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Old 03-08-2015, 05:29 AM   #1
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Brisyboy's Avatar
City: Brisbane
Country: Australia
Vessel Name: Malagari
Vessel Model: Island Gypsy 36 Europa
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 116
Mechanical report on engines - what would it cover?

G`day guys,

My first post as a "soon to be" Island Gypsy 36 owner.

We have made an offer on a IG 36 Europa - it was accepted and now we are into surveys etc. One of the conditions of my offer, apart from a sea trial and survey was a mechanical report on the two engines (Ford Lehmans 135s).

It might be an odd question but what should such a mechanical report cover - how do you tell, without stripping an engine down, that it is in reasonable condition for it`s age - compression test?, what else would a competant mechanic look/listen at to determine engine condition?

All opinions gratefully accepted.



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Old 03-08-2015, 05:35 AM   #2
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Welcome aboard.

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Old 03-08-2015, 07:55 AM   #3
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 14,908
How thick is your billfold?

Most engine folks will start it up, watch the cooling water and note the smoke from a COLD! engine.

As it warms the smoke should go away and they will listen for unusual sounds.

A (damn) few will loosen an injector feed to see if all the cylinders are firing.

Compression tests are rare and since they require the R&R of the injectors is usually only done with an injector rebuild .

Nothing most mechanics will do is beyond the realm of an owner , but most sellers Panic at the concept of someone wrenching on their old baby!

Much can be learned IF there is a good engine log and oil samples were pulled in years gone by.

At least look in the locker and see if Diesel rated lube oil was used.
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Old 03-08-2015, 10:37 AM   #4
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Join Date: Apr 2014
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As a general rule most diesels are solid workhorses and last for years but a few tips that may help you.

Before starting the engine check the engine it's cold to the touch, then check the oil level, especially check to see that it's not milky or any water on the dipstick. Check the water level and if it has anti freeze, especially check for little globules of water floating on the surface.
Start one engine only, check the moment it fires that all cylinders fire immediately and no missing, check the water is passing out of the exhaust.
Shut the engine down and do the same sequence for the other engine.
If you can afford it send a sample of oil from each engine for analysis.
Take the boat out for a run and monitor the temp gauge and both engines should run evenly at about 85/90' C. check the oil pressure and it should be between 40/60 psi when the engine's warm.
The engine will smoke a little at first then as it warms the smoke will disappear to a slight wisp under load.
When you come back to the dock, CAREFULLY remove the oil filler cap to see if there are lot of fumes 'puffing' as the engine runs on tickover (blowby).
The Ford 6 cylinder is a great workhorse and like any engine as long as they are serviced regular they're fine.
Some tips especially for Ford diesels, always keep anti freeze in the coolant as it keeps the liner seals soft and a good seal.
If it starts to 'make diesel' there are 2 suspects, 1 is the diaphragm in the lift pump, 2, the injectors are under the rocker cover and sometimes the excess fuel return pipe which joins all the injectors has a brazed join at each injector, as this brazing is brass it 'work hardens' and over time may crack due to vibration. Both jobs are an easy fix.
The engine is still made today in Turkey so spares aren't a problem, I'm sure there are many excellent dealers in the US but there is a guy called Mike Bellamy who runs his family business at Lancing Marine in the UK who used to race them and is considered by the trade to be the UK top expert on those Ford engines.
I hope you find this helpful and I wish you all the best with your new boat.
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Old 03-08-2015, 10:42 AM   #5
City: gulf coast
Country: pinellas
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Indeed I would not want some unknown mechanic taking my engine apart.
nevertheless there is a lot to be learned from operating the engines.
Are fluid levels and appearances proper for coolant, lube and tranny lube?
Do they smoke from a dead cold start? there may be discussion about this but four stroke engines generally don't smoke much when in good condition.
Do they start very quickly and run smoothly from the first.
Do they warn consistently while running at slow speed? Or does the temp jump?
At WOT do they reach rated RPM? is the temps stable and within proper range?
Do they smoke at WOT?
Using a helper in the ER and a IR temp gun are engine temps proper and as shown on the gauges? Any hot spots in the exhaust?
Transmission temps proper?
Any unusual motion of the engines while underway. After stopping forward motion do they move when shifting in normal manner into reverse?
Any evidence of prop shaft wobble.
Inspect everything for leaks and corrosion.
Inspect hoses for cracks.
Is bilge clean?
Coolant may be tested for oli and exhaust and lube oil may be tested. Many will argue the without pervious tests there is little value but I disagree. If the test shows high salt or high metal those can bee a reason to walk.
Test battery specific gravity for consistency and indication of condition.
Is charging voltage proper?

Overall how does everything look? Generally clean with normal paint flakes and corrosion bits are much better than everything looking like a spray can tune up was done. Norman spray can maintenance is not a problem.
Is ER wiring secure and the ends corrosion free? Any evedance of a water line in the ER? is the bilge mostly dry?
Do tanks look OK?
Is fuel clean looking in the filter bowl?

I'm sure others will add stuff but as you can see there is a lot that can be learned without taking things apart?
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