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Kenneth K

Lift Muffler and Battery Relocation:

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This was a project I decided to undertake after my first round of repetitive engine maintenance last year. The starting battery was mounted on a piece a wood sitting behind the engine, bridging the two elevated surfaces surrounding the prop shaft. The battery was difficult to remove or replace—it had to be turned sideways, tilted to port (I was always afraid of spilling battery acid) and yanked upward over the quarter berth, where there is no way to get your body in a good position to lift a heavy battery. Worse, not only the battery, but the mounting board itself blocked access to the frame-mounted fuel filter. The filter couldn’t be changed without removing both the battery and the board.

I could have lived with the starboard-of-center position of the lift muffler. My only complaint was that the drain screw was only accessible from the port side, meaning that to drain the muffler, I had to remove the quarter berth side-board, half crawl into the compartment and reach in with the longest screwdriver I had to twist (and hopefully not drop) the drain screw.

So, swapping the location of the two components solves several problems. Moving the battery out to starboard allows me to raise and lower it into position from the cockpit-seat-hatch that opens to the engine compartment—ten times easier than the old way.

Moving the lift-muffler to center, where the battery had been, gave me open access to the fuel filter, greatly simplifying filter changes. Also, before re-mounting the muffler, I tapped and fitted a brass drain valve to the starboard side of the canister. Now, I can access the valve and drain the muffler from the cockpit-seat-hatch without ever having to leave the cockpit. And, with the drain tube that runs straight to the bilge, there no drainage water to clean up afterward.

As to drawbacks (there are always some), I had to add an angled fitting and a short section of hose (about 7” total added length) to the 1 5/8” exhaust line aft of the muffler. The fitting was about $20 from Centek, but the hose section I had leftover from the exhaust riser replacement. The added 7” means that more water is back-draining into the muffler when I shut the engine down--which is a draw back--but I figure I can make up for that by draining the muffler earlier if I have several mis-starts. The existing battery cables were long enough to make the added stretch to starboard with little alteration other than adding a bolt-on battery-clamp type terminal to the positive lead.
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Maintenance and Mechanical


  1. bigd14's Avatar
    Looking good. It's nice to be able to make things functional again. It's amazing how a series of poor decisions (or just lazy ones) over the years really adds up to a giant mess. We are on parallel paths. I had to have a new waterlift muffler made by Centek, which did not fit, which then required me to have a stainless steel one manufactured. And I had the same fun with the exhaust elbow you did! I'll post some pics when I get it installed.
  2. Kenneth K's Avatar
    Thanks Doug. Yeah, post some more pictures. I've been following your engine-mount and strut replacement posts. Your skill set is much bigger than my own.

    I keep hearing the rumor that some people actually throw off their dock lines and get these things out into the open water. Something about hoisting sails and trimming lines; how the wind fills the sails and actually drives the boat forward somehow without any additional power......Maybe it's all just an urban legend.

    So, I have at least a few more days work with my headlamp on, hunched over the engine compartment, scaping my knuckles and straining my neck trying to get parts back into place. I did get the engine running the other day. Started on the first crank. I was surprised to see no sparks or fuses blown after re-wiring all the engine harness connections and ground points. The biggest surprise was the relative torrent of water shooting out of the exhaust thru-hull--probably 2-3 times the flow I had before replacing the exhaust riser. My surveyor commented about too much steam in the exhaust during motoring. Turns out it was the lack of sufficient raw-water flow to the exhaust elbow. Little by little it's coming together.....
  3. bgary's Avatar
    "I keep hearing the rumor that some people actually throw off their dock lines and get these things out into the open water."

    It's true. I've seen me do it.

    And in between, I'm cataloging all the things in which you guys have demonstrated competence, so I know who to call when I need help.

  4. Kenneth K's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by bgary

    It's true. I've seen me do it.