Just a couple of comments to add to this for things to look for when checking out old engines.
When I bought Sabre
Dance, I had a mechanic
come to look at the engine, and get it running. He used the in/out bucket routine which worked fine. He spun the engine with the decompression levers open, and lubed up the engine. Once that was done he dropped the levers one by one and the engine started and ran fine. We did find that the raw water
impeller was bad and the pump itself needed to be rebuilt as the lobe was worn down. Engine started and ran clean with no smoke for a gold half hour.
When we launched, the mechanic
did the start up, and this time half the marina disappeared in a huge cloud of black smoke. I mean black, couldn't see your hand in front of you. That disappeared and the engine ran fine.
However, at some point about 30-40 hours after we got it going, something let go and the entire contents of the oil
pan ended up in the bilge
. Rear main seal dried out? Who knows. I pulled the engine and sold it, as it would have cost as much to rebuild
it. (Volvo MD-17C)
One other thing, I once went to look at a small boat, and after the owner got the engine running, (single cylinder Yanmar) he found the mechanical stop didn't work. So we ended up with a running diesel on the hard
with no water cooling
. I finally crawling into the quarter berth head
first to open up the access and get at the lever to stop the engine. One more thing to check before starting an engine. As an aside, the bowden cable that did the shut down for Sabre
Dance's MD-17c also was iffy. To be expected from a cheap
Canadian Tire cable (boat was home built and very weird in places) but still something to keep an eye on.