LOTS OF WIRES BUT NO REVS WEB Q&As

Canal Boat - - Back Cabin: Experts -

QMy BMC 1500 en­gine’s orig­i­nal rev counter cur­rently has no wires any­where near it. Made in 1979, it has three ter­mi­nals marked ‘Pos’, ‘Neg + Gen Z’ and ‘Gen X’. There is a la­bel say­ing ‘022’ ad­ja­cent. Any ideas for wiring it? PETERI, via the CB web­site

ATONY REPLIES: I have a feel­ing this rev counter may have been de­signed to be paired with an in­duc­tive sen­sor, of­ten fit­ted close to the front pul­ley or fly­wheel.

If I am right, the ‘Gen X’ and ‘Gen Z’ would be fed from the two sen­sor con­nec­tions (with ‘Pos’ con­nected to the ‘ig­ni­tion on’ ter­mi­nal on the ig­ni­tion switch).

As the in­duc­tor’s output is sim­i­lar to AC, it shouldn’t mat­ter which of ‘Gen X’ and ‘Gen Z’ goes to where – but if it doesn’t work one way,

QAREPACKING THE STERN GLAND

Can you repack a stern gland with the boat in the wa­ter? ELLAN1019, via the CB web­site

TONY REPLIES: Yes, it’s usu­ally done that way. Pre­pare your pack­ing, have all the tools you need to hand first and be aware that the de­gree of wa­ter leak­ing into the boat de­pends upon the wear in the shaft and bear­ings.

If there is only a lit­tle wear then us­ing the greaser be­fore you re­move the old pack­ing may seal the shaft com­pletely. If there is a lot of wear the wa­ter ingress could be a lit­tle wor­ry­ing the first time you do it but the bilge pump should cope. try the other. I have also seen rev coun­ters with their own lit­tle gen­er­a­tors fit­ted to the en­gine in which case the two Gen ter­mi­nals are fed from the gen­er­a­tor.

If your en­gine does not have an in­duc­tor you could try feed­ing Gen X from the W ter­mi­nal or a phase tap on the al­ter­na­tor and con­nect­ing ‘Neg + Gen Z’ to neg­a­tive – but bear in mind that whereas mod­ern coun­ters have an ad­juster to set the cor­rect speed (be­cause the al­ter­na­tor pul­ley ra­tio is un­known to the rev counter maker), an in­duc­tor sen­sor would run at en­gine speed – so a rev counter de­signed to work with it may have no ad­juster.

It could save time and cost to buy a mod­ern counter and feed it from the W ter­mi­nal.

QHOW MUCH TO FIT A STOVE?

Leav­ing aside the cost of a stove, what can I ex­pect to pay to have it pro­fes­sion­ally fit­ted to a nar­row­boat. PHATMAL, via the CB web­site

ATONY REPLIES: That de­pends upon the lo­cal labour rates, and how much work is re­quired.

Does it re­quires pip­ing to cen­tral heat­ing? How much work is needed to clear a suit­able space and fire/heat­proof the area and in­stall a hearth (which de­pends upon the stove to a de­gree)?

It could be any­thing from maybe £200 for a sim­ple in­stal­la­tion into a ready made space to £1,000-plus.

Once you have de­cided on which stove you want, talk to some boatyards for a quote, but they will prob­a­bly want to see the boat first and then dis­cuss the job.

QLAUNCHING ON THE MON & BREC

Can I take my own small boat on the Mon­mouthshire & Bre­con Canal and if so, where can I put it in the wa­ter?

WITHERM, via the CB web­site

ATONY REPLIES: Un­for­tu­nately ‘small boat’ could be any­thing from an in­flat­able dinghy, through ca­noes and row­ing boats to a smaller pow­ered craft. This means I can­not give a straight­for­ward an­swer. The boat will need to have a Canal & River Trust li­cence (ex­cept for cur­rent mem­bers of Bri­tish Ca­noe­ing and Ca­noe Wales, who get to use the canals for no charge as part of their membership) and in­sur­ance. If it is pow­ered by an in­board en­gine or has cer­tain equip­ment (such as an elec­tri­cal sys­tem) it will need a cur­rent Boat Safety Scheme Cer­tifi­cate. As­sum­ing it is not one that you can sim­ply lift in and out at the canal bank, the boaters’ guide avail­able on the CRT web­site shows slip­ways at Llan­hamalch, Pon­ty­moile and Goytre Wharf. You may have to pay to use slip­ways at boatyards.

CAN I FIX THIS MY­SELF?

QMy 1985 Volva Penta AQ 125A runs at a high tem­per­a­ture once warmed up. I have been told the pump for the fresh wa­ter cool­ing sys­tem needs re­plac­ing. Is the pro­ce­dure too tech­ni­cal for a non-pro­fes­sional? How dif­fi­cult would you rate this job on a 1 to 10 scale? TOD LACY, via email

ATONY REPLIES: Un­less the fresh wa­ter pump is leak­ing I would ques­tion that di­ag­no­sis. Ex­cep­tion­ally rarely the im­peller can fall off the shaft, in which case it would boil within five to ten min­utes.

I sus­pect a sender mis­match (if you mix U.S. and EU stan­dard gauges and senders, the gauge will read ei­ther half as hot or twice as hot as the true tem­per­a­ture) or a raw wa­ter vol­ume prob­lem rather than the pump.

If this is a heat ex­changer en­gine, en­sure that the heat ex­changer and any oil cooler cores are not blocked on the raw wa­ter in­let side. On a wet ex­haust en­gine, check the ex­haust mix­ing el­bow is not par­tially blocked by scale and cor­ro­sion and that the ex­haust hose is not de­lam­i­nat­ing and block­ing the ex­haust.

If the pump does need chang­ing, as long as there is suf­fi­cient clear­ance be­tween the front of the en­gine and any bulk­head, on a typ­i­cal en­gine I would rate the job about 2 or 3. The gen­eral pro­ce­dure is as fol­lows: • Drain an­tifreeze. • Slacken any bolts hold­ing the wa­ter pump pul­ley on. • Re­move the drive­belt and pump pul­ley. • Re­move the bot­tom hose. • Re­move the (typ­i­cally 4 to 6) bolts or nuts that hold the pump onto en­gine. • Grip the pul­ley flange and wag­gle the pump to free and re­move – it may well stick on the gas­ket. • Clean the en­gine face. • Re­fit pump with a new gas­ket.

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