Monday, June 04, 2007

Turbo man

Turbo manIt's not that often I get exactly what I ask for, and very rarely now do I get it virtually immediately.

With Lady Jane I've become used to a certain amount of teeth sucking and 'well now's when seeking parts or assistance.

Before leaving Fareham, and while investigating faulty gauges on Lady Jane, Robin discovered the turbo pressure gauge was not faulty, but that the turbo was not producing any pressure.

Apparently the turbo pressure should be around about two bar (30 psi) or so.

Anyway, with the stuck air start valve, I noticed exhaust gas seeping back through the air start system. My thinking was that if the turbo was working properly, this should not happen. So determined to start doing something about it.

My turbo is made by Brown Boveri & Co.

As ever, my first port of call was the Internet, and it turns out that Brown Boveri are now called ABB, a huge Swiss engineering company. On their web site I found the turbo section, and filled in the web form by way of contacting them. I thought to myself "I'll have to prod them in a week or so to get some kind of response".

ABBTo my amazement, George, from ABB, phoned me that day and, unbelievably, arranged for an engineer to come out to the boat to see the turbo before the end of the week. The fact that their workshop happens to be a stone's throw from where Lady Jane is moored was an advantage I'm sure.

Now to my mind, someone coming out to look at the turbo would be just that, looking. Not so, Trevor arrived with his toolbox and overalls, and got stuck right in pulling bits off, with hardly even time for a cup of tea.

Not what I was expecting at all. It turns out that ABB sell spares for my turbo, and in fact you can still buy new ones exactly like mine if you were of a mind to.

I was genuinely expecting it to take easily a month to get to this stage.

Of course, there is money involved, and I'm finding myself spending on the turbo long before I had expected to shell out anything on it, but to my thinking it's started now so I may as well see it through.

What I find absolutely fascinating is just how intricate the internals of the turbo are, the main shaft looks akin to a jet engine (it spins at 28,000 rpm or so). Things were moving pretty quickly and I forgot to take pictures.

Currently most of my turbo is now at ABB's workshop being cleaned and balanced. I've also taken off the exhaust side of the turbo, after a bit of a struggle, and that will also go in to the workshop for a proper cleaning.

The rest of the turbo I'll clean in-situ, as it seems too much work to take it off for the perceived benefit of cleaning just that bit.

The next trick will be to get the whole lot back in and assembled. So far so good though.


  1. Whoa it sounds costly! I used to to have a small company that you could send your turbo away to and within three days it eas back done! they were agents for an italien company that manufactured the balancing equipment! so I goess they used the turbos they got to work on as training models? anyway they closed down a year agomuch to mt sorrow and now they hire out a kiddies train to fetes etc ! some change eh!

  2. I'm getting what I consider to be an extremely good deal, because I'm not a commercial venture.

  3. Wanderbird12:50 PM

    Hey TZ. Great work finding the Turbo folks. We have the same if only they have an office here in the states! RM

  4. Hi R&K

    They also gave me an excellent manual - I saw that they are located in Lunenberg.

    From the internet > T = +1 902 634 2101

    Close enough?


  5. One other thing Rick.

    For the first time I had documents for both our engines out at the same time.

    I see your engine number is 4429.

    My engine number is 4423, also a 6D6HD.



  6. Wanderbird Expedition Cruises11:25 PM

    Thank you Tim..the fair day rapidly approaches when our two fine vessels will cruises side by side....can't wait! Off to Labrador in two weeks. We have a short repositioning cruise from St. John's newfoundland to St. Anthony Newfoundland in the third wek of July. let us know if it interests you to join us. Your friends, Rick and Karen