Our painted heat exchanger hanging from a tree to dry.
After soaking our badly corroded heat exchanger, Ken washed it in soap and water then lightly sanded it to get the loose paint off. He wished that he'd sanded the exchanger before soaking it in Chem-Prime, so he sprayed the outside with Chem-Prime and let it sit for about 15 minutes. He then rinsed it in soap and water again and let it dry. The picture below shows our heat exchanger after being sanded and sprayed with the Chem-Prime. The white areas are caused by the Chem-Prime .. doing its thing.
For those who didn't see the picture below from our previous post about engine maintenance ... it's a picture of our heat exchanger before we removed it, surrounded by some rust.
Then we removed the heat exchanger ... the saddle bracket that the heat exchanger sits in was really rusty, and filthy.
While Ken fixed our leaky tiller head, I grabbed some damp paper towels and wiped off all the flaky filth and rust from the saddle bracket and other areas. I then lightly sanded the saddle bracket, motor mounts, and anything else that I could reach. The pictures don't really capture the crusty mess before, but I was happy with the results of my cleaning.
After wiping down the area again with a damp cloth, Chem-Prime was sprayed on the rusted areas. After sitting for a while, some areas began to turn white ... it's doing its thing again.
A few days later, Ken taped off the openings of the heat exchanger and hung it from a tree in our backyard. He then sprayed it with a can of Krylon engine paint that he picked up at the local hardware store ... Alpine Green Detroit Diesel. He also cut some 1/8" rubber gasket material and placed it on the saddle bracket. This will provide a barrier between the bracket and the heat exchanger. Another couple of days later Ken removed the tape, added our new pencil zinc*, placed the exchanger on the saddle bracket, connected the hoses, and added the new clamps. He had hoped to add new hoses at this time, but had trouble finding them (our West Marine sucks sometimes). He was only able to find one of the three hoses that he needed (from an auto store) ... a red, 5/8" hose that's about 2 feet long and runs water from the impeller to the heat exchanger. I guess we'll have to find the other hoses online. We're going to start ordering extras of all these small things, because most of them have to be ordered online and then we have to wait for them to be shipped. We don't want to have to deal with this when we're cruising ... at least not any more than we absolutely have to.
This green exchanger looks a lot better than it did before we started this project! We're thinking that with the cleaning, Chem-Prime spray, new paint & clamps, and new zinc our heat exchanger should last for quite a while longer.
The new red hose ...
Another view from above ... so where do we find these hoses, especially the u-shaped one?
View from side ...
and from the top.
After the heat exchanger was in place, Ken added a 50/50 mix of water & anti-freeze to the manifold and opened the fresh water intake valve. The time had come ... to find out if our engine was gonna start! Aaahhh, the sound of our engine ... we'll hate it when we're motoring for hours instead of sailing, but at this point we loved it! Then our attention was on our temperature sensor, hoping that we didn't over-heat. We didn't... yes!
This coming Labor Day weekend should be the perfect time to take Nirvana out and run our engine. We still have to add our lazy jacks before putting our main sail back on, so although we won't be sailing just yet ... we can't wait to take Nirvana for a ride around our neighborhood. It's been way too long.
After using Chem-Prime and reading how it removes rust by changing it into a protective coating, we figured we'd try it out on a few other things. We had a few rust spots on the ceramic tile of our back patio, so we sprayed it on them in hopes they'd disappear. About 10 minutes later the rust was gone! We rinsed the areas with water and good as new. The rusty tool below looks a lot better now too. We love this stuff!
*If you read our earlier post, you saw the trouble we were having with fitting a pencil zinc into the heat exchanger. I spoke to a guy at Westerbeke after emailing him a few photos, and he thought that we may have an aftermarket exchanger. He did tell me not to worry about having such a short zinc, as it should still do its job. We're just going to check it often. Perhaps size doesn't matter!
Hasta luego ... until then. Mid-Life Cruising!