Re: Lifting an engine using a beam on cockpit seats

Paul Brown

G’day Mark, can I please ask how many hours had your motor done and what year launched? This is to give me an indication on what perhaps to expect

Kind regards Paul - Fortuna II 55#17

On 29 Aug 2019, at 6:35 pm, Mark McGovern <mfmcgovern@...> wrote:

I just replaced my engine mounts and the goddamn pain-in-the-ass bloody Vetus coupling a few weeks ago so I have some recent experience with this topic.  I considered using the cockpit coamings as the base for my lifting beam as they are flat and obviously strong.  However, it would have increased the span of the beam significantly so instead I used a 2 x 6 inch beam placed across the seats to lift the engine.  I did make crossmembers for each side of the beam to spread the load out a bit more across the seat.  Here are some pics of the beam and crossmembers:

<IMG_20190719_081959883.jpg><IMG_20190721_131727045_HDR.jpg><IMG_20190718_154057922 _1_.jpg><IMG_20190718_154108781.jpg>

The dry weight of a Yanmar 4JH3-HTE is only about 500lbs.  I removed both alternators, intercooler and exhaust elbow before lifting it so even with all the fluids added in, it likely weighed less than that so you are looking at maybe 250 lbs per side.  Spread that load over approximately 50 square inches and that is only 5psi of force so I was not too concerned.  The first time I lifted the engine completely I barely lifted it off the frame and looked and listened for any sign of cracking or deflecting and did not see any.  

I am certainly NOT saying that doing something like this can't cause problems but I can say that in my case with my setup and preparation of the engine (removing some of the weight), that it did not.  I still have the whole lifting setup on the boat so if anyone in the Chesapeake Bay area wants to borrow it in the next year or so, shoot me an email and you are welcome to.  I will need it back as I intend to re-align the engine after a 100 hours or so assuming that the mounts will settle a bit.

Mark McGovern
SM #440 Cara
Deale, MD USA

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