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Old 10-02-2011, 07:40   #1
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Rebuilding of a Ford Lehman

Hello,

I own a Whitby 42 with a Ford Lehman Diesel and since I tried to get some oil leaks repaired without success, before I leave for a long ride south I figured I should get my engine rebuilt in a factory where they specialize in diesel remanufacturing. I found a place in my area (Canada, Québec, Montreal) and for approx 7,500 Can $ will have my engine completely remanufactured from head to toe. I love this engine, it has 35 years of age and it starts on the first stroke, has a lot of power, and is build very strong.
I am doing the right thing?
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Old 10-02-2011, 08:02   #2
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To my opinion: yes.
Just fitting a new engine in your boat can be as expensive as your complete overhaul. And you still have to pay the cost of that new engine.
I like old school diesels; they are simple (KISS) and reliable.
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Old 10-02-2011, 08:30   #3
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Why?

IMHO, if it starts quick, runs strong, and does not smoke, why risk changing all that over a few leaks? certainly the cost of seal/gasket replacement has to be considerably less than a reman, and won't risk turning a reliable runner into a more problematic plant. I would say don't mess with the internals unless there is a real mechanical problem to solve, unless I misunderstood your post and one does exist?
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Old 10-02-2011, 08:51   #4
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Roland, call Bob Smith at American Diesel in Virginia before you do anything. He's the guy who marinized the Ford Lehman. He's spoken at a bunch of the Whitby rendezvous. Great boat, by the way.
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Old 10-02-2011, 17:22   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mi2ndWind View Post
IMHO, if it starts quick, runs strong, and does not smoke, why risk changing all that over a few leaks? certainly the cost of seal/gasket replacement has to be considerably less than a reman, and won't risk turning a reliable runner into a more problematic plant. I would say don't mess with the internals unless there is a real mechanical problem to solve, unless I misunderstood your post and one does exist?
I spent already over 1000$ to get the leaks fixed and my engine was already diagnosed to have had water on the cylinder when I did the mechanical survey in Annapolis. I feel that I will probably spend the money for a complete re manufacturing with all the mechanics of the world and still have a risk to kill my engine in the ICW or in the middle of nowhere... I want to play safe. They already replaced most gaskets, no major problem but a lot of suspicion about how well the engine was maintained in the past. Just by looking at the oil they stored in the boat when I purchased it makes me wonder, poor quality oil and a lot of cans...
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Old 10-02-2011, 17:32   #6
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Quote:
Roland, call Bob Smith at American Diesel in Virginia before you do anything.
Clearly! Bob is IT with Ford Leyman engines. A neighbor has a pair of turbos on his trawler and we live close (about an hour). It could be worth the trip to stop by and chat. It's the only reasonable source of parts and information.

Replacing an engine does not include anything that is attached to it and getting something to fit in the hole isn't a given either. Engines rebuilt should be as solid as new. Rebuilt means totally disassembled and re tweaked and machined as required. It's a hard core science when done by a pro.
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Old 10-02-2011, 19:14   #7
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Re-fit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pblais View Post
Clearly!

Replacing an engine does not include anything that is attached to it and getting something to fit in the hole isn't a given either. Engines rebuilt should be as solid as new. Rebuilt means totally disassembled and re tweaked and machined as required. It's a hard core science when done by a pro.
These guys I talked to are real pros, their shop is immaculate and they refit huge diesel generators and truck engines. I trust they can do a good job. But I questioned if I was doing the right thing on an engine that is already 35 years old, as my boat is. From a financial perspective I already invested more in this boat than the market value, but I intent to travel and I didn't buy a 35 yrs old boat for the investment...
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Old 10-02-2011, 19:35   #8
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Originally Posted by rolandgilbert99 View Post
I spent already over 1000$ to get the leaks fixed and my engine was already diagnosed to have had water on the cylinder when I did the mechanical survey in Annapolis. I feel that I will probably spend the money for a complete re manufacturing with all the mechanics of the world and still have a risk to kill my engine in the ICW or in the middle of nowhere... I want to play safe. They already replaced most gaskets, no major problem but a lot of suspicion about how well the engine was maintained in the past. Just by looking at the oil they stored in the boat when I purchased it makes me wonder, poor quality oil and a lot of cans...
My bad, I guess I did misunderstand the question. If it is a choice of rebuild or replace, I would certainly rebuild whats there over swapping out for a different engine. I'm not a fan of the newer diesels, preferring the older mills for simplicity and reliability. The Ford Lehman is a fantastic and proven engine, I would stay with it, and avoid all the peripheral costs associated with a re power. IMHO, ya did right! Cheers and fair winds!
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Old 10-02-2011, 20:05   #9
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Classic Ford?

Boracay came with a Ford diesel that was a marinised English slant 6. The real giveaway should have been the 4 gal drum of second hand engine oil and the bilge full of the stuff.

It would only start with a copious dose of ether and the gearbox never felt right.

I seriously considered a rebuild, but there was no way I could be sure of getting parts for such an old, obscure engine.

So I pulled it out with the help of a part time marine mechanic who got the engine for spare parts. He later found the pushrods were bent...

In went my lovely Deere 4045D with a ZF63. Not a problem since. If I need parts (so far filters and anodes) I just give my local dealer a call and drive out to pick them up. Still not cheap...

I did have to rebuild the engine mounts and put in a 4" exhaust. Surprisingly the 4 cyl. 4045 is slightly larger in most dimensions than the old Ford slant 6.

So if you can be sure that your engine is the classic Ford Lehman and every part needed is available and you have total faith in your rebuilder then why not.

I'd also suggest ditching the old transmission while you're at it. It must be pretty close to being on it's last legs and a new heavy duty one (the Ford Lehman people may have suggestions) could be a joy to sensitive fingertips.
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Old 11-02-2011, 05:39   #10
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Quote:
From a financial perspective I already invested more in this boat than the market value, but I intent to travel and I didn't buy a 35 yrs old boat for the investment.
Well you spent a some money on repairs and came up short. It's not hard to try something simple hoping for the best. For a rebuild you'll get a full check of all the parts and should feel good after it is done. You can still require some replaced accessories like a water pump or all the other assorted attachments. You might service them too depending on what you find. Rebuild on your engine is likely the first one and diesel engines are built to be rebuilt. The folks that you are talking to obviously do it all the time with engines driven far more hours than your has.

Once it gets done you should feel better knowing it was reassembled by hand and inspected to a very high degree. You can't recover money already spent and a rebuild of course is not cheap but the cost of a brand new engine has a host of assorted issues that might be unknown with even higher costs and time requirements. In either case you'll maybe want install help. Most shops won't come to the boat.
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Old 11-02-2011, 06:23   #11
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FWIW: Ford-Lehman Operator’s & Parts Manuals here:
Operator's ➥ http://www.divemaster.ca/lehmans/For...torsManual.pdf
Parts ➥ http://www.divemaster.ca/lehmans/For...Appendix_B.pdf
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Old 11-02-2011, 06:48   #12
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Ford Osco

I'm in the same predicament with the Ford Osco conversion in a 40' Gulf. I've decided to go the rebuild route simply because these engines were built to be rebuilt.

As much as I would love a new Yanmar, I simply can't justify the cost.
Of course we'll know more as we examine total rebuild costs. My question is, at what point does the rebuild costs start to add up to a point were a new engine becomes more viable?
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Old 13-02-2011, 01:22   #13
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Parts not available...

For mine, a rebuild starts to become uneconomic when parts and the base engine become scarce.

If you can get a base engine from the wreckers and parts are available from aftermarket or original manufacturer sources then a rebuild is worth considering.

What you don't want is an engine sitting at the re-builders while they try to source non existent parts.

My costing on a partial rebuild had it at about 70% of the price of a new engine. The real saving is not having to re-engineer the engine installation. Don't forget that a new engine normally has a new transmission attached.

For a cruising yacht being able to have parts shipped to any part of the globe is a plus.
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