Diesel Saga, Part II

The generator saga is still playing out and has been frustrating to say the least.  Some might think that a little retail therapy would be just what the doctor ordered.  Those people aren't buying diesel parts. 

As previously stated, we have far more time on our hands than money.  After much research, we found that the motor part of our Westerbeke generator was manufactured by Mitsubishi.  A couple of hours of conferring with my friend Google and I had a Mitsubishi manual in hand, and 50% in Japanese.  I spent a couple of hours looking at schematics in both the Westerbeke & Mitsubishi books and had two sets of parts lists.  Dealers selling the Mitsubishi parts were far cheaper than their name brand counterparts so we got parts on order.

After hours of searching I found one company that had all of the gaskets, etc. that we needed and could ship overnight.  That would give us plenty of time to work on the rebuild.  So I placed my order with Choo Choo Parts.com, hoped that all of my crosses came back accurate, and shipping was only $65.  I would pay almost anything to get my cockpit back, although I don’t know if it will ever be the same.

Promptly at 10:30 am on Tuesday the parts arrived.  Unfortunately we had not been told that they shipped or provided a tracking number, so about 2:30 pm I called the dealer.  It turns out they were shipped from a warehouse in Ohio and Choo Choo got screwed on the shipping cost, but he traced the package and told me that the marina had signed for them in the morning, they just hadn’t bothered to let us know that a UPS Red Morning Delivery package was there for us.  I guess nothing important gets shipped UPS overnight, silly me.

It appears that most of the parts that I ordered were correct, which is good.  The parts that were incorrect were not returnable.  Wednesday morning we had located a set of piston rings to replace the one that came in the wrong size.  Thanks to some oh so gentle prying and hammering by Mark we now needed three sets of rings at $70 each, oh and that will be $100 for overnight shipping. 

While we waited for the rings to arrive we spent the remainder of the day cleaning up the engine block and other components.  We needed to get anything done that can possibly be done while we wait.  Did I mention that we have a deadline?  We really want this generator rebuilt, installed and generating power by Saturday.  Without our GenSet we won’t be able to manage the power requirements of a three night anchor out. 

Friday morning the rings arrived, a perfect match from the Westerbeke dealer.  By 1:00 they were installed. It was now time to install the head gasket that we saved $60 on by going with the Mitsubishi part, too bad it didn't quite fit.  It was close, very close, so close that we decided to go ahead and make a couple modifications and use it for the weekend.  It was cheaper to go with what we had than to try to find one and have it shipped in.  With that puppy installed we were off and running on the remainder of the installation.  Everything was going great until we got to the exhaust manifold, the Mitsubishi gasket was close enough to use for the weekend but will need to be reordered too.  So much for saving a few bucks.


By 4:00 pm Friday the bulk of the parts were installed and it was time to bring the beast back into the belly of the boat.  A platform inside the cabin, a dock line on the boom with a 4 to one pulley and a control line to a winch and we were in business.  A couple more hours of installing the generator and we could get her started. 


Fast forward to where I sit writing this post.  We are anchored out for the weekend, it is Monday and we’ve had a great time.  And no, the Generator didn't start.  A very generous friend was kind enough to lend us his Honda 2000 for the weekend.  Tomorrow we’ll sail home and take up the task of getting the generator going again. 


That's us in the middle.

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