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Project Log:  Saturday, May 16, 2015

The new owner came over to witness and help with the initial engine run.  Since I wanted him to learn as much about the boat as possible, I left it to him to add fluids to the engine, and to do most of the preparatory work.  In order to route the engine exhaust outside, a couple years earlier we'd come up with a system of PVC pipes and flexible couplings that could clamp onto the exhaust outlet on the owner's previous boat; this worked on Lively Heels's outlet as well, though the connection to the curvaceous outlet was a bit more tenuous.  I clamped together the pipes and led them outdoors while the owner worked in the boat adding fluids.  Later, we added 8 gallons of diesel to the aft (center) fuel tank for the test-run.

It had been a long time since I'd installed the engine and most components of the fuel system, so it took a little reorientation and a couple minor missteps before we managed to get some fuel flowing properly into the dual filters and thenceforth to the engine.  In another episode of "Unnecessarily Thoughtless Design", the bleed screw on the engine's secondary filter--a hex-head bolt--was partially blocked by the fuel hose and clamp (manufacturer-mounted) leading to the top of the filter, which made the bleeding process--minimal though it was--more irritating than necessary.

Once I remembered how things were supposed to work in my carefully-installed system, the manual primer bulb below the dual fuel filters worked excellently, and filled these filters (we started with one and later stopped the engine and switched to the other, filling it and bleeding the engine again) quickly and easily.

Ignoring our minor re-learning curve, the process to prepare the engine was quick and easy, and the engine started almost before we turned the key the first time--obviously well-ready for its entry into service, finally.  This choppy video is made up of several segments showing the engine at various stages. 

This link takes you directly to the video in case the player doesn't show up above.

We stopped the engine after a couple minutes' run time to recheck the oil and coolant levels, and after topping off as needed we ran the engine for some time before shutting down, the test a complete success.

The other project I wanted to get done while I had the owner's help was to fill and bleed the steering system.  I found the instructions left a little to be desired--hydraulic steering is not something I'd installed before in my normal course of events--but once we squared away the directions' intent, the process was actually quick and easy.  While the owner worked at the helm to control the flow of new fluid into the helm, I worked in the after steering room to bleed the system of air and charge it fully with the fluid being pumped in by the helm.  Access was decent, but working with finickey drain hoses and full cups of oil was less fun than it could have been.

Afterwards, I discovered to my dismay that the steering was hooked up backwards:  left was right and right was left.  Fortunately, this was an easy fix, just swapping the two hoses at the steering cylinder, which was possible without making a huge mess or rebleeding the system.  Following the swap, the steering worked correctly, and in the correct direction.

This link takes you directly to the video in case the player doesn't show up above.

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