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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Engines > Gas > Atomic 4
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Old 02-13-2013
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$6,600 to rebuild Atomic 4? replace/rebuild

I just received a quote to rebuild the Atomic 4 motor on my 1979 C&C 34. I was shocked at the $6,640 price tag for this job and I asked them to hold off on the repairs while I consider alternative options.

During haul-out this season, it was noticed by the yard crew that the motor was creating knocking sound and I ordered the engine be pulled from the boat for inspection. A few weeks later I received a diagnosis of the problem...here is what they said:

"There was a bad connecting rod that was causing the banging. Also the cylinders are worn out and need to be bored out and larger pistons & rings installed. Along with a bad exhaust valves, bearings and valve guides."

They are suggesting a total engine rebuild. I am concerned that the value of the boat does not warrant such an investment and was hoping to get some feedback from the SailNet community.

The engine needs some work, I understand that, but is a rebuild my best option? I plan on selling the boat in about 3 years for an upgrade, but I can't use/sell the boat with a compromised engine.

Questions:
-Do I ask them to repair the connecting rods and handle the minor repairs myself?
-Do a full rebuild?
-Go all in and do a diesel swap? (hoping that I can extract 50% value when I sell)
-Look online for rebuild motor and have yard install?

Any insight, thoughts, words of wisdom, etc... would be appreciated. Thanks for reading!

-Chris
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Old 02-13-2013
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Re: $6,600 to rebuild Atomic 4? replace/rebuild

I would do 3, or 4.

Look at this option for a rebuilt (and improved!) motor :

Moyer Marine Atomic 4 Engine Rebuilding and Parts
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Old 02-13-2013
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Re: $6,600 to rebuild Atomic 4? replace/rebuild

I would opt for the diesel. What a world of a difference it will be.
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Re: $6,600 to rebuild Atomic 4? replace/rebuild

I think a diesel Atomic 4 replacement from Beta Marine will cost about $9000. So it's $5000, or $9000.....
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Re: $6,600 to rebuild Atomic 4? replace/rebuild

Thanks for the quick replies everyone. The diesel option is definitely more expensive, but can I expect to receive a greater return from that as opposed to just rebuilding/replacing the patro Atomic 4?

If I buy a used/rebuilt Atomic 4 online and have the yard install it the costs will be similar to just rebuilding the Atomic 4 I currently have...

Thoughts?
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Re: $6,600 to rebuild Atomic 4? replace/rebuild

Quote:
Originally Posted by simmonct View Post
Thanks for the quick replies everyone. The diesel option is definitely more expensive, but can I expect to receive a greater return from that as opposed to just rebuilding/replacing the patro Atomic 4?

If I buy a used/rebuilt Atomic 4 online and have the yard install it the costs will be similar to just rebuilding the Atomic 4 I currently have...

Thoughts?
A fiend of mine T37Chef just replaced his engine, similar size with a beta. His total costs were greater than $9000 and he did a fair amount of the work himself
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Re: $6,600 to rebuild Atomic 4? replace/rebuild

It is not just the cost of the engine alone you need to think about. If you went with a diesel you would have to overhaul your fuel system too.

For the price you have been quoted I'd call Moyer and get their price on a trade in for a rebuilt engine. I'm pretty sure it is about the same $6K.

You can find used A4 engines available that may be in better shape than your old one. You should not have to spend more than $2.5K for a used A4 in working order. With used engines though it is difficult to see how far gone the internals are unless you tear it down.

How handy are you with a wrench? You can cut the costs a lot if you can do much of the work yourself.
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Re: $6,600 to rebuild Atomic 4? replace/rebuild

This is from the Moyer site explaining some of the options. Moyer Marine Atomic 4 Engine Rebuilding and Parts I rebuilt my A-4 a few years ago and used parts from MMI. They are very helpful and knowledgeable. I did the work myself and I am not a mechanic. Shop work and parts came to less than 3K. Dan S/V Marian Claire
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Re: $6,600 to rebuild Atomic 4? replace/rebuild

If I needed to replace my A4, and wanted to sell the boat sometime soon, I would find a used replacement. Just do a good bench test on the prospective used A4. Not worth dumping that much cabbage into a boat you are going to sell. Maybe put the lump back in yourself, and save a little more.
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Re: $6,600 to rebuild Atomic 4? replace/rebuild

Rebuild it yourself, They are very simple engines and if you do your own boat maintenance you can do the engine. It's an extremely satisfying experience to light off an engine you rebuilt yourself as well.

With the assistance of Moyer, anyone with wrenches should be able to do it.

As to your original questions, connecting rods can't be "repaired". They can be rebuilt if they are only worn & not damaged - sleeved wrist pin bushings, resized big ends, new bearings etc. It sounds like your engine needs a full rebuild - you might ask around at regular engine rebuilding shops - don't forget the yard is quoting the price to rebuild a BOAT engine. Regular engine shops rebuild zillions of 4 cylinder engines that are a whole lot more complex than an A4 and they don't charge $6K or anything near it.

Swapping to a new diesel, while the ultimate choice, also has the ultimate price. It will likely cost 50% more than the cost of the engine by the time you're done, even if you install it yourself. Rebuilding the A4 is an easier job than doing an engine swap, particularly in the usual C&C engine compartment.

A recent diesel will definitely make your boat more marketable in a couple or three years but you won't get a whole lot of the cost back - MAYBE 1/2 of what you spent at best. My experience is that boats in the 30' range with A4's generally bring in the range of $5-$7K less than diesels but are quite a bit slower to sell.

There's lots of stuff on the web about rebuilding A4's - check it out and see if you think you could undertake it. There was a lot of stuff in Good Old Boat mag a while back about Rob Mazza (the ex-C&C designer) doing his own at home.
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atomic 4 , atomic 4 engine , c&c , diesel swap , engine rebuild


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