Monday, October 29, 2012

Engine Removal

What an anxious tense moment. I have been looking forward to and dreading the engine removal at the same time. But as usual everything went off without a hitch.

Last time I picked up some equipment from Bud Taplin (aka Mr. Westsail) I spoke with him about removing the Volvo MD11C engine using the boom to lift the engine out as the boat would still be in the water when I do this. Bud sent me a CD with pictures and instructions on how to properly use the boom so I don’t damage it. So many thanks to Bud!

Before I was able to start I had to change the blocks on the topping fit as they had weathered to an unsafe condition. I didn’t use the topping lift to help remove the motor but it was difficult to raise the boom to get it in position. So new blocks were in order.

 The picture below shows how I setup the boom to take the weight of the engine. The engine as far as I can tell from old literature weighs about 505 pounds with the transmission attached. I first wrapped the boom with rope for about 18”. I placed this rope roughly about even with the middle of the cockpit so the motor could be brought straight up. Then placed a 2x2 on top of the rope and tied it to the boom to keep it in place. I wrapped a yellow lifting strap around all this. My come along hook was not big enough to fit in both the strap eyes so I took some chain and wrapped it several times through the eyes and bolted the chain together in two places. The 2 ton come-along attached to this chain. One of the important things to do is to make sure the weight is lifting straight down on the boom. The boom can rotate on the gooseneck. If this happens the weight would be off the wood which helps to spread the load out and all on one point of the boom. It could possibly bend the boom with a single point load.

After the sling was on and the come along connected I took the two halyards (forestay and main) and tied them to the boom about 16” apart from the center of the come along location. I thought I had the boom height enough to be able to swing the engine over the bulwarks but I was about 4” to low. So make sure you measure and then go a bit higher with the boom to allow for some rope stretch.
 In the video it looks like the boom is bending slightly but it did not bend. Deena kept an eye on it and would have said something if it started to bend at all. I also looked at it when we were swinging the motor over to the dock.


My dock mates gathered and we started to slowly winch up the motor. It was quite a bit of weight (505 lbs) but everything keep going fine and before too long the little engine saw some daylight.  The only issue was me not having the boom high enough. So I had to get on the halyard winches and bring the boom up. I was surprised at how much effort it took to raise the boom 4”. I knew the engine was heavy but it was difficult getting the boom up 4”. The halyards were as tight as guitar strings!

After the engine was above the deck level we put some 2x4 on the deck under the engine just in case it fell. That would hopefully protect the deck.  But they were not needed. We swung the engine over to the dock where we had a cart waiting. We lowered the engine down on the cart, blocked it up and wheeled it to the parking lot to be picked up by the salvage guys.  We timed the removal of the engine with high tide as our docks are floating docks. If we did this at low tide the trip up the ramp to the parking lot would have been the hardest part due to the angle of the ramp.   All in all the whole operation took about 40 minutes.

I owe a big thanks to all the people that helped. So thank you very much to Marty, Wes, Dennis, Don and my wife Deena. Marty and Wes had done this before so they guided me through it all.

The clean up begins. Here are the before and after pictures of the engine room. We removed the old hoses and all the other stuff so we would have an empty engine room  to start cleaning on. Deena mainly just cleaned the oil, rust and gunk out of there. It stills needs some work, but it it starting to look really nice. Once we get some paint on it it should shine!


When will the new motor go in? I still need to order a few parts for it. I am planning out the engine room so I am in no hurry as I want to utilize the space to the fullest extent. We are planning on putting in new fuel tanks (2), a water maker, fuel polisher, a refrigeration system, batteries and possibility storage area for a Honda generator. So you can see I need to think this out.

Now the engine is out I can move on to the boomkin…..
Did I mention we timed it with the tide?  Look at the ramp angle in the previous ramp picture.