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  #1   IP: 174.214.1.241
Old 09-11-2017, 12:21 PM
charlie. charlie. is offline
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Novice looking for Atomic 4- SF Bay Area

Hi all:

I recently purchased a 37 foot Chris Craft 1967 Apache sailboat. The boat needs some work, and I have been steadily learning the basics of boat repair and maintenance. However, the most glaring problem with the boat is its Atomic 4 engine, which is frozen and has been partially disassembled by the previous owner. I know nothing about engines, and had to take the previous owners word that the best course of action would be to seek out a reliable replacement engine.

My questions are as follows:
-can anyone point me to engines for sale on the West coast, specifically near San Francisco
-does anyone have general advice as to how to go about addressing this repair or replacement?
-I am a substitute teacher with limited funds. I have budgeted $750 to put towards this. Can I get this done for that amount?

My email address is architeuthosaurus@gmail.com

I would appreciate any and all advice as to how I might make st efficiently get this boat running
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  #2   IP: 137.200.32.22
Old 09-11-2017, 05:20 PM
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$750 for a good A4 is going to be a marginal operation at best. I spent twice that and considered myself lucky.
Despite the low funds, step 1 HAS TO BE getting the Moyer manual. Your existing engine might not be as bad as you think ... or maybe it is worse
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  #3   IP: 71.38.68.214
Old 09-11-2017, 05:41 PM
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roadnsky roadnsky is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlie. View Post
...I have been steadily learning the basics of boat repair and maintenance.
...I know nothing about engines

I would appreciate any and all advice as to how I might make st efficiently get this boat running
Hi Charley-
Welcome to the forum!
Your first comment tells me you are more than half way there.
Meaning that you are WILLING.

The other part of the equation is are you ABLE?
If you know your way around the correct end of screw drivers and wrenches and are ok with an occasional busted knuckle AND you can follow basic instruction...
then I'm guessing the answer is yes.

MANY of the members of this forum (myself included) were not gear heads nor knowledgeable in the ways of engine stuff.
But with the help and knowledge base on this forum, we've been able to do projects that I myself would never have thought possible.

I'm giving you this pep talk for a reason...

1) On a limited budget, if you're committed to owning a boat, you'll NEED to know how to do a lot of the work yurself. (DIY)
2) IF you learn and do the work, then the confidence and zen oneness with your vessel makes it all well worth it.

So, let us know if you're willing and able, and we can start working thru it.

For starters, I'd like to say we won't give up on the current engine just yet.
She MAY not be dead yet (to borrow from Monty Python)
One of our best forum members (Dave Neptune) had a totally frozen engine many years ago and revived it to serve him well to this day.
Hopefully Dave comes along here pretty soon and he can give you some great pointers and procedures.

To keep this post from going longer than War and Peace I won't go into procedures for getting valves unstuck, turning a frozen engine, etc.
Other members will be along soon with that advice and some questions for you.
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'Lone Ranger'

1978 RANGER 30

Last edited by roadnsky; 09-11-2017 at 05:44 PM.
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  #4   IP: 32.211.28.40
Old 09-11-2017, 09:55 PM
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Al Schober Al Schober is offline
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Charlie,
You might get lucky and get the engine running for the budget amount, but consider that just head gaskets will set you back $100, rings another $100. The days of reusable copper/asbestos head gaskets are long gone.
Second the recommendation to get the Moyer Service and Overhaul Manual - It's a great information baseline.
First step is to get the engine turning - might take a week or two soaking with a good penetrant (PB Blaster is good), but get it turning. Then you can see if there's compression. Plan on removing the head and pulling the valves - but you might get lucky. After that, we'll get into fuel and spark.
Keep us advised..
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Old 09-11-2017, 10:02 PM
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sastanley sastanley is offline
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Another welcome...pictures help a LOT. they really are worth 1000 words in this case.

Do you think you have all the parts of the partially disassembled motor? Pictures help here too..we can help you identify if anything is missing.

+1 what Jerry said. Most of us weren't mechanics when we found this forum, and the cheapest route may be to try to resurrect the current motor first...but we need help with the current status.

The PO of my boat said, 'I think the engine is on its last legs, but it should get you in and out of the creek for a bit longer...' I've put at least 4-500 hours on the engine since then.

One little piece of advice..now that you are the owner, forget everything you ever heard the PO tell you.
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"Twice Around" - '77 Catalina 30, #511 with original A-4 & MMI manifold.
Great fall sailing!!

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Last edited by sastanley; 09-11-2017 at 10:07 PM.
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Old 09-11-2017, 11:22 PM
charlie. charlie. is offline
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Thank you everyone!! I am more than willing, both in the interests of budget and personal enrichment, to learn as much as I can about this engine and donmy best to get it running before I despair entirely. I will start by picking up the manual several of you have recommended, and doing a little background research.

Tomorrow I'll crack open the engine compartment and take a good set of photos that show the current disposition of things.

Thanks so much everyone for your helpful and detailed responses! I may be a total beginner, but you all have encouraged me to tinker with this and hopefully learn some more in the process.

I'll check back in soon
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  #7   IP: 71.179.128.129
Old 09-12-2017, 04:54 AM
sdemore sdemore is offline
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Charlie, I just picked up my first boat in November, with the Atomic 4 completely disassembled and sitting in boxes. The people in this forum along with the Moyer manual, made rebuilding a fairly simple and straightforward process. The Atomic 4 is a basic enough design that you don't need expertise to get started, but you will understand it by the time you are finished and will be better able to troubleshoot it if it ever dies in the future.

My two cents would be to try to resurrect your engine rather than buying a replacement. Also, take pictures of everything, from every angle. They will save you from pulling out a lot of hair later!

Good luck and after buying the manual, keep the questions and dialog coming.
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  #8   IP: 206.125.176.3
Old 09-12-2017, 08:20 AM
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Thumbs up

Charlie,
This new path also opens the opportunity to build a relationship with the MMI parts guy. Ken knows as much about this motor as anyone. I always recommend calling Ken directly using the parts line phone number on the home page instead of just buying parts of the website. Ken often catches things you might miss, like, 'did you remember to think about including a gasket if you are going to be pulling X or Y parts for service?' IMO, he is as important as any other member of the Moyer community.

As others have commented, I would get the repair manual first. My boat came with one! - and then we can move forward from there...
Since we've also got you moving down a different path, maybe we can also get Admin Bill to move this out of "parts wanted" and into the "overhaul" or "general maintenance" section!
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"Twice Around" - '77 Catalina 30, #511 with original A-4 & MMI manifold.
Great fall sailing!!

http://www.moyermarine.com/forums/signaturepics/sigpic3231_6.gif
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Old 09-12-2017, 10:48 AM
azazzera azazzera is offline
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I myself am looking forward to following this thread. It looks like the start of an interesting journey. I think I will learn a lot. Even after doing a full overhaul myself right down to the crank. Of cours due to the invaluable help of this forum.

I'll add my part now. I understand a tight budget. You said the engine is partially disassembled. Still in boat? If at some point it's revealed that it will need heads taken off or valves worked on it would be worth deciding pulling the engine out to a more convenient location. If at all possible. Start thinking about friends or family you can ask for help. And while trying to turn the engine over i would asume that hand cranking is the preferred method as to not break flywheel teeth or other parts. Again assuming the thing is still together to that state.

Again to echo all other comments this can and will be a very rewarding experience for you if taken step by step. I had never done any work on this scale befor but had a history of tinkering with engines. We are all excited for you and hope you see this to the end.
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  #10   IP: 206.125.176.3
Old 09-12-2017, 12:49 PM
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P.S.> Charlie, if I remember correctly, when I was a kid I used to race against a slightly smaller Chris Craft Cherokee 32 in our sailing club, also A-4 powered.

This has absolutely zero to do with your boat, except the 37 looks like a big 32 on sailboatdata.com
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-Shawn
"Twice Around" - '77 Catalina 30, #511 with original A-4 & MMI manifold.
Great fall sailing!!

http://www.moyermarine.com/forums/signaturepics/sigpic3231_6.gif

Last edited by sastanley; 09-12-2017 at 07:14 PM.
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  #11   IP: 71.118.13.238
Old 09-12-2017, 04:31 PM
Dave Neptune Dave Neptune is offline
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Charlie, it depends as dead is not necessarily dead. There's dying, mostly dead and completely dead. I have resurrected many old engines and some A-4's that were considered "dead".

Get a few pics and some info as to "why" it s stuck. IE water incursion or it just sat to long~etc. The "hi-nickel" block of the A-4 can really look bad and not be completely dead.

A bit of history on the beastie would help too.

Patience is what brings them back CHEAPLY.

My A-4 was frozen for a few years when I bought the boat. I freed it up and got it running and it ran for the 34 years I had it and it is still running for the guy I sold it to last year.

With the help on this site and a bit of ability with a wrench you should be just fine and the budget may not take such a huge hit.

Dave Neptune
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