Hello Cruisersforum, I lurk here alot but seldom post, I really enjoy the wealth of knowledge on this site, though.
Here's my dilemma: My boat (1974 Contest 31) is in my back yard for the time being, and my dad is really trying to get me to pull the engine
2003) so we can rebuild
it. He is confident that we can rebuild
it, he's rebuilt many engines in his day... and I'm pretty sure he can fix anything.
Having said that, I am leery to open this can of worms because things in my house have a way of never getting put back together, projects go unfinished, etc. and the space that we would rebuild it in is kind of a mess. In fact, this has been my excuse for telling him that I am not ready to pull the engine
for months; I keep telling him to clean up his shop so we have a reasonable place to disassemble it.
I am leaning toward the old adage that if ain't broke, don't fix it. But, that may not be applicable here. This engine may be broke, or at least in the initial stages of kicking the bucket. An oil
analysis done last summer says that there are metals present in the oil
that indicate "a significant level of cylinder region metals, including pistons, rings, liners, etc.". The report also came back with this recommendation: "This looks like blow-by of unburned fuel
that is reducing oil viscosity. I have seen this caused by a faulty injector spraying too much fuel
into a cylinder, among other things. Before doing anything dramatic you might check each injector with a pyrometer when the engine is running and see if one is running cooler than the others."
I feel like these comments make sense, and injectors are definitely where I should start. The whole reason that my dad thinks we need to rebuild (besides being generally incapable of leaving mechanical devices intact) is that upon catching exhaust water
in a bucket, we found an oil-like slick- which according to the oil analysis, is obviously unburned diesel-right? He and I also would really like to get into the nitty gritty of this engine, as I would like to get hands on experience in diesel maintenance
and am interested in seeing how it all works (I have little to no knowledge as it is.)
If a faulty injector is reducing oil viscosity, is this what is causing the levels of "cylinder region" metals to rise? If so, wouldn't fixing the injector problem keep future oil from losing its lubricating properties, and cease further damage to pistons, rings, etc? I know that the wear on those parts
won't be reversed, but at least no more harm will be done.
To give a little more information, the engine starts right up on cold days, which in my completely uneducated mind indicates good compression
, which means that cylinders are probably not gummed up-is this a false assumption?
Now, the financial considerations... Apparently Volvos are notoriously expensive to rebuild, and I have seen evidence of this while looking (bewildered) at parts
lists. I mean, is it even worth it to rebuild a 1989 engine for (probably) several thousand dollars, when I could just buy a new engine, and increase the boat value for if, when I decide to sell?
Part of me thinks that even if we do a complete rebuild, there are still going to be parts that are 20 years old, why not spend an extra few grand and have a new engine? Don't get me wrong though, I'm not rolling in cash- which is why this is such a tough decision. And of course, the other downside to a repower
is that I will not have the benefit of tearing the engine apart and learning
about it as I would with a rebuild.
Again, boat is 1974 Contest 31' and engine is a 1989 Volvo
Thanks for any thoughts-what would you do?