Ford 6-Cylinder Maranisation Case Study
The Twenty Three Step Diesel
Engine Marinization Process
basis of this content is from a piece provided by Dick Johnson and first published back
in 1978. The content remains valid and provides a useful background explanation describing
how a Ford 6 Cylinder normally asperated 120Hp motor is converted for marine use.This a very basic outline covering the fundermentals.
a second-hand vehicle engine and converting it with a special marinization kit
can save thousand pounds or more over a new marine engine. This stop-by-stop
description of the marinization of a 120hp Ford diesel engine highlights this
is not a difficult one for someone with mechanical aptitude and can be
completed within a day or two if you crack on.
kit is a collection of parts that can be simply bolted on to an automotive
motor, transforming the motor into a marine engine. Buy a second-hand engine
from a breaker's yard, install the kit and start boating! It is not quite so
simple, but that’s the basis of the idea. Such kits have served the small
petrol engine market well in the past, but there is an increasing need for
diesel engines in cruisers as the cost of petrol climbs and the shortcomings of
the high revving, car-type petrol engine are exposed. Heavier boats need power
and thrust and not engine speed, and
this is best found in a slow-revving diesel driving a big propeller, likely through
a reduction gear. The problem has been that while petrol engine marinization
kits have been readily available, their diesel counterparts are thin on the
ground at least in the larger sizes.
the few such kits comes from specialist engine builders such as Lancing Marine.It is suitable for all forms of the six cylinder Ford 2700 engine but the one we
built was a naturally-aspirated engine putting out about 120hp. Turbocharged
versions can run to 250hp however they are a little more complicated.
brand new marine engine of this type will probably set you back many thousands,
but building your own on a second-hand truck unit will conservatively save you
more than half the cost. Second-hand engines whilst scarce can be obtained from
breakers yards cheaply. The all-important question is the one of engine
condition and the mileage that it has done in its original truck body. Engines
that come from newer, crashed vehicles are the best, but if none are available
try to get one from a fleet truck. They are likely to have had the best
maintenance, unlike the one from a small firm which might have been saving a
few pounds by delaying oil changes etc.
Bellamy of Lancing Marine believes that there is a simple way of telling if the
engine you have chosen is good enough to be considered for boat use. Get it on
the floor in a clear space, couple a battery to it and start up with the
exhaust manifold removed. What you hope you won't find is consistent white
smoke from one or more of the exhaust ports which likely indicate damaged
valves or pistons. If there is smoke from a port, squirt oil or upper cylinder
lubricant down the inlet. If that fails to stop the smoke then change the
injector and see if that resolves. If it does, the engine is satisfactory for
marine use. If it doesn't most reputable dealers will allow you to take the
engine back within 14 days and exchange it for another.
also believes that the engine will not need a full overhaul and reconditioning
for most boat uses. Unlike a petrol engine, the diesel is not overstressed by
continuous running in a boat and provided if it runs without too much
mechanical noise and the oil pressure is correct, it will be good enough for
engine should be removed from its old home in the truck with the rubber
mountings attached, and the wiring and hoses cut off. The gearbox should also
be removed before you buy the unit as it is not needed and will add to the
price. Get the engine home and give it a good clean up with a degreaser and
plenty of scrubbing.
- Block up the engine securely on the ground or on a platform so that it will be
easy to work on and so that it will not fall on you when exerting pressure to
loosen stubborn bolts. You are now ready to start the operation. The first step
is to unbolt the fan if present from the front of the engine.
- Next, the inlet and exhaust manifolds are removed. A quality socket set is
essential for this job as the securing bolts are deep within the castings. The
inlet manifold is retained for use on the marine engine, the exhaust manifold
joins the scrap pile.
air cleaner now comes off but check for the oil inside. The fuel filter is
usually bolted to the air cleaner bracket but do not disconnect the pipes, just
remove the fastening bolts and let it hang on the pipes for the time being. The
cleaner and piping are consigned to the scrap.
to the back of the engine now, and before starting to remove the bell housing
make sure that the engine is blocked up on the sump, clear of the flanges and
mounting feet. Unbolt the bell housing but keep the bolts. The housing and
clutch Cylinder which is attached to it Should join the scrap.
- With the housing off, unbolt the clutch and dump it.
rubber sump vent pipe is next to go, just a simple slackening of the pipe clip
and then it can be pulled clear.
air brake compressor is next. Three bolts here but the compressor is gear
driven and might take some prising off the block. Do not however force anything
between the two flanges as this is a gasket face to keep the timing case oil
tight. As with the bolts you undo, screw them back into their old holes finger
tight, so that they will not get lost.
- Moving to the top front of the engine, take off the thermostat housing and
thermostat. The housing goes on to the scrap pile but the thermostat can be
reused providing it is in good condition. Any doubts though then just replace
- Directly under the thermostat at the bottom of the engine are the rubber
mountings that held the engine on the chassis. Usually they are in the angled
position but as we are going to use the engine upright one mount has to be
moved from the side to the bottom so that the new mounting bracket will allow
the engine to be installed upright. If the mountings are in good condition not
torn or severely softened by oil - they can be re-used. With the rubbers
properly in place, bolt on the front engine mount supplied with the kit.
- The rear engine mounts are simple right-angled castings with marine flexible
mounts attached. They bolt to the side of the flywheel housing with four bolts,
in holes already cast into the engine block.
- The engine can now be supported on its mountings on a simple cradle made from suitable
timber or steel. Make your support high enough to get the bottom of the sump
well off the ground as the next job entails getting underneath.
Remove the angled sump of the truck engine and replace with the upright sump
for the marine unit. These are available from Lancing Marine or you might be
able to swap with the scrapyard, or buy your own new sump from a Ford truck
dealer. While the sump is off, check the condition of the big end and main
bearings and clean off any sludge that might be within the crankcase. Make sure
that everything is scrupulously clean before installing the new sump on a new
gasket so to ensure a complete seal.
- Thoroughly clean off the outside of the engine and paint to suit the colour
scheme of your boat. It is just as well to use a light colour as it will show
up any oil and fuel leaks and makes the best use of the available light with
the engine compartment. Use a proper fuel and heat proof paint and give enough
coats to achieve a good surface. The smoother it is, the easier it will be to
clean. Ensure all gasket faces that will be taking new parts are masked off
with masking tape.
your now gleaming motor looking like new on its stand start assembling all the
marine components. First to be added is the sea water or correctly the raw
water pump. This is a Jabsco gear driven unit that fits into the space left by where
the air brake compressor was located. The existing bolts may be reused.
component to add is the oil interrupter. This diverts the oil flow through the
filter, passing it first through a cooler. The oil filter complete with bracket
- is removed, two bolts, and the interrupter are the bolted on. The filter then
bolts on to the top. While you are about it you should replace the filter
- After the interrupter, the cooler needs to be fitted. This small unit is
connected to the water pump and to the interrupter. Oil passes through it one
way, and water the other. The cooler can hang from its pipes, or you could make
up a supporting bracket that bolts to a couple of sump bolts.
- While working on this side of the engine, it is as well to fit the throttle
cable bracket. It bolts to two of the timing cover bolts and provides an anchor
for the outer cable, It will be necessary to change the throttle arm on the
injector metering pump from the inside to the outside in order for it to line
up with the cable. Newer engines have the arm fitted to a shaft that is splined
on each end, so it is a simple change-over. Older engines need a circlip
removed and the shaft pushed out and replaced the other way round.
- Round to the other side of the engine now, and the exhaust and inlet manifolds are
mounted. The inlet is the old supplied with the truck engine, the exhaust is a
special water-cooled Bowman marine unit. Fitting takes time to get right as
this can be a bit tricky. The exhaust manifold is mounted first and is held in
place by the two end nuts run on finger tight. The inlet is then offered up and
the other bolts put in and tightened up. New gaskets should always be used. On
the outlet end of the manifold goes the water injection unit which is an
adapter to connect to a rubber pipe that acts as the water-cooled exhaust to
dump. Various bends and angles are available. The cooling water is injected
into the bend to cool and help silence the exhaust.
- Two studs are now screwed into the bolt holes exposed when you removed the
thermostat housing. The studs locate the fresh-water heat exchanger and header
tank. The thermostat we mentioned earlier is fitted under the header tank and
installed using a new gasket. A blanking plug or a sender for a temperature
gauge is then screwed into the thermostat bleed hole.
- The end caps of the header tank can be turned by slackening the end cap
securing bolt or dentral bolt on older units. The manifold end should have its
pipe horizontal, the other side should point downwards. The pipes are now
connected. The horizontal one has a pipe attached, running to the fitting on
the far end of the exhaust manifold. The front-end fitting on the manifold is connected
to the point where the cooling water is injected into the exhaust stream. This
prevents air locks within the manifold. The other pipe on the header tank
connects to the Jabsco water pump by a flexible hose and an angled coupling.
The long lengths of rubber pipe can be avoided by adding sections of copper tube in between bends.
the back of the engine, the flywheel is next to receive attention. A flywheel connection
between flywheel and gearbox provides torsional vibration damping so to avoid
transmission issues. This drive plate is bolted on however you may find dowels present
that normally used to drive the clutch get in the way. If they do, either pull
them out or break them off with a sharp blow from a hammer. New bolts should be
used for this item.
bell housing which encloses the flywheel and drive plate is then fitted. The
bell housing is designed to couple the engine to gearbox and absorb thrust from
the propellor, this the motive diving force of the vessel. The bellhousing will
be machined to accept the intended gearbox to the engine. This bolts on with
the same bolts that held the vehicle housing.
- The bell housing will also adapt straight onto a sterndrive such as the example Stern Power 101 outdrive coupling. Lower performance sterndrives
attach direct to the engine as the gear forward, neutral, reverse is contained
within the drive. Higher performance drives use an external gearbox, typically
a Borg warner box coupled in the same way as a shaft drive installation.
Marinisation Kit Suppliers back in 1978!
| || C-Power || Gainsborough || Ford, Leyland |
| || C/T Marine || London || Ford, Leyland |
| || Diesel Conversion Prod || Dover || Ford, Leyland, Perkins |
| || Highpower Marine || Norwich || Ford, Leyland |
| || Lancing Marine || West Sussex || Ford, Leyland, GM, Gardner |
| || MIT || Kent || Ford. |
| || T. Norris || Middlesex || Ford, Leyland. |
| || Powamarine || East Sussex || Ford. |
| || Watermota || Devon || Ford, Leyland. |
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