I’m working on getting the engine running this week and I figured I’d run into a handful of issues. All minor and expected I guess, after sitting for literally decades. I ran some water through the cooling system and found some big leaks. The first one is just a minor leak through the sea water strainer. I bought a gasket kit from fisheries supply and will install them tomorrow, not a big deal. The big leak was at the exhaust manifold where I had water spraying out of the bolts.
After removing the 5 bolts connecting this custom fitting I was able to pull it off the manifold and discover just how custom this piece was. I was hoping for a simple fix like replacing an old worn gasket. But, the problem was more the fact that it wasn’t a flat surface that joins to the manifold. I talked to a couple machinists and they just recommended putting it in a bench vise and working down the surface with a flat file. I bought 14” flat file from Radtke Marine and they gave me some new Gardico gasket material to make a new gasket. I met a lot of great people today and was given a lot of great help which made me realize I have an incredible community here to help out.
You can see the progression of how the filing went. It was definitely a lot of work. The owner of one of the shops joked that this is what he’d make the new guys in the shop do instead of sending off to a machinist. It was very satisfying watching the metal flatten out with every stoke of the file. My triceps feel pretty tired and I have a couple new blisters on my palms, but totally worth the effort! Thanks also to Steve at the marina for letting me use his shop bench vise. It was fun talking to the guys in the shop about favorite anchorages in the San Juan islands and surrounding areas, helped the time pass by .
I bought some high heat paint on the way home that’s good up to 2,000 degrees. I’ll finish it and remount it tomorrow after I make a new gasket. Then I can also put the new gaskets on the strainer and that should take care of the leaks in the cooling system for now.
Dream it. Design it. Build it. A hobbyist at heart, I'm usually asked, "Wouldn't it be cheaper and easier to just buy that?!?". Sure, but then I wouldn't understand it and appreciate it like only a do-it-your-selfer can!