Back on the Baja

We are back on the Baja. Gorgeous anchorage just north of La Paz. Our 340 mile journey/passage northwest and Sea Bella was a super star. Super nice evening l
anchored in emerald green water. We are now in La Paz, for some needed engine maintenance and then we’ll head north into the largest aquarium in the world.

So cruising life……
…..incredible places, good food and people, lots of sailing and unfortunately…….motoring. As much as we want to sail, the conditions aren’t always optimal for sailing.
The other big part of cruising life is maintenance. As someone once said of boat maintenance “everything is broken, you just don’t know it yet”. Others say “Cruising is just fixing your boat in exotic locations”. We are very fortunate as we have 2500 miles under the keel in the last 8 months and very few issues. But….new boats, old boats, well maintained boats and minimalistic boats all require constant attention to be safe and seaworthy. Those who have little mechanical skills can sometimes get by with credit cards but they have a difficult time getting too far from capable people/cities/marine expertise.
Last week Scott noticed a small leak on our primary diesel injection pump. Not huge and not urgent but definitely calling for attention. While a few drips a minute won’t stop us (or this motor) we have to be considerate of the fact that the fuel ends up in the bilge, and the bilge gets pumped occasionally overboard. We just can’t have that! Also, we are preparing to be “off the grid” for the next three months in North Sea of Cortez (and another 900 miles) and we just can’t have this get worse. So……a pump rebuild is in order.
We called a few Mechanics in La Paz and most seem booked out for the month. Waiting a few weeks to a month during the best season in the Baja seems very undesirable. So, with a little bit of advice from the mechanic in San Diego, a few YouTube videos and even a few phone calls to my Ashley, we decided to tackle this!

We found a machine shop here in La Paz that can rebuild the pump. It also seem prudent to pull the injectors at the same time as I have no record of them being maintenanced and the shop can do those as well.
Our motor is a Perkins 4.236 which is a great motor and is in good condition. Changing oil, regular care and feeding, and a little TLC this motor will last forever.
While pulling the injection pump sounds pretty easy it requires complete disassembly of the fuel system, making a record of the pump timing to the cams. I do not want to retime the fuel system!!
Pulling the injectors required some WD40 and a crowbar, hammer and sweat. Also, getting this work done by noon is also important as it is 90 outside by noon and life in an engine room at 90 degrees sucks! Lol
One thing I’ve learned in my life…..taking things apart is relatively easy. Putting things back together is much more difficult! So, lots of pictures and blue tape for reminders! Lol
Hopefully part two of this post will be in a week after we have all the rebuilt parts.

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