The instructor was an older gentleman, very experienced and widely recognized as one of the best marine diesel engine mechanics in Quebec. The kind of mechanic who can just listen to an engine running and know what needs to be done.
My Yanmar 27 horsepower engine has performed very reliably for the three years I've had Topanga but again, since the engine is sooo important we wanted to have it in tip top shape before setting out cruising. A full tune up was beyond the basic skills I acquired in the course so the natural choice for hired help was my course instructor. He came for an initial evaluation and as we delved deeper into the engine we discovered some pretty major potential issues; water and algae in the fuel tank, engine mounts needed to be replaced, new injectors, reconditioned mixing elbow, reconditioned valves, reconditioned heat exchanger, new hoses, new thermometer, and on and on and on... It was going to be a big job ($) and would take some time (sigh) I worked very closely with the mechanic (1) to speed things up and (2) to learn as much as I could about my engine.
We had a heck of a time getting the it out; it weighs a ton and there is only about 2 inches between the engine and the engine room wall on both sides and above. It is tight! Working in these close confines was very difficult and we both cursed a lot in French and in English.
I'm happy to report that the engine is now starting easier, vibrating less and running remarkably smoother than before.
At the end of the job the mechanic frankly said that in all his long experience and this was the most difficult job he had ever done. I'm sure it'll be one of the stories he recounts in his future classes.
All in all it cost a mini fortune but I think it's money we'll spent as we can feel more confident in this often used critical piece of equipment.
|Literally... a ton.
|Old tired coolant. Very toxic, disposed of responsibly
|Rocker arms, springs, valve stems, oh my!
|The boat was just total chaos for 2 weeks
|All the way to the pistons!