Saturday, 3 January 2015

Phew….. Not so bad!

After yesterday’s wee problem with the engine oil change I was doubly disappointed to hear Jan say we also had a problem with the Refleks diesel stove. The problem was the stove wasn’t radiating the usual amount of heat.  It didn’t matter what heat setting was used the level of heat remained the same.  My assumption was the stove was being starved of fuel and the likely cause was a clogged filter.  Perhaps the dreaded diesel bug!

After a good night’s sleep and the opportunity to think I reverted to the standard strategy “Look for the simple things first!”  So I gave the interior of the stove a thorough cleaning.  Behold…. the stove is not only back to it’s usual self but even better, producing the same level of heat as when it was first installed.

That solved, I wandered down to Midland Chandlers to purchase another 10 litres of engine oil <ouch…. that was the wallet speaking>.  Back at Waiouru I donned my one and a half legged onesie and examined the engine compartment in daylight.  There was no oil on the end of the dipstick.  The paper nappies I’d placed under the engine last night had absorbed much of the oil.  However the oil spill mats I’d placed under the engine before it was installed had absorbed even more.  After cleaning under the engine I realised I couldn’t possibly have recovered 8 litres of oil.  Then I realised the oil filter wasn’t at the lowest level.  There was probably 5-6 litres of new oil still in the engine.  I placed new absorption mats under the engine and added a small amount of oil.  This then appeared on the tip of the dipstick.  I checked the new filter wasn’t leaking before adding the remaining oil.

At one point I was hailed from outside the boat.  It was Keith (nb Oakfield) who had read the blog post in the morning and come down with his oil extraction pump.  Very thoughtful of him and most appreciated.  However everything appeared to be going well. 

Whilst in the engine compartment I decided to give the floor a good clean.  Not a good move because I’m no longer the ‘Indian Rubberman’.  This afternoon found myself feeling rather stiff.  All the bending, twisting and contorting.  It was also a good opportunity to tighten the main alternator belt.

The engine started and there were no leaks around the oil filter.  It looks like everything has worked out well.  I then noticed the lights on the Sterling PDAR.  There was a change in the noise from the engine as if it was coming on and off load.  The engine “grunted” when the PDAR forced the main alternator to produce more power.

When the top LED is illuminated the PDAR is forcing the alternator to produce maximum power.  However the engine would then drop back to idle indicating it was not under load.

In the above photo you can see the PDAR has ceased forcing the alternator to produce maximum power.  This is because the PDAR has sensed the alternator has started to overheat.  So the PDAR is protecting the alternator.

Everything is back to normal in the engine compartment.

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