BMC Captain 1.5 diesel (avoid?!)

ZebraSmasher

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What are your thoughts on a 70's boat with a BMC Captain 1.5 diesel?

I remember seeing a post a while back suggesting that spares for BMC engines are impossible to get. I think the general idea was to keep clear at all costs.

The boat seems perfect for myself and sister/nephew/etc., but I'm back to the same problem of great boat, shame about the engine.
 
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Tranona

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Depends on exactly which BMC engine it is. The 2.5L ones are difficult but the smaller 1500 and 1800 ones are OK. Plenty still in use in all sorts of boats, particularly on the canals. I think Captain was the name given to the 2.5l ones. Worth finding out more about it and who marinised it.
 

ZebraSmasher

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Depends on exactly which BMC engine it is. The 2.5L ones are difficult but the smaller 1500 and 1800 ones are OK. Plenty still in use in all sorts of boats, particularly on the canals. I think Captain was the name given to the 2.5l ones. Worth finding out more about it and who marinised it.
Thanks, I'll try and get some more information.
 

Rappey

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What are your thoughts on a 70's boat with a BMC Captain 1.5 diesel?
Brilliant engine. Can be abused something terrible but still keeps working. Superb fuel economy and reliability. All parts are available in abundance and stupidly cheap. Ive just replaced the engines water pump. It was a whole £17.99 . Cam chain,tensioner and gasket- expect to get change from £20. Exhaust manifold gasket £4.75 . Fuel lift pump was £25 (though that a little pricey 😁) For some other brands you can expect to add at least another zero for parts.
Its an old morris engine which shares parts with many other old english cars. Hindustan taxis of which there are millions use the engine plus who knows how many in use in uk boats. They are heavier and noisier than modern engines but very simple.
To cold start one you need a Good ⅓+ throttle and a good 30 secs of glow plug. Apparently they were like that when brand new.
Many were sold new marinised. Many of these were restricted to 3000rpm giving 30hp.
Ones that came out of vehicles had the full 4400rpm and give/gave 40hp
My 60 yr old engine came out of a van, was probably rebuilt and then put in a boat 41 yrs ago. It is still running fine today.
Do i love my engine ? Hell no. Im so envious of modern ones that cant be heard or felt when running but mine will probably outlive them by a long shot, not because it's a superior engine but because its so cheap to rebuild whereas others when older are just to expensive.
A 1.5 can be rebored 4x, then it needs sleeving. Mine only been done once (so far)
Calcutt boats (bmc specialists) once had an article saying they would always prefer a rebuilt bmc 1.5 in their hire boats v a new engine and named quite a few other brands because the bmc would still be working long after the others were knackered. :unsure:
Other bmc models can be hard to source parts.
 

ZebraSmasher

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Brilliant engine. Can be abused something terrible but still keeps working. Superb fuel economy and reliability. All parts are available in abundance and stupidly cheap. Ive just replaced the engines water pump. It was a whole £17.99 . Cam chain,tensioner and gasket- expect to get change from £20. Exhaust manifold gasket £4.75 . Fuel lift pump was £25 (though that a little pricey 😁) For some other brands you can expect to add at least another zero for parts.
Its an old morris engine which shares parts with many other old english cars. Hindustan taxis of which there are millions use the engine plus who knows how many in use in uk boats. They are heavier and noisier than modern engines but very simple.
To cold start one you need a Good ⅓+ throttle and a good 30 secs of glow plug. Apparently they were like that when brand new.
Many were sold new marinised. Many of these were restricted to 3000rpm giving 30hp.
Ones that came out of vehicles had the full 4400rpm and give/gave 40hp
My 60 yr old engine came out of a van, was probably rebuilt and then put in a boat 41 yrs ago. It is still running fine today.
Do i love my engine ? Hell no. Im so envious of modern ones that cant be heard or felt when running but mine will probably outlive them by a long shot, not because it's a superior engine but because its so cheap to rebuild whereas others when older are just to expensive.
A 1.5 can be rebored 4x, then it needs sleeving. Mine only been done once (so far)
Calcutt boats (bmc specialists) once had an article saying they would always prefer a rebuilt bmc 1.5 in their hire boats v a new engine and named quite a few other brands because the bmc would still be working long after the others were knackered. :unsure:
Other bmc models can be hard to source parts.
Wow, thanks for your response. Certainly seems like the boat is worth a look. I'd read the opposite, and almost discounted them completely...
 

Rappey

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£1800 to £2500 will buy a used one. Many around. Its even cheaper to totally rebuild one yourself.
Morris designed the 1.5 diesel late 50,s ? Was basically their 1500 petrol engine built as a diesel. They did not do that well at selling their diesel after investing lots of money. Someone decide to aim the engine at the marine market and it became the most popular diesel in the 60,s and 70,s
The last one was around 1981 which ended up in a morris marina, but only sold in south africa.
There will certainly be some troublesome old dogs around but they are easy to repair.
 

scottie

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They do suffer from a carbon build up round the heater plug but this is easily cured by carefully removing the plug and using a twist drill turned by hand sorry can’t remember size
 

Hunterlees

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I owned a Shetland with a BMC 1.5 and it was completely reliable. I rebuilt it using readily available parts, not a problem. One tip was that i upgraded the starter to one from WOSP and it turned over much quicker and therefore started easier. Great engine
 
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