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Old 02-02-2013, 09:10 PM   #1
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Ford Lehman 120 locked up

Today while out on cruise my lehman 120 locked up. She was running fine but started to make some noise, so I dropped the rpm. She kept running for another 15-20 mins with the noise and then she stopped and would not crank.

Engine did not overheat and temp didn't get over 180. The whole trip engine wasn't missing. Oil is right where it should be on the stick, but the water was a bit low. She took maybe .5-1 gallon of water to fill the tank backup.

Engine has around 3000 hours on her. 1975 Marine Trader

Any ideas? Where should I start?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:15 PM   #2
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Without knowing more about "the noise" its anybody's guess. Despite your claim that it didn't get hot, that's the most likely explanation given the symptoms you presented. How do you know it didn't get hot?
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:19 PM   #3
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Good posibility it is the vibration damper. The springs fail and break and fall behind the disk and the block. Could be an easy fix if you have the room to pull the trans back.
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:21 PM   #4
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Ideas, I would drain the oil and look for the missing water and shavings. If the crank is stuck I would take the oil pan off and look around. With the missing .5 gallons of water I would think you might have a had a head gasket leak and the bearings got rusty and the crank locked up. Good luck and please post back with the real problem. Thanks Paul
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:22 PM   #5
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Hey Bob. Thanks for the quick reply.

The noise I believe was in synch with the rpms.

I was going by the temp gauge which were compared to a handheld laser temp gun not that long ago and also felt the engine with my hand.

Thanks
Bob.
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:48 PM   #6
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Remove the oil filter, let it set & drain the oil out for a couple of hours. Then open up the paper element in it spread it out & look for shavings that it trapped. If it's full of shavings something has come apart inside. Could be a rod or bearings. I saw a cat engine once that broke a crankshaft & did the same thing. Any time one starts making knocking noises it's best to shut down, if you keep running the repair can go from hundreds to thousands of $$$$ quickly. Will the starter do anything at all when you try to crank it? Good luck
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:06 PM   #7
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One other thing that you might do....is pull the injectors out.....stick a long Q-tip down into the bore....take it out and see if it is wet.... There is the possibility that you have "hydrolock" (sp). If the engine gets a leak in the head gasket....to the water jacket, then it will start sucking anti-freeze into the piston bore. When shut down and the engine starts cooling...it will suck in more antifreeze....and the liquid in the bore will prevent the engine from turning.

If when you attempted to start it and it rolled over easily enough...and still turns at all...its not likely that you have hydrolock... If it won't turn at all and you are missing antifreeze....its worth a look..... Because you might have hydrolock.

Did you notice....if your exhaust was putting out a lot of white smoke/steam before shutting down and locking up? If so...that is another symptom.

New headgasket, and some bore work....possibly new rings on that piston....and maybe a new piston....definitely an oil change and new filters....
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:34 PM   #8
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You might want to call Bob and Brian Smith at American Diesel. Bob did some of the marinization work at Lehman and between him and his son Brian they probably have more knowledge about the marinized version of these Ford of Englad engines than anybody else on the planet. Give them a call and describe what happened. They will probably have some ideas for you or your mechanic.
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Old 02-02-2013, 11:28 PM   #9
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Sounds like the damper plate to me. The low water could be unrelated.

Don't see how it could be hydrolock as the engine was running and any water ingestion would be instantly be pumped out.

A skipper on the Willard Boat Owners Forum had a crankshaft break while underway in Chatham Strait in Alaska.
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Old 02-02-2013, 11:37 PM   #10
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What? How does an engine pump water out of the cylinder on the compression stroke???? It would also turn over if the damper plate malfunctioned, just not transmit power to the tranny.

Other than an internal breakdown, my guess would be a perforated exhaust elbow and water in the cylinders. Like JAT suggested, pull the injectors and see what's in the cylinders, and see if you can crank it manually using a wrench on the front.
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:13 AM   #11
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What? How does an engine pump water out of the cylinder on the compression stroke???? It would also turn over if the damper plate malfunctioned, just not transmit power to the tranny.

Other than an internal breakdown, my guess would be a perforated exhaust elbow and water in the cylinders. Like JAT suggested, pull the injectors and see what's in the cylinders, and see if you can crank it manually using a wrench on the front.
Yup. Pull the injectors and bar over the engine, don't use the starter. With the injectors out you won't have any compression. If it turns freely, great. Let us know what you find.
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:12 AM   #12
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I'm voting hydrolock...but a better description of the noise might toss that one quick.

But the pull the oil filter suggestion is a good cheap one while you mess with the injectors....both are pretty easy for anyone if you want to try.

Either way...don't envy you...let's hope something simple.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:04 AM   #13
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We had the same thing happen during our trip down the ICW from Savannah. The stbd FL began to make noise without any adverse information on the gauges/alarm system. We shut it down. The motor was locked. Our first hope that it was the damper plate with broken springs. We pulled the tranny and indeed, there were broken springs and little bits laying in the bottom of the housing. The flywheel clearance is very tight and there was some minor scarring. However, after tranny and flywheel removal, the motor would not turn freely. We pulled the injectors without any difference noted. We could bar it over slowly with a fair amount of force. In the end, we pulled the engine IOT drop the pan. We found that we had spun a bearing or two. The repair entailed replacement of the bearings but also removing the crank and having it turned. Oversize bearings are available.
I agree with Marin... talk to Brian at American Diesel - he talked me through the whole process and saved me alot of money and effort. If it is the bearings, and, I think that is what you will find, pull the engine out and up to where you can turn it upside down. It will make life much easier. Although, my wife did not appreciate having a motor for a cocktail table in the salon for three weeks. Please PM if you want. It was only two years ago.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:59 AM   #14
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Thanks for all of the suggestions on troubleshooting. I'm goign to try and get to this today but may not be until next weekend.

I did not see any extra or difference in the smoke prior to the noise. Normally she doesnt have any blue smoke, but will only blow black smoke when pushing her in the top RPMs. I know I have some growth on the bottom and probably the screw and rudder.

Its great to have a place like this forum to turn to while trying to figure something like this out.

Bob..
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:18 AM   #15
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There remains this notion, fable or fantasy that engine opeating hours are a guide to longevity. Not so. 3000 hours over 40 years provides ample opportunity for the seeds of failure to be sown. The guide to longevity is how were the marinization parts and pieces maintained during the past 40 years. On any wet exhaust marine engine (genset too) whether old or new the best techniques for survival are:
  1. Change the raw water impeller out every 12 to 18 months or by the book hours if in a commercial application where 600 hours or more a year are the norm.
  2. Clean out HXs and aftercoolers well before they start to plug up
  3. Insure your exhaust is a down hill run so no water can back into the engine.
  4. Repalce engine/HX zincs (if your engine has them) before they disappear
  5. Prop the boat right, no harm in running per design.
  6. Avoid excessive cranking as this can force raw water into the engine
  7. Last but not least insure your exhaust elbow/shower head is perfect. No pinholes or rust allowed. Replace well before it holes out.
Sadly, a 40 year old engine can suffer only so much abuse. Abuse can be just sitting which somewhere along the way is the rule and not the exception. The reasons for the failure may well have been put in motion 30 years ago and the potentially problematic valve, ring, gasket, rod or piston finally had enough.

On your vessel badu11, a freeze up following a big noise sounds dire. Sure call the Smiths. One question to ask them is who in your area do they recommend to start tearing things apart. You may luck out and have the space to rebuild in place. Don't be surprised if you hear $10 to 15K.
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:31 AM   #16
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It's Superbowl today - a really bad day to worry about frozen FL's. I sat and looked down at my frozen monster several months before I generated enough enthusiasm and mental courage to start tearing things apart. This is a very straight forward motor to work on. Just remember that everything on the engine that has to be removed for rebuild is HEAVY. I hurt my shoulder being manly and picking up the head. Get help with that stuff.

There is a quick 6 min. video on You Tube under "rebuilding a Ford-Lehman 120" - it was shot in a full service shop but it will give you an idea of the process. Also you may want to acquire the Service Manual from American Diesel. It has much of the same info as the Operators Manual you probably have on board but it also has some extra helpful specs and procedures. Also Bob and Brian have a price list of basic parts that are good for planning.

But before you get too bogged down; you have to figure out the problem first.
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:41 AM   #17
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But before you get too bogged down; you have to figure out the problem first.
Words of wisdom there. I've seen far too many people throw parts at a problem that doesn't exist.
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:50 AM   #18
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Words of wisdom there. I've seen far too many people throw parts at a problem that doesn't exist.
I have found most major problems have a simple solution......
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:12 PM   #19
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FL Problems

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.
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:25 PM   #20
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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.
Yes there are a lot of Lehmans out there in trawlers....look at most of the posters...the other biggie being posted for problems is Cat 3208 nats...another common engine in the "converted" trawler world...

Maybe Bob Smith thought a long term business might be supporting engines that last a long time...say 20-30000 hours instead of today's wonder engines...like say maybe Cummins????...not because of any "maintenance/failure issues....

And maybe more members post with issues because they can fix Lehmans themselves instead of a bunch of other type engines...

Should I go on and on and on????? ...........

I would prefer a newer engine than the 30 some year old block...maybe more efficient, lighter, smaller...but I'm glad I have a Lehman because it might outlast me rather than a smaller, lighter, more efficient ANYTHING ELSE....
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