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Old 12-02-2010, 08:21   #1
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Ford Lehman Experience?

I will be new to cruising just as soon as I can but for now I am looking at a trawler with 30 year old twin Ford Lehman 80hp with 5000 hours on them. I find some small rumors on the net that as they are no longer made there is a parts crunch existing. Is that true? Is there no aftermarket supplier of replacement parts? Should I avoid these engines or not...? I read another net scribbles that say they can get 20000 plus hours on them. Then the question is, if they can be rebuilt can you give a ballpark figure of cost to have someone do that or alternately cost of re powering with twin 120S of a current production model engine. I know this could vary wildly but I am game ...
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:26   #2
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Tangle, all of this is just not true. We have the Ford Lehman and it is a fantastic engine capable of 10,000 hours or more if maintained properly. Parts are easily and readily available and not at all expensive. Bob Smith of American Diesel is the original architect of the Ford Lehman and he and Brian Smith are available at any time to help you troubleshot and get you the correct parts whenever and where ever you need them. WG
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:27   #3
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you may want to try this company i have had a lot of dealings with them and they will tell you exactly what is available or not Welcome to Lancing Marine
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Old 12-02-2010, 11:36   #4
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When I first looked at Renaissance I was a bit concerned like you about the Lehman. Every one I talked to said the same thing, they were well known truck motors and will last forever. After running it for five years and it has over 8,000 hrs it still runs great. As far as parts go I haven't needed any major parts, a couple of intercoolers, fresh water pump, and had no problem finding them. I did pick up a complete motor and velvet drive for short money just incase, and I did hear that some parts may be tough to find [ the oil pan].

I would have them checked out by a pro before purchase.

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Old 12-02-2010, 20:23   #5
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Did you read the posts in the Engine/Propulsion section?
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Old 12-02-2010, 22:14   #6
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Tangle- what you have to be aware of is a thing called marine age-while the motors in question may with good maint. go for many hrs the internal and external parts have and are deteriorating due to marine envirnment. Has the cooling system and other sensitive parts of motor been taken apart inspected and cleaned as per maint. specs? Running a motor to 10,000 hrs over five years is a lot different than thirty years. Even if the motor where not run much in 30 years if its in salt air and has salt water in it -motor is on short list for trouble at that age. Just my opinion and what I am repeating from what I have read and been told by professionals.
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Old 12-02-2010, 22:46   #7
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This is where you need an ENGINE Surveyor.
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Old 13-02-2010, 17:22   #8
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thanks for all the tips...I feel better about buying the boat now and am on my way accross the country to see it and inspect and sea trial...Istill have issues and hope you will look for some new posts in more appropriate forums from me so I can again benefit from your knowledge. I think I will look for an engine guy when I get there as the recent survey notes salt water corrosion visible on some cooling system parts, as you say above...I would think those parts could be banged up custom if needed..?
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Old 04-10-2014, 23:34   #9
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Re: Ford Lehman Experience?

HI all, i have a boat with 2 ford lehmans, one engine starts good, but the other , seems to have a short some where, where in, when I trying to start it, it boogs, maybe turns over one time, then tries to find a ground, or what ever, it will start frying the little ground wires, attached to the back of the transmission, gets them hot and tries to burn them. at one time last week, I had it running, it would turn over and start, but it would still try to smoke/burn the wires but once started, and i let go of the ignition key, ( i assume, when i let go of the ignition key, it stops the power going to the starter )it stops trying to find the ground, or what ever it is doing to these wires and the engine would run fine. at one time the short seemed to go away, and it would turn over, multiple time before starting. Please help, what do you think it is, starter, solenoid? short battery.
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Old 05-10-2014, 00:13   #10
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Re: Ford Lehman Experience?

Welcome Thumper,

I just answered your question in your other thread:

FORD Lehman, short please help. - Cruisers & Sailing Forums
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