Remove Water Heater on 2660 w/ Twin 4.3's

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Remove Water Heater on 2660 w/ Twin 4.3's

Postby NvrEnd$ » Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:30 pm

Has anyone attempted to remove the water heater on the Commodore 2660 w/ twin 4.3's? If your an owner of this boat, you know you have to be a contortionist to access anything in the engine compartment.

Last season I found it was leaking, which was causing my fresh water pump to cycle on and off every 10 minutes or so. It also was the source of water in the bilge. I previously installed a bypass for winterizing, so bypassing the water heater was a good temporary solution.

The leak looks to be coming from the aft side of the water heater tank. No leaks from any of the pipes or fittings.

It looks like a major PITA to remove/replace! I don't even think there is enough room to get it out without removing the starboard side motor, or at least the exhaust riser. It also looks like the vacuflush tank and components will get in the way.

I'm wondering if it would be easier to just cut a hole through the side of the boat and replace it with a port light or hatch (J/K) but yeah, I thought about it.
Looking for anyone who has experience with this and if what is involved.

Thanks.

2000 Regal Commodore with twin 4.3 Merc EFI Alpha Gen 2
Has Vacuflush w/
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Re: Remove Water Heater on 2660 w/ Twin 4.3's

Postby gofast24 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:47 am

No, dont cut a hole in the hull! If it is that complicated to remove/replace the hot water heater just live without it? Question = Does your hot water heater also get heat from the jacket water circuit of one of your propulsion engines like ours does? Another choice would to be set your bypass valve to bypass the hot water tank if leak is minor and you want hot water just turn it back on , heat up the water, and take your shower or do your dishes and then turn it back on to bypass the water heater? This type of problem is really a PITA in the smaller vessels where the boat manufactures cram everything into a really small engine room! I guess we are really lucky to have so much room in the engine room , most everything is easily accessible but to date nothing in the engine room needed service other than one of the two vacu flush pumps, easy access and repair.
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Re: Remove Water Heater on 2660 w/ Twin 4.3's

Postby Chris_in_Texas » Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:11 pm

While I don't have a 2660, on my 35SC you would have to remove the SB engine to get the HWH out. Same for the Genny as well, the SB main has to come out, along with the SB fuel tank. They (engineers) when laying out a boat think that anything would ever have to be replaced down the road. They want to stuff as much as they can in the small hole. ;) My guess is with a the 11'4" beam on the 35SC and knowing that your 2660 with twins would be worse.
Thanks, Chris

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Re: Remove Water Heater on 2660 w/ Twin 4.3's

Postby NvrEnd$ » Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:58 pm

I'm defiantly not going to remove the engine to have hot water on the boat. I might only need to remove the riser's on the one side which shouldn't be bad. I think just 4 bolts as long as nothing breaks. I'd also would have to remove or move other components like the Vacuflush generator and macerator. I could also consider taking a sawzall to it and cut it up and remove it in pieces. Then just replace it with a smaller unit that I can fit in there easier, but that would be a last resort I think. I will see how much of it I can actually dissemble in place. Maybe it will come apart enough to squeeze out of there.

It is heated using either the engine take off, or the electric element. I can always as gofast24 suggested, just fill it up when I need to use it, but I believe its 5 gallons. So if I don't use up all the water in the tank right away, it will end up in the bilge, which I can't stand, especially because if something else starts leaking, it will be masked by the water all ready there.

If anyone has attempted this on the same boat I have, be great to hear about their experience and how it went.

Thanks!
2000 Regal 2660
Twin 4.3s - Alpha Gen2
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Re: Remove Water Heater on 2660 w/ Twin 4.3's

Postby LakeMich2760 » Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:38 am

I just removed the water heater from my 2760 that has twin 4.3's. We never used it, there were leaks, etc so away it went. After it was loose, I couldn't get it between the front of the port side engine and bilge bulkhead. I had to take it apart, specifically remove the outer panel which makes up three sides of the water heater. Once that was gone there was enough room to pull it past the alternator and fuel pump then out of the engine compartment. No removal of engine or its components. See the pic on what to remove.
Attachments
Screen Shot 2017-11-01 at 8.33.08 AM.png
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Re: Remove Water Heater on 2660 w/ Twin 4.3's

Postby gofast24 » Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:00 pm

Have to wonder on these $500k+ vessels why the boat manufacture doesnt spend a couple hundred $ or so for a fully SS tank and fittings? We are still knocking on wood that our 2001 doesnt have any leaks or major problems as of this date! I am still thinking that we need to flush and replace the fresh water side of our engines and at least inspect the water cooled exhaust manifolds and risers! So many of us (including myself) just wait until something fails/leaks/malfunctions until we do something about it. Nothing like doing the recommended maintenance/service/inspections before a small problem becomes a big expensive one especially on a 16 year old boat?
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Re: Remove Water Heater on 2660 w/ Twin 4.3's

Postby NvrEnd$ » Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:03 am

I was able to grab some photo's of this packaging nightmare...
I'll try to get the cover off and see if that helps. Still looking like I need to remove the riser's on the engine, and probably the vacuflush generator, which I'd rather not do.


20171104_114315.jpg


20171104_114332.jpg


20171104_114342.jpg
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Re: Remove Water Heater on 2660 w/ Twin 4.3's

Postby Chris_in_Texas » Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:10 am

That port side front screw will be a bear to get too. Also have the heater core lines in front as well, and it appears you have fresh water cooled engines so that will make a mess disconnecting those with antifreeze all over. :?
Thanks, Chris

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2002 - Crownline 230BR VP 8.2GSiPEFS - DP-SM - SOLD
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Re: Remove Water Heater on 2660 w/ Twin 4.3's

Postby gofast24 » Sun Nov 05, 2017 12:22 pm

Yes, have to sympathize with the OP! Just a return comment on leaving the bypass off while taking a shower or doing dishes= If the leak is high up in the tank not much water will leak back out and once the pressure is relieved after turning the bypass valve back on (open a hot water faucet to relieve the pressure after your shower or dish washing chores) dont think a gallon or two of warm water will be a big problem with your bilge pump? Not a remedy but may be much cheaper than trying to replace the hot water heater? We actually dont use our hot water heater other than once or twice a year. Swimming in our lake with a little liquid hand soap is all that is required to "feel" clean. Good luck and let us know how you move forward.
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Re: Remove Water Heater on 2660 w/ Twin 4.3's

Postby NvrEnd$ » Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:09 pm

I've been toying with the idea of trying something like this out...

http://www.silverkingmfg.com/safe.htm

especially if I don't drink from the water system.

Thoughts?
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Re: Remove Water Heater on 2660 w/ Twin 4.3's

Postby kellyg » Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:37 pm

This product along with others are made to seal cast iron or steel boilers and heating systems. There is no mention of use in water heaters where the water could be used for consumption.

I would also be concerned of the particulate residue in the pex tubing and faucet.
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Re: Remove Water Heater on 2660 w/ Twin 4.3's

Postby gofast24 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:49 pm

NvrEnd$ wrote:I've been toying with the idea of trying something like this out...

http://www.silverkingmfg.com/safe.htm

especially if I don't drink from the water system.

Thoughts?

My thoughts, this isnt meant for fresh water water heaters, just boilers, etc. This reminds me of my uncle (long gone) who was a part time trucker (full time fire fighter) who used black pepper to stop leaks in his cars cooling systems (pre 1970's cars). Also, if you dont want or need the hot water heater why go thru all the trouble to remove it? Just leave it in and permanently leave the bypass on?
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Re: Remove Water Heater on 2660 w/ Twin 4.3's

Postby kellyg » Mon Nov 06, 2017 2:49 pm

Go Fast,

Funny you should mention the pepper trick. Back in the early 70's, I repaired many a radiator the same exact way. I was taught by an old school mechanic.
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Re: Remove Water Heater on 2660 w/ Twin 4.3's

Postby NvrEnd$ » Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:50 pm

I think after further contemplation, best is to just get down and dirty and see if I can get it out of there. Most likely I'll need to remove the exhaust riser and maybe exhaust manifold. That should hopefully be enough to get it out of there. I think just trying the leak stopper is going to cause me more headaches in the future, and probably would just be temporary at best. It will be a "Fun" winter project along with all the other repairs/annoyances I have before next boating season.

I'll attempt to capture this process on this thread so if anyone else needs to go through this pain, it will be documented.

Thanks for all the advice.
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Re: Remove Water Heater on 2660 w/ Twin 4.3's

Postby gofast24 » Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:05 pm

NvrEnd$ wrote:I think after further contemplation, best is to just get down and dirty and see if I can get it out of there. Most likely I'll need to remove the exhaust riser and maybe exhaust manifold. That should hopefully be enough to get it out of there. I think just trying the leak stopper is going to cause me more headaches in the future, and probably would just be temporary at best. It will be a "Fun" winter project along with all the other repairs/annoyances I have before next boating season.

I'll attempt to capture this process on this thread so if anyone else needs to go through this pain, it will be documented.

Thanks for all the advice.

I agree with you, the "Stop leak" will just be a temporary repair and then you will always have in the back of your mind when it will start leaking again? My thoughts = Either remove it and replace with a smaller heater that will fit or leave it in and just bypass it with your shunt valve. Yes, this marine stuff is really pricey but that comes along with owning a boat? If it were me, I would just bypass it and save a $1000 or so along with the head aches and costs required to pull risers, manifolds, etc. required when trying to remove/replace it. It still is subject to where you boat and what time of the year (cold salt water/warm fresh water, etc.)
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