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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Engines > Diesel
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Diesel This is a new forum dedicated to diesel engines and their applicable accessories.


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Old 08-08-2011
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What is an old (still running) diesel worth??

I'm considering replacing my 1980 MD7A (13hp) in a couple months, anybody know what kind of money I could expect to get for this guy?? It still runs, just smokes a lot and I think the cooling passages (raw H2O cooling) are starting to clog.
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Old 08-09-2011
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Market price.
If you run some vinegar through the cooling water and let it sit in the engine for a while you might be able to clean out some of the cooling passages.
Clean it up, paint it and get it running well and I'd bet you could maybe get $1K+ for it. If it purrs and does not smoke too much maybe $2K. Smokey engines usually indicate that the cylinder rings have worn down. Depends on the kind of smoke: black/gray, white or water vapor. Does your exhaust smell like diesel fuel? Some of your piston valves could be stuck and you are not burning all the fuel you should be.
Caveat emptor.
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Smoke is blue/grey ... white sometimes when I think the cooling water isn't flowing right. There is fuel in the exhaust I think, I see a sheen behind the boat when the water is calm. Smells a little diesely.

The confusing thing though is despite these issues, the engine produces great power, starts quickly and (if I can ignore the exhaust noises) seems pretty happy.
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Old 08-10-2011
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Fishfinder, since you're considering scrapping it anyway, you can't lose too much by tearing it down (after season) and trying to fix it up. Cooling passages can be descaled with chemicals or tools as long as there's metal left. Raw water engines in sea water, sometimes have too little metal left to really clean out, but it pays to take a look.

Diesel sheen in the water, could be the fuel timing is wrong, the injectors too rich, the rings loose and letting some oil in...sounds like you really want to find a good mechanic (rumor is there may be one left in Sweden) to try working on that. They may suggest sending the injectors out for rebuilding, which may just be overdue after 30+ years. An overhaul including descaling and injector rebuilding and mechanic's time should set you back $500-1000 which is going to be way cheaper than swapping out an engine, even a free engine.
The trick is, finding a competent mechanic. Or, rolling up your sleeves and spending some time DIY on this.
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For sure, good mechanics are hard to find. I've had several come out and every time they don't know any more than I do about the problem. Spent $600 last year at the best diesel repair shop in town trying to get it working better and it ran exactly the same after all that money. I've been able to luckily fix all the problems myself so far, but now the issues are exceeding my skill level, and I'm spending a lot more time working on the engine than sailing.

Not resigned to scrapping it yet though, just gathering data.
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Old 08-11-2011
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FF,
One problem you have is that your diesel engine is a Volvo which is hard to get parts for and they are expensive as they come from Sweden.
For a boat 30' long I'd look at the Kubota/Beta around 30 HP or less. If that price tag scares you off you can look at rebuilt Atomic 4 gas engines from: Moyer Marine Atomic 4 Engine Rebuilding and Parts
Good luck, however you proceed.
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Old 08-11-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FishFinder View Post
I'm considering replacing my 1980 MD7A (13hp) in a couple months, anybody know what kind of money I could expect to get for this guy?? It still runs, just smokes a lot and I think the cooling passages (raw H2O cooling) are starting to clog.
Do not overhaul it as someone suggests. Remember "IF IT AIN'T BROKE DON'T FIX IT!"

Ebay it as it is Should fetch a $1000 easy. If you remove it before you sell it take a video of it starting and running first.
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I,m from the same school of thought as TQA.
A reliable starter thats producing good power is probably more valuable to you than anyone else.
A good tune up and she could go on working away for years yet.
Safe sailing
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Old 08-12-2011
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Heck yeah, run it till she absolutely refuses to start again, lol.
Seriously, though, I can feel your frustration with having to spend too much time on the engine. At some point, you've got to factor in how valuable your time actually is then make a decision. Do you want to pull the motor, tear it down to the block, and rebuild it yourself (which, btw, is something you COULD do), or sell it like it sits and spend the cash to buy a new one? The catch is, a new 20hp is gonna run around 6k isn't it? For a lot less than that, the one you've got could be "new".
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I hear ya. The thing is if I was just going to putz around the bays here in Puget Sound, for sure I would run this engine into the ground. But I go further up into British Columbia where there aren't many services. And wind is fickle (put 500 hours on my engine in 3 years). An engine failure there could be really expensive to deal with and potentially dangerous. Had the engine die due to a fuel tank issue last year in the middle of a very narrow pass with calm wind and interesting currents which was no fun. Luckily I got a friendly tow to a decent size city (Nanaimo), but even there I had a lot of trouble getting service for what turned out to be a fairly simple issue.

I'm not sure that I could spend a grand or two and have this engine be as good as new ... what I've been told is that especially with raw water cooled engines, sometimes even total overhauls don't give you a "like new" engine ... ?

Anyways mulling over options ... good to hear the input.
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Last edited by FishFinder; 08-12-2011 at 05:12 PM.
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