The Devil is in the Details.

When I went to Navy boot they had a thing about attention to detail.  Going on about how pilots have died because technicians installed a split pin in the wrong orientation.  I remember having to do drills and push ups without end to drive this point home.

With the Lori Bell I am attempting to catch and rectify the details, before they become and issue.

To set the stage for those who have not read my blog post from a few years back you need to realize that this boat came to use with no inboard engine, no wire harness, no functional control, just and empty engine compartment.  All those devilish details fall squarely on my shoulders.


On my previous trip out I had pulled the raw water pump.  It had a slight weep of water from the weep hole.

Last week I rebuilt it sitting at the patio table with a kit from Moyer Marine.

New shaft seals installed.

New shaft seals installed.

Interestingly enough the old seals, unlike the new rubber jobs were pressed in brass rings with a rubber insert.  This it appears the old ones caused some scoring of the shaft and thus the leak.

Old shaft and new shaft, not the scoring on the old.

Old shaft and new shaft, note the scoring on the old.

I also endeavored to prep some of the exhaust pipes that came with our motor for installation.  I did this using and old fashion hammer the pipes to get them loose technique.   I was successful in getting one of them to loosen up and I did try both in the boat last weekend. However, I was unhappy with the fitment and the alignment of the water injection so I ordered new pipe from McMaster Carr this morning and Moyer Marines purpose built exhaust water injector.

At The Boat

So I spent last weekend at the boat.  Lori did not accompany me as it is not the most comfortable place to be as the cabin is torn asunder and she is in a family way.


The first task I undertook was to install the water pump.  I had noted that it was rubbing on the starboard rear engine bracket so I trimmed that before putting the pump back in.

After the pump was installed I worked on aligning the motor with the shaft. It was close but not quite perfect.  I had a few bolts loose but was having issues getting that last fraction of an inch.  I was getting aggravated as the motor is very heavy and it just would not go.  As I contemplated more drastic action involving cutting the starboard rail/bunk I took out all the bolt attaching the mounts to the bunk.   On a lark I jammed my trusty hammer between the bunk and accessory drive hump and gave using it as a lever lifted the rear of the 450lb motor about an inch.  When it dropped back down it was perfectly aligned.

Good enough I said and bolted everything down nice and snug.  Then rotating the shaft by hand I aligned the bolt hole and attached the motor to the propeller shaft.

Shaft and coupler together at last.

Shaft and coupler together at last.


Cooling hoses, black for raw water

Finished. The  rebuilt raw water  pump can be seen to the left of the transmission.

After taking the victory photo above I proceeded to rough in the cooling line.  Black lines are for raw (ocean) water, blue is for the antifeeze cooling loop.

Blue silicone hose. Nice and brightly colored

Blue silicone hose. Nice and brightly colored

With the cooling hose roughed in I decided to take a lunch.  I loaded the pups in the car an of to Burger King we went.

Abby likes drive thru dining.

Abby likes drive thru dining.

After lunch I went to work on installing the control cable.

Salvaged cables.

Salvaged cables.

Before coming out to the boat I had finally got around to testing their functionality in the driveway.  Lucky for me I received no lacerations and they worked properly, sliding with ease.

New old controls.

New old controls.

An interesting note is that the control head did not come with knobs.  I was fortunate in that the knobs that came with the boat (diesel control) fit perfectly.  The actual assembly although similar is different in every other dimension as the Atomic 4 controls are heavy due to clunky shifting.  To retrieve the big lever from the old controls I had soaked it with PB Blaster for the past few months, it would not budge.  In the end I took a hammer to the old controls and shattered the casting to facilitate removal.

To install the cables I had to dive into the port sail locker and feed them thru.  Then I worked them forward to the engine bay.  At the same time I fed the wire harness forward into the engine compartment as well since had it coiled up behind the galley cabinet since installing the panel.

Taking apart the salvaged controls for install.

Taking apart the salvaged controls for install.

After getting the cables roughly placed I turned to installing the controls in the cockpit.

I had to remove the remains of the old controls and install the new.  This is when I came to realize the physical difference in the two sets.

The new controls did not want to come apart for installation.  I spent the remainder of the afternoon pounding, prying and twisting them but to no avail.  They were corroded together.   After calling it a day I took the new controls home and applies a health portion of PB Blaster to the seem in question.  Lucky for me I had already moved it a fraction of an inch in pounding on it so the PB could capillary in and the parts came apart Sunday morning. I also sprayed the cable hold downs that were seized up and they to were no longer seized in the morning.


Sunday morning after a trip to Ace Hardware I made my way out to the boat again.   Having tired of fiddling with the controls for the time being I decided to work on the cooling system again.

I plumbed in the fresh water pump and lines as well as most of the raw water lines.  With the heat exchanger and pump on the forward bulkhead of the engine compartment.

Heat exchanger and FWC pump below.  Note the pump has 3/4 outlets that I had to adapt to 1/2 hose.

Heat exchanger and FWC pump below. Note the pump has 3/4 outlets that I had to adapt to 1/2 hose.

In the end this setup will be using roughly 10 feet of 1/2″ blue hose for the fresh loop and 16 feet of 1/2″ black hose for the raw loop.  12″ of 3/4″ hose for the adaption of the pump.

Of note is that the raw water strainer I had on hand did not fit as it had a 5/8″ barb ( I think) and I really did not like its function (hard to open).  I have ordered a Jabsco strainer with the proper 1/2″ barbs that has good reviews, hope it works out.   Also ordered was an anti-siphon loop for the exhaust raw water.

After getting as much of the cooling system sorted as possible I started to look at the electrical.  After taking an inventory of electrical parts on hand I decided it was a good time for lunch and another trip to Ace Hardware.

After a Ruben from Arbys I did some shopping.

Ace Hardware here in Titusville is outstanding for boat stuff, they have a selection rivaling West Marine.

I then proceeded to start to sort out the electrical wiring on the Bell.  We have already done some work at this but I had not worked that much on the distribution to the engine bay etc.

She had 3 black #4 AWG wires I assumed were grounds (negative) run into the bay laying loose and 1 red #2 + wire.  I had been using one of the – and the + to power the bilge pump on the starter battery position of our battery selector switch.  This makes sense as the red #2 will be connected from starter battery to the starter (its pretty heavy).

I was surprised to find that one of the black – wires was actually a + tied back to the common post on our selector switch. I had wrapped the end in tape just to be safe over a year ago as not to have loose wires adrift, I just never checked it. I discovered it was a live wire as I was inspecting the crimp ends to determine which of the three to keep.  I inadvertently touched it to another – wire and got a nice pop as a reward.  Oh my.

I removed 2 of the extra – wires (one actually +) and re-terminating the ends with proper marine crimps and applying no-ox etc.  I also ran a new #2 to were the start battery will be placed near the fuel tank. Also removed from the boat were 2 lead automotive battery lugs that did not make the cut as I cleaned up the house bank cabling.

TEMCo Hammer Lug Crimper Tool 5 Year Warranty
by TEMCo

For crimping I used this tool.  A great investment and crimping with a hammer is always fun.

After sorting the power distribution I finished off the day wiring in the engine harness in.

Harness on aft bulkhead.  Note oil pressure sensors.

Harness on aft bulkhead. Note oil pressure sensors, ignition coil and raw water lines from the mechanical pump.

In putting in the harness I also installed the oil sensors remotely, instead of directly to the motor I installed a hose barb and ran the hose to aft bulkhead. This way I can keep the sensors away from engine vibration, cooler and keep the wiring as compact as possible.

I built the harness using fire retardant black loom, it works as it protects from chafe and keeps things tidy.

Here is a view of the entire mess at the end of the day.

Here is a view of the entire mess at the end of the day.

Note the long blue hose in the above photo.  I plan to flush the motor a bit with fresh water before filling the jacket with antifreeze, this hose will allow the water to flow out of the manifold and into the bilge to be pumped overboard.  I will cut it to length when done and install it on that vacant hose barb at the top right of the exchanger. One good thing about an electric cooling pump is I can run it with the motor off so not have an overheating concern.


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