Weekend plan: Engine & Bilge Pumps

I go back to the boat this weekend to tackle these problems that have me stressed out way too much for someone my age. My mind cannot stay off the problems, and they aren't easy to let go of because I'm the one that needs to figure out the solution. My plan for the weekend.... ENGINE PROBLEM (raw water pump isn't working):

  1. PRAY that the shaft is spinning on the engine raw water pump. The impeller may have just come loose from its hub, but the shaft could still be spinning. I checked the impeller but left the rubber cap on the hub, so I don't know if it is spinning....
  2. Use the newly purchased impeller removal tool to get the stubborn impeller out and replace. Should solve the problem, and I will be so so SO stoked, I would need some celebration beverages handy.
  3. If the shaft isn't spinning, we have problems. This means that I need to remove the pump itself to rebuild or replace, something I fear may be more difficult than it should be due to some terrible engineering on the engine. Refer to the picture below. First I would need to remove the compressor, and then the alternator to even access the hoses and bolts of the pump since the whole unit is facing aft (what genius thought that up?). Then, though I can't speak with much authority on this since I can barely see through the parts as it is, two bolt heads holding the pump to the gearbox are behind part of the engine mount. There is hardly any clearance behind the bolt head, so I have no idea how they would come out without removing the engine mount arm that covers them. I am pretty sure removing that mount is WAY out of my skill range, and if it needs to be done I might be having to pay a lot of $$$$$ for a mechanic to do this. I assume that removing the mount would ruing the alignment of the engine, something I don't want to risk. Either paying a mechanic to come all the way out to the house it is at, or have the boat towed down the river to one of the small marinas. Hopefully I am wrong about the bolts and there is a clever way of removing them safely. But I'm not too certain that is the case.
3834330717_91f41f4f42 by you.

Here is the impeller, the picture doesn't do the cramped space justice. What you cannot see is that I can only fit one arm down there, and there is barely any room thanks to the starter motor (yes, I am aware of the rust problem). You can see the top two bolts holding the pump in place are pretty easy to access once the alternator is off. But what you can't see are the bottom ones. You can see below the pump the mount arm, the bolt heads are right behind it.

IMG_2670 by you.


  1. Diagnose the exact problem. I am pretty sure the diaphragm style pump is burnt out. I think the float switch got stuck, something in the wiring failed, or the hose got clogged and it burnt out. I need to figure out the problem to be certain.
  2. Try to get the Rule pump to work with the float switch (if the float switch works) for the diaphragm pump. The Rule pump has one, but it is set higher than the diaphragm float switch for emergency purposes.
  3. There is another diaphragm pump right next to the bilge diaphragm pump that serves some purpose in the fresh water pressure system. My thought is to replace the hoses and wiring on this one with the hoses of the bilge pump right next to it. This way I will have a working backup, and possibly get it to work with the float switch. In the picture below you can see the two pumps behind the battery bank, the bilge pump is on the right.
  4. Diagnose the problems with the manual bilge pump. Figure out if I can fix it or if I need to buy a new one.
IMG_1983 by you.

Lastly...I have to tighten the packing nut on the shaft seal. It is leaking way more than it should, and seems to be the major contributor to the bilge water. Hopefully my wrenches can fit it, and I have some penetrating oil in case it gives me trouble.