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Canal Boat - - Contents - TONY REPLIES…

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.

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