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Chap243

264 Engine Hatch Support

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Took my engine hatch off this weekend and pulled my engine. This procedure got me to thinking. My hatch is operated by a motorized lift on the starboard side of the engine compartment. Because the lifting pressure is off center (starboard side), and the hatch very heavy, I have more wear on the port side of the hatch and lip where it rests. Upon retraction, the port side hits first because of a slight sag on that side.

Does anyone know if the newer models have added a second pneumatic support on the port side. Or has anybody added a second support to help alleviate this wear?

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I am strictly guessing on your hatch setup.

But the strain should be greater due to a 1 sided lift. Since you can & have removed the hatch  some how.    I see no reason to not move it to almost center line .If the shaft clears engine / boat parts.

A second motorized lift mechanism can sometimes NOT run at the same speed. Then a resetting is required with 1 drive to raise & lower evenly.

Could / would a  piece of hard rubber or plastic pad on both sides satisfy you ? By stopping the hard surfaces rubbing?

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That hatch is super heavy, and sags on the port side about 1/2 inch or so. Never seen wear though. There’s interference with the motor on a center mount. On the port side with the batteries, and no real way, except to glass one in, to add a mount on that side of the hatch. Might try beefier gas-assists for the two you’ve got. Might also check the hinges to ensure the 6 bolts on each are tight and aren’t walking.

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Thinking about adding a pneumatic assist  on the port side to help balance the load and keep down the wear on that side. I was just wondering if anyone has done anything similar and how they did it.

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I’ve not done it, but the upper attachment can be mounted to the hatch on that side with thru-bolts because the area isn’t visible. In fact, there are a pair of thru-bolts for something else and they are “hidden” by cream vinyl tape (at least they’re supposed to be). You’ll need flush mount bolts so they don’t catch and create scratches, and an inner and outer reinforcement so the glass doesn’t tear out. The upper attachment for most gas assists is small, so you’ll only need a flat piece of aluminum a few inches long, an inch wide and about an eighth thick (two pieces). The bottom can be mounted however you’d like, and screwed into the bilge/step or mounted on a plate that is screwed into the same. Use stainless screws with coarse threads and dab of 5200 in each hole. To gauge how deep you can safely drill, remove a screw from one of the lower attachments on one of the existing gas assist struts and only go that deep. Should be less than $50 and an hour or two. Check the hinges first. There normally isn’t wear unless one or both are loose.

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10 hours ago, Chap243 said:

Thinking about adding a pneumatic assist  on the port side to help balance the load and keep down the wear on that side. I was just wondering if anyone has done anything similar and how they did it.

I haven't done it but I have the pair already there from factory and honestly, I can't believe Chaparral put only one lift on your hatch.  That's ridiculous since I'm guessing it's just as heavy as mine and to think they thought it would be ok for a big-bucks boat to have its super heavy hatch AND sunpad operate on one of those in an offset position is ridiculous beyond belief!

I would definitely add the other one on the ports side heck just pick up the battery trays, seal the screw holes that hold them down with some 5200 and move them a little to make room for the base of the lift.  Easy peasy.  The only challenge would be the connection under the hatch.  If I'm not mistaken, its designed with a beefed up FG spot to accommodate the top part of the lift.  And BTW, those are not pneumatic but electrical screws.  Mine get out of sync every once in a while and I just pull the pin and turn them to adjust the height.

So how did you remove your hatch?  What about the engine, did you do it with your buddy and his backhoe?

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47 minutes ago, Hatem said:

I haven't done it but I have the pair already there from factory and honestly, I can't believe Chaparral put only one lift on your hatch.  That's ridiculous since I'm guessing it's just as heavy as mine and to think they thought it would be ok for a big-bucks boat to have its super heavy hatch AND sunpad operate on one of those in an offset position is ridiculous beyond belief!

I would definitely add the other one on the ports side heck just pick up the battery trays, seal the screw holes that hold them down with some 5200 and move them a little to make room for the base of the lift.  Easy peasy.  The only challenge would be the connection under the hatch.  If I'm not mistaken, its designed with a beefed up FG spot to accommodate the top part of the lift.  And BTW, those are not pneumatic but electrical screws.  Mine get out of sync every once in a while and I just pull the pin and turn them to adjust the height.

So how did you remove your hatch?  What about the engine, did you do it with your buddy and his backhoe? 

The engine is out and in my garage. I ended up using an overhead gantry rolling crane that a farmer friend had in his machine shop. We unhooked the engine cover, hoisted it up and set it down , then went back for the engine , then put the engine cover back on. It came out rather effortlessly. I`ve been taking this opportunity to clean and upgrade the bilge area, now that I can get to areas previously out of reach. The boat goes into storage this week and I`ll tackle the motor this winter. Leaning towards a new long block from Michigan Motors.

I know that the existing actuator is electrical, but what I`m thinking about doing is adding a pneumatic compressed gas strut to the port side to assist the lift actuator because of the excess wear on the port front of the cover/hull contact area. I`m sure it can be done, I just need to find the right size and mounting location.

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Sorry, didn’t put 2 and 2 together. With the engine out, this is much easier. Both a gas assist strut and an electric ball screw identical to the starboard side are possible. Still check the hinges. A gas assist strut is probably much less expensive, and if sized correctly, likely to help a lot.

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1 hour ago, Chap243 said:

The engine is out and in my garage. I ended up using an overhead gantry rolling crane that a farmer friend had in his machine shop. We unhooked the engine cover, hoisted it up and set it down , then went back for the engine , then put the engine cover back on. It came out rather effortlessly. I`ve been taking this opportunity to clean and upgrade the bilge area, now that I can get to areas previously out of reach. The boat goes into storage this week and I`ll tackle the motor this winter. Leaning towards a new long block from Michigan Motors.

That's awesome.  I wish there was another way to access that back area of the engine compartment without having to take the whole gaddam engine out!  I can't stand it that I can't reach in there.  But I am thinking of creating a contraption out of a paint roller extension to mount certain cleaning pads to reach back there.  Let us know what you end up doing with the engine.

1 hour ago, Chap243 said:

I know that the existing actuator is electrical, but what I`m thinking about doing is adding a pneumatic compressed gas strut to the port side to assist the lift actuator because of the excess wear on the port front of the cover/hull contact area. I`m sure it can be done, I just need to find the right size and mounting location.

Ah, misunderstood you, my bad.  That's a good idea, actually.  Gas assisted strut might just do the trick.  Just need to find the right one with the right anti-G-force! lol.

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