1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Cummins Engine Install — Coating the Stringers & Final Fit

With the vibration isolator landing pads done and motor mounts modified, the last step to getting this engine resting in its ultimate location is to epoxy coat the stringers and do the final alignment.

New forward vibration isolator landing pads on the same plane

New forward vibration isolator landing pads are on the same plane on both sides

After the last test fitting, once I had the gear and shaft couplers aligned to within 0.005″, I marked the holes for the vibration isolator bolts. After moving the engine out of the way with the gantry, I drilled an 1/8″ pilot hole then used  increasingly larger drill bits until I finally opened up the 1/2″ hole.

Rear vibration isolator landing pads spread the load

Rear vibration isolator landing pads spread the load

New Moroso 400w oil pan heaters should keep the engines toasty in winter

New Moroso 400w oil pan heaters should keep the engines toasty in winter

I’ve had these oil pan heaters for a while, so it was nice to finally install them. Truth be told I almost forgot about them (like when I left the washer in the aft stateroom head), so it was good that I remembered before bolting the engines down for the last time. After taking the pic above, I ran a bead of high temp RTV around the perimeter of the heater to seal the edge. The Cummins 6CTA marine oil pan made it a bit challenging to install since it doesn’t have a flat bottom. These heaters have to be in 100% contact with a heat sink or they burn up. Even little bubbles caused by a surface that’s not perfectly flat might cause it to fail, so I broke out the sander and knocked it back to flat and smooth bare metal. Why anybody thought it was a good idea to put the company logo on the bottom of the oil pan is beyond me but it’s gone now.  🙂 The heater pad seemed to conform to the shape just fine.

With the holes drilled and pan heater installed, it’s time to bust out the stinky Devoe 235 epoxy coating.

Rolled and tipped Devoe 235 epoxy coats the assembly

Rolled and tipped Devoe 235 epoxy coats the assembly

Devoe is super tough stuff, but it’s an industrial coating so it doesn’t roll and tip to a pretty finish. But for the engine room, I’m more interested in protecting the metal than super shiny gloss. In addition to coating the stringers and landing pads, I also put another coat in the engine bilges.

Devoe 235 epoxy-coated front stringer and engine pan

Devoe 235 epoxy-coated front stringer and engine pan

Coating is done...to be continued tomorrow

Epoxy coating is done. It should be adequately cured in 24 hours.

Tefgel on all 316 stainless vibration isolator bolts

Tefgel on all 316 stainless vibration isolator bolts

Tefgel lubricates threads, prevents galling, and controls corrosion. With the inside of each bolt hole coated with Devoe epoxy, direct metal to metal contact shouldn’t be a problem. But Tefgel is cheap insurance.

Front vibration isolators...DONE!

Front vibration isolators…DONE!

Rear vibration isolators...DONE!!

Rear vibration isolators…DONE!!

Shaft alignment is within spec, but the DriverSaver hardware isn't!

Shaft alignment is within spec, but the DriverSaver hardware isn’t!

Having paid $300 for a chunk of rubber, I expected Globe to send the right size bolts with its DriveSaver kits. But they use 1/2″ bolts instead of the 5/8″ ones ZF used for the gear coupler, so I had to buy an adapter kit. But the bolts that came with the DriveSaver kit are so short that only one thread sticks out past the lock washer on the gear-side of the flange. Also, the instructions for these Made-in-America rubber donuts were completely wrong: the gear flange is male, but the instructions say it should be female, and the bolts are completely different from the male to female side of the Drivesaver. I emailed the company and showed them the problem. We’ll see if they respond.

Longer bolts on the gear flange side should solve the problem

Longer bolts on the gear flange side should solve the problem; prop shaft-side bolts seem fine

In spite of this latest minor setback, the engine is in its final resting place. I can wrap up the DriverSaver install when new, longer bolts arrive. So that’s a wrap for the heavy lifting.

Time for the gantry to get out of the way

Time for the gantry to get out of the way

I’m really pleased with all of the space around this engine. Maintenance should be a breeze (crossing fingers here).

The gantry's unbolted in 10 minutes

It took less than 10 minutes to disassemble the gantry

I cannot tell you how nice it is to have floors back in the salon!

Et voila! Done! (sorta)

Et voila! Done! (sorta)

The fuel system is 75% done, since I ran the supply and return tubing when I installed the hydraulic steering. The electrical will be a good project for the winter or, more likely, next spring. I plan to install the other engine and wrap up the exhaust systems before winter sets in again. But for now, I’m calling the starboard engine install a wrap.

Next up in our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: The Aft Deck Hard Top (again)

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