Overheating '76 Atomic4 - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Engines > Gas > Atomic 4
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Old 05-17-2006
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Overheating '76 Atomic4

I have recently bought a CC29 with an Atomic4 engine. After steaming around for about an hour, I noticed the temp starting to rise quickly. Looking at the exhaust, I noticed I no longer had water running through the engine (it was plentiful up until then).

I started it up two days later and still had no water. So, starting at the raw water inlet, I check for water flow through each of the hoses, the thermostat and to the muffler. After checking each hose, I started her up and eventually found water running through. I think I have good water flow to the muffler (need the flow rate to know for sure) but now only have water out the back at higher RPMs (no water when at idle).

Iím guessing it is either the impeller or more likely a blockage. Anyone have any thoughts?

Also, can someone let me know what the specified flow rate is for this engine and if there is an on-line manual available?

Thanks!
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Old 05-17-2006
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Ugh, no water flow is not a good thing.

For more info, consider the following thread:

http://www.moyermarine.com/forums/showthread.php?t=726

It sounds like you have a clog or a pump problem if there is no water at all at times.

The previous owner of my Atomic 4 had flow but high temperatures after longer periods of use, and he did an acid job on the water system. After that, it seems fine. He noted that the rpm of a healthy Atomic 4 fresh water system was around 5 gals (out through exhaust), and he had tested my engine by letting the exhaust fill a five gallon bucket in about a minute.

I have the Moyer manuals and some of the original manuals-- haven't seen online ones, other than the advice given at the Moyer Marine discussion boards linked above. I could check the manuals this evening to confirm the rpm rating.

Good luck!

Jim H

Last edited by Jim H; 05-17-2006 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 05-18-2006
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Overheating '76, low water flow

Thanks Jim.

I found the Moyer manual which came with the boat and found a reference to 3-5 gallons / minute as the flow rate at 1000 RPM. Without a tach, it is hard to tell, but at just over idle (where water is coming out of the engine but still not through the muffler and out the back) I am getting about 1.5 gallons / min. I think this is too low so I will change out the impeller (done last season by the previous owner) and see what happens.

I will also probably try an acid flush to clean out the engine (previous owner said he did this about 5 years ago). The Moyer manual also talks about high pressure fresh water flushes along with the acid flush. I guess I will need to try that as well.

This brings me to two questions:

1) What type of acid should I use? I have read (including from Moyer) to use muriatic acid and have read many pros / cons with several types (including a env friendly one - the name escapes me now).
2) Should the acid sit in the block (as I think the Moryer manual says) or should it be run through the engine for several hours? I assume it should go through the muffler as well, correct?

Thanks!!
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Old 05-18-2006
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Unless others disagree here or elsewhere on the web, I'd be inclined to follow the Moyer-recommended procedure here:

http://www.moyermarine.com/forums/sh...highlight=acid

I'm relatively sure that is what the previous owner of my Atomic 4 did, with sucessful results. Sounds like it sits in the engine for only 15 mintues. I don't think running it through the engine for several hours is an option, unless you looped the system, and even that could cause overheating.

As for the environment and disposal, here's an interesting comment from Moyer:

http://www.moyermarine.com/forums/sh...highlight=acid

I'll admit that when I've used muriatic acid to clean old toilets, I haven't worried about the flush since it didn't seem terribly strong. The suggestion in the first link above about capturing the 5 gallons of diluted solution and treating with 1/2 pound of baking soda before disposal is also interesting.

Anyway, before doing the acid bit, I'd want to find out what's up with the water pump pressure. It's possible that even with a new impeller that the pump could be weak.

Good luck!

Jim H
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Old 05-18-2006
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Thanks Jim.

I have read the first link and that is what I was going to follow. Interesting second link as well. My initial intention was to turn to a closed loop. If you end the acid flush prior to the muffler (on mine) you can run a garden hose to the mix with the exhaust and prevent that part from over heating. I think I want the muffler part of the wash so I was not too sure on what happens with continually running the engine as the water heats up...

After reading Moyer's recommended option, that is what I had intended on doing.

I will see if there is a pump pressure issue first.

Thanks again for all the help
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