Ponderosa 48 Repower with Cummins 5.9 6BTA
I will share photos and answer questions about repowering a Ponderosa 48 CPMY Cummins 5.9 6Bta's but first the background and story...
I bought this boat in Blaine on February 15, 2019 and it spent 3 months on the hard and then the rest of the summer being refit. Every system having either been upgraded or replaced.
After all the work, the engines and generator were the only things that were what i would say were the weak link. My diesel mechanic in Bellingham (turns out he's not so much of a diesel mechanic) did me no favors and after hiring Tri-County Diesel to fix what the mechanic had broke or failed to fix properly, we were on our way south to Seattle (I'm leaving out the story of our first attempt south).
Half way down in east side of Whidbey Island, BOTH engines crapped out. Thank God for the the Boat US gold tow package, 5 hours later the boat was in its slip.
Now what?? I engaged Pat of Pats Marine Engine Repair to investigate. Although he could get them running, his honest assessment was to rebuild or repower. Looked like while being towed, we had some water ingestion in both engines from the massive waves that were kicked-up by the northerly that appeared as soon as the engines stopped working (of course!).
Given the engines were a bit of a one-off to begin with and the intercoolers were impossible to find (meaning we would have a bit of a franken-engine even after the rebuild) I went on the hunt for a pair of new engines.
I got quotes for new, looked at a 1968 GB 36 with FL120s that were in good nick but the boat would have to be scrapped (that was too much work), was looking to buy a pair of FL 90s locally but the guy was a flake and discussed the purchase of a pair of FL 120s from the TF member who had to scrap his boat. None were a good fit for me.
Needless to say I was thinking of all kind of alternatives (outboards, electric, gas, etc.).
One Friday night out with another couple and talking about the boat and my engine troubles, the husband was telling me of a guy he knows (Bob) who had a 440 Sea Ray that had caught fire but was able to salvage. As the hull was intact, Bob had it hauled to his shop where it had been sitting for the past 3 years. My friend then suggested we try and track down Bob and see if he still had the boat and, more importantly, the Cummins engines.
Not more than 20 minutes later, who walks into the bar...you guessed it. Bob!
We let Bob get settled and then my friend went up to the bar to say hello and BS. Finally the subject of the boat was brought up and what do you know, he still had it and in fact, needed to get it moved because he had his shop listed for sale.
My friend then waves me over introduces me and we talk about the boat, the fire and the engines.
Turns out the fire started at the shore power cord connection when the head pumper must have accidentally broke the connection loose when he dragging his hose off of the boat back onto his boat. Two hours later, the boat's heater kicked on and because there was not a good connection, heat built up because of the resistance and then was marshmallow roasting time!
Fortunately the fire was contained in the main cabin and the ER was completely spared so the engines were in good shape.
Fast forward to looking at the engines, getting them started, and then getting them out of the boat with by buddy's excavator strapped down its trailer and hooked-up to his dump truck in the middle of February, raining sideways and colder than hell. 2 hours later, we had the 2 engines the 2 Hurth V-drive transmissions, and the generator loaded on a separate trailer and ready to roll.
Meanwhile, back at the boat, Pat had removed the old generator and stripped the engines down to their blocks so they could get it out the door leading to the sundeck and then off the boat.
We delivered the engines the following week and Pat commenced to stripping them down to giving them a complete overhaul, prime and paint.
As part of the initial refit, I had replaced the port gear and, given I was a little more than pregnant in the project, I decided to see if i could horse trade the 2 V-drives and the old Lehmans (with all their bits and bobs) for a new transmission to match the port gear. North Harbor Diesel in Everett (who sold me the port gear) agreed give me a partial credit towards my new transmission so I now have two new transmissions to go along with all the other new parts and systems on the boat.
Everything was going swimmingly, good progress was being made and I was getting text updates every week and then...COVID hit.
Pat is not young and one of his employee's wife works as an ER nurse and she could not afford to get sick and nor could Pat so we were should down for almost 2 months. Of course during this time everyone is getting antsy to get no the water and once Pat re-opens, all his long-time customers start calling. We did not have any cruising plans so we let Pat service his past customers and in the meanwhile we cleaned the ER, polished the fuel and inspected all the fuel tanks, re-did the fuel system, installed the new generator from he Sea Ray which fits the lazaretto MUCH better (as in we can actually use it!) and did some more boat projects.
As of today, engines are installed and couplers and shafts attached and the gantry crane is out of the boat!
As we all know, there is always something with a boat. Although we installed the water lift mufflers off of the Sea Ray (the boat did not have water mufflers which is partly why water got into the engines on the tow south) the engine exhaust outlet was below the waterline so we needed to modify the exhaust to get it above the waterline. Good times and really cheap...NOT!
To finish her up, we need to replace the sensors from single to dual station and install new gauges to match sensors, build new exhaust and install. Then fire them-up and sea-trial.
That's all for tonight but I'll follow this up with photos and details about the install so stay tuned.