The goal of Freedom Engine Service is to ensure the mechanical systems of each and every boat are as safe and reliable as is possible. We seek to achieve the highest level of operational reliability, regardless of the age of any given engine. Through the careful application of modern tolerance and reliability standards, we adapt vintage power plants to modern operating conditions.
The combined years of experience at Freedom Engine Service provides the vintage boat enthusiast unique benefits. We have operated, repaired, rebuilt and maintained enough different vintage engines that we have both a factual database of engine performance, and a “feel” for a properly running engine. We specialize in rebuilding, restoration, and, most importantly, marrying the engine to the boat to make it perform properly and reliably.
There are many aspects to what we offer.
Engines (see complete details at right)
Accessories (carburetors, distributors, magnetos, generators, alternators, starters, water pumps)
Fuel, wiring, ventilation, cooling, and plumbing are all evaluated and brought to current ABYC standards.
Drive systems are inspected and brought to current standards. Drive shafts are tested and replaced if not true, struts are checked and fitted with new bearings, and propellers are inspected, measured, and adjusted to proper specifications.
Checking and adjusting in the spring and fall allows us to make sure every aspect of the mechanics of the boat is performing within spec. Regular adjustments keep major problems at bay.
Many one-of-a-kind vintage engines need special attention. We have a well-oiled network of parts specialists around the world. If we can’t find it, we can fabricate it!
Sometimes owners have special needs or requests. As long as it doesn’t compromise safety, the answer is yes!
How We Approach Engine Rebuilds
When you engage Freedom Engine Service for your mechanical rebuilding needs here's what we do:
• The block, cylinder heads, and manifolds are immersed in a heated solvent, and completely cleaned, much in the same way a dishwasher washes a glass.
• All parts are inspected completely to verify serviceability, not just parts that failed, or parts that are visible.
• New parts are installed whenever they are available, we don’t re-use worn pistons or regrind old valves.
• Special attention is paid to the valve train, as the performance of a four cycle engine is directly tied to the ability of the engine to “breathe”, and the combination of valves, valve springs, lifters and camshaft determines how the engine will breathe. New hardened valve seats, stainless steel valves, and new valve springs are installed.
• Three angle valve grinds are standard. “Back in the day”, valves were ground with a single angle surface, to maximize the area of contact between the valve and seat. That’s how the heat from the valve is dissipated, through the valve seat. That works great, as long as the mating surface remains clean, and can mate to the seat. The problem is that the larger the surface, the more likely it is to “carbon up”. The three angle valve grind is the best compromise for maximizing the contact surface while minimizing the potential for carbon deposits.
• Crankshafts are magna-fluxed to verify their integrity and check for cracks. If a crankshaft must be ground to .030” under stock dimension or more, it is considered past service life and is replaced.
• Connecting rods dimensions are checked, and reconditioned. (blueprinting)
• All pistons & rod sets are matched in weight. (balancing)
• The engine block is align bored; this enables the bearings and crankshaft to run as close to parallel as possible, minimizing friction, so the very ‘heart’ of the motor runs as freely and smoothly as possible.
• The engine block is ‘decked’ meaning all surfaces are machined flat. (What good is a resurfaced head, when the block it bolts to is not flat?) We fix that.
• All bolt holes are cleaned, and the threads are chased with a tap to be sure the new bolts will thread in without seizing. New cylinder head studs are installed when applicable.
• Advanced lubrication technologies allow us to tighten tolerances, providing greater performance and reliability.
• A new coat of paint is applied to protect all the exterior metal parts.
• All ancillary systems are checked for proper operation and rebuilt where necessary: starter, generator/alternator, distributor, water pump, circulation pump, belts, hoses, fuel pump, and carburetor. Experience shows that without this attention, all the careful work on the engine block itself will not deliver the level of reliability we expect.
• Proper break-in is performed by us, through the first ten hours of operation. This allows us to record baseline performance in rpm’s, operating temperature, oil pressure, volts and amps generated, as well as enabling us to make many adjustments in rapid succession. The first engine operating hour may take five hours to attain. As an example, we usually torque the cylinder head(s) after each accumulated hour of operation.
There are many other details we address to insure the ongoing quality of the finished product, some you can see, some you cannot. We’re happy to further explain, either in person, in the shop, or by telephone.