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Thread: Newbie. Ericson 35 MKII. Atomic 4 issues. Feeling discouraged. Need Advice. Help.

  1. #16
    Curator of Broken Parts toddster's Avatar
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    Tools: I still haven’t figured out a complete list. Someone recommended going from stem to stern on the boat, looking at every piece of hardware, every screw and bolt, and asking yourself “what tool do I need to remove and replace this?”
    As I’ve said before, you know that an engineer has done his job when your new thing comes with a small set of tools that contains everything you need. But that is not boats.

    Atomic 4 water pump requires a set of small snap-ring pliers to replace the impeller. Something you’ll only discover when you are a hundred miles from the nearest pair.

    Stuffing-box packing nut requires two adjustable wrenches (maybe channel-lock pliers, but risky) that open wider than what you have available and have short enough handles to reach into whatever awkward space is behind your engine. (Or you could measure the nut and purchase box wrenches of the proper size.)

    One thing that bothers me about this thread is the theme of buying new parts without first diagnosing the problem. It’s about as effective as sacrificing a chicken, but more expensive.

    Not that I haven’t done that a few times.
    Last edited by toddster; 04-10-2019 at 08:59 PM.
    s/v arcturus E29 #134

  2. #17
    Senior Moderator Loren Beach's Avatar
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    Cool Tools !

    Over the decades, watching for sale prices at Sears, I have purchased some good quality sets of tools "just for the boat".
    I recall that Christian W has advocated installing a set of tools on the boat, rather than trying to schlep them back and forth from the home... and often leaving out the one you need when you are at the boat.

    I have a socket set, with both metric and SAE sockets, regular and deep. This has 1/4 and 3/8 drives with extenders. Those deep sockets are invaluable.
    I also have two separate "roll up" pouches with combination wrenches, one SAE and the other Metric.

    I have couple of nut drivers that fit both common sizes of hose clamp screws (1/4 and 5/16)
    There are several phillips screw drivers and one or two straight blade drivers.

    Slip joint pliers and small and large vice-grips.
    Strap wrench for engine filters.
    Long nose pliers, and a larger "lineman's plier".

    For fastenings in tight spaces, two "offset ratchet" screw drivers, phillips and straight.

    Most valuable is a short-handle "drilling hammer" with a 2# head... 3# might be better. Often you are working inside a tight space and need apply some force where there is only a couple of inches of space to move the hammer. I found mine at Harbor Freight for a couple of dollars.

    There is an abused and not very sharp 1" chisel.
    On the subject of abrasion... a chain saw file, and a short standard file and a rasp.

    You will sometimes be working in a part of the bilge or under some parts that were fitted with some sharp/rough edges, when the boat was finished out 40 years ago. Chamfer those sharp places so you will not rip the skin on your hand and wrist while doing your maintenance or upgrades.

    My old (and still useful) "Fiskars" hand drill with it's four bits. When you need one little hole in wood or frp, this saves having to mess around with bigger drill motors and power sources.

    And the List goes on........

    Oh, and don't forget to have a cork screw and a can/bottle opener on hand!
    1988 Olson 34 #8
    Sail # 28400
    Betamarine 25 (new 2018)
    Fresh Air
    Portland, OR USA

  3. #18
    Contributing Member III
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeFranco84 View Post
    Also Are there any cons to the electronic ignition? I just ordered the kit. Reccomended over the points condenser system? pros or cons?
    One issue that has been experienced with electronic ignition (EI) is burned out coils. The dwell angle for EI is quite different than that for points so the coil is energized for longer.

    The kind and helpful folks over at the Moyer forum (http://www.moyermarineforum.com/forums/index.php) spent a significant amount of time researching this issue and can tell you exactly what to measure to know if it will be of concern for your boat and if it is, what size of external resistor (costs a few $) to get to resolve the issue.

    I cannot urge you in strong enough terms to get over to that forum - there are some incredibly experienced A4 folks over there (Don Moyer occasionally chimes in himself) who are delighted to help people diagnose and repair their A4.

    Best regards,

    Peter

    PS - as Tenders (a highly respected Moyer forumite) has noted, throwing parts at the engine with no careful diagnosis IS expensive and can be counter-productive with an engine that is not running. For example, I believe you have replaced your fuel pump and on that basis feel confident that you have a good fuel supply. Have you actually checked that the pump is delivering fuel? There are several reasons why a brand new pump that is not faulty will not deliver fuel - problem with the pump wiring, bad oil pressure safety switch, rotted out fuel pick-up tube in your tank, plugged filters, etc... I am not trying to be harsh here. Just want to emphasize that if you use a careful, logical approach to diagnosis you will typically end up getting the repair done more readily and at a lower cost
    E29 1976 Atomic 4

  4. #19
    Advanced Beginner bgary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeFranco84 View Post
    What tools should I always have aboard?
    As far as a starter set, you're in good shape. I have a basic socket set (both metric and SAE, because many of the fasteners on the Universal diesel are metric); I have a set of combination wrenches, I have a basic set of good-quality screwdrivers (probably 8 in total, spanning both phillips and straight, in a variety of sizes), an assortment of pliers, vice-grips and channel-lock wrenches, and then I have a small set of "chapman tools" which provides a variety of bits (phillips, straight, hex, torx) with a ratchet driver, super-useful in small/awkward spaces. Oh, and a small mallet with soft-rubber on one side, hard plastic on the other.

    Most of those are kept in "tool rolls", which I find useful... if I need wrenches, I grab the "roll" that has the combo-wrenches in it and take it to wherever I'm working.

    Beyond that... I've organized other tools into a set of project bins.

    -- I have an "electrical" bin which has the appropriate set of cutters, strippers, crimpers, etc, along with an assortment of crimp-fittings, coax-terminals, a butane-powered soldering torch, wire ties, pretty much everything I'd need for a wiring project.

    -- I have a "woodworking" bin, which has rasps, surform-tools, sandpaper, wood-chisels, a couple of small saws, teak plugs and such... everything I'd need to work on a wood-working project.

    -- I have a "fiberglass" bin, with assorted epoxies, fillers, glass cloth, cups, squeegees, putty knives, assorted resins and solvents and thinners, etc. And

    -- I have a "rigging" bin, with fids, thumbles, spare fittings, nicro-press tool and sleeves, whipping twine, needles and thread, a small torch for melting ends, etc.

    Probably overkill, but it works for me. My premise is that if I'm working on a (e.g.) rigging job somewhere on the boat, I grab the rigging bin and (hopefully) everything I need is in there, (hopefully) cutting down on the number of times I have to go hunting for the tool I just set down somewhere.

    The collection will grow over time. Don't worry about trying to get "everything you need" - get a good basic set of tools, and from there your projects will tell you what else you need.

    Oh, and knives. Lots and lots of knives (laughing). Seriously, I'm always hunting for a knife, so I have one stashed in the cockpit, one in the chart table, one in a galley drawer, one in each bin... whatever. I'm always losing them so I buy cheap-but-good, usually Spyderco knives, which have a good edge but don't cost so much that I cry when one goes for a swim.

    EDITED to add.... I go thru my bins each fall when I'm putting the boat away for the winter. If I run across a tool I haven't used for a whole year, it might go home. Or it might not. But at least I give it a half-a-second pause to decide whether its presence is worth the space it takes up.

    Bruce
    Last edited by bgary; 04-11-2019 at 11:14 AM.
    "Makana" (ex-Thelonious)
    1985 Ericson 32-III #604
    Makana blog: here

  5. #20
    Moderator Christian Williams's Avatar
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    Kevin,

    Our amateur knowledge of engines and such will always be incomplete--although occasionally more complete that the guy you hire.

    What works is just to plunge in hands-first, skin knuckles, and see what happens. But what if you break something? What if you can't get it back together?

    Then hire the professional. Such an approach takes the anxiety out. And most of the time we muddle through, even the first time.
    Thelonious II, E381 hull 513 (1984) Universal 5432
    Table of Contents for Thelonious Blog here
    Videos: http://www.youtube.com/c/ChristianWilliamsYachting

  6. #21
    Advanced Beginner bgary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn McCarthy View Post
    The more you try things on your own...suddenly you see that these things are actually pretty easy to do.
    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Williams View Post
    What works is just to plunge in hands-first.
    +2

    I know a big-flat-nuthin' about marine engines. Was never a car guy. No history of wrenching on stuff from the deck down.

    So when, a year or so back, my diesel made a horrendous screeching noise and stopped running... my first reaction was "oh, crap, that sounds like it's going to cost a crap-ton of money".

    I did what I knew how to do.... I checked and made sure it had oil and coolant, the temp gauge was in the nominal range, there was no smoke, there was no oil or fuel or water in the bilge, etc... and then I asked for help. Several forum members took a look and told me - in about 10 seconds - that my coolant pump had siezed, the screeching noise was the belt torturing itself on the now-stuck pulley, and that I'd need to replace the pump and the belt.

    So, while my second reaction was relief that I hadn't somehow fried my motor, my third reaction was "hiring someone to replace that pump still sounds like its going to cost a crap-ton of money".

    Turns out, it didn't. Forum-members gave me great guidance on how to pull the old pump, find the right part number(s) for the replacement, do a good job with gaskets and hoses and such, and install the new one. Ended up doing it all myself... and now I not only know how, I know a little more about my motor and I know what to look for if that ever noise ever happens again.

    I have - over time, - figured out how to change my oil and flush my coolant, change the zincs in my heat exchanger, bleed my fuel system, adjust belt tension, etc, etc, etc. And I've learned along the way how to "triage" things... like, when something happens, try to form a theory about what it is, then change ONE thing to test that theory, and use that info to move forward with a plan. So while I'm still at kindergarten level on engine things.... I'm learning.

    You will, too.

    Bruce
    "Makana" (ex-Thelonious)
    1985 Ericson 32-III #604
    Makana blog: here

  7. #22
    Contributing Member I
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    I cannot Thank you all enough!! I am so happy to report that she is up and running!!! The mechanic and i had to remount and install the fuel pump that thge fist incompetent mechanic botched. We installed the pump onto the block did all the proper wiring and then installed the new carb and we were up and purring!! We re gonna do a tune up with new spark plugs, distributor cap and oil change this weekend! Thanks again everyone!!!!

  8. #23
    1984 Ericson 30+, Nanaimo, BC
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    That's what makes this site so great! A problem that seemed insurmountable and potentially expensive generated very helpful replies and advice, and now it's fixed!
    Good work!
    Frank

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Langer View Post
    That's what makes this site so great! A problem that seemed insurmountable and potentially expensive generated very helpful replies and advice, and now it's fixed!
    Good work!
    Frank

    I am so grateful! I cant thank Christian Williams enough for referring me to this site! So happy and excited to join the ericson community!!!

    Another stupid question. I was thinking of adding a dodger and bimini some time in the future. Dimension wise would a dodger from a benetuea fit? I know i ll have to measure. Was just wondering if anyone had Ericson 35 MkII bimini and dodger dimensions off hand. The one below is a great price. If it fit i Would grab it.

    https://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/bpo/6859703314.html

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Williams View Post
    Kevin,

    Our amateur knowledge of engines and such will always be incomplete--although occasionally more complete that the guy you hire.

    What works is just to plunge in hands-first, skin knuckles, and see what happens. But what if you break something? What if you can't get it back together?

    Then hire the professional. Such an approach takes the anxiety out. And most of the time we muddle through, even the first time.
    Thank you Christian and thank you for pointing me to this forum. Im Eager to dive in and learn as much as i can. Philosophy of sailing is in my ciriculum

  11. #26
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    Back to being discouraged . I had a guy come to give me a tune up and oil change today. First thing we did when on board was fire her up and she fired right up in a second. He replaced my plugs and cap and set points and now I’m getting no spark. He spent 4 hours there and couldn’t figure it out. I have my original guy that helped me getting her going with the pump and carb coming tomorrow. He said he can most likely remedy the problem and it’s probably the setting of the points. I shouldn’t have let another guy mess with it today. My fault. My roller coaster of emotion continues...

  12. #27
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    Just got off the phone with my guy thatís gonna help me with this tomorrow and he said heís 99 percent sure that the guy today gapped the points incorrect like he was working on an electric ignition. He thinks it should be an easy fix tomorrow so fingers crossed.

  13. #28
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    it will be a very quick fix Kevin for anyone who knows what they are doing. You already know it runs.. it is simply in the installation of the cap or points or condenser, maybe a mismatched part. Possibly even a loose wire or bad connection. Sure hope you did not pay the guy for four hours work to not tune your engine.
    1978 35-2, Atomic 4
    Crystal Current

  14. #29
    Advanced Beginner bgary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garryh View Post
    it will be a very quick fix Kevin for anyone who knows what they are doing.
    ....and, if you play your cards right, when he's done YOU will know what he did, too....
    "Makana" (ex-Thelonious)
    1985 Ericson 32-III #604
    Makana blog: here

  15. #30
    Principal Partner markvone's Avatar
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    Kevin,

    For those of us old enough to have worked on cars with points and watched the transition to electronic ignition, no distributor and total computer control, the points were the weak link by far. If there is an electronic ignition conversion for the Atomic 4 (and I'm sure there is) get it!

    Mark
    Mark & Ronnie Vinette
    E36RH #21 GLIDE
    Annapolis, MD

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