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Project Log:  Sunday, February 5, 2012

Throughout my mental engine room planning processes, I'd reserved the port side for the main components of the heating system.  With the engine now in place, I felt it was time to lay out and prepare the mounting board on this side.  I was nearing a point in the project where I'd want to start making various connections and installations, interspersed with the continuing trim work and other construction, and claiming the valuable engine room real estate for the planned components was the first order of business towards that end.

The heating system promised to be one of the more complicated installations on board, and I'd be working my way through it as logically as I could.  I couldn't know exactly how everything would lay out till I became involved with it, and this proved true even as I began the relatively simple process of laying out and installing a few items on the port engine room bulkhead panel. To begin, I reviewed various installation instructions to ensure that I took all necessary restrictions into account.

I knew the Webasto TSL-17 boiler would be mounted towards the upper aft end of the panel, as this would place it close to its fuel supply and, more importantly, allow for easy and unobstructed passage of the exhaust and air intake systems.  Related components would revolve around this location, but first I had one large item to contend with:  a heat exchanger that would allow the engine's cooling system to supply heat to both the domestic water heater and the vessel heating system, for use while underway.

The heat exchanger was a long, slim, cylindrical arrangement, with two outlets on the bottom for connection to the engine itself (I'd ordered the engine with the appropriate fittings installed), and two additional outlets for connection in the heating system itself.  Eventually, I'd be able to choose, at the flip of a switch, between using the engine heat or system heat to supply my water heater and the interior heat itself. 

I could place the heat exchanger just about anywhere in the overall plumbing scheme, but realistically it needed to be near the engine for convenient hookup, and to avoid long hose runs that might unduly tax the engine's cooling system pumps.  It also needed to be below the level of the coolant reservoir on the engine, which wasn't a problem since I had a high-mounted remote coolant tank for the engine; however, since I could, I'd also mount it below the coolant reservoir on the engine itself.  Logically, these requirements, plus the limitations of the space available in the engine room, led to the only place I'd really ever considered, which was the bottom edge of the port bulkhead panel.

With the heat exchanger dry-fit where I thought it should go, I got to work on the rest of the panel's basic layout, beginning with the diesel boiler itself.  To begin, I attached a mounting bracket to the back side, and then played around with the final location.  Keeping in mind the eventual layout of the hoses, exhaust, and intake systems, as well as obstructions in the engine room and required clearances--plus the need to maintain access to the bolt holes for securing the bulkhead panel to the studs in the engine room--I eventually selected the location I'd planned all along, though I'd been trying to "cheat" it as far aft as possible to save as much space on the panel as possible for other things.

The boiler came with a special Surewire wiring board attached with a surprisingly short wiring harness.  Because of how the harness attached to the Surewire board, plus the requirement for the wires to exit through an opening in the board's cover panel, this limited, for all practical purposes, the location of the board to a single location adjacent to the heater, and turned 90° from horizontal to provide better space for the eventual wiring runs in and amongst the other installations on the panel.

With these basic locations determined, I drilled some mounting holes and installed the heat exchanger brackets and Surewire board, followed by the heater itself.  I secured the wiring harness to the panel. I would have preferred the Surewire board to be mounted in its "correct" orientation, with the wires exiting the bottom, but it just didn't work with the length of the wiring harness and other obstructions.  Other than my sense of order, there was no good reason not to install it sideways, since that made the arrangement work given the restrictions of the space.


The other significant installation I needed to make on this board was the circulation pump for the heating system.  This had to be relatively close to the boiler to keep it within wiring harness range (though this harness was about twice as long as the Surewire harness), and for other reasons.  The hose run between the pump and the boiler (the pump was to be on the return side of the system) also needed to be unobstructed, with no elbows or other fittings.  To help lay out where I should mount the pump, I installed hose onto the return port on the boiler, and allowed the hose to dictate where it needed to go from there.  The hose was extremely difficult to get onto the boiler port; I had to temporarily screw the whole panel to the bench so I could twist the hose on.

By running the hose aft a bit and making a fair curve, I could redirect it forward, along the board, and to the empty space where I wanted to locate the pump.  This also kept it well clear of the exhaust elbow below the boiler, which I temporarily dry-installed to show its location.  The exhaust was the most unforgiving of the connections to the boiler, and was foremost in my mind as I made all the other layout and installation decisions along the way.  There was abundant extra wiring harness for the pump, which I secured beneath the pump.


I'd originally hoped to install the fuel pump and filter somewhere on this board, but as things progressed it became clear that there'd not be a good spot, and that these would be better mounted on a separate board just aft of the boiler.  There was space to hang this board beneath the removable aft cross beam in the engine room, so I'd work on that in the near future.  I needed some additional fittings for how I wanted to lay out the filter, valve, and pump anyway.

This completed the initial layout of the panel, and after removing the heat exchanger and Surewire board, both of which blocked panel fasteners beneath, I installed the panel back in the engine room.

I started to gather materials to complete the layout of the fuel system on the starboard panel, but discovered I didn't have the screws I needed to install the supply and return manifolds, which was the whole point of the exercise.  So I postponed that project till later.

Rounding out my plans to install most of the major components requiring space on the engine room panels, I secured the Adverc battery controller, which I'd ordered along with the engine, to the forward panel just next to the oil filter.  Eventually, I'd connect this, via a supplied wiring harness, to the engine alternator.


Total Time Today:  4.5 hours

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