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Old 06-10-2006, 06:00   #1
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My engine is kaput...

I took my boat to have some welding done last Wednesday.
Just 15 min down the river from my berth to a work place.
The engine is a 25 year old Ford 3.54 litre 87hp 2402E that needs Aerostart (ether spray) to get it running.
Water poured out of the exhaust so the expensive cooling system overhaul is working.
The engine ran well so I opened it up to full throttle (dragging half the harbour behind) on the way.
When there I manouvered into place and shut down the engine.
I put a piece of 8'x4' ply over the engine and the welder cut out the beam that has been progressivly removing the top of my head and did a few other jobs.
Came to start yesterday and .... nothing. Flattened the battery.
Took the battery to the battery place and had it fully charged.
Got it again this morning, put it in place and ... nothing.
The engine turns over fine.
Called the mechanic.
He checks the engine and finds the lift pump is not working. Order a new lift pump.
Slip manager wants me out of the way. Big boat due Monday.
Mechanic jury rigs a fuel supply and ... nothing.
Fuel is coming through to the filters and to the injector pump but nothing past that.
Even the Aerostart can't get a hickup out of the engine.
Next step is to overhaul the injector pump, but that would be silly.
So, cancel the lift pump order. New engine time.
But it niggles.
I don't know what went wrong.
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Old 06-10-2006, 06:29   #2
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So you are getting no fuel at the injectors?

Wonder if you have a clogged line?
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Old 06-10-2006, 06:46   #3
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Injector pump to injectors probably needs bleeding. Did you bleed fuel AT the injectors?
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Old 06-10-2006, 13:04   #4
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Hi Chris, first question, do you want an excuse for a new engine? Because if yes, then all replies are a mute point really.
If you don't want to go to that hassle and expense, then a rebuild is a good option for one of these engines. They are reliable as you have encountered in the past and they are not too expensive to do up. Even cheaper if a lot of the work can be done by yourself.

To the issue though, if you have no fuel at the injector, you will have no start even with the aerostart.
How many hrs has the engine done??
The engine may actually be OK, the hard start could be due to needing an injector and pump overhaul only. Right now's issue is finding why you have no fuel at the injector itself. I think it is good to assume that your mechanic knows what he is doing, so I will stay out of the obviouse. It is essential the injector pump gets a good fuel pressure from the lift pump. It can't lift on it's own and will quickly stop pumping fuel into injectors if it has the slightest vacum OR, an airbubble that it can not purge. These old Fords HAVE to have ALL air bleed out or they simply will not work. So lift pump is essential. However, to test that theory of injector pump working, take a small container of fuel connect it to the IP and hold it up above the IP to maintain a positive head and then try the engine and see if it pumps to the injectors.

Before you go further into dollars, get your mechanic to do a leakdown test. NOT a Compression test. CP's tell you nothing other than a number. Leakdown will tell you lots of important info, mainly where the leak is occuring. It maybe that the valves need attention, it maybe that the rings are shot, but if you don't want a new engine hassle, then the remedy to get you up and running could be low cost when compared to a compleate rebuild.
Feel free to ask more if you need.
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Old 06-10-2006, 13:14   #5
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It seems to me that if you have to use some kind of a starter fluid to get it started,you might have a problem with your compressions.may be your sleeves are glazed and your piston rings are gone.I would check the compressions before anything else.JC.
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Old 06-10-2006, 14:38   #6
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Another problem with using eather (Starting Fluid) is it washes the lube from the cylinder walls and actually causes more damage to the engine.
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Old 06-10-2006, 16:57   #7
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New vs Old

This is not an engine that has been lovingly maintained by skilled mechanics using factory speced parts.
I am already $2,500 into repairs and maintenance that have been patch on patch. This is just things that had to be done and I suspect that I have hardly scratched the surface.
A rebuild is $10,000 before the dust settles and there are still going to be a lot of worn, corroded, old parts.
For $14,600 I can get a new Yanmar 4JH4E (54 hp), $16,500 gets me a superseded 75 or 100 hp turbocharged version. Installation runs $5,000 to $15,000.
My wife wants a new engine.
Maybe I should start a thread on "Which engine should I buy?".
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Old 06-10-2006, 18:38   #8
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It sounds like a perfect time to look into going electric.
Google for electric sailboat or similar and you will be amazed at what's out there. A genset, solar, batteries and a quiet electric motor and you're set.
You can do all this for less money than you're quoting, and get lots of advantages.

Steve B.
Thinking of going electric and my motor's NOT kaput.
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Old 06-10-2006, 20:46   #9
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Hi Chris:

I bought a new engine on a slimmer excuse than that. Bought the Yanmar 4JH4E to replace an older version of the same engine. I haven't installed it yet but I'd rather sail than work on an engine with 6000 hours on it.
Good luck with whatever you do.
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Old 06-10-2006, 20:59   #10
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It probably goes without saying, but just in case.... The proper method to start a diesel with ether is NOT to spray it directly into the intake, and NOT to activate glow plugs if the engine has them. Ether should be sprayed on a rag and put over the intake (with the screen on so there is no chance of the rag being sucked in) Glo plgs should be dead cold when the ether is used.
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Old 06-10-2006, 22:28   #11
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Chris, you won't go wrong with the Yanmar. But for specing an engine, more detail about the boat and it's use is required.

SteveB, going Electric is still not a real option for a large powered vessel. Plus there are many other negative issues with electric. On going cost in the battery department is one major one.
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Old 07-10-2006, 01:11   #12
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Not being super knowledgable on diesel engines,could chris3145 problem be as simple as something getting toasted on the engine when welding was done because batterys wer'nt diconnected?? Is this even possible??

Cummins do a 3.3 liter 65hp with all the bits for less than Yanmar [through DIECON engineering in Brisbane Australia] and Isuzu have a nice 50 and 75 HP .[Zenith Engineering] I personaly did'nt go for the Yanmar's as I thought they spun too fast. [my opinion]

Good Luck

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P:S I have no affilliation wth either of these companies
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Old 07-10-2006, 08:50   #13
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"A rebuild is $10,000 before the dust settles and there are still going to be a lot of worn, corroded, old parts."
What????? Is this true????? If so Im going to give up my day job and start a marine engine rebuilding company .... as it seems to me that most of the price for a rebuild is multiple 'margin markups'.

Lets assume a maximum of $2000 for 'parts' (mostly Kubota parts) then the rest of the 'cost' is labor (assume $75.00 per hour) Thats comes out to a whopping 106 labor hours for the $8000 difference ..... dont think so.
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Old 07-10-2006, 10:04   #14
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Rich,
He's in Australia. That would make the rebuild 6000-7500 US. For his size engine I can believe this.
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Old 07-10-2006, 10:35   #15
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Wow, thats extraordinary......
Whats the average 'over-the-counter' cost for parts for rebuilding an old 3QM30 Yanmar? I found an old one in fairly good shape coming out of a boat that was replacing with a new engine and thought Id simply precision (almost 'blueprint') rebuild to replace my 4000+ hr. 3QM30. Since most of the internals are probably Kubota I thought Id take a chance on such a rebuild as a 'project'. Ive built/rebuilt many auto engines for racing in my younger days and still usually repower my Jeeps by rebuilding instead of 'crate' engines, etc.
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