Tuesday, May 18, 2010

How not to bleed an engine

Had I remembered to take my camera today, you would now be looking at a picture of a small broken screw. A fuel bleed screw from the end of the engine's injector pump. I was too heavy handed with the spanner and the end of the screw sheared off. Now Herbie's engine won't work until I get a replacement. Of course it is no ordinary screw, and its broken off inside a little spring and ball valved gubbins that can't be bought locally.

Bleeding the fuel system on a BMC 1.8 is not my idea of fun. I hate it. There are no less than 6 bleed screws, plus the four injector unions to bleed and some are hard to get at. Still, you have to do it after you have changed the fuel filters which is what I did today, along with an oil and oil filter change.

A new screw is on order courtesy of Calcutt boats who marinised the engine, and I'll have to try to bleed the system again when I get it, hopefully at the end of the week. I am not looking forward to it.

My check on the batteries was no more cheering. First, I found my hydrometer glass was broken, then the boatyard chandlery didn't have one to sell me. Fortunately they took pity and lent me one from the workshop.

Checking each cell in all three batteries revealed no rogue cells to explain the batteries dwindling performance. I guess they are steadily deteriorating throughout. I might look for some answers by posting a query on Canal World Forums. The guys there usually shed light on teccy dilemmas.

One good thing I did achieve today was a good cleanout of the engine bay and whilst you still wouldn't eat your dinner off it, it looks very presentable. If I can fix the engine at the weekend then I suppose today will be time well spent and I'll have probably still saved money by doing myself in spite of the no doubt outrageous cost of the injector pump bleed unit.


Vallypee said...

There's only one thing to say, Neil. Shame!!

Still, once you have the replacement screw, you'll know you've done a good job!

saltysplash said...

Laura said she seen you in a state of frustration. Sorry I missed out on the fun, Give us a heafty knock on the roof next time your passing and hopefully the kettle will be on