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Engine Change

Our Lister Canalstar LPWS4A engine is now in a diesel repair shop for investigation and I'm wondering if now is the time to bite the bullet and fit a new engine as it is 20 years old and has done about 6500 hours.
The Lister engine powering our 55' Liverpool narrowboat is 36hp but I've noticed in recent WW articles that boats of this size usually seem to have 42hp or bigger engines.A Beta 38 35hp engine sounds like a sensible equivalent. Does it make any sense to consider a bigger engine? I guess there must be issue relating cooling and propeller size, at least.
with a change of engine is normal to change the gearbox? I don't much about our gearbox as it has been trouble-free for the 8 years we have had the boat - our survey describes it as a Newage 47x16.

Asked by: Clive Dutson  | 5.54pm, Sunday 12 July

WW says:

The Lister you have is a 1.8 litre engine block, the Beta 38 is based on a 1.5 block. One reason that many review in WW seem to have larger power engines is that the blocks tend to produce more horsepower for a given block size... However torque, the gutsiness of an engine is more closely related to cubic capacity than pure power output. So, you might ink about looking for an engine with a similar size to your current one.
A comparison could be made to older BL engines... The 1.5 was suitable for boats up to around 45, 50 ft, while the larger 1.8 was good for up to 70ft- though on paper, there was not often much difference in pure power output.
The smaller engine would probably work a bit harder than a larger capacity one, but should still give good performance- howeve, for stopping power (and river use), a larger capacity block might be sensible.
If you are fitting a new engine, I would strongly suggest that you fit a new gearbox as well... It tends to be much cheaper at the initial installation stage than having to replace it in a few years... Sometimes gearboxes fail unexpectedly, despite having given good service. Also, it is easier to have the whole new installation under warranty as well, if there is a new gearbox supplied- and fitting an older box onto a newer engine is not always easy.
If we can be more help, or more specific, please let us know.

Mark Langley  | 8.45PM, Sunday 12 July

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