Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Diesel Success!

There are a few things in life you tend to wonder if you have the ability to achieve. One of them, from my point of view, has been the rehabilitation of the Vetus M2.05 engine nestled in Jacob Jones.

When I bought the boat, it had sat on a trailer for several seasons. And bad things happen to a diesel that is neglected like that. It's been a long term goal to get it rebuilt (or at least checked out) to determine whether or not it really needed to be replaced. It's history (and unreliable nature) while I have owned the boat has been just one instance of disappointment after another. The engine was pulled out of the boat in the fall of 2011 and thru 2012 the boat spent it's summer weekends tanning gently in the sun of Worton's Creek Marina's upper yard. I gradually took it all apart, checked it all out, replaced various "might as well since I'm in here" parts and reassembled it under the professorial tutelage of a good friend.

This spring it was time to re-install the motor. With the help of two very fine gentlemen, the motor was hoisted back into and the debugging of her systems began. I say "debugging" because based on my professional proclivities, debugging is the way I tend to think of complicated systems and the
untangling of snarled subsystems with a careful logical processing of the implications regarding the data the systems show you as you proceed. If-then-else is only a start of a very nasty decision tree that emerges as a system is petted, analyzed, brow-beaten and persuaded into reliable and predictable behavior.

And yes, in the final summary, the systems of a sailboat's diesel are very simple.  And at this point, I'm probably in rare company indeed of those who know the K2AS engine this well.

Because, at this point, she runs better than ever before. Her unloaded RPMs spin right up to manufacturer max, and with her current gearbox and prop, she's able to push 4.2 knots at 2000 rpm. That's a huge win. I think we can get more out of her as we tune it.

Additionally, the damn thing starts like it's no big deal. Lights up right away. Now all that is left is to make my confidence in it a thing that only time and continued experience with it running just fine can create.

1 comment:

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