One broken bolt....
03 December 2009
How a single broken bolt can wreak costly repairs
On our trip from PV to Barra Navidad, we continued to notice that the complex bracket supporting the frig compressor was increasingly wobbling. Because the alternator hides the bolts holding the bracket to the engine block, we did not know why this was happening. At one point we gave up on using the engine compressor - we took off the belt and jury rigged the bracket so it would not completely fall off the engine.
When we started disaseembling things, we saw that one of three bolts had sheared off. We think this happened years ago. That left two bolts and one was missing and the third was loose and about to exit the block. Before this we had to modify the bracket because it was destroying the heat exchanger a vital component more so than a frig.
Our back up was the Honda generator to run the 110 frig system. We also had an Engle freezer so we were not in dire straights.
John from Johnco drilled out the sheared bolt and modified the system with weld tabs to ensure that the bracket will not separate from the block.
While the engine was partly disassembled, we decided to put the new starter in even though there was not sign of trouble with the existing one. The starter must be removed to put in a new impeller - go figure!. But the bearings in the alternator did not sound quite right so we took this opportunity to install the new one we had on board.
John also did a cleanup repair on the turbo which was not spinning freely. So everything on the port side of the engine is new and hopefully is in better shape than when we departed San Diego. John is from St Louis and live here in Barra. His fee was reasonable and about half of what all this work would cost in the U.S., especially Oceanside if you get my drift.
It was fun working with John and his apprentice Eddy.