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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Engines > Diesel
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  #1  
Old 10-20-2010
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Mini diesel rebuild

Lets say you have plans to take a long trip of a year or more and don't want any engine trouble. You have fixed up your 30 year old good old boat and its in tip top shape.

The diesel of 10 to 49 hp engine runs fine but hey its thirty years old.

You are thinking that lifting it out of the engine room will give you a chance to clean and paint everything and you can work on the engine during the winter.

Assuming this is not a completely stupid idea and waste of time what would you check and what would you replace?
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Old 10-20-2010
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This is a good idea for peace of mind and you needs.

Since the engine is out you have opertunity to also work on the engine compartment with space to work so I would do redo sound proofing, engine mounts ,muffler. look at scupper hoses, wiring running through area etc.


Heat exchanger
injectors
fuel pump if applicable
pumps (FW + RW if applicable)-
mixing elbow
thermostat
fuel pump if applicable
of course hoses and filters

I would also consider inserting a dual racor fuel filtering system
Make sure you retain old units as spares for your trip

Dave
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Old 10-20-2010
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If I was going to all that trouble, I'd probably give serious consideration to swapping engines. Or installing a diesel electric hybrid, powered by a small diesel generator like this:

Yanmar 2 Cylinder
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Old 10-20-2010
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I'm in that situation but with a twist. The Universal 5416 in my boat (kubota based) was out. The PO. claimed he replaced it with the same from another boat in New England, where he got the boat and brought it down to to Deale MD where I bought it sometime a year or two later. No way to prove it of course except it does run and run run, other then fuel problems It's been very reliable. The rebuild parts run just over a $1,000. And it uses cylinder liners which seems to mean it's rebuild-able at any age short of cracked block or head. But, it's heavy. 350lbs if I remember right. New engines are way lighter and more efficient also.
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Old 10-20-2010
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Timely thread...

I'll be pulling our engine this year, its approaching 4,000 hrs. I intended to do it last year but opted to leave the boat in the water and do as much winter sailing as possible...we all know how well that worked out around these parts (most snowfall EVER, geeezz).

I did replace the engine mounts this past Spring along with most of the drive-train aft of the transmission.

I have spoken with many people what to do...mostly diesel mechanics and experienced boaters. I get the two schools of thought...1. Its a diesel, it will last forever, do a rebuild and you'll be good. 2. If you're going to pull it, a rebuild will be costly and you still have an old engine thats heavier and not as efficient, so just replace it.

I have recently had the injectors & injector pump rebuilt, but that didn't do much for its starting problems and fuel consumption. That said, I've decided to go ahead and do a "mini rebuild" as you are thinking keeping mindful not to spend to much $$ on it. Buying a new engine is just not in the cards these days, so the choice was easy

At the very least, I will increase my familiarity with diesels and feel more comfortable working on the it or the next engine/boat

FWIW, if I was going to replace the engine, I would seriously consider a diesel-electric hybrid, a diesel generator powering an electric drive, the benefits of this kind of set up seem to be significant, one reason for not just dropping in a new engine as well...waiting to see if the electric drive technology really takes off? Plenty of power for all you needs, alignment issues would be easier to resolve or non existent?, can put the generator anywhere, although it would be in the same general area the current engine is, quieter operation since most generators can be enclosed in their own sound proof box, and there is more but I cant think of it a the moment.
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Last edited by T37Chef; 10-20-2010 at 10:13 AM.
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Old 10-20-2010
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First thing for me would be a compression test which will establish whether the top end needs work. If the compressions are OK then at the very least (internally) I would pull the sump and take of an outer main bearing cap and an outer big-end bearing cap. Assuming the bearings don't show obvious signs of crankshaft wear, I would, one at a time, slip a new set of bearings onto each journal without stripping anything but one bearing cap at a time.

Then it would be appropriate to calibrate pump and injectors.

Everything else would be pure maintenance (hoses, belts, filters, maybe engine mounts).
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Old 10-20-2010
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What engine do you have? How many engine hours?
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Old 10-20-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omatako View Post
I would, one at a time, slip a new set of bearings onto each journal without stripping anything but one bearing cap at a time.
.
Why
Are these bearings the first to go?
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  #9  
Old 10-20-2010
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Rod bearings typically go before main bearings.

What kind of motor do you currently have? Some motors are easier to get parts for and more economical to get parts for, worldwide. That's a big factor in my book.
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Old 10-20-2010
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1st and foremost, "its approaching 4,000 hrs.", that's 160,000 miles (1 hr = 40 miles)


Rebuilding an old motor that still run's and isn't blown is way cheaper than doing it after it;
1) has a rod knock
2) threw a rod
3) blew a piston
4) spun a bearing
5) swallowed a valve etc. etc.

small diesels (except Mercedes, but they almost run forever) aren't that costly to rebuild.

Piston Rings, hone the block and/or replace sleeves if used, bearings, valve job, injectors/pump cleaned rebuilt and water pump is the way to do it.
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Last edited by MacGyverRI; 10-20-2010 at 10:53 PM. Reason: added hrs to miles
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