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  Topic Review (Newest First)
11-24-2012 11:31 PM
Re: Performing compression test on Penta

porfin, as is often the case, has the right idea- build a dummy injector., or, go with your gut- id it runs, doesn't smoke, isn't hard to start, screw it, replace the head gasket, torque down the head, keep on top of oil changes, and run her until she dies.
11-24-2012 10:16 PM
Re: Performing compression test on Penta

I am also a firm believer in doing vinegar flushes of my raw water cooled Atomic 4 engine.

Hopefully your Penta is in good internal shape. A big problem with Volvo engines seems to be parts availability and prices for same.

If you are not married to the idea of having a diesel engine (probably best for the type of cruising you are contemplating) you could consider re-powering with a working Atomic 4. Older but working A4's seem to sell for around $1K. It is also a gasoline engine which many consider anathema.
11-24-2012 09:34 PM
Re: Performing compression test on Penta

Blackstone Labs

Probably the biggest independent source for oil analysis, but a lot of distributors and shops also sell the kits. You mail them off.

If you're going to pull it out of the boat...Might as well clena up the engine bay, think about installing fuel polishing lines, expect to pull the engine apart and do work, as well as sending out the injectors. And replacing the mounts.There's a lot that can be done, and should be considered if the engine is being pulled, but I'd hate to say "pull an engine" before you knew whether it really needed to be pulled at all. Lots of time and money that might not be needed.
11-24-2012 07:23 PM
Re: Performing compression test on Penta

Misfits: We'll probably have an outboard (or a Torqueedo) for the dink; I plan to arrange the swim ladder to mount the outboard, in an emergency. It's a reverse-transom IOR boat w/ typically high counter, so conventional O/B brackets don't work so good.

HS: thanks for the info. Boat is not in the water & is unlikely to be until launching in CA. We may pull the engine in April & run it on a pallet. Right now it is winterized & it probably needs to stay that way. What I can see of the coolant passages suggests some surface rust, but not too bad. Might run a warm vinegar mix thru the block in Spring for about three straight days. Our local kids are pretty sharp little wrenchers, some of them -- and they'd have a instructor looking over their shoulders if we submitted the engine for rebuild. It's a bone-simple engine -- might have a go at it myself. Who performs oil analysis? Do you have to mail it off, or can a local garage do it?

The guy who delivered the boat said it smoked pretty bad; the haulout yard thinks the injectors just need cleaning; I think the boat might be overpropped a touch. It has an aftermarket 14x9 Gori folder. IIRC, the original prop for this engine was a 12" folder. Hard to not overprop a 10hp engine!
11-24-2012 07:02 PM
Re: Performing compression test on Penta

bob, salt water eats blocks. Fresh water is no big deal.

Why not just fire it up, see how the engine runs, see if it moves the boat at hull speed at a reasonable rpm without smoking, and if everything looks good, let it be?

Then after you've put some hours on it, spend $25 on the oil analysis to find out if the engine is chewing itself up, etc. If a diagnosis was important to me, I'm not sure I'd want to have trainees doing it. By definition, they lack the experience to really know what they might be looking at.

With four years on the timeline, check out a class at Mack Boring on diy diesel maintenance, you may find that invaluable for the big trip, and it will teach you what to look for on your own engine in the meantime.
11-24-2012 06:42 PM
Re: Performing compression test on Penta

I've got an MD7A on our 28 & it does run. If having mechanized propulsion isn't a big priority, you could always toss an outboard on her stern & save $$. It's crossed my mind.
11-24-2012 06:19 PM
Re: Performing compression test on Penta

Originally Posted by misfits View Post
If you're planning on heading out across the big blue sea, start saving your money for a motor replacement. Somewhere along your travels, you'll be glad you did.
Hence the 3-4 years we want to squeeze out of the Penta. That's how long (at a minimum) we expect to spend in and around Mexico. Northern MX is a perfectly good place to repower -- inexpensive yard fees, close enuf to the US we could even drive a new engine down there, and full of skilled mechanics and machine shops. Affordable help, too. I just paid a Midwest marina over $2000 to haul the boat out of the water, squirt some antifreeze thru the pipes, unstep the mast, and plop the boat on a trailer. Maybe six hours total labor. Rather too proud of their work, are US boatyards.

We either have to repower here, while the boat is in the back yard, or after we've got it to Mexico. We don't generally motor if we can possibly avoid it anyhow, and we won't carry refrigeration or a watermaker that requires engine charging. And I refuse to call a marine auxiliary engine a safety feature, because that sort of thinking gets people killed. It's helpful, verging on necessary, for getting into and out of some harbors. That's about how we view the engine.

It's telling that this MD6A, at a mere 10hp, was not considered particularly undersized for a 7500# sailboat in 1975. Albin did upgrade to a 13hp motor later. People sailed more.
11-24-2012 04:11 PM
Re: Performing compression test on Penta

If you're planning on heading out across the big blue sea, start saving your money for a motor replacement. Somewhere along your travels, you'll be glad you did.
11-24-2012 12:13 PM
Re: Performing compression test on Penta

Originally Posted by CalebD View Post
So Bob, where will you be sailing your new-ish Albin 30'?

You are right about the Volvo OEM parts. Enough of those and you could buy a Beta marine brand new diesel (~ $6K). Kubota tractor dealers carry most of the replacement parts at a major discount.
Three or four years to refit completely, then down to the Pacific. Probably keep the boat in San Carlos, MX. Would like to hit Vanuatu, Tonga, someday. That's a ways off. Need to replace those sketchy thru-hulls first. Adore the Beta engines. Outside our refit budget, tho.

PorFin: Thanks! I might try that approach. We also have a huge number of eager, impoverished young diesel mechanic trainees in town (big technical college). I might find a couple of them to run the diagnostics, maybe overhaul the injectors, maybe even the whole engine. Tho again, we don't want to pour too much into an engine that has a) been fresh-water cooled its whole life, albeit in the Great Lakes; and b) will be an ongoing source of trouble/expense. I'd like a solid notion of what hours it has left before we commit to major repairs or modifications.

Suppose "ongoing source of trouble/expense" pretty much describes marine engines in general....
11-24-2012 10:30 AM
Re: Performing compression test on Penta

Before going to all that work, you might consider an oil analysis, supposedly it will show worn bearings and/or rings in addition to unburnt fuel contamination.

Paul T
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