
Old 02-02-2021, 06:56 PM
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Happy new year everyone! Sorry for the delay since April 2020. Did I miss anything?

But seriously sorry for the long gaps between posts. If you’ve followed this thread at all you know the deal. Two kids under 3, (Baaaaayyyyyybbbeeeee Shark dooo-dooo-do-do-do-do!) ongoing 110-year-old house renovation, living in Colorado but working 997 miles from home in San Francisco, 11-year-old 90 lb yellow lab inexplicably started pooping on the kitchen floor, yada yada. Here’s the Clif Notes recap of 2013- April 2020.

1. Purchased 1979 Catalina 30 with non-running A-4
2. Got engine running and discovered it was beyond repair and needed overhaul (low oil pressure)
3. Disassembled and brought engine back to Denver in suitcase piece by piece to rebuild at home
4. Post-machining and during reassembly, discovered crack in block that machine shop had missed during initial magnaflux inspection.
5. Had cracked block repaired using “Lock-N-Stitch” a.k.a. “Pinning” method at machine shop’s expense.
6. Misplaced Main Bearing Caps somewhere in the shuffle
7. Reassembled newly machined block with new pistons, rings, main bearings, rod bearings, crank, but Main Bearing Caps from a different block
8. Low oil pressure remained
9. Sent Rear Main Cap/Oil Pump to Moyer for gear replacement/overhaul to improve oil pressure
10. Low oil pressure remained
11. Disassembled engine and discovered brand new crank, rod bearings, and main bearings were destroyed during initial engine run (about 20 minutes)
12. Diagnosed low oil pressure resulted from using mismatched main bearing caps during reassembly.
13. Took a shot of whiskey, totaled overhaul cost receipts, took a shot of whiskey, covered the engine in plastic and closed the garage door, took a shot of whiskey, didn’t look at the engine for a couple months. Then April…..

I’m sure one day my kids will ask “where were you when…..” and my answer will be what it usually is: Daddy was away flying airplanes and questioning his life choices April 2020 was vivid for me. My flight schedule quickly unraveled into a surreal tour of America’s empty airports. In the early fog-of-COVID-war, we Flight Crews waited onboard hollow airplanes for our 3 passengers to enplane instead of the normal 190+. I kept having visions of the crewmembers aboard the Titanic rearranging the deck chairs, demanding the orchestra strike up a tune, trying to convince each other that “it’s really not that bad” while everyone else is getting in lifeboats. Rumors started swirling that all airlines could be grounded by the end of the week. Then the call came. “Get the airplane back to base, go home, we’ll call you when (if) we need you again.” When we got to SF, I hurriedly tidied up the boat, checked the dock lines, locked the companionway hatch, and jumped a flight home before getting back could mean driving 997 miles. (I know this is an engine-specific forum but nobody seems to object so far to my blog-like writing style of this thread so here’s some pictures of my version of our collective March-April COVID beginnings)

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Why am I the only one here? (I didn't know until I had landed that the "Shelter-In-Place" order for California had gone out while I was airborne on the flight in.)

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The fateful Grand Princess cruise ship anchored in the SF Bay awaiting disembarkation in Oakland.

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Empty Denver International Airport
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An old Airline Pilot proverb: "If we don't help each other nobody else will."

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  #114   IP: 12.54.112.201
Old 02-02-2021, 07:00 PM
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Looking back through my iPhoto library indicates it was early July until I was able to stomach looking at the engine again. I decided earlier it was time for a 2nd opinion, I brought the block, main bearing caps, crank et al to a different machine shop. This one was more of your mom-and-pop type operation literally run out of their (large) attached garage. As you’d probably envision, the owner was in his 60’s, had an old dog lying on the floor, had been machining engines since he was 17, and seemed utterly unfazed when I described all of the work I had already put into the engine. “Of course you need to line-bore the mains, you changed out the main bearing caps right? That’s why you didn’t have oil pressure! I’ll measure all the rods while I’m at it.” I found the right place. I put the machine shop owner in touch with Don directly so that we could all be on the same page with regards to everything done up to this point without contaminating the communication loop. We all agreed line boring was step one to get this engine rebuild back on track for the 2nd time. I went home, got back to my build-a-new-garage-workbench project and you wouldn’t believe it. There they were. Wrapped in a Home Depot plastic bag, in the same grey Rubbermaid bin I had looked in a dozen times after searching every corner of my garage, house, boat, and cars for months. The original main bearing caps. I fumbled for my phone, hurriedly dialed the machine shop and before he could even say “Good afternoon, All Pro Machine Serv…..” I yelled “Stttttoooooppppp!” like James Bond in slow motion trying knock someone’s poisoned martini out of their hand before they drink it. Luckily, he hadn’t started line boring the engine yet so all the new parts I bought from Moyer (for the 2nd time) would be able to be used with the original main bearing caps. After a quick cylinder hone, and another new set of rings, the engine was back on my (new) garage workbench getting reassembled.

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The initial engine run didn’t go particularly well. The oil pressure was now hovering around the normal 40-ish PSI but the water jacket side plate was leaking from multiple bolts, and the accessory drive had sprung an oil leak on the bottom. Removing the water jacket side plate jogged my memory that many of the corroded threads (Thanks 30 years of raw water cooling!) had been repaired with helicoils, and those that hadn’t were on their last legs. After removing/reinstalling the side plate for the 6th time in two years, they finally gave up and stripped. I used a Dremel to cut off the part of the helicoil protruding into the block to make a flat mating surface for the impending Moyer water jacket side plate stud kit(s) and replaced the accessory drive oil seal.

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1979 Catalina 30 #1497
An old Airline Pilot proverb: "If we don't help each other nobody else will."

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Old 02-02-2021, 07:12 PM
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The subsequent engine run exposed that the stripped, repaired, stripped again, and repaired again spark plug threads in the head were finally toast. A new head and head gaskets were in order. “Hello, Ken? Yes it’s Jonathan. Yes, again......”

Finally, after 2 years 11 months and 17 days, or 1083 days from when I first drank 2 beers and squat lifted the engine out of the bilge by myself.....

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.......it was rebuilt for the 2nd time and strapped to a pallet getting shipped back to San Francisco.

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If you've seen how my luck goes with this engine, you'll know everything from this point on has gone perfectly. The engine arrived in San Francisco exactly in the same condition it left my garage in Denver, nothing went wrong in shipping whatsoever, the engine is back in my boat and my proud wife is sitting next to me at the helm station drinking her glass of white wine while our well-behaved kids brag about the unparalleled mechanical/nautical competence of their amazing Dad to their daycare friends. Did I mention that I now have 6-pack abs and "American Magic" is poised to win the America's Cup after winning every single race? Because all those things happened exactly like that.....
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1979 Catalina 30 #1497
An old Airline Pilot proverb: "If we don't help each other nobody else will."

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  #116   IP: 209.6.133.136
Old 02-03-2021, 12:14 AM
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Wow...just wow...and I choose to believe this line...

"....brag about the unparalleled mechanical/nautical competence of their amazing Dad to their daycare friends."

Congratulations and thank you.
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  #117   IP: 69.250.111.245
Old 02-03-2021, 07:39 PM
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nice update. No you didn't miss anything since april.
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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 02-03-2021, 10:27 PM
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....and the Perseverance Award goes to Johnathan!!

(I am wondering if there will be a climate event in SF now)
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  #119   IP: 67.176.19.236
Old 02-21-2021, 06:09 PM
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Angry

So as you can infer from my sarcasm, the shipment did not go well. I went through the popular 3rd party website "uShip" to get bids for the shipment. The most competitive price turned out to be a company called "Forward Air" who bid $290 for the Denver-San Francisco LTL (less-than-truckload) freight. I constructed the standard 2x8 cradle for the A-4, lag screwed the engine to the cradle through the oil pan motor mount holes, and nailed the whole assembly to a standard 48" x 40" crate. Then I wrapped the engine with every bit of left over bubble wrap we had kicking around the house, and crossed my fingers. I should've crossed them harder I guess.

As with most things boat related, the whole evolution was an exercise in stressful logistics. The marina was willing to sign for the shipment on my behalf, but I didn't want to take up space in their maintenance garage for any longer than necessary. I was miraculously able to coordinate its arrival with a day I could be around the marina. When the Harbormaster called to tell me the truck had just showed up, I dashed off the boat and ran up to the office just in time to see the truck already pulling away. I excitedly unwrapped the bubble wrap with the marina maintenance guys ooooing and ahhhhing over the new bright red paint job when I realized something wasn't right. In fact, many things weren't right. The entire engine was racked over and the 2 x 8 cradle I had constructed was split on both boards. The distributor cap was shattered, the number 4 spark plug was sheared off, the ignition coil bracket was twisted with the coil dented and bent over, and two of the spark plug wires had tears in them.

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I don't know what the hell happened to this thing on the 997 mile trip but I'm pretty sure it made the journey getting drug behind a truck rather than in the back of one. As the marina maintenance guys and I inspected the damage and tried to hypothesize what happened, since the coil was bent on direction and the distributor shattered in the other direction, the only thing we could guess was that something very heavy got dropped on it.

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So after two years I finally had the engine back to the boat with more cost in damaged parts than it even cost to ship in the first place.
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Old 02-21-2021, 09:46 PM
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Isn't uShip the bidding outfit shown on the cable TV series Shipping Wars? If it is and having seen the show I wouldn't trust them to ship a roll of toilet paper without expecting some damage.

I shipped a car from Texas to California last year and there was no way I even considered them. Nope, it was a reputable, fully insured shipper for me. I'm sure I paid more but quality has a price.
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Had my hands in a few others
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Old 02-22-2021, 03:10 AM
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Ok, your posts have been fun, perhaps in a dramatic way... which I can sometimes appreciate. ;^)

Neil is spot on... as he often is.

Your engine should have been shipped fully crated in a full plywood box on a pallet. Think Anvil case... minus the latches. Yes, this cost more than $10 of bubble wrap... but reduces the drama. So far in my life to date, drama has have both "more and less" fun... but ever has been never cheap.

My recommendation is call yourself lucky that all the damage is just external stuff and you can fix for less than a few bucks.

Now is the time for a drama-free moment ... and demonstrate a working engine in your boat. This will be called on MMF a 'Woo-Hoo' moment.
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