What could go wrong?

The business end of my Yanmar 1GM10 block

A week ago I set off with a friend and colleague on the beginning of a 6 week circumnavigation around Vancouver Island.  It ended the first day, with an engine failure of significant proportion, which definitively called us home.  A winter's preparation, an overhaul of paint and varnish, many fiddly projects on my part took up weeks of effort. My crew spent treasure or family time or both to arrange their lives and schedules around three two-week legs.

There was no ambiguity about the sentence. Limping into Kingston for a night, then a tow back to Seattle by my sympathetic brother made the situation crystal clear.

My initial efforts to find a mechanic to take on the job have not been fruitful, and the prospect of re-powering, enormously seductive as it is, is an order of magnitude more costly.  Why not try doing the job myself?  As Calder says..."this procedure is well within the capability of an amateur mechanic and should give no cause for alarm. "

In my distant youth I successfully brought a dead VW Rabbit back to life with the help of a blind mechanic... lots fewer parts to confuse on my Yanmar.  I am not a rebuild-virgin.  Worst case is I still have a broken engine at the end.  What could go wrong?

Getting the head off was relatively straightforward, and the big surprise is how good the cylinder wall looks, as well as the business surface of the head, which contains the valves and injector port.  The valves pass Calders diagnostic (kerosene poured into the exhaust port does not leak through the valve seats.

I am hopeful to find broken cylinder rings that will confirm my unschooled conclusion that this engine just needs a ring job.  If that is the case, my rebuild will require careful cleaning, ring removal and installation, meticulous cleaning, de-carbonizing, and reseating of gaskets, head, compression washers, and various sizes and shapes of oil, water, and fuel piping.  Not a shoe-in by any means, but all doable.

Here goes!


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