Using an HDI engine to repower a boat?
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Thread: Using an HDI engine to repower a boat?

  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Default Using an HDI engine with an air cooled system to repower a boat?

    Sort of inclusive to this forum...

    PSA diesel motors are cheap 2nd hand and economical. Marinised diesels are > $12k for 100-200hp and weigh almost a ton. I have a 3 ton Chris Craft cruiser which I rescued, which has no engine.

    Marinising means using sea water to cool the engine and involves extra holes in the boat and water jacketed exhaust manifolds and turbo cooling. I know that Vetus marines a PSA engine and unless someone has a spare set of manifolds lying about I don't really want to spend the $3k or so it would cost for the add ons...

    Given that a radiator or two COULD be mounted externally or inside an air scoop on a boat, has anyone here done this or seen it done for a >100 hp inboard auto engine?

    Regards Erik

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    Last edited by Erikbm; 14th March 2019 at 12:40 PM.

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    1000+ Posts Richard W's Avatar
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    Would it work to use water to water heat exchangers instead? ie, the engine runs normal coolant whch is cooled by the heat exchanger which, in turn, is cooled by sea water?

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    Yes they do do this. The heat exchangers are rather large and around $1k or else they run a keel cooler, which is a mess of SS tubes bolted on to the keel under the water.

    It is effectively like putting the radiator under the water, except that it needs to be a rather robust radiator!

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    Hi Eric
    Hmmm I think the problem is in the electronics. Modern engines of all types and brands have a very integrated electronic control system which measures lots of things and interacts with the other controls. Setting up the engine and wiring carefully and fooling the ECU with dummy input signals might work OK but you would have to study the system to get it to work. Might be a challenge that could pay off.

    I think the physical problems of cooling etc would be easier to solve by common sense and normal practices.
    jaahn

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erikbm View Post
    Marinising means using sea water to cool the engine and involves extra holes in the boat and water jacketed exhaust manifolds and turbo cooling.
    In the old days where GM red motors etc were marinised, it also meant making damn sure no fuel leaked, and the crank case vented to somewhere else, not the boat.

    My boat had a poxy 6HP diesel and I reckon all up the donk and gearbox weighed in excess of 150 Kg. There must surely be a reason these engines weigh in at such an extraordinary weight.
    Best performance upgrade you can make to a sail yacht is removing that weight
    Now it has a dinky 15KG outboard and no horrible stinky diesel engine in the boat.

    Jo

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    Ah that's better. The boat in a restored state would look something like this. Supposedly good for 30 knots and had a single V8 Chrysler petrol engine in it. Using a diesel avoids the hazards of blowing yourself up and I was thinking of an older one of the XUD9 sort that was in the Pug 405, which avoids the electronic controls issues that Jaan correctly mentions.

    I was interested in anyones thoughts about how it would go if I managed to fit two air scoops into either side of the boat and then run that air through two radiators (for overkill) with electric fans and then fed the coolant to the engine via some long 2 inch radiator hoses into the central box which would house the engine.

    Erik

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    1000+ Posts Richard W's Avatar
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    My completely uninformed 2c: The radiators, scoops and fans are going to cost you multiple hundreds of dollars, involve cutting big holes in your boat and surely will be ugly and potentially noisy? On such a nice looking boat wouldn't it be worth a bit extra to have a quiet and non-visible solution?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erikbm View Post
    Ah that's better. The boat in a restored state would look something like this. Supposedly good for 30 knots and had a single V8 Chrysler petrol engine in it. Using a diesel avoids the hazards of blowing yourself up and I was thinking of an older one of the XUD9 sort that was in the Pug 405, which avoids the electronic controls issues that Jaan correctly mentions.

    I was interested in anyones thoughts about how it would go if I managed to fit two air scoops into either side of the boat and then run that air through two radiators (for overkill) with electric fans and then fed the coolant to the engine via some long 2 inch radiator hoses into the central box which would house the engine.
    Erik
    Hi Eric
    It would be worth some effort to get a good looking boat like that to use I guess that image is aspirational !

    The older pug motors will not put out >100HP at a constant speed will they ?? All motors are downrated for continuous use like in a boat. Any big diesel is bloody heavy. Even a V8 Chrysler motor weighs a "ton" from my experience years ago. However leaving that aside it would seem to be fesable to do what you propose. The radiators in all 'modern' cars are thin aluminium and would not like a marine environment but could be protected some way. The air flow would need to be equal to highway speeds I guess. Or make a heat exchanger out of copper pipe, cheaper and easier to work with than stainless possibly. That is all they used previously.

    Here is a reference to the electronics in a modern diesel. This is a teaching module seller I think but list the inputs they have.
    https://exxotest.com/wp-content/uplo...-ADBLUE_EN.pdf
    Jaahn

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    how will aluminium and salt water work out ? I would have thought the old cast iron dinosaurs would handle salt water better

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erikbm View Post
    Ah that's better. The boat in a restored state would look something like this. Supposedly good for 30 knots and had a single V8 Chrysler petrol engine in it. Using a diesel avoids the hazards of blowing yourself up and I was thinking of an older one of the XUD9 sort that was in the Pug 405, which avoids the electronic controls issues that Jaan correctly mentions.

    I was interested in anyones thoughts about how it would go if I managed to fit two air scoops into either side of the boat and then run that air through two radiators (for overkill) with electric fans and then fed the coolant to the engine via some long 2 inch radiator hoses into the central box which would house the engine.

    Erik
    Ambitious and I dare say unreliable.

    If you were making a put-put boat…. Something for slowly puttering around the harbour….then maybe.
    But reliably taking a 3 ton boat to 30 knots safely is an entirely different thing, especially once you add in some of the nastiness the ocean is capable of throwing at you.
    Don't know the math but I think your boat will be massively under powered on a good day, and Dangerous when the motor fails.

    Getting there is the easy bit. It's getting home safely that seems to challenge those with unreliable systems on their boats.


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    The boating engine power calculators say that 100-200 HP is in the required range. I take your point, but am really looking for someone who has done it or tried it and failed.

    The conjecture is interesting and fair enough for a car forum though.

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    Thanks for that post fivedooor. I may end up going down that path.

    Erik

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    This bloke (post #1) did it with Ford engine and said if he was doing it again it would be a new engine. Wasn't cheap and he had no faith in the engines reliability

    Is marinising worth it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erikbm View Post
    The boating engine power calculators say that 100-200 HP is in the required range. I take your point, but am really looking for someone who has done it or tried it and failed.

    The conjecture is interesting and fair enough for a car forum though.
    A quick search on the net provides a wealth of info about this sort of stuff.

    Here is a quote from one web page….
    https://www.floridayachtmanagement.c...-a-car-engine/
    The typical draw on a marine engine would be like hitching a 2-ton trailer to your car, and trying to drive it up to Pikes Peak at 75 miles an hour!
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    I'd be grabbing an LS motor and marinating it using the Volvo Penta marinisation parts. Cheap, plentiful etc

    Cheap in the context of Bring Out Another Thousand, of course.

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    Which engine is an LS?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erikbm View Post
    Which engine is an LS?
    Recent series of Holden/GM V8's. They start of at LS1 to LS what ever number equates to the latest massive output. I think they start off at the old 350 Ci (5.7 L) for LS1 and get bigger and more powerful as they go.

    Another source of heat exchanges etc are ski boats. We had a ski boat with brand new marinized iron block 350 (old block new internals) by a company called Idmar (I think) back in the day it was rated at 200 hp and was most reasonable price at the time. Put close to 130 hours in 4 years without any real issues. It ran carb, points etc old school so was simple to maintain. I would assume so electronic ignition system would save on point/timing adjustments.

    Just don't let your fuel lines deteriorate, with proper maintenance petrol is safe enough.
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    If that had outboards, I'd have thought two 150's at least on something that size and weight (son is apprentice marine mechanic so we talk boats every day).

    Marine engines have sacrificial anodes; what do they do with automotive engines?
    Last edited by Stuey; 14th March 2019 at 09:56 PM.
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    Motorcycle engines put out a fair bit of power these days and a basically weatherproof


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    Some more comparisons and hard data.
    Not sure about how similar this boat is to yours, but it looks a bit similar.
    https://www.thedieselpage.com/featur...nburtboatc.htm
    Jo

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    That boat weighs about twice mine, but the comparison is still useful as are the thoughts on HP required.

    I DO have a 200 HP marinised diesel but it weighs about 750 kg! I am concerned it will go through the bottom of the boat! I guess that is why they used a petrol engine in the first place.

    It is an interesting topic and I have trawled the internet also and only ever found speculation about it. Ah well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erikbm View Post
    That boat weighs about twice mine, but the comparison is still useful as are the thoughts on HP required.

    I DO have a 200 HP marinised diesel but it weighs about 750 kg! I am concerned it will go through the bottom of the boat! I guess that is why they used a petrol engine in the first place.

    It is an interesting topic and I have trawled the internet also and only ever found speculation about it. Ah well.
    Hi
    I am not sure why you are worried about the 750 KG motor. That would be a normal weight, and plenty more heavier than that in bigger boats and two engines as well. You just need proper beams to distribute the weight into the boat frames over an area. It is only equal to about 8-10 normal people standing there. You would not worry about that many people standing on the deck and it is not as strong. The bottom of the boat has the water supporting it all over its area.
    The boat would have had a petrol V8 because fuel was cheap in the past and powerful petrol engines were cheap too. Most diesel engines did not put out big power until turbos became popular. A 100HP truck diesel was as big as most had in the old days last century. 500HP is the norn now
    The Chrysler V8s were a very big heavy engine in their day. I had to pull one out years ago with the transmission, and our normal chain block in the service station would not lift it. We had to hire a bigger one to get it out. On the floor it was as big as a Renault We declined to put it back in and sent it away in a trailer to someone else.
    Jaahn
    Here are some V8 weights and remember they will be a lot heavier after marine conversion.
    http://www.hotrodreference.com/893/c...parison-chart/
    A work colleague used a '44' of petrol for a weekend of skiing normally in the good ol'days.
    Last edited by jaahn; 15th March 2019 at 10:49 AM.

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