Saturday, June 4, 2011

Engine Install....Part 1

     When the engines were delivered a few weeks ago, I placed them inside a garage bay, since I was not ready to place them in the boat at that time. Now that it is time to lift them into the boat, I had to get them out of the garage, and out into the yard - about 300 feet around to the back of the boat. So, my brother and I used a long steel pry bar, lifted the 1st engine pallet slightly, and positioned some 3/4 pipe underneath, at the front of the pallet, and at the halfway point. Then we just gave it a push, and rolled it forward a few feet. As the rollers moved to the back of the pallet, we would stop, lift the pallet, reposition the rollers, and repeat. After about 5 or 6 times, the pallet/engine combination was far enough out in the driveway to work with.

     I set up my engine hoist at this point, and lifted the pallet into the back of a pickup truck.
     From this point, it was a simple matter to drive the engine around to the back of the boat, and prepare for the lift. I happen to own a fairly rugged backhoe (a Dynahoe model 190, to be exact), and felt this would be a suitable platform for the operation. It is an older 'hoe, but the cylinders have been re-packed, and the hydraulics are in good condition, so I felt confident we wouldn't have problems. Even so, a lift of this nature is dangerous - always proceed slowly and carefully, and never allow anyone to place themselves under the engine or near any potential pinch points. Slow and steady wins the race. My lift system for the backhoe also uses 2 winches, suspended from different points, so if one fails, a degree of control is maintained, as shown below:
     Once the backhoe was close enough to the boat, I raised the engine to sufficient height, then pivoted the backhoe arm over the engine room. The backhoe was then shut down, and the lowering of the engines was accomplished via the winches. The backhoe provided a very stable platform to work from, and, overall, the engine placement went very smoothly. The first engine fell right into place, as shown below:
     And there she is, all comfy in her new home. There is still a long way to go, with fuel, shaft alignment, exhaust, electrical systems, etc. to be done, but those will be discussed in subsequent posts. My next post will show the second engine installation, and the one after that will most likely cover engine mounting and shaft alignment.

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