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Old 15-03-2014, 09:40   #1
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Universal Diesel model 5411

Can someone tell me if this is a reliable engine with readily available parts. I have found one for sale and was told it would be a direct replacement for my Atomic 4 gas engine. Thanks
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Old 15-03-2014, 09:59   #2
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Re: Universal Diesel model 5411

Weephee,

I had one of these in my Catalina 30. Yes, it was dependable, but only generated about 11 HP. Parts were readily available. Depending on your boat, this HP might be enough, and generally was for mine. I did get into trouble once heading into 20kt+ winds with waves. The boat came to a standstill at full throttle. I'd go with something larger.

Cheers, Bill
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Old 15-03-2014, 10:04   #3
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Re: Universal Diesel model 5411

The problem is that the 5411 is raw water cooled, and they tend to be shorter lived than the larger models with fresh water cooling, due to internal corrosion. If you're going for it, check carefully. Otherwise they are very dependable engines.
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Old 15-03-2014, 10:17   #4
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Re: Universal Diesel model 5411

If the 5411 does not have a heat exchanger, then is the engine is directly cooled by seawater, it is going to have corrosion and perhaps hot spots with cracks from mineral deposits. From what I have read, these were saltwater cooled. Beta Marine makes a direct bolt in diesel to replace the A4 and parts are available around the world since the Beta Marine is also used as a small tractor engine. You may want to keep the A4. Parts are available from moyermarine.com
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Old 15-03-2014, 10:34   #5
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Re: Universal Diesel model 5411

Here is a CF thread that has information, especially post #9: Atomic diesel... - SailNet Community
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Old 15-03-2014, 14:28   #6
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Re: Universal Diesel model 5411

Thanks for the replies. The boat is a 27 foot so I assume 11 hp might be enough. I'm going to go and look at it and go from there
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Old 16-03-2014, 01:51   #7
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Re: Universal Diesel model 5411

There is an old rule of thumb that says for every 500 pounds you need one horsepower. A lot of 27 foot boats weight more than 5500 pounds loaded with gear, supplies and crew. You might consider a 4 cycle outboard of 15 horsepower. Modern outboards are fuel efficient and reliable; however, there might be a hobby horse condition with your boat that could bring the propeller out of the water. Modern outboards have rev limiters so no harm to the engine, but forward thrust is lost. A long shaft helps.
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Old 18-03-2014, 22:57   #8
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Re: Universal Diesel model 5411

Good engine. Just keeps going and going. Easy access to parts and it's very simple to work on. It's aux in my Catalina 30, 1983. Pushes it fine. 0.25-0.5 gph burn means 18 gallons lasts motoring or motor/sailing up to 72 hours on $90 of fuel. That's about as good of a figure you'll ever hear about in gph discussions.
They don't weigh as much as larger engines so racers like 'em for that, and you should too.
It's a perfect engine for a 27.
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Old 24-03-2014, 17:24   #9
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Re: Universal Diesel model 5411

Old thread, but for record, a freshwater cooled Universal 5411. Not just a sea-tale. Click image for larger version

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