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Old 09-08-2021, 02:50 AM
Hansejung2021 Hansejung2021 is offline
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Smile Hello from Europe, Afourians! Overhaul incoming?

Hello everyone,

let me introduce myself:

My name is Till, 34 years old and from Germany. Since 2 years i was looking for a sailboat, the search wasnt easy cause I am running on a tight budget and had special wishes for a boat, it should have been a motorsailer (like a Fisher 25 or 30) or a classic cruiser.

One day I found an old "Bristol 29" right next to my home, 5 minutes away with my bike. At first sight it all looked good, the price was okay and i bought it. When the previous owner told me "thats is an old gas engine" i was thinking "okay, nvm I will get that out and replace it with a small diesel".

But that was before I found some works I need to do on the deck (rotten decks) and before I read more about the A4 and Moyer. Since I know Moyer and this Forum I am really thinking I should keep the Engine and may Overhaul it.

At this point I have veeeery less experiences with enginges, I once overhauled a 70ccm Engine on a small motorbike, but i guess thats not comparable. The Engine is still in the boat, the boat hasnt been in the water for at least 3 years. The previous owner told me, that the engine had been working till they got it out of the water, but I am not 100% sure if that is the truth.

I know (or more I guess) its a late model and for me it looks like everything is more or less original, mechanical fuelpump and so on.

Now I dont know whats the best way to get forward and thats where you come in to my story ;-)

My Question to you all is: What would be the best way to start? Should I try to start it first (with fresh Oil and a bucket full of Water for cooling - a friend of mine said that we should do that first) or would it be better to straight get it out and overhaul it before testing it in its current state?

Some pictures below, but as I guess you cant tell the health only with those pictures.

Looking forward for your feedback

Greetings from Germany!
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Old 09-08-2021, 03:14 AM
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If the engine has been in an area where the temperature gets below freezing in the winter the first thing I would do is pressure test the block to be sure there is no freeze damage to the cooling system.

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Old 09-08-2021, 04:31 AM
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I did a partial overhaul of mine during first Covid period, and since then moved back to Europe. I had limited experience with engine before, and did it alone; but without that forum, that would not have been possible. I strongly recommend keeping the A4

So my first reaction would be:
- is the shaft turning, or is the engine locked?
- perform the block pressure test, then the manifold pressure test.
- if shaft is turning, and block are not leaking, then yes, next step would be to change oil, drop a new battery, make sure nothing starts burning (be ready to disconnect battery, as you know nothing of the electrical system at this point), crank the block. Check for plugs spark
- then install a temp fuel line from a bucket and try to start. all that without water

If the engine cranks and does not leak, you should keep it, buy MM manual and perform full engine maintenance, including both pumps (fuel and water).

There is always a debate on running a water pump with a old dry impeller... it could break and send small pieces of impeller in the cooling system. Many (including me) would just use the old impeller for testing the engine, but others had bad experience chasing pieces of impellers in the cooling ... being VERY careful not to flood your engine (direct exhaust or riser?)you can also by-pass the pump with a water hose that you crank open once engine runs. I let the others chip in.

It is going to be a fun trip, good luck
A nostalgic PO - Previously "Almost There" - Catalina 27 (1979)
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Old 09-08-2021, 01:33 PM
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A look at the pictures shows that someone has been at the engine. Although it looks a bit messy I'd be willing to bet that the person that had it knew what every little thing there was for, where every wire went etc.

What I would do:
1 compression check
2 ignition check by turning it over and ensuring spark on all 4 cylinders.
3. remove carburetor and clean it up.
4. Hook up auxiliary fuel supply of fresh gas.
5 Check oil level and if down use 15w40 to top up
6 Turn it over on starter and see if it starts.
7 If it starts shut it off right away.
8 Hook up a water supply from a bucket to the intake pump.
9 Restart and see if it keeps running and spitting water out the back.
10 Check oil and see if any water in oil...foamy, white, bubbles on dipstick.

There are a number of things that could need work ranging from the ignition system, to pump, plugs,...if you need someone to help with the engine find a guy that is 60 or 70 years old that worked on engines...a farmer, boater, old mechanic...they know this stuff.

One of the guy said to check if it is turning over...very necessary. It has to be free and not seized.

1976 C&C 30 MKI

The pessimist complains about the wind.
The optimist expects it to change.
The realist adjusts the sails.
...Sir William Arthur Ward.
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