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Old 07-17-2012
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Universal 14hp...Sitting for years

I posted in the general discussion forum but thought I might get more responses here...I'm looking at a Catalina tonight with a 86' 14hp Universal...It's been sitting for 6 years...Is there any chance that the fuel in the tank is still ok? I'm assuming I won't be able to start it easily, I'm not at the point with the seller where I can ask him to disconnect water hose's and fuel lines and such...Especially on a 4000 dollar boat...

So assuming the engine was winterized and can get the engine to turn over, i can assume it will be OK? The engine has about 900 hours on it...I hear that is really just breaking it in...Thoughts?
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Old 07-17-2012
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Re: Universal 14hp...Sitting for years

Even if it was winterized (fogged, pickled) before putting away, after six years there's probably been time for the cylinder rings to rust up and condensation to accumulate in the oil. You might try turning it over a few times by hand first, to see how stuck it is or isn't. And of course, expect there's no battery to start it with, you may need to bring a battery and jumpers.

900 hours is nothing if a diesel was run right. Odds are good but if you have any question, you may want to go ahead with a deposit but subject to an engine mechanic even if you're skipping a complete survey.

Six year old fuel probably is full of water and critters (sludge) but diesels aren't very picky, it probably will run just fine until the fuel filter clogs in short order. If you buy the boat, clean out the fuel system and tank and make sure you've got spare filters on hand, and know how to use them. i.e. if bleeding the system requires crush washers, make sure you've got them, they're "use once and discard" parts.
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Old 07-17-2012
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Re: Universal 14hp...Sitting for years

I'd have the fuel drained and either cleaned or discarded. Filters tend to clog at the narrowest point in the channel! Change the coolant and oil.
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Old 07-17-2012
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Re: Universal 14hp...Sitting for years

Are your sure its a 14hp Universal? i know Catalina used the 5411 in boats of that era and that's 11hp. Next size up is the 5416 which is 16hp. Both were 2 cylinder (the 516 was larger) and most 5411s were raw water cooled and all the 5416s were fresh water cooled.

Certainly before you buy this thing you are going to want to know the condition of the engine. At this point just engaging the decompression and rolling it over by hand is about all you can do. If you make an offer, it should be based on a survey including running the engine.
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Re: Universal 14hp...Sitting for years

I boutht a Catalina 85 with the Universal that had sat for 5 years in the midwest, fuel had been treated, and there was annual winterization. When it came time to test the engine, it started and ran perfectly. I did have to drain the settlement bulb a couple of times to purge water but other than that it ran fine for the 4 years I owned the boat. Maybe I was lucky, maybe good annual maintenance. I would go with turning it over first and also asking about annual maintenance.
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