The Rise of Humpty

Winter has arrived. Nighttime temperatures have hovered around freezing at night. The monsoon rains are here in between the cold spells, and the winds can blow upwards of thirty knots between weather systems. Days are short, and we spend a lot of time inside. Today was the darkest day in nine years. I run the diesel stove during the afternoon to warm up the cabin for the evening, and leave the AC heater running nonstop. The project for this winter is to repair Humpty (Satori’s engine) and hopefully prevent catastrophic failure in a remote place. It has been a pretty big undertaking repairing the corrosion on Satori’s engine. It’s also exciting to give a thirty year old engine a new life. Instead of watching it slowly bury itself into a shallow grave, I’ve seen a kind of resurrection. The issues are not beyond repair, but there is no guarantee that the engine will last very long either. There were times where I questioned the amount of effort to the amount of reward that was gained. It doesn’t matter really because I love engine repair, and this process has given me new insight to the condition of the engine. I would rather it wasn’t inside of a confined space, but I’ve adapted and allowed myself to be at peace with it. Eventually I learned how to do it without working too hard, getting frustrated, and avoiding injury. I learned how to keep the tools, solvents, cleaners, paints, and parts cleaned and organized without cluttering the boat. Living on a sailboat and working on a sailboat at the same time can be unforgiving. It wears on you over time, and is difficult to think about anything else. Fortunately the reward to such effort is confidence that the engine will continue to run . The cooling system overhaul eliminates compounding problems. By eliminating any leaking, I have eliminated rapid corrosion. I have also added other means to help eliminate corrosion through regular maintenance. Through a collection of wire brushes for a drill, angle grinder, and Dremel I was able to get the majority of the surface rust off of the engine block, and the external components. By replacing the rubber parts, I can trust that the connections are no longer leaking or risk hose failure. The original hose clamps have been upgraded to Awab clamps, which are less prone to rusting and can last a very long time . The attachments to the hoses will be cleaned and prepared to ensure a tight, waterproof seal. Each part has been cleaned and polished. Some have been clear coated with a high-temp enamel. Others have been painted red to match the engine. Copper has been left to create it’s own protective oxide layer. Part of the engine block has been brought down to as little surface scaling as possible, and then prepared for several coats of red paint. The second phase involves having to prep the engine, removing the rear bolts on the rear mounting bracket, then reassembling the engine. The last post I left off with the front mounting bracket being put back on and the engine being painted underneath. The biggest part being the bolts. I inventoried the bolts and assumed that the ones needing replacement would eventually come out, even if it meant drilling them out. A total of fifteen bolts were completely replaced. It’s been six weeks since I started this project and I’m at ninety-nine percent to completion.

Bukh DV 36 ME engine label
Bukh DV 36 ME engine label

Each day at lunchtime I would choose the next errand to run on behalf of the engine. Tacoma Screw, MFCP, and Stone Way Hardware are my most popular stops. Tacoma Screw handles bolts, hell-coil kits, the occasional socket, special drill bit, solvent, adhesive, and various odds and ends. Stone Way covers the wire brushes, paints, paint brushes, rust removers, tarps, rags, and other random hardware store items. MFCP is the hose, pipe, and pipe fitting place. Tacoma Screw and MFCP are a combination of wisdom rarely found in the maritime industry in Seattle these days. Right after work is when I usually tackle the engine. I’ll work on a bolt, or clean a part, wire brush the engine block, and peck away slowly. Once I hoisted the engine off of the rear bracket I had hit phase two. From the end of October I had most of the parts figured out, and placed an order for a new water pump. The old one will be a project for the future. I will need to order a new shaft and rebuild kit for it, but that can wait. The other order was to French Marine in the UK for a few small Bukh parts. I should have bought more gaskets a long time ago, but I think at the time I was in denial about the situation. Now I have decided that I want to be able to service parts on a regular schedule and pay closer attention to it’s needs.

Engine lifted from the cockpit
Engine lifted from the cockpit

IMG_5753

Bukh transmission and engine connection. Repainted at the mount level
Bukh transmission and engine connection. Repainted at the mount level

The biggest part of this project was tackling the corrosion. I can only remove a small area at a time due to the dust and physical exertion. I wear a respirator, gloves, and eye protection but I still get metal splinters in my gloves and dust up the nostrils. There are little wires falling off the brush all the time so I have to make sure to vacuum often. I have the drill for the majority of the brushing, which is great if you have two batteries to swap. For bigger areas and for paint removal I use the angle grinder with a burly twisted and gnarled wire head. I must be very careful not to contact anything but the engine, and make sure to keep a controlled grasp at all times. Finally for polishing and hard to reach areas I use the Dremel. After each time I tackle the engine, I end up having a good sized to clean up. Every day after I’m done, I clean parts and put everything away. This keeps living on the boat and working on the engine manageable. Taking photos is very helpful so I can study areas and take notes about how to accomplish each small portion of the engine and parts. Digging into the engine has really taught me a lot about it, and will prepare me in the future when I need to tackle it again. Most of all it’s taught me never to neglect a diesel engine.

Progress removing rust from the engine block. Detail showing the rear mounting bracket before removal
Progress removing rust from the engine block. Detail showing the rear mounting bracket before removal
Tackling engine corrosion with an angle grinder and heavy wire head
Tackling engine corrosion with an angle grinder and heavy wire head
Finally removed the rear mounting bracket to gain access for cleaning iron oxide scale
Finally removed the rear mounting bracket to gain access for cleaning iron oxide scale
Rear engine mounting bracket where most of the corrosion occurred.
Rear engine mounting bracket where most of the corrosion occurred.

To remove the rear bracket, I needed to first tarp the cockpit so I could pull the floor hatch and setup the engine hoist. Only a centimeter in height was needed to prop it up and relieve stress on the bracket to remove the bolts. Before resigning to chopping the bracket bolt heads off, I decided to try a set of six sided impact sockets, lots of aero-broil, some oxy-fuel heat with a jewelers tip to break the bolts free. Out of the three bolts remaining I only had one bolt head shear off. The remaining came off with an extendable half-inch ratchet and impact socket. Getting the bracket off was a landmark achievement since the remaining work was cleaning the corrosion underneath, and repainting the effected areas. Removing the sheared bolt was accomplished the same way as the front bracket. I tried to use an extractor but it was seized beyond removal, so I added a double-stacked heli-coil. This time was a little more trouble getting the coils to line up so the bolt would thread to the end. After a couple of tries I finally ended up with suitable threads. I finally have a short list to get Humpty the engine back together again. I finished removing the scale from the engine over a weekend and by the following Monday had treated the bare surface with phosphoric acid (Ospho). The next day I completed most of the engine block painting. There were a few remaining steel parts that received a clear coat once back on the engine. There is less red paint than the original engine, but at least the hoses were not painted red like before. I ended up buying a handful of HPS brand reducing couplers made of silicon. These couplers help eliminate too much of a size change between pipe connections. Each one is about fifteen dollars, and I could get them on Amazon with free delivery in less than a week. To get the hoses and couplers onto the pipes, I used alcohol between the pipe and hose to ensure that there was much less friction for sliding. Once the alcohol evaporates the hose is tightly bonded to the pipe, so the hose clamps are just to allow for increased pressure. There are more parts but there is also less likelihood of the seals leaking due to the quality of each connection. I added double hose clamps on a couple of places where a single clamp is not strong enough to prevent movement. Where there are two clamps there is a very tight seal, which gives me confidence that the engine will stay dry and corrosion free.

Cooling system parts
Cooling system parts
One of many photos, which I used to decide where to focus the scale removal
One of many photos, which I used to decide where to focus the scale removal
Oil pan with new paint. The Ospho coating is showing in some areas and perfectly acceptable
Oil pan with new paint. The Ospho coating is showing in some areas and perfectly acceptable
Original seawater pump showing the reused fittings
Original seawater pump showing the reused fittings
Brand new Johnson seawater pump with thirty year old refurbished fittings
Brand new Johnson seawater pump with thirty year old refurbished fittings

I bought the water pump from a local dealer of just water pumps. The owner and co-owner of Marelco have been in the maritime industry a long time and were very helpful with discussing possibly rebuilding the old pump. I’ve decided to buy a new pump again when the old one fails. Too much hassle for saving a hundred bucks. I only needed a couple of spare o-rings, and plate gaskets. They threw in the gaskets and I picked up a few 3″ o-rings at Tacoma screw. I wasn’t sure if the water pump had fittings already, but also had doubts that I would get off that easy. Sure enough, I had to reuse the old ones. I was able to remove the fittings from the old pump, bathe them in CLR overnight, and polish them the next day.  They were like brand new again. Like the other copper fittings, they had withstood thirty years with only a little calcium buildup inside the pipes. One the same trip as the water pump, directly across the street Tacoma Screw was able to supply me with the dreaded long list of replacement bolts, nuts, and washers. The mounting bracket and exhaust flange only cost $22 to get hot tanked and bead blasted at the machine shop. They both came out so good that the machinist suggested that I get moving on treating the steel as soon as possible to prevent immediate oxidization. I did an Ospho treatment, let dry overnight, then started painted with Krylon. By today I had the engine mounted and aligned back to the prop shaft flange. Only a single gasket and coupler is preventing me from starting the engine. Sometime this week I will celebrate this achievement and move on to upgrading the boom. No rest for the weary.

I double clamped the seawater vented loop. I didn't like connection with singles so I made this bomber. Yes I know they are not opposing Captain OCD.
I double clamped the seawater vented loop. I didn’t like connection with singles so I made this bomber. Yes I know they are not opposing Captain OCD.
Heat exchanger end cap replacement
Heat exchanger end cap replacement
Showing the corrosion and original oil pipe prior to repair in 2014
Before: Showing the corrosion and original oil pipe prior to repair in 2014
Mounting bracket painted and installed after cleaning corrosion
After: Mounting bracket painted and installed after removing corrosion

 

Engine Love in the Fall

It’s been a couple of months since I have written about Satori. The last sailing trip was in October, for Race Your House. Between September and October I had some of my favorite days on the water. I did a solo run down to Blake Island to raft up with some friends, then did a little spinnaker run to prepare for the only race Satori has been in since I bought her. Now that it’s blowing gales and snowing in the mountains, I have a little break to talk about project season.

Satori and her crew sailing in the Race Your House Regatta
Satori and her crew sailing in the Race Your House Regatta. Photo by Mark Aberle, copied from Off the Coast of Ballard.
Race Your House 2015 - photo by Gary Peterson
Race Your House 2015 – photo by Gary Peterson

The first topic is the jiffy reefing system. I’ve never been a fan of how she’s rigged. You generally want to be on a starboard tack when reefing the mainsail with the existing setup. Otherwise you’ll be on the leeward side of the boom when pulling the clew cringle down. Usually when you’re reefing the wind has picked up enough to buck the boat bit. The first reef isn’t too bad, but the second reef is a ride that is better suited on the windward side of the mast when reefing. I decided to focus on the engine this fall and winter, and since Satori was out of commission I could also work on her boom. The day after the race, I took all of her sails down and put them in a dry place until I’m finished. I also took the boom off and stripped all of the hardware off so I could work on it alongside of the engine project. I plan to add winches and run lines to both sides of the boom, through rope clutches to make reefing much easier.

Showing a single reef with the clew cringle crossing over to eliminate the friction caused by the sail bunching up under the reefing line
Showing a single reef with the clew cringle line crossing over to eliminate the friction caused by the sail bunching up under the reefing line. This will be eliminated with the new setup.

Satori’s engine was installed by Stewarts Marine here in Ballard. The day the owners motored away with the new Bukh DV 36 was on June 6th, 1986. By June 2016, Satori’s engine will be thirty years old. When I bought Satori, she had a little more than five-hundred hours on the engine which is not much at all, but she was showing signs of severe corrosion on the starboard side of the engine. This was from weeping of seawater due to worn seals on the impeller water pump, and some poorly sealed hoses. To recap the amount of work I have already completed… The original water lift muffler had some pinholes that was causing it to corrode. The old Racor filter looked a bit old and I wasn’t able to find any replacement filters any longer. The original fuel lines were also starting to leak due to plastic fittings wearing out and hose that was at it’s final days. I addressed the fuel lines first. Later I added a new muffler. I lost part of the summer sailing last year due to an oil pipe bursting. I placed an order from Bukh for the new parts, which took the better part of a month. Since then I have only replaced the oil and fuel filters, plus made an attempt to reduce the corrosion by spraying solvents onto the effected area. I’m sure that addressing it sooner would have been better, but I put other projects in front of the line until the fall weather settled in. Now that we have periods of monsoon rains and cold temperatures, I can finally address the issues once and for all. Instead of just replacing the water pump, I decided to replace the entire cooling system and service the parts that remain in good condition. It may seem hard to believe but I am really enjoying this project.

Showing the corrosion and original oil pipe prior to repair in 2014
Showing the corrosion and original oil pipe prior to repair in 2014
Engine block and mount prior to cleaning the iron oxide
Engine block and mount prior to cleaning the iron oxide
Beginning of the clean up project
Beginning of the clean up project with attempts to extract the rusted bolts.

I started by removing all hoses, rubber end caps, pipes, heat exchangers, water pump, and anything else related to the cooling system. I was a little concerned that I would not be able to find replacement parts, but I was relieved to find all of the parts available in the US and UK via mail order. The first thing to address while I wait for parts delivery is the corroded engine mount. The bolts attached to the mounting bracket were heavily corroded, and possibly bonded to the engine. I began scraping and brushing away the iron oxide until I could see the shiny steel underneath. I started to turn the first bolt head, but it would not budge, and ended up stripping the bolt even more. While I was working on the engine mount, I decided to take a look at the front engine mounts to see the difference. When I looked at the bracket I realized that the bolts had completely sheared away, leaving the bracket disconnected from the block. This was an unexpected situation and needed to be addressed immediately. I removed the front mounting bracket which revealed the sheared bolts. Fortunately I had enough space to work on drilling out the bolts. Over the next week I proceeded to drill out the first bolt and remove it with an extractor. The second one would not come out with soaked aero-kroil or torch, so I drilled it out and tapped it for installing a heli-coil. I double stacked two coils and added Loctite to keep the bolt torqued down.

Engine mount sheared bolts
Engine mount sheared bolts
Using an extractor to remove a sheared bolt
Using an extractor to remove a sheared bolt
Cleaned mounting bracket and new bolts with heli-coil
Cleaned mounting bracket and new bolts with heli-coil

After the unexpected distraction I moved onto the oil coolant pipes, front mounting bracket, and heat exchangers. I brought them into a machine shop so they could soak everything in a hot tank. Hopefully it would strip most of the paint off and clean the steel parts a bit. In hindsight I should have just used  phosphoric acid to clean them due to the expensive price of $45 for bathing. I took the parts to a wire brush on the end of a drill to bring the parts down to mostly bare metal again. After seeing the oil heat exchanger transform into a shiny brass lantern, I bought some high-temp clear paint to allow the brass to keep shining. The coolant pipes and engine mount were painted red after a coat of ospho for converting the surface oxide to a ready-to-paint surface . I was able to work another corroded engine block bolt out and replace it as well. I ordered some new custom hoses, heat exchanger end caps, and put the water pump on order. The turn around time is apparently a month and a half before the pump is delivered to the parts dealer here in Seattle. Until then I’ve decided to clean up the engine and repaint part of it where the water pump has caused severe corrosion. I have also decided to find a drain for the stainless steel water lift muffler. I received a brass plug when I had the muffler fabricated, but that has since corroded severely. After only one and a half years I’m already repairing the plug to allow the seawater to drain easily into the bilge. I will keep working on preparing the engine for painting by removing corrosion, and cleaning the surface back down to bare metal again. Some areas will receive just a little touchup paint, but others will be prepped with ospho and then painted over with a couple of coats of red krylon rattle can paint. I sent the oil in to have analyzed so I can keep an eye on the level of iron and calcium in the oil. I should have a good sense of the amount of degradation that is to be expected with the piston compression based on how fast it’s loosing metal. Three samples over the next year can tell me how much I should be concerned.

Cooling system parts after removing from the engine
Cooling system parts after removing from the engine
Oil heat exchanger before cleaning
Oil heat exchanger before cleaning
Oil heat exchanger after polishing
Oil heat exchanger after polishing
The seawater heat exchanger looks surprisingly good considering the age of it. Not much needed to get this cleaned up.
The seawater heat exchanger looks surprisingly good considering the age of it. Not much needed to get this cleaned up.

The next phase will be removing the rear mounting bracket, and getting it repaired or replaced with a new one. Once the engine is cleaned up and painted around the engine mount, I can install the bracket and put the cooling system back together. Although I won’t have repaired all of the corrosion, I will be more confident that it will not continue as it did. The rest of the engine could be cleaned and touched up over time, without worrying about any further damage. It’s a serious challenge to decide where to stop repairing. I have heard several people suggest pulling it out, but that would cost me a considerable amount of money. If I removed it I would need to have someone transport it to somewhere I can work on it. I would need to pay someone to give me the space to work on it, plus a daily rental charge for the engine stand. If I keep the engine inside of the boat I have all of the time that I need to get the engine done. There will be other projects down the road to address some of the foreseen issues. I only need to decide what will be acceptable to leave as is until I have more downtime to address the next corroded part. Hopefully when I post about the engine project completion it will still be 2015. I don’t expect the boom to be finished by then, but that’s okay. I’ll motor to weather and run with the foresails.

The caliper and micrometer are invaluable for taking measurements for getting replacement parts.
The caliper and micrometer are invaluable for taking measurements for getting replacement parts.

New Electrical System Phase Two

I’ve been waiting for over a month for the new batteries to be delivered. It’s a good thing because it has given me more time to think about how to go about upgrading and modifying the entire electrical system. I like to call it a spaghetti factory but it isn’t really that bad. All of the DC components on board have inline fuses and are wired to a circuit breaker. The AC system is lacking it’s own independent breakers but there is one right at the end of the shore power cable on the dock. The existing system could keep working by just swapping out the golf cart batteries every couple of years. So why replace everything? Mainly because the cost of the replacement, the fact that I can do it myself with wisdom from several reliable sources, and also because it is winter and I have plenty of time to get it done right. Once it is completed I will be able to add several other components in the near distant future and the new electrical system will be ready for them. All of the components will be on a very safe and dependable circuit. I can live off the grid for potentially weeks at a time without ever starting the motor, enjoying comforts like refrigeration, hot water, push button toilet flushing and lots of fans circulating air in and out of the cabin.

New circuit panel before trim installed
New circuit panel before trim installed

At first I thought I would just start by replacing the existing charging components and that would be enough but once I began looking at the circuit, I decided to add it into the project mix and ‘Break Out Another Thousand’. Not only will I have a new charging system and electrical system but I can also accommodate the future components that I will be adding at a later time. Most of the remaining   components will require an independent circuit to it’s own breaker, like SSB, radar, possibly some high powered LED spotlights, and maybe even an electric windlass. These may even get their own dedicated battery bank. Extending a modern system will be considerably easier to do than to attempt extending a legacy system made back in the 1970’s. I have already gone through some growing pains by trying to run a lot more 12 volt powered components. I’ve added a chartplotter, new toilet, freshwater pump, fans, circulation pumps, forced air, drain pump, another bigger bilge pump and six more low powered network components. I’ve also added solar and an AC inverter so now it’s time to take it to the next phase. Here is a list of new charging components and batteries:

UPGRADE PHASE TWO

  • Morningstar Tristar solar charge controller 60 amp with remote battery temperature sensor
  • Balmar Max Charge MC-614 alternator voltage regulator with dual remote battery temperature sensors for both banks and alternator temperature sensor
  • ProNautic P Series AC charger 40 amp for three banks and remote battery temperature sensor
  • ProNautic  Remote Interface
  • 2 – Mastervolt Slimline 200 amp-hour 12 volt AGM batteries
  • 1 Mastervolt group 31 12 Volt AGM 1012 CCA starting battery
  • Blue Sea Systems ML-ACR automatic charging relay 500 amp
  • Blue Sea Systems panel with GFCI AC dual pole main breaker
  • Blue Sea Systems AC panel with 4 – 15 amp breakers
  • Blue Sea Systems DC  panel with 8 – 15 amp breakers
  • Blue Sea Systems DC panel with 8 – 10 amp breakers
  • Blue Sea Systems  DC panel with 8 switches
  • Bus bars, terminal blocks, and fuses
  • Ancor Duplex and Triplex wire
  • Ancor single strand wire of different colors from 10 – 16 gauge
  • Ancor heat shrink ring and receptacle terminals
  • 20 and 30 amp DC breakers
  • Smartplug
New charging components
New charging components

Every wire around the entire boat has been traced. Each one meticulously labeled with either a positive or negative and name, e.g.- “big bilge pump +”. Some components are removed and wires bundled away from the switch panel. Everything except what I need to continue living on the boat has been removed from the 12 volt panel. I need to first remove the starting battery and clean up the wiring so I am close to a clean slate as possible. The old ACR, battery monitor and voltage regulator can be removed and only the wiring for AC and charging the old bank will be left over so over a weekend I can install new AC and DC panels, then wire up the bare minimum for being able to live on the boat. Once the minimum components are installed, I’ll install the new batteries. Then each component will be meticulously programmed, tested and permanently installed. After everything is installed and working again I will replace any suspect AC and DC wiring and then secure the entire circuitry.  It’s difficult to tell how long this phase will take. It took a year and a half just to get to this point, where I know the boat inside and out. To understand an entire electrical system of your offshore cruiser is essential to being able to troubleshoot any issues quickly and easily. I built the system so now I know how to keep it tuned and working well.

Bus, fuse and terminal block collection
Bus, fuse and terminal block collection
Cutting mahogany plywood
Cutting mahogany plywood

There are two projects in parallel at the beginning of the project; one is removing old circuitry and replacing wires that can be replaced without compromising the cabin in any way, and the other is rewiring with duplex from the components back to the panel. Some old wiring cannot be replaced because they are located inside of the mast or headliner so where they are accessible is where new wire is spliced and led to the new panel. The wire is then bundled together using zip ties and tie holders against a surface to prevent dangling or movement and eventually chafe.

Stencil for new panel board
Stencil for new panel board

Another project that had me side tracked is getting the wiring out of the bilge. There was once a group of wires that ran under the cabin sole but since I’ve decided to upgrade the electrical system, I’ve also decided to reroute the new wiring a few feet from the cabin top and then bring it down to the DC components. I hope the bilge never fills enough to go above the cabin sole but if it does, having seawater contact the electrical circuit would be mitigated so to me it seems like a logical choice while undergoing such an endeavor. The replacement wiring will also handle much higher amperes than the previous install so voltage drop will be less of an issue and the system will run safer and more efficiently than ever before.

An important part of the new wiring for the stove and hot water system is a circuit that will automatically switch on the forced air heater and water pump in the event that the stove raises the glycol temperature above 200 degrees and bring it back down to 180 degrees. The normal hot water temperature usually ranges between 100 and 140 degrees so this is just a failsafe measure to prevent potential damage to the hot water tank and pipes. In order to allow the pump and stove to have their own independent bypass switch, they require a blocking diode so current can be fed through the thermostat to power the components but if one of the components is on using a bypass switch, current isn’t feeding back into the other component. I will post something later on this subject. It’s been fun designing this heating system.

A big challenge to this project has been living aboard while disassembling the electrical system. The batteries are removed and the circuit panel is down to the bare essentials to keep the important electronics operating. At one point I had to connect the battery charger directly to the DC panel and set the charger to constant float so I could remove the old battery bank. Not ideal as it does not provide much current to the toilet macerator, but it works for the time being until I have a new battery bank installed. When I ran the new wiring to the bathroom and forward berth I had to empty all of the port side lockers so I could feed wire without obstructions.   What was once an organized boat then became a storage place for all of the electrical wiring and components until they are all installed. The lockers had loose wiring until it was time to secure the entire bundles. Every day the amount of stuff cluttering the living space is reduced, based on what is accomplished that day. Plenty of incentive to keep working on whatever I can until this project is completed.

Once the new DC wiring was in place, I was able to move on to the panel installation. First I had to locate a suitable piece of plywood that matched the beautiful hardwood already on the boat. Luckily we have a place in South Seattle called Crosscut Hardwoods that has a great selection of exotic plywoods so I sourced a five-ply 6’x4′ of mahogany. Then I needed to cut and size the new piece to fit into the locker, which luckily a friend offered to help out using hit table saw. Finally I had to trace out each new panel, the main switches, the ACR override switch, bilge pump switches, battery monitor, and finally the remote display for the AC charger. I’ve graduated to the panel installation and routing wires to it through a series of harnesses. I’m not going to go OCD on the final routing but it will certainly be cleaner than the prior configuration and much easier to add another component. There are more important things to do than tweak the panel wires so they are all bundled perfectly. As long as chafe is minimized and it’s easy to navigate the wiring, that will be enough for me. Once I have the new house batteries on the boat I can complete the project and add the new charging components. Phase three is adding the new battery bank and charging components, plus programming them for the proper charging voltage at each stage. My final post will cover these important steps.