Update to Heat Exchanger project

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7 months 17 hours ago #3578 by Dave Scola
Hello All was created by Dave Scola
Hello everyone!  My wife and I are new to the Brewer World, having purchased Shelagh, a Brewer 44, last spring.  We bought her in St Augustine from a wonderful FO.   In honor of the fact that we were only the second owners and just a bit suspicious of the renaming jinx, we decided her name was beautiful and did not change it. We just completed our first major refit and put her back in the water today.  She needed some hull work and a new transmission coupling, prop shaft and other odds and ends.  Thanks to Covid, our 2 week refit took almost 5 months, but we couldn't be any happier than we were the day we bought her.

Just thought I would introduce us to the forum and make some new acquaintances.  We are in Grand Rivers, KY and hope to head south in a couple of years.  We still have not sailed her, nor have we had the mast up since she was first put on the hard last May, but hope to have her remasted and out on Kentucky Lake this season.  

I do have an over-heating problem that I plan to continue to address in short order.  I have replaced the impeller (not really needed after inspection, but hey - why not?), the transmission cooler and all "In" side hoses on our Perkins 4.236 and plan to work on the heat exchanger and hoses soon.  What is the proper running temp at, say, 1600 rpm?  She was getting well over 200 degrees F if I pushed her much beyond 1300 RPM, so our cruising speed was limited to about 3 kn last summer.  Aside from heat exchanger, thermostat and coolant change is there any thing else I should be addressing?  She has analog instruments but putting an infrared thermometer on the coolant, heat exchanger and exhaust manifold never really seemed to get into critical temp range.  Should I trust the instruments (circa 1989) or my IR thermometer?  Is there somewhere, specifically, that I should measure engine temp to know how hot she is running?

Thanks for any help and I am very grateful for any advice;  I am a total novice!

Dave Scola
S/V Shelah
Grand River, KY
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7 months 3 hours ago #3579 by Cindy Ann Bowers
Replied by Cindy Ann Bowers on topic Hello All
Dave,

Welcome!!!  You didn't mention water intake (probably because this is obvious, but I'll say it anyway). Growth and occasionally small fish can foul your water intake strainer. I have a reminder to clean ours monthly (or more often in warm waters). Ours is located in front of our water box, right at the through-hull. Keep that through-hull well lubricated, shut it, screw off the cap for the water strainer, muck it out, put it back in and open the through-hull. That was often the cause of engine overheating when we were first learning our boat. 

Our temp peaks at 180, then drops to 160 and stays there. 

 

CA
S/V Red Ranger

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7 months 2 hours ago #3580 by Gino & Carolyn Del Guercio
Replied by Gino & Carolyn Del Guercio on topic Hello All
Hello Dave,
We also bought our Brewer 44, Andiamo, from a FO seven years ago. We bought her in Cape Coral, FL, and have sailed her to Maine three times, Bahamas three times, and Caribbean once. Great boat, solid as a rock. Be sure to check your chain plates carefully. We snapped one while under full sail and were lucky to save the rig. I pulled them all and discovered hidden corrosion in many. Replaced them all. Hope to see you out there. We’re in Georgia now and will cross to the Bahamas in two weeks. We recently replaced our Perkins with a Beta Marine 60. The engine ran fine but the ancillaries kept breaking in inconvenient ports.
 
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7 months 2 hours ago #3581 by Dave Scola
Replied by Dave Scola on topic Hello All
Thanks, Cindy Ann! Yes, I did check the raw water intake, sea strainer and all associated hoses...and they all needed cleaning. I lubricated all the seacocks while she was on the hard, though we only had a problem with one of them that was stuck for good (not related to engine overheat issue). That one, the starboard side cockpit drain, was permanently frozen, so it was replaced with a shiney new one.

Thanks for the info on temp, that helps!

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7 months 1 hour ago #3582 by Dave Scola
Replied by Dave Scola on topic Hello All
Gino and Carolyn, you have a beautiful boat! Very cool that you made the cover of GOB! Yeah, looks like there may be some corrosion on the underside of at least some of the chainplates. Thats a project on the list of things to do, for sure, The first year, we have been focused on making the hull as solid as new and to rework the engine to make sure we have reliable propulsion. As soon as I have that done, I will move on to the actual SAILING components. I'd hoped to get the chainplates at least pulled,re-bedded and replaced where needed earlier, but having her in a no DIY yard for 5 months set that plan back.

As for the Perkins... "ancillaries kept breaking in inconvenient ports"...isn't that the definition of sailing? ;) I figure as long as the Perkins runs and doesnt present too many recurring problems, I will stay with an engine that I can actually work on without an IT degree. When the time comes for a repower, though, the Beta Marine engines are on the top of my list.

We, too, hope to see you both out there in the not-to-distant future!

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7 months 1 hour ago #3583 by Steven Lott
Replied by Steven Lott on topic Hello All
Not familiar with Perkins. But. Our Lehman overheated from poor water inflow -- the Chesapeake requires a lot of cleaning of the external bronze through-hull as well as the screen before the sea chest.

It also wasn't happy when the heat exchangers (Lehman's have 3) are cruddy. The main heat-exchanger has a zinc pencil. It can break off. I had to finally take the thing apart to get the broken-off pencils out of it.

Air in the engine's cooling water system is a possibility.

A loose belt may mean the engine's pump isn't circulating enough water.

One suggestion (which seems hugely complicated to do) is to put a bucket under the exhaust and measure how long it takes to get 3 gallons of water.

I think the Lehman cooling pump is a Jabsco F5B and is rated for something like 3-5 GPM (depending on RPMs and gearing; I may be way wrong on this) So. I'd expect to get three gallons in a minute or two.

I like to see a healthy spray, also, suggesting plenty of water flowing through. (Which means a clean muffler.)

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7 months 1 hour ago #3584 by Dave Scola
Replied by Dave Scola on topic Hello All
Thanks, Steven! I thought about measuring the output as you described, but it did, indeed, seem like an overly-complicated procedure. Flow LOOKS (??) good, but with no prior experience, I really dont know.

I think you're onto it though, with the heat exchanger being clogged by something. KISS it, right? Thats kinda been my process. Start with the easiest and most logical stuff then move forward if that doesnt fix the problem. I'll know more as I remove the alternator (easier access to the heat exchanger), change the fluid, replace the belt, install new thermostat, and pull the exchanger to see what's going on inside there.

If all that doesn't bring the temp down, I'll have to look into the exhaust side: manifold, elbow, hoses, lift muffler. I'm hoping it doesn't get that complicated, but you never know!

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7 months 11 minutes ago #3585 by Gino & Carolyn Del Guercio
Replied by Gino & Carolyn Del Guercio on topic Hello All
If the mast is out this would be the time to replace the chain plates. It should only take a half a day to remove them. And it’s easy to get new ones fabricated. Plus another half day to put them back in

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7 months 2 minutes ago #3586 by Franklin Gray
Replied by Franklin Gray on topic Hello All
Not sure if this has been discussed but a bad head gasket can cause overheating too.

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6 months 4 weeks ago #3587 by Dave Scola
Replied by Dave Scola on topic Hello All
Yes, Sir.  Mast should go up in March, hoping to have all chainplates finished before then.

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6 months 4 weeks ago #3588 by Dave Scola
Replied by Dave Scola on topic Hello All
I hope I can find a simpler solution, Franklin, but a head gasket is also not out of the question.

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6 months 4 weeks ago #3589 by Franklin Gray
Replied by Franklin Gray on topic Hello All
I hope you really enjoy cruising. I cruised for 8 years, 6 on a Hunter 376 and 2 on my Whitby 55' due to me developing a family in Tonga. I gotta tell ya, Whitby boats are fantastic. We are currently in the process of buying a house in Colorado. I hope I don't have to sell the boat down the road as we are planning on giving it another try to sail around the world in 5 years. If I don't get another chance I'm ok with it but maybe I can find a way to make it back out on the waters and see you out there.

Whitby 55s are so fantastic that I am willing to pay 35+K in slip fees just to keep the boat for a possible chance I can take her out there again in the future. They only made 3 of these so I know if I let her go, I will never be able to sail on such a wonderful boat again. I think so much of this boat that I hope I can hold onto it and give it to my son. I know I would sleep much better knowing he is on a Whitby.

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6 months 4 weeks ago #3590 by Dave Scola
Replied by Dave Scola on topic Hello All
Good luck with the house in CO! You have a beautiful boat, and I hope you can hold on to her as long as you want and do your circumnavigation. We would love to see you out there and that (nearly) one-of-a-kind Whitby!

From what I can tell the only boat manufacturer that is making anything comparable is Kraken Yachts, but a brand new TRUE blue-water 50 footer was not in our budget ;) It really is a case of "they don't make them like that anymore". Definitely worth hanging on to these gems.

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6 months 2 weeks ago #3598 by Kevin Asbury
Replied by Kevin Asbury on topic Hello All
Hi Dave,
Welcome to a wonderful boat to sail. I have a 73 with a 4-236. If your Perkins is running smooth I doubt its the head gasket. What I suggest is getting some Barnacle buster mixing it as says on the package in a 5 gallon bucket. then run it through the heat exchanger. This made a big difference to me. I lost my gauges due to a lightning hit but I can hold my hand on the fresh water tank where the radiator cap is at 1500 rpm. Here is a 4108 clean out video which is almost the same as our engine that should help you.


Most of these folks got Ford Lehmans. I love my 4-236 and am replacing all the gauges this week as they just came in. . Cheers. Kevin

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6 months 2 weeks ago #3599 by Dave Scola
Replied by Dave Scola on topic Hello All
Thanks, Kevin! I actually pulled the Hx last week. ONLY took me 5 hours to remove 4 hoses and 2 bolts. I have been soaking in a sodium hydroxide solution (basically drain cleaner) as recommended by perkins, but it hasn't touched my blockage. In fairness, I was not able to safely boil it, as recommened. My Hx looks far worse than the image in your post, so I just ordered a new replacement unit. I will try the Barnacle Buster to see if I can keep the old unit as a backup, but will have to soak it, since I will not be putting it back on the engine unless its an emergency. It took ME 3 days to recover from that "simple" project!

Not quite sure how I will put the new one in, but I may need to remove the aft A/C unit. It is mounted on the aft bulkhead of the engine room. We were getting a fairly strong deisel odor (another ongoing project) from that A/C last summer, so I may move it to the starboard hanging locker or drawer area to maintain access to the exhaust side of the engine. I think I will also replace the exhaust elbow, if I remove the A/C unit.

Thank you all for the helpful suggestions. This is all new to me and any advice is welcomed!

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6 months 2 weeks ago #3600 by Kevin Asbury
Replied by Kevin Asbury on topic Hello All
Hi Dave,

My HX was replaced about 10 years ago as the FO left all the receipts for the boat in a nice file for me. I just did the barnacle buster treatment when I bought the boat last year.

Like you, my boat is a work in progress at 50 years old but I am enjoying the ride.

Best of luck and enjoy!

Kevin

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6 months 2 weeks ago #3601 by Dave Scola
Replied by Dave Scola on topic Hello All
Definitely enjoying the ride, Kevin. I retired early in 2020 and bought the boat last spring, so now my job is to work on the boat, maintain and ready the house for sale and be an all-around houseboy, handyman, husband and father. I love this ride. So much better than working for someone else!

I wish you all the best with your project as well!

Dave

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6 months 2 weeks ago #3602 by Kevin Asbury
Replied by Kevin Asbury on topic Hello All
Hi Dave,

I too am doing the same thing as you. I took my last contract during Covid and bought my boat the year before last. I am also working to sell this house in Fort Lauderdale and eventually move onto the boat full time. I am not interested in traveling the world but just gunkholing all over the Southern States and the Caribbean. No Pacific or Atlantic crossings for me.

My plans had to change a little as I am now raising a 12 year old granddaughter that I did not anticipate when I bought the boat. Long story. So I will keep one house and she and her grandma can live in while I play with the boat and take some shake down cruises until she is raised. She is a great first mate too. :-)

My last boat project was to rewire the entire boat with marine grade wire and upgrade the panels. Both DC and AC circuits. I have also gone through all parts of the engine and tranny to change fluids, belts, zincs, adjust valves lashes, and now adding all new gauges, tach, stop solenoids, etc. I also completely redid my fresh water system as you will find the tank tops will leak. I placed water bags in all my tanks to get by this issue along with all new water lines throughout the boat.. Next is to replace all the heads with electric heads and all new sewage lines throughout the boat. Thought about composting heads but prefer the traditional.

Overall, I am having fun even if I drink too much beer and spend too much money and time on this wonderful boat. Like you, I am enjoying not working for anyone else and if it takes me 5 years to finish the boat, then it takes 5 years. That is why I am saving the hull and paint for last so I can take a few excursions in the keys and SW Florida. I am moored in Dinner Key in Miami and what a great location for day and weekend excursions.

Enjoy yourself as you sound like you earned it as I have. If you need any manuals or bad advice let me know. lol. I also have all the part numbers for the Perkins Motor and the velvet drive tranny.

Beat of Luck and Smooth Seas! Cheers!

Kevin
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6 months 1 week ago #3607 by Dave Scola
Replied by Dave Scola on topic Update to Heat Exchanger project
Thanks for the advice on the Barnacle Buster, Kevin.  I finally got my gallon of concentrate yesterday and soaked the Hx for a few hours last night.  That was some science experiment going on!  Lots of bubbling and gunk evacuating the exchanger.  After rinsing and running a stripped 12g copper wire through it, it seems like it is mostly cleared out.  I am resoaking to see if I can get the wire to go through each inner cooling tube easily, but when filling with water, they all seem to drain properly now.  My NEW Hx should be arriving today, so I will keep the old unit as a backup.  I won't know if this completely solves my overheat problem until I re-commision the boat in a month or so, but it certainly was a major contributing factor.

My gut tells me that was the issue (fingers crossed), but if not,  I'll figure it out!  With a new Hx, new hoses, thermostat test and new fluid, things start to get more complicated.  Thanks to everyone for the help.

Dave

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6 months 3 days ago #3611 by Kevin Asbury
Replied by Kevin Asbury on topic Update to Heat Exchanger project
Hey Dave,

Glad the Barnacle Buster worked. More important, you now have a new HX so you should run way cool. Hope you are staying warm there. I'll give you a buzz later this week when I get to my boat. Cheers!
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