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Hand turning a Chris Craft K engine

Posted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:56 pm
by mcashman53
I recently "rescued" a really nice 1954 CC Sea Skiff (22ft) that just needs some TLC. I know the engine was rebuilt 4 years ago and has only 5 hrs on it. I have pulled the plugs and put some Mystery Oil in the cylinders and now want to slowly hand turn it over. Any advice on how best to turn it? Seems a little tight - Tranny in neutral, plugs out....any advice? Thx. Mike

Re: Hand turning a Chris Craft K engine

Posted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:24 pm
by Bilge Rat
Looking at the flywheel, for a standard rotation engine it will spin counter clockwise. In the center of the flywheel should be a 1 directional boss that a crank originally would fit into. You could try putting a wrench on one of the flywheel bolts, but if the engine is stiff, you'll be turning it counter clockwise and it will probably just loosen the bolt.

If you cannot rotate the engine with the starter, you could try a pry bar between the flywheel bolts. I recently rebuilt an MCL and periodically need to spin the engine by hand. I fabricated a crank of sorts by taking an 8 inch long 1/2" socket extension with a piece of 1/4" rod mounted perpendicular through a hole bored into the extension. The rod is tack welded to the extension. It goes into the 1 directional boss hole and engages with the boss. Then I can use a 1/2" ratchet to spin the flywheel counter clockwise without loosening up the bolts or scratching my nicely painted flywheel.

The original cranks are out there but kind of expensive. You could never actually spin the engine fast enough to start it in the boat unless you were the Incredible Hulk. Used more for turning the engine for valve adjustments and setting static timing.

Re: Hand turning a Chris Craft K engine

Posted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:14 pm
by mcashman53
That is really helpful, thanks! I'm sure I can fabricate something that will fit in the boss hole and turn it. Thanks for so clearly describing which way the "standard" rotation turns, counter-clockwise as I'm looking at the fly-wheel. I put a long screw driver between 2 of the fly-wheel bolts for leverage but it just seemed too hard to turn...I didn't want to force anything. I guess I could always try cranking it with the battery, but I wanted to make sure the valves were not stuck. Thanks for your help! Mike

Re: Hand turning a Chris Craft K engine

Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:04 am
by Bilge Rat
Pictures are worth 1000 words...

Re: Hand turning a Chris Craft K engine

Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:22 pm
by mcashman53
Great pictures! Thanks - I'm going to make something similar. Mike

Re: Hand turning a Chris Craft K engine

Posted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 5:07 pm
by tkhersom
If all you are looking to do is turn the engine over, not trying to start it manually, a simple fly wheel turner should work well.

https://shop.snapon.com/product/Clutch- ... rner/A144A

Re: Hand turning a Chris Craft K engine

Posted: Wed Feb 19, 2020 9:16 am
by drrot
Won't work. Front mount covers the teeth.

Re: Hand turning a Chris Craft K engine

Posted: Wed Feb 19, 2020 10:07 am
by Bilge Rat
Yeah I looked into that style flywheel turner too and there just isn't any clear room to use it. They're meant for using under a car/truck engine and while there are obstacles around there as well, you have more area to work and better leverage. If the K engine is out of the boat and you can lift it high enough, that might work from the bottom of the flywheel.