01 May 2019

Project 'DNF' - No.5 Refit

Today's Blog comes to you sponsored by Easy Start!

With more and more fuses finding circuits to connect with and a few more shots of hydraulic oil in the tank, we reached the stage mid morning when it was time to turn the key and fire up the engine for the first time - a major milestone for the project.
Our friendly hydraulics man had connected a couple of pressure gauges to the high pressure and pilot valve feed pipes so that adjustments could be made.  It was then a case of turning the battery isolator on and applying 10 seconds of glow plug pre-heat before engaging the starter.
The engine cranked and within 2 seconds fired up, lifted the exhaust rain cap and ticked over happily.  Simultaneously, the crew were stationed at a safe distance at key locations observing for any leaks, or major concerns.  Very pleasingly only the odd drips from joints which required the attention of a spanner or two.
After a few adjustments to the system pressure, the joysticks were moved for the first time.  Apart from the boom and dipper being set for JCB, not ISO mode and the slew motor heading off the wrong way, it was nothing that swapping a few hoses couldn't fix.  This we half expected.

Some time was then spent exercising the joints and observing the behaviour of the hoses.  We have replaced a fully hosed boom with one containing sections of ridged piping.  In the case of the main boom lift cylinder, a significant change had to be made to prevent it stressing the hose joints.  Otherwise, the remaining hoses were optimised for end to end travel and fixed in place.

Without doubt, the team were delighted with today's progress, nothing serious or unexpected.  We will now require a good spell of testing, sprinkled with a bit of endurance, before the craft can once again be returned to the water. There are a few more small jobs to attend to, together with the big job of finishing the new engine cover.

Note:  Rest assure, no Easy Start was used at all during today's proceedings.  The old Perkins engine had developed a small Easy Start habit in later life.