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 Post subject: Please Pipe in on Engine Replacement (or NOT)
PostPosted: 17 Sep 2020 07:52 
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Skipper

Joined: 09 Aug 2017 15:35
Posts: 457
Location: Maine/USVI
Supposedly, this W50 has 1200 hrs. We were beginning to replace the engine mounts yesterday after redoing the shaft & coupler end-to end. I reached up under from aft and the forward side of the bell housing is LOADED with oil. There is always a drip in the engine tub and also coolant showing regularly. I assume the rear seal needs replacement.

The engine generally looks O.K., I can feel a little surface rust on the oil pan. The dipstick is down a hair from full. The boat has been sitting for probably 5 years. Don't know if was "well winterized" or just laid up and left.

The debate is whether to pull the engine and replace, pull the engine and take it for rebuild (as the guy with the Sabre 42 next to me did), or rebuild in place. With the crane or manlift, I think I can get it out fairly quickly after pulling the Balmar off and disconnecting everything. Plunk it in the back of the truck and take it to John at Downeast Diesel for rebuild. Hinckley put in thousands of the Bekes.

OR go with the likely $15,000 expense of picking up a Beta 35. I still haven't pressure tested the fuel tank or gotten through any interior systems with my "float float, go forward go forward" credo. Hull is tight, sailing/deck hardware is almost all new - just needs final installation. I also want to pull two chainplates just for shits and giggles. Port forward and starboard aft. The former has a crack next to it that opened up, and the latter did some serious groaning when tightened. Haven't even powered up the extensive electronics array.

Eric . . . what was his name . . . Kimberlite. He wanted my son to manage and watch over his Amel Maramu in St. Thomas years ago (after he sold the way overdone T37). I don't see getting into THAT kind of refit, but it feels like I'm headed in that direction. I got on Kimberlite I, the T37, when he first delivered it to St. Thomas circa 2003(?).

Point is, 2+ years of basing out of St. Thomas and downisland is the plan, maybe do the Canal, hit the Galapagos, love to go down below Santiago, Chile. Have friend with salmonid sporting camp in Patagonia. Giant salmon and trout. We'll see about all that. I just want a boat tough enough to go to Vanuatu or Gibraltar if I so choose.

I think I'm going to wait until April/May to book it south, get all this other stuff done. It's one thing to do a refit in the Virgin Islands for a "water winnebago weekender" and beat the crap out of it. It's something else altogether to beat the hell out of it going down the ICW or Bermuda-St. Thomas, each having it's problems.

Nitpick me.


 
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 Post subject: Re: Please Pipe in on Engine Replacement (or NOT)
PostPosted: 17 Sep 2020 09:18 
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Skipper

Joined: 16 May 2009 08:06
Posts: 173
1200 hours would scare me for a motor that age. Not enough use. I think I have over 7000 on Esprit. In any event, at the least, you probably need to replace the rear oil seal. It seems to me that you could do that in place but I don't know. With Esprit being on the hard, in a shed, for the past 2 years, I wonder what is in store for me and I ask the same questions. The cost of a re-power, soup to nuts, is going to seriously add to the cost of owning the boat and you are never going to get that money back when / if you sell. On the other hand, you have the peace of mind... I have always told myself that if I ever have to take the W50 out of the boat, for any reason, I would not put it back in. I'd go with new. The noise factor alone is a really strong consideration (the W-50 is noisy when underway). Since I have a shop and can do a pretty extensive rebuild myself, I might consider it now (as I watch the value of a 40 year old T37 drop!). If you do decide to go with a new motor, read Ray's write up in the tech section of the website. He has some pretty good insight into the process and his thoughts on engine selection should not be ignored either.


 
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 Post subject: Re: Please Pipe in on Engine Replacement (or NOT)
PostPosted: 17 Sep 2020 10:33 
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Skipper

Joined: 09 Aug 2017 15:35
Posts: 457
Location: Maine/USVI
I don't see it taking more than a couple hours dithering to yank that engine out. Done it many times, and the trim is off the companionway right now, adding a little more clearance. I guess I'd leave it up to the mechanic.

I think we may yank it and get 'er done one time.

Something changed in the last hour. A fully fitted out for cruising, with all the bells, whistles, arches, replacements, etc. 40' boat has become available at fire sale through a broker/client/friend in the V.I. It's priced at about 55% of all others of similar vintage and quality, and has never been chartered. 500 hr. Yanmar. Euro boat. Maybe I'll just buy that, work, make money, keep the Tartan in Maine for summers and skip killing 2 months down the ditch, the Bahamas, the DR and beating home to St. Thomas. Easy to say, since she that gives me my allowance weekly may have some other notions. The discussion on repowering went over like a fart in church last night. "Welllll, thats ANOTHER $5,000.00." I just said "triple it." WHAAAT!!??$$?


 
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 Post subject: Re: Please Pipe in on Engine Replacement (or NOT)
PostPosted: 17 Sep 2020 11:40 
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Midshipman

Joined: 16 Jan 2019 08:52
Posts: 67
I recently rebuilt my 50 because I had spun the number one bearing and luckily the cap fell off into the sump causing minor damage so to speak. I didn't have the option of putting fifteen grand into a new engine on a boat I had bought for twenty five. It was a matter of economics and as I don't mind the rebuild process it was a slight setback. Covid turned it into a problem with timing. I had the engine ready to pull in a casual work day and dropped it on the hard and stripped in an afternoon. Into the trunk of my car and back to my garage. I had the big ends turned 10,000 over and ordered all my parts as I have mentioned in other posts from Northwoods Tractors who got all the parts I needed including con/rod. I saved quite a bit by going the tractor supply as opposed to Marine. I did get my motor mounts from the same source you did. I think if properly looked after the engine will out last me as I haven't got 38 years left on my ticket. I actually enjoyed the job and have her all painted up and ready to go in in November and push off from Norfolk. I'll report back on the way down the ditch.


 
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 Post subject: Re: Please Pipe in on Engine Replacement (or NOT)
PostPosted: 17 Sep 2020 12:26 
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Skipper

Joined: 09 Aug 2017 15:35
Posts: 457
Location: Maine/USVI
Rebuild it is. Easy out from what I can see, and the yard lets us use the manlift and forklift whenever we want. God, I haven't done a rebuild down to the big end bearings since . . . the 1900's. 25 years?


 
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 Post subject: Re: Please Pipe in on Engine Replacement (or NOT)
PostPosted: 17 Sep 2020 16:38 
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Midshipman

Joined: 16 Jan 2019 08:52
Posts: 67
Just a heads up when you come to rebuild. When I went to torque down my cap bolts I wasn't prepared for the stretch in the originals and couldn't do them to spec. I went with ARP equipment and had a machine shop press them and check for fit. They didn't have to grind them and I had the opportunity to have them check them out. It was a minimal cost. ARP had them listed as BMC 1800D on their website. You could save yourself a week by ordering ahead. I realize now that it is prudent to swap them out anyway on any rebuild. Check for any parts you need from Cynthia at North woods tractors. She is a really great gal and takes real care in looking after her costumers.
cynthia@leylandnuffieldtractorparts.com


 
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 Post subject: Re: Please Pipe in on Engine Replacement (or NOT)
PostPosted: 17 Sep 2020 22:49 
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Skipper

Joined: 29 Dec 2006 09:38
Posts: 583
I have piped in on this in my piece on engine replacement in the tech section of this site and have very little to add from 10 years ago. I still think that my questions/answers to you would be the same. I frankly would just underscore my opening paragraphs about "Are you sure you want to replace?". All of the Westerbekes seem to leak a bit in the aft seal--mine did for 3000 hours and couple years of cruising from SF to Maine--about a half cup every 15 hours. I am going to suggest that there are two reasons for this rear seal leak: one is the problem of using a tractor (in this case a London taxi) engine for marine applications--the main bearings were not designed to be pushing laterally an 8 ton boat, and the other is that many boatowners (and a lot of boat yards) never seem to take alignment seriously and that vibration is trying to get that motor to jump out of the boat if it is not set within .002"--lots of push on the bearing seal casing. Oil is cheap and getting at that bearing is going to be a bitch. Youre going to have to take the engine out. If the engine starts when cold without excessive cranking, if there is not an ongoing cloud of blue smoke (a little at start is OK) when you accelerate, or white smoke swirling around you when the thing warms up, I would work with the Westerbeke for a while. Diesels survive surprising well in storage (compared to aircraft engines that rust like crazy sitting around) I would check the alignment for sure (it is a PIA in this boat). And make sure your exhaust elbow and heat exchangers are clean. I left my Westerbeke in the Panama jungle over a hurricane season and when I came back 5 months later, I think it broke a ring (awful noise and clatter for a bit) then it ran sort of normal (I could hear a little ping and a bit more blue smoke) for another 400 hours until I replaced it. I am not sure of your situation and plans and situation, but if you are new to the boat and not planning an imminent long ocean passage, I would be inclined to work with the Westerbeke. You have a lot of folks here with experience with the thing. Some good technical knowledge. And you can still get most of the parts if you hunt around. If you plan on owning your Tartan for awhile the W50 is a good engine to learn on. The price of new engines must be pushing $16000 now (I paid 9500 for my Yanmar 10 years ago) and that is not going to cover all the associated stuff you need to replace when you get in there---that is in my tech piece. Right now a new engine, installed professionally in a 40 year old Tartan is going to be approaching at least half the value of the boat.
But it really depends on your plans and attitude. See--I am no help.

Ray
Velera #373


 
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 Post subject: Re: Please Pipe in on Engine Replacement (or NOT)
PostPosted: 19 Sep 2020 19:21 
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Skipper

Joined: 14 Jul 2012 20:36
Posts: 411
I had the Westerbeke out a couple times, it comes out very easily. In your case, I would be inclined to go a quick pull and a junkyard rebuild. Take it down to the short block, do a head job, inspect the cylinders, replace all seals, put a new water pump on her. Throw it back together and paint. All Westerbekes leak oil after 10 years and you should be able to get that again, for only a small investment.

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Hull #208, Puff Card
Southern Chesapeake Bay


 
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 Post subject: Re: Please Pipe in on Engine Replacement (or NOT)
PostPosted: 21 Sep 2020 17:34 
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Skipper

Joined: 09 Aug 2017 15:35
Posts: 457
Location: Maine/USVI
"Head job"? Just cleaning and a new gasket & torque or otherwise? My focus is on the fuel system and rear seal, primarily. Also need to get the heat exchanger out and clean it. Check the exhaust riser, etc. I can pop it out pretty easy once the alternator and a few other items are removed. The trim on the companionway is off, so I gain a little there.


 
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 Post subject: Re: Please Pipe in on Engine Replacement (or NOT)
PostPosted: 24 Sep 2020 16:08 
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Skipper

Joined: 14 Jul 2012 20:36
Posts: 411
Head jobs are very cheap, last one was $150 for me. You get a good surface, new gasket, get to check valve guides and new valve seals in a 40 yr old motor. Plus you can inspect the bores. I've had two head gaskets fail on W50s, so I may be coming from a different place. I didn't remove any wood trim. Just, SW pump, manifold and alternator and slide right out. Did it three times. Made a skid out of wood, the same angle and level as the bed plate to slide out on. Use a 4-part block and tackle off the mast. Last time had the injectors serviced was at a tractor shop. They did a great job and cheap $80/ all 4.

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Hull #208, Puff Card
Southern Chesapeake Bay


 
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