Return to the home page...

Go Back   Moyer Marine Atomic 4 Community - Home of the Afourians > Discussion Topics > Overhaul

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1   IP: 82.132.215.196
Old 09-25-2019, 01:39 PM
lauratheexplorer lauratheexplorer is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 2
Thanks: 4
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
A4 has been sitting in the desert for 12 years

Hello all!

I recently got my first boat, a Cal 2-27 with its original Atomic 4. The boat was sailed in freshwater for years before I got it, but it has spent the last 12 years sitting on a trailer in the PO's backyard in Arizona. The engine hasn't been run in all that time. My project for the winter is to get it running again. I don't know a lot about the condition of the engine, but I am anticipating it will need a pretty thorough overhaul. So my question is, what sort of problems can I expect an A4 that has been sitting in the Arizona heat for 12 years to have? I am completely new to gas engines, and I know about as much about the engine in question as you all do now, so really I'm wondering, where should I start??

Any and all help is very much appreciated!

Cheers,

Laura
Reply With Quote
  #2   IP: 209.210.252.244
Old 09-25-2019, 02:53 PM
wristwister's Avatar
wristwister wristwister is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Arlington, WA
Posts: 147
Thanks: 0
Thanked 38 Times in 23 Posts
Laura,

One plus here is that it's been sitting in the dry desert for 12 years, as opposed to a wet, salty environment like most other boats. Rust is the issue, and if that's not too bad in your case you might be lucky.

First thing to determine is if the motor even rotates or if it's seized up. Get a big lever on either the flywheel up front or the prop shaft in the rear and see if you can rotate the crank. If so, that will lead us down one path toward advising you (that may not even require removal/rebuild!). If the engine is seized up, that will lead us down another path.

Good luck! I look forward to seeing how this plays out.
__________________
"A ship in the harbor is safe ... but that's not what ships are built for.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to wristwister For This Useful Post:
lauratheexplorer (09-26-2019)
  #3   IP: 67.176.201.200
Old 09-25-2019, 04:03 PM
Sam Sam is offline
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 104
Thanks: 26
Thanked 37 Times in 28 Posts
Not sure about Cal 27 engine layout but I would get a "hand crank handle" or have some one slot a spark plug socket to use on the front flywheel pin to see if engine rotates "clockwise". Determine ignition system type and start with ordering Moyer manual then later parts. After a dozen years of sitting on the hard in dry heat you will need to check everything from fuel tank to the exhaust. Wiring maybe ok but the methods used to put the engine into long tern storage will probably dictate the work and $'s needed ie fuel sediment, lubrication/oil, filters, ignition parts and wires, impeller, cooling-tstate etc etc. My first step would be after determining if rotation is possible is to check compression in each cylinder. You need good fuel delivery, spark and compression. Without the latter the two former are neccessary but secondary in going forward and having a reliable system.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Sam For This Useful Post:
lauratheexplorer (09-26-2019)
  #4   IP: 71.38.107.125
Old 09-25-2019, 07:36 PM
roadnsky's Avatar
roadnsky roadnsky is offline
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Lake Mead, NV
Posts: 2,883
Thanks: 19
Thanked 225 Times in 163 Posts
Laura-
First, welcome to the forum! There is a wealth of information here for both your A4 as well as for all things sailing.

I own a 1978 vessel that has spent all but 5 years of it's life in the desert.
My A4 still has original paint and no rust after 40+ years. (see pic)
As was mentioned earlier, the bonus of being in the desert is NO rust or corrosion.
(It's why aircraft are stored in the desert)

Here is a copy of Don's recommendations of checking an A4 after a long period of non-use...

1) Check for good quality oil (30 weight, or 10-30) up to the full mark on the dipstick.

2) Put several squirts of Marvel Mystery Oil in each spark plug hole (aiming the spout of the can away from the manifold side of the engine) so that most of the oil will reach the cylinder bores. Then rotate the engine on the starter while holding your thumb over each spark plug hole. There should be enough compression produced at each cylinder to make it virtually impossible to hold your thumb over any of the spark plug holes.

3) Remove the main passage plug from the bottom of the carburetor and operate the fuel pump to move some fuel through the entire fuel system, and catch it in a jar below the carburetor. A couple pints should be enough to insure that the fuel is flowing perfectly clean. Then reinstall the plug and operate the fuel pump again until the carburetor is charged with fuel.

4) Remove the distributor cap and clean off the contact surfaces of the points.

5) Turn the engine over until the points are closed (It will be easier to rotate the engine if the spark plugs are removed). Then turn the ignition switch “ON”; while holding the secondary coil lead approximately 1/4″ from the head, flick the points open and closed. Each time the points are opened, there should be a good secondary spark observed between the coil lead and the head.

Assuming that these checks all went without incident, you have confirmed that you have adequate compression, fuel to (and through) the carburetor, a good secondary discharge available and ready for delivery to each cylinder, and your engine should be ready to start.

In the event that you are relatively new to the Atomic 4, Here are a few tips on starting technique:

1) “Pumping the throttle” is totally ineffective in starting the Atomic 4. Since there is no accelerator pump within the carburetor, pumping the throttle has absolutely no effect on anything in terms of supplying more or less fuel to the engine.

2) If your engine tries to start, but falters and stops as soon as you stop cranking on the starter, it is likely simply not getting enough fuel to work itself out of the idle range and into the lower range of the main discharge nozzle of the carburetor (which occurs around 1000 RPM). After an engine is warmed up, it will tend to start OK in idle, but cold engines seldom will start and run within the idle range. They need to start and warm up in the lower range of the main discharge nozzle before they can be brought back to idle.

3) The best setting for the throttle during starting is solidly off of the idle stop, so as to uncover both idle ports and get you into the “off idle” range of operation. It’s somewhat better to err on the high side in terms of throttle setting. If your engine ends up racing the instant that it starts, you can back off a little on the throttle setting during future starts.

As soon as the engine starts, check for oil pressure leveling out at 40 psi or above (engine still cold), and for a good flow of water out of the exhaust. In a normal cooling system, there should be enough water flowing through the engine so that it builds up a bit of head as the exhaust pressure builds up enough to blow the water out of the back of the boat. This creates a “batching” effect at idle, as water moves through the exhaust system.
Attached Images
  
__________________
-Jerry

'Lone Ranger'

1978 RANGER 30

Last edited by roadnsky; 09-25-2019 at 07:38 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to roadnsky For This Useful Post:
Administrator (09-25-2019), Dave Neptune (09-26-2019), lauratheexplorer (09-26-2019), thatch (09-26-2019)
  #5   IP: 74.88.0.97
Old 09-25-2019, 09:27 PM
nyvoyager nyvoyager is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: NY
Posts: 157
Thanks: 38
Thanked 8 Times in 7 Posts
As a bit of encouragement, last weekend I started an A4 that has been sitting on a pallet for 6 years. An initial compression test showed 0psi on #1 cylinder. Pulled the plugs and poured some MMO. Let it sit for a week. Before you try to tunr it, pull the plugs and pour some MMO in the cylinders. I Came back the next weel and cranked it over...100 PSI. I then swapped the carb, which was full of junk, wired it up and on the second crank it fired and ran.

That is a beautiful motor Roadnsky
Can you explain the setup with the bypass hose?
Appears you are running it backwards thru the manifold?
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to nyvoyager For This Useful Post:
lauratheexplorer (09-26-2019)
  #6   IP: 82.132.185.92
Old 09-26-2019, 08:56 AM
lauratheexplorer lauratheexplorer is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 2
Thanks: 4
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
gaskets??

Thank you everyone for the quick replies! Looks like I have a good place to start, which feels good. I'll start posting updates when I get to work in a couple of weeks.

Should I be concerned about the gaskets drying up and cracking in the heat?

Thanks again,

Laura
Reply With Quote
  #7   IP: 71.38.107.125
Old 09-26-2019, 09:56 AM
roadnsky's Avatar
roadnsky roadnsky is offline
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Lake Mead, NV
Posts: 2,883
Thanks: 19
Thanked 225 Times in 163 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by lauratheexplorer View Post
Should I be concerned about the gaskets drying up and cracking in the heat?
That is a possibility.
More likely you'll need to replace hoses.
Go thru the starting, checking processes noted earlier and by others and you can make a list of needed fixes and replacements.
That "punch list" is important.

I should have mentioned earlier that one of the first (and best) things you can do is to get a copy of the MMI Manual. Available by our host on this site.
Maybe while ordering that, you might want to get an order of gaskets and some hose.
Give Ken a call (610-421-4436) and he'll walk you through it.
__________________
-Jerry

'Lone Ranger'

1978 RANGER 30
Reply With Quote
  #8   IP: 71.38.107.125
Old 09-26-2019, 10:20 AM
roadnsky's Avatar
roadnsky roadnsky is offline
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Lake Mead, NV
Posts: 2,883
Thanks: 19
Thanked 225 Times in 163 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by nyvoyager View Post
...Roadnsky
Can you explain the setup with the bypass hose?
Appears you are running it backwards thru the manifold?
That hose actually runs from the bypass (crankcase) down to the hose for the exhaust blower.
It was a setup that I tried for a little while suggested by another forum member.

Quite some time ago, Tom (known here as "thatch") gifted me with one of his cool custom slash tubes and I've been using it ever since.
Attached Images
  
__________________
-Jerry

'Lone Ranger'

1978 RANGER 30
Reply With Quote
  #9   IP: 131.162.130.66
Old 09-26-2019, 12:49 PM
Peter's Avatar
Peter Peter is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
Posts: 187
Thanks: 59
Thanked 80 Times in 58 Posts
I was under the impression nyvoyager was asking about the hose running from your thermostat to the rear of the manifold instead of the front.

This is the thatch modification that is intended to eliminate the ubiquitous
hot spot at the front of the manifold.

My understanding - since the engines are typically tilted back, a bubble can form at the front end of the manifold when you feed it in the conventional fashion. Feeding from the rear is intended to eliminate this bubble.

And yes, it is the same thatch that provided that cool slash tube Jerry was talking about.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Peter For This Useful Post:
nyvoyager (09-27-2019), roadnsky (09-27-2019)
  #10   IP: 99.30.185.198
Old 09-26-2019, 02:51 PM
thatch thatch is offline
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Santa clarita, Ca.
Posts: 1,038
Thanks: 119
Thanked 161 Times in 101 Posts
I really wish that there was an "embarrassed tag" that could be added at the bottom of a post. Being mentioned twice in the same thread would certainly qualify me. Neil Dutton and I have tried come up with a total of the numerous modifications and accessories that have been added to the A4 and have come up with about 20, which is probably a low estimate. As has been mentioned, there is a wealth of information that has been contributed by a bunch of "like minded" individuals, that has made this little workhorse the economical and dependable engine that it is today. Without the Moyer company, this simply would not have happened. Welcome to the forum Laura.
Tom (Thatch)
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to thatch For This Useful Post:
GregH (09-26-2019)
  #11   IP: 32.211.28.40
Old 09-26-2019, 04:37 PM
Al Schober's Avatar
Al Schober Al Schober is offline
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Uncasville, CT
Posts: 1,525
Thanks: 9
Thanked 206 Times in 172 Posts
I recommend you do NOT try to run the engine on the fuel in the tank - that's a big unknown now. Get a small outboard tank with fresh gas. Gravity feed right to the carb. You get the idea..
Friend bought a long neglected Mercedes (similar situation). Didn't even try to start the engine. Brought it home on a flat bed, dropped the tank, cleaned it out, replaced the fuel pump, etc. Then he tried starting the engine. Started right up. Still needed new hoses, ignition wiring, etc - all small stuff.
Reply With Quote
  #12   IP: 24.53.89.131
Old 09-26-2019, 05:11 PM
Peter's Avatar
Peter Peter is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
Posts: 187
Thanks: 59
Thanked 80 Times in 58 Posts
Tom,

Apologies - it was not my intention to embarrass.

Sincerely,

Peter

PS - I have an academic background where citing is de rigueur.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Peter For This Useful Post:
thatch (09-26-2019)
  #13   IP: 71.38.107.125
Old 09-26-2019, 08:29 PM
roadnsky's Avatar
roadnsky roadnsky is offline
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Lake Mead, NV
Posts: 2,883
Thanks: 19
Thanked 225 Times in 163 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter View Post
I was under the impression nyvoyager was asking about the hose running from your thermostat to the rear of the manifold instead of the front.

This is the thatch modification that is intended to eliminate the ubiquitous
hot spot at the front of the manifold.
Peter-
After re-reading, I believe you are correct sir!
And, yes that is one of Tom's best improvements IMHO.

If you look closely you can see the famous (infamous?) UHS in one of my 1st pics.

@ THATCH - Please don't be embarrassed. You are most certainly one of our MMI National Treasures.
__________________
-Jerry

'Lone Ranger'

1978 RANGER 30
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to roadnsky For This Useful Post:
thatch (09-26-2019)
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bogging Down in Gear, then won’t restart until sitting Chaser33 Troubleshooting 4 05-30-2019 11:02 AM
Skinny water. 5 years and counting philwsailz Cooling System 2 01-29-2015 02:28 PM
Engine hasn't started in 10+ years, what to know krazzz Troubleshooting 8 07-23-2013 05:48 PM
Flawless Performance, 2 years running daveinrenton General Interest 0 05-12-2011 12:05 PM
A-4 sat for years robert ray General Interest 1 10-19-2007 11:48 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:25 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.


Universal® is a registered trademark of Westerbeke Corporation

Copyright © 2004-2019 Moyer Marine Inc.

All Rights Reserved