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Engine rebuilding - BMC 1.5


Guest Cattleya

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I thought I'd add some notes about the engine rebuild I have had, it might be of interest to anyone with a BMC engine. My engine was 35 years old and had been smoking a fair amount, it had become almost impossible to start and did not seem to be producing much power. Eventually I couldn't get it to start at all and I took the difficult decision of sending the engine off for repair.

I used Calcutt Boats in Warwickshire. They found the exhaust manifold was leaking water into the engine, which they say is why it would not start. As I wanted a reliable engine and had gone to the expense of having the engine removed, I decided to get a full rebuild.

This is what they have done.

Collect engine

Intermediate rebuild engine

fit refurbished injectors x 4

fit new spill rail

recondition cylinder head

fit new thermostat

fit new glow plugs

fit new glow plug links

fit rocker shaft

Fit new tappets x8

Fit piston assy (whatever that is)

Bore block

service water pump & new impellor

fit BRG main set

Fit BRG big end

fit new fuel injector pump

change oil & filters & fit screw on oil filter to replace old style filter

fit all new gaskets

Decarb head

fit new oil seals

fit new fuel pipes

change fuel filter

Exchange crank

key camshaft

fit new timing chain & tensioner

fit new exhaust manifold (combined heat exchanger to replace old style)

make new exhaust fittings

Dress engine & bench test

The total for all that lot is just short of £3000 inc VAT, but includes a 12 month warranty.

A new engine would have cost at least twice as much.

It could be argued a new engine would have been the better option, but it came down to a matter of cost and the value of the boat (which isn't that high). A new engine would require new mounts, wiring and other modifications which might have pushed the price to nearly 3x the cost of rebuilding the old engine. Only time will tell if I made the right choice.

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One thing (or rather two) that sticks out like a sore thumb from that list is how in the Sam Hill can somebody fit a recon cylinder head and then decarb the thing, if a head is reconditioned the first job is strip, decarb and clean.

Unless after decarbing your old head it was found unservicable and replaced with a recon that is.

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One thing (or rather two) that sticks out like a sore thumb from that list is how in the Sam Hill can somebody fit a recon cylinder head and then decarb the thing, if a head is reconditioned the first job is strip, decarb and clean.

Unless after decarbing your old head it was found unservicable and replaced with a recon that is.

Good point. They have recon'd the old head and charged this as £0.00 (from what I can work out it is included in the intermediate rebuild, according to their website). Then they add Headset De Carb.

However, looking at the bill it is rather confusing as they seem to have listed the individual price of everything, yet most of it is included in the standard price for an engine rebuild (£1560). The only extras charged on top are for things like injectors, exhaust manifold, injection pump and consumables like oil. The two things that cost the most are injector pump & new exhaust manifold.

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That is a fair price, we recently did a similar job where we removed and refitted the engine as well but did not replace the manifold, the price was just under £3.5K (+VAT) but that did also include a repacement engine block.

I could have sold you a good 1.5 BMC with a PRM gearbox for about £2k but that would have been another option altogether :)

also if you need a mooring we have about 6 spare outside with hookups and a few inside :grin:

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I heard a whisper the other day that someone in the far east has started manufacture of the 150BMC again (probably the Chinese at a guess), and they are available in UK for about £3.5k. Dunno how correct that is, but for someone thinking along the same lines it could be a viable option.

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I could have sold you a good 1.5 BMC with a PRM gearbox for about £2k but that would have been another option altogether :)

Grrr.... I don't want to hear that :) I have spent a fortune on the engine and a new gearbox. I had the gearbox done over the winter in 2007/8, then a few months later the engine gave up on life.

also if you need a mooring we have about 6 spare outside with hookups and a few inside :grin:

Great, where are the moorings?

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that is a 4900 (four nine hundred) water pump, virtually all our 1.5s have them, also there are two mounts on the front, the donuts bolt onto a frame which goes on the engine beds.

sorry for jumping in with that answer :)

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It certainly looks a lot better than before. Just got to wait for the boatyard to drop the engine back in and connect it up, which they are doing next week. Been up to my armpits today cleaning the bilges in the engine bay. Left a load of bilgex in there to try and get rid of the oily mess.

enginegearbox.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have some news!

The engine has been dropped back in and the boat is back in the water. They run out of time today, so haven't reconnected everything yet. The engine has been aligned and bolted in. I asked them to replace all my fuel pipes and add a primary fuel filter (currently the first filter is on the lift pump and is very easy to block).

Some photographs from today (taken on my phone, so nothing special).

boat2.jpg

boat1.jpg

Being on the Broads is getting closer, she will stay in Cambridgeshire for the next couple of months while I do all the little jobs, I hope to have her on the Broads by March (providing Ricko's still have some moorings left!).

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  • 4 months later...

Well that was back in November, it's now April and can you believe it, the marina still haven't finished connecting up the engine. That's over 4 months!

I'm desperate to get my boat to the broads and am getting very frustrated at the time it is taken them to complete the work.

From what I can see they have connected all the water pipes, but still haven't connected the black earth wire to the engine or the throttle and stop cable (which seem to be missing the end connectors). I also spoke to them about three months ago about fitting a water separating filter to the fuel supply line. Also it looks like they haven't connected the exhaust properly (or missed the gasket) as I can see a gap.

How difficult is it to connect an engine up? I would have though the above tasks are a couple of hours work, then it would just need the fuel system bleeding?

I think I'm going to be too late to find a Broads mooring now.

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Thanks Steve.

I just went to visit the boat and found they had done something else (fitted a gasket to the exhaust and connected the earth power lead), it's just so frustrating they don't seem to have the time to finish the job off. Everytime I visit they are working on another boat and give me excuses that they are waiting for parts.

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Thanks Steve.

They have pulled their finger out now and finished most of it. They don't want to start it until I have sorted out the diesel, I had a bad case of diesel bug last time it was running and water damaged the injection pump. So I'm off to ASAP supplies this afternoon to collect a water separator/filter.

I hope to have it all up and running really soon.

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