Safety

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by Avatar 20mercman 3 years, 6 months ago.

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    bob-prock
    US Member - 1 Year
    Replies: 48
    Topics: 5
    #2777

    Good idea! Because I’ve made just about every mistake there is to make! Eye Protection is critical! Particularly when grinding or spraying carb cleaner. (The cleaner that sprayed back in my face actually started to melt the plastic glasses I was wearing.) Wearing a respirator when sanding fiberglass is smart too. (Not a pleasant experience after breathing that stuff in!) Having a fire extinguisher and first aid kit nearby is also a good idea. But but best safety tip I heard was from Tom Waits: "Never fall in love with a woman named Ruby and never play pool against a guy named Fats!"
    Good Luck!

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    wedgie

    Replies: 965
    Topics: 94
    #25610

    Here’s one:

    Remove the prop if you are going to run a motor out of water and in gear(for whatever reason) .

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    20mercman
    US Member - 2 Years
    Replies: 583
    Topics: 21
    #25622

    I posted this over on the Johnsoldmercurysite a few months ago, but it is worth retelling here. I love to build motors from scratch, or restore old hulks that usually need to find lots of missing parts. I had recently completed a Mk-25 and was going to test it on the boat after several successful tests in the test tank. In fact, you may have seen us run the motor at Tomahawk this summer. It was the polished 1955 Mk-25 that my son and I ran in the cruise and parade. Here is what happened:

    If you are familiar with how the throttle and magneto cam work together on these motors, (and most motors) there is a rod on the throttle lever that sticks up from the top of the carburetor that is actuated by a cam on the magneto. This rod rubs along the cam and as the timing is advanced, the throttle is opened. In my case, I had an original Mk-25 carburetor and magneto. Somehow, the rod on the carburetor was about 1/8" inch too short. I don’t know if someone had ground it off some time ago, I still can’t figure out why it was too short. When I was testing it, and setting everything up, it worked fine. Out on the lake however, the rod ended up slipping under the cam of the magneto and wedged there and held the motor in an almost WOT throttle position. It was in gear, and I was very fortunate that I had some room in front of me, and I had the presence of mind to engage the choke and pull the fuel line. The excess choke was enough to keep the motor from running well and it stalled. With a very red face, I rowed back to the dock and figured out what happened. I was able to locate another lever assembly that made proper contact with the cam and the motor now runs beautifully. This could have been a real dangerous condition, so I now make sure that the throttle lever makes full contact on the cam and sticks up far enough so there is no way it can slip under the cam and jam the system.

    Steve

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    reivertom
    US Member - 1 Year
    Replies: 611
    Topics: 34
    #25649

    I once hard wired my old Minn Kota trolling motor and extended the leads to place the battery farther away from the motor. Everything worked great until one trip on the river with my buddy. We heard a strange sizzle and crackling noise and frantically started trying to find what was wrong. Finally my buddy said "look at the wire!" The wire to the trolling motor was liquefied and was bubbling for its entire 14 feet. I yanked it loose from the battery by the only part that wasn’t burning. When I got it home I took the top off of the motor and found a dead short in one of the main power leads. It had obviously been a work in process and chose that day for a metal tab to finally cut through the insulation. I learned that day that FUSES ARE OUR FRIENDS. I never again wired any electrical device without installing an in-line fuse! I kept the crispy bubbly wire as a reminder. If I had finished the job and hidden the wire like I was going to do, my boat would have burned up as we swam away taking all my fishing tackle and a nice ’57 Javelin with it.

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    callie30r
    US Member - 2 Years
    Replies: 71
    Topics: 40
    #25909

    Safety Pine tree boating club has just posted a video on safety stop switches and ways to hook up and install them on antique and classic outboards. We felt that this was a very serious issue as we run quite a few boats at the upper end of their speed range and had some near misses that emergency stop switches would have made non events we try to get all our members to install them on all planning boats.

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    jeff-register
    US Member - 1 Year
    Replies: 1121
    Topics: 47
    #26250

    Fuel & wire MUST be done 100% correctly! I live in Az & on the news an electrician was almost killed from the panel shorting; Just add gasoline to the mix & call it a boat!
    A 12 volt battery has many amperes stored up. Six volts have more per amperes as well than a 12 volt battery & twice the amperes per volt

    A very nice ski & fish boat sits by the ramp at Powell burned to the waterline & states " Have you run your bilge pump?"
    Scary huh!

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    jerry-ahrens
    US Member - 1 Year
    Replies: 1016
    Topics: 70
    #28143

    Yes, fuses are a must for any electrical installation. On a trolling motor I prefer to install the fuse as close to the battery as possible, for the best protection. I am also a big fan of battery disconnect switches. This enables the boat operator to shut of all battery power when the boat is not in use or there is an emergency.
    I had a customer of mine with an older Mercruiser powered Century boat that called me one day very upset. He said that they had been out on the water [very rough that day] and had hit a couple big waves. He said the boat had stalled after striking the first one, but started right back up. After going a little further he hit an even bigger wave. This time the boat died and smoke started coming out from under the dash! Frantic, he tried to disconnect the battery, but had no tools on board. By the time he wiggled the battery cable free, the underside of the dash had melted all the wiring. He was lucky. He was so afraid of that boat that he sold it as is, and walked away.
    Another event I personally witnessed was a Mercury 175 hp outboard that started smoking heavily while parked at the dock. I was standing on the dock near the boat when we noticed the black smoke rolling out of the motor cowling. Since I knew this boat had a battery switch, I jumped in and shut off the switch. On closer examination, I found that one of the two voltage regulators had developed a direct short and almost caught fire. This is why battery shut off switches are a must IMO. If we wouldn’t have been standing there, at that moment, it would have been bad!
    A couple of other often overlooked items, are a proper battery box with a lid and one that is properly secured to the boat. If you opt for a plastic battery tray, you must still fasten it to the boat. It must also have rubber protective covers in place over the terminals to protect from shorts. How many times have we seen a battery thats just sitting in the back of the boat either unsecured, or without any protective terminal covers? Bad idea!

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    jeff-register
    US Member - 1 Year
    Replies: 1121
    Topics: 47
    #29452

    Jerry,
    I’m with you. My 1962 Chevy pick up had an issue with my headlamps. I was on the highway between citys & went to high beam. The floor switch failed & shorted to ground. I went from low to no beams in a instant. I had added a resetting circuit breaker rated at 15 amperes before the headlight switch on the dash. I was having a hard time stopping in the dark & needed no sparks flying. I had added fusing in many places when I bought it. Added a relay to start the starter solinoid too as I wanted less load on the old key switch too. Ran that wire to a safe spot to turn off the starter too for theft protection too. Not a great way to stop someone but enough time for me to grab my Colt .44 hog leg.

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    johnny-infl

    Replies: 211
    Topics: 20
    #30734

    .

    here is a WORD OF WARNING

    While removing rotten hose off of a RDS-22 carburetor, I was twisting
    the wire type hose clamp with needle nose pliers (yes, I know there are better tools)
    and as the clamp reached the end of the hose, there was a quick SNAP and the clip
    flew across the room and hit the door…… I was very surprised at the force this thing had and
    was horrified at the thought that if a person had been watching me, it could have hit him/her or myself
    directly in the eye with enough force to do considerable damage !!! I put all these clips in a jar and never use them.
    I will never use NN pliers for this task again !!!

    .

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    outboard315

    Replies: 209
    Topics: 18
    #30758

    Fire extinguisher in garages, work areas and on any boat. I did something foolish and started a sized powerhead on fire and could have burned the whole garage down with no fire extinguisher in site. But I was able to put it out with no damage.

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    jerry-ahrens
    US Member - 1 Year
    Replies: 1016
    Topics: 70
    #32525

    I did the same thing in my shop! I was doing an open air spark test, and while cranking a 25 hp Honda, it had developed a fuel leak. The spark tester ignited the gas and turned into a rather large fire. Luckily I had an old fire ext. on the work bench and was able to put it out. The next say I went out and bought a new one along with having my old one recharged. I have one at each end of the shop.

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    jerry-ahrens
    US Member - 1 Year
    Replies: 1016
    Topics: 70
    #32526

    Reading through all of this reminded me of another thing that can happen in the shop, a ”runaway” outboard. At the Mercury dealership where I used to work, we had a Force 50 hp motor come in one day for a water pump. The job was assigned to one of our less experienced Tech’s. After he reinstalled the lower unit, he started up the motor on the garden hose to run and check. What he didn’t realize was that he had missed the water tube when reinstalling the lower unit! The motor was pouring water out through the prop hub, but was overheating badly. All at once, the Force engine started to increase in RPMs and had a very ”odd” sound to it. By the time I went over to investigate, the tech had already pulled both plug wires, along with the stop lanyard, and stood there in disbelief! That particular motor had a plastic air silencer mounted over the carburetor, so all we could do was pull the choke to try to stop it. In a panic, I grabbed a pair of Vise grips and pushed them into the side of the flywheel to try to slow it down. Gradually the motor slowed down and stopped. It was far to late for the 50 Force though. It ruined the powerhead. The boss was NOT happy.
    I always think of this when I hear someone revving an outboard while running on a garden hose… it’s easy to over rev one and make it ”runaway”.

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    chris-p
    Canada Member - 1 Year
    Replies: 2469
    Topics: 157
    #32529

    I did something foolish the other day.

    After bead blasting a part, I wash in water, then blow off with the compressor. This time, I forgot my face shield and safety glasses. Went to blow out a screw hole, that had glass beads hiding in it. When the 125 psi hit them, then almost tore my face apart. Luckily, they did not hit my eyes. I keep the face shield hanging right beside now so I always remember it.

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    20mercman
    US Member - 2 Years
    Replies: 583
    Topics: 21
    #32593

    Great posts here folks! Glad you didn’t get that glass beads in your eyes Chris!

    I do one thing that I learned from working as a chemical worker at our chemical plant. It’s called "Fire watch." This means that have you someone around when you are doing "hot work", and stay around when you are done. Hot work in our shop environment is usually anything with open flame or sparks such as a disc grinder. When you have a flammable environment, like the gas leak that Jerry had, then hot work is any ignition source. When I use a torch, or grinder that makes sparks, I never leave the area for 30 minutes after I am done with the hot work. This is in case that a spark got down under the work bench, in a wall and is just starting to smolder. I am sure everyone has cleaned all the dust and debris under your work benches or in your walls and no grease residue anywhere, but you never know. The last thing you want to do is to go to bed after you were working down the basement or garage to have a fire start up with you not to catch it in time.

    Steve

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