A little job

It won’t be long before I am setting off back to Paddington basin for the May festival, just a couple of simple jobs to do first.


Just before I started on them though I went up to see Mike’s graduation ceremony, I will leave you to guess where and who with.


I left off last time telling of my intentions to service the diesel injectors in accordance with the recommendations of the experts. It is quite easy, I order serviced ones, they send them to me, I swap them for the ones in the boat and return those to the supplier. Simple..

While I’m at it I can check the valve clearances and clean out the glow plug channels. Again simple.

Three weeks later I have not quite finished. First of all the parts had not arrived a week after I was told they were dispatched. “Err sorry sir, I pushed the wrong button, they were not in stock. We will send them out on Friday.” OK, cool, no rush, yet. The injectors duly arrived, when I was out of course and needed picking up from the post office in the next village. OK, no probs. But the glow plugs are still not in stock. OK, no problem, I will do two of the three jobs now.

I looked fairly closely at the parts before taking them down to the boat. A critical sealing washer had been creased, presumably in the post, “can you send out a replacement, please?”. “No problem sir”, Another short wait but I’ve got the time, I don’t need to move her until the middle of the month.

The washer came, the free day came, so today I boldly set off to change the injectors, check the valves and clean the glow plug channels, ready for when the new plugs arrive. Simple

Valve clearances , yes easy, learnt that from my elder brother 40 years ago (or maybe less if he is reading this).

Clearing the glow plug channels with a 11/64 inch drill bit is a fiddle, a bit of a fiddle, but job done, simple.

According to the suppliers the injectors should come out easily, if not tap with a mallet. They did, not even more than finger tight, easy. Of course by now there was a fair amount of diesel about and a deal of swapping between metric and imperial spanners, but hey, that’s half the fun.

Now to pop the replacement injectors in with their nice new copper washers, should be easy. Well not quite. The injectors went in easily but connecting one of the high pressure pipes was far from easy. How can nuts of the same size be so different? Me thinks the thread on the the one replacement had been damaged. So with a bit of “in-out, in-out, file the thread about” and greasing it was reluctantly fitted.

Now for the key thing, literally. Did it start, yes! Having bled the pipes she did. Opps I’d forgotten to tighten one pipe so there was a tiny fountain of diesel but easily sorted that. Now to do that check that you don’t want to do, in case you find something bad, but you must do in case you don’t find something that is bad.

Oh look a little leak from one of the injectors that was easy to fit. Must be coming from a loose fitting. Tighten all a bit. Still leaking. Oh well take it out check all the seals and put it back, tighten it up, start her up and now it is no longer weeping diesel.

No, not weeping, it was now a fine fountain, as if someone had made a garden water feature out of my oily BMC engine.

On very much closer inspection I saw it, a dark line across the bright steel of the injector body. Yes a hairline crack!! So I had replaced a functioning yet worn injector with a refurbished cracked one. I should have looked even more closely at what came through the post. What to do now? Time to go home and ring the suppliers, simple! Grrr!

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