1969 Chris Craft Roamer Refit: Installing Chris Craft Senders on Cummins Engines

I got the engine wiring all done, both port and starboard, so the last step for engine electrical is to install the original Chris Craft senders on the Cummins 6CTA Diamonds (which also retained their original senders). This will allow the Cummins panels I’ll one day install in the ER and also the refurbished Chris Craft gauges at the helm to both work like they should.

OE Chris Craft low oil pressure alarm switches and water temp senders

One of two Chris Craft oil pressure senders

New 200°F overheat alarm senders

New 200°F overheat alarm senders

Gasoila is a great thread sealant

Gasoila is a great thread sealant

Top of the exhaust manifold is perfect for the high temp alarm sender

Top of the exhaust manifold is perfect for the high temp alarm sender

I just had to convince the OE Cummins plug to come out.

OE Cummins plug removed

200°F overheat alarm switch installed

200°F overheat alarm switch installed

Cummins water temp sender

OE Cummins water temp sender is waaay back behind the alternator

This is not a good place to put in a Tee and add the Chris Craft sender.

Factory Cummins Tee in the coolant circuit looks promising

Factory Cummins Tee in the coolant circuit looks promising

The black hose coming from the left is the turbo cooling return line. The white-painted hose heading down goes to the coolant filter.

The solution: stainless steel 4-way cross

The solution: stainless steel 4-way cross

On the four-way cross in the pic above, you can see that it’s marked 1/2. So the 1/4″ to 3/8″ NPT adapters that came with the original Chris Craft water temp senders won’t work. I need 1/4″ to 1/2″ adapters, but I was able to use the 1/4″ to 3/8″ adapters for the turbocator boost line fittings. Booya.

It’s amazing how happy little victories like that can make me. 😉

Out with the old...

Out with the old…

And let me assure you, extracting that Tee without removing the starter so I could fit a pipe wrench in there was a bear! Fortunately, not even a bit of knuckle skin was lost during the exercise. Unfortunately, after assembling the cross on the salon floor, I realized there’s not enough room to install it fully assembled.

First, the bare cross goes in

First, the bare cross goes in with a new stainless nipple and lots of Gasoila

Turbo coolant nipple and Chris Craft temp sensor installed

Turbo coolant nipple and Chris Craft temp sensor installed

Needs new hose and clamps, but looks good otherwise

Needs new hose and clamps, but looks good otherwise

Why oh why do people paint over rubber parts? When you touch them they flex, then the paint falls off in chunks.

Recently installed wiring for Chris Craft temp sensor is ready to attach

Recently-installed wiring for Chris Craft temp sensor is already in the new loom and ready to attach

Oil gallery port near the oil filter

Oil gallery port just forward of the oil filter

Good spot for a Chris Craft low oil pressure alarm switch

Good spot for a Chris Craft low oil pressure alarm switch

That’s a wrap for the senders on the right side of the engine. So I crawled around to the left side and, like any reasonable man, tackled the easy pickins first.

Turbocator boost line ties into manifold port

Turbocator boost line ties into the most out-of-the-way intake manifold port

There were two other ports I could have used for the boost line, but both of them were near the injector pump. I could see the boost lines getting bumped and snagged if they’re out in the open like that. This port just behind the aftercooler tubing wasn’t hard to get to with a swivel and socket. Installing it here keeps the tubing out of the way and lessens the chances of me accidentally ripping it out of the fitting while messing around in the ER.

Unfortunately, the engineers at Cummins put no such thought into their placement of gear cooling hoses or wire looms.

Deep within the bowels of the left side of the engine, I found an oil port

Deep within the bowels of the left side of the engine, I found an oil port

Gad.

There are other oil ports, but they’re blocked by metal pieces that won’t move without lots of new pieces being fabricated. This one in the pic above is just aft of the OE Cummins oil pressure sender. The only thing blocking it is all of this…stuff.

See?

Where there’s a will…there’s still junk in the way!

But if you look very closely at the pic above, there’s a black object just to the right of the baggie-wrapped fuel pump. That, my friends, is a 1969 OE Chris Craft oil pressure sender installed in the left-side oil gallery of a Cummins 6CTA block. Booyah.

And, again, no knuckle skin was lost in the operation. I know…it was OK to think it, but I’m getting cocky writing about it. I will pay with the loss of much knuckle skin later. This is known. 🙂

Different angle, with new oil pressure sender wiring hooked up

Different angle, with new oil pressure sender wiring hooked up

I really do like that cloth electrical tape. Sooo pleasant to work with compared to the PVC junk.

So that’s pretty much a wrap for the engine electrical, which was a big item on the pre-splash honey-do list. I’ve got new coolant hoses and clamps on the way and test kits for the coolant so I can get the anti-crevice corrosion additive just right (this is a sleeved block and pitting is a known issue that’s resolved with corrosion inhibitors). The exhaust system is well over half-way done. All of the raw water cooling parts are sitting there ready to be welded in or bolted on. I should be able to get those things done fairly quickly. Meanwhile, my boatamalan painter finally got a break in his schedule and has been making great progress on the V-berth head (AKA the Throne Room). Oh, and the glass for the salon, helm, and all of the hatches and portholes finally showed up…what a bunch of work that was. Like I’ve said, there’s lots of stuff going on beyond what’s in any particular article. Stay tuned.

Next up on our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer Refit: Trim Tabs & Gauges

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3 comments on “1969 Chris Craft Roamer Refit: Installing Chris Craft Senders on Cummins Engines

  1. stingrayl82 says:

    Q, it’s coming along nicely! I can’t wait to see her splash. We’ve been enjoying our own 1969, but Evinrude Rogue II 210. I just replaced the water pump in the outdrive, as well as the seals/gaskets and o-rings. Now I have to replace the tilt motor. Bust Out Another Thousand!

    Is this sickness we have the result of growing up on the Chesapeake?

    Keep up the great work.

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