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Old 18-04-2011, 10:10   #1
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Rusty Engine

Hi all I am in contract to buy a boat with a very very rusty engine. It is a Volvo MD 11c. The engine runs well and started quickly with no smoke. I have been told that it was rebuilt 400 hours a go. And according to the broker this is the work that has been done:

Boring of cylinders.
New pistons.
Smoothed the engine head.
Cleaned injectore.
Serviced the fuel pump.
Serviced the alternator.
Serviced the water impeller pump.
Cleaned the salt water cooling circuit.

The problem is the Rust. Here is a link to some pictures. https://picasaweb.google.com/mckenzi...e/VolvoOrRust# In buying the boat I figured on re-powering. Not this year but next. I will be using the boat for a month this year and will put the engine thru its paces. It seems to me that one of these engines, which have a reputation for being bullet proof, having been rebuilt only 400 hours ago should last a good long time.

I see that the rust is going to cause me problems. I don't know when but I know it will cause problems. I figure I could drop a new engine in for around Euro$ 5,000. That is with me doing all of the work. The increased value of the boat with a new motor? I'm not sure. Maybe the same 5k. Maybe less.
I plan on selling the boat in 4 or 5 years. If I do nothing and the engine lasts 5 years then I am selling a boat that needs to be repowered. If I pull the engine and repaint it It looks better but it is still an old engine? If I drop a new engine in I am not going to be spending time working on an engine as opposed to sailing.

Whatever I do I have to pull the engine. If it doesn't run well this season then I have to replace it . If it does runs well I will think about pulling it and cleaning and painting the engine.

I am thinking of removing the electrical parts off of the engine, draining the oil, draining the diesel, and then dipping it in Evapo Rust Evapo-Rust rust remover description page The Evapo-Rust is supposed to be non-toxic. I am not a chemist but the PH of virgin ER is 6.1 and used is 7.0. . This allows it to be flushed down a drain especially if the rust flakes are removed. Supposedly it will not effect any plastics rubber etc. My plan would be to then treat the engine as if it had been flooded and see if I can start the engine. If I can get the engine running and it works well the next step would be to paint the engine and put it back in the boat. If it doesn't run or I can't get it to then I dump it and buy a new engine and drop it in.

Does anyone have any comments on a planned engine flooding. What to avoid? What precautions to take?

If I do this and it works I will still have a 30 year old engine in the boat but I would have saved Euro $4.5 in cash. IF it doesn't work I will be out $200 Euro plus some time.
Tearing the engine down is not an option for me to do but I could hire it out. My
Whatever
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Old 18-04-2011, 10:42   #2
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Re: Rusty Engine

If it starts and runs well, I would start by taking off the valve cover. if the inside of the engine looks like the outside I would be very worried. If not then you have a good change of having an engine with 5000 hours of useful life in it.

I wouldn't flood the engine; no telling what kind of debris will end up in bearings and other engine parts. If it really runs well don't take it apart (if it ain't broken don't fix it). Why not attack this with wire brushes and the like and clean up the outside. If you manage to get all the parts of and get it outside the boat this does seem feasible.

Since I understood time isn't you biggest problem sounds like aa nice project. You will end up with an engine that is easy to service and simple to understand. OK; those modern engines are smaller, I just do not like the fact they have computers to make them run.

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Old 18-04-2011, 10:49   #3
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Re: Rusty Engine

I'm of the opinion that if it runs well, then probably all is much better on inside than outside. The rust all seems superficial, though extensive, and is related to the environment that the engine lives in, along with its iron construction.

Take a wire brush to it, spray with some corrosion inhibitor, and run the engine. I have seen some new looking engines run like crap, and some rusty looking older ones run like a top for 1000s of hours.

If it runs well for a season, then spend the time and paint it if you like.
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Old 18-04-2011, 11:02   #4
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Re: Rusty Engine

I just replaced an MD17C, the 3 cylinder version of yours. It was 32 years old and had 5000 hours on it with no rebuild. It was in great shape, starting and running quite well. I only replaced it because I couldn't get parts for the old Volvo transmission, and no other trans would fit. Mine got rusty from time to time, but I would degrease it with gunk, wire brush the rust, mask everything and spray it with Volvo green paint.

If yours has been rebuilt properly, it will probably last as long as you want it to. There's lots of iron there to rust cosmetically before anything structural happens.
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Old 18-04-2011, 11:22   #5
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Re: Rusty Engine

The pics remind me of a an engine that has been pressure washed or chemically cleaned, removing all the (protective) oil and dirt and left to rust from the ambient moisture with nothing to protect the surface. I like the idea of pulling the valve cover to see how clean the head is. Likely it is ok, since it runs so well. Clean, paint, maintain and enjoy until it becomes (if ever) unreliable.
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Old 18-04-2011, 11:23   #6
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Re: Rusty Engine

The cosmetics are skin deep in some areas shown but look to have caused pitting on the heavier pcs. A good steel brushing and scrapping down to bare metal will reveal how deeply affected it is. Once cleaned, the bare parts should be treated immediatly and painted. It isn't rocket science but it will require elbow grease and time. By doing it a bit at a time, in place, clean up with a vacuum should be easier.
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Old 18-04-2011, 11:52   #7
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Re: Rusty Engine

Charlie, others have commented on the rust which isn't too bad and could wait until you have time. However, the corrosion on the water intake in photo 14 looks a bit suspect. Also the exhaust hose in photo 15 only has a single hose clip when it ought to have two. Also you will want to check that it is genuine exhaust hose not something from the auto factors. It could be okay, buy do check because if it goes it will wreck your day.

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Old 18-04-2011, 12:17   #8
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Re: Rusty Engine

Pete I will check those items. As far as the rest of the rust goes The worst part of the rust is not accessible with a wire brush. In order to get the engine free of rust I will need to pull the engine. I like the idea of removing the valve cover. I will do that and check the inside of the engine. The drip pan under the engine is almost inaccessible. To try and clean the rust out of that area after the scraping would be a nightmare.
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Old 18-04-2011, 12:25   #9
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Re: Rusty Engine

Close the cover and spend you time ejoying the boat. That is not any thing to worry about.
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Old 18-04-2011, 12:28   #10
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Re: Rusty Engine

I suspect that your external water system has a leak(s). The outside parts of your engine are exposed to mosture that is evporated by the heat from the engine making it difficule to detect. I'd strongly suspect a problem with the heat exchanger/riser.
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Old 18-04-2011, 13:20   #11
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Re: Rusty Engine

I have to agree with John A. An engine in a well ventilated engine room/space that has no salt water leaks will look good for a long time. When an engine is rebuilt it is normal for the rebuilder to paint it, if so, you need to find the source of the problem. Cleaning and repainting will of course go a long way to keeping the outside of the engine from disintergrating into oblivion. First however correct the cause.
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Old 18-04-2011, 13:25   #12
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Re: Rusty Engine

Hi

The rust on your engine look like superficial rust. I would certainly not write it off for this. Last season I had an 30 year old engine that looked quite like yours, maybe worst but ran fine just like yours. If the compression is good and it runs fine, why spend 4K - 5 K on a new one. Last winter, I pulled my engine out of my boat, took it home, took most of it apart, changed all gaskets, o-rings and seals, adjusted the valves and give it a POR 15 treatment. I now have a engine that run fine, looks good and is rust free. All this for about $300 canadian and a few weekends in my garage. Here is a few pictures: https://picasaweb.google.com/1064670...eat=directlink If you want to vomit by looking at your engine, go ahead and give it a face lift. I think it was worthed.

Good luck.
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Old 18-04-2011, 15:15   #13
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Re: Rusty Engine

Wow you sure did a nice job on it. If I could bring it home and work on it that would be one option but the problem is that the boat is in Europe and I am in the US so I can't bring it home and make those repairs.
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Old 18-04-2011, 15:46   #14
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Re: Rusty Engine

The cast iron bits should clean up alright but I would be concerned about any sheet metal parts, especially the high pressure fuel lines and the oil pan if it is sheet metal. I would hate to have an oil pan spring a leak or blow an injector line under way. All these things are replaceable and certainly don't require an engine overhaul. Some of the threaded fasteners look suspect and might be a chore to take apart but doable with patience and penetrating oil.
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