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I want a new engine installed on my boat


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Hey there

I keep having issues with my engine to the point I am considering removing it and installing a new one, second hand preferably.

How much would it cost me and who should I contact.

I am based in London.

 

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Probably a lot more than you think.

What is the current engine, and what is known to be wrong with it.  What has already been done to try and resolve it, and who did that work?

As has been said, a like for like swap will probably be cheapest.  It's not just about engine mounts and alignment, (and, if water cooled, the cooling needs) - if your replacement engine and gearbox is not a good match to the current propeller, that can very significantly increase costs as well.

The problem with "second hand" is that if someone has a second hand engine, it has probably been removed from somewhere for a good reason.  A nice coat of new paint may still be hiding a complete duffer.  This may well be more true in London than anywhere else on the network.

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I keep losing power.

The engine used to run strong but no power came out of the propellers.

I have had a few engineers look at it and no one has been able to tell me what the issue is.

We thought it might have been the gearbow and had an engineer look at it but he thought my gearbox is fine.

Since his "visit", I lose power from the engine. It dies off within a few minutes. That has never happened before.

I am now being advised that it is water in the tank. This would cost me a lot and even more if I have water in the engine.

This looks like a money hole and I prefer to invest more and start afresh. 

 

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Miy Lister SR2 has been dodgy (and expensive) for the past few years.  If I had known it would have cost this much, i would probably have sapped it for another one - but as said above, that could just have had as many problems and at least I'm familiar with mine. Part of the problem with old engines is finding the engineer who can actually track down the problem, rather than fixing stuff which is not quite right but not the root of the matter. I'd suggest the OP posts on the relevant engine bit of the maintenance forum, which is where the experts live and where he's less likely to get irrelevant comments - or, for that matter, for the thread to wander of track into something else!

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2 minutes ago, BoatNoob said:

I am now being advised that it is water in the tank. This would cost me a lot and even more if I have water in the engine.

This looks like a money hole and I prefer to invest more and start afresh. 

 

You should be able to tell if you've got water in the tank - stick a tube to the bottom of it and suck a bit up (don't swallow!). Water's heavier than diesel so that's where it will be.  You should have a drain tap at the bottom of the tank which will get rid of it.  The fuel filters should show evidence of water contamination too, and if there's a separator before the filters that would need emptying. If there is water going through, best not run any more into the engine.  And check how it got into the tank, to see if you need a new one of them too.

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You really must find out what is wrong with the current engine as this will be the biggest factor in deciding if its sensible to fit a new engine.

Many engine issues are due to the fuel system (air water or muck in the fuel system) and it sounds like this might be part of your problem. Other likely causes are the gearbox or a loose coupling. If you just replace the engine without fixing these things then you will be no better off, in fact you might just put bad fuel into your new engine.

................Dave

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We had the same problem with our old BMC 1.8, water & diesel bug in the fuel tank. Paid over £200 to get it polished (filtered) but it turned out that there was still nearly four gallons of sludge in the bottom!

I used a wet & dry vacuum sucked it all out, put it in see through plastic drums, waited for all the muck to settle out, treated and used the clean red fuel off the top, poured the dirty stuff away. You could also buy a Fuelguard pre-filter which will remove water & diesel bug.

Don't buy someone else's problems, I hope I haven't!

Good luck!

Safe & happy boating.

Chop.

Edited by Chop!
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33 minutes ago, BoatNoob said:

I keep losing power.

The engine used to run strong but no power came out of the propellers.

I have had a few engineers look at it and no one has been able to tell me what the issue is.

We thought it might have been the gearbow and had an engineer look at it but he thought my gearbox is fine.

Since his "visit", I lose power from the engine. It dies off within a few minutes. That has never happened before.

I am now being advised that it is water in the tank. This would cost me a lot and even more if I have water in the engine.

This looks like a money hole and I prefer to invest more and start afresh. 

 

for the engine running but nothing from the prop problem have a look while the engine is running and in gear to see what moves and what doesn't.

if you look at the attached picture it shows a fairly typical layout on a narrowboat with 3 points marked

Point A is the shaft between the engine and gearbox, if this doesn't turn you have a failed driveplate

Point B is the output shaft from the gearbox into a flexible coupling, if this doesn't turn check the following in order...
1. there is usually a button on your throttle control that you can press to disable the gearbox, check this isn't pushed in, if it is pull it out while in neutral.
2. the control lever moves when you move your throttle / gear lever (if it doesn't move check the cable is ok)
3. check the fluid level in the gearbox (some use oil and some use ATF)

Point C may not exist on your boat (not all use flexible couplings) but if it not turning at this point (but is at a and b then you have a failed coupling)

if everything turns at A B and C but you still have nothing from the prop have a look through the weed hatch (if you have one) to check that you actually have a prop on the end of the shaft.

boatengine.jpg

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2 hours ago, BoatNoob said:

Hey there

I keep having issues with my engine to the point I am considering removing it and installing a new one, second hand preferably.

How much would it cost me and who should I contact.

I am based in London.

 

is this a spoof?

you still haven't even identified the engine type.

 

I could respond by saying 'how long is a piece of string'.  :banghead:

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2 hours ago, BoatNoob said:

I have had a few engineers look at it and no one has been able to tell me what the issue is.

We thought it might have been the gearbox and had an engineer look at it but he thought my gearbox is fine.

Since his "visit", I lose power from the engine. It dies off within a few minutes. That has never happened before.

I am now being advised that it is water in the tank. This would cost me a lot and even more if I have water in the engine.

This looks like a money hole and I prefer to invest more and start afresh. 

 

You've either been very unlucky in your choice of engineer or there is something fundamentally wrong with the engine.

Any engineer, or knowledgeable amateur could quickly identify and eliminate the faults suggested above.  

I notice that you are based in London and that good engineers are few and far between.  The excellent one I use, for example, won't come into London to do work.

 

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2 hours ago, BoatNoob said:

I keep losing power.

The engine used to run strong but no power came out of the propellers.

I have had a few engineers look at it and no one has been able to tell me what the issue is.

We thought it might have been the gearbow and had an engineer look at it but he thought my gearbox is fine.

Since his "visit", I lose power from the engine. It dies off within a few minutes. That has never happened before.

I am now being advised that it is water in the tank. This would cost me a lot and even more if I have water in the engine.

This looks like a money hole and I prefer to invest more and start afresh. 

 

If you have water in the fuel tank, and possibly fuel filters,  then this will have to be addressed whether or not you go for a new engine. 

I would check to see if there is water and/or diesel bug in the tank and filters.  If there is then get the tank cleaned, the fuel polished and the fuel filters replaced and see if the existing engine then runs cleanly. If it does then there will be no need to replace the engine. 

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So, the same engineer came and ended up bleeding the engine. Looks like he didn"t tighten everything he should have the last  time around . The engine seems fine now. No water in the tank it seems. 

That's one problem down, 99 to go :/

I'm still keen on getting a new engine and gearbox as I think it will pay off in the future.

 

My next pressing issue is my electric system. Again , I keep losing power. When I lose power and turn the engine on, i have full power on the boat. I turn off the engine, I lose all  of it again. I switch off all systems for a while and when I switch on I have full power again. 

 

A quick question, what do you think of CRR? Any bad experiences? 

A thank you for all the good advice so far.

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13 minutes ago, BoatNoob said:

 

My next pressing issue is my electric system. Again , I keep losing power. When I lose power and turn the engine on, i have full power on the boat. I turn off the engine, I lose all  of it again. I switch off all systems for a while and when I switch on I have full power again.

 

Batteries knackered. Replace ASAP.

Edited by cuthound
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Am I missing something? As far as I can see, you've got no particular reason to think that the problem you're having is ultimately due to a fault in the engine or gearbox; and if it is due to such a fault, you've got no particular reason to think it's the sort of major issue that's going to cost a lot of money to fix.  So where's the sense in replacing them? I understand the concern about throwing good money after bad, but since a new engine and gearbox is surely going to cost you several thousands of pounds to buy and fit, a few hundred pounds spent on engineers now seems like the more sensible option

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14 minutes ago, BoatNoob said:

 

 

 

A quick question, what do you think of CRR? Any bad experiences? 

 

I can't help noticing their close resemblance to RCR. I wonder if, by any chance, they are related?

If that's who you mean, we've been members for about 10 years and never regretted it.

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if the engine is running leave it in place unless you plan on putting in a brand new one (budget over 5k)... any used engine that is available has been removed from something else (usually for a reason).

Most boats are running with engines that are 20-30 years old (some a lot older and some newer) without any major drama, a boat is not a heavy load for the engine so it is rarely worked really hard (often not worked hard enough) and they will continue to plod on for a few more decades, my own engine is 25 years old and has only just gone over 3000 hours of running, I don't expect anything major to fail until around 12000 hours as long as I keep on top of basic maintenance (oil / filter changes).

the electrical problems you describe are well known to most boaters and are a result of your batteries being what is generally known as F****d, this is the usual result of not charging them enough and allowing them to remain in a discharged state, without knowing what batteries / chargers / alternators / engine etc that you have we cannot say whether you have an actual fault or that you have fallen into the trap of thinking that a half hour here and a half hour there is enough to recharge your batteries (it isn't, it's more like 4-5 hours every day from the engine)

RCR are good for what they cover and useless for what they don't, in general they will cover anything it takes to make your boat move (engine, gearbox, starter motor etc) but NOTHING that you require to live on the boat (leisure batteries, pumps, heating systems, inverters etc)

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1 hour ago, BoatNoob said:

My next pressing issue is my electric system. Again , I keep losing power. When I lose power and turn the engine on, i have full power on the boat. I turn off the engine, I lose all  of it again. I switch off all systems for a while and when I switch on I have full power again

Chronic under-charging which has resulted in destroyed batteries. You can replace the batteries and you'll kill the new ones in a couple of months unless you sort out how to charge them properly. 

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3 hours ago, BoatNoob said:

 

I'm still keen on getting a new engine and gearbox as I think it will pay off in the future.

Or you could be buying new and unknown problems.  Most engine issues tend to be external to the actual engine like fuel supply and cooling and usually easily and cheaply solved.

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