Monday, November 24, 2014

You can check out but you can never leave

Last week we broke out the champagne. We have been almost 5 months here in La Parguera, Puerto Rico, while our Perkins diesel engine was being rebuilt. It was the rebuild from hell but finally the last parts were here, the last machine shop work was done, and the mechanic got the last bits hooked up in the engine room. He fired it up and it ran like a top!

The next day we did a sea trial with varying rpms and wide open throttle. Over the next few days we ran the engine several times carefully checking oil and coolant levels each time. Everything seemed cool so we set off motoring to an anchorage 5 miles up wind from here. On arrival a check of the engine room showed liquid all over the back of the engine. It was coolant. Running the engine now made a fountain of coolant from around the rear fuel injector.

We sailed back to La Parguera and sent the mechanic an email describing the problem. He showed up that afternoon, then came back this morning to try something else. Turns out our newly refurbished cylinder head had a weak spot in the sleeve the injector fits through into the cylinder. Water coolant circulates around that area and found that weak spot.

The head is not repairable and we are now looking for a new one.