April 4, 2022
Armed with the required threaded insert (I thought I had some pictures of this before installation, but…) and eye bolt to fit within the flywheel top, I set up the overhead crane and prepared to lift out the engine, which was otherwise entirely disconnected and unbolted. It immediately became clear that this was not to be a simple removal; I was prepared for this as I’d come across several accounts online suggesting that pulling the engine off the jet drive top plate might be a challenge, because of tight clearances between the engine and the vertical pump shaft, and at the eight bolt locations around the engine base.
The engine wasn’t budging, and I proceeded slowly and with care. The first thing I had to do was reinstall the strap over the boat to hold it on the trailer, as the lift was trying to pull up the entire boat along with the engine. I tried a few other things, including leading a strap beneath the cast housing for part of the exhaust system at the aft end of the engine, and lightly pulling (with the crane) on this to attempt to break free the aft end of the engine, since all online reports (by all online reports I mean only a couple–there simply wasn’t a ton of useful information about this specific process out there) suggested that the engine was tail-heavy and that this was a common problem and one possible solution. This didn’t really do much, but still might end up being part of the solution.
The engine orientation in the boat was angled slightly forward from vertical, and to help the hoist pull as close to exactly parallel with the shaft beneath the flywheel as possible, I moved the crane forward a bit, chocking its wheels and those of the boat trailer to keep the few degrees of angle on the hoist as I tightened it.
Following other suggestions from the limited information available, I cautiously used slim wedges (a variety of my favorite 5-in-1 tools that have stiff, slim blades) to help possibly break free the engine from the drive plate beneath. This seemed to have some effect at the forward end, which was encouraging, but I didn’t have good access to the aft end and it was clearly “more stuck” there. So after careful and only slight progress on and off throughout the day, leaving things as is for a while and returning for additional attempts, I left the engine with slight strain on the hoist, along with strain on the ratchet strap at the aft end of the engine, and would return to fight again another day.
Total time billed on this job today: 3.5 hours
0600 Weather Observation: 37°, overcast. Forecast for the day: Decreasing clouds, 51°.