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  #1  
Old 01-05-2009
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Lost engine...need advice

Well, 2009 is starting off sort of rough for my wife and I and our boat. We have a 1982 34 ODay with an M30 Universal engine. While returning to the slip under power on New years day, we lost the engine. The oil sending unit was attached by a 4" brass pipe nipple that sheared off and dumped all of the oil in a matter of seconds. We have not owned this boat very long and one of my upgrades was going to be a low oil pressure horn but I had not done it yet.
After cleaning out all the old threads and installing a stainless steel nipple with the sending unit, and filling her up with oil....we started the engine. It ran fine for about three minutes.....I thought all was right with the world....and then...bam. The engine made a frightful sound as it grinded to a stop.....it was seized. We suspect a rod bearing failure. My stomach churned.

The boat is in Port Aransas TX.
I am looking for advice on the options I should consider....
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Old 01-05-2009
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Uhg. Sorry man. Don't know what to tell you. If you are handy rip her out and get some quotes to rebuild it. If you are even handier, take it apart, buy a new rod and have the crank ground. If you are not too handy, check around for a rebuilt engine.

I know of two folks who have just given up on thier inboards and mounted an outboard. I really hate this fix but if it's the only way to get out sailing then it's the least expensive option.

Eric
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Old 01-05-2009
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steve :

It sounds like a bottom end failure. You must have torn something up when running with no oil after the line rupture. The problem is that you cannot tell for how long you were running with no oil, and something must have torn up. It could be bores, but I don't think so. A troubled bottom end is a pronounced knocking-rattle. My one experience with siezure was that it sounded like a loud whine, and slowing rapidly.

If it is the bores, it may be economical to fix.

The other problem is that there is likely to be more scoring on the other bearing surfaces within the motor..... in the bottom end, and possibly the bores also.
Plain-bearing cranks do not tolerate a lube failure for long. Roller bearing cranks... rare.... are more tolerant of it.

It does not look good there Steve. It looks like a re-con motor is needed, and your existing motor may be beyond economical repair.

For all the effort it takes, I would take the motor out and strip it myself. It costs very little to strip the motor if you do it yourself. Then if you find it in bad shape, you will not have paid someone to tell you, and you can trust your own eyes. You might get lucky there Steve. It may not be too bad.

Rockter.

Last edited by Rockter; 01-05-2009 at 07:28 PM.
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Old 01-05-2009
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I may get burned at the stake for saying this, but engine repair/ rebuilds, especially bottom end work, is not rocket science. In fact, IMO, after you get the engine out and torn down, i'd much rather recon a crank and install bearings than R and R the top end or the fuel injection system. Of course, the hard part is getting the engine out. once you do, the rest is straightforward for anyone with a basic understanding of automotive engine fundamentals. It does sound like you likely spun a bearing, (best case) or (worst case), broke the crank. Time to pull it apart and find the truth.

If you have the time, the tools, and the ability and inclination to learn, at least get the engine out and torn down yourself. After all, at this point, what have you got to lose? Besides, I could use another good multi-installment project thread to get through winter withdrawal.
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Old 01-05-2009
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Yergh! What a horrible start to the year. Sorry for your loss, man. I agree with BlJones. Rebuilding an engine is more a matter of being systematic and careful than anything else, so if you feel you could manage it, I would go for it. You will certainly save a lot of cash in the process....

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Old 01-05-2009
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Whether you go for a rebuild or a new engine, the old one has to come out. If you can the removal yourself, you are going to save money. At that point dropping the pan to look at the bottom end is pretty easy. As noted previously, that will help you decide how to proceed.
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Old 01-05-2009
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It Depends

It depends on how mechanically minded you are and how much money you have to spend.

In my line of work I see many people try to work on engines themselves, mostly to save money. Some do a pretty good job, some do a marginal job (unreliable) and some end up costing them more because someone has to go back and do the job right.

Most people can tear an engine apart, not everyone can put it back together RIGHT. Fewer know what to look for in a particular engine. A good mechanic has some knowledge of the type of engine he is working on. While they are in it, they look for other things that may need attention etc.

That is how it should work. The reality is you usually don't know much about the mechanic without several good referals. I got stung this year because I decided to let a franchise dealer work on my outboard. Even though he has been in the business over 20 years, I had to go back and redo the whole repair and even fix some screw ups he made. I am "mechanically minded" and have owned a related type of business for over 30 years. I thought I would let an "expert" do it.
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Old 01-05-2009
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Yes, take it apart and look.
At least turn it upside down, take the sump cover off, and have a look at the bottom end. If something has let go, you will see it readily.
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Old 01-07-2009
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Well, I have decided that I am capable of removing the engine myself (with help from fellow sailors at our marina). I am also comfortable with partial disassembly and inspection but I am not comfortable with my ability to rebuild myself.
A couple questions on removal:

1.Can I safely use my boom, ratchet strap and/or halyard to lift a 400lbs engine or is that out of the question?
2.Should I leave the gearbox attached to the engine and disconnect from the prop shaft or should I disconnect the gearbox from the back of the engine?
3.What other items should I be aware of besides the obvious disconnections?
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Old 01-07-2009
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If the weight is manageable, leave the gearbox on it.
400 lbf is a lot for a boom.
I bribed a crane driver driver at the docks to lift my very heavy Volvo out of the boat, at close to 780 lbf.
.
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