Posts Tagged ‘TinyTach’

Bad Diesel

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

Today it was “Two Steps back”.

I know the saying is “Two steps forward and one back” but that didn’t happen today.  Sometimes I’m lucky and sometimes I’m unluckily lucky. To further understand there is this parable I remember  “Maybe yes, maybe No” that is best referenced for you to read by another….then I’ll continue with my story.

I was cleaning up the wiring around the generator the other day and decided to shorten one long black wire. I didn’t really know exactly what it ran to but I figured I didn’t need 10′ extra spooled up hanging around the engine. I cut it and used a butt connector to put it back together.  I didn’t know at the time that

Aquagen Panel with TinyTach

Aquagen Panel with TinyTach

it was the wire for the Tiny Tach on the diesel. After all the electrical work that day on the generator we started her up to make sure everything was working right.  Yep, she runs fine; well a little rough but I know I needed to change the injector and clean all the fuel filters so I didn’t worry. But the Tach for the generator, stopped displaying RPM’s. Odd. I thought I just needed to clean one of the contacts and try again but that didn’t change a thing. All I was receiving was the engine hours. Well, not to worry, I had purchased a new one in the states and in a couple of weeks we will just add the new one and be back to working fine again. I wanted a lighted Tach and the one we had did not have a light, thus the new Tach.

Today I pulled out the old tack and it was there I discovered that the cable that transferred the signal was a Coax cable. Wire sleeve around a common core. So when I spliced the old wire together “I” screwed it up. Cleaning up the wiring actually ended up disabling the unit.  Damn, I never would have guessed. I’m sure my other cruising companions are now chuckling at my naivety in how the Tiny Tach works.  Now I have labeled the New Tachometer cables. Then while I was connecting up the new Tach I was rather concerned that I didn’t have enough Coax cable length.  I had just thought the wires were simply 20 awg wires and now if I need to add some length to the Coax I was going to have more work to do. Here at least I was lucky. The new cable length was perfect!  I had maybe an inch or two to spare and all went back together slick as a whistle. From here my day went down hill.

Finished with the majority of my work in the engine room I go to start the generator and the alarm sounds. Yep, it’s suppose to, the alarm sounds until there is adequate water flow. W/ mutes the alarm and cranks over the engine while I wait in the engine room watching for any issues. She holds the key, cranks over the engine. Nothing. Nada, Zip!  Ok, check the fuel, run the fuel pump longer and make sure there is good fuel to the diesel. We do that. Ok “Start the engine” . Again, nothing, nada, zip. Oh… the engine turns over. The starter is doing it’s job but the fuel isn’t exploding in the cylinder. I remove the hand crank from it’s mount and turn the engine over by hand. Uh – Oh!  I rather easily crank the engine. I ought not be able to do turn it over that easily. Not!  without using the decompression lever. OH-OH. Now we have a problem. A rather large problem.

I check the decompression lever and make sure it’s not somehow stuck with the decompression lever “on”.  If it was stuck then that would cause the issue. It wasn’t stuck.  Not good!  I go in search of a Canadian Mechanic that has been at the marina for a few years working. I talk with Greg and he gives me a couple of ideas, should those not work he’s available Wednesday. As with many things on the boat, this is nothing that can’t be solved by throwing more money at it.

Needless to say, I’ll see the mechanic Wednesday.

Go Slow
Sail Far
Stay Long