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Old 02-03-2013, 12:53 PM   #21
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At the risk of being "cruisified" by owners of FL engines, it seems to me that I see a lot more problems posted by TF members than any other make and model.
I follow an MB owners forum. Guess what? There's 1000's of posts there about problems with Mercedes. I follow a Lincoln owners forum - same thing - lots of problems with Towncars. Nobody shows up anywhere just to say he had a boring uneventful day.

I've owned a lot of different diesels both personally and in business. When we went boat shopping I had two very specific requirements and nothing that has happened since we bought Gray Hawk has changed either of those requirements were we to start shopping again:

1) No Cats - too expensive to fix, not to mention the fact that the most common version in the boats we were looking at were the notorious 3208s

2) No electronics - I've got no problem with electronic engines IF THEY ARE USED EVERY DAY. If not give me a simple cast iron system.

The Lehmans are simple old chunks of cast iron. Give them fuel and turn them over and they WILL run. As others have pointed out past maintenance mistakes can cost you money. I don't believe that those catastrophic events arrive unannounced after several years of ownership. In the early years anybody can get caught by something that has been brewing for several years but after two or three years of ownership if something blows up I think the owner has been ignoring warning signs.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:15 PM   #22
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I just pulled the injectors and no signs of anti-freeze or water. The crank would not budge.

So I moved to removing the oil filter and I am letting it drain now, but I believe I was able to set specs of metal in the oil that was coming from the filter.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:19 PM   #23
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you already answeree my question sorry
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:36 PM   #24
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....it seems to me that I see a lot more problems posted by TF members than any other make and model.

Question: "Owners of FLs, knowing what you know now, would you prefer a different make and model engine to power you boats? "
The FL120 was put in countless recreational boats in the 60s, 70s, and early 80s. Particularly the ones built in Asia. And these happen to be the kind most often purchased by people getting into this kind of boating.

My own theory is that these engines, because they are still so common, tend to be run by many boaters as though they were a much more modern engine. And this, I believe, contributes to a potentially earlier than normal demise.

I have a Land Rover that I bought new in 1973. While it has a gasoline engine the engine is based on an engine Land Rover designed and built as a diesel. Long story why they did this but the bottom line is they did not want to operate two engine assembly lines for the same vehicle. It's a tough little engine developing a whopping 68 hp. Top speed of the LRC is about 60 mph.

When I bought the thing, it's "cruising speed" of 45-50 mph was just fine in the traffic conditions of the day. When I moved to Seattle in 1979' the national speed limit was 55 mph so I had no problems commuting on the freeways.

But today, if I were to try to drive the thing with even a hope of surviving today's traffic, I would destroy that engine in pretty short order as it would be running at the upper end of its rpm band almost the whole time.

I believe--- and have been told by an acquaintance in the UK who built a career on servicing, repairing, and overhauling Ford of England engines of all types ---that the Ford Dorset engine is happiest and will last the longest when operated under a constant load in the rpm range of 1500 to 1800. Sustained operation above 1800 will, in his experience, shorten the service life of the engine. As will operation at constantly varying engine speeds and loads, particularly higher rpm and loads, which is why the Dorset was such a miserable failure in its intended purpose as a truck engine but proved to be an excellent engine for industrial and agricultural applications.

But, our acquaintance said (at the time we met him he had a boat with an FL120 in it) sometimes people who buy an older boat with this engine are frustrated by the slow speed they get at 1500-1800 rpm. They want to go faster like the newer boats they see. And if the have a semi-planing hull they can. So, he said, they run their FL120s at 2000 or 2200 rpm or whatever. And while there are never any guarantees, this practice greatly increases the chances of a failure. The FL120 he said, has little tolerance of high heat. Overheating is the surest way to kill a Dorset diesel or the various marinizations of this engine including Lehman's.

While this is certainly no guarantee of a long, trouble-free life, we operate and service our two FL120s as though it was 1960. To that end we cruise at 1650 and in 14 years the engines have been over 1800 rpm exactly once and that was to get data for the prop shop.

To answer your question, we would never select the FL120 if we had a choice of engines to pick from. We would much prefer a newer generation engine, one more efficient, lighter, less polluting, etc.
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:05 PM   #25
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badu11: Bummer. I don't know where the boat is but if you have to rebuild the engine here are a couple of options.

Bomac Marine for 10K will do the engine and here's what you get:

http://bomacmarine.com/pdf/remanufac...ehman-ford.pdf

Here's their web site: Bomac Marine- Ford Lehman Engines, Parts, Tanks, Phaser Generators and Service

If you're on the West Coast talk to the guys at Harbor Marine in Everett, WA. About : Harbor Marine
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Old 02-03-2013, 04:18 PM   #26
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Or perhaps Klassen Engines in Seattle ... or BC.

They sell engines up to 8000hp now.

The've sold thousands of Isuzu's and Mitsubishi's.

That's where I got my Mitsu.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:05 AM   #27
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30 years ago the engines were sold as Leman Econo Power, the lowest cost choice for the boat assembler.

Most have worked fine over the decades , just NEVER run for long on the oin.

PM , or the lack of PM is far more important than just hours.

In a 2,3, even 4 GPH boat they do fine , if maintained.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:34 AM   #28
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At the risk of being "cruisified" by owners of FL engines, it seems to me that I see a lot more problems posted by TF members than any other make and model. Now, I assume that there are probably more FLs out there than any other make. Am I imagining things? Bob Smith, at AM, saw enough evidence of FL work needed that he founded a whole business based on them.

Question: "Owners of FLs, knowing what you know now, would you prefer a different make and model engine to power you boats? " (I have a friend who is considering buying an older boat that has FL 120s and this guy is definitely not mechanically inclined.) Your answers will be printed out and hand delivered to the prospective buyer.
When looking at boats with engines, the FL's have a bevy of parts available and are relatively cheap to buy because of that. They burn moderate fuel compared to some and with proper maintenance will last a lifetime. Most diesel engines will last a lifetime with proper maintenance. I rebuilt a cat 3116 with 85,000 hours on it. Yes, 85K. The engine was in an old Grove crane and ran 8-12 hours a day at 2700 RPM. Preventative maintenance is the surest way to protect that engine and get the most out of it. I always tell buyers to ask for the maintenance log from the owner. I recommend fluid analysis every time. When you have the lab results, you can then make a decision about the boat because you have a better picture of how she was cared for.
I try to never speculate on what is going on with an engine. I follow a diagnostic plan that has served me well over the years. Start with the simple things on the out side of the engine before tearing down. Much of this has already been mentioned but I wanted to stress the point: Keep it simple.
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:11 AM   #29
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I rebuilt a cat 3116 with 85,000 hours on it. Yes, 85K. The engine was in an old Grove crane and ran 8-12 hours a day at 2700 RPM.
Lets see now - 8 hours per day 5 days per week is about 2000 hours per year. I say BS to your 85,000 hours. I have run lots of Grove cranes and 500 hours per year was a lot. The 3116 and its earlier versions had severe head problems with the slightest of an overheat. We found that clean radiators, never low coolant levels and change out - in advance of failure -water pumps were the key to longevity on those smaller Cat 6s.

Yes good PMs as you say, but a 3116 in a light duty crane vs a marine environment is a very different world.
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:30 PM   #30
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I am a 1st time diesel owner and I jumped into twin 80 FL`s with my trawler. I was strongly advised by the previous owner that clean fuel and oil were key to running these engines. My research said they were reliable and parts available. I have since become a minor diesel mechanic - oil and filter change pro...-able to solve vapour lock issues and have solved several wiring and charging issues - all standard maintenance. I was fortunate the boat came with quite a complete library including original manuals and have found the FL`s easy to work on so far. Sure hope it stays that way. Someone mentioned the raw water system and exhaust elbows...??? Now that a system I have not looked at in 3 years...about 5-600 hrs but I suspect this system was overhauled shortly before I got it due to used parts found in the boat from water pumps etc. Should I be worried? Should I be tearing into the impellers etc before going out again..?
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:55 PM   #31
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Now that a system I have not looked at in 3 years...about 5-600 hrs (you say you have the books, what do they say) but I suspect (oh oh) this system was overhauled shortly before I got it due to used parts (new parts are better) found in the boat from water pumps etc. Should I be worried? Should I be tearing into (a simple job) the impellers etc before going out again..?
To avoid the plight of the OP, get into the HX and RW system ASAP.
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:21 PM   #32
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will do...like I hav`nt got enuf to do....
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:59 PM   #33
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Lets see now - 8 hours per day 5 days per week is about 2000 hours per year. I say BS to your 85,000 hours. I have run lots of Grove cranes and 500 hours per year was a lot. The 3116 and its earlier versions had severe head problems with the slightest of an overheat. We found that clean radiators, never low coolant levels and change out - in advance of failure -water pumps were the key to longevity on those smaller Cat 6s.

Yes good PMs as you say, but a 3116 in a light duty crane vs a marine environment is a very different world.
I guess in my haste, I didn't give the specifics. There is drive time and non work time on the hour meter as well as work hours. Also, there are times in the winter when the machine was left running 24/7. January's can be brutal in the midwest. It was also built in 1979 and was the owner's 'bread and butter' machine as he put it. I worked on the machine in 2004 so it was 25 years old. So the math would be: 85000/25=3400 hours a year or about 68 hours a week. So at five days a week that would be about 13.6 hours a day. So if the owner had to drive to a job, set up the crane, work 8.5, tear down the crane, drive back to the yard, it's possible. Plus if he worked longer days and extra days it becomes probable. So, next time you call B.S. on someone, you might want to ask yourself to what end would a person say this? I have no motive for embellishment, and I have nothing to gain. I just thought is was a good example from an experience I had. So for you then, is it safe to say that just because you didn't hear the tree fall down, then it didn't? Or is it that you don't believe things you do not understand? Either way it makes no difference to me. Cheers
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:59 PM   #34
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Or is it that you don't believe things you do not understand? Either way it makes no difference to me. Cheers
It is really simple, I don't believe 85,000 hours on a Cat 6 in a crane that ran all day at 2700 RPM. Like you say, it makes no difference to me what you claim. By the way, when did the 3116 model number get designated?
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:13 PM   #35
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It is really simple, I don't believe 85,000 hours on a Cat 6 in a crane that ran all day at 2700 RPM. Like you say, it makes no difference to me what you claim. By the way, when did the 3116 model number get designated?
I worked on a lot of different cat equipment & diesels & the 1st time I ran across the 3116 was in the early 90s in a new loader. Ran a couple Grove hydraulic cranes & the carrier & crane both had Detroits for power. If one ever had 85,000 hours its been rebuilt several times as would of been the rest of the rig.
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:31 PM   #36
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Thank your correcting me. You are right. I dug through my old service records and found that the engine was a Detroit 6v-53. I apologize for the mis-information.
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:52 AM   #37
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Back to the op's question, I have detroits and there is a cover on the rear of the engine that hides the timing gears and the oil pump for the transmission. Maybe you have some gears with a chunk of metal stuck in them. Start pulling access plates off and see what you see.
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:46 AM   #38
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Swampu, All FL 120 owners would love to have said inspection plates, but alas, they don't exist. The damper plate is only accessable after removing the transmission and flywheel housing. The timing gears are located on the front under a lightweight cover - BUT to access the gears, you have to remove the cam shaft drive pulley - set in place with 150+ ft. lbs. torque - requires a big impact wrench. With a simple socket and breaker bar, I was only able to bar the engine over.
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Old 02-06-2013, 06:18 AM   #39
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Correction - the crank shaft drive pulley not the cam shaft....
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:03 AM   #40
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Stop trying to bar it over. Doing so will only increase the damage.

Start tearing it down and find out what happened, then find out why.
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