Firing in all cylinders
In my last post we left the boat as an inert lump of steel and an engine which seemed to have completely expired. Well, I am glad to say that the breath of life has been cast over it and it now starts with that classic puff of blue smoke all Beta owners know and love.
When I left the boat on its mooring the starter battery seemed to have suffered a cataclysmic failure, which was rather odd as it was working fine just 10 minutes previously. No only was the starter motor not turning, there was absolutely no power reaching the control panel. Odd.
I have never replaced the started battery in the 10 years I have owned the boat so I have always been expecting its demise, but whilst it keeps bringing the engine to life on demand, why change it? I assumed the aged battery was the culprit so used a jump lead from the main battery bank to see if power reached the control panel - but no joy.
I therefore retired to the club house where a MacMillan fundraiser was underway and bemoaned my problem with a fellow boater. He suggested I check the next item in the electrical circuit being the isolator switch, so i ventured back out into the rain and by passed this unit as well. Sadly this had the same negative result so it was back to the club house for more tea, cakes and head scratching.
Finally a fellow boater joined our circle and suddenly said "lets go and fix your boat" and ran off to get his multi meter. His opening comment was, "I bet this will be a simple problem" and so we began the process of working forward from the batteries where we knew we had power and back from the control panel where we knew we didnt. After maybe 15 mins the problem seemed to me in the wiring loom and then suddenly. there is was. One of those multi plugs shrouded in a plastic cover.
Immediately it all became clear. When I had stopped the boat I had a look at the ATF level and quality, as I have some doubts about the new PRM125 gearbox. In accessing the dipstick I had lifted a coolant pipe and in so doing has lifted the wiring loom it was attached to. It was probably loosened during the installation of the new gearbox and my lift was the straw which broke the proverbial camel's back.
With the multi plug pressed back into place the lights cane on, the warning siren sounded and the engine burst into life. Wonderful - life is good!
But then there is the new gearbox. It has a tendency to not engage in forward when I start it,
particularly after a few days idle. It whines and then kicks in, a delay which is disconcerting and underpinned by ATF fluid which looks more smoky than cherry red. RCR (who did the installation) have been contacted and I will let you know the outcome.