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A melon with a dream...
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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings all. I acquired an Atomic 5411 along with a Hurth HBW 50 for my boat ('69 Columbia 28) to replace the Atomic 4. I am considering having the 5411 rebuilt because I didn't hear it run and have no idea how many hours are on it, but I am wondering if there is any way to check it over while it's out of the boat? Compression test, etc.? I've never worked on a diesel. If it seems as though it might go a season or 2 I might just focus on the install for now and plan to rebuild in a year or 2. I am in Seattle... any local references?
 

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The 5411 is raw-water cooled, so like all such engines is prone to internal corrosion, head gasket issues, and so on.

I'd suggest checking very carefully everything in the cooling path.

Also I'm a bit concerned about the idea of rebuilding a 5411, as the engine's biggest issue is obselescence, and unavailability of the marinised parts. At least the 5411 doesn't have as many of those, compared to the fresh water versions. The last time I bought a new raw water pump for my 5424, it cost $375.

The transmission can be troublesome and rebuilds now cost more than a new ZF.

Generally, an old, undersized, obselete diesel, the worst one in the range, with unknown hours in unknown condition seems like a strange choice.
 

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Our old 5411 is still in our marina waiting for us to do something with it. Thanks for the reminder.

I agree with MarkSF. Some parts are no longer being made. We had to replace the exhaust manifold and had to wait for enough people around the country to need one before getting one made.

If you can, I'd suggest finding a more reliable engine with readily available parts.
 

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Don't get me wrong, my 5424 has been great, still is, but it's one failure of an unavailable part away from replacement with a Beta Marine.
 

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I had a 5411 on my previous boat and never had trouble getting parts. I agree that the big question is condition of the cooling passages as its an old raw water cooled engine. I would test run the engine before you go to the trouble of installing it and then find out you have issues. Not hard to do. Just need to mount it on some 4x4s, connect up a battery and cooling water.

You might consider a fresh water conversion if the engine checks out OK. Here's one.

Atomic 4 Fresh Water Cooling System - Electric Antifreeze Pump
 

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A melon with a dream...
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208 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks all for the replies. I agree my choices are odd. ;) But the current Atomic 4 wasn't running when I purchased the boat and I don't want to put a lot of time, expense, and effort into fiddling with it. But I don't like having an outboard hanging off the back on a bracket either. The 5411 was available for peanuts (because the guy got it as part repayment on a bad debt, not because he used it until it was shot). And all I am really looking for is a running diesel that will move the boat for the time being because I am not certain I am going to keep it long-term. If I do, I will consider rebuilding the 5411. I have cross-reference information that I am looking into... apparently it's a marinized Kubota z500 tractor engine so I may be able to get rebuild parts much cheaper. But if I end up selling the boat I think resale will be a lot better if I have a running diesel in it. As for the Hurth, it's a relatively simple transmission and, including rebuild kit, I will have less than $600 into it. I have a hydraulic press and can manage that one myself.

Great idea to run it out of the boat! Thanks! Don't know why I didn't think of that. :) So yes, I'll set it up in the shop and see what happens when I crank 'er up.
 

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One of None
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Research the engine by finding the Kubota tractor it was used in. then get the parts from a tractor supply. the 5411 is 2 cylinder? Like the 5416 which I have. Everything is available except the water cooled exhaust manifold which is the main componant for making a diesel a "marine engine"

There is allot of that information right in this forum. look up universal engine history in one of the threads.

You will find it's most likely the Z-500 block

ck this! http://www.tractordata.com/farm-tractors/001/2/6/1268-kubota-b6000-engine.html
B6000
 

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A melon with a dream...
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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks DeniseO30! I have been doing some looking around and I'm pretty sure it's the z-500. I read on here in another thread that apparently that info is printed into the dipstick, so I'll check that next. But I have emailed a couple of Kubota dealers in the Seattle area about parts for the B5100 tractor and haven't heard back. I might need to call them or stop in. Thanks again for the link.
 

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Keep good quality atf oil in that trans. Same model on my '88 boat. Change it annually.

LB
 

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Tartan 27' owner
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There is no denying that your boat may be worth a few more dollars with a working diesel than an Atomic 4 engine. That said I'd find another working Atomic 4 engine that someone is discarding (usually < $1K). Your boat is already set up for a gas engine so it should be as simple as swapping out the engine - you'd probably need a new fuel system for the diesel.
The Atomic 4 is dirt simple to work on yourself, parts are readily available (and not at Volvo prices either) and it has more HP than a 5411 and runs quieter. Oh, and no diesel smell in the boat!
Are you quite certain that the Atomic 4 in your boat is completely dead? Atomic 4's have been brought back to life by some diligent owners. Mine is 45 years old and still runs nicely.
Moyer Marine Atomic 4 Community - Home of the Afourians - Powered by vBulletin
 

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One of None
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I've a friend at my YC that has a "running" A4 in his storage locker. don't know what he wants for it yet.
 

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A melon with a dream...
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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you Olson34. Quality ATF. Will do.

CalebD, you make a good point. If nothing else I could probably take off the carb and clean it... since it's been sitting for a while it's likely gummed up. And change the oil, check the plugs. Basic stuff. Need a new starting battery anyway. And if nothing else... then I have a running A4 I can sell. Really this is all about me wanting a diesel, rational or not. I have an admitted bias against an ignition system in an inboard in a saltwater marine environment. That and I kind of just want to do the whole conversion project for the experience of doing it. (Probably seems a bit crazy.)
 

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Fluid should be Dexron-type ATF. When they say to change it once a year, they mean it. I waited 2 years (200 hrs) and the fluid that came out looked horrible. Black, and burnt-smelling.
 

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The higher HP of the Atomic 4 is a bit deceiving. Most A4s are direct drive. This means a less than optimum small prop that doesn't allow the engine to reach rated HP and doesn't produce a lot of thrust. The 5411 transmission is 2:1 and allows a much more efficient prop. I would guess its about a wash with regard to the boat speed at full throttle with each, and the 5411 will burn half the fuel.

If the A4 doesn't run and the 5411 does, I think you have an easy answer.
 

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Once you know the Kubota block type you should be able to get all of your rebuild parts from a Kubota tractor dealer either locally or online. You can find the Kubota block type and serial number stamped on the block itself, usually near the injector pump. It is not very heavily stamped in, so may be hidden by layers of paint. :(

I just rebuilt my 5416, similar engine to the 5411. Basically renewed all the wearing surfaces in the engine and am well pleased with the result.

If you think I can be of any help, please contact me.

Eric Irvine
"Selkie"
Bristol 29.9
 

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I just rebuilt my 5416, similar engine to the 5411. Basically renewed all the wearing surfaces in the engine and am well pleased with the result.

If you think I can be of any help, please contact me.

Eric Irvine
"Selkie"
Bristol 29.9
What did that include, and how much did it cost.
What did you do yourself and what did you farm out?
If you don't mind sharing?
 

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A melon with a dream...
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Discussion Starter #17
This is in fact the Kubota z500. Ericirvine, I am also curious if you rebuilt your 5416 yourself? If so, are you a diesel mechanic? I have plenty of experience with gas engines but have never rebuilt a diesel. Understandably compression ratios are higher and tolerances are tighter, but if you talk to some people it's as if the world of the diesel mechanic is some sparkly Neverland. ;) I have never been one to let never having done something before stop me. I do the research, ask questions, and consult shop manuals. Still haven't found a definite resource for a rebuild kit for this, but I haven't looked really hard yet. And thank you for the support. I am not ready to do it quite yet, but I will keep you in mind.
 

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Don't let it scare you.. if you've rebuilt gas engines it's not really any different. We rebuilt our 4 cyl a few years back, all for about $1500 in parts and services (block hot tanked, new rings, brgs etc.) I'd last rebuilt a small block chevy in my 20s... (that's a while ago) I did get a mechanic friend to help time the injector pump and start it first time.
 

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DavidPM, MrHoneydew,

I'll try to answer your questions in one post, it might get kinda long. Here goes:

I'm not a mechanic but pretty mechanically inclined having rebuilt several car and motorcycle engines in a previous life.... Also Selkie is the third "project" boat I have owned, however I think she will be a keeper.

Engine came as part of a "project" boat. Salt water had entered the crankcase after failure of shaft seals on raw water pump, which went unnoticed or ignored by PO until engine quit. Lots of surface rust on internals of engine. Raw water pump is on same shaft as the governor and the fuel injection pump, all of these were toast, as were the governor shaft bearings. Cylinder head was missing, as in I did not get one with engine.

I picked up a used cylinder head in fair condition, but after some attempts to get the engine to run (it did run, but poorly), I decided to tear the engine completely down and replace or restore every worn component, unless I came across something that forced me to condemn the entire engine.

The single most important thing in the entire project was finding an automotive machine shop and machine shop manager/head machinist that I could both trust and work with. I did this by taking the recommendations of the local Kubota dealer's mechanic, along with other recommendations from a couple of ex-mechanics I happen to know nearby. I also bought most of my parts through the local Kubota dealer, but also bought some from online sources. I used Kubota OE parts whenever available.

Basically I did all the dis-assembly and re-assembly work. I stripped the block down to the last nut and bolt, but did not touch the transmission besides changing the fluid in it. I also did all the parts sourcing and ordering. I did not find a rebuild 'kit', everything had to be order part by part.

I removed the motor from the boat using our marina's hand operated mast crane, and made a wooden dolly to transport and work on the engine. The work given to the machine shop included - measuring of component dimensions to determine if they needed replacement; the rebuilding of the alternator and starter; cleaning/de-greasing and paint removal from engine; and all the machining work described below.


So here's a list of what I replaced with new components:

cylinder sleeves, pistons and rings.
cylinder head valves, valve seats, valve guides, valve seals.
pushrods and tappets.
rod bearings, wrist pin bearings, crankshaft main and thrust bearings.
governor internals (balls, circlips, cone, sleeves etc).
governor shaft bearings.
fuel injection pump, fuel injectors.
raw water pump (changed to oberdorfer from sherwood).
all internal seals and gaskets.
engine mounts.

Here is what the machine shop did:

-cleaned inside and outside of all components, stripped paint and sandblasted corrosion off as needed.
-measuring of component dimensions to determine what work should be done
-pressed out old cylinder sleeves and pressed in and re-bored new ones
-skimmed cylinder head face and cylinder block deck
-cut out and replaced valve seats to restore proper valve clearance (critical for good compression)
- removed and replaced valve guides; lapped in new valves and reassembled head with new valve seals
- ground crankshaft journals to correct dimension for new (oversize) bearings
-inspect and polish camshaft journals
- pressed in bearings and seals as needed
-removed and replaced all block plugs, thoroughly cleaned oil and coolant passageways.
-rebuilt OE alternator (including new bearings, brushes and regulator)
-rebuilt OE starter (including new bearings, brushes and solenoid)

Costs:

Machine shop bill: $720 (I was surprised that it was not more)
Rebuild starter and alternator: $150
Biggest ticket Components:
Fuel injection pump: $300
Injectors: $200 (for two)
Raw water pump: $240
Engine mounts: $140 (for 3)
All other parts total: $700 (approx)
Special tools: $40 (oversize deep socket and adapter)

Total cost: $2490.

Although not included here, I also made a new engine panel with all new switches, gauges and senders (oil pressure, volts, water temp, rpm). The cost of this is not included above.

I have a few photos of the dis-assembly and re-assembly, they are not very informative but I can post them if anyone is interested.

Hope this helps, contact me for more info or questions I'm boud to have forgotten something:):)

Eric
 

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A melon with a dream...
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Discussion Starter #20
Wow Eric, awesome and informative post! Guess I basically need to start by finding a good parts source and machine shop then just get crackin' on tearing it down. I keep going back and forth about test starting it first, but that takes time just getting it set up. And it kind of doesn't make sense to go to the time and effort of making the conversion on a running but worn engine. Rather, I think I will put a little time into getting the A4 started. That way, provided she fires up, it will buy me some time to do the rebuild on the 5411. When I do make the swap I will have a running A4 to sell. Anyway, thanks again for sharing.
 
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