Catalina 30 A4 engine

Discussion in 'Ask All Sailors' started by Newbie3, May 5, 2019. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Chris Patterson

    Chris Patterson

    Joined Oct 17, 2011
    2,789 posts, 72 likes
    Ericson 29
    US Southport..
    I’d rather had the A4 over the Volvo..
     


  2. Pirate Dave

    Pirate Dave

    Joined Dec 23, 2016
    112 posts, 53 likes
    Catalina 27
    us Clinton CT
    That exhaust pipe is galvanized and needs to be replaced. Catalina did that in the 70's. My 27 had the same thing. The pipe eventually was backing up the exhaust killing the engine every five minutes. Shut down the engine for a minute and it was fine. Also check your through hulls. Catalina put in gated valves in that era as well. The other thing you may want to do is replace the plate on the engine on the starter side. That plate sometimes lets go and leaks like swiss cheese, spraying water on the starter and altenator.
     


  3. dlochner

    dlochner

    Joined Jan 11, 2014
    3,785 posts, 1,758 likes
    Sabre 362
    113 US Fair Haven, NY
    Sabre also built their own exhaust pipes out of standard 1 ¼" black iron pipe back in those days. Eventually they fail either by clogging or rusting out. The big box hardware stores have the pipe and fittings.
     


  4. DArcy - Islay Mist

    DArcy - Islay Mist

    Joined Feb 11, 2017
    368 posts, 316 likes
    C&C 27 MkII
    Ca Ottawa
    That galvanized exhaust looks better than mine did (after 43 years)
    [​IMG]

    The exhaust flange came from Moyer Marine and the local plumbing supply store had the rest of parts I needed to put it back together. I did add fiberglass wrap after installing, which came from Amazon.
    [​IMG]
     


  5. Newbie3

    Newbie3

    Joined Feb 6, 2019
    68 posts, 10 likes
    None None
    Us None
    Hmm I just realized something about this A4. I don't see a heat exchanger? And its sitting in salt water. Uh-oh. A bit silly I didn't catch this earlier.
     


  6. Maine Sail

    Maine Sail Moderator

    Joined Feb 6, 1998
    10,957 posts, 749 likes
    Canadian Sailcraft 36T
    US Casco Bay, ME
    Every day of the week!
     


    kloudie1 likes this.
  7. shemandr

    shemandr

    Joined Jan 1, 2006
    3,987 posts, 924 likes
    Marblehead Skiff 14'
    US Greenport, NY
    I'd venture that most A4's are raw water cooled. Mine was.
     


  8. Capt jgw

    Capt jgw

    Joined Feb 8, 2014
    1,052 posts, 82 likes
    Columbia 36
    US Muskegon
    A4's came stock as raw water cooled and any fresh water engines you see have an aftermarket kit. Moyer sells one.
    My 5411 diesel had a similar kit. Extra impeller pump bolted on where the hydraulic pump would go on the tractor version and a head tank/heat exchanger.
     


    Last edited: May 11, 2019
  9. Roadking Larry

    Roadking Larry

    Joined Mar 30, 2013
    647 posts, 145 likes
    Allied Seawind MK II 32'
    US Oologah Lake, Oklahoma
    The raw water cooling isn't a problem with proper maintenance. There are thousands of the things running in salt water like that and have been for 4+ decades.
     


  10. Newbie3

    Newbie3

    Joined Feb 6, 2019
    68 posts, 10 likes
    None None
    Us None
    I'm very unfamiliar with raw water cooled engines. Every boat I've ever owned was fresh water cooled.. and just had risers that had to be serviced.

    What are the potential failure points on a raw water cooled A4? Are we just talking something isolated like the exhaust manifold? Or the entire block?
     


  11. Newbie3

    Newbie3

    Joined Feb 6, 2019
    68 posts, 10 likes
    None None
    Us None
    Reading up on the subject... so yes, the raw water circulates through the block too. But the block steel is high in chrome nickel so the block can last decades of salt water exposure unlike something automotive. That's not to say A4 blocks are corrosion free...

    The substitute A4 engine I found has a heat exchanger and all the parts for fresh water cooling. I won't have an opportunity to run it on a bench. Taking the guys word that it's operational.

    I'm still reading on the subject but I may attempt to swap the A4 engines in the slip. While in the water.

    Is there any reason this wouldn't work?
     


  12. DArcy - Islay Mist

    DArcy - Islay Mist

    Joined Feb 11, 2017
    368 posts, 316 likes
    C&C 27 MkII
    Ca Ottawa
    If you are considering the Volvo 2002 as a replacement, don't do it to save money. Parts for the A4 are cheap and the Volvo, well, it's a Volvo. If you want a more efficient engine to get more miles out of a tank it may be worth it but for casual use, the A4 is a better bet. Remember, that Volvo was pulled out of a boat for a reason and may have it's own issues.
    In theory, swapping engines in the water is possible as long as you don't run into any problems with the prop shaft.
     


  13. Newbie3

    Newbie3

    Joined Feb 6, 2019
    68 posts, 10 likes
    None None
    Us None


  14. Mikem

    Mikem

    Joined Dec 20, 2009
    555 posts, 137 likes
    Hunter 466
    US Bremerton
    I’ve had four sailboats and never had a Volvo...but two local diesel mechanics that do great work in our marina refuse to work on volvos. Parts seem hard to get and or identify due to frequent changes and they are expensive. This could be a Ford Chevy thing too. I heard once that Yanmar has 80% of the sailboat market. If true there must be good reasons.

    I did have an A-4 in my first boat. Ran like a Swiss watch and was very quiet. More than once I hit the start button thinking it was not running when it was. It would push my Columbia 8.7 , 23’2” waterline, at 7kts. Took it from Newport, RI to Jacksonville, Fl.
     


  15. Alan Gomes

    Alan Gomes

    Joined Nov 22, 2011
    625 posts, 92 likes
    Ericson 26-2
    US San Pedro, CA
    Absolutely no reason you cannot do this in the slip. People do it all the time. I have a mechanic friend who swapped an A4 in his Cal 34 by himself. With a friend
    If he swaps one A4 for another A4 I don't see why there would be any issues with the prop shaft or anything else. It should be a drop-in replacement, easily done with the boat in the slip.
     


  16. jeepbluetj

    jeepbluetj

    Joined Jan 18, 2016
    482 posts, 149 likes
    Catalina 30
    US Dana Point
    I doubt I'd pony up $450 for that A4 unless it actually did run. They easy as pie to run on a test stand with gravity fed fuel.

    The C-30 is a very easy boat to pull the motor out of - remove the galley counter above the engine, and hoist it out the companionway with the boom (use the main hyrd to support the boom at the point of lift)
     


  17. Newbie3

    Newbie3

    Joined Feb 6, 2019
    68 posts, 10 likes
    None None
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    I'm told it had 550 hrs on it. Taken out of a Catalina 27. The guy has told me multiple times that it ran a month ago before being removed. I asked him if anything was wrong with it.. He said no. I didn't ask why a perfectly good engine was removed.

    It has a heat exchanger and he confirmed it was fresh water cooled. Only part missing is the raw water strainer.

    I'm planning on hand turning it over to make sure it's not seized. Besides doing a bench test, is there anything else which would be an obvious red flag?

    In theory, I should be able to do a compression test by hand cranking the engine - right? On the back of a truck bed. I've read that the A4 is designed to be hand cranked in the first place.
     


  18. Newbie3

    Newbie3

    Joined Feb 6, 2019
    68 posts, 10 likes
    None None
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    Hmm in theory, I should also be able to connect a battery with some jump cables.. and use the A4 starter to crank it on the ground or truck bed. Then test compression this way. There's a thumb trick on the plugs but I'd probably just use a meter.

    Would this be safe for the motor?
     


  19. jeepbluetj

    jeepbluetj

    Joined Jan 18, 2016
    482 posts, 149 likes
    Catalina 30
    US Dana Point
    You are correct - the starter will turn the motor over fine just sitting on the ground or you can hand-crank it. If it has compression, you can almost always get it running.

    I'm a big fan of electronic ignition on an A4 - more reliable than points and easier to deal with. Also an electric fuel pump instead of the stock mechanical one.

    As said before - moyermarine.com for all things A4.
     


  20. Newbie3

    Newbie3

    Joined Feb 6, 2019
    68 posts, 10 likes
    None None
    Us None
    Did a compression test on the replacement A4... came to be about 120 in all cylinders! I decided to buy it.

    There's an oil drain plug in the front of the engine, right? It leaked oil there as soon as I put it down.
     

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