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Old 25-03-2015, 07:27   #1
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Rebuild vs. Repower, where to draw the line?

Hello again forum!

I have an Allied Seawind with an older Albin AD-2 diesel. The engine runs ok, (I have some water pump issues, needs to be rebuilt again after only a year) and has taken me from Rhode Island to Florida, but before I leave the country next year and hop over to the Bahamas, Panama and beyond, I want to, at the very least, rebuild the Albin...and at the very most get a new diesel.

Where do I draw that line though, between rebuild and repower? Spares for the Albin are available, but are pretty expensive and only come from Sweden. For long term cruising, would I be better with a newer repower from a major brand, where parts are more readily available and cheaper?

I think the first thing I'll do is pull the Albin and take it to a pro for an evaluation. What kinds of things will tip the scales in favor of a complete repower?

Also, a quote from a Yanmar dealer was $12k for a new diesel, installed. I was thinking a slightly used one, installed primarily myself, would run about half that. What is a ballpark cost of a rebuild?

Sorry for all the questions, I'm just trying to get my head wrapped around all my options for this major project, any and all info would be greatly appreciated!!
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Old 25-03-2015, 08:56   #2
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Re: Rebuild vs. Repower, where to draw the line?

It's a big job to install a new engine and transmission. I'd really not want to install a used motor unless I knew it had considerable life left. One thing I have noticed over the years, however, is that quite often engines come up on Ebay and other online selling sites that are new but were never installed for various reasons. These are the ones to get because they sell at considerable discount. If you have time on your side, sooner or later something fitting the bill should pop up.

I'd also say if you have even moderate mechanical skills its actually a relatively simple task to install a new engine in a boat.
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Old 25-03-2015, 09:17   #3
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Re: Rebuild vs. Repower, where to draw the line?

Well, I think my first choice would be to rebuild the Albin. How much should a rebuild run me, ballpark, $1k...$2k, even $3k if parts are expensive?
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Old 25-03-2015, 17:11   #4
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Re: Rebuild vs. Repower, where to draw the line?

If it is running OK, get a specialist familiar with that model of engine to evaluate it running in the boat and under load. Then a compression check, oil analysis and oil pressure check with a gauge should tell you what you need to know.
After that you can make an informed decision.
It would be a shame to throw away your existing motor if it had some life left in it.

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Old 25-03-2015, 17:49   #5
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Re: Rebuild vs. Repower, where to draw the line?

I'd overhaul assuming parts availability myself, and I'd do it myself too as I have the skills to do so. But I'll pay someone to sand the bottom etc.
Price? well depends on how bad it is. It's my experience if you overhaul an engine while it's still running OK but burning more oil or lower oil pressure than you like, it's way cheaper than waiting for it to spin a bearing or swallow a valve etc.
Just as a WAG, I'd say a good overhaul is 25% of a repower.
I'd only repower to get rid of a known problematic engine type or an engine that has been "orphaned" by it's manufacturer.


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Old 25-03-2015, 19:49   #6
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Re: Rebuild vs. Repower, where to draw the line?

I'm in the same position. I have a Perkins 4.108 that's leaking oil all over the place and a trashed velvet drive from a corroded oil cooler. My first inclination was to swap out for a whole "new" rebuilt block and tranny from Foley, but lots of bad reviews scotched that idea. Then I thought I'd just get my engine rebuild locally. Found that nobody around here rebuilds anymore unless you're willing to pay for lots of hours.

My final decision is to have a mechanic do a full survey of the motor. If he finds it sound, I'm going to lift it up, have the tranny rebuilt and change out the rear seal and check everything else that I can and do a few upgrades (serpentine belt, alternator, etc.) and call it good. That way I don't have to remove the engine from the boat (very awkward in my boat) and I can use the lifted engine opportunity to clean/paint the bilge.

If it doesn't test out well from the survey, then I'm biting the bullet and repowering with a Beta. I want an engine that I can really depend on. A full local rebuild would cost nearly as much as the brand new Beta!
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Old 25-03-2015, 19:58   #7
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Re: Rebuild vs. Repower, where to draw the line?

a64 pilot has it right...
If you're doing the work, it's not only much cheaper to rebuild, you save most of the alignment/new motor mounts issues. The shift, throttle, exhaust, electrical and plumbing all stay the same. Unless you've been having oil pressure problems, the crank and cam are probably standard. The head and injectors need to be rebuilt by someone with the knowledge and tools. I mic the journals, but only magnaflux the crank on high hp diesels and aircraft engines.
I have a Perkins 4108 (4 cylinder) that cost under $2000 for a complete rebuild. I did the work and the head, injector pump, and injectors were sent out and included in the price.
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Old 26-03-2015, 05:36   #8
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Re: Rebuild vs. Repower, where to draw the line?

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Originally Posted by Lepke View Post
a64 pilot has it right...
Unless you've been having oil pressure problems, the crank and cam are probably standard. The head and injectors need to be rebuilt by someone with the knowledge and tools. I mic the journals
Oil pressure has been fine...but mic the journals? Not familiar with that at all.

Crank and cam are replaced in a rebuild?

These are rhetorical questions, and from the sounds of it, I know just enough about diesels to get myself into trouble, unless I can find a good reference for small diesel rebuilds...can anyone steer me in that direction?

I'll definitely send the head and injectors out to be rebuilt. From the sounds of it so far, the rebuild is the way to go since although parts are expensive, they are still available and the engine has a great track record among other owners.
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Old 26-03-2015, 06:17   #9
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Re: Rebuild vs. Repower, where to draw the line?

Bear in mind that many of the new engines have electronic components that make it almost impossible for the average boater to work on. I would much rather have an older engine that could be fixed anywhere!
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Old 26-03-2015, 06:27   #10
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Re: Rebuild vs. Repower, where to draw the line?

Was in a similar situation with my Allied Seawind II. I think the decision for you can only be reached after determining what and where you want to use the boat. For me, replacing the Perkins 4-91 was logical, as although I could scrape together parts for an overhaul today-finding those parts in the future was going to be tough since most had to be found in the UK. There is also the tangible benefit of losing (in the case of a Beta 30) up to 100 pounds and having a much more reliable,environmentally clean and fuel efficient power plant. Click image for larger version

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Old 26-03-2015, 08:05   #11
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Re: Rebuild vs. Repower, where to draw the line?

Sigh...decisions, decisions.

Well its coming out either way (repower or rebuild) so I'll tackle that first, clean and paint the bilge.

I'll take it to a pro and get an opinion on it and a quote for a rebuild. At the same time, consider cost of a new mounting configuration and engine for a Yanmar or a Beta. Also factor in selling the old Albin in its current state.

I'll keep this tread alive as I progress through this decision process. Thank you to the board, as always!
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Old 26-03-2015, 09:24   #12
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Re: Rebuild vs. Repower, where to draw the line?

I would think you should bring the pro to the boat for an evaluation. It can be run in place, and taken out of the slip for a real hard run. Duplicating that in a shop is difficult. Pro will have to build a test stand (at your expense) and probably cant do a real load test. Do an oil analysis , compression test, and oil pressure check after the engine has been run hard. Do you have an oil pressure gauge, or an idiot light? If you have a gauge, does the pressure drop much after the engine is well warmed up? These are things that a mechanic can tell easier in the boat, than on a shop floor. A good mechanic can also tell you if the present installation is proper, or could be leading to problems. I would not rush to take it apart too soon. Just my 2 cents worth. ________Grant.
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Old 26-03-2015, 09:28   #13
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Re: Rebuild vs. Repower, where to draw the line?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SailorKeddy View Post
Oil pressure has been fine...but mic the journals? Not familiar with that at all.

Crank and cam are replaced in a rebuild?

These are rhetorical questions, and from the sounds of it, I know just enough about diesels to get myself into trouble, unless I can find a good reference for small diesel rebuilds...can anyone steer me in that direction?

I'll definitely send the head and injectors out to be rebuilt. From the sounds of it so far, the rebuild is the way to go since although parts are expensive, they are still available and the engine has a great track record among other owners.
Mic refers to using a micrometer to measure the journals to determine if the crank need to be "turned" which means re-machined to allow fitting of oversized bearings.
There is also plastigauge which I have become fond of.

Cams can be re-ground and re-nitrided too, as well as lifters, but sometimes replacement is cheaper
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Old 26-03-2015, 09:54   #14
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Re: Rebuild vs. Repower, where to draw the line?

gjordan's right. If you can run the engine, then you'll want to get the evaluation done on board. The mechanic really wants to test it during and after it's had a good load on it and come up to the proper temperature.

I had my tranny half apart and was hoping a cold test would be adequate, but nope. So a couple friends helped me put it all back together again.
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Old 26-03-2015, 10:28   #15
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Re: Rebuild vs. Repower, where to draw the line?

If you take a new diesel engine, then you have a lot of extra costs:

Changing the engine bed
you need a new propellor shaft
probably also another propellor
changing the exhaust system
remote controls
exhaust system
replacing the instrument panel

and does it fit in the engine compartment ?

And a new modern diesel engine does no longer have a handstart.

Overhauling the old engine:

Albin is no longer in business, how about spare parts not only now but in the future ?

Is it a direct cooled engine ? Then the cooling system and the cilinder head are probably clogged.

Parts for an old engine are becoming scarse and more expensive every year.

But the engine can easily be replaced after the overhaul.

I have bought a second engine of the same type. You can use the engine parts of this engine as spare parts. I'am going to overhaul this engine and keep it, if the original one fails, I can immedialy replace it with this second engine. And I have all the parts for the engine available.

You can buy a second engine of the same type for a small sum from people who have decided tot fit a new engine.

But look for a engine with an intercooler system.

If I had to replace the engine, I certainly look for a marine engine based on a car engine. Then you have service points for your engine at almost every car dealer.

Bram
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