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russty
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Joined: October 02 2006
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Posted: October 10 2006 at 16:39 | IP Logged Quote russty

Here is another train of thought on autohelm (raymarine). For background I had a 355 for 12 years with AP on it for 10. Now I have a 405 which had Autohelm on it when I purchased in late 2004. I have since upgraded both my controller to an AT8001 (adjust course with a dial). It came with a hand held remote which I found to be a pain to use. The couse computer was a S100 model. This I upgraded to an SG2 model as it has the built in auto learn feature and you can wire in an off switch so you don't have to turn off a breaker to turn off the unit.

As for using an AP this would be the first thing I would install after a GPS. With heavy currents we have in our area I just point the boat where I want it to go then set the AP on auto mode and it will keep itself generally on track leaving me to concentrate on rocks and junk (logs) in the water. Helps you to relax a bit and enjoy the cruise.

I also find when looking for a channel an ease. I move the cursor on my chartplotter tell it to navigate to it and again set my AP to auto. It will swing the boat to exactly where I want to go.

In the fog I cannot say enough. I set my course on the chartplotter set the AP to auto. Now I can concentrate on my Radar without trying to keep the boat on line with the chartplotter.

Another good feature is that I have my radar interconnected to the chartplotter so the waypoint line shows on Radar. This is great in heavy seas where I have to manually fight the boat as it gives me a track which changes immediately if off course.

Hope this helps with your decision.

Russ

 

 

 

 

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wmbutler
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Posted: October 11 2006 at 19:45 | IP Logged Quote wmbutler

Thanks for the Autohelm input.

I'm up in CT today and spent the day with the surveyor. There were 4 or 5 items that we felt were of concern. I'll list them in order of importance (cost) and would love to hear feedback.

1) Transmissions both rattle when engine is at idle. The port engine rattles more loudly than the starboard. The rattle is coming from the area where the back of the engine just meets the front of the transmission. My surveyor gave me two potential scenarios. (a) A piston on the engine is not firing and therefore is not creating a minimum amount of torque on the transmission. When the engines are revved even a little, they sound solid and the rattling on both transmissions go away. (b) The transmissions have an issue with the locking ring (or something like that). Engines have 360 hours, oil looks old and dirty but no leakage in hull. Coolant from engine coolant overflow has some traces of rust (likely no rust inhibitor used in the coolant). Volvo 8.1Gi engines with ZT transmission (I think it's ZT 800 series). We are having an engine and transmission guy look at the boat to check it out, but this won't happen for a few days. Does your transmission rattle in idle?

2) Charger for main batteries comes on for 5 minutes when breaker is turned on, but then turns off by itself. Voltage on bank of 4 batteries reads 11.39 V. It seems that the charger is shutting down before optimum voltage is attained. It will cycle back on but seemingly randomly. Shouldn't this charge until the bank of batteries reads arounf 12.5 v? Is there a setting for this on the charger unit?

3) Generator works and charger for Generator battery works well. When generator is running and load is applied by turning on breakers, the voltage indicator drops dramatically as in from 120v to 90v to 60v in large steps, but the generator does not give the audible cue of the added load. All circuits appear to function fine. I'm thinking this is just a bad voltage indicator.

4) The surveyor found very small (very small as in under .1 - .2 mm deep) pits in the shafts. He indicated that even the smallest compromize in the steel can be the cause of a sheered shaft. He said although it's not definite, he said that he could not leave it off the appraisal. I'm interested in hearing about this issue from a boater's perspective....any sheared shafts out there?



Edited by wmbutler on October 11 2006 at 19:48


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2001 Carver 396
Volvo Gas Engines
Nashville, TN
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gbarger
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Posted: October 11 2006 at 19:58 | IP Logged Quote gbarger

Hi,

    Nothing that money can't fix.

1. Mostly likely the rattle is the damper plates. They can cause rattles at idle that go away with increase in rpms. However, can also be what the surveyor said. They should not rattle. Probally needs to be fixed before a 600 miles trip, in my opinion.

2. Charger probally needs repairing or replacing.

3. Genset needs servicing and maybe new voltage regulator.

4. No experience here, so unable to comment  on the pitting in the shafts.

 

Gary

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wmbutler
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Posted: October 11 2006 at 20:18 | IP Logged Quote wmbutler

So, this money that you mention. Is it easy to find? I like the sound of this stuff.

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Volvo Gas Engines
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gbarger
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Posted: October 14 2006 at 12:42 | IP Logged Quote gbarger

Requesting update, did you work out the survey findings to your satisfaction and purchase the boat?

 

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wmbutler
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Posted: October 14 2006 at 15:09 | IP Logged Quote wmbutler

The engine guy is going out on Wednesday to pressure check cylinders and listen to the rattle. I have my fingers crossed that it is the damper plates. Almost everything I have read points to this and it's a cheap part ($100) and I believe I can do the repair myself.

I won't purchase (obviously), unless I know that status of the engine issues.


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gbarger
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Posted: October 14 2006 at 15:26 | IP Logged Quote gbarger

   Well, It sure sounds like the damper plates from what you describe.  It is easy to damage them and cause them to rattle if you shift gears with the rpms too high.  That high torque on the damper plate causes some of the springs on the plate to get sprung.  Once that happens, they will rattle at low rpms, then as rpms increase the increased centripetal force will stop the rattle.

   Best of Luck, hope it works out for you. Please let us know how it ends.

Gary

   

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wmbutler
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Posted: October 15 2006 at 13:11 | IP Logged Quote wmbutler

Have you swapped out the damper plate yourself? I'd be curious to hear about the procedure difficulty. If I cannot find anyone with personal experience, I had an idea that I would find a mechanic capable of doing the job and I would work on one transmission, mirroring them as they worked on the other. This way, I could have a guide and save on some costs. It might be hard to find a mechanic who would go for this, but I think it's really important to know the ins and outs of my boat and the transmission has always sort of been the hold grail of mystery and expense on a boat or car for that matter.

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gbarger
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Posted: October 15 2006 at 17:48 | IP Logged Quote gbarger

    No, I have not replaced any. I suspect the biggest obstacle is the jacks and supports need to remove the transmission and support the  rear of the engine while the transmission is out.  After that reconnecting the shaft and transmission and maintaining proper alignment would be the most technical aspect.

 

Gary

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wmbutler
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Posted: October 19 2006 at 23:28 | IP Logged Quote wmbutler

3 cylinders overall exhibited poor compression (110 - 130 instead of 165 - 180). The engine tech acknowledged that the the damper plates were rattling but didn't seem overly concerned. He said that the compression tests were his main concern and said that since the engines were so new (2001), there is a reasonable chance that there is just some condensation built up that will work itself out with a some running but that he couldn't give me any assurances. He said the best bet was to get the seller to demonstrate them in top condition or offer less for the boat commensurate with the potential problems.

I'll probably offer less for the boat. It's already pretty heavily discounted (145k), so I have a feeling that some of these potential issues are already built in to the price, but I'll give it a shot. The engine has about 360 hours and looks like the oil has never been changed, nor the plugs. The coolant is basically water at this point....so I will need to do a lot of flushing of the system.

I think I can do the engine oil flushing myself. I was going to perform an oil/filter change immediately. Run the boat for 2 hours or so, change the oil again. Run the boat for two hours and then swap the filter and oil and spark plugs one last time. Any thoughts out there about this idea?

I want to do the same with the transmission fluid. Is there a trick to draining transmission fluid? I saw a pretty handy electric pump for draining oil through the dipstick opening.

I want to do the same for the coolant, but I've been told that a professional should flush the coolant system. Comments?




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gbarger
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Posted: October 21 2006 at 12:31 | IP Logged Quote gbarger

     I don't have alot to add to your assessment.   Sounds like you are on top of the issues.  I agree that price is heavily discounted and probally included all the issues that you have discovered.

 

Gary

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wmbutler
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Posted: November 05 2006 at 01:31 | IP Logged Quote wmbutler

Can anyone lend a broad view on exhaust manifold replacement, inspection, difficulty and just overall common knowledge?

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russty
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Posted: November 10 2006 at 12:49 | IP Logged Quote russty

Regarding the manifolds.  I had a 92 350 with 7.4 l volvo's.

The manifolds should not require replacing that often. After 12 years with 900 hours on the engines the risers only were replaced. This was in salt water use but the boat was looked after and serviced reqularily.

To checking of the manifolds is done when the risers are removed. This is when their condition can be checked. I asked around and apparently they do not require replacing that often.

The 12 years I got out of the risers was good. Most are replaced around the 8 year mark.

Unfortunately with Volvo there isn't a knock off manifold/riser manufacturer for the large block volvo's such as Oster. I spent some time looking on the net. If it is only the risers I think if you shop around or have a friend who can by direct they will be around $ 500.00 an engine.

My opinion is that you should be ok for a few more years without having to worry.

Not an expert but just relating my experience.

Russ H.

 

 

 

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wmbutler
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Posted: November 13 2006 at 16:53 | IP Logged Quote wmbutler

FYI,

I bought the boat, and am 2 days through the cruise down from Connecticut to Norfolk. It's been fun and exciting (sometimes exciting in the bad sense of the word). When we first left, I happened to notice a small drip from the shaft. I have included a link to a picture because I did not know how to describe it. I was not concerned with the drip, because the rate was negligible. After two days of running, however, it is now dripping at the rate of 6oz per minute (about 2/3 of a cup per minute). This is still not a show stopper, but I'd like to know if there is an easy and safe way to snug this up or if I should leave it to a professional.

Picture

I am documenting the trip at http://boatchannel.tv if anyone is interested. I won't crowd the forums with those details.




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gbarger
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Posted: November 13 2006 at 18:32 | IP Logged Quote gbarger

Congrats on the purchase

  Glad the trip is going well.  Those are the dripless kind and should not be leaking at all.  I have never had one develop a leak, so I will have to defer what is best to someone else.

Sorry I cant help with this.

Gary

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gbarger
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Posted: November 13 2006 at 20:18 | IP Logged Quote gbarger

I did some fast research and found this trouble shooting guide for the seal on your boat.

Trouble Shooting Guide This Document as PDF. (12 Kb)

*Should the boat need to be towed, the drive shaft should be immobilized or the engines allowed to idle to provide lubrication water for the shaft seals. If a crossover line is fitted on a twin engine boat only one engine need to be idled.

*If a twin engine boat is to be operated with one engine shut down, a crossover line needs to be installed or the nonworking shaft immobilized.

Maintenance

Tides Marine shaft seals require no winterization but the winterization fluids will not harm them. The shaft seal assemblies should be inspected at least annually.

  1. Inspect the blue hose for damage. Inspect the hose clamps for corrosion and proper tensioning. With Strong Seals, hand tight with a screwdriver of nut driver is sufficient.

  2. Remove the water lubrication hose from the shaft seal. Make sure the fitting on the seal is clear and inspect for corrosion. If the boat is in the water, there should be a strong inflow of water from the slip into the boat. Use the inspection cap attached to the fitting to stop this inflow.

  3. In a twin engine installation, repeat step 2. Compare the inflow of water from side to side. They should be about equal.

  4. If the boat is fitted with a crossover hose, remove it from the shaft seal fitting and make sure it is clear. You should have about as much water out of the crossover as from the primary supply fittings. If the inflow is good, you may reassemble the crossover.

  5. Inspect the engine fitting to make sure that it is clear and check for corrosion.

  6. If the boat is equipped with a spare seal assembly, make sure that it is separated for the Strong Seal and secured firmly on the shaft.

  7. With the vessel in the water, idle each engine. Check the water flow from the lubrication hose at the shaft seal. The flow rate should be about one gallon per minute at idle.

  8. Make sure that all hoses and clamps are reassembled securely.
 
Troubleshooting

  1. Determine exactly where the leak is. Is it between the seal and the shaft or is it between the hose and seal body? Are there rust stains or water stains in the bilge under the seal and or hose? If not, it may not be the seal causing the water in the bilge. Is there rust on the stainless steel band below the seal?

  2. If it is the seal:

    1. Does it leak at rest? Could be a bad spot on the shaft or a damaged seal. Move seal forward to a different place on shaft to try to get it to stop leaking. You may have to polish the shaft before moving the seal forward. If this does not work, install spare seal from carrier kit if equipped.

    2. Does it leak underway? Could be seal or bearing. Polish spot on shaft and move seal forward to a different place on shaft.

    3. Grab an injection fitting and pull the part sideways. Does it leak more when side loaded? A lot more? If not, probably just the seal. If yes, probably the bearing. Replace unit. Some leaking when side loaded is normal for Sure Seals. This is due to the larger tolerances used in the new parts.

    4. How many hours are on the seal? How old is the boat? Less than two years old or 2500 engine hours? Is it a warranty? If so, collect information and begin warranty form.
  3. If it is between hose and body:

    1. Loosen clamps and make sure that the split bands are positioned 180 degrees from each other. (Strong Seals only).

    2. Reposition clamps so that they are about half on half off the stainless bands and retighten. Be sure not to over tighten. (Strong Seal only)

    3. If this does not work, loosen the clamps and slide the bearing out of the hose far enough to put a bead of silicone around the forward edge of the forward split band. Reinstall with the forward clamp half on half off the split band. DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN THE CLAMPS! (Strong Seals only)

If you can not determine exactly what the problem is or the problem persists after trying
the above, turn the call over to a technician at Tides Marine. (800)-420-0949.


link to their website

http://www.tidesmarine.com/trouble-guide.html

Gary
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wmbutler
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Posted: November 13 2006 at 21:10 | IP Logged Quote wmbutler

Thanks. Based on this, the problem is either the seal or the shaft. Interestingly, as the shafts and fittings cool, it goes back to a slow drip rather than a fast drizzle.

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wmbutler
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Posted: November 13 2006 at 21:12 | IP Logged Quote wmbutler

Seems like we need a Vacuflush vs. Tecma Silence head discussion on this board. I'm leaning towards Tecma, but it's based purely on some reading and not on practical experience.

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wmbutler
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Posted: November 16 2006 at 21:45 | IP Logged Quote wmbutler

All,

I've made it down to Cape May in New Jersey. I've noticed that the port engine does not generate the same forward force as the starboard. For example, when the port throttle is almost completely wide open, the engine runs at 3k rpms, contrasted with the starboard that will run at 3500 or even 3600 fully open.

I did not hold these rpms long, just long enough to observe the problem. Since the compression tests looked fine on the engines, I have other thoughts:

1) water in the fuel filter (I thought about changing the fuel filter, but could not find the fuel cutoff valve and had pretty full tanks. Think I'd better wait till my tanks are lower to avoid a siphon effect when I remove the fuel filter.

2) Spark plug not firing

3) Bad or clogged injector

4) Clogged air filter

Any other thoughts out there? One guy at the marina mentioned that a mis-matched propeller pitch could be the issue. I thought this was interesting, but the fact that the port engine is more difficult to start (must leave in idle with some throttle for several minutes and idles at lower rpm) makes me think that it's not a prop mismatch.



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gbarger
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Posted: November 16 2006 at 22:10 | IP Logged Quote gbarger

All those could be the RPM problem.

The fuel shutoff on my Carvers was located on the top of the respective fuel tanks attached to the pickup tube.

Also the fuel inline is attach to the fuel tank by way of an anti-siphon valve, so there should be no problem changing the fuel filters, unless someone replaced the anti-siphon valve.

 

Gary

 



Edited by gbarger on November 16 2006 at 22:13
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wmbutler
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Posted: November 17 2006 at 21:37 | IP Logged Quote wmbutler

Nice to know about the anti-siphon valve. Going to get the tanks down to 1/4 just to be safe and swap it in Baltimore. I'll put some additive to clean the injectors out as well.

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wmbutler
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Posted: December 10 2006 at 21:56 | IP Logged Quote wmbutler

No leaking when changing the fuel filter. A very simple operation.

This boat was a 2001 purchased used last month. For anyone who was following the poor performance on the port engine, this turned out to be a swapped injector or spark plug wire (can't remember which). Basically the cylinders were firing out of order and, as a result, the engine was generating less power and putting out a bit more smoke. No fuel pump, injector, flame arrestor or filter issue. My big concern was the transmission and although it rattles a bit, it's doing the job well.

I did find that the inside port manifold was dripping water. When pulled for inspection, we found it was extremely pitted and rusted on the inside. I've heard that 5-6 years in salt water is a good time to look at swapping the manifolds. Even through my engines only have 360 hours, they needed to be swapped. Including manifolds, elbows/risers, labor, and swapping rocker cover gaskets while in there, it looks like the bill will be about 5k. Just curious to know whether I got a fair price on this. from what I can tell, it looks like a bit over $3k was on parts alone, and they were all Volvo parts. My mechanic told me that prep time on the heads took a bit longer than expected due to their poor condition.

Manifold Pics




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russty
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Posted: December 12 2006 at 12:29 | IP Logged Quote russty

 

Could you clearify for me as to whether your engines are totally salt water cooled or do you have a heat exchanger and they are fresh water cooled?

 

Russ H

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wmbutler
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Posted: December 12 2006 at 12:34 | IP Logged Quote wmbutler

There is a heat exchanger, fresh water/antifreeze cooled.

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Daved
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Posted: March 07 2007 at 14:48 | IP Logged Quote Daved

I just wanted to introduce myself to the forum, and ask if anyone has Volvo D6 370 Diesels?   I've been having problems with mine, and would like to know if anyone else is.

Thanks
-Dave

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russty
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Posted: March 08 2007 at 14:37 | IP Logged Quote russty

Gary;

I have sent a request for info on the 466 Carver to your Calipso Poet email address. Just want to confirm if you received it

Russ H.

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redoctober
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Posted: April 02 2007 at 19:50 | IP Logged Quote redoctober

Gary and Wmbutler:

I am considering taking my new Carver 36 Mariner from Dubuque to Northpoint Marina on Lk Michigan in IL. I figured this will take about 300 miles down Mississippi and then back up Illinois river, making it a total of ~600.

Before reading your mail exchange (about taking a larger boat for a significantly longer distance) I was kind figuring it will take me about 30 hours (at 20 miles per ) to make the trip. So, I should be able to do it in less than a week, including moving at slower speeds, locks e.t.c Now, I am finding out about Hull Speed (did I forget to tell that this is my second boat and I had my first one for omly 2 months?) which is much more economical, but requirs more time. which I kinda dont have.

What would you suggest - scrap the whole idea and truck it, or it is realistic to do what I want in a week through the river with no experience? And for budgeting purposes, would 1mpg at hull and 0.5 mpg at plane stiill hold for Mariner?

Candid input is appreciated.

 

 



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gbarger
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Posted: April 02 2007 at 20:11 | IP Logged Quote gbarger

congrats on the new boat.

The mariner should get a litte  bit better fuel economy as it weighs less than the 396. Your trip also has current on both rivers. Since the distance on both is about the same, it should be a wash, by that I mean the mph gain going down the Mississippi will be offset by the mph lost going up the Illinois river. So if you used the 1 gallon per mile for hull speed and the 1/2 gallon per mile on plane that would be the worse case and you will have some reserve fuel.

 I would think that if weather was good, and you did not get held up waiting for the locks that you should be able to do in a week.  You probally would not have any extra days so, a bad weather day or waiting hours for a lock, could extend the trip. Worse case you would leave the boat at a marina, and go back the next weekend and finish the trip.

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