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Old 17-07-2008, 21:19   #1
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Overheating Atomic 4

Epic rookie mistake here, I forgot to open the through hull for the cooling on my atomic 4 engine and ran it for about 30 minutes before it died. No cooling whatsoever (I thought it was a little smokier than normal *sigh...*). What kind of damage am I looking at here and what kind of repairs should be made? I have not attempted to start it since.
It was in need of repair and I was going to overhaul it any way, so far I have removed the head, exhaust manifold, intake manifold and carburetor. I'm in the process of replacing all the gaskets and rebuilding the carb, not necessarily because of the overheating it just needed it. What else should I do?
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Old 17-07-2008, 23:31   #2
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flush the oil and any coolant. you also might want to change the thermostat while you have it apart

btw i am not an expert, its just what i would do to any engine that over heated
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Old 18-07-2008, 00:23   #3
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On the A4, make sure you surface grind the head before you reinstall it. If you do not, you may find yourself replacing head gaskets. Depending on the age of the engine, be carefull not to over torque the head bolts. Not just to keep the head true, but because the raw water A4's tend to rot through the water jacket into the head bolts.
The flat head is very apt to warping, especially on the A4.
These are one of the best small marine engines ever made in my opinion.
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Old 18-07-2008, 05:20   #4
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I did this once or twice with my Atomic 4, but I noticed the smell in just a few minutes. Is it locked up? You probably also melted the water pump impeller.

Why not take this opportunity to go diesel?
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Old 18-07-2008, 05:55   #5
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Old 18-07-2008, 05:56   #6
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BOMB.......K N is right about it being a great motor. It is also used highly in forklifts, so parts can be found anywhere if you know what you are doing. I always bought Delco tune up parts for 1/4 the cost
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Old 18-07-2008, 06:38   #7
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As listed at: On-Line SHOP MANUALS: http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...uals-8758.html

A-4 Universal Atomic Four gasoline engine Owner’s Manual:
http://www.cncphotoalbum.com/atomic4manual/a4manual.htm

or
Atomic Four

or
Universal Atomic 4 Engine Information, including the original specification sheets, owner's manual, and parts manual:
Engines1 | Westerbeke, Universal, Marine Engines, AGM Batteries, Engine Controls Knowledgebase
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Old 18-07-2008, 07:43   #8
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I love Atomic 4's. The best place for parts/advice is Moyer Marine Atomic 4 Engine Rebuilding and Parts

I have brought back a number of them from the "heap"

go to youtube and search for "atomic 4 extinction" this one was a pile of rust, and marine-tex before I started on it.

Keep in touch with us on this board and we will walk you thru it.

BTW can you turn the engine over by hand?
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Old 18-07-2008, 15:00   #9
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I do like the idea of diesel but I don't want my boat to vibrate to pieces.

Forklift parts for 1/4 the cost? Could I get more info on that?

The engine turns over freely with the hand crank, it was running poorly before due to neglect on the previous owners account and i think the low torque it was putting out saved me from tweaking the main shaft, only 3 cylinders were firing I think. I'm off to get the head back from the machine shop now. Happen to have a spare impeller and thermostat so will replace those along with all the hoses, they simply need it they are "crunchy" when you squeeze them.

Thanks for the help guys, appreciate it!
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Old 18-07-2008, 15:27   #10
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Chief, you may appreciate this. I had one customer with a Newport 30 and an A4. When I started working on this boat, he had overheated it. When I tried to install the head, is when I learned about the block rot. I managed to keep that engine running for a full 5 years after putting double helicoils in the head bolts just to find good metal. It was still running when he repowerd 5 years later. The engine got used all the time.
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Old 18-07-2008, 15:46   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai Nui View Post
Chief, you may appreciate this. I had one customer with a Newport 30 and an A4. When I started working on this boat, he had overheated it. When I tried to install the head, is when I learned about the block rot. I managed to keep that engine running for a full 5 years after putting double helicoils in the head bolts just to find good metal. It was still running when he repowerd 5 years later. The engine got used all the time.
Along the same lines, I was tinkering with an old Greymarine in an even older Seabird yawl. I had just finished replacing points and condensor and fired it up. It ran beautifully until I put it in gear then it seemed to struggle. I opened the hatch and found that i had forgot to put the distributor cap back on. The rotor was spinning 'round, arcing to the distributor housing while the motor happily idled away.
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Old 18-07-2008, 15:53   #12
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I had the same thing happen on a a 63 Ford van. My wife still tells it as one of her favorite stories. Gotta love that old simple technology.
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Old 18-07-2008, 17:32   #13
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I have an Atomic Four and I have learned to love it. As Pblais said on a different thread :

Quote:
You learn to properly deal with gasoline or you blow up.
Always separate the engine from the Gasoline tank when you leave the boat because that float valve often fails and you could end up with gasoline in the bilge.
BOOM.
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Old 18-07-2008, 17:55   #14
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BTW can you turn the engine over by hand?
I would have a hard time because my Atomic 4 is in the boat backasswards with a V Drive.
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Old 18-07-2008, 18:23   #15
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The head was warped but the machine shop took care of that, after beadblasting primer and paint it should be ready to go.
One head gasket or two? Ive heard different trains of thought for both, I have the newer graphite head gaskets.
Has anyone ever been able to start the engine with the hand crank? The whole idea just seems silly to me.
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