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Old 07-23-2018, 04:02 PM   #1
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Tricks to engine access(MK1 Perkins)?

I have a MK1 and I'm driving myself crazy with maintenance. Everything seems just out of reach and a bilge full of dropped tools and bolts.

I'm bruised and cut form trying to cram myself somewhere to get to things(raw water impeller/water pump currently) and i'm at my wits end. I'm about to remove pull every pipe,hose, belt off the engine and work my way back up with everything.

I haven't seen this complaint out there and was wondering if maybe it's just me or maybe my engine(perkins 354 160hp turbo) that takes up more room.

How bad is it? I found myself trapped between the hull and then engine unable to un-squeeze myself for a few minutes. Panic set in and I was thinking how embarrassing it would be to have to yell for help. I know what you're thinking in that this old guy shouldn't be doing this but i'm 33 .


Had to walk away, lick my wounds and hopefully find the motivation to try again without the blind rage.
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Old 07-23-2018, 04:11 PM   #2
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We have been blessed with an easy to work on engine and drive train on Airswift but we are now shopping for a new boat and one criteria is reasonable access. Also as I age and am not as thin as a credit card any more, I am a little more willing to let someone else do some of the jobs I just don't want to do.
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Old 07-23-2018, 04:29 PM   #3
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Many years ago, I was working inside my cabin cruiser that had a partial inner liner for the cabin. I worked my way in and did the job I needed to do. Upon trying to back out from under the formed fiberglass dinette, I found myself caught by my belt on a screw. My arms were over my head and there was not room to get them down to unhook my belt. This was in Arizona on a very hot day. The boat was in a remote area and no one would have come looking for me for hours. Visions of the fire department cutting the side of the hull open to get my body out upset me enough so that I was able to rip the belt, and quite a bit of skin, off the screw and I came out like a cork out of a bottle.

I have never put myself in a position like that again. If I am going to be working in a constricted area, I get someone to baby sit me in case I get stuck. Some 30 years later I get stuck much easier and am nowhere as agile as I used to be. Before each job, I look it over as a safety officer would and list in my mind what could go wrong. Then I work to mitigate those risks.
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Old 07-24-2018, 09:12 AM   #4
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Welcome to boat maintenance.

You'll need, eyes on your fingers, three 6' long triple jointed arms, not weigh over 90 lbs, 4 foot tall, ability to work upside down, and over the age of 25 need not apply....

For the raw water pump try kneeling on the steps and lay hanging over the front edge of the engine bay.


I've made a piece of plywood with a 2 x 4 on edge to fit the starboard side of mine so I have something flat to stand on when working. And I'd like to be able to empty the cabin and cut about a foot each side wider engine hatches too. Dream on...
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Old 07-24-2018, 09:21 AM   #5
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On my MK1 I always wanted to make the steps removable and cut in an access hatch for the front of the engine, to be covered by the steps when reinstalled. Never did. I did however cut a hatch into stateroom floor similar to the one between the head and galley. Tons of storage room down there!
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Old 07-24-2018, 09:33 AM   #6
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Can't get the woodruff key on the impeller to stay in place while I slide it in. Getting so frustrated i'm about to leave the impeller, close it up out and go electric on a switch for raw water.
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Old 07-24-2018, 09:47 AM   #7
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engine pump access ms 1

try doing it with the 200 hp ,w/ multi cooler ! I used to do it myself,from the top, broke my ba--s . now I get much smaller guy to do it $$. he stands with his feet on either side of the trans, and comes at it from behind. I've had 2 different guys do it, didn't seem like it was to bad, (for them) but its a tough one !! pay to get this one done !! also when I first did it myself, I changed the slotted screws with ss allen heads makes it MUCH easier to start screws. hope this helps.
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Old 07-24-2018, 09:49 AM   #8
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Put some heavy grease or Vaseline on it to help hold it in place. Wrap a tie wrap around the impellor so the vanes stay bent. Side in part way, make sure everything lines up, and then the rest of the way. The tie wrap will come off as you slide it in.
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Old 07-24-2018, 10:13 AM   #9
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replace impeller ms 1

I have also use a tywrap to hold blades in, but using grease to put imp. in is a no no,use dish soap as lube, will wash away. prob is not putting in or removing imp., but getting TO it !!
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Old 07-24-2018, 10:41 AM   #10
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I have a really hard time accessing my starboard water pump. I can only see a little bit of it. I bought a tool from impellertool.com. Works great. No affiliation.
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Old 07-24-2018, 03:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richardschmidt2759 View Post
I have also use a tywrap to hold blades in, but using grease to put imp. in is a no no,use dish soap as lube, will wash away. prob is not putting in or removing imp., but getting TO it !!
Richard, The grease is only to help hold the key in place while inserting the impellor.
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Old 07-24-2018, 04:06 PM   #12
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Sorry, mine has a spline on the imp. which I also use grease on. must be a different pump . mine is 1981, but eng. was built in '79
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Old 07-25-2018, 09:12 AM   #13
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I got it but lost the woodruff key in the bilge. Removed the impeller and put the system on an electric baitwell pump with a switch.. Start engine, switch on pump, switch off pump and kill engine(to make sure no water backs up) works great for now and i'll hire a mechanic to replace the impeller after the weekend.

I might depending on how well this system works buy another baitwell pump as a back up(or AC pump for reliability), modify it to run with oil pressure and be done with it. I never want to mess with that impeller again.
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Old 07-25-2018, 10:16 AM   #14
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"I got it but lost the woodruff key in the bilge. Removed the impeller and put the system on an electric baitwell pump with a switch.. Start engine, switch on pump, switch off pump and kill engine(to make sure no water backs up) works great for now " Mrwesson , Would you explain in more detail what exactly you did to add the electric pump. I can't visualize how you put the system on a electric bait well pump. I made "bibb" out of canvas that goes under the engine up to the engine stringer on both sides that catches dropped items that can not retrieved with a magnet. Set up is easy,it's saved my as# a few times.
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Old 07-25-2018, 03:44 PM   #15
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While I always take my wallet and keys out of my pants while on the boat, I have learned to keep my phone in a front pocket as the back pocket is unreachable should I get stuck ďdown thereĒ.

Iíve also learned to wear long pants as the oil dipsticks kept running up my shorts and tangling...well....
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Old 07-25-2018, 04:06 PM   #16
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Itís funny but a serious potential. I have a couple bilges where I dare not go. Also, itís not socially acceptable to say one is looking to borrow a small child for a few hours. Thus I have an inoperative bilge pump under my shower.
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Old 07-25-2018, 05:17 PM   #17
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I am 6-2 and 240lbs. ER access is very difficult but at least I have long arms. Always wear long pants and a long sleeve shirt because you will get cut up trying to wedge yourself into tight spaces and while trying to reach stuff.

You need to learn to work upside down while lying across the motor or on the floor and going head first into the ER. Mirrors are a great help. You will also need to learn to do things by feel and not always sight. This is how I do the impeller.

If you can, lay a towel under where you are working on the motor to catch bolts and other stuff. Get a long handled magnet and grabber to retrieve what falls.

If anyone has a plan to make the ER floor hatches two feet wider, let me know.
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Old 07-25-2018, 05:51 PM   #18
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I found the only way to replace the impeller without loosing the key was to remove the whole pump and work on it in the cockpit. A mechanic told me to put a dimple in the key so as to make it tight in the keyway but like I said , it's easier for me to remove the whole pump.
Regarding working on the engine,on the port side it's not bad once I'm in there but it's a little squeeze actually getting in. I'm not a big man -5'10" 175 and still fairly limber but I make damn sure I have all of the tools I need with me when I slide in there. That or have my wife above to hand me the stuff I need. As far as the starboard side of the engine goes, there's nothing I need to get in there for. The alternator and starter are accessible by leaning over the engine.
The bilge area is pretty clean now but when we first got the boat, I dredged all kinds of stuff out from under the engine. Including the PO's drivers license. I'm hoping his money clip will show up soon.
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Old 07-25-2018, 05:59 PM   #19
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I'd like to make a correction. I called the place where the engine is on our boat an engine room. I should've said an engine compartment. A 53' Hatteras motor yacht...now that's an engine room! A walk-in door on each end on the engine and a hallway between the engine rooms. A 34' Mainship? Definitely an engine compartment...
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Old 07-25-2018, 07:41 PM   #20
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I remove the pump from the engine when I replace the impeller on my T6.354 160hp. I bring it home to my workbench and change the impeller there. I use crazy glue to keep the key in place. I like the idea of making a dimple in the key though. I must say it is tight working in the engine compartment but practice helps. Early this summer I worked on the injection pump and solved a small fuel leak. That required lots of time in the engine compartment.
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