To Rebuild or not to Rebuild that is the question - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 16 Old 02-14-2014 Thread Starter
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To Rebuild or not to Rebuild that is the question

Ok, so I was motoring in from Vallejo Yacht Club to Stockton ie SSC...a long ways for anyone who has done this knows. Somewhere along the way ( not exactly sure because I was Drinking Rum to keep from freezing to death) I hit a patch of water Hyacinth! Pretty much all over the Delta the last few years and difficult to avoid especially at night. The engine made a grumble as it does occasionally when hitting this stuff. I didn't think anything of it and on I went on ( again exact time frame kind of fuzzy but I was close to my home port SSC. Apparently I had plugged up my raw water intake and didn't realize it because well I don't have a temp alarm . My gf goes down below and says it smells weird down here. So I step into the main cabin and smell that hot water anti-freeze smell , by this time we are literally in front of the Ssc. I look at the temp and it's pegged at 230 YIKES!! My engine is a westerbeke "w30" or perkins 4-91 not confermed what perkins it is but that's what I was told. The next day I fired the motor up it seem to start and run normally but I think it's smoking a bit more than before. There was no hour meter when I bought the boat so unsure of total hours. All this happened around 1/5/2014. Since then I haven't taken any long trips just in and out of the slip basically. Yesterday when I fired her up I noticed a bit of a miss while still cold seems to go away after it's heated up along with most of the smoke. So I guess my question would be where do I go from here? I do have a background in gas engines (completely rebuilt an atomic 4 with the help of a machine shop) but I really have no expierence in Diesel engines. Is it worth rebuilding this motor, do I break down and drop a brand engine in?
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post #2 of 16 Old 02-14-2014
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Re: To Rebuild or not to Rebuild that is the question

Heat may have messed up your cylinders and/or pistons, and/or engine head. When this happened to us in a diesel car, it cracked the head and blew pistons and ruined the camshaft, probably along with a bunch of other stuff. If yours is still able to start, maybe it didn't get as hot as ours did. Get several more opinions from people who will come look at it and know more. And get a temp alarm that works.
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post #3 of 16 Old 02-14-2014
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Re: To Rebuild or not to Rebuild that is the question

my diesel did runaway in june, then procrastination of alleged repair clown made seize happen, yes i am rebuilding engine..i have seen in mine--no lipping, no scoring... mine is essentially a low hours engine with a formerly bad injection pump....
diesels last forever.....
btw, i am an old and disabled female, anchored, not in a marina slip. if i can do this for my second time, in and out of this boat with a 4-108 sized monster, anyone can do it.


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post #4 of 16 Old 02-14-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: To Rebuild or not to Rebuild that is the question

My engine still runs good for now. It starts easily when the temps outside are around 65-70 degrees and the power seems fine. Since I heard the slight miss when it was cold has made me apprehensive about taking any longer trips.

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post #5 of 16 Old 02-14-2014
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Re: To Rebuild or not to Rebuild that is the question

Rebuild it! easy compared to a gasser.. I would run it first and see if you really hurt it. Could be your listening too hard....Maybe get a compression test....Dale
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post #6 of 16 Old 02-14-2014
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Re: To Rebuild or not to Rebuild that is the question

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Rebuild it! easy compared to a gasser.. I would run it first and see if you really hurt it. Could be your listening too hard....Maybe get a compression test....Dale
Do two compression tests cold and hot if pressure comes up when hot likely ring job will do if no change head removal and close inspection had a truck like that one cylinder had broken rings when heated up it sealed the compression and unless a shop says not rebuild able rebuild it.
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post #7 of 16 Old 02-14-2014
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Re: To Rebuild or not to Rebuild that is the question

You should always replace the thermostat(s) after overheating an engine, at a minimum. You should also change the raw water impeller if it was starved for water and if it is missing pieces you need to look for them in the heat exchanger. If it starts OK when cold you still have good compression so the basic engine isn't toast. If it isn't using coolant then you probably don't have anything to worry about. I won't comment on the rum/night/boating thing.
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post #8 of 16 Old 02-14-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: To Rebuild or not to Rebuild that is the question

Forgot to mention I did change the impeller on the raw water pump the next day. I found 3 fins broken off...all were still in the pump. I have considered a compression test. Going out today and run it for a while see what's up.

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post #9 of 16 Old 02-14-2014
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Re: To Rebuild or not to Rebuild that is the question

Simple math;
New motor @ $12k (?) plus install/labor
vs
re-build @ $6K (?) all done!

Just swags AFA prices,going by posts in the past year

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post #10 of 16 Old 02-14-2014
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Re: To Rebuild or not to Rebuild that is the question

If you do need to rebuild it and don't, someone's going to get a steal on yours. I'll second the opinions here (especially about installing a temp alarm) and reiterate my sister in arms, Zee's point that diesels are easy; anyone can work on them. Granted, I haven't had to pull the pistons, but have done a lot of other things that once I got over my trepidation, were surprisingly easy, and much easier than gas engines. There is a ton of info on the web. I just picked up a recommended diesel book on Amazon for $1 that arrived in brand new condition. List Marine has diesel classes that I hear are very popular. I'll be attending their next one Feb 22. Good luck!
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