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  Topic Review (Newest First)
08-03-2003 07:28 PM
atomic 4

Our affair with the atomic 4 is done.
She runs, she idles, she purrs, she revs, and SHE STARTS! Thanks to all of you who contributed on the message board. We are now sailing.
08-01-2003 08:39 PM
atomic 4

This engine is too simple to not run without an obvious reason.

1. Be sure you have done a full tune up - wires, plugs, condensor, rotor, cap, and points. Set timing by turning distributor at 8oo rpm to the fastest idle. That''s good enough on timing.

2. Clean out sediment bowl.

3. Replace or install fuel filter

4. Install an electric fuel pump

5. rebuild or replace carb

6. replace coil

7. engine now runs. If you are giving it good gas it can''t do anything else at this point. If you have done all of the above and it still does not run right, God is telling you to put in a diesel because you cannot work with the A4.
08-01-2003 09:03 AM
atomic 4

I have had similar problems on mine and the problem has been that the choke cable sheath has come adrift at the control panel leaving the choke full on even though I have pushed the knob all the way in. I sure hope the problem is that simple after all you''ve gone through.
07-29-2003 05:28 AM
atomic 4

Success is at hand.
We pulled the exhaust this weekend, and last night cut off the top of the water lift muffler. Carbon floating stuff at the top of the water lift has turned into a sold rock formation between the internal exhaust pipe and the side of the muffler. Just have to get this thing cleaned out, installed and halleluja, hallejula, hallejula, we will be sailing again.
07-23-2003 10:23 AM
atomic 4

CALL Don Moyer and ask for advice. Don is pretty free with advice (if the problem is not toooooo involved - to keep thiese noble old engines running. You can get his phone number from his website at

Usually a hugh mismatch in compression values between cylinders are not a problem... as an A4 can run with only two cylinders firing. Do call Don. Also consider strongly to get Don''s "Atomic-4, maintenance, repair and rebuild manual" ... the BEST investment you can make to keep your engine in tip-top shape and purrrrrring.
07-23-2003 06:56 AM
atomic 4

Unfortunately you are getting into the more in-depth details of the operation of an A4. When you checked the valves you might have spun the motor by hand to see all of the valves lifting up and going back down. Some times the vprings go & the back dow part does not happen. Also some times the seats for the valves can be come pitted & need to be lapped. However in your case it seems that the exhaust is not allowing decompression correct? If this is the case then review the exhaust manifold & the exhaust pipe. Check to be sure you are not getting water in the oil as well (white oil). These are signs of blockage within the block.Sounds like the exhaust outlest for the block may be getting clogged. check that out. but you may need to pull the exhaust maifold to do that.

Funny but sometimes the simplest problem has the most complicated cure & sometimes the reverse.
07-20-2003 07:43 AM
atomic 4

Ok, It is almost done. Imported a old man from north dakota this weekend. We pulled the head manifold and inspected the heads and valves, and replaced the head gaskets. Everything is working inside. The engine will not run unless pressure is relieved by removing a spark plug. What could be causing this pressure problem. (exhaust plug?) Thanks, need some help on this one.
07-14-2003 08:24 AM
atomic 4

I suppose I qualify as "dockside experts"Its starting to sound like the timing is off or your plug wires are crossed easy fix,but with compession readings like that on one and two I would suspect a blown head gasket there should be no more than a ten percent drop on any cylinder look at the oil an see if you have light colored slime in it or on the dipstick. Also check the motor cooling system for signs of oil. I think it''s time for you to get an expert in there before you or someone else does something very expensive to the motor. By the way westebecke makes a bolt in replacement for A-4 good luck
07-13-2003 07:26 PM
atomic 4

Well...... the story continues. The atomic 4 now runs. After testing again: The fuel pump, coil, distributor, spark plugs,, spark plug wires, condenser, points, and compression. All where found to work.
Compression on cylinder one is 90, cylinder 2 is 90, 3 and 4 are 110. Unfortunately it only runs when spark plug #1 is out of the block. This results in massive fume buildup in the boat, but it actually runs.

Now, some more help please. I am a bit stumped.
Why would it do this? I have 4 sparkplugs in and it will not run. I take one out at it does.
Some dockside experts say this could be anything from a blown head gasket, to a stuck valve, a warped or cracked head, or gunk on the rings?

I put marvel mystery oil in the spark plug holes while I meditate on this once again.
07-09-2003 06:47 PM
atomic 4

Sure chuck;
Prepare for the maiden voyage as a sailing prurist. We leave if the winds allow this saturday just like the great expolorers before atomic 4 was born.

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