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Wanderer Vagabond

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Everything posted by Wanderer Vagabond

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  2. I spoke with Ed Shiers this morning and the 'suspect' from him seems to be the starter heater element which he suggests might be staying for the period that the drive belt is slipping. Two minutes seems like a long time for the element to be on to me, but then it does tally with the experience since the belt slippage occurs whenever the ignition is turned off and then back on again, and when you switch the ignition on the heater element always comes on as well (he tells me it is on a timer). Additional to that, the lamp that shows the heater element is working obviously comes on brightly when starting but once the engine is running it never goes out completely although you can only see the extremely faint glow in darkened conditions. Ed has also suggested changing the pulley on the alternator and I'm expecting to be changing the drive belt as well since, after this period of slippage, it is probably knackered. Since I'm heading off up the Caldon canal I've arranged to re-contact Ed either at Park Lane services or at the Leek terminus and he says he'll come and look at it.
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  6. That is essentially how I've been treating it over the years but am now coming round to the thinking that I've been wrong and there must be something else doing it. If it were simply belt slip I would expect it to occur at other times or just have a general low level of slip all the while the engine runs,but that doesn't seem to happen. Once the engine has fired up and the slipping stops, that is it, everything is fine and no matter what you try to do with the engine it doesn't slip again until the ignition is turned off. Once you do that, either by turning off the ignition without activating the stop solenoid (so essentially turning off then back on again with the engine still running) or by stopping the engine the belt slip happens once again, but only for about 20 - 30 seconds rather than the 2 minutes that it slips when the engine is first fired up. The only potential confounding factor is that the boat was fitted with an Adverc back in 2013 soon after we got it. The domestic alternator (which the Adverc was supposed to be installed for) failed later that year and the replacement, installed by an RCR call-out who told me that for the alternator warranty to be valid he'd have to disconnect the Adverc, which he did (as far as I understand). The Adverc is still there but supposedly de-activated, as far as I am aware it was never connected to the engine alternator, but who knows? Whether that is b*ggering something up I don't know, and don't enough about boat electrics to even try to find out. Since I have over the years replaced the alternator concerned and the drive belts (more than once) I had come to just accept what was a minor slippage (rarely more than 10 or 15 seconds on start up) as a simple inconvenience, but considerably preferable to over-tightening the belt and trashing the water pump bearing again. Now that the slippage has increased to over 2 minutes I am wondering if it is heading towards some sort of failure. I think I'll take the advice of Nicknorman and make contact with someone who has knowledge of boat electrics and see what he can turn up.
  7. Thanks for that, looked him up and he is apparently in Leek, which is where we are heading so I'm going to give him a call. Small correction to my last, the tacho doesn't zero when the ignition is turned off and the stop solenoid is activated, it zeros when the ignition is turned back on again before firing up, not that it solves my problem.
  8. I must say I'm beginning to wonder whether it may be time to invest in a professional diagnosis of the problem. It has been going on for a long time now and whilst the suggestions so far have all been good, it is the freezing of the tacho that has me baffled. As you say it sounds like a temporary loss of battery supply to the panel since the tacho freeze (and slipping belt) is exactly the same as happens if the ignition switch is turned off with the engine running without activating the stop solenoid, if the stop solenoid is activated the tacho returns to zero. I'm starting to think that this problem may be well above my pay grade, does anyone know of a good electrician? Currently in Stone, Staffs.
  9. That also sounds like a good idea since this slipping belt has been an issue for a long time. It was slipping way back in 2016 when I knackered the water pump bearing trying to tighten the belt to stop it slipping. It cost me 4 days in Pyrford Marina to change the water pump. How much bigger was the pulley that you fitted?
  10. Its a multi/poly V belt so I'll give BEngo's suggestion a try. What threw me was the fact that although the tachometer is frozen, the alternator warning light remains unlit. When the domestic alternator failed last year I realised because there was no charge registering on the Victron meter and the warning light came on (albeit very dimly, only visible in reduced light) for the current issue with the engine alternator the warning light stays off no matter how dim the lighting.
  11. This sounds like it could be a likely cause, although the belt hasn't just been slipping for a few days, it has been slipping for months, it has just got worse since I came out this year back in July. Previously (like last year) it would slip for about 10 seconds or so on start up and then stop but I had the domestic alternator fail coming through Peterborough last year and had to run on just the engine alternator to charge both banks of batteries until I could get a replacement (with the domestic alternator disconnected and a jump lead across the engine - domestic batteries). That certainly made the drive belt squeal on start up! The spare belts I've got are all Gates so I'll give your suggestion a try.
  12. Yes (both of them). The puzzle is that the alternator is obviously putting out charge because the warning light has gone out (I've had alternators fail in the past and the warning light always comes on), it is the tachometer that is the clue, it 'freezes' until the slipping belt stops, then operates normally.
  13. Somewhere about 4mm I would guess. Having made the mistake of tightening it beyond this once before and overloading the water pump bearing, I'm reluctant to make the same mistake again. Once the engine is running (after the initial slipping period) the belt doesn't slip any more.
  14. This is a problem I've had with RUNE for quite a while, it just seems to be getting worse at the moment and I'm struggling to find the cause. To run through the sequence of events when starting up:- 1) Turn on ignition key, oil warning light, engine alternator light and domestic alternator light all come on,along with light indicating that the heater coil is operating. 2) Heater coil light goes out and then turn key further which engages starter motor. 3) Engine fires up and all lights go out. now things get a bit more tricky 4) Tachometer needle goes to about 750 - 800 rpm and freezes at the same time the engine alternator drive belt can be heard slipping. 5) After 2 minutes the sound of the slipping belt stops, the tachometer comes back online and everything is hunky dory. Once the engine has warmed up, if it is switched off the slipping drive belt happens again but only for about 30 seconds or so, similarly if the ignition switch is accidentally turned off whilst the engine is running, without tripping the stop solenoid, and then turned back on the slipping drive belt happens again for about 30 seconds then stops. The drive belt itself is as tight as I would wish it to be having made the mistake in the past of tightening it which stopped the slipping belt for a while, then overloaded the water pump bearing which failed, a more difficult job to change than just changing a drive belt! I carry a spare alternator and several spare drive belts (the drive belt is a multi V) Once the engine has fired up and the slipping belt stops, it doesn't happen again until the engine is stopped, no matter how the engine is revved, or otherwise, which is why I'm content with the belt tensioning. The engine concerned is a Lister LPW4, anyone got any idea what the problem is?
  15. I would agree with your comments, and have also legitimately spent time working out how to get into locked premises. That is often a good place to start with any security assessment whether it is your house or your boat, if you lost your keys, how would you get in? It helps you to identify security weaknesses. My own advice would be to have the majority of any security features on the inside of the boat as far as possible since you shouldn't then find yourself locked in, in the event of an emergency, and it doesn't give potential thieves a clue of what security they might be up against. Padlocks on the outside of the boat simply telegraph that either the boat is unoccupied,( or is occupied by an idiot). My front doors have a mortice lock on them and if I lost the keys I have no idea how I'd get through them without a proper locksmith. The other doors are secured by a variety of means that I don't feel inclined to divulge, but always on the inside.
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  21. There will be other advice along shortly I would guess, but since the section you are going on isn't tidal the only obvious advice I'd give would be keep away from the weirs and don't go if the river level boards are anything other than green (not in flood or even thinking about going into flood). Other than that it is a big enough river to accommodate many errors and the plastic boats will keep out of your way. Curiously one of my earlier narrowboat holidays was round London on the Regents Canal and then out at Limehouse up to Brentford on the tidal bit, it was only when I got my own boat that I really thought about the perils of it.
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