Inverter Battery Boxes
03/16/2010, DELTAVILLE, VA
Tuesday the 16th of March, 2010
The goal for today was to mount the golf cart batteries. I almost had this done last visit. However, I'm using group 24 size battery boxes as they are as close as I could find. The golf cart batteries are taller than regular 24 size batteries & the strap is too short. That was not the real trouble though. The connecting 4/0 cable and battery terminal fuse were really causing a tough fit. So, I modified the box top to accommodate the needed space. I bought ratchet type straps at Lowes and that took care of the strapping and securing the batteries in a rolling condition. I was not satisfied with just the strap and added two wooden strips forward and aft of the boxes to keep them from wiggling forward and aft. Other things - I added some weather stripping to the sliding door that closes to far pinching our fingers. Same door I added a hasp, so we can lock the boat. I finally got the light up in the forward hanging locker. The self stick tape would not grip the overhead of the locker. I contemplated the new flooring for the forward head and decided to bring it home to re-deck.
I turned the fuel valve on to start the engine a little later and set out to lengthen the too short electric cable that connects to our house battery. I then noticed fuel dripping at the newly replaced fuel line. It appears I didn't tighten the brass coupling enough and it was dripping. THAT has been where air has been getting into the system when I cut the engine off. I tightened the coupling with opposing wrenches and rechecked the leak. It was still dripping. You are never supposed to over tighten a brass fitting. I tightened it to where I thought it would strip and felt the two pieces bottom against each other. The leak stopped.
03/12/2010, DELTAVILLE, VA
Just another view of the new muffler
03/12/2010, DELTAVILLE, VA
Thursday the 11th of March, 2010
MUFFLER IN DAY
Drove to the marina this morning to fit the new muffler in it's place and measure for the connecting hose. A beautiful day, Warming up and the frogs were out. I think Spring just might be here in Virginia.
I got on the boat and proceeded to measure, figure and remeasure the hose lengths to connect the 90º elbows, muffler and the existing hose. It was a good time to paint the exhaust elbow on the engine.
Apparently someone replaced the exhaust elbow on the engine and didn't paint it. So, I wire bushed it, wiped it off with lacquer thinner and sprayed it with RustOleum inhibiter and after that flashed off, RustOleum Regal Red paint. That is the Lehman red color!. While the paint dried I headed to American Diesel ( http://www.amerdsl.com ) to get the hose cut to my measured lengths. Brian was much less sick. I informed him that the muffler was the last thing to fix on the engine. We did discuss a 2nd alternator for the inverter batteries. I'll wait and see if that becomes necessary.
After returning to the boat it was relatively simple to hook the hoses together now double clamped. The mounting studs are inside the base of the new muffler, but with large fender washers over the studs they grab the base of the new muffler. So, securing the new muffler has worked out without having to drill new holes.
The moment of truth now. Let's start the engine and check for exhaust leaks. Turned the fuel valve on at the Racor and gave the engine a crank. It didn't immediately start. I checked all the tank valves and hit the manual primer on the lift pump a few strokes. Tried the starter and the Lehman came alive. Great to hear that sound. I had one small exhaust leak and readjusted and tightened the clamp. A good day!
So, other things. I had unhooked the shore power cord to let the inverter work and see how the batteries held up. It worked all day long with the light load I had on 120V. So I got out the 1500w hair dryer and watched the 12V drop to ~ 10.75 while running the hair dryer. You have to realize that in a 100% efficiency this would cause the inverter batteries to put 125 AMPs. The inverter is not 100% efficient so the amp draw is probably more like 150amps while that hair dryer is running. That's tough even with golf cart deep cycle batteries. I threw the switch that connects the inverter battery in parallel with the house battery while the engine was running. When running the hairdryer, I saw the engine amp meter go to ~40 amps. As soon as I cut the hairdryer off, the amps dropped back slowly to ~ 15amps. This is perfect. When a short large demand is placed on the inverter batteries, the engine alternator should be able to recover the batteries in time.
That's all for now.
Old Muffler - or Tin Man from Oz
03/09/2010, DELTAVILLE, VA
Tuesday the 9th of March, 2010
Today my goal is to remove the old leaking muffler. I had previously looked at this as being a tough job. I already undid all the hose clamps. I jumped in this morning with the hair dryer to break the 3 1/2" hose off the exhaust elbow. It came off with only a screw driver and a scraper. So, now to get it off the muffler end. Again that end of the hose came off too. Then, the real SOB was going to be the hose exiting the muffler and headed to the transom, about 13' long 3" hose that is in good enough shape not to change. It too came off without much of a fight. Then I undid the remaining (2) 9/16" nuts off the muffler mounting plate. One of them I could see and the other was behind the muffler out of sight. So, I got the one I could see off using a universal joint on the Craftsman ratchet with two extensions to make it long enough to go along side the muffler. Only 1/4 turn could be mad at a time with the ratchet wrench. Now, the last one - I contorted my arms into a position where I could feel the nut on the stud and guided the wrench blindly down behind the muffler and it felt as though the socket had gone over the nut. Contorted myself into the ratchet motion and felt the nut give. It came off too!!! This was my lucky day. The now naked muffler kind of looked like "TIN MAN" from the Wizard of OZ. So, I took a picture of the muffler for this blog
I decided to eat lunch before trying to raise the muffler up over the studs and see if it could possibly get by the battery charger mounted near by. Nice Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich made by Susan, and 1/2 a pear and I checked e-mail before back into the bilge. I wedged a screw driver between the muffler mounting plate and Fiberglas mounting pad and gave it a few taps and the muffler was now loose but needed to travel vertically to pass over the studs. I stuck various objects under the muffler as I pried it up. I finally rocked it and it popped off the studs!!!!! Yipee
It was not as heavy as I imagined. The muffler slid by the battery charger and I made a path to get it though the cabin and out the door. The next thing you know I had it on the dock. Now a trip to American Diesel to get a replacement was in order.
When I arrived at American Diesel - I couldn't find anyone in the office. Finally I found Brian. Brian and one other guy were all that were there. Everyone else was out sick with the flue. Brian indicated it was H1N1. I was busy keeping my distance and might not of heard that correctly. Brian set me up with a new muffler and 90º elbows. He suggested that I take those and get some accurate measurements for the hoses. That is another day from now. Maybe Thursday.
03/08/2010, DELTAVILLE, VA
Sunday the 7th of March, 2010
Susan & I went down and took everything back to the boat we had taken home to keep from freezing. Yep we know there will be more below freezing nights. But, we are pretty sure the days will be warming up from here on into summer.
My goal was to finish hooking the relocated fresh water pump back up. I had sort of messed up the accumulator tank getting the hoses off. The accumulator tanks are pretty small and help short cycling the water pump but are not as good as the well-x-troll air tanks used in homes. I saw a small home type air tank and Nauti-Nell's consignment ($30) in Deltaville and with $7.00 of fittings from Hurd's, I had a nice replacement for the small accumulator. So, today was the day to mount and connect all the extended water hoses and new air tank. Of course the first thing you have to do is undo something in order to work on WHATEVER you are trying to work on. I had to take some slack out of the new head-holding tank hose. I had coiled it in the bilge as it is too long and was waiting to install the new forward head to cut it to the proper length. Susan pulled and I pushed the hateful hose. It is the worst hose I've even dealt with. It has bad memory issues with being coiled up in a box at West Marine and just refuses to go in any desired direction. I finally got it out of the way and mounted the air tank to the bilge overhead and a strap to the forward bilge bulkhead. Using a hairdryer to heat the water hoses is great for getting them on the T's and barbs. I secured the hoses to the forward bulkhead with pipe clamps and admired the neatness. Now if the marina will just turn on the water to the dock so we can flush out the pink antifreeze and check the connections for leaks. At least this task is complete and scratched off the TO DO list. We got a call from our friends, Wanda and Windy. They were at the marina and wanted to drop by. I think they were in shock when they saw the inside of the boat with tools parts and stuff all over everywhere. Pretty overwhelming looking for sure. It will be straightened up soon & we will have them on board for a cruise.
03/02/2010, DELTAVILLE, VA
Monday the 1st of March, 2010
We are having a spring thaw of sorts. Still some snow piles at the marina. But, warmer. It was so warm I decided to urn-winterize the heat pumps on the boat. Getting ahead of myself. I've missed informing my Internet friends that I got the 4/0 cables for the inverter and a separate shipment for the 4/0 cables for my new battery switch. I connected all of the cables on Friday 2-26-10. That trip went well. The 4/0 cables are massive and will offer zero resistance at their 3' lengths. I installed a 4/0 connector cable with a 300amp fuse to connect the two 6volt golf cart batteries for the inverter. While wiring the 120 inlet connection to the inverter I discovered that the inlet connector was badly cracked and needed replacement. Of course I could not get the Hubble replacement and had to settle for a Marinco replacement from West Marine that would require drilling the holes a little larger to fit the Hubble chrome cover. I tried online and could not find a Hubble replacement either. Oh well, "just modify" should be every boaters creed.
Anyhow I got all the 120VAC and 12VDC cables and connections working and the inverter is almost invisible in the electric sense. If the shore power is connected, then the inverter keeps its battery charged. If you unhook the shore power the inverter takes over automatically and nothing even blinks.
On to wiring the new battery switch. Same huge 4/0 were specified by BlueSea for the "ADD A BATTERY SWITCH" from the house and starting batteries to the source side of the switch. I used #2 wires and terminal mounted 150amp fuses from the same batteries to the BlueSea "120 AMP 7610-SI-Series Automatic Charging Relay" I used 1/2' pipe clamps to secure the battery cables to the bulkhead for nice cable management.
Now this brings us up to yesterday March 1, 2010 when Susan and I went down to change a couple hoses. I'm still perplexed over whether to remove through hull fittings I may never use again. The salt water faucet hose was awful. Looked like it had been there 30 years. I first could not cut off the seacock to the hose. I had tried to move the handle that had probably NEVER been moved from the open position since installed 30 years ago. I found if you take off the locking nut and then back off the nut next to the body of the seacock; you can tap the shaft sideways a bit and then the seacock handle will move. It leaks while you are freeing the seacock moving the handle back and forth. Then you can re-tighten both nuts and stop the flow of water entering the boat. I've freed up two seacocks so far this way. Lots more to work on too. So anyhow after closing the seacock, I removed the old hose. The hose goes no where and I suppose I could just leave the empty seacock cut off. But, if it leaks at all, there will be water entering the bilge. I decided to cut off the old bad section of hose. The rest of the 30 year old hose appeared to have been stored in a time capsule with as fresh as day one. So, I slid it on the seacock and put a hose clamp and the hose sticking straight up in the air. I intend to cap it off but for now it extends well above the waterline so any water would only rise to that level. This is what I will do with the other unused seacocks as they take my focus.
Susan and I turned our attention to the heat pump inlet hose. It was awful and must have been original too. Trip to Waldens Marina got me the hose I needed. Lunch at Moo's deli (Lobster Rolls yum) and Susan and I got that hose changed. We decided to un-winterize the heat pump and try out the new hose. The two heat pumps share a single water pump. Upon starting the heat pumps we had surging water and inconsistent flow out of the port side through hull. Usually we have a steady stream out of both units. I checked the strainer and found lots of old gooey stuff (sea nettles) that seemed to be the problem. Susan worked on the strainer basket for quiet some time while I worked on the water pump connections. The inverter has forced me to relocate the fresh water system pump. And, of course the water lines will need to be extended. Susan produced the shiny strainer basket and it looked new. I put the basket back into the strainer and tightened the top back down. Susan fired the heat pumps back up and the water shot out of the side of the boat the ways it's supposed to. Both heat pumps heated the boat up quickly. I then turned by attention back to the cracked hubble 120 V inlet mentioned above. I cut off the nice crimped on connections I had made Friday for the hubble and tinned the wires as the Marinco replacement inlet used straight in wire connections instead of screw terminals. Of course the replacement does not fit flush and I will do a little grinding next trip down to make the thing flush. Next big project is removing the muffler.