Return to the home page...

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #76   IP: 67.176.27.175
Old 10-16-2019, 10:46 AM
Launchpad McQ's Avatar
Launchpad McQ Launchpad McQ is offline
Aforian MVP
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 101
Thanks: 13
Thanked 86 Times in 38 Posts
Hey wristsister!
There’s more twists and turns coming for sure, and most of them not good....yet I won’t drop any spoilers but I’m somewhat on the 3rd rebuild attempt now. I’m still impressed with the speed you got your daughter’s A-4 rebuilt, pez-candy painted, and reliably operating. Hopefully she’s out there on the water enjoying the boat. We set a deadline to have the boat seaworthy and on the water for the upcoming Fleetweek.....3 Fleetweeks ago As long as we don’t hit another major setback with the motor and my impending vasectomy is successful to preclude any more Sept/Oct babies, we’ll be out there for Fleetweek 2020...or maybe 2021. I should leave myself a little wiggle room
__________________
Jonathan
1979 Catalina 30 #1497
An old Airline Pilot proverb: "If we don't help each other nobody else will."
Reply With Quote
  #77   IP: 209.210.252.244
Old 10-16-2019, 02:36 PM
wristwister's Avatar
wristwister wristwister is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Arlington, WA
Posts: 166
Thanks: 0
Thanked 47 Times in 30 Posts
Yup, she's still sailing the Tartan and her Barbie engine is still purring along. I too was amazed how simple it was to rebuild that engine (although I suppose the fine folks at Moyer deserve some of the credit).

I was sailing with my kidlette down there earlier this summer. Got all the way to the south bay and wrapped a dock line around the prop. We sailed her back and into the slip, she batted her eyelashes at a strapping young lad in the Yacht Club, and he dove and untangled the prop. Funny, I never seem to be as successful finding volunteers to help me with boat chores.
__________________
"A ship in the harbor is safe ... but that's not what ships are built for.
Reply With Quote
  #78   IP: 67.176.27.175
Old 10-16-2019, 02:48 PM
Launchpad McQ's Avatar
Launchpad McQ Launchpad McQ is offline
Aforian MVP
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 101
Thanks: 13
Thanked 86 Times in 38 Posts
Haha! That poor hormone-intoxicated guy jumped in the 50 degree marina water full of boats with dodgy electrical grounding that 'never pump out' their holding tanks!? I hope she at least gave him a kiss for his effort!
__________________
Jonathan
1979 Catalina 30 #1497
An old Airline Pilot proverb: "If we don't help each other nobody else will."
Reply With Quote
  #79   IP: 24.152.132.140
Old 10-20-2019, 09:51 AM
ndutton's Avatar
ndutton ndutton is offline
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Torrance, CA
Posts: 9,441
Thanks: 188
Thanked 1,959 Times in 1,298 Posts
Reading through the high drama and comedic prose of the past 21 months, at this point in the epic I'm wondering what the aggregate expense has been thus far. We have $6500 in the initial purchase, at least one $1200 tow, more ill fated engine repair attempts than I care to go back and count, perhaps but unknown if there have been any other repairs unrelated to the engine and all the while making decisions in consideration of future resale.

So, if I can ask, how much has been invested in this $6500 boat?
__________________
Neil
1977 Catalina 30
San Pedro, California
prior boats 1987 Westsail 32, 1970 Catalina 22
Had my hands in a few others

Last edited by ndutton; 10-20-2019 at 10:52 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #80   IP: 70.185.132.167
Old 10-20-2019, 01:26 PM
JOHN COOKSON JOHN COOKSON is offline
Afourian MVP, Professor Emeritus
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 3,500
Thanks: 54
Thanked 852 Times in 626 Posts
I think a better term in this case would be sunk cost not investment.

Boats are more of a hobby than an investment. Unless you cruise a lot and live on the boat. Then it becomes a lifestyle. Still usually not a good investment. Of course there are exceptions. Classic in demand and improved boats, like your Westsail, might command a higher price. Then again there are labor hours............

Anyway, in McQue's case I think his hobby is to work on the boat with no definite end in sight. Different strokes for different folks. I know in my case i would sink the boat and write off the cost. But that is only me. I'm not McQue.


TRUE GRIT
Reply With Quote
  #81   IP: 24.152.132.140
Old 10-20-2019, 02:01 PM
ndutton's Avatar
ndutton ndutton is offline
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Torrance, CA
Posts: 9,441
Thanks: 188
Thanked 1,959 Times in 1,298 Posts
I have spent more on mine than it's worth too but the difference is there was never a resale consideration in any decision whereas in McQ's case there was. This is not a comment on whether or not there should be, that falls under the different strokes mantra.

Where I was headed with my comment earlier today was this forum's repeated suggestion to do it right and cry once (credit D. Neptune if I recall correctly).
__________________
Neil
1977 Catalina 30
San Pedro, California
prior boats 1987 Westsail 32, 1970 Catalina 22
Had my hands in a few others

Last edited by ndutton; 10-21-2019 at 08:52 AM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to ndutton For This Useful Post:
chapster5 (10-21-2019)
  #82   IP: 67.176.27.175
Old 10-22-2019, 12:45 AM
Launchpad McQ's Avatar
Launchpad McQ Launchpad McQ is offline
Aforian MVP
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 101
Thanks: 13
Thanked 86 Times in 38 Posts
Well since you guys asked, and my wife doesn’t read this forum.... the answer to the money question is: A lot. Seriously though I’m not bashful about ”opening the books,” especially since I’m always hoping to help others learn from my mistakes. A friend of mine once made the recommendation, “if it’s a hobby, don’t save receipts.” Unfortunately I didn’t take his advice and I have a spreadsheet documenting everything I’ve spent over $5. Every stainless bolt, every bottle of simple green, every waxing pad, everything.

The seller was asking $6500 for the boat but I paid $5000 after negotiations. The tow to the boatyard was covered by the towing insurance and the aforementioned exercise in foolishness saved the cost of the tow back. We ended up spending just under $4000 during the haul out including haul & splash, yard expenses, equipment rental, and materials. I spent $1000 to buy a spare A-4 that ended up being scrap (story to follow) and I’ve probably got close to $2000 more in rebuild expenses at this point for my engine. But those are just the “big expenses.” All the $100 trips to West Marine have added up to quite a bit.

I was going to make this point in a future post, but my philosophy on old houses, cars, boats, and airplanes remains unchanged: If you plan to pay someone else to do the work, you can’t afford it....unless you’re wealthy. To Neil’s point, would I have been better off buying something already in seaworthy condition? Absolutely. In fact I recently found a 1986 C-30 for co-worker that he ended up paying $15k for and is a much better boat, for probably $4k less than I have into mine after 5 years of on-again-off-again work. When it comes to the A-4 specifically, if I had to do it over again, I’d buy the $3500 “short block option” from Moyer no question. Even though I’m not under a deadline to get the engine running, I’ve spent much, much more time working on the engine than I wanted to. Multiple trips to the machine shop etc. (I have two kids now after all).

Ultimately, the boat is serving its purpose well. It’s a private, clean, quiet-ish, always-available place for me to sleep 4-6 nights/month when I’m in SF for work that I don’t spend on hotel expense. (“Cheap” hotels in San Francisco can frequently run $200+/ night when they’re not sold out for some tech conference in town) We allocate $400/month into a dedicated bank account for the boat to cover slip fee ($275ish), with the remainder going to insurance, quarterly bottom cleaning, and repair expenses. The way we see it, we’re money ahead. If I’m being totally honest, in hindsight taking out a loan for a larger 2-cabin Catalina 34 might’ve been a better fit for us in the long run but five years ago taking out a $40,000 loan for a boat was unfathomable. It would still be very hard to justify given this boat is paid for. Sometimes it’s hard to look at the total dollar amount we’ve spent on the boat without a tinge of remorse but surprisingly, my wife has the more sanguine outlook on the issue. She’s quick to point out “for a mountain kid from Colorado who’d never been on a boat bigger than a canoe, you’ve learned a lot about boats!” The difference between the cost of a turn-key boat and what we’ve spent on our fixer-upper has been deposited in the “the bank account of experience,” and that account balance is growing by the week
__________________
Jonathan
1979 Catalina 30 #1497
An old Airline Pilot proverb: "If we don't help each other nobody else will."

Last edited by Launchpad McQ; 10-22-2019 at 01:12 AM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Launchpad McQ For This Useful Post:
Administrator (10-22-2019), nebo (02-05-2021), RobbyBobby (09-26-2020), TimBSmith (02-02-2021)
  #83   IP: 24.152.132.140
Old 10-22-2019, 07:39 AM
ndutton's Avatar
ndutton ndutton is offline
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Torrance, CA
Posts: 9,441
Thanks: 188
Thanked 1,959 Times in 1,298 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Launchpad McQ View Post
Ultimately, the boat is serving its purpose well. It’s a private, clean, quiet-ish, always-available place for me to sleep 4-6 nights/month when I’m in SF for work that I don’t spend on hotel expense
Has this been the goal from the outset or has it changed along the way? Does it remain the goal looking forward?
__________________
Neil
1977 Catalina 30
San Pedro, California
prior boats 1987 Westsail 32, 1970 Catalina 22
Had my hands in a few others
Reply With Quote
  #84   IP: 138.207.172.243
Old 10-25-2019, 09:56 AM
TomG's Avatar
TomG TomG is offline
Afourian MVP Emeritus
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Kent Island, MD
Posts: 656
Thanks: 73
Thanked 91 Times in 51 Posts
There's an old airline pilot saying that goes "The best part about being an airline pilot is you can live anywhere you want. The worst part about being an airline pilot is you can live anywhere you want."

At my airline, about half the pilots live outside the domicile and fly in to work each week. It's a constant hassle and you either have to spend a thump on a hotel or you live in a crashpad. Neither is a very good choice. What Jonathon has done is make a silk purse from a sow's ear. Knowing what he knows now, I'm sure he'd make a few changes in his plan, but that goes to the other old saying: "Good judgment come from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment."
__________________
Tom
"Patina"
1977 Tartan 30
Repowered with MMI A-4 2008
Reply With Quote
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to TomG For This Useful Post:
Administrator (10-25-2019), chapster5 (10-26-2019), Launchpad McQ (11-03-2019), RobbyBobby (09-26-2020), TimBSmith (02-02-2021)
  #85   IP: 67.176.27.175
Old 11-24-2019, 01:13 PM
Launchpad McQ's Avatar
Launchpad McQ Launchpad McQ is offline
Aforian MVP
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 101
Thanks: 13
Thanked 86 Times in 38 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by ndutton View Post
Has this been the goal from the outset or has it changed along the way? Does it remain the goal looking forward?
The plan hasn't changed much Neil. Priority number one has always been a comfortable sleeping quarters but having a seaworthy boat we can sail has always been a close second. Early in the boat shopping process we determined that we could get more "living" space per foot in a powerboat but we wanted to learn to sail.

*Tangent Alert*
When I was younger I flew sailplanes (aka gliders) and I see a lot of parallels between the relationship of sailplanes/airplanes and sailboats/powerboats. The former requires a heightened sense of the environmental forces (and a deeper knowledge of them) at work on the machine while the latter gives you the luxury of "powering through" the environment. I've always enjoyed "the journey as much as the destination" so I think we made the right choice joining Team Sailboat vs Team Powerboat.

Name:  rsz_dads_glider_ride_11.jpg
Views: 714
Size:  130.8 KB

Name:  rsz_7697340-r2-018-7a.jpg
Views: 663
Size:  164.1 KB
__________________
Jonathan
1979 Catalina 30 #1497
An old Airline Pilot proverb: "If we don't help each other nobody else will."
Reply With Quote
  #86   IP: 65.122.128.194
Old 12-10-2019, 09:09 PM
Launchpad McQ's Avatar
Launchpad McQ Launchpad McQ is offline
Aforian MVP
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 101
Thanks: 13
Thanked 86 Times in 38 Posts
With the disassembled engine back home in Denver, I could finally progress with this absurdly-too-long engine rebuild project. I found a local machine shop with a good reputation and brought the block in for cleaning and inspection. Given the fact the shop was in Denver, I expectedly had to answer many questions about what this little flat head engine was out of, and how it travelled the 900 miles from a sailboat in San Francisco to a city a mile above sea level. We agreed on a course of action to include ultrasonic cleaning, magna fluxing for cracks, and measuring before committing any more money to the block.

A couple weeks later I got the good news that the block was in decent shape for its age, especially considering this was a raw water cooled block who's water jackets were doubtfully ever maintained in any meaningful way. The cylinders would be bored .10 over, new valve seats cut, and multiple thread repairs made using a product called a "Time Sert." (a solid helicoil-like product) I gave the green light to the machine shop to proceed with the work, warmed up my credit card, and gave Ken a call. The list included:

-New Pistons .10 over
-New Rings .10 over
-Full Gasket Set
-New Crankshaft (Rods & Mains .10)
-New Rod Bearings .10 over
-New Main Bearings .10 over
-New Intake Valves
-New Exhaust Valves

While I was waiting for the parts to arrive, I got terribly sick. The doctor diagnosed me with an acute case of severe dumbshititis and the symptoms included purchasing an additional Atomic 4... sight unseen...off Craigslist...from Los Angeles...and shipping it to Denver...in wintertime. Uhhhh, yeah. I did say it was a severe case right? Well, thats exactly what I did. It seemed like "too good of a deal to pass up." This late model A-4 was supposedly from a fresh-water cooled boat, "running like new," and $1000. I figured this rebuild was taking me so long, I'd give this running A-4 a fresh coat of paint, ship it out to SF, drop it in the boat, and then sell my soon-to-be rebuilt motor for enough money to cover the cost of everything once I got it finished. "It was like getting a free motor!" Needless to say, it didn't go as planned. First of all, the 'Craigslist motor' wasn't even close to the condition it was advertised as. The block was badly rusted in many places and almost rusted through in one spot. Secondly, it appeared that at some point in transit the block likely froze and there was a crack in the head right below the temperature sensor sensor boss.

Name:  rsz_3img_0002.jpg
Views: 603
Size:  151.1 KB
Dumbshititis. When it hits me, it hits hard.

I tried to convince myself (and my wife) that I was not truly losing my mind and that I would salvage the situation. I would take the best parts of the two motors and build one "Grade A" motor to be ultimately installed in our boat while taking the less perfect parts and assembling them into a "Grade B" motor to be sold at some hypothetical later date to some hypothetically desperate sailor looking to salvage their sailing season from some hypothetical crippling engine condition and in need of a replacement "Grade B" motor.

Just then things started to look up. My original block was back from the machine shop, bored, cleaned, and ready to be assembled. I'm pretty sure I cracked a beer and just stared at the engine for an hour.

Name:  rsz_img_0362.jpg
Views: 611
Size:  154.6 KB

Name:  rsz_1img_0364.jpg
Views: 587
Size:  114.8 KB

Since now no expense was being spared on this rebuild, I figured nothing less than a fancy, expensive, time consuming Eastwood Ceramic engine paint job (fire engine red of course) for this soon-to-be-pin-up-of-the-month would be appropriate. I turned the block over to get a better angle at the paint removal and that's when I saw it. When I say "it" I mean the incontrovertible sign that I had likely just crossed into Narnia, the Great Beyond, the Event Horizon, the Other Side, the place where no sane man dares go:

Name:  rsz_screen_shot_2019-12-10_at_60136_pm.png
Views: 558
Size:  1.04 MB

"A crack in the block that I just spent over $1200 in parts and machining for!? I thought the machine shop had magna fluxed it!? WHHHHHHAAAAATTTTT THHHHHHHEEEE FFFFFFUUU#%@!"
__________________
Jonathan
1979 Catalina 30 #1497
An old Airline Pilot proverb: "If we don't help each other nobody else will."

Last edited by Launchpad McQ; 12-10-2019 at 09:26 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Launchpad McQ For This Useful Post:
RobbyBobby (09-26-2020), Surcouf (12-10-2019)
  #87   IP: 108.34.135.205
Old 12-10-2019, 09:31 PM
Surcouf's Avatar
Surcouf Surcouf is offline
Afourian MVP, Professor Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 357
Thanks: 313
Thanked 157 Times in 119 Posts
You have to admit that human nature has proven in history that it can be the absolute worse .... but also that some kind of strange and unexpected sense of humor emerges out of nowhere in dire circumstances !!!

free adapting from Shakespear : «**Back unto the crack, chaps!*»
Good luck
__________________
Surcouf
A nostalgic PO - Previously "Almost There" - Catalina 27 (1979)
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Surcouf For This Useful Post:
TimBSmith (02-02-2021)
  #88   IP: 66.235.14.138
Old 12-10-2019, 11:01 PM
wristwister's Avatar
wristwister wristwister is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Arlington, WA
Posts: 166
Thanks: 0
Thanked 47 Times in 30 Posts
Yeah, wouldn't the magnaflux have picked that crack up? Guess I'll just have to wait for the next chapter to find out what happened.

By the way, is that a YJ in the background? I'm doing a build up of a YJ in my shop right now.
__________________
"A ship in the harbor is safe ... but that's not what ships are built for.
Reply With Quote
  #89   IP: 32.211.28.40
Old 12-11-2019, 02:35 PM
Al Schober's Avatar
Al Schober Al Schober is offline
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Uncasville, CT
Posts: 1,900
Thanks: 12
Thanked 490 Times in 355 Posts
Wow! Isn't that a bummer? I'd be interested in hearing what the magnaflux guy has to say/suggests..
Looks like freeze damage from a poor winterizing job. Question now is whether to write it off or to try and save your investment. One plus is that it's in an area of low thermal/mechanical stress. A crack in the upper deck would be the kiss of death (perhaps that's the only area they looked at for the magnaflux?). My thought is that the crack could be ground out a bit then sil-brazed - but you'll want to get the opinion of someone who's tried such a fix (I haven't).
Another reason to go to glycol cooling!
Reply With Quote
  #90   IP: 24.152.132.140
Old 12-11-2019, 06:48 PM
ndutton's Avatar
ndutton ndutton is offline
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Torrance, CA
Posts: 9,441
Thanks: 188
Thanked 1,959 Times in 1,298 Posts
Did you pressure test the water jacket prior to disassembly (this saga has gone on so long I can't remember)? I ask because all too often we hear of guys jumping into disassembly and losing out on one of the most important tests that can be made.

Several years ago I acquired a late model A4 for free. The very first thing I did was the pressure test (successful) which confirmed a viable block and manifold. Only then could I be confident proceeding with the rebuild.
__________________
Neil
1977 Catalina 30
San Pedro, California
prior boats 1987 Westsail 32, 1970 Catalina 22
Had my hands in a few others
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to ndutton For This Useful Post:
RobbyBobby (09-26-2020)
  #91   IP: 65.127.85.11
Old 12-11-2019, 10:29 PM
Launchpad McQ's Avatar
Launchpad McQ Launchpad McQ is offline
Aforian MVP
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 101
Thanks: 13
Thanked 86 Times in 38 Posts
Each of you guys hit the nail on the head. I'll try to get the next installment in tomorrow but in the meantime:

Quote:
Originally Posted by ndutton View Post
Did you pressure test the water jacket prior to disassembly (this saga has gone on so long I can't remember)? I ask because all too often we hear of guys jumping into disassembly and losing out on one of the most important tests that can be made.
No I didn't Neil and I absolutely should've. A Schrader valve, a cheap dial gauge, and bike pump might've saved me a lot of agony on this whole thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Schober View Post
Wow! Isn't that a bummer? I'd be interested in hearing what the magnaflux guy has to say/suggests..
Looks like freeze damage from a poor winterizing job. Question now is whether to write it off or to try and save your investment. One plus is that it's in an area of low thermal/mechanical stress. A crack in the upper deck would be the kiss of death (perhaps that's the only area they looked at for the magnaflux?). My thought is that the crack could be ground out a bit then sil-brazed - but you'll want to get the opinion of someone who's tried such a fix (I haven't).
Another reason to go to glycol cooling!
Not to fear Al the saga with this block will continue so many more shenanigans to come. I too wondered how this crack developed. One of my coworkers is a flathead enthusiast/connoisseur (old Pontiacs mostly) and we discussed it ad nauseam. Given the location of the crack on the floor of the water jacket, he seems to think freeze damage too but I'm still curious how an engine sitting in the San Francisco Bay full of salt water would freeze, although I've spent many a night freezing my butt off in January with my little electric space heater struggling to take the edge off. I wondered if the time I overheated the engine from a plugged exhaust manifold water outlet elbow could've done it? Maybe running the engine so hard with the timing so hideously off and the engine knocking like crazy? I dunno.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wristwister View Post
Yeah, wouldn't the magnaflux have picked that crack up? Guess I'll just have to wait for the next chapter to find out what happened.

By the way, is that a YJ in the background? I'm doing a build up of a YJ in my shop right now.
You're right wristwister, the guy magnufluxing dropped the ball but more on that later. You can't see the headlights in the pic but it's a 1985 Jeep CJ-7 in the back. It was my best friend's car in High School and we used to drive up to the hills every weekend to "go camping" or at least that's what we told our parents we were doing with a gigantic Igloo cooler in the back and our girlfriends "meeting us for dinner" He finally sold it to me when I was a junior in college and I've been tinkering on it ever since.
__________________
Jonathan
1979 Catalina 30 #1497
An old Airline Pilot proverb: "If we don't help each other nobody else will."
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Launchpad McQ For This Useful Post:
TimBSmith (02-02-2021)
  #92   IP: 24.152.132.140
Old 12-11-2019, 10:49 PM
ndutton's Avatar
ndutton ndutton is offline
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Torrance, CA
Posts: 9,441
Thanks: 188
Thanked 1,959 Times in 1,298 Posts
I'm trying to recall if we have EVER heard of a casting crack that didn't involve the water jacket and therefore would not be uncovered by a pressure test.

Can't think of a single one.
__________________
Neil
1977 Catalina 30
San Pedro, California
prior boats 1987 Westsail 32, 1970 Catalina 22
Had my hands in a few others
Reply With Quote
  #93   IP: 65.122.128.194
Old 12-12-2019, 10:12 PM
Launchpad McQ's Avatar
Launchpad McQ Launchpad McQ is offline
Aforian MVP
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 101
Thanks: 13
Thanked 86 Times in 38 Posts
As you can imagine, the sentiment I expressed in the last post was the G-Rated version of what actually came out of my mouth. I was shouting so loud, my wife heard me from inside the house, birds scattered, the neighbor kids went running inside, and pretty much the entire neighborhood learned the depth and breadth of my profanity vocabulary. I took a breath and realized nothing good could come from making an immediate phone call to the machine shop.

The next day I loaded up the block, drove up to the machine shop, and in as patient of a demeanor as I could muster, set the block on the counter and asked the machine shop owner what he thought happened. He took one look at it and his jaw dropped. "Oh man that's a crack. How on earth did we miss that!?" he said apologetically. I was relieved to see him seemingly at least half as frustrated as I was. He went back and talked to the tech who did the magnafluxing, and as expected, he admitted to only having examined the "common crack prone areas" which I would guess meant "just the top." He came back shaking his head, apologizing profusely. "I'll refund all your money right now if you want, otherwise if you bring me another block we'll do whatever it takes to get that block perfect, or if you really want, I'll send this block to someone I trust for the repair and cover the cost." The problem with option A & B was that I had already purchased all the new pistons, rings, crank, bearings etc that were "married" to the new measurements of this machined block and sourcing another block in Colorado was beyond unlikely. Shipping yet another questionable block into the state would just be cost prohibitive. The repair technique we discussed might be familiar to you guys but I had never heard of the terms "pinning" or "lock 'n stitching" so before I committed yet again to this motor, I wanted to research it. The combination of this YouTube video with it's upbeat and reasurring intro music and my Pontiac enthusiast friend were enough to put my mind at ease with this repair:

[YOUTUBE]Pq0wfU4ZaKk[/YOUTUBE]

I gave the shop the green light and a few weeks later I had the engine back:
Name:  rsz_img_0499.jpg
Views: 568
Size:  145.9 KB

Name:  rsz_3img_0500.jpg
Views: 532
Size:  146.7 KB

Next Chapter:

"Where the hell in Oklahoma City did UPS send my camshaft and lifters? That address doesn't even exist!"
__________________
Jonathan
1979 Catalina 30 #1497
An old Airline Pilot proverb: "If we don't help each other nobody else will."

Last edited by Launchpad McQ; 12-12-2019 at 10:33 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Launchpad McQ For This Useful Post:
chapster5 (12-13-2019), Easy Rider (12-13-2019), edwardc (12-16-2019), RobbyBobby (09-26-2020), Surcouf (12-12-2019)
  #94   IP: 216.212.203.101
Old 12-14-2019, 07:00 AM
chapster5 chapster5 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Ont
Posts: 45
Thanks: 101
Thanked 10 Times in 7 Posts
Amazing, the stuff you learn on here!! Now to remember it should the need ever arise.

Chapster5
Reply With Quote
  #95   IP: 108.34.135.205
Old 12-14-2019, 09:30 AM
Surcouf's Avatar
Surcouf Surcouf is offline
Afourian MVP, Professor Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 357
Thanks: 313
Thanked 157 Times in 119 Posts
The video is impressive... I am having a hard time understanding how drilling the whole crack on 100% of the block thickness, and “filling it” with screws is a re-inforcement. Are the screws “interlocking” enough with their threads to re-create the strength of the metal?
Anyway, impressive.

I hope the repair will hold! Good luck!
__________________
Surcouf
A nostalgic PO - Previously "Almost There" - Catalina 27 (1979)
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Surcouf For This Useful Post:
RobbyBobby (09-26-2020)
  #96   IP: 98.117.4.37
Old 12-14-2019, 12:08 PM
Don Moyer's Avatar
Don Moyer Don Moyer is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 2,809
Thanks: 0
Thanked 173 Times in 117 Posts
Lock-n-stitch

Surcouf,

The threads on the plugs used in Lock-n-stitch repairs are tapered and shaped such that (as they are tightened) they pull the crack together. The shape of the threads was described to us by Lock-n-stitch technical support folks as being like the cross section of a wave on the ocean just before it crests. During the repair, each new plug also overlaps the previous plug slightly so the shape of the threads also pulls the repair itself tight as it progresses. Don
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Don Moyer For This Useful Post:
RobbyBobby (09-26-2020), sastanley (12-15-2019), Surcouf (12-16-2019)
  #97   IP: 108.34.135.205
Old 12-14-2019, 12:51 PM
Surcouf's Avatar
Surcouf Surcouf is offline
Afourian MVP, Professor Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 357
Thanks: 313
Thanked 157 Times in 119 Posts
Thank you Don.

This is really interesting. I have seen several “stitched” steam turbine casings around the world, with the classic 10” stitch added accross of the usual crack weld.
But nothing like this. I went to their website, and most of their pictures shows large marine engines, where removing the block is hardly an option, and so have the financial ressources to have such a repair technology developed.

The way you describe it is indeed what their drawings are showing.

This is something I will may be able to use in my work in the future... not on heavy industrial boilers, as it surely does not meet the appropriate section of the ASME code, but on gas engine generators.
Attached Images
 
__________________
Surcouf
A nostalgic PO - Previously "Almost There" - Catalina 27 (1979)
Reply With Quote
  #98   IP: 138.207.172.243
Old 12-16-2019, 09:10 AM
TomG's Avatar
TomG TomG is offline
Afourian MVP Emeritus
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Kent Island, MD
Posts: 656
Thanks: 73
Thanked 91 Times in 51 Posts
Reading this thread is like when I discovered "Breaking Bad" on NetFlix. I just want to keep reading but I need to take a break every once in a while to hit the head.

(Someone is earning his PhD in the Universal Atomic 4.)
__________________
Tom
"Patina"
1977 Tartan 30
Repowered with MMI A-4 2008
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to TomG For This Useful Post:
TimBSmith (02-02-2021)
  #99   IP: 165.225.38.128
Old 12-16-2019, 09:48 AM
Surcouf's Avatar
Surcouf Surcouf is offline
Afourian MVP, Professor Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 357
Thanks: 313
Thanked 157 Times in 119 Posts
I just looked at the picture on a large screen and not a cell phone. Am I having visions or have they done it through the piston wall too? How would they even drill the block there? from the outside?
I love this thread!
Attached Images
 
__________________
Surcouf
A nostalgic PO - Previously "Almost There" - Catalina 27 (1979)
Reply With Quote
  #100   IP: 65.122.183.157
Old 03-04-2020, 12:01 AM
Launchpad McQ's Avatar
Launchpad McQ Launchpad McQ is offline
Aforian MVP
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 101
Thanks: 13
Thanked 86 Times in 38 Posts
Hello again A4-ian crew. Sorry for the hiatus but as you'll see from the forthcoming post, a mental break from the longest-rebuild-in-A4-history has been much needed. I wish I had some upbeat news to share about the progress but I've gotta be honest, it hasn't gone well. Also, between two kids in diapers and a full kitchen remodel in progress, it's been harder and harder to find the time to write thread posts let alone work on the engine. So if you'll forgive me, I'm going to hit the fast forward button on this thread from the last post describing the crack repair (which took place in May 2019) and catch you up to where the rebuild stands at this moment (March 2020). I'll probably gloss over some things but if I'm ever going to bring this thread full circle, I've gotta start wrapping things up. Soooooo......

The UPS Disappearing Camshaft Magic Trick
Because of some pitting on the lobes, the machine shop recommended I send it to a camshaft-specific shop in Oklahoma for overhaul. I shipped it, but UPS delivered it to an address that doesn't appear to exist and it's never been seen since. (It's been over a year) Oh yeah, and all my lifters were in the box too which I didn't remember until I went to reassemble the engine months later and couldn't find them. "Hello Ken? Yep it's Jonathan. Yep now I need lifters in addition to that new camshaft I just bought."

Name:  rsz_img_9931.jpg
Views: 420
Size:  117.9 KB

Reassembly
I followed the Moyer Manual methodically and got the engine back together just fine. I checked, double checked, and took pictures as evidence/reminders of all the oil gallery plugs installed so I wouldn't fall victim to the dreaded "0 oil pressure after rebuild" that some folks have.



Initial Post-Rebuild Engine Run
Once again, following the Moyer Manual "Initial Start Up" section step-by-step, it fired up and ran as well as I hoped...with the exception of low oil pressure. The oil pressure registered over 40psi when "priming" the oil system per the manual, but after running for 20 mins or so, declined to below 10psi before I turned it off. I changed the oil from straight 30 weight oil to Rotella 15W-40 and ran the engine the next day. No difference in oil pressure.

Name:  rsz_img_1362.jpg
Views: 414
Size:  221.1 KB

Low Oil Pressure Mystery
With a new crank, rod bearings, main bearings, and seemingly no other culprit Ken, Don, and I suspected worn oil pump gears. I got the engine back up on the workbench, tore it partially down, and sent the rear main bearing cap out to Pennsylvania for testing & rebuilding. While waiting for the pump to come back I decided to do what I should've done before I ever ran the engine and plasti-gauge the rod/main journals. Once I got them apart, I found the #2 and #3 rod journals were badly discolored. I took the crankshaft to the machine shop and after measuring it, he diagnosed the damage as oil starvation from mis-sized crank journals (specifically .030 oversized instead of .010 as advertised.) I alerted Ken and Don of my machine shop's findings and they immediately sent a new (.010 over) crank and bearings while I sent the "20-minutes-old-but-trashed" crank back to them for investigation. Once they got the crank and were able to analyze it, their measurements showed .010 over (albeit damaged) rod journals and were unsure how my machine shop came to the .030 conclusion. We brainstormed for a bit and agreed that I should "cease-and-desist" on this rebuild until we were absolutely sure what caused the damage lest I destroy another perfectly good crankshaft/bearing set. During that brainstorm session I mentioned that somewhere in the shuffle of transporting the disassembled engine home in my suitcase, I had also lost my original main bearing caps. I reassembled the engine using the main bearing caps from the spare engine I had purchased off Craigslist (which was also the rear main cap/oil pump that I sent in for rebuilding). Little did I realize, the main caps are married to the block and therefore not interchangeable without machining, specifically line-boring. The use of mismatched main caps is currently our best hypothesis of why the engine exhibited such low oil pressure post-rebuild and subsequently damaged a brand new crankshaft beyond repair.

Name:  rsz_img_1533.jpg
Views: 432
Size:  149.2 KB

So Here We Are
As it stands today, the disassembled bare block is back at the machine shop getting measured for line-boring to correct the mismatched main bearing cap issue. I still owe Don a chunk of $$$ for the replacement crankshaft he sent me after having destroyed the first new crankshaft after 20 mins of run time. (Ken and I haven't caught up on the phone in a couple weeks but they know I'm good for it and they know where I live )

Needless to say that between a cracked block, lost-in-the-mail camshaft & lifters, misplaced main bearing caps, an expensive oil pump rebuild, a misguided spare engine purchase, and oh yeah, recently a new cylinder head, it's clear this rebuild has gone as sideways as one could go. For anyone considering an A-4 rebuild project, I really hope I haven't dissuaded them from taking on the challenge. I've learned a tremendous amount in the process, but also had more than a little bad luck and some setbacks caused by my inexperience and/or ignorance. In the same breath I would caution anyone from choosing to rebuild vs buying a short-block engine from Moyer on the notion that rebuilding will be cheaper. At this point I would've been way, way, money ahead if I would've just called Ken and had a short-block sent to the marina, and I would've been enjoying the boat years sooner. I probably won't update this thread very much until I (hopefully) get this thing machined (again), reassembled (again), and running (again). Between the kids, kitchen renovation, and work, It'll most likely be mid summer at the earliest.
__________________
Jonathan
1979 Catalina 30 #1497
An old Airline Pilot proverb: "If we don't help each other nobody else will."

Last edited by Launchpad McQ; 04-17-2020 at 10:55 AM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Launchpad McQ For This Useful Post:
TimBSmith (02-02-2021)
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
Type prop for Catalina 30 with Atomic 4 rjkerby Drive Train / Propellers 15 04-16-2015 08:41 AM
Catalina Atomic 4 No Crank Problem Resolved Don Moyer Troubleshooting 2 09-24-2013 06:36 PM
Catalina Atomic 4 No Crank Problem Resolved Don Moyer Catalina 27 01-10-2013 11:20 AM
Catalina 30, Atomic 4 - Dies no apparent reason dbschulz Troubleshooting 30 09-14-2010 07:31 AM
Atomic 4 from a 73 Catalina 27 Spontaneous For Sale - Engines and Engine Parts 0 07-07-2007 01:10 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:15 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.


Universal® is a registered trademark of Westerbeke Corporation

Copyright © 2004-2022 Moyer Marine Inc.

All Rights Reserved