• smithsmarine


Well here we go again, A few interesting projects this week so I thought I would share a couple with you one being a fiber glass job that we did in our other post and another being a puzzle that had people puzzled for nearly six moths.

so lets pickup from last time you may have seen the cracked keel on our last post, well here is the nearly finished article six layers of glass cloth later before being sanded and any imperfections filled and then antifouled

not bad considering a similar repair on the opposite keel looks like this.

just one layer of cloth on the surface covered with coats of antifoul I wouldn't like to put my faith in this repair.

The next Job I want to show you is an interesting one due to the quirky old English engineering of yesteryear in a Freeman 23

due to the J type gearbox used in many boats of this era the engine is offset to port by about five inches to accommodate the offset final drive of this antiquated gearbox.

This engine was locking solid within one revolution when the starter was engaged and not letting the starter Bendix return when the key was released, It just got jammed solid to the point where the only way to release it was to completely loosen the starter motor.

So after replacing a very damaged gear ring on the flywheel and fitting a new matching starter Bendix.(£20 instead of £125 for a new starter motor) we tried again, still no different, Hmmmm!!!

So maybe the starter motors shaft is bent? So on checking with a dial gauge we found this was not the case.

Whilst turning the engine by hand with the starter motor out of the way I noticed that the flywheel was not always lined up with certain scratches and marks on the bell housing casting so just out of curiosity I set a dial gauge to the edge of the flywheel and low and behold THE FLYWHEEL WAS OUT OF TRUE !!! on closer inspection the prop shaft was also bent and the gearbox mounting was found to have a large crack in it. Out of interest I removed the gearbox and flywheel and put the dial gauge directly on the end of the crank this also was out of true.

Looks like this drive train has been under some serious stress .

After lengthy discussions with the owner we decided the best course of action was to re engine with a modern small diesel due to the new E10 fuels hydroscopic actions and many other factors , and if we are going to remove the engine why not put something better back in its place.

When we started to remove this engine we decided to have a good look inside and found that It was very very worn and tired,

There was slack between the pistons and the crankshaft (Big end bearings) and the piston rings were very worn allowing blow by, along with leaking valve stem seals and damaged valve seats and worn valve guides and an exhaust manifold that was about to corrode through.

So after sourcing a very low hours Beta 29 we are going to fit this, But look at how close that prop shaft is to the starboard engine mount , It's less than four inches so some clever engineering is going to be needed to shoehorn a new engine of any sort in there.

Don't worry, we have a plan, but to find out what it is you will have to just wait and see.

so until next time .

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