Atomic Four Enigne Bad Idea? - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 35 Old 05-18-2007
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BTW, the blower in the engine space is required by USCG regs nowadays...




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post #12 of 35 Old 05-19-2007
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My A4 is a lovely lady!

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post #13 of 35 Old 05-19-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster
Gramp has covered the bases pretty well. In addition I'd try to find a FWC model, there were issues with the RWC versions and corrosion is going to be a bigger issue if it's a salt water boat.

Plenty of power, smooth quiet operation and a duty assignment that is, in reality, much more applicable to a gas engine than a diesel. There are 10s of thousands of them out there still - good opportunities for bargain hunters.
I've rebuilt one in 2005 (starts instantly) and removed two (I like the idea of free spares!). RWC is, I agree, not great in salt water, but is fine on the Great Lakes and in fresh water. In fact, if you install a cheap "basket" filter between the water pump and the block, you can keep as much goo out of the passages as in a FWC/heat exchanger system. Another advantage of running in fresh water is that you can install the 180F Holley thermostat (or just manually do it with a ball **** adjustment), which runs the cooling water to a higher...and better...temp for clean ignition. Another benefit of this is that you can run an auto block heater or hot water heater into the cooling circuit and make your boat cabin nice and toasty while you are motoring out. If there is a retrofit or after-market scheme possible with the Atomic 4, some seaborne Edison has attempted it.

I would say that they aren't particularly economical for long-distance motor cruising, but I would also say that for the majority of sailors...who, after all, like to sail...they are ideal, because they will take the wear and tear of cold starts and short runs (under an hour) much better than will a diesel, which is happiest when turned on, left on and run "with intent". If you basically want to get to the start line and motor head-to-wind, you'll be hard pressed to use a single tank of gas in a season. Most of them use less than a gallon an hour at cruise speed.
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post #14 of 35 Old 05-19-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailhog
I have to agree with mstern. My C30 has an A4 on it and it runs like a raped ape. It was rebuilt in 2002 for $2,800.
Wow, I spent half that, but I did some of the work myself. I had an auto engine rebuilder shop do the drive train, rings and piston boring, so that is probably where the savings came in.

I find them mechanically simple, and I don't mind the discipline of running the blower or having a gas sniffer...it seems like pretty basic caution to me. It's a jumped up lawn mower engine, after all, but it runs like a top with basic (spark gap, fuel/water separator, oil changes, clean contacts, etc.) care and feeding. I do have a blow-by issue and I may retrofit the PCV kit, but otherwise, it's good.

I didn't even take shop in school (the easy girls were in theatre class!) and have never owned anything more combustion-driven than a chainsaw and a moped. If I could become better-than-clueless on an A4 past the age of 40, anyone can.
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post #15 of 35 Old 05-19-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardiacpaul
I own both. I like both, for different reasons. I do not Discount an a-4, nor do I "mark-up" a diesel.
Well put. Same here. Different means to different ends.
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post #16 of 35 Old 05-19-2007
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It's hard to get good information on this site because of the constant arguing among the members. I wish everyone would respect others opinions. There is no right answer for most of the forum questions although many think there is.
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post #17 of 35 Old 05-19-2007
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saurav16 I'd be interested in your decision after all this. Hope your power plant is in good running condition either way bottom line. Pros and cons to everything. Everybody has valid points here especially mh. Enjoy the boat. Peace to all.
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post #18 of 35 Old 05-19-2007
 
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Quote:
It's hard to get good information on this site because of the constant arguing among the members. I wish everyone would respect others opinions. There is no right answer for most of the forum questions although many think there is.
You make a good point... but realise that some of the "arguments" are actually pretty tongue in cheek - don't take anything on here too seriously. The people that post regularly here are not really representative of the general boating community. They (we ??) tend towards the fanatic, and can occasionally get a little carried away on tangents that are pretty inconsequential.

Don't be intimidated, and if you think that someone is pulling your chain, then let them know...
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post #19 of 35 Old 05-19-2007
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"The people that post regularly here are not really representative of the general boating community."

I dunno, we seem pretty normal to us, maybe its the meds...
Oh look, sumpin shiny....

We are not primarily on earth to see through one another, but to see one another through

Some people are like slinkies: not really good for anything... but you can't help laughing when you push them down the stairs
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post #20 of 35 Old 05-19-2007
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I love this place. Crazy good stuff.
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