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Old 08-13-2019, 10:58 AM   #1
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Sitting Lehmanís

Hello , Iím new to this site and hope to tap into informed experienced trawler owners. On my search to purchase a live aboard . Perhaps a Defever 44. My question is about engines on a boat that has be sitting for 3-5 years without starting or any attention . Is there any concerned about the twin ford Lehmanís 120s , or any diesel for that matter just sitting that long ? Assuming they were in decent shape before. Aprox 3500 hours each . Thanks
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Old 08-13-2019, 11:07 AM   #2
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Greetings,
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Old 08-13-2019, 11:08 AM   #3
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Welcome aboard. I would not be overly concerned about them sitting if they were prepared for freezing if you get freezing temperatures there. I would change the fuel filters, etc. have them surveyed by someone who knows Lehmans. Good luck.
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Old 08-13-2019, 11:13 AM   #4
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No matter what anyone says...ya never know.


The more documented maintenance, care and running of those engines gives a picture...but no guarantees.


New engines out of the factory fail and ancient, poorly cared for engines last years.


You roll the dice no matter what, but lightly used engines have high incidences of failures of bolt on things such as starters, alternators, raw water pumps, coolers, heat exchangers, etc...etc.... the blocks and internal components seem pretty resistant to neglect.
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Old 08-13-2019, 11:33 AM   #5
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Thanks . That makes sense. Not sure if properly winterized or not . It does freeze in Anacortes but not usually hard or for long .
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Old 08-13-2019, 11:35 AM   #6
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I had similar questions when my Lehman 135s had sat unused for two plus years. I called Brian Smith and listened to knowledgeable folks like Ski, on this forum, and had zero problems. You shouldnít either if the engines were laid up properly (fogged) and probably wonít have problems even if they werenít. Lehmanís are tough.

Brian recommended pumping oil though the oil pressure sensing port prior to starting. For a three-to-five-year layup, Iíd also consider changing the oil and impellers and examining hoses, belts, strainers, fuel lines and electrical connectionsóespecially on the starters. One other thing I learned this year: check your exhausts for bird nests. I blew two of them halfway across the marina when I cranked the Lehmans for the first time.

Good luck.
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Old 08-13-2019, 11:55 AM   #7
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Thanks . That makes sense. Not sure if properly winterized or not . It does freeze in Anacortes but not usually hard or for long .


Thereís a big difference between dry land storage and in the water moorage in Anacortes. If moored, the hull is never exposed to the air temperature below the water line, and the sea water is well above freezing, keeping the engine room warmer than the outside air. If stored on land the whole boat will be at the air temperature, much colder! If dry land stored all water systems, raw, engine coolant, and potable, need proper winterization. Check them all!
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Old 08-13-2019, 11:57 AM   #8
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Hahaha yeah good idea to check for critters . Not sure if this one has exhaust flaps or not. Iím just trying to be an informed buyer - know what to look for. Iím not new to diy maintenance but this is a whole new animal to me. I would assume a boat that has sat that long likely has the thru hulls completely plugged as well . Iím still in the searching process. Learning lots . Do you know anything about Detroit ď fuel sippersĒ? Wondering how they compare to Lehmanís as far as reliability and fuel economy . I need good fuel economy . I viewed an OA 48 with Detroit 250s and was curious about gph at cruising speed.
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Old 08-13-2019, 12:20 PM   #9
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I would bar the engine over before using the starter. I use the nut on the crank pulley. The starter solenoid may rust up so it might spin but the gear won't move forward. I would take the impellers out. They're fresh water cooled so you can run them for a bit without the raw water cooling.

Any engine can sit for years, or not.
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Old 08-13-2019, 01:19 PM   #10
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Do you know anything about Detroit “ fuel sippers”? Wondering how they compare to Lehman’s as far as reliability and fuel economy . I need good fuel economy . I viewed an OA 48 with Detroit 250s and was curious about gph at cruising speed.
I suspect you are talking about the DD 8.2 4 cycle diesels. These have a somewhat problematic history- overheating in the aft cylinders which can be corrected with a coolant vent line and undersized head bolts, which can also be corrected. Both of which can cause head gasket failure.

The DD 8.2 was generally built lighter than other marine diesels of its time, more like truck gassers.

Some have said that if your run them at light loads they will last as long as others, but if you try to run them at high loads, they have a high failure rate.

And finally I don't quite understand the "fuel sipper" tag. While I haven't found a data sheet that gives fuel burn curves, I doubt if it is any different from the Lehman.

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Old 08-13-2019, 01:29 PM   #11
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Itís not your problem. Itís the current owners problem assuming you purchase after an engine survey and sea trial. If you purchase as-is you better assume the worst.
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Old 08-13-2019, 01:46 PM   #12
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Hahaha yeah good idea to check for critters . Not sure if this one has exhaust flaps or not. Iím just trying to be an informed buyer - know what to look for. Iím not new to diy maintenance but this is a whole new animal to me. I would assume a boat that has sat that long likely has the thru hulls completely plugged as well . Iím still in the searching process. Learning lots . Do you know anything about Detroit ď fuel sippersĒ? Wondering how they compare to Lehmanís as far as reliability and fuel economy . I need good fuel economy . I viewed an OA 48 with Detroit 250s and was curious about gph at cruising speed.
I've never heard the 'fuel sipper' label used for 8.2 Detroits. There are several boats on this site that have these engines and seem to like them. Boatdiesel.com has a lot info on the 8.2 with both positive and negative comments.
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Old 08-13-2019, 02:07 PM   #13
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Ok sure I get that . But best to understand as much beforehand rather than lose the survey $$$ because owner won’t fix etc . Thanks though . I’m looking at a boat that price seems very firm . On the surface price seems in the ballpark but systems that have been sitting so long concern me like stabilizers and thrusters , anchor windless etc. admittedly I’m fresh to this , but want to make an informed decision . Appreciate all the help I can get here.
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Old 08-13-2019, 02:22 PM   #14
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Once you get a deal in writing and proceed to a survey, everyone get attached to the idea of the sale. You want to go through with the deal as well as the seller wants to go through with the deal. You may find that the seller becomes more flexible after thinking that the boat is sold and they mentally start counting the money. Then some things come up in the survey and they still want to close the deal so they agree. I have never had a seller not agree to fix what the surveyor called out within reason. I donít ask for minor things but anything major I want fixed or a price drop. The problem is when you get too attached to the deal and donít want to walk away...
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Old 08-13-2019, 02:52 PM   #15
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Ok . Yeah , that makes good sense . I’m familiar with bargaining . Sounds like you have lots experience with boats . Thanks for your input . This is a big deal for me so want to get it right . Buyer beware and all . I love the Defever design and reputation so I think I’m starting out solid anyway if I go that route.
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:29 PM   #16
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DD 8.2's were known as "Fuel Pinchers", a name DD gave them. I assume this was because they were 4 stroke as opposed to the usual 2 stroke that DD was known for. I had 2 of them in an aluminum boat. They were very fuel efficient- compared to a 71 series but on par with a Lehman as djmarchand suggests. Parts were expensive and getting harder to find....in 1991. I would pass on any boat with these engines unless they could be bought at a price that makes repowering attractive.
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:37 PM   #17
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Cool . Good info . Thanks
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Old 08-13-2019, 04:30 PM   #18
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The 120s are good simple engines and can be pretty bulletproof but the owner has to provide the bulletproof vest with adequate maintenance. If they are all rusted over, walk away. If not, they may be okay, but it is not up to you to get them started and running for a sea trial. Doing that correctly is going to take all the assorted barring over, impeller-changing, intake-clearing, oil sensor pre-start treatment that you have been well advised on. OTOH, the owner/broker will more than likely just go down there and hit the starter and hope the batteries will start it doing who knows what damage.

Maybe you can discuss these issue with the other side and see what their attitude is. If good, maybe you can stay with the deal for a bit longer.

It is my experience that boat stuff breaks more from sitting than use; so every major system in that boat is going to have arthritis.
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Old 08-13-2019, 05:31 PM   #19
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We have Lehman SP225s in our boat. So far they have been great. I suspect they had not been used much in the last couple of years before we bought the boat. I did the usual stuff before we headed home 1400 miles with it. Never missed a beat except for the stop button on the flybridge that went bad so we could not start the engine. New stop button, no more problems. But that button could have gone bad at anytime and was probably not from sitting. Only problem is now I have one different button on the helm because the original button is not longer available.
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Old 08-15-2019, 03:57 PM   #20
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Before we bought our DeFever 44, we surveyed two others and waled away. One, on the way to a yard for a short haul, had an engine overheat on the way, a three mile trip. It was shut down. On the way back, the other engine overheated. Plus, one prop went thunk 8nstead of ping when tapped with a hammer. Electrolosis had eaten it away. That was enough for me. Couldn't get away fast enough. We ended up with a very nuce example of a DF44. It is a big mistake to marry the boat just because you have dollars invested in a survey. In our case we also incurred plane fare and hotel costs to travel to Florida for the surveys. It's part of the process. Our boat has 120s. We have put about 1,000 hours on the engines since purchase with no problems whatever that means for the future.
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The 120s are good simple engines and can be pretty bulletproof but the owner has to provide the bulletproof vest with adequate maintenance. If they are all rusted over, walk away. If not, they may be okay, but it is not up to you to get them started and running for a sea trial. Doing that correctly is going to take all the assorted barring over, impeller-changing, intake-clearing, oil sensor pre-start treatment that you have been well advised on. OTOH, the owner/broker will more than likely just go down there and hit the starter and hope the batteries will start it doing who knows what damage.

Maybe you can discuss these issue with the other side and see what their attitude is. If good, maybe you can stay with the deal for a bit longer.

It is my experience that boat stuff breaks more from sitting than use; so every major system in that boat is going to have arthritis.
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