View Full Version : Pescawa- New Engine

11-28-2010, 10:46 PM
I’m in the beginning processes of repairing/rebuilding, and definitely not restoring a 1939 Frances Fredette fishing Troller. Amongst many questions I will eventually ask on this forum, my question today is one that no doubt, will follow me to sleep from now till when I actually take action. My guess is that sleep doesn’t necessarily co-exists with projects of this nature.
Basic background:
32 feet at the water, 36 feet on deck
Typical northwest fishing Troller from 1939
No more commercial fishing for this vessel
Stabilizers long gone, and “might” not be back
Ford Lehman 120 installed
Tow bit installed – probably set up to tow logs in BC Canada
Prop looks rather flat pitched, guessing this is due to the above
Unable to determine original engine

My question; Should I rebuild the Ford, purchase new, of just go for it with what I have?

Things that keep me up at night:
I wouldn’t rebuild the Ford myself, but would pull it out and send it to the “Experts” for total rebuild. I understand that with a diesel this isn’t quite the same as a gas engine. However, my concept of rebuild is a total drive train inspection and repair/upgrade as possible to go back with “as new condition.” I have no idea what this will cost but then I am still working and looks like that will be going on for a lot more years as I dig into my project and uncover more details.
The second option to purchase new has a few aspects I can’t seem to nail down. First on that list is Horsepower. Obviously, the Ford is 120hp which my guess is way over powered. Probably more accurate is; “over torque.” Pulling logs through rapids in the northwest is more then I will ever ask her to do.
Looking at a few engines that might have been originally installed in her, I am guessing that around 70 -90 hp would be fine for cruising between Seattle and Alaska and other wish in the protected waters of Puget Sound. Your thoughts?
Pros and Cons
Reliability of a new diesel vs the Ford
Cost of the two options
Availability of parts for the two options
Installation of the new engine vs the re-installation of the rebuilt Ford
Efficiency between the two options
Will a new prop, gearbox and drive shaft be needed given that no towing will take place?
I would assume that a new engine will be smaller, quieter, lighter, more efficient, smoother, more reliable and cost a whole lot more then I have to spend….no retiring now.
One last comment is that I plan to do the removal and installation myself while she is out of the water and in my back yard…but that is another topic of discussion for another time. My last option to just go for it would really cause me to loose sleep Your opinions are anticipated with great fear!

11-28-2010, 11:54 PM
Arbutus when I re-engined our boat from a Perkins 4108 to a Perkins M-65 almost everything was a plus .
the pluses :
39 hp to 65 hp
new engine was self priming
M-65 power curve was 1000 rpm slower
I did not like the old motor mounts , gave me a reason to redo .

the down side:
cost about 25K
weighs 150 lb. heavier
required a bigger transmission

I sold the old engine for $3500 and paid $10,000 for the new one , the guy who bought my old engine paid almost $10,000 to get it rebuilt :(

Uncle Duke
11-29-2010, 12:54 PM
Just my opinion, but I like the Lehman - ex-tractor engine that can last a long, long time with reasonable care. Parts are available, not overpriced and they're pretty easy to work on.
Having said that, I'd recommend getting an oil analysis - a good professional one, not just the local shop dipping a ph stick into it. That will probably cost about $100, but it will tell you if you need to do anything at all short term.
Long term you might want to get something new anyway, but it would be nice to know if you could put it off....

Peter Malcolm Jardine
11-29-2010, 04:47 PM
Nothing wrong with that old Lehman, What Uncle Duke said. A rebuild is not a bad thing, and the boat you describe will benefit from the high torque of a mid speed diesel like the lehman. It won't be cheap to rebuild, but with care, the engine should go an easy 7000 hours.

12-01-2010, 09:42 AM
Pesc, The Lehman is thought to be a really good engine by my 'greasy stuff' gurus, what are its current problems? Could it get spruced up and keep on going? Cheers,BT

12-01-2010, 10:45 AM
Pesc, I was in a similar situation several years ago when i bought a used boat with marinized Mercedes Benz diesel. Before making the decision to rebuild or repower, I talked with an oil analysis company. If you go this path, you will need to take several samples based upon the protocol they determine.

My experience: mechanics all agreed that the engine had to go. I tested the engine over a period of about 400 hours with the result that the engine had thousands of hours of life left. The initial oil analysis, by the way, was terrible. Words something like "imminent failure possible!" In speaking the oil analysis person (sorry, I cannot remember her name but she is located in NH) she advised that I stick with it and change the oil and test again after 10 hours. Bottom line, this was the best diesel I ever had! A really great engine that neither needed a rebuild or replacement.

The Ford Lehman is a good engine, as has been stated. I would definitely start with the oil analysis, if you can.

Good luck. Chris

12-01-2010, 04:54 PM
Thank you all for the fantastic input. Many good thoughts and right now they add up to a rebuild. I still have time before I have to decide but I’m leaning towards the rebuild.
Having parts available and at reasonable cost is a good thing.
Easy to work on, I will soon find out.
Oil analysis may be interesting, but I think a visual of each and every part will replace the need for the analysis. Please let me know if I'm missing something on that issue.
Exhaust cost are inevitable as I am extending the wheel house and will need to modify the exhaust as a result.
7000 hours! With that many hours I figured I would get almost 20 years of service at the rate I put hours on my engine. That should pay off.
The wiring will be updated as part of the rebuild.
The main reason for the engine rebuild is that the boat over heated the first time out and now that I have the boat on the hard, I would like to do as much as possible before she gets wet again. In addition, I have little confidence in the maintenance that has been done over the last ten years or so. Looks to me like the guy I bought this boat from was happy that it floated while tied up at the dock. I accepted that when I bought her…no surprise.

12-01-2010, 09:33 PM
Arbutus, An incident of overheating is not an indication necessarily that this engine needs or should be rebuilt, the cooling system and its componants will need work long before the engine needs to be torn down, you might try and find your local best Guru to help you assess what the current condition of your unit is, hate to see you spend your resources in the potentially wrong area...Cheers, BT

Lew Barrett
12-01-2010, 11:44 PM
They sold a lot of Lehmans up here for good reason. There are many still installed and they are not a detriment, reasonably fuel efficient as well especially for an older design. Unless there's a compelling reason to change out, I wouldn't. For me a Lehman qualifies as relatively modern power with the emphasis on "relative." A 1939 hull was not born with that motor, somebody put it in later.