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  #1  
Old 09-18-2007
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Question Thinking about pulling the engine over the winter?

I have a 1982 Westerbeake 50 with just over 3500 hours. For the most part it runs pretty good. It hates to start when its below 50 degrees and has a fuel leak which I keep chasing (fix one, another starts ). I have done some basic maintenance such as belts, hoses, etc. but am unsure if pulling the engine for a minor overhaul and bringing it back to the house over the winter is a bigger project than I am capable of, both mechanically, the time investment, and financially? BTW, the marina quoted $85 to pull it provided I disconnect everything, seemed reasonable?

I am a fairly skilled and mechanical guy but have no professional training in diesel engines, do you think with the assistance of a book (and of course you all ), I could perform the following tasks fairly easily? A hard question to answer I know, so maybe if any of you have done something similar, you could share your comments...thanks
  • remove/clean heat exchanger (which would involve removing the exhaust manifold)
  • repair/replace water pump, fresh & raw
  • remove and clean oil pan/inspect oil pump
  • replace fuel pump with an electric
  • replace fuel lines
  • replace/repair injectors/glow plugs
  • replace/rebuild starter
  • replace all hoses not already replaced
  • replace temp gage sender
  • replace tachometer sender?
  • replace engine mounts
Any other thoughts on what I should do while the engine is out, sound proofing, painting, etc.? Any special tools I should plan on spending big bucks on?

Thanks in advance to all!

Last edited by T37Chef; 09-19-2007 at 07:52 PM.
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Old 09-18-2007
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Go for it, what better way to learn about engines than pulling the one out of your boat. They really aren't all that difficult to work on and with the help of a good book or three (and the collective minds here), it should be a breeze.
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Old 09-18-2007
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Do you have the service manual for the engine? If so, the answers might be self-evident once you check out the procedures for the mechanical repairs. Most of what you listed is remove/replace stuff for which you wouldn't even need the manual or any specialized tools. The most complex item appears to be rebuilding the starter and none of the items would appear to require engine removal.
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Old 09-18-2007
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Might also want to inspect the raw water intake seacock, raw water strainer, water lift muffler and the alternator, as well as the propshaft and stuffing box.

Marine diesel engines are relatively simple beasts, especially when you take their various systems individually. The main problem you will run into is badly corroded fasteners that are frozen in place. PB Blaster is going to be a necessity.
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Old 09-18-2007
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TC, you really don't need to pull the engine unless you are going to do a full overhaul. Do you have glow plugs? Are they still good? That might be the reason she won't start below 50 degrees. If you don't have any, get some installed and it should solve your problem.

Fuel leaks can be tough to find, but again not a reason to pull the engine. Personally, if I was having the engine pulled, I would get a full rebuild by a mechanic. Reason is, you may end up pulling her again in the near future for something else.
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Old 09-18-2007
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Years ago, I successfully overhauled the entire upper end of my boat's 454 ci engine through the winter.

I'm not a mechanic, nor had I ever done anything like it before. But I'm a DIYer - have always been able to learn by doing (within reason of course, architecture requires some formal education ).

So, with the service manual in one hand, and a good set of tools in the other - I figured it all out. A little scary when the block's organs are all dissected and spread out - but very rewarding. After learning with a big-block 8, I felt confident in being able to troubleshoot most any engine - by comparison, my boat's Lehman SP 90HP is like a sewing machine motor.

It's not much different than following a complicated recipe, chef.
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Old 09-18-2007
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I am hauling my Westerbeke W-52 for a top-end overhaul this winter, because it's 19 years old and has only 1,300 hours on it, which is not ideal in this climate. I have rebuilt and Atomic 4 and the only bits that are giving me pause are the fuel rack and injector elements, which require special tools and should be sent out for service. Ideally, I would have them serviced, and then I would install new ones to have an entire set at the ready!

Hauling at the 3,500 hour mark is not a bad idea, especially if you are having issues of the slowly worsening kind. You can check compression, valve clearances and the thousand little tolerances that won't kill a diesel, but will lessen its efficiency. A side benefit is that it's a great opportunity to paint and clean up the engine bay, and to change out the exhaust system, which is prone to carbon "clotting" and corrosion at the elbow, etc. For me, it's a chance to redo the oil sump drain to make it more snug, and as I am replacing the mounts and changing the coupling, dropping in new water tanks and basically changing the whole damn thing, the engine needed to come out anyway. Timing all this stuff will be interesting to get it all working again by launch in late April, 2008.

I agree with TrueBlue and would add that the Westerbeke service manuals are very well drawn. I would add Nigel Calder's marine diesel book as well: it is excellent in indicating exactly what is owner-repairable (the vast majority of the engine) and what is so easy to screw up that it's best left to the experts (see: injectors). Good luck. I'll probably spend 100 hours on the engine (I'll do in myself under the watchful eye of a paid mechanic who will essentially review my work at a discounted price.)
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Old 09-18-2007
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FWIW the slow starting of our W35 turned out to be a symptom of low compression which required to a full engine rebuild - you might perform a compression test just so you know how big a job needs to be done.
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Old 09-18-2007
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SF, the exact same thing happened to us - our engine had been stubborn to start but ran fine once it caught. Then one winter it refused to start altogether. We had a compression check done and it was woefully low.

I have no formal training as a mechanic, but we were able to haul the engine, do a full rebuild on it, reinstall it and the engine has never started so easily or run so well since. I would urge you, Chief, to tackle this job.

The confidence and familiarity with the engine and its operation/components gained will reward you many times over in the future, not only for yourself but also your ability to assist others in trouble.

There are sure to be adequate books to help guide you through this. It's an amazing feeling when, after all that, a few cranks and off she goes!

Last edited by Faster; 09-19-2007 at 12:26 AM.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k1vsk View Post
none of the items would appear to require engine removal.
You haven't seen the engine compartment

Seriously, a good part of my rational for bringing the engine home is I live an hour from the boat, and during the winter with everything closed up I wouldn't get much, if anything accomplished, but it sitting in the garage my wife would make me finish it by spring.
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