1969 Chris Craft Roamer Refit: Installing the Port Engine III

With the Cummins engine mounts modified to fit my boat, the original engine beds cut off and new ones fabricated, and the engine bilges clean, next I need to mount the new engine beds, paint everything, and align the engine and gear to the propeller shaft.

Epoxy thickened with cabosil and powdered aluminum make a robust bonding agent

Epoxy thickened with cabosil and powdered aluminum make a robust bonding agent

Slather on the thickened epoxy and prepare to clamp

Slather on the thickened epoxy and prepare to clamp

Clamp in place, then scoop up and redistribute the squeezed out epoxy excess

Clamp in place, then scoop up and redistribute the excess epoxy that gets squeezed out

I use the excess epoxy to smooth the stringers where I cut off the old engine beds. It makes a sticky mess, though…have to be careful where you touch.

Clamped and curing

Clamped and curing

Front engine beds get the same epoxy & clamp treatment

Front engine beds get the same epoxy & clamp treatment

Next day, off come the clamps

Next day, off come the clamps

With the clamps off, I moved the engine into position to mark and drill the vibration isolator holes.

Couplers aligned. It's time to drill vibration isolator holes

Couplers aligned. It’s time to drill vibration isolator holes

After drilling the vibration isolator holes, I used my home-built gantry to lift and move the engine out of the way.

Sand the stringers and engine beds with 80 grit

Sand the stringers and engine beds with 80 grit

Outside stringer has plenty of clearance for the gear cooler

Outside stringer has plenty of clearance for the gear cooler

Inside rear stringer/engine bed is sanded and drilled

Inside rear stringer/engine bed is drilled and sanded

Outside rear engine bed drilled and sanded

Outside rear engine bed drilled and sanded

Paint one side of the engine bilge

Paint one side of the engine bilge & stringers, then slide the engine over and paint the other side

Next day, Devoe 235 Bar Rust is cured

Next day, Devoe 235 Bar Rust is cured

Note the epoxy coating covers the inside of the bolt holes as well as the exterior surfaces. I never, ever want to have to paint this bilge again. 🙂

316 hardware coated with TefGel to completely isolate the metals

316 hardware coated with TefGel to completely isolate the metals

I know…it’s probably overkill. But I really, really, really never want to have to do this again. Keeping corrosion from starting is much better than fixing corrosion problems after they’ve started.

Front stringers are ready

Front stringers are ready

316 SS hardware augments the epoxy bond up front, too

316 SS hardware augments the epoxy bond up front, too.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m using ceramic bubbles as an additive to the Devoe 235 Bar Rust epoxy I’m applying in the bilge spaces. Ceramic bubbles’ claim to fame is that it toughens coatings and also has insulating properties that lessen condensation. I don’t know if it actually works or not, but I bought a bag of the stuff back in 2009 when I first sandblasted and painted the bilges so I figure I might as well use it up here. One thing I know the ceramic does is make the epoxy absolutely resistant to flowing out smooth. You can’t roll and tip to get a smooth, glossy surface with this stuff. It’s kind of similar to very fine, roll-on non-skid.

Ready to align--dial indicator on the shaft and a feeler gauge for the coupler

Ready to align, with a dial indicator on the shaft and a feeler gauge for the coupler

It took less than 15 minutes to align the shaft and gear couplers to within 0.002″. Then I installed the Globe Drivesaver using the hardware I bought to replace the wrong-sized cap head bolts that Globe sends out with their kit. Lesson learned: Do Not Buy Globe Drivesavers. Still…I own ’em, so I might as well use ’em.

Globe Driversaver hardware

Globe Driversaver hardware–the wrong stuff and the right stuff

The short bolts on the right are the ones Globe supplied that don’t fit this application even though they claim it does. The 1/4″ longer bolts on the left are the ones this application requires.

With the Drivesaver installed, I pressed the stuffing box and hose onto the shaft log

With the Drivesaver installed, I pressed the stuffing box and hose onto the shaft log

Here’s another one of those Harbor Freight tools that’s worth the investment: the hydraulic port-a-power. It’s got a million and one uses, and I think I paid $75 for the kit on sale using a coupon.

Cutting Teflon packing at an angle so the ends overlap

Cutting Teflon packing at an angle so the ends overlap

Three turns of packing ought to do it

Three turns of packing ought to do it

Safety wire on the coupler bolts and this Port Cummins 6CTA is installed!

Safety wire on the coupler bolts and this Port Cummins 6CTA is installed!

I lost one of the T-bolt clamps for my stuffing box, but I suspect I’ll find it as I install more of the engine parts (e.g. strainers, exhaust, etc).

Boom…engine’s in, don’t need a chainfall any more

Salon floors going back in

Salon floors going back in

Breaking down the gantry

Breaking down the gantry

With the beam loose, off comes the trolley

With the beam loose, off comes the trolley

And then there was one...

And then there was one…

Steps back in place, port engine install is a wrap...for now

Salon steps back in place, port engine install is a wrap…for now

Getting the engines installed was a big priority for 2015 and I expected to have it done back in the summer. Unfortunately, when the boat next to mine blew up in July, it threw a wrench in my schedule. Even if that didn’t happen, Motion Windows messing up my helm window build would have kept me from splashing this year anyway. It’s always something.

Speaking of Motion Windows…

Next up on our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Motion Windows’ Response

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3 comments on “1969 Chris Craft Roamer Refit: Installing the Port Engine III

  1. VIctor says:

    This past summer a 60 footer almost sunk because the cooling hose for the dripless broke off and filled the bildge while underway, Captain was at flybridge helm for a 100 mile run and was curious why bilge pump light stayed on !!!

  2. Kent says:

    May I ask– Why didn’t you use Drip Less shaft seals?

    • 1969roamer46 says:

      Sure! Dripless seals are more expensive and higher maintenance items than conventional stuffing boxes with teflon packing. The teflon packing on my other Chris Craft–a Commander 42–does not leak at all and stays perfectly cool. I like a dry bilge, so that’s a big thing. The final consideration is that dripless seals I’ve seen all have carbon seals, and carbon dust in salt water eats aluminum.
      Cheers,
      Q

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