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Old 31-07-2012, 13:57   #1
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Should I install a used engine?

I have a lead on a 1984 Westerbeke W21 engine that was pulled from a boat decades ago, due to a suspected cracked head. Years later it was discovered that the expansion plug in the head had popped out causing water to enter the crankcase not from a cracked head. The engine had only 550 hours when pulled. I can get the engine for a song. What it needs is new top end gaskets (head, valve cover, exhaust, etc.) The question is, what should I be weary of in putting in an almost 30 year old engine with out doing a total rebuild. Being that this engine has such low hours the lower half of the engine should be fine right? What should I be weary of in an engine that hasn't be run in 20 years?

P.S. this is replacing a 1979 Bukh DV20 20 HP in a 1979 Standfast 33. (Both the engine and boat people have rarely heard of)

I'm trying to get my boat working again on a shoestring budget so any help would be much appreciated.
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Old 31-07-2012, 14:14   #2
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Re: Should I install a used engine?

FWIW, I picked up a used M-50 Universal diesel, also for a song from a guy who had it pulled out as a runner and was going to rebuild it. Long story short, he decided to have a new engine installed, and I got the engine VERY cheap. I also picked up a M-40 block for parts. Just finished completely rebuilding the engine, and used some parts from both engines. Total rebuild cost? About $1500. The M-50 Universal is a V-1902 Kubota block that has been marinized. The kubota engine has been standard for front end skid loaders for about 30 years. Industrial diesel engines are built like tanks and are made to be rebuilt. At least mine was. I'm a pretty fair mechanic and had everything checked out by my machine shop. Rebuilding my engine was the only way, given my budget, that I could go. This way, I know every part of my engine inside and out. As for installing a used running diesel that has been sitting for a long time, well, I don't know. Diesel engines suffer more from neglect than from use. Your mileage may vary,
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Old 31-07-2012, 14:17   #3
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Re: Should I install a used engine?

Expansion plug in the head? Never heard of such a thing. But water in the crankcase would be a deal breaker for me if it sat there for ten years. Wow!

David
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Old 31-07-2012, 14:36   #4
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Re: Should I install a used engine?

even an engine without problems can go bad just sitting. Also, I'm not familiar with that block... whose basic engine is it that westerbeke put their name on? I cant seem to logic out how a freeze plug.. (usually are on outside of engine) got water in the crankcase.
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Old 31-07-2012, 15:25   #5
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Re: Should I install a used engine?

i would remove the oil pan and check the main , bigend / bearings as well as the bores for rust, if the motor was well flushed and stored correctly and the price is right you cant go too far wrong obviously the diesel pump / injecters will need checking and cleaning before trying to start the motor
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Old 31-07-2012, 15:51   #6
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Re: Should I install a used engine?

overhaul it and install it-you will be happy.
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Old 31-07-2012, 16:26   #7
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Re: Should I install a used engine?

I AGREE WITH ZEEHAG! Although if money is not a concern, then buy another boat.
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Old 01-08-2012, 10:24   #8
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Re: Should I install a used engine?

Before you spend one penny, I suggest that you price the parts that you will need. Include rings and bearings as you are almost certainly likely to need them. Also make sure that everything is available.
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Old 01-08-2012, 11:07   #9
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Re: Should I install a used engine?

A lot of warning signs on this one. Freeze plugs do not let water into the crank case that is sort of defeating the purpose of saving the engine which is what they are designed for. Water in the crank case? was it properly flushed? How do you know for sure?. If i were getting this i would want a complete rebuild prior to installing just too many red warning lights around this deal to do otherwise, but then hey you might get lucky slap it back together and get another 2000 hours. I personally would not risk it.
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Old 01-08-2012, 15:04   #10
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Re: Should I install a used engine?

Since it has been sitting for 20 years, have the owner bench test it or make it a condition of sale that the block and heads are in working order.

Also if it is that old, it was probably raw water cooled, check for corrosion

Remember, even if the engine doesn't have a cracked head or block, after twenty years of sitting all of the gaskets, seals and hoses will have to be replaced at a minimum, but more likely you need a total rebuild.
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Old 01-08-2012, 15:08   #11
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Re: Should I install a used engine?

as i said--overhaul it first then you know what you have,then install it. buy 2 sets of parts needed for overhaul so ye have spares when you need them

saves a LOT of dough
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Old 01-08-2012, 15:33   #12
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Re: Should I install a used engine?

1. Is the block still in production?

If yes, proceed to 2. If no, forget it.

2. Price a rebuild kit.

3. Price a replacement long block assembly from some place like Next Gen Power (NEXT GENERATION POWER ENGINEERING INC.)

4. Price a starter and alternator

I had a discontinued Westerbeke that would have cost a fortune to rebuild. Wasn't worth it.

Even when I found a used replacement motor, it was only slightly more expensive to just replace the long block and sell the dead motor than it was to buy a kit and rebuild the dead one, and it was MUCH less work.
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Old 01-08-2012, 16:19   #13
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Re: Should I install a used engine?

I changed out an old single cylinder diesel in my old Hunter 30. Replaced it with a used, repaired Kubota (Universal) 15 HP. I purchased that engine on the cheap or at least I thought so back then for $1800. The marina that sold it to me took it in on trade, it had a slipped bearing which was repaired at a shop.

That engine ran fine for the next 15 years. It is interesting to note that most of Kubota parts can be had at kubota farm equipment dealers.....MUCH LESS THAN FROM MARINE APPLICATIONS. I purchased glow plugs for $7 each for farm use, the same part as used in their marine engines that were priced at $40 each!

If this was my project, I certainly would remove the basics such as the oil pan, maybe the head. Just because that engine was sitting for 10 years does not make it a bad engine unless of course water got into the cylinders then all bets are off. YOu should check to see if the engine's crank shaft can be turned. To do this you might need to remove the injectors.

BE VERY CAREFUL WITH INJECTORS! I know on some Yanma engines, the plate holding the injector should not be completely removed, just loosened before cranking. If the holding plate is removed and the engine cranked, teh injector can become a flying projectile. Next, never get in front of the nozzle. If your hand is near the spray, it might require a trip to a hospital to get the oil removed surgically.


I would NOT do a full rebuild!!! I would do only those things absolutely required. If you're intention is to purchase this engine for few bucks why in the world would you want to spend a fortune fixing it????

Hey, its you boat, your engine and your money and money does talk. Mine only learned to say GOODBYE though.

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Old 01-08-2012, 16:29   #14
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Re: Should I install a used engine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailvayu View Post
Freeze plugs do not let water into the crank case that is sort of defeating the purpose of saving the engine which is what they are designed for.
My understanding of so called freeze plugs has nothing to do with freezing. Those holes are there for removing the sand from the casting at the foundry.
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Old 01-08-2012, 17:17   #15
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Re: Should I install a used engine?

I did exactly this but I bought a Bukh 20, the core plug in the head had popped out during a very cold spell when the boat was in a tidal river in the UK. I bought the engine just after the water got in the owner decided on a new engine when he was quoted over 2000 for a rebuild. The head was allready off and I could just make out the honing marks from the last rebuild so after talking to the Bukh engineers in the uk ( he reccomended mixing regular oil 1/2 and 1/2 diesel) and cranking the engine for 5 minuites with the decompressor activeated then change the oil, do this several times till the oil diesel mix is pretty clean then do it with the engine runnung, run for about 20 minuites at about 1/4 speed and no load do this 3 more times changing the oil filter (just a cheap ford pattern part) then put 100% oil and run the engine normally for 50 hours then do an oil and filter change again and continue from then on as normal. I did all that and 7 years on the only trouble I've had are the normal exhaust elbow fail, impellor fail 30 Hrs on a genuine Volvo impellor? oh and the seals on the waterpump failed causing the engine to fill with sea water again, did the same thing with diesel and oil. Turns out the pump had been overhauled using pattern part seals, they failed because the springs weren't stainless.
Personally I'd take the oil pan off just to check for rust. Best of luck.
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