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Old 13-01-2014, 22:17   #1
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Remove and Repair - advice

I've been dealing with an oil leak for two years now and I'm finally fed up. Other than this, the engine runs fine, so I'm leaning strongly towards just repairing the leak, though I had thought about repowering since I'll need to pull the engine to do the repair (mechanic tried and failed to repair in situ). I plan to have examine the problem and then have a machine shop either machine off the corroded flange and add a shim or do a weld repair. Some details:
  • Westerbeke W27 30 hp in a Niagara 35 with a Hurth V-drive.
  • Leaks due to corrosion from spraying water pump">raw water pump. Corroded the gear cover and the block. This means the work is at the back of the engine and not accessible.
  • 2700 hours on the 32 year old original engine. Starts fine, runs fine.

I'm not super mechanical, so this is a pretty big deal to me. I don't want to do it twice, so I'd like to be sure that I won't just repower in a couple years. My thinking is that if I do a compression check and oil analysis and they come up fine, then I'll just do the repair. Are there any other tests I should do?

I have recently:
If compression is good and oil analysis is ok, any thoughts on whether I should also pay for an overhaul while it is out of the boat? Ballpark figure on what that would cost me?

While it is out, I want to clean out the exhaust elbow, improve the belt for the alternator, and install a bulkhead mounted oil change pump. Any other projects I should consider?

Sorry for a long post. Any advice appreciated.
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Old 13-01-2014, 23:19   #2
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Re: Remove and Repair - advice

If you can get a hand to it this "Knead-it" epoxy putty is very good and easy to apply. Better than chewing gum!

Selleys Knead It Steel - Epoxy Putty | Selleys New Zealand
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Old 14-01-2014, 00:43   #3
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Re: Remove and Repair - advice

With a 32 year old engine that has been spraying salt water over itself for an unknown time you may be amazed to find just how bad everything is when you actually pull it out.

If you do pull it out I'd have a repower measured, costed and ready to go, just in case.

And if you can find a new replacement gearbox to fit I'd get that costed as well.
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Old 14-01-2014, 01:20   #4
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Repair it and that engine will last another 20 years
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Old 14-01-2014, 15:36   #5
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Re: Remove and Repair - advice

Thanks for the advice, guys. It's true that I just don't know how bad it is until I pull it. I've tried hard to clean areas and observe with lights and mirrors, but I just can't get a good feel for it.

A previous mechanic tried to fix it in situ with epoxy and I can actually see oil seeping through the epoxy while the engine runs. I should send him the link to the Knead it stuff!
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Old 26-01-2014, 20:59   #6
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Re: Remove and Repair - advice

I did a compression check today. Not good. I couldn't compare the absolute values to the overhaul values in the tech manual because my starter was spinning the engine at almost twice the rpm it was supposed to (at least, I assume that's why my high readings were much higher than the new engine values given by westerbeke). However, my outside two were reading 600 psi and my inside two were reading about 500 psi. That's well outside the difference allowed.

Putting oil in an inside cylinder brought it up to 600 psi to match the outside cylinders, so looks like a bottom end overhaul is required. I'm not surprised, but I'm not pleased either!

I also managed to bugger the threads a bit on one of the glow plug holes because I was using the wrong adapter for the tester. Starting to be a bit of a habit of mine and I'm rather annoyed with myself. I have a tap, but no way to hold it straight to fix the threads instead of making them worse. Not sure what I'm going to do about that.

I really, really want to do this myself as a learning opportunity, but I'm also a bit freaked out as I don't have a mentor looking over my shoulder. A bit tempting to wuss out and pay somebody to do it. A big part of that is the time that it will inevitably take. My wife is already starting to resent the project and I haven't started yet! Uggh. Decisions.
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Old 04-02-2014, 11:34   #7
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Re: Remove and Repair - advice

Well, decision made. I will re-engine with a Beta 35. I will have the work done professionally and it will cost me about $14k. That is a huge bloody number.
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Old 04-02-2014, 11:50   #8
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Re: Remove and Repair - advice

It might save you money if you pull the old engine out yourself? I'm doing the same with my WB but thinking of the 38 as only 500 more.
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Old 04-02-2014, 12:57   #9
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Re: Remove and Repair - advice

I don't think pulling the old one out will be a huge effort. They have a crane at their dock. I could certainly save a bit that way.

Funny, I upsized to the 35 because it was only a few hundred more than the 30. I don't want to put too much horsepower in because then I'll end up running the engine at low revs all the time and diesels like high revs. I guess I'm not sure where the line is on that, though.

I'm not that worried about being able to motor at hull speed into 35 knots of wind. If there's 35 knots of wind, I'll be sailing or hiding.
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Old 04-02-2014, 13:47   #10
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Re: Remove and Repair - advice

$14k?

From what you post, it sounds like the glowplug thread could be retapped, while the head was off to rebuild the cylinders, making that insignificant. Rebuilding the cylinders, boring them, relining or fitting oversize pistons, shouldn't cost anywhere near what a new engine would.

If, and it is always a big IF, you can find a competent engine shop in the area and they will guarantee their work reasonably...I would think that in Vancouver you could have the old engine rebuilt, including bearings and seals and other weak spots, and have it swapped in and out, for maybe $5k ?

The big trick being to find a shop that has a great reputation, and that's almost as hard as finding a unicorn ranch.

Can't beat "new", but most diesels can be fully rebuilt at least once, without taking any hits.
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Old 04-02-2014, 14:30   #11
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Re: Remove and Repair - advice

Thanks, hellosailor. I sorted out the glow plug thread (very proud of myself), so that isn't an issue anymore.

Westerbeke parts are expensive, so I was estimating at least 3k for parts alone for an overhaul. I'm also concerned about the oil leak fix as I know the block itself is rusted. That would put the cost closer to maybe $6-7k plus swapping in and out?

That assumes, though, that other issues aren't found as they go. On a poorly maintained 33 year old engine, that seems unlikely. It's the potential parts cost vs a sure thing that's helping push me in the direction of a replacement.

It's worth a couple thousand dollars to me to have the new engine. Unfortunately the delta between rebuild and repair vs replace is anywhere from $0-7k. It's been a tough call to make and I still waver when I hear comments like yours!
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Old 04-02-2014, 15:55   #12
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Re: Remove and Repair - advice

Dunno, costs vary widely and I have no idea how unreasonable Vancouver might be. Bear in mind there are few if any "Westerbleak" [sic] parts, really. They've contracted for engines from a dozen sources, and any good parts house should be able to find them under the real maker's name, which should save quite a bit.

On the rust...I know a lot of raw cooled engines simply rot out form the salt water, in which case the rust can be terminal. But if the rust isn't threatening to eat through anything important, no big deal to scale it off and repaint.

If you haven't pulled the trigger yet, it might be worth trying to find a highly recommended rebuilder, probably from diesel truck sources as much or more so than marine sources. Maybe a shop that rebuilds engines for 18-wheelers, since they are routinely rebuilt all the way. Take some pix of the engine, ask them about prices...and if the difference isn't very big, by all means go new. I just think we trash too much stuff, quite needlessly except for the fact that no one remembers how to fix things anymore. Although a lot of folks pretend to be mechanics and repairmen, most of them should just be ridden out of town on a split rail. (Another quaint Yankee tradition we've forgotten. :-)
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Old 10-02-2014, 09:02   #13
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Re: Remove and Repair - advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Dunno, costs vary widely and I have no idea how unreasonable Vancouver might be. Bear in mind there are few if any "Westerbleak" [sic] parts, really. They've contracted for engines from a dozen sources, and any good parts house should be able to find them under the real maker's name, which should save quite a bit.

On the rust...I know a lot of raw cooled engines simply rot out form the salt water, in which case the rust can be terminal. But if the rust isn't threatening to eat through anything important, no big deal to scale it off and repaint.

If you haven't pulled the trigger yet, it might be worth trying to find a highly recommended rebuilder, probably from diesel truck sources as much or more so than marine sources. Maybe a shop that rebuilds engines for 18-wheelers, since they are routinely rebuilt all the way. Take some pix of the engine, ask them about prices...and if the difference isn't very big, by all means go new. I just think we trash too much stuff, quite needlessly except for the fact that no one remembers how to fix things anymore. Although a lot of folks pretend to be mechanics and repairmen, most of them should just be ridden out of town on a split rail. (Another quaint Yankee tradition we've forgotten. :-)
I totally agree with your sentiment about being too much of a throwaway culture. I've also never figured out what engine a W27 came from, and not from a lack of trying.

The rust is not surface rust. It ate right through the gear cover and into the flange on the block. A mechanic tried to repair the flange in situ with epoxy when he replaced the gear cover. He slowed it down, but I can see it leak through the epoxy.

It will need to be either a weld repair or machined down and a custom shim built. The one machine shop I called told me they weren't interested in my business for a job like that as their success rate is too low and they wouldn't want to stand behind the results. That was before I learned it also needed a full overhaul.

I have no way of knowing how bad the rust is in other areas around the saltwater pump without pulling the engine, cleaning it up and inspecting it closely.
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Old 10-02-2014, 12:37   #14
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Re: Remove and Repair - advice

"Found a web site with Google, ncwtractorparts.com, they supply all
sorts of parts for the Mitsubishi K4D engine, which is the basis of
Westerbeke W-27 engine. "

from https://groups.google.com/forum/#!to...up/sl3ltVKP8fY

where I got lucky and found a pointer to who made the W27. Or so they say, and I know WB bought some blocks from Mitsu.
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Old 17-02-2014, 22:12   #15
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Re: Remove and Repair - advice

I wouldn't pull an engine without rebuilding it. Most diesels can almost be rebuilt forever. My mains are about 65 years old. I have a Perkins 4108 generator engine that I am told is similar or may be the same as some Westerbeke engine. I consider the 4108 to be an easy rebuild. Many companies make rebuild engine kits and replacement parts for common engines, even ones 65 years old. Another source is rebuild companies that can rebuild just the block or block and head, etc. Some have engines already rebuilt that they exchange for your engine. With a good engine manual, a careful person should be able to make the repairs. That's how I started many years ago. All of this is a lot less than 14k. Also there are mechanics the read these blogs and others that can help you thru if you want to spend the time. Make sure the shaft gets properly aligned with the engine when it goes back in. It's not just re-bolting the engine as before. Some yards don't align very well. Bad alignment can eat your gears or stern bearing.
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