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Old 28-09-2014, 09:40   #1
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Question Repowering a Palmer 60 Gas Engine w. A Diesel - HELP

Fella's, looking at possibly doing a repower on an older Cal 39, & could use some help.
Does anyone out there know what, in terms of a Diesel, is a close match to a Palmer 60 Gasoline engine for a sailboat? Both in terms of footprint on the engine beds, as well as lining up fairly easily with the shaft/log.
It'd help a LOT if the replacement engine would bolt right in, with it's own transmission. Especially as I'd hate to put an engine in now & then in 18 mos. be installing a new tranny.
And while obviously engine beds are rebuildable, I'd prefer not to have to shoehorn a new engine in & out 6 times in order to get the fit correct.

Also, it'd help if the replacement's; easy to find, easy to find parts for, cheap, easy to work on... I'm not at all opposed to a solid rebuilt diesel either, like say a Perkins 4-108, or something equally as common.
Ah, & so long as it's in the 30'ish to 60hp range, that works.

Any & all helpful info's appreciated, thanks.
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Old 28-09-2014, 10:25   #2
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Re: Repowering a Palmer 60 Gas Engine w. A Diesel - HELP

I dont know if you have inspected the boat yet, but I have followed adds for the Cal 39, and thought that they typically have a V-drive tranny. If that is the case, it will be somewhat more difficult to swap engines, and harder to find if you are looking at the used engine market. I like those old Cals. Good Luck. _____Grant.
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Old 28-09-2014, 14:29   #3
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Re: Repowering a Palmer 60 Gas Engine w. A Diesel - HELP

gjordan, thanks for pointing that out. Although in this instance, I'm not referring to or needing a V-Drive, as the boat in question is a Cal 39 MK I. Which has the more conventional setup, with the transmission being located aft of the engine.
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Old 28-09-2014, 16:41   #4
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Re: Repowering a Palmer 60 Gas Engine w. A Diesel - HELP

That will be easier to change over. When you discover what would make a reasonable swap, please let us all know. Good Luck. ______Grant.
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Old 29-09-2014, 08:56   #5
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Re: Repowering a Palmer 60 Gas Engine w. A Diesel - HELP

The Palmer P60 engine is either 34.75" or 30" long from the front of the engine to the output flange, the long one has a Paragon reduction gear and the short one has direct drive.

The overall width is 21", the center to center mounting brackets are either 19" or 17" apart, fore and aft, and the lower surface of the mounting brackets is parallel to the center line of the crankshaft. The output flange is along the axis of the crankshaft in either direct drive or reduction gear applications.

Probably the most crucial dimension for you is the engine height above the crankshaft centerline (which is also the engine mounting bracket plane). Because this is a flathead engine, that distance is only 12.5"! If your engine compartment was made for this distance then the height of modern engines may be an issue.

It is encouraging that the 4108 is listed as the standard power on Sailboat data.

A cursory search yields either the Westerbeke 44C or 55D as near drop in replacements. You can see dimensional drawings for either here:

TAD for Westerbeke Marine Diesel Engines, Westerbeke Marine Engines, Westerbeke Engines, Westerbeke Diesel

These are the least tall engines I found but are roughly 5 inches taller than the Palmer (including 2 inches added by a modern drop flange gear).

I got the dimensions for the P60 here:

Old Marine Engine: Palmer P60 technical drawing

Even if the engine fits, there are many other considerations in a gas to diesel; tankage, prop and shaft size, filtration, electrical and probably others.

Hope this helps.
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Old 30-09-2014, 08:01   #6
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Re: Repowering a Palmer 60 Gas Engine w. A Diesel - HELP

Two main things with convertion.

1. engine mount height above prop centerline.

2. width between left/right mount, and front to back mount.

So...if mount must be HIGHER, that is easiest to achieve by adding a plate of the required. Various spacers could also be added. That initial plate should bolt to the original mount (threaded) holes. Width and front to back spacing can also be accomodated. Use drill and tap at appropriate positionsto accomodate bolts for the new engine mounts.

I did the above while at the dock at Atlantic Yacht basin in 1999; the second year of an extended "cruise". Conversión at that time was from a Yanmar YSE 12 to a new YAnmar 2GM20. No problems since, and I'm now writing from the Canary Islands.

Note that if the above won't work, building a completely new mount with fibreglass and epoxy is a good alternative. I did that with the mounts for the YSE12 when converting from outboard to inboard power.
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Old 01-10-2014, 01:04   #7
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Re: Repowering a Palmer 60 Gas Engine w. A Diesel - HELP

Thanks for all of the tech specs, as well as resource links guys. By all means, keep'em coming please.
Given some of the dimensional numbers, it's not too difficult to see why Cal went back to the V-drive, after this boat. Perhaps with the 39' MK I they were a bit too far ahead of their time in some respects... But, I'll keep 'Studying' on the project, & if I have any blinding moments of insight, I'll be sure & share them.
On that note, or one corollary to it, does anyone know of owners groups for Cals of that vintage (and or model) which are fairly active? The active part being the kicker.

If it weren't for needing to haul the boat every time something on the lower end needed wrenching on, sail drives could be viewed as kinda' attractive. Well, except for their lifespan vs. a standard shaft when it comes to corrosion.
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Old 09-06-2015, 09:39   #8
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Re: Repowering a Palmer 60 Gas Engine w. A Diesel - HELP

Will you be interested to sell me the water pump (Sherwood E-20) from your Palmer P-60 when you decide to change it out to a diesel?

Dean Paul
sailsdean@yahoo.com
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Old 09-06-2015, 11:09   #9
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Re: Repowering a Palmer 60 Gas Engine w. A Diesel - HELP

The Bill Lapworth designed Cal39 Mk1 was, as noted, a conventional installation, not a V drive. It was in production in the early 70s. The Cal 39 Mk2 & Mk3 were also conventional installations, production starting in '78 and running until about '84. Most of the 39s built were either MK2 or Mk3 and there were only minor differences between these two models. In '88 an attempt was made to introduce a Mk4 version, designed by C. Raymond Hunt and Assoc., but only a limited number of these were ever built. I'm not sure whether they were v drive or conventional.

There is a Cal 39 owners web site, but it's not very active.

Uncivilized, not long ago I re powered my 39 mk2 and replaced the 4108 package with a 55hp Volvo which was just about a drop in. I have gone thru the old engine and have it for sale. Shoot me a PM if you have any interest.

DougR
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