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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Engines > Diesel
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  #1  
Old 11-19-2013
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Atomic 5411 diesel rebuild

Greetings all. I acquired an Atomic 5411 along with a Hurth HBW 50 for my boat ('69 Columbia 28) to replace the Atomic 4. I am considering having the 5411 rebuilt because I didn't hear it run and have no idea how many hours are on it, but I am wondering if there is any way to check it over while it's out of the boat? Compression test, etc.? I've never worked on a diesel. If it seems as though it might go a season or 2 I might just focus on the install for now and plan to rebuild in a year or 2. I am in Seattle... any local references?
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Old 11-19-2013
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Re: Atomic 5411 diesel rebuild

The 5411 is raw-water cooled, so like all such engines is prone to internal corrosion, head gasket issues, and so on.

I'd suggest checking very carefully everything in the cooling path.

Also I'm a bit concerned about the idea of rebuilding a 5411, as the engine's biggest issue is obselescence, and unavailability of the marinised parts. At least the 5411 doesn't have as many of those, compared to the fresh water versions. The last time I bought a new raw water pump for my 5424, it cost $375.

The transmission can be troublesome and rebuilds now cost more than a new ZF.

Generally, an old, undersized, obselete diesel, the worst one in the range, with unknown hours in unknown condition seems like a strange choice.
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Last edited by MarkSF; 11-19-2013 at 02:27 PM.
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Old 11-19-2013
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Re: Atomic 5411 diesel rebuild

Our old 5411 is still in our marina waiting for us to do something with it. Thanks for the reminder.

I agree with MarkSF. Some parts are no longer being made. We had to replace the exhaust manifold and had to wait for enough people around the country to need one before getting one made.

If you can, I'd suggest finding a more reliable engine with readily available parts.
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Old 11-19-2013
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Re: Atomic 5411 diesel rebuild

Don't get me wrong, my 5424 has been great, still is, but it's one failure of an unavailable part away from replacement with a Beta Marine.
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Old 11-20-2013
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Re: Atomic 5411 diesel rebuild

I had a 5411 on my previous boat and never had trouble getting parts. I agree that the big question is condition of the cooling passages as its an old raw water cooled engine. I would test run the engine before you go to the trouble of installing it and then find out you have issues. Not hard to do. Just need to mount it on some 4x4s, connect up a battery and cooling water.

You might consider a fresh water conversion if the engine checks out OK. Here's one.

Atomic 4 Fresh Water Cooling System - Electric Antifreeze Pump
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Old 11-20-2013
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Atomic 5411 diesel rebuild

Thanks all for the replies. I agree my choices are odd. But the current Atomic 4 wasn't running when I purchased the boat and I don't want to put a lot of time, expense, and effort into fiddling with it. But I don't like having an outboard hanging off the back on a bracket either. The 5411 was available for peanuts (because the guy got it as part repayment on a bad debt, not because he used it until it was shot). And all I am really looking for is a running diesel that will move the boat for the time being because I am not certain I am going to keep it long-term. If I do, I will consider rebuilding the 5411. I have cross-reference information that I am looking into... apparently it's a marinized Kubota z500 tractor engine so I may be able to get rebuild parts much cheaper. But if I end up selling the boat I think resale will be a lot better if I have a running diesel in it. As for the Hurth, it's a relatively simple transmission and, including rebuild kit, I will have less than $600 into it. I have a hydraulic press and can manage that one myself.

Great idea to run it out of the boat! Thanks! Don't know why I didn't think of that. So yes, I'll set it up in the shop and see what happens when I crank 'er up.
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Old 11-20-2013
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Re: Atomic 5411 diesel rebuild

Research the engine by finding the Kubota tractor it was used in. then get the parts from a tractor supply. the 5411 is 2 cylinder? Like the 5416 which I have. Everything is available except the water cooled exhaust manifold which is the main componant for making a diesel a "marine engine"

There is allot of that information right in this forum. look up universal engine history in one of the threads.

You will find it's most likely the Z-500 block

ck this! http://www.tractordata.com/farm-trac...00-engine.html
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Last edited by deniseO30; 11-20-2013 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 11-20-2013
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Atomic 5411 diesel rebuild

Thanks DeniseO30! I have been doing some looking around and I'm pretty sure it's the z-500. I read on here in another thread that apparently that info is printed into the dipstick, so I'll check that next. But I have emailed a couple of Kubota dealers in the Seattle area about parts for the B5100 tractor and haven't heard back. I might need to call them or stop in. Thanks again for the link.
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Old 11-20-2013
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Re: Atomic 5411 diesel rebuild

Keep good quality atf oil in that trans. Same model on my '88 boat. Change it annually.

LB
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Old 11-20-2013
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Re: Atomic 5411 diesel rebuild

There is no denying that your boat may be worth a few more dollars with a working diesel than an Atomic 4 engine. That said I'd find another working Atomic 4 engine that someone is discarding (usually < $1K). Your boat is already set up for a gas engine so it should be as simple as swapping out the engine - you'd probably need a new fuel system for the diesel.
The Atomic 4 is dirt simple to work on yourself, parts are readily available (and not at Volvo prices either) and it has more HP than a 5411 and runs quieter. Oh, and no diesel smell in the boat!
Are you quite certain that the Atomic 4 in your boat is completely dead? Atomic 4's have been brought back to life by some diligent owners. Mine is 45 years old and still runs nicely.
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