More work than expected on the Volvo diesel

Posted By on March 3, 2015

Tim working on Volvo

“Nothing that's worthwhile is ever easy” wrote Nicholas Sparks; that must be true since getting Encore's Volvo diesel back in shape is testing my patience and finances (but then we're talking about a boat, so that second part is a given). Thankfully I have a very experience diesel mechanic who keeps one boat here in Florida and another up on Lake Champlain. I'll let you guess where he spends the winter?

The list of repairs has grown since taking components off one by one to get to the original problem has found other things that need to be addressed. Some of the inexpensive (relatively) items that I intended to fix like a new anti-siphon valve required new hoses and hose clamps. Then the removal of the alternator in order to get to the heat exchanger was a blessing in disguise since the bearings were gravelly and while in the alternator shop they replaced the rectifier (converts the AC power to DC). In the case of our sailboat's alternator, it is high outputs so having it rebuilt for $185 makes more sense than replacing.

Originally I really just wanted Tim to look at a “leaky” injector (which he pulled out and cleaned) as it was not getting a full burn due to poor compression. I'm hoping that there aren't any deeper issues with the engine and that reseating this injector will correct the problem.

While primarily focused was on the diesel problems, I also worked on the pressure water system and had to smile after seeing just how nice the new galley faucet worked. Unfortunately after I fixed one leak in the “plastic” waterlines, I've found another in a less than accessible place. Oh well, something for the next trip.

New faucet in galley

One of the last things we found when putting the engine back together was a “stuck” digital multi-state voltage regulator. This is the device which controls or “regulates” the charge rate coming from the alternator to the battery back. These smart devices need to be programmed so as not to overheat the alternator or batteries but assist in rapidly charging. So, I've order a new updated Balmar model from PKYS Inc in order to save a few dollars and with free shipping.

Order from PKYS Inc 3/2/2015



Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
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