Saturday, March 3, 2018


Motor: looks real nice. 
It's a sailboat, Ok? But the 2 horse Johnson does not quite do it. Except for a dead calm it does not quite do for water skiing, so to say.

And when a nearby boat had an engine sitting on the side (they are going electric) I made an offer.

Which becomes a project of its own, as my wife would warn.

The engine is an old 15 hp Arona 190m, a water cooled version of the well-known Lombardini agricultural engines of the seventies, with a Hurth gearbox.

Engine beds, keel cooler will fight. 
A tight fit.
It's not supposed to look like this...
We hoisted it on board, but realised that while it would fit, the builder's planning on a Yanmar would not work for this beast. New engine beds have to be fabricated, some of the cockpit will have to be cut. A universal joint in the drive shaft has to be manufactured, and a stern tube built. No big deal, but still. Problem was, while the seller had run the engine, we could not get it to turn. Diagnosis: gearbox was stuck. Bell housing was full of water, maybe from rain?
Bad news

I took the gearbox home, and found that it, too, was full of water, having been reassembled with no silicon or gaskets. Several of the bearings were seized, some of the running surfaces rusted.

Now the engine and gearbox are old, parts are not available, and the present owner of the gearbox manufacturer, ZF, did not even reply to a request for information. But a morning poking around in Pretoria West brought to light an engineering place that can and will cut and re-sleeve the rusted gears, replace the rusted reverse gear shaft, and recommended me to a bearing agent, who would source all the bearings I need. All for about $120. So another project starts, but it is going to take some time. Which allows me to do another thing: Take high capacity alternator out of the Jeep and fit it in the boat. It also can do 220 volt and weld.

Next problem: we hoisted the engine out and brought it home, cleaned it up, and found that the electric starter is not working. The motor turns, with a grinding sound, but the solenoid does not kick in. Another project. Fortunately Prince, the gardener, swung it and it started! I might have to take him along on our voyages...

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