Tuesday, October 21, 2008

October 20, 2008.

Evidently Ken drew the short straw as he was the mechanic assigned to remove our transmission. I had pretty much everything out of the way and he dove right in. He made great progress but the actual lifting of the tranny was still a pain in the ass. Ken enlisted another of the yard guys to help twist and pry the transmission out of its tiny cocoon. Meanwhile I lifted with the main halyard while Christy tailed the line. It took all four of us working in complete cooperation to finally get the tranny to “pop” out of its resting place.

We left Ken working below and headed in to town. The other day I said that the temperature had “dipped” to the low sixties. Well last night it went crashing down to the forties. Its supposed to be even colder tonight. We’ve been happy with the “candle of warmth” but it was time to visit the hardware store in search of the “ceramic heater of happiness / survival”.

Once the transmission was removed Ken took out the pump with the leaking seal. He also removed the shaft coupling as we’ve decided that having those coupling bolts break every few months isn’t really as much fun as we thought it would be. It might even be construed as dangerous.

Once the coupling was removed it became obvious that the situation with the coupling was much worse than I had ever imagined it to be. I couldn’t see into the coupling when it was below the transmission but holding it in my hand and looking at it was another matter. The 4 threaded holes that I could feel as being bellmouthed were more than just worn. They were a mess; it’s a miracle that they were able to be used at all. They were so worn that they were practically useless. So in my usual “cups half full” mantra I guess this leaking seal could be construed as being a blessing. It was only a matter of time before the coupling would have had a catastrophic failure and the leaking seal revealed this to us.

The transmission was out and the leaking pump removed shortly after lunch. Ken said it would take the rest of the day to locate the needed seal and a new coupling. He said he’d get back to us at the end of the day so we knew what was going on.

True to his word Ken showed up at 1600 hours with the good news and the bad news. The good news is that they’ll have the correct seal in the morning. The bad news is that their having trouble locating an appropriate coupling. It seems my shaft is larger than most but they think they can get one from a place in Jersey.

So we’ll play it by ear for now as we really don’t have any other choice at the moment. There’s no use in installing the seal without the coupling so we’re stuck until one can be rounded up. At least we’ll be warmer.

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