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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Saturday 17 September 2016

Not just a kaput drive plate

Been an age since my last post so felt an update was needed. First back to our arrival at Langley 18 days ago. Just got settled on our mooring and Pete told us a slot was available on his dock, so within hours we were in and safely nestled on the supports. Pete did a sterling job of power washing FS's bottom and with the sunny warm weather, the first coat of bitumen was put on that afternoon. Three days and three coats of blacking later the job was all done. FS was refloated and for once got back into our mooring without a single mark on her newly blacked hull. A last polish on both her cabin sides and as far as her exterior was concerned she was now winter ready.

Later that week we had a surprise visit when I spied a boat I recognised coming up Langley Bridge lock. Never having met the occupants it was great to finally get to meet Adam and Adrian on Briar Rose. After tea on board FS, a nose round Briar Rose and the usual toilet talk, both the lads departed for a meal at the Great Northern. We did get to see them off in the morning but as I was still in my PJ's decided to wave from the galley window instead of going outside. I'm sure the sight of me scantily clad would have been enough to make them scarper even quicker!

I mentioned our drive plate failing a while ago. So Ian felt it was time to do something about it. With the use of a car jack, me undoing nuts and bolts while Ian gave instructions, we managed with a bit of brute force to remove the shaft from the gear box.

Ian was right to be concerned about the wear on the drive plate as there was a distinct softening of the springs (the round centre bit) and the drive plate bore. Should be hard to rotate but this one moved from side to side and could be moved with ease. I found this snippet on the web.

The drive plate is the interface between the fly wheel and the input stub shaft on the gear box and normally has a female spline in the centre and this may have fretted away and failed. Its purpose is to cushion the drive from the uneven pulses of the engine. Failure could be either the springs that provide the cushion - this would cause vibration, or wear on the splines

Not just the drive plate that was shot but the coupling as well. By rotating both parts a grating was felt (it should feel smooth) and at certain rotation points, it kept snagging. Would you believe that to replace this part would cost in the excess of £400!!!!! Before we have to go that route we will definitely explore different avenues.

A phone call and trip to Midland Chandlers at Mercia and the latest drive plate was purchased. Now all we have to do is reverse the procedure and try to put it back in the gearbox again!

We have one last trip planned before flying out to Oz mid October. Off to Ostend via Dover tomorrow for 5 days with some of the ECP&DA members. No doubt I will bore you all silly with my rambling of the trip but it does mean it gives me something to read in my dotage

Only one wildlife to show. This moth paid us a visit and settled on FS's stern seconds before I was about to slap a dollop of bitumen on it. Managed to stop myself just in time.


Adam said...

It was great to meet you properly at last! Have a good trip to Australia.

Halfie said...

I'm interested to know what the symptoms of the drive plate failing were. Jubilee's engine is an Isuzu too. I don't think it's a job I would attempt myself!

Dave Ward said...

That short drive coupling looks to have joints virtually identical to the ones on my Fiat Panda 4x4's propshaft. I don't believe they should cost anything like £400! Try contacting some of the firms who advertise "Driveshaft Repairs" on you know who. Many of them offer custom and "one off" services, so I would be very surprised if you can't get it repaired.

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Hello Halfie. We had a distinct knocking from the engine, sounding worse inside the boat. After a while the drive train started clattering at low prop speed which made the decision to change the plate a priority. With Ian's knowledge of engines it was easy for Ian to do it himself (with help from me I might add)but it was no easy task especially considering how small the working space was. Good luck if you have the same problem. Xxx

Halfie said...

Thanks Irene. No such problems yet here, but all useful information for the future.

Dave Ward said...

This is a second attempt at posting - I mentioned at the time that your driveshaft couplings look almost identical to the ones on the front section of my Fiat Panda 4x4's propshaft. I simply don't believe it should cost £400+ to replace them. Try contacting some of the firms who do car propshaft repairs - there are several showing on a Google search. At least one will make any design of shaft to order.

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Hello Dave, Ian has found a company in Bulwell that may be able to help. With us leaving for Oz in under two weeks, nothing more can be done until our return. Thanks for the suggestion, it was most helpful.

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