Saving a sunken Beta
Would the engine and gearbox be salvageable from a sunken narrowboat that has been refloated? It is a Beta 38 with PRM gearbox. I don’t know if, or how, much water ingress there has been. Would it require a new engine, a rebuild or could I get away without a rebuild?
QThis depends on how long it’s been down and to what depth. The longer it has been down the more likely it is something will have corroded, but if it has only been down a few weeks you might only have to follow the procedure below.
If it is still in the boat that sank and the fuel tank filler or breather has been under the water, use a pump of some sort or an engine oil extractor to ‘vacuum’ all water from the bottom of the tank or use the tank drain plug.
Remove the starter and alternator and stand them on end to allow any water to drain out, after a few hours, put them in a warm or hot place to dry out. Refit them.
Remove the injectors and tie rag around the end of the injector pipes or take out the glowplugs.
Pump or drain the oil and water from the gearbox and engine and refill with any cheap engine oil. Change all of the oil and fuel filters.
Spin the engine over on the starter until it stops spitting water from the injector/glowplug holes, then bleed the fuel system and refit the injectors or glowplugs.
Try to start the engine. If it starts, run for five to ten minutes and drain the oils again. Then refill with cheap oil. This time run until the engine is up to running temperature, then change both oils and filter, but this time, refill with the correct oil.
ADo make sure you remove the injectors or glowplugs before turning over the engine, if you don’t give any water in the cylinders a way out, you will bend the connecting rods or smash the pistons, then it will be an expensive engine rebuild.
Only if it will not start would you think about an engine rebuild, and remember a failed starter could prevent the engine starting, so do not confuse that with a seized engine.
If water has got into the tank, and after pumping out as much as you can from below the fuel, I would suggest you use Fuelset for the summer to help remove any that remains.