With the daytime heat in the 90s every day we are ready to spend time working inside the boat and enjoy the air conditioning. A couple of projects that have been in the back of my mind are perfect for a break from teak and painting. Well, as much of a break as working in the engine room can be. An issue with the Ford Lehman has been the overflow for the fresh water coolant. It is simply an overflow and does not draw the coolant back into the tank when the engine cools down as most diesels do. This requires that it be manually poured back into the fresh water tank as it accumulates and is kind of a pain. The folks at American Diesel, http://www.americandieselcorp.com/ , are the experts on the Ford Lehman engine. If Bob Smith or Brian does not have an answer to any question about these engines, then there is no answer. They do have a replacement neck for the fresh water tank that will allow the coolant to overflow and then return back to the tank. I had ordered one of these and have had it on hand for a while now, so it was time to install it. The installation is pretty straight forward and the old retainer that hold the cap needs to be notched with a hack saw blade so it can be bent inward and removed. The new neck is coated with epoxy where it will go down into the tank and with a little coaxing with a hammer and a block of wood it slides into place. Once the epoxy sets it is ready to be reinstalled and attached to the overflow tank.
I am thoroughly convinced that most, maybe not all, major breakdowns and failures on a boat start with just one small thing and then the dominoes fall until you have a major if not catastrophic situation. OK, our situation did not become catastrophic, but it became much more than it started out to be, and it became very expensive. It all started innocently enough one very hot, sticky day about three weeks ago when it was necessary to clean the air conditioner sea strainer. The waters here in Factory Creek are very silty and full of all manor of stuff. The strainers requires cleaning at least every two weeks. The AC system was shut down and the seacock closed to keep the water out for what should have only taken a few minutes. The strainer was removed and the bowl and screen sat on the dock for cleaning. When I turned on the water hose, somehow the nozzle came off and the stream of water hit the strainer basket and blew it overboard into the water and it sank immediately. So this meant an hour and a half running around to the marine supply stores to find a replacement screen. Once a replacement was found the strainer was reassembled and the seacock opened. No water would come through the seacock to the strainer.