Centaur pulling the engine

josephcrawley
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Centaur pulling the engine

Post by josephcrawley » Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:29 pm

I need to remove the volvo penta from a 76 centaur to replace the starter(bolts seized and stripped). Can I use the boom to lift the engine through the hatch? or would I be better off using one of the halyards? I figured I would leave the transmission on the engine and pull them both.

thanks!

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Re: Centaur pulling the engine

Post by Willhc » Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:22 am

Replacing the starter motor needs the engine removed? Feels a bit dramatic?? Not something I have needed to do with mine, but would expect better access to the starter motor. Are you still on an MD11C..?

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Re: Centaur pulling the engine

Post by josephcrawley » Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:10 am

It's a 3 cylinder Volvo penta not sure the exact model. It is a few hundred miles from my current location. The amount of room to get to it is very minimal. After torching the bolts we stripped them with an air wrench so the only way to get them out will be to cut them off with an angel grinder. Fortunately the bolts thread into the starter so that should work. Even if we had a trained monkey or a small child they couldn't reach the bolts in the given space. So we gotta pull the motor. I wish this was not the case.

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Re: Centaur pulling the engine

Post by Gary-Cottam » Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:59 am

Hi Joseph,

I found that the MD2B was too big to be lifted vertically through the engine hatch, I had to take it into the salon first, and then up and through the companion way.

I then used the boom supported by a halyard at the lifting point.

Here are some pictures of the process:

http://www.westerly-centaur.co.uk/centaur-md2b-removal
Westerly Centaur 1421 - Gemini
Haven Marina, Ipswich

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Re: Centaur pulling the engine

Post by TyroSailor » Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:29 pm

You definitely don't need to remove the engine to take the starter motor off. I did it (two or three times for reasons I won't bore you with) quite easily on my old MD2B, so unless they completely redesigned it between that and the MD2C (not the same as the MD11C, by the way) you should be able to get at it.

If the bolts are seized and/or rusted soak the area in Plusgas or similar (not WD40) for a few days and then clout the bolt heads/nuts with a hammer before trying to undo them. If that doesn't work or the heads are already mangled you'll have to drill them out. Whether you can get a big enough drill in to do that is another matter.

If you do need to remove the engine you'll need to remove the top panel of the companionway box, and probably the hardwood step (mine turned out to be roten so I made a new one). (I felt it a real shame to damage the beautiful joinery that some craftsman had done forty years before. Be very sure which screw plugs you really need to remove.) My engineer then cut a slot in the GRP step underneath the wooden one to take the chain of the hoist but you may get away without this. You do not need to remove the rest of the joinery around the hole.

If you're taking the engine out, it might be worth replacing it with a new one anyway!
Last edited by TyroSailor on Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:21 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Centaur pulling the engine

Post by josephcrawley » Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:19 pm

I could definitely drill out the upper bolt but not to sure about the lower one. To even get to it I had to shorten an Allen key. It is a very tight fit. Good advice about sliding the engine forward before trying to loft it up. Even moving it forward would probably be enough to get to those infernal bolts.

Thanks for the advice. I will be in less of a hurry on my next trip to the boat and will give it another hard look to see if I can avoid pulling it.

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Re: Centaur pulling the engine

Post by TyroSailor » Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:13 am

Remember that to remove the engine you need not only to undo the four mounting bolts (and be able to put them back exactly as they are) but also the coupling between the gearbox and prop shaft, the fuel pipe between the primary and secondary filter, the throttle, gear & engine stop cables, all the wiring and whatever else I've forgotten. Any of the nuts may well be seized and it's easy to damage something accidentally.

It might be worth asking the advice of an engineer - who might even have a special tool to undo the starter bolts. Even if he charges you (and he may not) it's probably worth it, to avoid the trouble and expense.

For something as accessible as a starter motor, taking out the engine seems like overkill, and should, in my opinion, be very much a last resort!
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Re: Centaur pulling the engine

Post by josephcrawley » Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:20 am

Well I finally gothe that starter out and it turns out it was working fine. Problem was the ring gear is severely corroded and has little brown nubs instead of teeth. Also the motor is a penta 2003 not the original. There is no water in the crank case and it is not seized so it in theory could run again. Trouble is finding a ring gear seems pretty hard. Any suggestions on where to get one? Also I assume if I pull the transmission I could replace the flywheel or will I need to pull the engine for that?

Thanks

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Re: Centaur pulling the engine

Post by splitpin » Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:58 am

When I wanted a new ring gear for my Penta 2002 engine it also was not available from Volvo marine but it was the same as a Volvo car. I can't remember the exact model but the part number was 6842185.
It had 142 teeth, the outer diameter was approx 303 mm, inner dia 273mm, thickness 9.1mm, pitch about 6.5mm
The price from my local car dealer then, 5yrs ago was about £60. Not cheap but at least I got one.
It is always possible it just might be the same as yours if your starter is from a 2003 model.
If not try http://www.fwthornton.co.uk/5.html who carry a range of ring gears for pre 1990 vehicles.

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Re: Centaur pulling the engine

Post by josephcrawley » Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:27 pm

That is a great tip! I'm in the US so I will check with US suppliers of ring gears. I was able to find a used complete flywheel for 250USD the seller wouldn't separate the ring gear because their labor would make the price the same. Did you swap the ring gear with the engine on the boat?

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Re: Centaur pulling the engine

Post by splitpin » Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:45 pm

Joseph
I will PM you with the procedure I took to do it as its quite long for this board.

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Re: Centaur pulling the engine

Post by josephcrawley » Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:17 pm

I should also ask if there is a way to start this engine without a starter. Perhaps I can use an impact driver on the crank bolt? I would just like to verify it will run before throwing good money after bad.
Thanks guys you are very helpful.

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Re: Centaur pulling the engine

Post by JayT » Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:25 pm

Sounds like ideal material for the Wiki. Then you won't have to post it again to the next enquirer! Let me know if you would be happy to have it posted.
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Re: Centaur pulling the engine

Post by splitpin » Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:33 am

I wouldn't use an impact gun on the crank pulley bolt as it may overtighten it and even snap it. I have started my 2002 using a speed brace with an inline ratchet and socket on the bolt . The inline ratchet stops damage to your wrist/hand if it back fires.
Open the valve lifters then crank as fast as you can, a second person is needed to drop one of the exhaust valves closed and when it fires drop the other one.
Make sure you have gone through any cold start procedure before hand. ie on the 2002 engine open throttle wide and pull the stop lever up and down to engage the fuel enrichment device in the pump. I don't know what it is on your engine.

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Re: Centaur pulling the engine

Post by josephcrawley » Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:39 pm

How do you stick the lifterus open?

Oh i see there may be a decompression lever on the front of the engine at the valve cover. Apparently not all 2003s have this lever. If I do what are the various positions? I guess there should be one for all exhaust valves open all shut and one shut?

If I don't have this decompression lever is there any hope of starting the engine? Perhaps with a powerful drill?
Thanks again

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