ASK THE EXPERTS
Searching for a squeak; polishing new paint; how many turns of the greaser?; fitting a flue
QRecently I have experienced a nasty squeak coming from my narrowboat’s engine bay. Having tightened the alternator as much as it can go and inspected the belt, it does not appear to be wearing. The squeak only comes when the engine is in forward gear and under load. Any suggestions?
KEVINY, via the CB website
AWe really need to ascertain if the frequency of the squeak is in time with engine revs, propshaft revs or random, but in the absence of that information, here are some ideas. First check the engine mounting nuts. ( If the engine is suspended part way up studs make sure you tighten the bottom nut upwards against the foot and top nut.) Also, check that the smaller bolts that hold the engine mounts onto the beds are tight. What type of stern gland do you have? If it’s a packed gland with a greaser, make sure you use the greaser.
Make sure that no tins etc. stored on the uxter (swim) plate have fallen down and are resting against the engine.
Now you need a listening stick. This is either a long screwdriver or a simple length of wood. Put one end to your ear and the other end on various parts of the engine, gearbox, stern gland, alternators and any thrust blocks or plumber bearings on the shaft. The noise travelling up the listening stick will help you localise the source.
Feel down the weed hatch to ensure nothing is caught between the prop and the back of the boat and that the prop is at least half an inch away from the hull.
If you have been running with an over tight alternator belt, the bearings may be failing in the alternator so listen to those carefully.