Thursday, July 23, 2015

Engine Repairs, Marina Chiapas

Marina Chiapas, Mechanical Repairs

13 Julio 2015

As previously stated, Enrique and Memo are working hard to develop the local talent to support yacht maintenance and repairs. Their pool of resources has grown to the point they are able to offer most services required from bottom cleaning and painting to mechanical repairs.

We arrived into Puerto Chiapas without a working motor. As with all things marine, it was not a single issue. The starting motor solenoid was gone and the teeth on the fly wheel’s ring gear were burred. Fortunately the Bosch starting motor used on my Volkswagen/Audi engine is also used on some models of Mercedes Benz. Although I always do my own repairs, Memo pointed out that there was a mechanic visiting the marina right then, who could quickly determine what was needed and source parts as required. Memo introduced me to Hulber (El Kiski), a very quiet, polite mechanic who removed the starting motor and solenoid. He pointed out that the teeth in the starting motor gear were worn and on further inspection, it was also obvious from the few teeth on the fly wheel that we could see, there was burring on the ring gear. I decided to just do the solenoid and starter gear to see if the ring gear was still operational as that was a much easier fix. He returned the next day and replaced the starting motor.

My newest best friend Hulber, El Kiski, if you need a mechanic in
Puerto Chiapas or Tapachula call - 962-132-7171 or check with Memo
The engine started like a charm but later when I went to restart it, the starting motor gear had not reengaged into the ring gear on the fly wheel. I phoned Hulber to let him know that I would need to replace the ring gear on the fly wheel and asked if it was something he could do because I had no source for oxy-acetylene to remove the gear. Clearly my Spanish was being tested by the time I completed that question. He said he could and that finding a replacement VW/Audi gear should be possible.

To remove the fly wheel you must first remove the air intake filter housing, the raw water pump, the transmission, the torsion damper plate and the bell housing. As the rear motor mounts are attached to the bell housing the engine had to be temporarily supported by a come-along before the bell housing could come off. By the time Hulber arrived, early the next morning, I had removed everything back to the bell housing including the transmission and had supported the engine with a come-along. He took over and removed the motor mounts, bell housing and finally the fly wheel. When he was down in the bilge, removing the fly wheel, I told him that he was the first mechanic ever on the boat, I had always done everything for myself. His smile showed a lot of pride.
By that time, our planned trip to Guatemala was due, so I left him to source a new ring gear, remove the burred one and replace it with the new gear. When I phoned him on the Monday three weeks later, he told me he had everything ready and would be at the boat the next day!

The next morning he arrived and replaced everything that he had previously removed and then I completed the reinstallation of everything I had removed and tried the engine. It started perfectly. To make sure that the starting motor was engaging correctly I stopped and started it a couple more times. It was working fine.

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