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Trustworthy Mechanic - Nr Brundall?


JawsOrca

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Hi All,

 

We are back from a weekend in norfolk (I drunk and ate way too much!!) but my parents boat needs a bit of work. She overheated...(At horning... limped back to brundall... slowly :( )

 

Can anyone recommend a good mechanic (or even a yard) who can help them out, The boats an Alpha 29 with a 40 something Nanni. From what we can see it needs a thermostat, and a few hoses and a few sensors maybe more... Unfortunately we would help them but we are too far and they want to use the boat in a couple of weekends!?! Hope someone has good recommendations as I really don't them to give up with it.

 

Thanks in advance :)

 

Best regards, Alan

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Was she still chugging water out of the exhaust? thermostat does not usual cause an overheat as they should fail in the open position. Raw water impeller, engine water pump or a leak causing it to have lost all its coolant. most likely.

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Hi Jaws, tell them to contact Maffett Cruisers on 01508 520344 and ask for John, Lynda or Graham, they are approved Marine engineers, and those that have used them have always said how good their service is, and their rates are usually pretty favourable too. They`re based in Loddon, so are not too far from Brundall.

 

I forgot to add, i`m sure John Hockam Admiral said if they do any repairs or service an engine, they give a years garuntee, but that`s NOT for certain, so a quick phone call should help you out.

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Thanks Chaps.

 

I'm not too sure it will make it to Loddon :(, Although we are thinking on running up in couple of weekends to help them out.  We certainly wont have time to do a whole lot in a weekend though so thanks for this.. any other local recommendation (Local to Brundall?) would be brilliant too.

 

Mark it seems to be pumping ok.. Its not brilliant but its pumping. Sensors the other side of the thermostat read cool but its running very hot and blew the header cap off (within seconds of running :( .. you can also smell and taste the coolant in the cabin.. Poor boat...  

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Was she still chugging water out of the exhaust? thermostat does not usual cause an overheat as they should fail in the open position. Raw water impeller, engine water pump or a leak causing it to have lost all its coolant. most likely.

I would have the thought the person who is given out free advice on the forum would be a good bet to call out........

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We're at Thorpe and would be pleased to take a look at it for you. Can come to you if necessary.

 

If it's overheating THAT quickly, there might be a real problem.

 

Nanni eninges have soft aluminium cylinder heads which are highly prone to cracking when overheated and a crack will cause pressurisation of the cooling system which will build up enough force to blow a rad cap off. I have seen this on a few engines.

 

I hope your problem is more simple than this, but Horning to Brundall with a hot engine may not bode well.

 

.

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Thanks Andy.. They actually done Brundall to Horning with no water :(.. We joined them at Horning and noticed then and limped it back on tick over (I managed to hit slack at yarmouth perfectly!!)...

 

Hoping its not done the head in. We are going to run up in two weeks time to replace impeller, thermostat (couple of soft hoses) and do a block test but ifs a new head/gasket then we will need to pass it onto someone as we wont have time to fix... Such a shame though.. We warned them it was running warm last year but the mechanic they had seemed to ignore things.

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Several friends and us use a mobile mechanic chap. He has done some major rebuilding work on one of our engines and also had both gearboxes off to fit new drive plates. Always been happy with his work and prices.

If you need his name and number, drop me a PM.

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Brundall to Horning with no water!!!  Oh no no no no. with a swift intake of breath and a bit of a grimace  :cry

 

Is there water in the oil? If you pour water in the top does it piddle straight out of the side?

 

Feel free to call if you get desperate and I will move something to accommodate looking at yours, I am fully booked for a the next couple of weeks and after that I do not want to see a boat for 2 weeks as im taking time out, its been 6-7 days a week since Christmas and its starting to hurt!

 

The other guys mentioned might be able to squeeze the job in with less juggling.

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Thanks Mark.  That was my thought when I heard!! I can't believe how some people can't think that thats not right.. Parents for you I guess.

 

It emptied the header tank, then we got there it took a couple of litres but it held that in. It only threw a little out (the top) during the trip down. But was running hot!! :( It is holding water in the engine ok. Although I really ran it back on idle (8 hours back from Stokesby to brundall! I managed to get the flood all the way). There's no signs of water in oil. Exhaust seems to cool enough and no steam threw exhaust.  There is a hint of exhaust fumes in water (via header tank) but the mechanic put in neat coolant so its hard to tell.

 

As I say, we are running back up in a couple of weekends to change the thermostat and also the oil is very very thin so we are thinking the oils the wrong grade so we will change that plus we will do a block test, if that shows head failure then we will ring round and get quotes from people.

 

Sounds like you certainly need a break there although hopefully now the seasons up and running it should mellow out a bit for you! Good luck with that! I'll certainly message you though and post an update back on here.

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How hot are we talking?

 

Overheating marine engines will often cause the exhaust hoses to overheat and de-laminate which renders these expensive pipes dangerous. Sadly, it can be very difficult to tell what's happened to these without full removal an inspection. If you have a plastic water lock, that's probably heavily impacted too. If so, it is unrepairable. 

 

You mention exhaust fumes in the water; do you mean that you can smell exhaust when you release the rad cap? Is there excess pressure under the cap? 

 

Happy to help if you need.

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Morning Andy,

 

It's hard to tell how hot as the gauges really don't work. Temp showed 60deg!, oil was normal :( but the timber on the floor hatch expanded and couldn't be opened! 

 

No hoses appear to have failed thankfully although the top hose (Thermo to heat exchanger) was close to (we will replace that first thing), it doesn't have that many other hoses and we will also replace most when we go up there, thankfully they are just standard rad hoses.

 

The cap also doesn't have a perfect seal so it didn't really hold pressure too well before! (we told them to replace! New caps in the post from nanni) :(  but we ran it back to base with the rad cap off to allow any pressure to escape (My folks called alpha and they advised this too) It displaced about 1/4 litre back into the expansion bottle when running back but kept coolant contained (again with the cap off) (but we could only get 1400revs before it threw coolant out!).

 

For some reason the coolant was changed with neat coolant (someone probably knew something was up) so there was obviously steam which smelt a bit like exhaust but it may have just been the coolant. Hard to tell.

 

We think/hope whats happened is the thermostat has failed closed and not helped by possibly incorrect grade engine oil causing it to overheat the engine water, thankfully the impeller was changed and appears to be pumping raw water ok so that thankfully helped keep the gasket from going boom.. Or the gasket has failed (a little) (head split) between the engine water and one cylinder but somehow its not causing anything to overly melt, (plus it restarts as normal on the key still so no hints of water in the bores and no steam out the exhaust. I wouldn't have expected it to still run if the gasket had gone but agree anythings possible!. We have a block tester so will soon find out.. if its gone or still messes about after a new thermostat they will certainly need a hand.. If the heads fine then its certainly a miracle and a positive advertisement for Nanni! 

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Well with all the info you have supplied my guess would be the engine coolant circulation pump.

If you managed that trip without damage then the owners are the luckiest boaters afloat! Why did you risk the trip back to Brundall? potential four figure re build of engine/replacement engine or pay a yard for a few weeks storage, heck you would have gotten away with leaving it on public free moorings until you had it looked at, inform the BA of the problem and they would have left you alone.

 

Do let us know what the issue was once its identified.

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That's a good question Mark, But my dad don't take advice that well and would have motored back to brundall himself if we suggested not to go, and when he's aboard my/our say is irrelevant (Dad's always knows best mentality), it's hard work! Thanks for the pump suggestion though.

 

I'll let you know.. 

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Dunno about Nanni. The engine is made by Kubota!

 

The coolant pump is certainly an possibility, but as it's belt driven, would be pretty obvious if it's working or not. If it were seized, even partially, I would have expected the belt to have shreaded. Unlikley to be a broken water pump shaft in my opinion.

 

I suspect that if water is being thrown out at above 1400 revs that this is a pressure problem.

 

If this engine needs any major parts (even just gaskets), please contact me before going for Nanni parts.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Back to Norfolk later.. and what a weekend we picked! It will be perfect weather to test an over heating engine!! Hopefully if its a simple fix (anything posible!) then we will be out and about tomorrow, so wave if you see "Sweet Kingfisher" around brundall (Hopefully not with steam pouring out the cabin!)..

 

Anyone recommend any pubs/restaurants near Brundall for some food? In all the years we have been to the broads we have never spent any time in Brundall! (We have always started and ended there and overnighted in surlingham broad). 

 

Have a brilliant weekend all.

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The obvious pub choice is the Yare! In my experience the food has always been pretty reasonable in both price and quality. The pub itself is a bit dingy inside, and the landlord never smiles, but you could do worse!!

 

If you have a dinghy or a boat to get over the river, then Coldham Hall is the other favourite. A bit pricier, but better quality food and a lovely garden to sit in to watch the world go by.

 

Good luck with the engine diagnostics!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I just thought I should update this.

 

We did go upto nofolk, we done the head test and it came back all clear.. Thankfully.. so they are indeed very lucky (I put it down to my gentle drive back down lol!). We also changed a few hoses, rad cap and the themostat and got her temperature stable at idle. Although full revs on the river she blew the water instantaneously. Grr... We gave up and came home as we only took parts/tools expecting the thermostat to be broken or to remove the head!

 

Given some brilliant recommendations from members on this forum though,  Graham at Maffetts is about to grab the boat and tow her down to loddon and fix for us.  We would have loved to have finished the job for my parents but Graham comes highly recommended and took our grilling well so we have every trust in him. However thanks to everyone on the forum for help and input and please no hard feelings that we went with Graham. We are all really pleased with his help so far and I'm sure that we will all need other work at some point in the future so I'm sure we will hopefully use the services offered by other forum members.

 

Graham is currently thinking an old impeller has broken up and got stuck in the engines water chambers. He done a hot spot test and I understand he may have already found something although he said he will brush this out before looking further.  This sounds plausable to us considering we never actually seen this engine running cool (although the impellers have always been complete under my folks ownership)..  I'll let everyone know what the final problem was though.

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Yes, a strange place the Yare.  On the surface, it is a place I should really dislike as the decor can be described, at best, as 'tired' and the landlord does nothing to enliven the atmosphere.  However, for some unfathomable reason, I really like it.

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Sorry,  JawsOrca I was reading posts further up the thread and in the meantime  you had posted your update.  I hope it didn't appear that I was being rude and ignoring you.  I'm glad you appear to be getting some way towards solving your problem at last and hope that you'll soon be back  on the water again.    

 
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Sorry,  JawsOrca I was reading posts further up the thread and in the meantime  you had posted your update.  I hope it didn't appear that I was being rude and ignoring you.  I'm glad you appear to be getting some way towards solving your problem at last and hope that you'll soon be back  on the water again.    

 

 

 

Whoops No worries :)

 

We've still not tried any of the pubs around Brundall (except ex-woods end)

 

The yare really doesn't tempt me.. One day maybe :)

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