04/08/20 Tues. It's been a holiday over the weekend in
Kudat, so we've done very little. Yesterday, I helped Neil launch
Shelley, then we anchored her in the pond and moved Rhumb Do
alongside another moored boat. Then returned to Shelley and
brought her into the pond and moored her to the mooring we had been on -
then turned Rhumb Do around and rafted her to Shelley.
Today we went into town and checked in with Jabatan Laut, Health
Department and Immigration.
06/08/20 Thurs. I stripped down the steering pedestal lower
gearbox today, taking out the 2 roller bearings, 2 oil seals and the 2
needle bearings - all of which will have to be renewed. The plan
is to go down to Kota Kinabalu on Tuesday and look for a bearing shop
there. Fixing the worn splines on the pedestal downshaft and the
gearbox input shaft may take a little longer before finding a solution.
07/08/20 Fri. We all (Neil, Craig, Josephine, Ana and I)
went to Cottage, a small restaurant across the golf course this evening
for dinner - not a bad steak either - and had an enjoyable evening
catching up with all the news from the last few months. A small
mishap on the way home though.......we had left our dinghy at the army
pontoon, which is made up of modular plastic interlocking units which
have been deteriorating in the UV light for some years. When I
stepped onto it, my foot went straight through as far as the knee, the
broken plastic top of the unit sprung back and I was trapped!
After some pushing and bending of the plastic, I managed to get my leg
out but not without a few cuts and grazes which stung all night long and
kept me awake. So it will be a few days of limping around from now
09/08/20 Sun. A local guy, James, one of Craig's friends,
picked us all up this afternoon and took us to Roby's Secret Bar up near
the tip of Borneo. We spent a few hours there sitting by the sea
having a few beers and pizza's - a very enjoyable break from life
11/08/20 Tues. Neil, Ana and I got a taxi this morning at
6.30 and headed down to KK arriving around 10am. We went straight
to Inanam and dropped my pedestal downshaft and gearbox input shaft off
at Jesselton Engineering for them to repair/modify as best as possible.
Then we went to KK Bearings and managed to get the two roller bearings
and oil seals but the needle bearings are not available anywhere in KK
and have to be ordered in from West Malaysia. My leg injuries are
healing nicely and will be ok by the time we go back I hope!
13/08/20 Thurs. After buying some material to make
rainwater catchers for both Shelley and Rhumb Do, we got a
taxi back to Kudat, arriving around 5.30pm. I will collect my
pedestal shaft and bearings maybe next week. Other jobs to do are
the Smartbank battery charging system which has been giving me problems
for a few weeks, and I have a new one on order from the UK. My
house bank batteries are not holding power overnight, so I suspect one
or more are at the end of their life - or the fault is coupled somehow
to the Smartbank problem. On the steering system, the final
reduction gearbox will need to be stripped down and refurbished and of
course, that is in a very difficult place to access!
15/08/20 Sat. Made the water catcher for Neil today but he
had underestimated the amount of material needed, so we gave him
ours in order to complete the job.
18/08/20 Tues. I disconnected all five batteries today and
checked voltages - the engine battery is 13.2v, batteries 1 & 2 are
13.1v, battery 3 is 13.0v and battery 4 is 11.4v. So it looks like
battery 4 is kaput. It's a little strange because all 4 house
batteries were replaced at the same time, Number 3 gave up in March this
year and now Number 4 is very low. I will go in search of a
19/08/20 Weds. Bought a new battery in town and replaced
the dead No. 4 house battery.
21/08/20 Fri. The battery situation is now much improved!
On the steering front things are not so good! Having removed the
bevel gearbox and found several problems, I want to remove the reduction
box (that's the one that converts rotary movement to linear) to see if
all is well inside that one, and to replace the tie rod ends of the bar
to the rudder head. However....it's in a very awkward position aft
of the fuel tank and under the bilge pump, flanked by the hot water
calorifier. There is no access from the engine bay. Access
is by emptying the port cockpit locker and crawling inside but for me
that is very difficult. There is a 4" square hole in the aft cabin
bulkhead through which you can get to one of the tie rod ends. Ana
can get into the cockpit locker and do some work with my directions but
we have spent two days now trying to remove the 'arm' from the top of
the gearbox which may allow us to drop the gearbox from it's
bracket and wriggle it out through the narrow gap at the side of the
22/08/20 Sat. After much frustration, I finally managed to
remove the arm from the top of the gearbox but still cannot get to the
three securing bolts that hold the gearbox to the steel bracket.
The fuel tank is going to have to come out!
23/08/20 Sun. Ana went to the market this morning and
while she was away, I took the angle grinder to the fibre glass which
holds the top of the fuel tank, and cut it all away. Neil and I
then pumped out the 120 litres of fuel into a spare tank on his boat,
and then removed the fuel tank from the locker. Now there was
space (but not much!) in which to remove the bolts and the gearbox.
I am glad that it is now out as operating the input shaft by hand shows
some problem with the inside. Tomorrow I will strip it down and
see what's happening inside. On the up side, when we removed the
tank and tipped it on end, a whole load of slimy gunge came out, it was
like jelly and needed pulling out of the 1.5" filling inlet. Think
of the consistency of a jellyfish - that's what it was like. Not
diesel bug and like nothing I've seen before. Good job that was
found too or it could have led to a sudden engine stop in heavy weather!
Now of course, we have no steering and no fuel - so no engine!
24/08/20 Mon. With the gearbox stripped down, I can see the
bearings are 'sticking' a little, a problem is that one face of the
bearing is actually the worm drive shaft, and it's pitted. I don't
think I will be able to do anything about that but will try to replace
the bearings in KK again, along with the oil seal. The gearbox is
actually full of heavy duty gear oil rather than grease - and of course
it went everywhere when I took the bottom cover off the box!
Booked same hotel in KK for Thursday and Friday night.
26/08/20 Weds. This morning I took out the 1" diameter tube
which connects the transfer box to the rudder head. It's 120cm
long and has a tie rod end at both ends - one left hand thread and one
right hand thread. That in itself is a problem....both ball joints
on the tie rod ends are worn, the threads are Whitworth and there are no
alternatives available in Kudat - or at least no shop keeper wants to
look for an alternative. The first automotive shop we went to
today looked at it, asked what vehicle (as I knew he would) and when I
said it wasn't from a vehicle, he just gave it back to me and said "we
don't have". That attitude is prevalent in Malaysia and it really
winds me up, especially when I saw the same guy selling a similar
product at the shop just two days ago! Whitworth threads are no
longer available anyway, which I knew, but I need these joints with the
same taper, just a different thread, then the 120cm tube can be replaced
with a new one with matching threads. Going to KK tomorrow
morning, so I will have to trawl the shops there and see if I can find
anything suitable. The ply base that supports the fuel tank is
also at the end of it's life, so that will have to be replaced - this
steering repair is expanding into a bigger and bigger job each day!
27/08/20 Thurs. Our usual driver down to KK, arriving just
after 10am. The second shop I tried for tie rod ends had them!
The guy just went out the back and brought two from a Daihatsu 3 ton
truck - perfect! Then we went to Jesselton Engineering a collected
the modified pedestal downshaft, the first bevelhead gearbox input shaft
and the repaired steering wheel input shaft bearer. A quick visit
to KK Bearings to collect my needle bearings and buy two thrust bearings
and another roller bearing.
28/08/20 Fri. This morning after breakfast, we went to HSK
Engineering (where the parts shop guy told us to go) in Penampang and
asked about tube and left hand threads. That's when the fun
started! We have to find the tube ourselves and were told to go to
Maefare 4 X 4 in Dongongon, where we got a 120cm length of 1" tube for
15 ringgit. Back to HSK Engineering......"wrong steel" the guy
said, "they shouldn't have sold you that, go to Borneo Auto Parts and
get the right stuff". Off we go again, several miles to the
place and bought two anti-roll tubes from some wrecked car (one wasn't
long enough) cost this time was 160 ringgit, then back to HSK where we
saw a different guy. He told me the first tube was OK and he could
cut both left and right hand threads for me but not before I went back
to Kudat. OK, Neil was staying in KK for a few days, so no
problem. Back to Borneo Auto Parts to return the now unwanted
anti-roll bars and get a refund - five and a half hours of chasing
around to get the parts needed. We returned to the hotel
29/08/20 Sat. Breakfast and a bit of shopping (thin
plastic to make shims). Then pack up, check out and walk to Cosy
Materials to collect our ordered material to make rain catcher. A
spot of lunch, then over to the bus terminal to wait for Kadapi, our
taxi driver. Now, HSK phone me and tell me I can pick up the tube
at 3pm! After a bit of discussion with Kadapi, who was still on
the way from Kudat, we grabbed a taxi to Penampang and HSK and got a
coffee while the machinist finished the job. Then another taxi
back (with the now threaded tube) to meet up with our ride back to Kudat.
The journey back was longer than usual because of heavy traffic and rain
and it was 9pm by the time we were back onboard. A hectic two
30/08/20 Sun. Cleaning up the gearbox bracket and various
other parts today in preparation for painting. The fuel tank
flooring is going to be another difficult job as some of it is glassed
in and I cannot see what 'should' be holding it up. I will have to
cut it out before looking for suitable ply to replace it.
31/08/20 Mon. We ran out of gas yesterday lunchtime,
fortunately Sony Bumi supermarket was open on restricted hours today
because of Merdeka Day (Malaysian Independence Day), so we were able to
go there and get a refill bottle. Spend all day rebuilding one of
the steering gearboxes and prepping the torsion tubes for painting.
Did you enjoy your visit onboard?
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