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  #1   IP: 99.239.197.214
Old 04-06-2015, 05:58 PM
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Oil change in Spring

I bought my first boat (1974 Catalina 27) last fall and it quickly went into winter storage for the winter. The problem is that I did not change the oil before leaving her for 6 months. I read that this was a big mistake as the acids build up and break down the internal parts. Now that I prepare for the summer is there any suggestions as to how to best service the engine to minimize the neglect ?
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Old 04-06-2015, 09:04 PM
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gregsails gregsails is offline
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It's not the end of the world. Lots of people neglect their engines. In the spring, start it up , get it nice and warm, empty the oil and just put some new oil in it. If it doesn't look good after a month or so, just change it again. It's not hard and really doesn't cost much..
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Old 04-06-2015, 09:12 PM
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Al Schober Al Schober is offline
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As to the oil, what does it look like? If it's black on the stick, I'd definitely get it out of there and treat the engine to some fresh stuff. Highly recommend one of those vacuum extraction things - pump the handle and let it suck on your crankcase while you do something else. If the oil is clean, I'd be tempted to leave it alone.
What else? Certainly take a look at your points and plugs. Replace points if pitted - if badly pitted do the condenser too. Replace plugs if at all questionable. Post some photos - we like spark plug shots!
If fresh water cooled (antifreeze), replace zinc in heat exchanger.
If you don't have the MMI Manual, get one - makes for great reading. It's the starting point for all advise and diagnostics on this BB.
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Old 04-06-2015, 09:30 PM
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BunnyPlanet169 BunnyPlanet169 is offline
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First: Welcome to the Forum! Great place for friendly good advice. Let's see if I can give some....

+1 on the manual. If you don't have one, get one from our sponsor MMI. Do this now.

The Atomic 4 is a forgiving beast, and a winter with old oil won't kill it so take a deep breath. Ideal? No. Measurable effect in your lifetime? Probably not.

Still don't have a manual?

Then, search this forum for "spring time commissioning" and you'll find a pleasant evenings worth of reading....
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Last edited by BunnyPlanet169; 04-06-2015 at 09:33 PM.
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Old 04-06-2015, 11:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bathm8 View Post
I bought my first boat (1974 Catalina 27) last fall and it quickly went into winter storage for the winter. The problem is that I did not change the oil before leaving her for 6 months. I read that this was a big mistake as the acids build up and break down the internal parts. Now that I prepare for the summer is there any suggestions as to how to best service the engine to minimize the neglect ?
Depends...I wouldn't worry about it unless there was moisture on the dipstick or oil cap indicating that there might be water in it....otherwise, it's a make-work-project for someone. I leave my oil in until after spring start up every year. The reason? When putting my engine away in the fall I put copious amounts of oil in through the spark plug holes, remove the carb, then turning it over. That oil sits there in the top end around the valves, on the piston tops etc...all those parts are carbon covered. The engine is turned over a few times once a month when on the hard. The abundance of oil around all that carbon does make it's way either out the exhaust, down the manifold throat (where my carb generally sits but is off for winter) or in the base pan. Once the engine is started in the spring, still on the hard with a water supply rigged, I run it until all the smoke (from oil being put into spark plug holes) is burned away. After running the engine for 20 minutes, and after checking for both exhaust gas and water leaks, I shut it down and do the oil change.

Note: Since the boat is new to you check the oil frequently. Be prepared to add oil, and it would be a good idea to check it frequently until you see how much your particular engine is burning. All of these engines use oil especially when throttled up.

What I do:
-I use 15w40 diesel oil. When under load and working you will find it burns noticeably less, less noise and has better protection than most conventional oils.
- Oil changes are every 25-30 hrs for mine...twice a season generally.
-I check my oil every 4 hrs when underway just in case.
-Keep a close eye on your water pump grease cap as well...I reach in and give mine a turn every 3-4 hrs of continuous use.
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Last edited by Mo; 04-06-2015 at 11:08 PM.
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Old 04-07-2015, 02:54 AM
JOHN COOKSON JOHN COOKSON is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mo View Post
Be prepared to add oil, and it would be a good idea to check it frequently until you see how much your particular engine is burning. All of these engines use oil especially when throttled up.
Really? My A4 does not use any oil between changes, ~ every 50 hours. I use the engine for a combination of in and out of the harbor and longer motor boat trips. I've used MMO in the oil and gas from day 1. Maybe this has something to do with it?
==================================
What I would like to know from bathm8 is what was done to winterize the engine. Then we can zero in on other possible issues.

TRUE GRIT
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Old 04-07-2015, 06:52 AM
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John, your's would be the first I've seen. Mine generally burns 1/4 quart of 15w40 about every 6 hrs if I have rpms up. This is especially true when she's into the wind or waves and those extra rpms are needed to keep her moving at 4-6 kts. When I was using 30 in it the usage was about twice as much. That said, here in the harbor I don't notice any oil usage.

Last year I added oil twice but that was after a trip down the shore in some chop...but the engine was working and two diesel powered boats headed into port because they couldn't keep way on. When I work that engine of mine it will use oil...motoring in the harbor, in relatively calm waters I don't see the same demand on the engine nor the oil consumption. But I check it when I enter the boat anyway.

Look at it this way. In the harbor I come down to the boat, check the oil etc and no service required...day after day, week after week. Then one trip out in 20-30 knts of wind, use the engine for hours on end...I know it will use oil and I'm neither disappointed nor shocked when it needs some. Main thing is to be prepared for it and know it needs to be checked.
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Old 04-07-2015, 10:56 AM
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I am with John, my motor uses so little oil that I can not remember having to add oil between changes. I don't add anything to the oil or gas, except a little two stroke oil when I empty the dinghy can at the end of the season.

My boat is smaller (Catalina 27) and easy to drive, so maybe that has something to do with it.
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Old 04-08-2015, 01:42 AM
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Smile

I'm another with John (almost). I do about 100 hrs. per season and might add 1/2 liter during that time. MY sweet spot is around 1800 RPM so not pushing it to hard and I do add MMO in the gas only.

Chuck
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  #10   IP: 99.239.197.214
Old 04-08-2015, 08:42 PM
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I found the right place

To answer some questions...
I ordered the manual as you suggested, it should arrive in a few days.
Before it was stowed for winter:
I may have put 2 hours total on the engine to get me in and out of the harbor , it started first time every time. The A4 runs nicely at about 3/4 throttle, I was advised not to exceed this point or be prepared to wipe up oil spray, therefore I heeded this caution.
I ran anti freeze through the engine in fall.
The previous owner has given me the following information as well:
2013 - installed rebuilt carburetor, points, plugs, coil, (possibly wires, not sure).
2014 - oil change, grease plug twice. He inspected the impeller which was in good shape but suggests it may be time.

I'll be looking for direction on how to run an A4 on the hard so if you can point me in the right direction for connecting hoses to a 1974 Catalina 27.
I'll be visiting the A4 this weekend if the weather is cooperative so I'll give you more answers on Monday. The launch is scheduled for May 2nd.
I am so happy to meet you all, it gives me great relief to be in your company.
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  #11   IP: 98.171.162.110
Old 04-09-2015, 02:28 AM
JOHN COOKSON JOHN COOKSON is online now
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Oil spray from where? Oil spraying out of an engine is not normal. Maybe there is a seal that is failing somewhere.

If you are thinking about connecting the water hose directly to the engine\water pump don't do it. The pressure will force the water past seals and you will have a well watered engine. Run the hose into a 5 gallon bucket and lead a hose to the water pump from the bucket.

The cutless bearing is water lubed. Do not put the engine in gear when the boat is not in the water or it will burn up in short order.

Others members will have more hints. Many folks in the forum winterize and will be happy to let you know how they go about it.

TRUE GRIT
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Old 04-09-2015, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JOHN COOKSON View Post
If you are thinking about connecting the water hose directly to the engine\water pump don't do it. The pressure will force the water past seals and you will have a well watered engine. Run the hose into a 5 gallon bucket and lead a hose to the water pump from the bucket.

The cutless bearing is water lubed. Do not put the engine in gear when the boat is not in the water or it will burn up in short order.

TRUE GRIT
On the hard, I have a "Y" in my hose connection outside the boat. One stream, with the nozzle clamped to the ladder, is directed onto the shaft where it enters the boat from the outside. The other goes inside to the bucket.

Reason: The shaft tends to rotate a bit even when the engine is in neutral because of viscous coupling in the transmission. I could, in theory, jam the prop in place within the aperture with a 2x4. But that's an accident waiting to happen, and then I couldn't try putting it in forward and reverse to play with the linkages.
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  #13   IP: 96.253.21.28
Old 04-09-2015, 01:14 PM
hanleyclifford hanleyclifford is offline
 
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Talking

When running on the hard I have learned to just disconnect the shaft coupling from the gearbox side. Running a cutlass bearing dry shortens it's life a lot. As for water, I have threaded my raw water thru hull from the outside to receive a garden hose which run right into the pump. This does run contrary to the current wisdom about connecting a garden hose but I do carefully limit the input, and so far am "getting away with it".
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