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Old 28-12-2020, 10:00   #1
er9
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Replacing Engine Myself.

I can buy a brand new Beta 30 for about $5k, maybe $6 with accessories. If i have someone install it im looking at another $10k + in labor.

I'm fairly mechanically inclined and think i could easily install it myself. It would be a lot of work but doesn't seem technically that challenging unless im missing something.

To me it seems the first, most critical thing would be making sure the new engine fits in the space without bottoming out. Second would be that it would be helpful if its mounts rested on the top of the stringers without having to custom fabricate a mounting system.

After that it seems pretty strait forward, adjust the engine up, down, left, right to get the shaft aligned perfectly, or pretty close if i use a flexible coupler. I understand this part could be a lot of finicky work if the stringers need to be cut or built up but pretty basic fiberglass work.

Apart from that the hardest part seems to be the difficulty in lifting the old engine out and dropping in the new one.

The rest of it is re-wiring, connecting up all the bits and pieces, electrical, plumbing, control cables etc...This is pretty basic stuff for anyone who has already done a moderate amount of DIY on their boat.

Im considering doing this myself in my slip so i would have the luxury to take my time to make sure everything is done right. Am i missing anything important or is that basically it?
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Old 28-12-2020, 13:21   #2
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Re: Replacing Engine Myself.

Is the current engine a Beta 30?

If it's not, there are a bunch of traps awaiting you.

The stringers (bed) for your engine have to transfer the entire thrust of the engine to the hull. Messing with them poses serious structural problems.

The new engine may have it's fuel inlet, exhaust, control cables, electrical connections, and hoses in different locations than the Beta 30. You may face a very difficult process of modification.

Does the Beta 30 fit in the space? Designers leave zero spare space around engines - they want that space for pretty interior features that sell boats. One recent poster, who indeed did replace his engine with a different one, actually made a cardboard (I think) mock-up of the new engine to see if it would indeed fit.

So, if you are replacing in kind, this will all work. If you have in mind a different new motor, do approach the task very carefully. There may be reasons that you got that horrible $10K quote.

If you take it on, do post some pictures and progress reports. Best of luck with it.
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Old 28-12-2020, 13:36   #3
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Re: Replacing Engine Myself.

Stated another way - 10k in labor is 100 hours at $100 an hour for someone who does it regularly. How long will it take you?

if you stick with the same brand, the chances of the stringers needing modification goes down.
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Old 28-12-2020, 13:40   #4
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Re: Replacing Engine Myself.

If you are getting the engine new from Beta, check with them because it is my understanding they can customize the mounts to match, or come close to, most existing installations. tkeithlu is right about all the rest of the connections, there is a lot to it.
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Old 28-12-2020, 13:41   #5
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Re: Replacing Engine Myself.

Suggest you start with getting the footprint and engine angle specs on your current engine and comparing those to the Beta requirements. That should give you some clues as to how involved this could be.
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Old 28-12-2020, 13:46   #6
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Re: Replacing Engine Myself.

That labour quote, at least where I live, would suggest that the mechanic is figuring on somewhere around 150 hours to take the old one out, put the new one in, and hook it up. Figure on double that for DIY. No part of it is hugely complex / requiring super-specialized knowledge; it's just a lot of slow, tedious work in a cramped space.



Absolutely take tkeithlu's advice about making a cardboard pattern and test-fitting that over the old engine. Dimensions here: https://www.betamarinenc.com/wp-cont...-100-05767.pdf
The Beta 30 is pretty compact and easy to fit in spaces previously filled by other 30-40 hp diesels. If you're replacing an older gas engine, the Beta - particularly with the high-output alternator option - may be too wide. It wants a 410 mm centre-to-centre mount spacing; the Atomic Four is usually 292 mm. If you already have a 292 mm spacing, I'd step down to the Beta 25 which is available as a direct drop-in replacement for the A4.



Beta has some good advice about measuring / fitting engine beds & mounts here, and will make semi-custom ones to fit if you give them good measurements: https://www.betamarinenc.com/wp-cont...etails2-14.pdf


That is a 300 pound engine. It can cause massive injury if you try to lift it without careful precautions. Moving an engine that size is normally a 2 to 3 person job, including help from an overhead crane.



Definitely get the easy-install kit with a good alternator already mounted, a pre-made panel with a pre-made wiring harness of the right length, etc. as that will save a huge amount of time and hassle over trying to re-use existing parts.


Good luck!
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Old 28-12-2020, 13:46   #7
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Re: Replacing Engine Myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOffice View Post
Stated another way - 10k in labor is 100 hours at $100 an hour for someone who does it regularly. How long will it take you?

if you stick with the same brand, the chances of the stringers needing modification goes down.
The 100 hours may be divided between 2 mechanics and 2 skilled guys often complete a job in 1/3 of the time of a lone worker.

If time isnt a consideration the OPs question is only about skills and tools. Id recommend a back up plan if he runs out of either mid job. Many professionals will not touch half completed DIY jobs or charge accordingly.

Perhaps pay someone as an overseer/technical adviser as work progressses.

Good luck.
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Old 28-12-2020, 13:55   #8
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Re: Replacing Engine Myself.

I did a self install of a Beta 38 about 6 years ago. My existing engine bed was 1" wider than new engine. Beta US just put 1/2" spacer blocks on the mount assemblies to make their engine mount spacing 1" wider. It's good to look at the engine drawings to
get a good idea that engine will fit in the existing space & the engine bed is long enough. When I got the new engine I made a jig from flat 1/2 ply mounting the actual engine mounts adjusted 1/2 height. duplicating engine spacing both width and length. Then I made a "nose" piece that duplicated the engine coupling face.
I then used this jig to do a prelim alignment to shaft coupling face. This will show you if you need to add height spacers on engine bed ( or to make sure you don't need to lower your engine bed.) I then transferred the engine mounts to the new engine. By adjusting the engine mounts in the jig I avoided a lot of adjustment with the engine in place.
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Old 28-12-2020, 13:56   #9
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Re: Replacing Engine Myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tkeithlu View Post
Is the current engine a Beta 30?

If it's not, there are a bunch of traps awaiting you.

The stringers (bed) for your engine have to transfer the entire thrust of the engine to the hull. Messing with them poses serious structural problems.

The new engine may have it's fuel inlet, exhaust, control cables, electrical connections, and hoses in different locations than the Beta 30. You may face a very difficult process of modification.

Does the Beta 30 fit in the space? Designers leave zero spare space around engines - they want that space for pretty interior features that sell boats. One recent poster, who indeed did replace his engine with a different one, actually made a cardboard (I think) mock-up of the new engine to see if it would indeed fit.

So, if you are replacing in kind, this will all work. If you have in mind a different new motor, do approach the task very carefully. There may be reasons that you got that horrible $10K quote.

If you take it on, do post some pictures and progress reports. Best of luck with it.
i havn't calculated all the measurements yet as im not ready to do this just yet, just trying to wrap my head around the process first and see if its feasible for me to do myself.

My old tired Universal 5432 needs a lot of attention. it runs but if i decide to go with the Beta i could do this in the next year or two and would not invest too much $ in fixing up the old Universal but rather just keep it running until im ready to replace it.

thanks for pointing out the placement of those items. my engine bay is decent size. im not worried about having to re-route anything. My stringers are massive and very heavily glassed to the hull. im not worried at all about a structural problem. the Beta 30 would actually be less torque/horse power than my current 36HP engine.

i didnt actually get a quote yet. i just know a couple people who have replaced engines and it was 15k plus. it doesnt make sense to pay someone 10k to do this if i can do it myself. im not rich or have tons of expendable income. 10k savings would be significant to me.
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Old 28-12-2020, 13:57   #10
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Re: Replacing Engine Myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandy stone View Post
If you are getting the engine new from Beta, check with them because it is my understanding they can customize the mounts to match, or come close to, most existing installations. tkeithlu is right about all the rest of the connections, there is a lot to it.
interesting i will look into that.
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Old 28-12-2020, 14:07   #11
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Re: Replacing Engine Myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by marshmat View Post
That labour quote, at least where I live, would suggest that the mechanic is figuring on somewhere around 150 hours to take the old one out, put the new one in, and hook it up. Figure on double that for DIY. No part of it is hugely complex / requiring super-specialized knowledge; it's just a lot of slow, tedious work in a cramped space.



Absolutely take tkeithlu's advice about making a cardboard pattern and test-fitting that over the old engine. Dimensions here: https://www.betamarinenc.com/wp-cont...-100-05767.pdf
The Beta 30 is pretty compact and easy to fit in spaces previously filled by other 30-40 hp diesels. If you're replacing an older gas engine, the Beta - particularly with the high-output alternator option - may be too wide. It wants a 410 mm centre-to-centre mount spacing; the Atomic Four is usually 292 mm. If you already have a 292 mm spacing, I'd step down to the Beta 25 which is available as a direct drop-in replacement for the A4.



Beta has some good advice about measuring / fitting engine beds & mounts here, and will make semi-custom ones to fit if you give them good measurements: https://www.betamarinenc.com/wp-cont...etails2-14.pdf


That is a 300 pound engine. It can cause massive injury if you try to lift it without careful precautions. Moving an engine that size is normally a 2 to 3 person job, including help from an overhead crane.



Definitely get the easy-install kit with a good alternator already mounted, a pre-made panel with a pre-made wiring harness of the right length, etc. as that will save a huge amount of time and hassle over trying to re-use existing parts.


Good luck!
thank for all the links. i dont know off the top of my head my stringers are easily in the 400mm range from center to center. they are also almost 3" wide so i have a pretty good landing area to accommodate new mounts. my current universal 5432 is a pretty big 36 hp engine. my engine bay is about 3ft wide with tons of height and depth.

the removal and dropping in the new one i would get help with. my current engine is 400lbs give or take.

as for the time consuming, tedious bit, not a problem i would have plenty of time to install it just want to make sure theres not some ultra hard technical bit i was missing. it sounds like its pretty strait forward.
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Old 28-12-2020, 14:07   #12
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Re: Replacing Engine Myself.

I replaced a Perkins 4-108 with a Beta 50. The actual work took less than a week. The planning took at least twice that.

IMO Beta is the way to go. Yes, they can do custom engine brackets that make installing much easier. But you have to measure very accurately. I measured, put the measurements aside and measured again and repeated many times until I was sure the measurements were right. I did have to drill new bolt holes in the bed for larger engine mounts. One hole per mount because I measured and planned to be able to use one of the old holes. This required me to be very precise.

The rest can be broken down into manageable tasks. The fuel system - supply and return. Exhaust routing. Electrical and panel placement. Each of these jobs can be worked independently of the others.

I hired a crane to remove the old engine on a Friday. The weekend was scrubbing and painting the engine space. Monday morning the new engine was craned into place. By Wednesday we test started the engine. I had a deadline because Beta wanted a mechanic to inspect my install and he was going on vacation on Thursday. The work was not complete but was far enough along to do the test start. By Friday we were able to motor away from the marina.

We did this at Foxes Marina in Ipswitch. It was 17 years ago and I still have the boat. 4,000+ engine hours later I am still happy with the decision.

There is a lot more I could add but I must go right now. This was my first and only engine swap and it worked out well. Planning is EVERYTHING to being successful.
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Old 28-12-2020, 14:09   #13
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Re: Replacing Engine Myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneDiving View Post
The 100 hours may be divided between 2 mechanics and 2 skilled guys often complete a job in 1/3 of the time of a lone worker.

If time isnt a consideration the OPs question is only about skills and tools. Id recommend a back up plan if he runs out of either mid job. Many professionals will not touch half completed DIY jobs or charge accordingly.

Perhaps pay someone as an overseer/technical adviser as work progressses.

Good luck.
thanks much appreciated. i was planning to and know a couple people i could call on if i got into a jam.
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Old 28-12-2020, 14:11   #14
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Re: Replacing Engine Myself.

Oh, the old one's a Universal 5432? Then, as far as making it fit, you might have an easier time than most. The stringer spacing and height is probably already very close to ideal, and the Beta is both smaller and lighter.
(Old engine's dimensions: https://www.westerbeke.com/advanced%...ersal_5432.pdf )
The 5432 did have that weird single centreline front mount, but as long as your engine bearers are long enough to take the more "normal" 4-point pattern of the Beta's front mounts, it shouldn't need much (if any) fibreglass work.


Whomever told you the 5432 could make 36 hp must have been in the used car sales business. That thing peaked at 32 hp redline when brand-new and, at this age, is unlikely to make more than 22-25 hp at any speed.
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Old 28-12-2020, 14:13   #15
er9
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Re: Replacing Engine Myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by maine50 View Post
I did a self install of a Beta 38 about 6 years ago. My existing engine bed was 1" wider than new engine. Beta US just put 1/2" spacer blocks on the mount assemblies to make their engine mount spacing 1" wider. It's good to look at the engine drawings to
get a good idea that engine will fit in the existing space & the engine bed is long enough. When I got the new engine I made a jig from flat 1/2 ply mounting the actual engine mounts adjusted 1/2 height. duplicating engine spacing both width and length. Then I made a "nose" piece that duplicated the engine coupling face.
I then used this jig to do a prelim alignment to shaft coupling face. This will show you if you need to add height spacers on engine bed ( or to make sure you don't need to lower your engine bed.) I then transferred the engine mounts to the new engine. By adjusting the engine mounts in the jig I avoided a lot of adjustment with the engine in place.
thank you...some good advice. i would certainly do all of this prior. exciting to know Beta will customize. did you use their flexible shaft coupling? i was considering using one to give a slight bit of tolerance on the alignment.
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