Friday, December 6, 2013

Atomic 4 Rebuild - Introduction

Atomic 4 - right side with serial number

Recently I came into possession of an Atomic 4 engine. A local sailor upgraded to a new boat and had a spare engine from his old boat that he had intended on rebuilding. I am taking over the rebuild project.


I have a few goals for this project:

    Atomic 4 - frontAtomic 4 - left side
  1. Increase knowledge: Increase my knowledge of Atomic 4 engines so that I am more capable of troubleshooting and repairing my boat when needed. I am not mechanically inclined but need to be more self sufficient given my desire to cruise further in this boat.
  2. Spare: Given that my current A4 is 42 years old, a spare is important to avoid lengthy losses in precious summer boat time.
  3. Upgrade: Assuming that I am successful in this build, my plan is to eventually swap this new engine with my old one to provide more reliability and performance.  Not that my engine has been particularly problematic, it has been reliable for the most part.

Mechanical ineptitude 

Ineptitude may be a little strongly stated, however, I have very little mechanical experience. Over the last few years I have tried to increase my knowledge of engines and marine systems and I have successfully done some maintenance and repair jobs on my A4 (thermostat and exhaust manifold were the big ones).

All of this is to say that this engine rebuild will be completely new ground for me. While this is a great experience for me, it does mean that you should take my techniques, suggestions and recommendations with a BIG grain of salt. Talk to a mechanic if you want real advice!
Atomic 4 - back

My primary resources, initially, for this project will be:

Engine Builder's Handbook

I will chronicle this rebuild as detailed as possible so that others might find something useful out of it. All of the posts will be available under the label Atomic 4 Rebuild.

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