Additives for 120 HP Lehman Engine? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 7 Old 09-15-2019 Thread Starter
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Additives for 120 HP Lehman Engine?

We have a 1981 Ford Lehman, 6 cylinder, 120 Hp engine on a newly acquired sailboat. Is it important to put in fuel additives for the winter? We live on the east coast of Vancouver Island.
Also wondering if we can overcome the blue smoke we always get when warming up the engine? It has 4000 engine hours on it.
Thanks, Debs
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post #2 of 7 Old 09-15-2019
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Re: Additives for 120 HP Lehman Engine?

I've never used fuel additives and not a problem Important to regularly change filter .What weight oil?? Maybe a multi wt like 15/ 40 would help. The experts will chime in.
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post #3 of 7 Old 09-16-2019
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Re: Additives for 120 HP Lehman Engine?

Blue smoke is caused by excess lubricating oil within the engine cylinders during combustion. This excess oil then gets burnt and emitted as blue smoke. This problem is usually caused by either:
A worn-out engine. A worn-out engine is likely to be coated in muck. It's also likely to be dribbling oil and be very rattly (not too likely with only 4k hours on it IF those are actually the correct hours). Sometimes sellers carefully clean the engine to disguise the signs of old age. Worn valve stem seals. This is more of a problem with older, non-turbocharged engines. Regardless of engine type, worn valve stem seals tend to cause smoke at start-up and at idle.
I don't live up there, but I'd still add a cup of Marvel Mystery Oil with every oil change, no matter the time of year, if I did.

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post #4 of 7 Old 09-16-2019
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Re: Additives for 120 HP Lehman Engine?

Yup, blue smoke means burning oil. I'd want to determine why. Could also be the rings are not shearing the oil off the cylinder walls very well. A compression check would be in order.

As for fuel additives, the only mandatory (IMO) additive is a bio-cide. Some marine fuel suppliers, such as Valvtect, already include it, so no need to add more. If your source does not, you want to add it yourself. Bacteria actually grows in moisture in diesel fuel, then die and create sludge at the bottom of your tank. If this is a new to you boat, you would do yourself a favor to clean the tank at some point.

Other optional witchcraft are the variety of fuel stabilizers out there. Although, diesel is inherently more stable than gasoline. There are also additives that will absorb/combine with small amounts of water in the fuel and burn it. Be sure the additive you choose is not made of ethanol, which is the most common water absorber. I use the additive from USA Fuel. I don't need added biocide, nor use a stabilizer.

Since this boat is new to you, I'd consider a really good once over on a few things.

First, be sure the raw water side of the cooling system has been descaled. Any scale will reduce proper cooling. Excessive heat can over expand and warp things and make them work improperly. If you're unfamiliar with how, you need to set up a recirculating process with a descaler, just ask. Check the exhaust elbow and replace if necessary. These are a wear item in the cooling system. Is your boat fresh water (ie coolant) cooled, with a heat exchanger? If so, drain out all the coolant, add a cleaning flush and clean that out well, then replace with fresh coolant. Test or replace the thermostat.

Can we assume all your filters are new: fuel, oil, air? They should be.

Consider running a good engine flush in your oil for 20 or 30 mins, at the dock, then change your oil. I like using engine flush from Amsoil. If its very old, with unknown service, I'd consider draining it out, then adding oil and another flush and doing it twice, before draining and putting in the proper service oil. Sludge is doing bad stuff in there, however, ironically, if the smoke due to worn valve stem seals, the sludge might possibly be slowing down the leak. Doesn't matter, it's doing other bad stuff. Clean her up and deal with whatever is leaking. Proper clean oil passages also help cool.

If the hoses and belts are in good shape, they certainly have nothing to do with this problem. Assuming you get her in good running order and are keep the motor, I like replacing these, just so I know when that was done last. They can both ruin a nice sail, if they let go.

Last thought is whether you nailed the color. Grey can be deceiving. Grey/black is unburned diesel fuel and a whole other series of investigations........

Best with your new motor. If she's starting and running properly, you'll get it settled down.


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Re: Additives for 120 HP Lehman Engine?

p.s. what kind of boat do you have that needs a 120hp motor? Wow.


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post #6 of 7 Old 09-16-2019
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Re: Additives for 120 HP Lehman Engine?

Aside from your original question, I would inspect the inside of the Tank if possible, depending on usage, especially if always used in calm conditions the first time out in rough weather can break loose some sediment and cause run problems, nothing mixes the Tank better than rough weather.
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Re: Additives for 120 HP Lehman Engine?

Debs,

We have a ç 1982 vintage Ford Lehman SP90 [4 cyl; 90HP] in our boat. We also live a bit further N of you in SE Alaska.

RE: Fuel, assuming it is fresh and clean, confirm the fuel is blended for winter use [i.e., our fuel vendor tells us our #2 (winter) diesel is mixed for -25°F (-32°C)] You can always add some #1 diesel, kerosene, or one of the anti-gelling fuel additives (available at any autoparts store) as a hedge againse gelling. We installed H3Out dryers in the fuel tank vent lines to reduce condensation, and they work perfectly. [Our fuel tank sump samples are always clean.]

RE: Smoking a little at start-up; this seems to be normal with older Ford Lehmans [or at least with the dozens of owners I have compared notes with.] But I'm talking about a puff of blue at start-up, going away in a few seconds... [longer if colder e.g., below freezing]

In case you were not aware, some of the older Lehmans have a high pressure fuel injector pump requiring an oil change every ~50 hours. It is simple to do. You need to determine if your injection pump requirs this, and if so, do it right away [same oil as engine... Google 'Lehman injector pump oil change' for more details.]

Lastly, if you haven't already, contact Brian at American Diesel [*+1 (804) 435-3107‬.] His father was an engineer on the Lehman marinization team, and Brian continues to operate the well known family business, and is a [the?] recognized expert on these engines. Chances are they may have records about your engine, and they are happy to answer any questions you may have, as well as provide parts as needed.

Have fun with your new boat!

Cheers! Bill


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