An engine is a terrable thing to waste - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 02-06-2009
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An engine is a terrable thing to waste

I've seen some engines 20+ years old that look brand new. Some of the pictures you guys have shared are amazing. A couple drops of fluid in the wrong place and you call diesel 911. Then I've seen other engines where you could loose a whole quart of fluid and not notice.

What does it take to keep an engine perfect for a long time? On the surface other than keeping it clean, fixing minor leaks and painting a rust spot or two it looks like an hours or two a year might do it.

For you who have perfect engines is this your experience or am I missing something.
I'm not counting the time doing the stuff that I'm assuming even people who don't take good care of their engine have to do. Change the oil, winterize, change belts, hoses and impellers. I'm talking only about the primarily cosmetic issues.
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Old 02-06-2009
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You hit the nail on the head in the 2nd paragraph. Take care of things when they happen and you will have 90% of the work done.

If everything is clean, it is too easy to stay on top of issues as they develop.
If you can't see the engine for all the caked on dirt, not only will it take longer to notice an issue, but it will also be harder to diagnose.

When you do work, clean and detail everything you can.

When we were looking to buy, we saw many boats with oil and diesel soaked engines and bilges, we walked away from those.
If the PO didn't take care of the easy stuff, then he likely didn't do the hard stuff either.
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Old 02-06-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjns View Post
If the PO didn't take care of the easy stuff, then he likely didn't do the hard stuff either.

Ain't THAT the truth! The engine compartment and bilge is where I start when looking over a boat; I have my wife check out all of the lockers, beneath the seats, etc. Esp. the Lazarette if there is one.

We can usually eliminate a boat from contention in less than 15 minutes. (And it is WAY sad to see how many are eliminated )


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Old 02-06-2009
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I've an interesting reverse on the way my boat was when I bought it.
the PO claimed that he took the original engine out. got another just like it (universal 5416) and painted it white! would he pull the engine just to paint it? Not likely. Well the bilge was black with goo under then engine. It was very evident the engine had been removed also. he used small wire ties everywhere! there was no overspray in the engine compartment. The heat exchanger had to be mounted, since it was pretty clear he wasn't planning on sailing the boat (he was living aboard) Well he did stay with us for 2 days. I never expected anyone to spend so much time when most would just say "here's the key"
What I have now is a clean engine bilge, proper SS clamps and a clean engine. no drips of oil anywhere. it runs and runs and runs the only problems of course have always been fuel, and raw water pump related. This past spring before splashing for the season, and when I was sure about the the PSS install, I made a real effort to clean the engine bilge using generic bilge cleaner. and lots of water after. I have a nearly white engine bildge now. and the seal area is actually getting dusty from lack of "moisture"
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Old 02-07-2009
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A white engine. What an idea!!!
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Old 02-08-2009
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Most engines just need oil and water, as long as they are properly spec'd for the application and not abused by the owner.

Oil, as in change it by the manual, and water, as in proper cooling, preferably with a heat exchanger and not raw salt water, which is abuse in itself.

The rest is all small stuff, filters, clean fuel, proper belt tension to avoid chewing up bearings. But the folks who let an engine overheat (and oil is actually the first coolant on the cylinder walls) or go without proper lube, they're the ones who can ruin it fastest.
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Old 02-08-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
A white engine. What an idea!!!
When I rebuilt my Atomic 4, I painted it white. I subsequently had to swap in a black head, so now it's "two-tone".

Volkswagen Pathfinder marine diesel are white, if I recall. Given the dimness of most engine compartments, this is an excellent idea.
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Old 02-08-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valiente View Post
When I rebuilt my Atomic 4, I painted it white. I subsequently had to swap in a black head, so now it's "two-tone".

Volkswagen Pathfinder marine diesel are white, if I recall. Given the dimness of most engine compartments, this is an excellent idea.
White is also an option on the Betamarine engines.
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