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Author Topic: Blackdragon Repower  (Read 11739 times)

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waterdog

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Blackdragon Repower
« on: July 19, 2013, 06:22:24 PM »

Thought I would start a new thread.   I am taking delivery of my new Beta 25 tomorrow.  I am sure the repower will keep me busy for a few days, hopefully not weeks or months.  

Now just need to work on my listing for the classified section, "For sale M25XP, 2900 hours, recent valve job, fresh paint on the bits you can see, new injectors, glow plugs, really clean oil, new belt, new K&N filter, recent water pumps fresh and raw, good for another 2900 hours.  May need rebore, new pistons, rings, bearings, seals, oil pan, and other minor maintenance for optimal power & emissions performance."
« Last Edit: July 19, 2013, 06:32:08 PM by waterdog »
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Steve Dolling
Former 1988 #804, BlackDragon - Vancouver BC
Now 1999 Manta 40 cat

2ndwish

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Re: Blackdragon Repower
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2013, 06:48:42 PM »

What are you going to do about the exhaust? Does their mixing elbow fit in the space available or do you need a new riser?
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waterdog

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Re: Blackdragon Repower
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2013, 06:54:37 PM »

I am getting a threaded stub flange which may be a direct fit for the current exhaust or I may be having bits welded up on Monday.   That is probably among the bigger challenges on this repower.  The panel may be an adventure as well.   I see notes on a "shutoff solenoid".   What, no more T handle?   
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Steve Dolling
Former 1988 #804, BlackDragon - Vancouver BC
Now 1999 Manta 40 cat

Gary

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Re: Blackdragon Repower
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2013, 03:35:03 AM »

Steve,

Lots of respect for your diligence and efforts. You have gone to places I would not be comfortable doing in the re-build. I do have two questions though.

What happened so suddenly to leave the old engine and go for the new?

And what is your thinking on the Beta rather than an exact replacement Universal?

Thanks Steve and the best as you continue your efforts at rework and re-powering Blackdragon.

Gary
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Gary Ambrose
Kije #215
1986 Fin Keel
Falmouth Foreside, ME

Ron Hill

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Re: Blackdragon Repower
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2013, 08:31:18 AM »

Steve : I was faced with the same problem of the "Engine Instrument Panel" when I put in my new engine??

I went with rewiring the engine to match the wiring/panel already in the boat.  I used the same fuel lift pump, change the oil pressure switch to a single pole and had to install a new temperature sender.  Those parts were available from Kubota and low cost. 
I also adapted my duel output Balmar alternator to fit.

I just didn't want to screw around with a different size panel in the cockpit!   It was easily done and you are knowledgeable about what is already there - so think about it!!

A few thoughts

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Ron, Apache #788

Ron Hill

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Re: Blackdragon Repower
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2013, 08:40:27 AM »

Steve : Here's another tip which you may have thought about, but just in case ...

While the engine is still on the shipping crate, check the orientation of all of the hose clamps.  Just imagine that the engine in installed in the engine compartment and envision that you need to tighten or change hoses or other items and how you would access them. 
That could save you a bunch of grief in the future!!

A few thoughts
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Ron, Apache #788

waterdog

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Re: Blackdragon Repower
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2013, 08:54:17 AM »

My decision path seem somewhat wild, reckless, and based on ignorance.   Typically repowering decisions are based on careful planning, thought, and research usually after a thorough assessment of the old power plant by one or more highly competent and trusted diesel mechanics. 

Interestingly, when we first experienced the oil barfing problem (which I now believe to be the result of a combination of a blockage of the crankcase vent tube and a failing #2 piston ring), my wife asked "What's the worst case scenario?   That we have to get a new engine?"   I explained that no, the worst case scenario is that our summer slips away while diesel mechanics charge us thousands of dollars to pronounce the old engine dead and then we buy a new engine.   We lose the sailing season and throw money away.

First of all, I think there are very good diesel mechanics who could probably have helped me properly diagnose and fix whatever ailed the old engine more quickly and economically than the path I have taken.    I am at a little bit of a disadvantage in that I don't really know one.   I think part of the problem is at any point where I have had problem, I just fire up the C34 web site and there is the answer.   When there is a strange noise in the middle of the night off the coast of Mexico, there are no diesel mechanics, so you dig in to the problem, fire up the computer find out how others have solved the problem, and you make it right.   

So last Monday, 12 days ago, the professional mechanic told me there was nothing wrong with my engine.   Unfortunately, I couldn't be there when he was at the boat.    Some of his explanations to me sounded not right, but I am not mechanic so I was happy that I had a clean bill of health and did not get to the boat until Friday.   Friday night the white smoke that was there in abundance.   Mechanic suggested I should service the injectors - so I put in new injectors - no change.   Mechanic suggested i should check the exhaust for clogging.   I checked the exhaust.    Went for a run.  Boat lost power and died.   

So there I sat in my boat Friday night.   I had already at this point pissed away two weeks.  One week waiting for the mechanic to be available.   Another week trusting his assessment and doing nothing to fix the problem.   I felt like I was on the path to hell and made the decision then and there to repower.   

It's a 25 year old engine.   These things are not your sick loved ones whose side you will stick by and do anything and everything to ensure that heroic efforts are made to give them the best quality of life in their final years.   It's OK to pull the plug and move on.   

So having made the decision to repower, I actually had two days of dead time over the weekend in which I couldn't make any progress on sourcing a new engine.   So why not start by doing a proper compression test that the mechanic didn't do when I asked him too.   I guess they don't carry around the test set?   So I bought a set and went to work.   And I made some errors.   The differential between my wet numbers and my dry numbers was not high and probably because I didn't put enough oil in the cylinder.   I concluded that valves might be the problem - or maybe a head gasket.   So what the hell nothing better to do.   Tear the head off and have a look.   And maybe got carried away.    I had a naked head with freshly seated valves by Sunday afternoon.   And took a little extra time to make things pretty put it back together by Wednesday night.   If I was really smart or had consulted a professional I might have concluded that valves weren't really my problem.   

With my new found engine skills, I actually contemplated going ahead with the bottom end with engine in situ.   Worked for Dave Sanner.   But really this engine has some issues.   It is for sure rebuildable, but to do it right, I think I really need to pull it and add a nice micrometer to go with my new compression test set.  I might learn fast, but summer is slipping away.

So on with plan A.   This part might be alarming.   I had talked to the distributor a couple of weeks ago and he had a shiney new M25XPB in stock.  I called him yesterday and he had sold it.   I had thought about a Beta, but wanted a more close drop in replacement.   Didn't want to wait three weeks.   Called the Beta dealer.  He had stock.  I bought it yesterday.    Brother in law is on the ferry to go get the engine this morning.   I heading to the boat to tear out the old one. 

My vacation starts today.   I realize repowering typically takes weeks in the yard when handled by pros.  I am shooting for days installed by an amateur.   I may be crazy but if I just assume the job is too big and too difficult, it definitely won't happen.   

So gotta run.  I'll try and take some pictures.   Sorry for the long answer.
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Steve Dolling
Former 1988 #804, BlackDragon - Vancouver BC
Now 1999 Manta 40 cat

waterdog

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Re: Blackdragon Repower
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2013, 09:01:02 AM »

Steve : Here's another tip which you may have thought about, but just in case ...

While the engine is still on the shipping crate, check the orientation of all of the hose clamps.  Just imagine that the engine in installed in the engine compartment and envision that you need to tighten or change hoses or other items and how you would access them.  
That could save you a bunch of grief in the future!!

A few thoughts

Good call.  Thanks.  

On the panel, I went the full package with all the instruments and idiot lights.   It is definitely oversize.   I am going to pluck all the components out and machine a new plastic panel to accommodate.    I have one more instrument (oil pressure) to fit in the same space, so I think it can be done.  I'll have their harness in my hands in a few hours.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2013, 09:02:32 AM by waterdog »
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Steve Dolling
Former 1988 #804, BlackDragon - Vancouver BC
Now 1999 Manta 40 cat

Gary

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Re: Blackdragon Repower
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2013, 09:32:50 AM »

Steve,

Just a great answer to the questions asked about re-powering. You make it sound like "the great adventure" with your writing style! I will assume there are some heavy duty moments in there too.

Thanks for taking valuable time for the extended answer....much appreciated.

We will hope Blackdragon is soon ready for the vacation.

Gary
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Gary Ambrose
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1986 Fin Keel
Falmouth Foreside, ME

TonyP

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Re: Blackdragon Repower
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2013, 11:55:05 AM »

I have looked at these puppies too.
Beta are also a Kabuta base but built in England.
I was thinking of the 30 hp though.
I will be following this post.
Good luck with the install Steve.

Tony
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Tony Plunkett
C34 Moonshadow
1992  Hull#1174
Pittwater / Newport
NSW Australia

dgill

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Re: Blackdragon Repower
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2013, 06:39:27 AM »

I also repowered my 1987 C34, but chose to use the BETA 28.  I chose the upgraded engine panel as well.  I am very happy with this new engine.  Because it is Kubota based it is familiar and the BETA has many features that make it user friendly ~ such as the oil change pump mounted on the starboard side of the engine.  While the old M25XP (approx. 3500 hrs) still ran, it was beginning to require too much attention.  Additionally, I have always felt it was underpowered for my boat.  I was able to sell this engine to a Tartan owner who is repowering from an Atomic 4.   :thumb:
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First Point of Aries
1987 - Hull # 389
located on Lake Ogleton, Annapolis, Md

waterdog

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Re: Blackdragon Repower
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2013, 12:54:55 AM »

I am a little behind on my pictures.   The old engine is out.   No real problems.   Though half inch impact wrench made disconnecting the coupling a lot easier.    Foster rigged our lift by moving all the mainsheet blocks back one bail.    We had precision control dropping the new one in and could float it a fraction of an inch above the mounting spots with perfect control by halyard and mainsheet.   I think Foster was most impressed that I didn't even check his knots.   He's 15 now, and I trust him with my life.   

The Beta wants to sit lower than the Universal, so we built the bed up 3/4 of an inch.   It's all in and aligned.  Only some small grinding to accommodate the shift linkage.    Fuel is hooked up.   Throttle and shift linkage are done.   Stop lever is ripped out.  Mostly plumbed.   Now working on the wiring.  The big challenge is pulling out the old and useless wiring.   (I don't like wires that don't do anything.)  The Beta panel was lovely, but didn't fit the space and lacked a fuel guage.   So a bit of machining at Blackdragon Works and we are ready to go tomorrow.   Exhaust aligns well, but I need to get the flange welded to my riser tomorrow and we should be good to fire up once fluids are in and checks are done.   
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Steve Dolling
Former 1988 #804, BlackDragon - Vancouver BC
Now 1999 Manta 40 cat

Andrew Harvey

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Re: Blackdragon Repower
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2013, 07:58:38 AM »

I am impressed that you got your Beta so quickly, still watching my season drift by waiting for my 30.
I wil be going with the large panel as well.
Where did you put your fuel gauge?
Good idea about the clamp orientation.
Really keen on hearing your comments about performance.
Remarkable that we are going through virtually the same expensive scenario at the same time!!


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Andrew Harvey

waterdog

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Re: Blackdragon Repower
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2013, 08:12:02 AM »


Where did you put your fuel gauge?


I may not be getting enough sleep.   I thought I posted the picture of my modified panel, but it seemed to look different a moment ago.    Fuel guage is next to the key switch.  It doesn't look like the other gauges, but it's close enough.  I'll try and post again.
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Steve Dolling
Former 1988 #804, BlackDragon - Vancouver BC
Now 1999 Manta 40 cat

Stu Jackson

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Re: Blackdragon Repower
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2013, 08:21:58 AM »

Fuel gauge?!?   :abd: :shock: :? :cry4`

And here I thought all you needed to do was to get a new tach for the old panel.

Geez, you really beat up on your boats! :abd:

The color is nice though, and I'll bet you're gonna be the first one to tell us how EASY an oil change is on one of these new-fangled red thingies.  :clap

I recommend that you paint all of your hoses the same color as the engine.  That'll make it look just like the factory did it.

What knots did Foster use?  Yup, a great deal of trust, but a cruise to Mexico will certainly develop those traits.  :D
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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