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Old 14-06-2024, 09:42   #1
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Yanmar 4LH -HTE dead.

Hello everyone,

I need some advice about motorization as I know very little about it. I bought a 58-foot hurricane-salvaged sailboat equipped with a YANMAR 4LH-HTE from 1996 with 5000 hours, located in the Caribbean.

Since the beginning, I've been having problems with the engine, likely due to poor maintenance. First, it was the flywheel that was seized, then the connecting rods and crank pins. After that, the mixing elbow was rotten. When I finally started sailing, after 20 hours, I had to stop and change the heat exchanger due to corrosion. Now, after another 20 hours of motoring, one of the connecting rods went through the engine block.

I'm currently stuck in the Dominican Republic, and finding a good mechanic here seems difficult. The local Yanmar agent charges $2000 just to dismount the top and look inside, and they already told me that just the block would cost me $15,000.

I guess I need to replace the engine and find a refurbished one that will fit in the limited space I have. However, I'm hesitant about trusting a refurbished or rebuilt Yanmar, as I've been told they are very fragile and require a lot of maintenance. On the other hand, changing the engine brand would likely mean changing the transmission as well, as I currently have the Kanzaki KM5A.

Also, I believe that I do not need 140 HP for a 45,000 lbs displacement sailboat. Any recommendations?

Thanks for reading and Thanks in advance for your help!

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Old 14-06-2024, 15:43   #2
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Re: Yanmar 4LH -HTE dead.

Hmmmm, its quite difficult to seize a flywheel, not impossible though if the starter motor or drive plate collapsed and dropped bits of metal inside the housing. The crankshaft failure is usually terminal , particularly if a main bearing shell spins in the block and that was probably about the time you should have started planning a new engine. I rebuilt a 4LH during the pandemic and they are one expensive bugger of an engine, a single liner is $500, a piston is roughly the same and is supplied without rings. However, a 4LH is still a great engine and well suited to boats around 60’- 70’ depending on hull form and displacement. Surprisingly, the cost to rebuild the gearbox was low, the bearings are fairly cheap but if gears or a cone are required the cost increases very dramatically. I have a notion that flywheel housing is either a DIN or SAE standard, ( not just a random size) so fitting it to another brand of engine is probably not all that hard. Try contacting Mackboring for technical information.
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Old 14-06-2024, 17:11   #3
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Re: Yanmar 4LH -HTE dead.

Thinking about those costs I’d suggest there is no benefit in hanging on to any of the existing setup. If the engine was that far gone due to poor maintenance I’d guess the gearbox is likely to be close to ruined too. Many people change the engine oil but forget the gearbox needs it too.
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Old 15-06-2024, 18:33   #4
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Re: Yanmar 4LH -HTE dead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by maldhorror View Post
Hello everyone,

The local Yanmar agent charges $2000 just to dismount the top and look inside, and they already told me that just the block would cost me $15,000.


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Have them quote the entire assembled long block and see if that makes a difference. My Yanmar saildrive’s lower assembly needed replacement recently and the part was $7k but the entire upper and lower, completely assembled unit was only $5k. Go figure…
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