We were literally hanging by a thread!

It’s great having folks come by for a visit….

So there we were, hanging out in the anchorage, and our friends Sally and John Mccartney from S/V Latitude Adjustment came by for a visit. We were showing them around the boat, and having a similar boat, after seeing the interior, John was interested in seeing the engines. Good luck for us that he did. After complimenting us on having sparkly clean engine compartments, (All Nina’s doing), we took a look in the second engine compartment. There in the bilge, we spotted a bolt (or what looked like a bolt). As I pulled it out, John remarked “I know exactly what that is!!” That was good to hear — or was it?

John said he’d had the exact same issue… It was one of the bolts that holds the engine mounting bracket to the Yanmar 3jh5e engine. This is a bracket held on with four bolts — in our case — we had found a sheared bolt head in the bilge.. The rest was in the engine block.

Fear! Fright! Visions of waiting for spare parts, finding a mechanic, etc. But wait!! John says he’s been through this beefore, and has the ez-out, straps and spare bolt to fix the engine. So — the next morning, bright and early, John came by with a whole set of gear to fix the engine.

First, we need to take the load off the engine, so we can work on it. By using the main halyard and an additional strap we get the lift angle so the engine lifts up (rather than forward). By doing this, we can now get in under the engine, and remove the bracket. It was just holding on by a thread!

Now — for those of you with a similar engine — these bolts are located behind the engine mounts, and are not easily visible. The ones on the starboard side of the engine even harder to see since they are behind the oil filter as well as the engine mount. They are M10X – 22 and M10X-30 bolts (the two on top are longer) and go into this type of bracket.

I would recommend you to check these for tightness. They appear to be able to loosen up from the engine vibrations, and it’s not clear they are installed with any locktite or similar compound.

In order to get to the bracket — out came the engine mount as well. Unbolted and slid out.


Engine lift complete!

We removed the bracket and now had access to the side of the engine. After John drilled a hole into the sheared bolt, we were able to back it out not touching the threads! Hooray! Now — it just had to all go back together. Locktite on the bolts, tighten down all the bolts. Then a reinstall of the engine mount, We slowlly… let the engine back down onto its mounts and tightened the engine back down on the mounts.

One last check — bolts are good. Engine mounts are tight. Oil filter is back in place. Now for the test! Start the engine up. Put it in forward. It runs! It doesn’t jump. Run in reverse. It works! Thank you, thank you John! You were our lifesaver!

In a morning of helping out a fellow cruiser, John saved us likely weeks of sitting around waiting for parts and a repair.


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