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  #1  
Old 07-04-2007
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Unhappy Atomic4

I just bought myself a Catalina 27 1983 with an atomic4 diesel engine, any suggeztions as to where i could find info or owner manual would be appreciated, the boat came with no informations whatsoever so anything would help.

Thank you very much.
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Old 07-05-2007
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If it's an Atomic4 it's not a diesel... so don't put diesel fuel in your tank. If it's diesel it's not an Atomic4..... So your first job is to confirm what you really have.
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Old 07-05-2007
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It might be a Universal diesel, the same people that made the Atomic 4, but,faster is correct, if its an A-4, its gas, if its a universal, its diesel
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Old 07-05-2007
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Exactly. It's a gas engine, and if kept in good working order--which generally falls under the heading of knowing what fuel it burns--it is a very reliable and relatively efficient sailboat auxiliary engine, particularly if you tend to use it in 15 minute increments going out to a buoy to get head to wind, and then using it to do the same to drop the main before motoring to moor or dock.

I've rebuilt a couple and I have relied on this publication as superior to the owner's manual:

Moyer Marine Online Store

Here's a downloadable original owner's manual, which has a lot of tolerances and specs:

Atomic Four

A good general reference and links:

The Atomic Four Marine Engine

I also have this manual, and have found it very useful for some esoteric stuff, like the proper order and torque values for dogging down the head studs:

ATOMIC-4 Marine Engine

It's quite complementary to the Moyer manual.

If you choose to, you can do your own maintenance. If not, you should have these documents and links on hand to show to a reputable small motor or diesel mechanic. Frankly, the Atomic 4 is so simple a decent car engine shop should be able to handle its frankly quaint and straightforward construction. I took drama instead of shop in high school due to the easily persuaded girl ratio, but even I understand how to field-strip an Atomic 4 without destroying it.

Good luck. The Cat 27 is a good club racer and coastal cruiser.
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Old 07-05-2007
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I have a related question for Valiente or anyone else on hand who is intimately familiar with the A-4... I have no zincs on mine, at least none that I can find. I'd like to remedy this but haven't the faintest idea where they would go. Any thoughts?
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Old 07-05-2007
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Based on the year of the boat (1983), it is possible its a Universal diesel. I have a i982 CAL with a Universal 5411 diesel and the engine control panel has a "Universal Atomic" decal on it. If you have a Universal diesel, you can download a complete manual from the Catalina 30 owners website.
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Old 07-05-2007
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If there are four spark plugs on top, it's the venerable gas engine. All the technology of a Model A Ford. Reliable though.
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Old 07-05-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nolatom
If there are four spark plugs on top, it's the venerable gas engine. All the technology of a Model A Ford. Reliable though.
Simpler is nearly always better .

Years and years and years ago I owned an Oldsmobile Cutlass with a 315 HP 4 bbl. carb. I upgraded the ignition system's components to performance parts, curved the distributer, "tweaked" the Rochester Quadrajet carb and converted to dual exhaust. (I may have polished the intake manifold--don't recall.) Made it faster, this stuff did. Never was beat, street racing, by anything in my class. But it all had another effect: Vastly improved gas milage. In fact: On the expressway, keeping my foot out of those big ol' secondaries that carb had, I averaged over 20 MPG. All w/o fuel injection, electronic ignition, computer control/monitoring, with a bit ol' 8-cylinder engine pushing good ol' heavy Detroit iron.

Reliable? Ha! It was too simple to be anything but reliable. Gasoline, air, spark, compression, ignition, bang. That's all there was to it.

IMO: A lot of the crap they hang off engines these days is just an excuse for poor engineering, poor parts and even poorer manufacturing.

Jim
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Old 07-05-2007
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Jim i agree with you, simple is the way to go. I still drive a beat up old 1978 Datsun truck. Everyone makes fun of my old truck, but its been going for the last 29 years with no major problems.

My boat has a 1972 Evinrude 40hp outboard on the back to move it(i know its overkill, but i had it on hand and needed something for the boat). Right now its dead, but i know that the points are dirty and that will fix it. A buddy of mine has a 2yo 4stroke Mercury thats been in the shop for about 3 weeks now and they still haven't figured why it wont run right.

Im all for simple when it comes to everything in my life.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailhog
I have a related question for Valiente or anyone else on hand who is intimately familiar with the A-4... I have no zincs on mine, at least none that I can find. I'd like to remedy this but haven't the faintest idea where they would go. Any thoughts?
I've never seen a zinc directly on an Atomic 4, actually. Just the usual mag or zinc donuts on the shaft. Which is odd, because I have pencil zincs for my Westerbeke diesel.

Good question. Wish I had a coherent answer. Hmm.
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