Last Summer (2014), I spent many hours trawling the Internet to find replacement parts. I managed to procure: valves, shell bearings, piston rings, gaskets – all brand new in original 1940s/50s packaging. Not so lucky with the water coolant pump, so I combined the best bits from three used ones to build one perfectly good one.
Excellent, so far so good. Next step, crane out the engine and fit the parts. What could possibly go wrong? Well, I naively assumed that the 250kg flywheel would easily come off after removing the giant woodruff key. The key, it turns out, is a sacrificial lump of soft steel that is not intended to come out easily, if at all. After much tugging and bashing, and colourful cursing the flywheel was partially off and ‘most of the key was removed’. Therein lies the problem. When the time came to refit the starter motor and coolant pump I discovered that the flywheel was not far enough back on the crank shaft for the ring gear to engage – and to make matters worse I had confidently craned the engine back into the boat! The moral of the story is, do not, if you can avoid it, remove the flywheel!
Winter put paid to further rebuilding, but I’m preparing to resume over the Easter period as I’m off work for a couple of weeks. In the meantime, all the engine parts are stripped and repainted and the brass/copper bits polished. I admire this handywork every day as I stride over the parts scattered all over the floor of the boat!