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Palmer P-60 Overheating and Damage

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Larry Lizewski
New member
Username: larry_l

Post Number: 1
Registered: 09-2016
Posted on Sunday, January 22, 2017 - 04:39 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hello everyone and thank you. Long-time lurker and owner of a 1974 Ericson 32 with-- what was--a solid running Palmer P-60 (have Thermo Electron Engine Corp. operator’s manual). Because of all your generous contributions to this forum, I felt confident enough to dive into some issues with my own motor.
She had been overheating sporadically all summer running at 160 on average. It went as high as 240 a handful of times but was able to get it back down by increasing RPMs—often needing to put in neutral to do so. A significant amount of white vapor would exit exhaust. It finally stalled Labor Day just as we made the turn onto our slip allowing just enough momentum to glide us in safely. I did her wrong, I am sorry, and I am desperate to make things right. I am the Conway Twitty of boat owners. I’ve read similar situations on a few threads and took the following actions based on them, as well as so many other suggestions on this forum. She won't start, I'm stuck, and would appreciate your help.

I) Compression test
a) 120 steady on 1,3 & 2. Steady 110 on 4
b) I began with compression test. The results gave me hope and influenced me to take the time and effort to check / replace what I could and see where she was at.
c) not sure if a compression check gave me the complete picture of what could have been damaged as a result of this overheating but onward I went.

II) Checked points
a) Contact points scrapped( badly chipped and pitted)
1) Replaced with PerTonix 1548 Ignitor electronic ignition conversion kit.
b) Replaced cap/rotor
c) Old coil and accompanying resistor scrapped
1) Replaced with PerTronix Flame-Thrower 40,000v 3.0 ohm coil sans resistor

III) V-belt cracked in several places
a) Replaced

IV) Water pump impeller completely destroyed
a) Replaced
1)Did not pack with Vaseline when installing. Concerned will damage during starting and not priming. Is it necessary to revisit and install with lubricant?

V) Checked and set valve at .15.
a) new valve cover cork gasket

VI) Rebuilt Zenith 61 Carb
a) including needle, spring, and complete main jet needle assembly adjustment
b) new gaskets all around

VII) Thermostat/T-Fitting coming off exhaust manifold.
a) there wasn’t a thermostat from what I could see in the T-fitting coming off exhaust manifold nearer to flywheel
b)significant saltwater corrosion around the gasket of this T-fitting that feeds into exhaust manifold heading toward wet exhaust
c) This t-fitting is also fed raw saltwater through through hull.
d) there is a elongated grenade like cylinder coupling between sea cock and this T-Fiiting. What might it be and what is its function please?
e) replaced short 6” vent tube going from cylinder head to this t-fitting as well.

VIII) Changed oil
a) Dark almost black but no foam no water.

Where I’m at:

• Tried starting no dice.
• Getting gas (plugs are wet).
• Getting spark (but looks a little weak)
• Suspect timing issue (did convert to electronic ignition)
• Number 1 fires ¼ turn of the flywheel timing mark past timing mark on engine block. Too far advanced? Seems smart to try correcting before pulling head off maybe? Next steps?


Again thank you all for getting me this far. And look forward to your input.
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Larry Lizewski
New member
Username: larry_l

Post Number: 2
Registered: 09-2016
Posted on Sunday, January 22, 2017 - 10:52 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Important to add please---
the timing is off by a 1/4 of the flywheel revolution. However, there is no more room to adjustment distributor---the radius slot that allows adjustment and tightening is maxed out to end.
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David Grosse
Senior Member
Username: davidg

Post Number: 81
Registered: 11-2010
Posted on Sunday, January 22, 2017 - 11:14 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi Larry,

Looks like you did a lot of good things for you engine, but not much to deal with the overheating.

So, let's talk about the cooling system a little bit. Water comes in from the through hull and goes to the pump, then to the engine, then to the thermostat housing, and then either gets recirculated back to the through hull, or sent through the manifold and out the exhaust.

Some things to check
1 - did impeller blades break off and plug the pump discharge or the hose to the engine?
2 - is the connection to the engine corroded up and not letting water into the engine?
3 - is the thermostat working properly? Since you are in Los Angeles, you could plug the return line and send all the water out the manifold.
4 - You replaced the steam bleeder hose from the cylinder head to the thermostat, but did you check to see if there was flow through the fittings on both ends?
5 - The hand grenade is probably a brass one-way control valve, usually found up by the thermostat, not down at the through hull inlet.
6 - is there good flow of water through the manifold and out to the exhaust?
7 - is the injection to the exhaust pipe plugged up?
8- Yes, I would revisit the water pump and put petroleum grease all over the impeller, case, and cover.

Usually, these engines run cool. If you have good water flow out the exhaust, it should be cool. White vapor means hot cooling system, depositing salt in the engine as the water vaporizes. A flush with a mixture of pool acid and water can help to clear out the salt deposits.

Unfortunately, the Ericson 32 and Palmer 60 are not a good pairing for engine maintenance. It is almost impossible to get to many items that need maintenance, or even see if there are leaks or problems.

Drop a post when you have checked out and resolved the cooling issues, and I will give you some ideas on starting her again.

Good Luck,

David Grosse
David's Yacht Service
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Larry Lizewski
New member
Username: larry_l

Post Number: 3
Registered: 09-2016
Posted on Friday, January 27, 2017 - 11:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Mr. Grosse sir,

My first draft actually thanked you specifically. I had watched your YouTube video and had given you a call a few months back. I also had a hunch you would be the first to respond. Can’t thank you enough.

Things checked:

1 - Yes sir—impeller destroyed—every last blade. Could not find remnants. Disconnected several hoses and outlets and all seem clear. More in below answers.

2 - No. In fact, I disconnected hose exiting water pump as well as hose exiting flange-like piece bolted on rear of head (flywheel being forward). There is some type of electrical sensor screwed into this flange piece as well. When forced water through hose exiting water pump—water came out the hose outlet of this flange. I also disconnected water pump hose going into lower engine block. Poked around inside—seemed clear.

3 - Didn’t see a thermostat David. Took hoses off t-fitting and such and changed gasket in between.

4 - Yes, blew outlets through and when possible cleaned with thin rod and cloth.

5 - Makes sense and thank you. It is near thermostat (if there were one)

6 - On tommorrows list. Suggested test procedure?

7 – Not sure what this is David. Will research tomorrow.

8- Thought you’d say that damn it.

Thought it was vapor—thanks for confirming. I have some Barnacle Buster I can run through once I get her running. I’d also like to add that fresh water flushing system you write about.
And so true about the space to work. I didn’t know a man my size could squeeze and contort into some of the places I have. Worth it. Bad feeling being stuck like this. Can’t wait to go out.

Thank you David.

Larry
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David Grosse
Senior Member
Username: davidg

Post Number: 82
Registered: 11-2010
Posted on Monday, January 30, 2017 - 05:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi Larry,

One last thought on cooling. If you don't have a thermostat to control where the cooling water flows to, you should plug off the return line from the thermostat housing to the inlet through hull. That way you know that the cooling water flows through the engine, then the manifold, and then out through the exhaust pipe.

For starting help, here are some things you could try.

1. take out all the spark plugs so that you can turn the engine by hand from the flywheel.

2. the flywheel mark passes the dead center mark twice ~~ once for top dead center (TDC), and once for bottom dead center. You want TDC, which you can find by plugging the #1 sparkplug hole with your finger and rotating the engine counter clockwise (looking at the flywheel), until you feel the pressure build up in #1 cylinder. Align the flywheel mark at TDC.

3. Since you have changed the timing with the new electronic ignition, you can pull the distributor out to dis-engage the drive gear, then rotate the rotor, and put it back in so that the ignition rotor points at the number one plug hole in the cap when the distributor is all the way in. (the rotor will rotate as the distributor goes back in) That way the engine should fire at or about TDC.

Before trying to start the engine, turn off the inlet water valve at the through hull. After you get the motor started, immediately open the water valve again, then check for water flow out the exhaust pipe. There should be good flow, and no vapor.

Good Luck,

David Grosse
David's Yacht Service
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Larry Lizewski
Member
Username: larry_l

Post Number: 4
Registered: 09-2016
Posted on Saturday, February 18, 2017 - 06:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Moved the distributor over a couple gears and Kabam! She started right up. Followed your instructions regarding water pump and a nice flow came out of the exhaust. I shut her down and then started her a couple more times---smoother and quieter than ever. That was last weekend.
This morning, before putting a timing light to it, changing the oil proper and adjusting the carb, thought I’d give her a start to hear how she sounds She started right up, sputtered a bit, and died. Couldn’t get her started again. Checked spark—strong. Pulled plugs—very wet—flooded. Dried the plugs out, put back in and no start. Flooded again. Gave the float bowl a couple of taps but same story.
Looks like I’m pulling the carb again yes?
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David Grosse
Senior Member
Username: davidg

Post Number: 83
Registered: 11-2010
Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2017 - 10:29 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi Larry,

Good news about the timing and water flow.

But, yes, it sounds like you have a flooding problem. The most likely cause is bad floats or float set, followed by bad inlet shut off valve (closed by floats). Also, could be over pressure electric fuel pump. Yours should only pump 4 psi or less.

Last, you could have flooded it with the choke on too long. Pushing the choke to off, and cranking the starter sometimes cleans the flooding out.

Good luck,

David Grosse
David's Yacht Service

Time to pull the carb again and check it out
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Larry Lizewski
Member
Username: larry_l

Post Number: 5
Registered: 09-2016
Posted on Friday, March 17, 2017 - 12:49 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hey David,

Apologies for the delay-in addition to not receiving email alert it took me awhile to get inspired again if you know what I mean.

So pulled carb and sure 'nough debris in bowl. Cleaned out, remeasured float-(eyeballed really) and accepted the frustration of getting it back on. I also changed the primary fuel filter and spliced in a small fuel filter after the pump.

She fired up right away. I may have jumped the gun by fidgeting with the jet adjustments before timing and even idle because I stalled her a few times.

This weekend I'm restting the carb jets to default and starting from scratch--good news she sounds healthy. Just those little tweaks. Thanks again.

I do have some questions about the reverse gear that I'm just not understanding from the threads I've read. But I suppose I should get it running proper for now.

Thanks David.
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Larry Lizewski
Member
Username: larry_l

Post Number: 6
Registered: 09-2016
Posted on Friday, March 17, 2017 - 12:51 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

But you may also be correct in leaving the choke on too long but here we are. Lol
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David Grosse
Senior Member
Username: davidg

Post Number: 86
Registered: 11-2010
Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2017 - 08:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Larry,

I glad you got it going again. Hopefully, with the default settings back on the carb, it will purr like it is supposed to.

Please call me to talk about the reversing gear if it is having problems. It is much easier to talk it through than type it through.

Regards,

David Grosse
David's Yacht Service
SoCal
949-933-9613
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Larry Lizewski
Member
Username: larry_l

Post Number: 7
Registered: 09-2016
Posted on Saturday, April 08, 2017 - 02:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It sure does purr....man, these Palmer's really are die-hard Engines.

And will give you a call.

Thanks for everything. Talk soon.

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