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Old 11-20-2014, 12:38 PM   #1
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Your best ever DIY maintenance idea

It would fun and educational to compile a list of everyones best ideas for making boat maintenance easier for the do it yourself folks (other than pulling out the checkbook and paying someone else to do it).

I'll start it off with installing a 12 volt oil change pump connected directly to the pan. No more pumping it out through the dipstick pipe.
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Old 11-20-2014, 01:07 PM   #2
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I have a watering system on my batteries. Just hook up the tube and squeeze bulb to a convenient connection point and pump distilled water from a gallon jug until the batteries are full. Five years now and haven't seen my batteries still tucked away outboard behind the fuel tanks and very hard to get to.
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Old 11-20-2014, 01:39 PM   #3
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My best original idea was converting my unused home security IR cameras into an Engine Room video monitor system which displays ER video on the HDTV through a panel mounted camera selector switch. Works like a charm and very reassuring between ER checks.







The ER in pitch black darkness...no lights.

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Old 11-20-2014, 02:00 PM   #4
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Vessel has 3 berths...one in the V, one aft, and one in the engine room

Very cool!
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Old 11-20-2014, 02:33 PM   #5
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Don't let the smile fool you. That's where we keep our enslaved child labor. They board as the kids of our guests and they disembark as men.
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Old 11-20-2014, 02:39 PM   #6
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Fly

can I send the kid across the street for a visit ?
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Old 11-20-2014, 02:45 PM   #7
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I have a watering system on my batteries. Just hook up the tube and squeeze bulb to a convenient connection point and pump distilled water from a gallon jug until the batteries are full. Five years now and haven't seen my batteries still tucked away outboard behind the fuel tanks and very hard to get to.
Can you give more info on how this is set up?
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Old 11-20-2014, 03:24 PM   #8
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Fly

can I send the kid across the street for a visit ?

I arrange all of that kids service contracts. Engineering is his specialty, that and splitting his leg open on skateboards
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Old 11-20-2014, 04:06 PM   #9
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Probably my FW flushing kits for the engines generator and ac systems. Keeps exchangers and strainers free of scale and growth leaving more time for play.


Via iPhone.
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Old 11-20-2014, 04:06 PM   #10
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Fly. How long has your camera been in the ER? No heat problems?
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Old 11-20-2014, 04:10 PM   #11
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Cafe sport. Did you fabricate the flusher or by them. I know Grocco has something called Safety Seacocks that could be hooked to a fresh water hose. I had them on another boat and they really made flushing and winterizing a lot easier.
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Old 11-20-2014, 04:14 PM   #12
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Fly. How long has your camera been in the ER? No heat problems?
Bill, the cameras were installed in April, 2013. No issues with heat or vibration. All 12V powered.
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Old 11-20-2014, 04:38 PM   #13
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Don't let the smile fool you. That's where we keep our enslaved child labor. They board as the kids of our guests and they disembark as men.
Albeit deaf men.
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Old 11-20-2014, 04:46 PM   #14
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Punching a hole in big diesel lube oil filters to drain them before removal. No more dirty oil spills
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Old 11-20-2014, 05:08 PM   #15
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Punching a hole in big diesel lube oil filters to drain them before removal. No more dirty oil spills
And slide a gallon ziplock bag around the filter to make it dripless removal and disposal.
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Old 11-21-2014, 03:54 AM   #16
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Not my "idea" but just a simple tip for crimping small wire terminals.
Look for the seam in the crimp barrel. If using a (C dimple type crimper, position the crimp in the tool with the dimple set opposite the barrel seam and don't move it when inserting the wire. If you crimp with the seam to the side or worse, the dimple on top of the seam, the seam rips apart and results in a weak crimp. Insulated butt splices are the most difficult to find the seam. For the () type tool, make sure the seam is centered in the arch (c).
So this means looking for the seam and aligning the crimp tool with the seam BEFORE EVERY crimp.
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Old 11-21-2014, 07:16 AM   #17
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I still do my bottom painting so the best find was sandpaper from the floor refinishing folks.

At #16 , 20 or 24 grit it looks like rocks stuck on a hunk of cardboard.

BUT those chunks are silicone carbide and work very well, with a LIGHT TOUCH.

Bottom paint or bottom growth , gone in an instant.Scrape grass off first.

My method is a 2 inch thick foam sanding pad , with sanding disc adhesive with a large grinder.

AND A LIGHT TOUCH!!

The floor sanding material comes in about 5 ft long sheets , these are cut square , the corners extending from the pad help in not marring the surface.

A light weight light duty sander is easier to hold up, and very little power is required as its THAT fast!
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Old 11-21-2014, 07:50 AM   #18
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I think the best I've come up with is to use a piston ring compressor to squish large impellers and make it easy to install them. Installing smaller impellers is no big deal, but if you have a large engine with a big pump like on my Cummins QSC engines, getting the impellers in is VERY difficult.

Pretty much any auto parts store sells piston ring compressors use to compress piston rings so you can put a piston back in the cylinder during an engine rebuild. They cost under $20. You just put it around the impeller, ratchet it down until the impeller is squished enough, then it will slide right into the pump body, aligning the key or splines of course. No more wrestling matches, and I win every time.

The key, though, is to get the cuff style compressor, not the one that looks like an oil filter wrench. You will need the full length of the cuff to hold the impeller or it will be trying to pop out all the time.
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Old 11-21-2014, 08:03 AM   #19
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I really like the piston ring compressor for the impellers. Anyone have any cures for pulling the impeller? I don't have he type with the bolt hole that you can use a bolt for pulling. I know there are pullers out there but they run into the $200 or more range.
For removing hoses someone gave me the tip to go to the auto parts store and ask them for the water pump hose puller tools. I got a set of those and what a difference. Still end up bloody some times but it really helps. Also a dremel cutting disc to cut the steel wire if needed.
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Old 11-21-2014, 09:52 AM   #20
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Shop vac to get genset impeller parts out of heat exchanger. Pull the "output" hose off the water pump, duct tape your shop vac to the hose, make sure the exhaust "flap" is open (if you have one), turn on the vac and count the pieces you get to match how many are missing from the impeller. Works well on my Onan.
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