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Old 02-04-2020, 11:54 PM   #1
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Ford Lehman SP275 - general comments?

I'm looking at a listing for a boat that has twin FL SP275's. I searched the forum for threads with general comments, and was disappointed to really not find much.

There was one reference to "don't run them hard". Can someone expand on that?

In general, should I avoid SP275's? Or are they just fine? Any special quirks I should be aware of?

Thanks!
John
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Old 02-05-2020, 01:36 AM   #2
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I have SP225s in our boat. So far they have been great. We donít need that much power so we run mostly about 1600 RPMs and get about 9 knots in our 41í. American Diesel has been great for support. What type of boat are you looking at?
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Old 02-05-2020, 02:30 AM   #3
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Thanks for the response!

The boat is an '87 CHB Sundeck Trawler - 40'. So yes, should be PLENTY of power. I would typically not try to push it too hard. Would be nice to be able to go faster than trawler speed from time to time (I'm currently spoiled with a modern cabin cruiser) - but I understand that a whole lot more power isn't going to get me much more speed on this boat!

Again, mostly curious if there are quirks to look out for.
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Old 02-05-2020, 03:23 AM   #4
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I certainly am not an expert on the 275 since mine are 225s. I really donít know what the differences are. Have you talked to Brian at American Diesel? He is the expert. The issues with the 225s are the intercooler. They are not available and need to be serviced every 2 years. I am in the process of bypassing my intercoolers since I donít need the power and there is no record of them being serviced for ever. It is a simple thing to bypass the intercooler on the 225s, just run a hose around them and I will have 180s instead of 225s.
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Old 02-05-2020, 09:22 AM   #5
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I also am no expert in the 275's either, but we have a similar boat with SP135's, ie no super or turbo chargers, just NA. Have seen 135's go 10-15,000 hrs if maintained. The 275 has the same block, so if run hard/fast I would expect a shorter life. But if run at 'trawler' speed you should see a long life out of them. Key is to know how they have been run in the past. Good luck - we love our sundeck model.

Edit - Found this on a 2001 post on 'Delivered Yachts' - "The engines themselves are ok. It's the stuff they marinize them with that
goes out. And that stuff is no longer available." Yes, that was 19 yrs ago, so parts may be an issue.
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Old 02-05-2020, 09:44 AM   #6
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I love F.L.s bit am not a fan of turbochargers. I would bet that most break downs on the 275s are turbo related.

Also I am not familiar with how to remove the turbo and go NA but if it's a reasonable conversion i would do that.

Just one man's opinion, but I guess that's why you asked.

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Old 02-05-2020, 03:54 PM   #7
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Comodave,

I have not spoken with Brian at American Diesel yet... But if I get closer to purchase, I will definitely give him a call as part of the due diligence on the engines!!

I would be VERY interested in hearing how your efforts go in bypassing the intercooler. Does this effectively remove the turbocharger from the engine?

Please take lots of pictures and document what you do! Sounds like it would be of great help to many others!!

John
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Old 02-05-2020, 04:18 PM   #8
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Removing the intercooler does not remove the turbo, just the intercooler. It will make my 225s into 180s. You leave the actual intercooler in place and just run a cooling line around the intercooler and you are done. I have not actually done it yet but will in the coming weeks. You leave the intercooler in place for the plenum from the turbo into the engine. It just wonít have the cooling water running through the intercooler so the compressed air will enter the engine somewhat hotter than with the intercooler working. The problem with the intercooler is that they arenít available anymore and if they have not been serviced regularly they will leak water into the intake air and then into the engine which is not a good thing for the engine. So I am going to opt for the lesser horsepower and prevent the possibility of ingesting water into the engine. The fuel setup is the same for either with or without the intercooler. If I donít like the performance without the intercooler I can just remove the jumper hose and go back to the original configuration.
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Old 02-05-2020, 04:40 PM   #9
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I'd expect you could modify the air ducting a bit and re-purpose a different intercooler to work as a replacement with a little bit of work if needed. Even if you had to leave the original in place and bypassed.
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Old 02-05-2020, 04:44 PM   #10
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These are good, reliable engines, but any engine will have a shorter life if its pushed harder. A chat with Brian at American diesel to get the lowdown on this particular incarnation of these engines would be a very good idea.


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Old 02-05-2020, 05:10 PM   #11
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I'd expect you could modify the air ducting a bit and re-purpose a different intercooler to work as a replacement with a little bit of work if needed. Even if you had to leave the original in place and bypassed.
But why would I want to? There is no way that I ever needed 450 hp and when I bypass it I will still have 360 hp which is way more than necessary. We like to cruise at 9 knots.
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Old 02-05-2020, 05:12 PM   #12
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As a thought, you might want to check whether the fuel rack settings are different for the 180 vs 225. It's quite possible that a 225 with a bypassed intercooler will be somewhat over-fueled and smoky if pushed hard.
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Old 02-05-2020, 05:25 PM   #13
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As a thought, you might want to check whether the fuel rack settings are different for the 180 vs 225. It's quite possible that a 225 with a bypassed intercooler will be somewhat over-fueled and smoky if pushed hard.
Guaranteed they will be overfueled and smoky without the intercooler if pushed hard. But the reason to bypass is that they will not be pushed hard.
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Old 02-05-2020, 06:20 PM   #14
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As a thought, you might want to check whether the fuel rack settings are different for the 180 vs 225. It's quite possible that a 225 with a bypassed intercooler will be somewhat over-fueled and smoky if pushed hard.
Check post #8. According to Brian at American Diesel the fuel settings are exactly the same for both intercooled or not intercooled.
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Old 02-06-2020, 12:42 AM   #15
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Although the engines may be fine, parts are VERY difficult to find. Of all the engines AD produced less that 10% were the SP 225's and 275's (there was even a SP 335). I am in the process or re-powering my boat that has (had) SP 225's that were de-tuned to 180 with Cummins 6BTA's.
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Old 02-06-2020, 01:08 PM   #16
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Were the Cummins a strait drop in, or did you have to redo all?
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Old 02-06-2020, 01:15 PM   #17
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And, my SP275 had an inner cooler end cap failure. A local shop braised closed the breach.

Also, Bolmac might be able to manufacture a stack for you. The issue is getting the end caps, they have to be made.

Based on a ton of research my general understanding regarding these engine is you just need to maintain them regularly, and donít let them overheat.

(This is true in general)

I dropped the overheat sender from 205 to 200.

Iím also adding a raw water flow indicator and 200 degree exhaust temperature alarm to both of mine.

The exhaust temp will rise before the coolant, so an earlier warning.

Would the Cummins be nice, sure, but sometimes you just have to have a certain boat.

Good luck!
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Old 02-06-2020, 02:10 PM   #18
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But why would I want to? There is no way that I ever needed 450 hp and when I bypass it I will still have 360 hp which is way more than necessary. We like to cruise at 9 knots.
I don't know whether you care much about what happens when the boat passes into new hands, but assuming you are alive and sentient at the time, how would you handle any disclosure about this mod?
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Old 02-06-2020, 02:13 PM   #19
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A good once over would reveal the aftercoolers are bypassed.
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Old 02-06-2020, 02:36 PM   #20
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It will be obvious since the bypass hose will be in plain sight running by the intercooler.

Yes, I disclose everything I know about my boats when I sell them. The last 4 boats that I sold were bought by the first person that looked at them. I go through the boat with them and show what I have done and why. I just got a call from the second owner of a boat I sold 3 years ago asking about some of the work I did. I happily spent a couple of hours on the phone with him since some of the work I had done was not obvious and he was quite happy with what I told him. He said the person that I sold the boat couldnít remember what all I had told him so he called me.
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