Universal Atomic 4 and Stevedore

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Atomic 4

The Universal Atomic 4 is a four-cylinder, 64.46 cubic inch (sometimes shown as 65 cubic inch), 30 horsepower (22 kW) gasoline engine produced by the Universal Motor Company between 1947 and 1984 for use as auxiliary power on sailboats. Over 40,000 of the engines were produced during that time, with an estimated 20,000 still in use today. This “workhorse” engine dominated the expanding sailboat market starting in the 1960’s. Between the years of 1965 and 1975 they were installed on up to 80% of new sailboats in the 25∼40 foot (7.6∼12 meter) range. Their longevity and reliability is proven by the fact that thousands of sailors still depend on this engine.

The Atomic Stevedore model was a detuned, slightly slower revving 18.5 horsepower engine derived from the more powerful 30hp Atomic 4 model. Both models were identical in most ways. The Atomic Stevedore was initially developed and marketed for Canadian lifeboat service.

History and Lineage

The Atomic 4 is descended from an earlier Universal Motor Company design called the Utility Four, which was used extensively in World War II by the United States Navy and allies to power the lifeboats for the ships, barges, and tankers of many navies and merchant marine fleets. The Utility Four model was displaced by the Atomic 4 in 1947.

Differences Between Early and Late Models

Most parts are interchangeable between early and late Atomic 4 (and Stevedore) model engines. However, a few parts (particularly some of those used in the fuel system, ignition system, and cooling system) are unique to early or late models.

If you have an original engine from the mid-seventies or later, with an oil fill tube over the flywheel housing in front of the engine, you can be reasonably sure that your engine will require parts used by all late model engines.

If your engine does not have an oil fill tube over the flywheel housing, it may require a mix of late and early model parts. You will therefore need the following information before ordering:

1. To order ignition parts (including the “Ignitor”), you will need to know if your distributor was manufactured by Delco (used on late model engines), or by Prestolite (used on early model engines). Prestolite distributors are distinctively smaller in size, and their condensers are mounted on the outside of the distributor housing.

2. To order cooling system parts, you will need to know if your engine has a thermostat housing (a small dome-shaped casting) located on the front corner of the head, nearest the starter. This thermostat housing would indicate that your engine has a late model cooling system.

3. To order carburetor parts, you will need to know if your carburetor is made of aluminum or cast iron. Aluminum carburetors were used on late model engines. All carburetors were manufactured by Zenith or Bendix, so the manufacturer does not help in determining your carburetor vintage.

4. To order gaskets, you will need to know (1) and (2) above, plus the shape of your transmission cover. Late model engines used a square cover, and early model engines used a rectangular cover with a curved top (“tombstone-shaped”).

5. Late model (Delco) starter ring gears have slightly smaller teeth than early model Prestolite ring gears.  For this reason, Prestolite and Delco starters cannot be exchanged between early and late model engines unless the ring gear (or entire flywheel) is changed with them. In addition, late model ring gears have a slightly larger diameter than early models, so when moving a late model flywheel to an early model engine, either a late model housing will also have to be moved along with the flywheel or the six (6) small boss areas on the inside of an early model flywheel housing will have to be ground down.  These boss areas are for the 1/4-20 bolts that hold the flywheel cover on, and they will have to be ground down almost to the bolt holes themselves.

From MoyerMarine.com.

Engine Features

Atomic 4 engine block with cylinder head removed, exposing side-valves.

Top End: The Atomic 4 engine is a type of side-valve design, referred to as an “L-Head” engine by Universal and commonly called a “Flat Head” engine. It has all the intake and exhaust valves located in the cylinder block alongside the cylinders rather then in the cylinder head as in the case of a valve-in-head, over-head-valve engine. The Atomic 4 valve train consists of four intake valves and four exhaust valves (one each per cylinder), eight valve return springs and eight tappets. This is much simpler then valve-in-head engines which also need rocker arms, push rods, and a large and heavy “ported” head.

From Wikipedia.

Like most side-valve type engines, the Atomic 4 has a very low compression ratio. This is due to the large area required above the side-valves for clearance when the valves are opened. While the engine would undoubtedly produce more power if “Intake Air Charged”, an air charger such as a supercharger or turbocharger is NOT recommended because of the Atomic 4’s somewhat “Weak-Bottom-End” described next.

Atomic 4 crankshaft with 2 main bearings.

Bottom End: Unlike most 4-cylinder inline engines which have 3 or 5 crankshaft main bearings, the Atomic 4 crankshaft has only two crankshaft main bearings, one at the front end (flywheel end) shown at the left end in the picture above, and one at the rear end. Instead of a main bearing in the middle (between #2 & #3 connecting rod journals) the crankshaft has just a counterweight that helps balance the crankshaft and maintain its stability. Because of this engine’s low compression ratio, low power output, and relatively low operating RPM, it does not develop very high loading of the crankshaft bearings and therefore normally never needed more than two crankshaft main bearings like other 4-cylinder inline marine engines. However, the lack of support for the middle of the crankshaft does make the Atomic 4 a poor candidate to “soup-up” for high performance service such as competition racing. Even in normal service, the Atomic 4 crankshaft can flex and even break when under high rotational, gyroscopic and/or inertial loads from the pistons, rods, crankshaft and flywheel such as in the case when a small vessel attains high speed in choppy water and pounds on the waves. More powerful 4-cylinder engines have as many as five crankshaft main bearings (One bearing at each end and one bearing between each cylinder) like the crankshaft shown directly below.

Detroit Diesel 4-cylinder crankshaft with 5 main bearings.

Lubrication: The Atomic 4 engine was equipped with pressurized lubrication to all crankshaft bearings (note the oil feed holes drilled into the crankshaft above). Unfortunately, it lacked an oil filter which would seem to be a worthwhile addition considering that the integral transmission runs in the engine lubricating oil and generates additional wear metals in the oil. A bypass type oil filter can easily be fitted to this engine. Some new engine blocks from “aftermarket” sources like Moyer Marine are machined to be fitted with full-flow type oil filters.

Cooling: Most Atomic 4 engines originally lacked fresh water cooling. Without fresh water cooling, the Atomic 4’s main castings have a limited service life. The standard raw water cooling system caused cylinder block, cylinder head and exhaust manifold casting breaches especially in salt water from simple “rust-thru” which has resulted in far too many Atomic 4’s being thrown away due to the resulting internal damage. Engines run in salt water would undoubtedly benefit from being fitted with a fresh water cooling system. Likewise, freeze damage to the engine’s castings resulting from a lack of proper winterization has also taken it’s toll of these engines. Fortunately, new engine blocks, cylinder heads and exhaust manifolds have become available from “aftermarket” sources like Moyer Marine.

Atomic 4 Head – Shows rust in the combustion chambers from salt water flooding in the engine.

Exhaust: The Atomic 4 was fitted with a 1¼” pipe thread plate at the end of the exhaust manifold for the engine installer to design and fit a proper exhaust system for the particular vessel. The exhaust system could be a “dry” system or a “wet” system depending on preference. Unfortunately, many exhaust systems were not designed, installed or maintained according to “Best Practices”, resulting in premature failure, often with disastrous results. Make sure that your engine’s exhaust has been properly designed, installed and maintained before it fails.

The exhaust mixing elbow shown below was poorly designed with a water discharge into the wet exhaust that also lacks a riser, allowing water to enter the engine through the exhaust valves under certain conditions including deceleration and extended idle, resulting in serious internal engine damage. See our article on Designing Proper Exhaust Systems.

Atomic 4 Exhaust with poorly designed water discharge in mixing elbow.

The engine’s exhaust system is one of the vessel’s systems that requires vigilant attention, however it is often the most neglected. Exhaust system components deteriorate rapidly. Make sure that your engine’s exhaust system is in good condition before it fails.

Broken exhaust mixing elbow weakened by serious salt water corrosion.

Toxic fumes, flooding bilges, flooded engines, and vessel fires are just a few of the serious, and sometimes fatal consequences of poor exhaust system design and lack of maintenance failures.

Loyal Following

Considering that very few of these engines have suffered failure from any inherent weakness, such as a manufacturer’s design deficiency, manufacturing fault, or defect in materials, its no wonder that this tough little motor has outlasted many of it’s critics and has gained a fiercely loyal following which can be ultimately attributed to it’s rugged simplicity and strength in numbers.

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Specifications For Universal Atomic 4 and Stevedore
4-Stroke Cycle Gasoline (Petrol) Marine Engines

BASE ENGINE: Manufacturer/Vendor & Model of Base Engine followed by Specifications.
^ CYL: Cylinder Orientation & Configuration – (Dash w/no spaces) Number of Cylinders: (example: “V-8”)
^ ^ Cylinder Orientation: No Code = u… = Upright (Vertical).
^ ^ Cylinder Configuration: I = In-Line.
^ BORE & STROKE: …mm = Millimeters. …in = …” = Inches.
^ DISPLACEMENT = Swept Volume: …cc = Cubic Centimeters (cm³). …L = Liters. …ci = Cubic Inches (in³).
MODEL RATINGS: Base Engine Model, Vendor Rating Code, Duty Ratings, Power Ratings, etc.
^ A-F: Aspiration-Fueling: Intake Air uncharged or charged – Petrol or Diesel Fueling.
^ ^ Aspiration: N = Naturally Aspirated. T = Turbocharged.
^ ^ Petrol Fueling: C = Carbureted.
^ DR = Duty Ratings: See the Engine Duty Ratings Description at the end of the Table.
^ ^ ♦♦ = Highest Power Rating from Data Sources.
^ POWER: kW = Kilowatts. HP = Horsepower. HP = Brake Horsepower. MHP = Metric Horsepower.
^ RPM = Power Ratings @ Revolutions Per Minute.
^ YEARS: Beginning∼Ending. YYYY usually = Model Year. MM/YY = actual Month/Year.
^ DS = Data Source: Click DS Link to view DS. ♦♦♦ = Summary of Data Compiled from Multiple Sources.
^ ^ DS’s 1st Letter = Vendor’s 1st Letter (U = Universal). Wi = Wikipedia.
^ ^ DS’s 2nd Letter:  …d = Directory. …w = Webpage. …c = Catalog. …b = Brochure. …s = SpecSheet.
Data: ⊗ = Data Not Available from Data Source. ¿… = …? = Data Unconfirmed/in Question.


Each line displays the data available from the identified Data Source (DS). The data is displayed according to the Table Key above. Clicking on the Data Source Link will open a new window displaying that Data Source. Data Sources include Catalogs, Brochures, Ads, SpecSheets, Owners/OpManuals, Parts Catalogs, Shop Manuals and Articles. The Triple Diamond "♦♦♦" = Summary of data compiled from multiple Data Sources.

Keep in mind that Data can be inaccurate in the source material and sometimes, the source material may be illegible. We try to obtain the best source material available and we make corrections to the tables when needed. If you wish to point out an error or you can help us obtain good source materials, please let us know via email To: Editor♣EverythingAboutBoats.org (Replace "♣" with "@")

Atomic 4 I-4 2 9/16 in* 3 1/8 in 64.46 ci**
Atomic 4 N-C ♣♣ 22 30 3500 1947∼1984 ♦♦♦
^ N-C 7.3 1000 ⊗∼⊗ Ub1
^ N-C 11.9 1500 ⊗∼⊗ Ub1
^ N-C 16.2 2000 ⊗∼⊗ Ub1
^ N-C 20 2500 ⊗∼⊗ Ub1
^ N-C 25 3000 ⊗∼⊗ Ub1
^ N-C 30 3500 ⊗∼⊗ Ub1
^ N-C 22 30 1947∼1984 Wh1
^ N-C 5 600 1949∼1984 Wi
^ N-C 7.3 1000 1949∼1984 Wi
^ N-C 11.9 1500 1949∼1984 Wi
^ N-C 16.2 2000 1949∼1984 Wi
^ N-C 20 2500 1949∼1984 Wi
^ N-C 25 3000 1949∼1984 Wi
^ N-C 30 3500 1949∼1984 Wi

NOTES: *The Universal  brochure erroneously reports the engine’s cylinder bore as 2 9/15 in.
**Sometimes shown as 65 ci (rounded up).

Atomic Stevedore I-4 2 9/16 in* 3 1/8 in 64.46 ci**
Atomic Stevedore*** N-C ♣♣ 13.5 18.5 3000 1975?∼1984 ♦♦♦
^ N-C 7 1000 ⊗∼⊗ Ub1
^ N-C 11 1500 ⊗∼⊗ Ub1
^ N-C 14.5 2000 ⊗∼⊗ Ub1
^ N-C 17 2500 ⊗∼⊗ Ub1
^ N-C 13.5 18.5 3000 ⊗∼⊗ Ub1
^ N-C 13.5 18.5 3000 1975?∼1984 Wh1

NOTES: *The Universal  brochure erroneously reports the engine’s cylinder bore as 2 9/15 in.
**Sometimes shown as 65 ci (rounded up).
***The Atomic Stevedore model was a detuned, slightly slower revving 18.5 horsepower engine derived from the more powerful 30hp Atomic 4 model. Both models were basically identical. The Atomic Stevedore was initially developed and marketed for Canadian lifeboat service.

Atomic Stevedore: Model UJ – 5101 (direct drive) / UJR – 5102 (2:1 reduction gear) / UJVD – 5103 (V drive, 1:1, 1.29:1, 1.67:1, 2:1 reduction gear options).  Available as Automatic. Model UJS – 5111 (direct drive), Model UJSR – 5112 (reduction drive), Model UJVD – 5113 (V drive),

L-Head. Compression Ratio: 6.3:1.
Engine Rotation: Counter-clockwise from flywheel end.
Firing Order: 1-2-4-3 (no. 1 on flywheel end).
Reduction Gear Ratio: 2.04:1 or direct 1:1 drive.
Maximum Operating Angle: ~15 degrees.
Fuel: regular leaded gasoline (will function on unleaded fuel with precautions including higher octane rated fuel, detuned ignition timing and lower propeller pitch). Gasoline containing ethanol may damage fuel system components.
Lubrication Oil: SAE 30.

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Universal Motor Company
Engine Duty Ratings

C = Continuous: Power available continuously.
I = Intermittent: Power available for 1 hour out of 8 hours with low annual hours.
Cm = Commercial.
Pc = Pleasure Craft.

Product Documentation

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DOCUMENT TITLE – Products (Notes) — Creator – Source DS
Catalogs and Brochures: ↓c/b↓
ΞVendorΞ Catalog – ΞProductsΞ (ΞNotesΞ) — ΞCreatorΞ – ΞSourceΞ –c–
Universal Atomic 4 & Stevedore Auxiliary Sailboat Engines (800101) — Westerbeke Ub1
^ Includes Specifications‚ Installation Dimensions‚ and Price List.
Ads: (Print Advertisements) ↓a↓
ΞVendorΞ Ads – ΞProductsΞ (ΞNotesΞ) — ΞCreatorΞ – ΞSourceΞ –a–
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Included in Universal Atomic 4 & Stevedore Brochure above. Wb4
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Press Releases: (by Date: = YYMMDD) ↓pr↓
ΞVendorΞ Press Release (ΞDATEΞ) – ΞProductsΞ (ΞNotesΞ) — ΞCreatorΞ – ΞSourceΞ –pr–
Model History: ↓h↓
Westerbeke Propulsion Model History — Westerbeke. Wh1
Serial Number Guides: (Date of Manufacture‚ Date Codes‚+) ↓#↓
ΞVendorΞ Serial Number Guide – ΞProductsΞ (ΞNotesΞ) — ΞCreatorΞ – ΞSourceΞ –#–
Installation Instructions: ↓i↓
Westerbeke Installation Manual – Marine Engines & Generators – Diesel and Gasoline — Westerbeke. Wi1
Installation Drawings with Dimensions: ↓d↓
Included in Universal Atomic 4 & Stevedore Brochure above. Wb1
OpManuals: (Owner's/Operator's Handbooks/Manuals) ↓o↓
Universal Atomic 4 Operation and Maintenance Manual P/N 200156 80 pages — Westerbeke. Wo1
Universal Atomic 4 Owners & Service Manual — Moyer Marine. Wo2
Universal Atomic 4 Owner and Service ManualL-36. Wo2
universal Atomic 4 Owners ManualL-36. Wo3
universal Atomic 4 Transmission ManualL-36. Wo31
Parts Catalogs: (with Exploded Views & Parts Lists) ↓p↓
Universal Atomic Four Parts List P/N 200150 — Westerbeke. Wp1
Universal Atomic 4 Parts ListWesterbeke (From Moyer Marine). Mp1
Universal Atomic 4 Parts ManualL-36. Wp2
Parts Bulletins: (by Date: YYMMDD) ↓pb↓
Universal Superseded Parts List (August 2017)Universal. Upb1
Shop Manuals: (Repair/Service/Technical/Workshop Manuals) ↓m↓
MMI Universal Atomic 4 Service and Overhaul Manual — Moyer Marine. Mm1
Atomic 4 Owner and Service ManualL-36. Um1
Atomic 4 Transmission ManualL-36.Um2
Wiring Diagrams: ↓w↓
ΞVendorΞ Wiring Diagram – ΞProductsΞ (ΞNotesΞ) — ΞCreatorΞ – ΞSourceΞ –w–
TechVids: (Technical Videos: Service Training‚ etc.) ↓v↓
ΞVendorΞ TechVids (ΞDATEΞ) – ΞProductsΞ (ΞNotesΞ) — ΞCreatorΞ – ΞSourceΞ –v–
Service Bulletins: (by Date: YYMMDD) ↓sb↓
Westerbeke SB#242 (040824) – Mfr Date Code — Westerbeke. Wsb1
Westerbeke SB#227 (031027) – 180 Degree Thermostat Kit PN# 200468 — Westerbeke. Wsb2
Westerbeke SB#238 (030228) – Fuel Pump Inlet Filter Part Number 048076 — Westerbeke. Wsb3
Westerbeke SB#223 (960515) – Cylinder Head Gasket PN# 263776 — Westerbeke. Wsb4
Westerbeke SB#155 (850621) – Keyswitch — Westerbeke. Wsb5
Westerbeke SB#136 (840209) – Shift Lever — Westerbeke. Wsb6
Westerbeke SB#125 (830814) – Oil Pressure Switches — Westerbeke. Wsb7
Product Recalls: ↓r↓
ΞVendorΞ Recall – ΞProductsΞ (ΞNotesΞ) — ΞCreatorΞ – ΞSourceΞ –r–
Other Documentation: ↓?↓
ΞVendorΞ ? – ΞProductsΞ (ΞNotesΞ) — ΞCreatorΞ – ΞSourceΞ –?–

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04 – BOAT INSPECTION: Types of Surveys‚ Marine Surveyors‚ Schools‚ DIY Inspections‚+. T
05 – BOAT TITLES & VESSEL REGISTRY: Boat Title & Registration‚ Vessel Registry‚ Title Co's‚+. T
06 – BOAT FINANCING: Conventional (BanksCredit Unions‚+)‚ Unconventional (Creative)‚+. T
07 – BOAT INSURANCE: Policies‚ Claim Processing (FilingRepairClaimSubrogationCases)‚+. T
08 – BOAT TRANSPORT: By Sea (Piggyback‚ Delivery Skippers & Crews‚ & Towing)‚ Over-Land‚+. T
09 – BOAT LAUNCHING & HAULING: Drydocks‚ Ways‚ Lifts‚ Cranes & Hoists‚ Launch Ramps‚+. T
10 – BOAT MOORAGE & STORAGE: Builders‚ Anchorages‚ Marinas‚ Yards‚ Racks‚ Stacks‚+. T
11 – BOATING ORGANIZATIONS: Yacht Clubs‚ Paddling Clubs‚ Owners‚+. Education‚ Gov-Aux‚+. T
12 – BOATING & TRAVEL: Events‚ Destinations‚ Boat Rentals‚ Charters‚ Cruises‚ Voyages‚+. T
13 – BOATING & MARITIME EDUCATION: Recreational Seamanship‚ Ship's Master & Crew‚+. T
14 – MARINE LAWS & REGULATIONS: International & National LawsLawyers‚ Investigators‚+. T
15.01 – DIY Boat Building‚ Outfitting‚ Refitting & Repair (Incl. Maintenance & Fault Finding). T
15.02 – DIY Boat Sales (Buyers & Sellers). T
15.03 – DIY Boat Inspections (Pre-Survey‚ Pre-Purchase‚ Pre-Sale‚ Pre-Voyage‚ Sea Trials‚+). T
15.04 – DIY Schools & Classes (Boat Building‚ Refitting‚ Inspection‚ Troubleshooting‚ Repair‚+). T
15.04 –  ^  Anchors Aweigh Academy. V
16 – MEDIA w/Creator Directory: (Authors‚ Editors‚ Publishers‚+) + Academy eLibrary. T
16.01 – Documentation: (Catalogs‚ Ads‚ SpecSheets‚ Manuals‚ TechVids‚ Bulletins‚ Recalls‚+). T
16.02 – Books: (Bound‚ eBooks‚+). T
16.02 –  ^  12 Volt Bible for BoatsMiner Brotherton B
16.02 –  ^  12 Volt Doctor's Practical HandbookEdgar J. Beyn B
16.02 –  ^  Advanced Marine Electrics and Electronics TroubleshootingEd Sherman B
16.02 –  ^  Boat Engines : A Manual for Work and Pleasure BoatsP. J. Bowyer B
16.02 –  ^  Boat Maintenance : The Essential Guide — William Burr Jr B
16.02 –  ^  Boat Mechanical Systems Handbook — Dave Gerr B
16.02 –  ^  Boat Owner's ManualIntertec B
16.02 –  ^  Boat Repair Made Easy - EnginesKaufman B
16.02 –  ^  Boating Magazine's Powerboater's Guide to Electrical SystemsEdwin R. Sherman B
16.02 –  ^  Boating Magazine's Quick & Easy Boat MaintenanceSandy Lindsey B
16.02 –  ^  Boatkeeper : … Maintenance‚ Repair‚ ImprovementGladstone & Bottomley (Eds) B
16.02 –  ^  Boatman's Handbook : The New Look-it-up BookTom Bottomley B
16.02 –  ^  Boatowner's Fitting Out ManualJeff Toghill B
16.02 –  ^  Boatowner's Illustrated Electrical HandbookCharlie Wing B
16.02 –  ^  Boatowner's Illustrated Handbook of WiringCharlie Wing B
16.02 –  ^  Boatowner's Mechanical & Electrical ManualNigel Calder B
16.02 –  ^  Boatowner's Practical & Technical Cruising ManualNigel Calder B
16.02 –  ^  Commissioning & DecommissioningPractical Sailor Library B
16.02 –  ^  Complete Book of Yacht CareMichael Verney B
16.02 –  ^  Complete Powerboating ManualTim Bartlett & Simon Collis B
16.02 –  ^  Cruising Boats : Sail & PowerJay R. Benford & Associates‚ Inc B
16.02 –  ^  Don Casey's Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance ManualDon Casey B
16.02 –  ^  Electrical Handbook for RVs‚ Campers‚ Vans‚ Boats & TrailersHerb Gill B
16.02 –  ^  Electrics AfloatAlir Garrod B
16.02 –  ^  Engines Afloat : From Early Days to D-Day Vol 2Stan Grayson B
16.02 –  ^  Essential Boat MaintenancePat Manley & Rupert Holmes B
16.02 –  ^  Fiberglass Boat Survey ManualArthur Edmunds B
16.02 –  ^  Fiberglass BoatsHugh Du Plessis B
16.02 –  ^  Fiberglass Boats : Construction‚ Repair‚ and MaintenanceJohn Roberts B
16.02 –  ^  Fiberglass Boats : Construction and MaintenanceBoughton Cobb B
16.02 –  ^  Fitting Out : Preparing for SeaJ D Sleightholme B
16.02 –  ^  Fitting Out a Fibreglass HullMike Collins B
16.02 –  ^  Handling Troubles Afloat : What to Do When It All Goes WrongJohn Mellor B
16.02 –  ^  Handyman Afloat & AshoreKen Bramham B
16.02 –  ^  How Boat Things Work : An Illustrated GuideCharlie Wing B
16.02 –  ^  Inboard Motor InstallationsGlen L. Witt & Ken Hankinson B
16.02 –  ^  Internal Combustion Engines — USCG B
16.02 –  ^  Inboard Engine‚ Transmission and Drive Service : ManualIntertec B
16.02 –  ^  Look Inside : Cross-Sections · SHIPS — Moira Butterfield B
16.02 –  ^  MaintenanceTime-Life B
16.02 –  ^  Managing 12 Volts : How to Upgrade‚ Operate‚ and TroubleshootHarold Barre B
16.02 –  ^  Marine Electrical Care & RepairDavid MacLean B
16.02 –  ^  Marine Electrical Electronics BibleJohn C. Payne B
16.02 –  ^  Marine Electrical SystemsDIY Boat Owner Magazine B
16.02 –  ^  Marine Engine Room Blue BookWilliam D. Eglinton B
16.02 –  ^  Marine Engines & PropulsionRanger Hope B
16.02 –  ^  Marine Fire Prevention‚ Firefighting and Fire SafetyUS DoC MA B
16.02 –  ^  Marine InvestigationsDavid Pascoe B
16.02 –  ^  Marine Metals ManualRoger Pretzer B
16.02 –  ^  Metal Corrosion In BoatsNigel Warren B
16.02 –  ^  Modern Boat MaintenanceBo Streiffert (Ed) B
16.02 –  ^  Motor Boat EnginesAlan C. Wilson B
16.02 –  ^  NYNEX Boaters DirectoryNYNEX B
16.02 –  ^  Powerboating : Your First Book for Your First BoatKen Kreisler B
16.02 –  ^  Practical Small Powerboat MaintenanceAllen D. Berrien B
16.02 –  ^  Propeller HandbookDave Gerr B
16.02 –  ^  Quick & Easy Boat Maintenance : 1‚001 Time-Saving TipsSandy Lindsey B
16.02 –  ^  Replacing Your Boat's Engine (Adlard Coles Manuals)Mike Westin B
16.02 –  ^  RYA Diesel Engine HandbookAndrew Simpson B
16.02 –  ^  Sailboat Buyer's Guide : Conducting Your Own SurveyKarel Doruyter B
16.02 –  ^  Sailboat Electrics SimplifiedDon Casey B
16.02 –  ^  Sailor's Assistant : Reference Data for Maintenance‚ Repair & CruisingJohn Vigor B
16.02 –  ^  Seaworthy: Essential Lessons from BoatUS — Robert A. Adriance – BoatU.S. B
16.02 –  ^  Shipshape - The Art of Sailboat MaintenanceFerenc Mat B
16.02 –  ^  Simple Boat MaintenancePat Manley B
16.02 –  ^  Sloop : Restoring My Family's Wooden SailboatDaniel Robb B
16.02 –  ^  Small Boat Engines - Inboard & OutboardConrad Miller B
16.02 –  ^  Small Boat Guide to Electronics AfloatTim Bartlett B
16.02 –  ^  Sorensen's Guide to Powerboats — Eric W. Sorensen B
16.02 –  ^  Surveying and Restoring Classic BoatsJ C Winters B
16.02 –  ^  Surveying Fiberglass Power BoatsDavid Pascoe B
16.02 –  ^  Surveying Small CraftIan Nicolson B
16.02 –  ^  Take the Mystery Out of Boat MaintenanceLawrence A. Diamond B
16.02 –  ^  The Boat Repair ManualGeorge Buchanan B
16.02 –  ^  The Boatowner's Guide to Corrosion — Everett Collier B
16.02 –  ^  The Complete Book of Pleasure Boat EnginesErnest A. Zadig B
16.02 –  ^  The Essential Boat Maintenance ManualJeff E. Toghill B
16.02 –  ^  The Motorboat Electrical and Electronics ManualJohn C. Payne B
16.02 –  ^  The Young Sea Officer's Sheet AnchorDarcy Lever B
16.02 –  ^  Theory and Practice of Propellers For Auxiliary SailboatsJohn R. Stanton B
16.02 –  ^  Ultimate Boat Maintenance ProjectsScott Smith B
16.02 –  ^  Understanding Boat Corrosion‚ Lightning Protection…John C. Payne B
16.02 –  ^  Watch It Made in the USA : Visitor's Guide to the Best Factory Tours — Karen Axelrod B
16.02 –  ^  What Shape Is She In?. A Guide to the Surveying of BoatsAllan H. Vaitses B
16.02 –  ^  Your Boat's Electrical SystemConrad Miller & E. S. Maloney B
16.03 – Magazines: (Incl. Articles‚ Back Issues‚+). T
16.03 –  ^  The ANCHOR — Anchors Aweigh Academy M
16.03 –  ^  DIY Boat Owner - The Marine Maintenance MagazineBoatUS Mad Mariner (OoB) M
16.04 – Videos: (How-to-Tutorials‚ Documentaries‚ Travelogues‚+). T
16.05 – Websites: (Incl. Articles‚ Forum Posts‚ Tech Tips‚ Tech Notes‚ Social Media‚+). T
16.05 –  ^  Anchors Aweigh Academy V
00.00 –  ^  ΞTitleΞ – + (ΞNotesΞ) — ΞCreatorΞ – ΞSourceΞ ?

Supplemental Related Resources

48° North W
^ Atomic 4 Basics — Tom Averne48° North WA
Moyer Marine's Online Atomic 4 Newsletters — Moyer Marine M
^ Spring 2010: M
^ ^ Exhaust issues MA
^ ^ Oil Change Issues MA
^ ^ Spring Commissioning MA
^ Summer 2010: M
^ ^ Impeller issues MA
^ ^ Oil pump basics MA
^ ^ Engine Inspection Checklist MA
^ ^ Synthetic Oil and Wet Clutch Slippage MA
^ Winter 2010: M
^ ^ "Are you operating in a vacuum"? MA
^ ^ Tartan 30 and 34 standpipe mufflers MA
^ ^ 10 things you really don't want to do MA
^ Spring 2011: M
^ ^ Preventative Maintenance Program MA
^ Fall 2011: M
^ ^ Troubleshooting Concepts MA
^ ^ Fall Manifold Special! MA
^ ^ Setting your belt tension just got easier MA
^ ^ New split hub prop shaft couplings MA
^ Spring 2012: M
^ ^ Springtime startup issues MA
^ ^ Suggested Spare Parts and Tools for Cruising MA
^ Winter 2014: M
^ ^ Sudden and unexpected shutdowns MA
^ Winter 2017: M
^ ^ Introduction to induction MA
^ Winter 2018: M
^ ^ Understanding the Atomic 4 oil system MA
^ July 2018: M
^ ^ Understanding the Atomic 4 late model cooling bypass system MA
^ Special Announcement: M
^ ^ New Atomic 4 Blocks! MA
Atomic 4 Serial Numbers by Year FP
Foley Engines: W
^ 34: Atomic 4 Carburetors and Pumps WA
^ 52: Solid State Ignition Kits WA
From Moyer Marine: W
^ Do I have an Early or Late Model Atomic 4? WA
^ Panoramic Views of an Atomic 4 WA
^ Carburetor Internal Pressure Regulation WA
^ Fuel-Related Engine Shutdowns WA
^ Water Jacket Side Plate – Some Comments WA
^ Erratic Oil Pressure WA
^ Understanding the Atomic 4 oil system WA
^ Elevated exhaust system back pressure WA
^ The Kaminsky Modification WA
^ Best features of early and late model engines. WA
^ Specialized tools we find essential WA
^ Accessory drive repair and modification WA
^ Critical items during rebuild WA
^ Late model carburetor tidbit WA
^ Understanding the late model bypass cooling system WA
^ FACET fuel pump failures WA
Moyer Marine: (FAQ by Category) W
^ Do I have an Early or Late Model Atomic 4? WA
^ General Information WA
^ Ignition System WA
^ Fuel System WA
^ Oil System WA
^ Cooling System WA
^ Accessory Drive WA
^ Reversing Gear WA
^ Exhaust System WA
^ Propellers WA
ΞAdditionalΞRelatedΞResourcesΞ Ξ

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Thanks to our amazing contributors for the steady flow of articles, and to our dedicated all-volunteer staff who sort, polish and format them, everyday we get a little bit closer to our goal of
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Detroit Diesel 8.2 Liter “Fuel Pincher” V8 Engine
Cummins V-555 & VT-555 “Triple-Nickel” V8 Diesel Engine
Lehman 120 (6D380) Diesel Engine (Ford 2704C & 2715E)
Ford Industrial Power Products Diesel Engines
How to Identify Ford Diesel Engines
Ford 2715E Diesel Engine
Lehman Mfg. Co.
Perkins Engines
Universal Atomic 4
Sears Boat Motors: Motorgo, Waterwitch, Elgin, etc.
Chrysler & Force Outboards
Eska Outboard Motors
Allison Transmission
ZF Friedrichshafen AG
Marine Surveyors by Country
American Marine Ltd (Grand Banks)
Boat Inspection (Types of Marine Surveys)
Boat Builders: (A∼Z) (w/Vessel Types, Locale & Years Active)
USCG NVIC 07-95 Guidance on Inspection, Repair and Maintenance of Wooden Hulls
American Boat and Yacht Counsel (ABYC)

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The MAIN TOPICS (all Caps) below are followed by their Main Subtopics with Links.

00 – HOME: CONTENTSABOUT EAB: Contact EAB, Abbreviations & Symbols, FAQ, GLOSSARY, ADs,+.
01 – ABOUT BOATS w/Museum Directory: Early History, Recent History, Modern Vessel Types,+.
02 – BOAT BUILDING, OUTFITTING, REFITTING & REPAIR: Materials, Equipment, Builders,+.
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09 – BOAT HAULING & LAUNCHING: Drydocks, Ways, Lifts, Cranes & Hoists, Launch Ramps,+.
10 – BOAT MOORAGE & STORAGE: Builders, Anchorages, Marinas, Yards, Racks & Stacks,+.
11 – BOATING ORGANIZATIONS: Yacht Clubs & Sailing Clubs, Paddling Clubs, Boat Owners,+.
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FROM Scrooge: "You rave about this website like it was the best thing since sliced bread. Well, I think it stinks. Sure, it has a lot of good information for boaters, and they're adding more every day, but it will probably never be finished. Furthermore, I don't even own a boat. And I wouldn't have a boat even if someone gave me one. Boats are a waste of money and time and energy and money! They're just a hole in the water you pour money into. If you gave me a boat, I'd sell it quicker then you could say Baggywrinkle. Then I'd lock up the cash with all my other money so I could keep my eye on it and count it every day. Bah humbug."

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Comments About This Particular Page

FROM old-sailer: Atomic 4 Serial Numbers by Year
A little history…
I have managed to find myself a lovely old 30 ft C&C sailboat. (I love the old boats and not interested in the new ones at all) Of course it has the venerable Atomic4 in it and I copied down the serial and model and sent it to Don to see if he could tell me the age, when made etc. He replied telling me what he could about my little girl that she’s one of the last late model units made but he also told me he has never seen any log of the serial numbers relative to year of manufacture. Sooooo….. I went hunting.
Here’s what I have come up with so far assembled from a number of web sites that have bits and pieces of information on the engine. I found one web site that had all kinds of info. and it’s the basis for the list here and then I added other info from other sites I came across adding to it. I simply offer it here for the benefit of all interested in this great old engine.

Circa 1949: Serial #?
Zenith series 61-M2AE7 cast iron carburetor with adjustable main jet.
Dole thermostat.
Auto-lite ignition.
Fairbanks Morse magneto (optional).
Auto-lite 6 volt starter.
Auto-lite 6 volt generator.
Prestolite distributor (1Gw60032E1X).
Bronze gear water pump.
Old style heat exchanger kit (optional).
5 unit control panel with mechanical tachometer, mechanical oil pressure gauge, mechanical Water temperature gauge

Circa 1962: Serial #?
Jabsco rubber impellor water pump (available as a replacement).
Prestolite 12 volt starter.
Leece Neville 12 volt alternator (optional).

Circa 1963: Serial #68____
Prestolite 12 volt generator.
Auto-lite 15 amp 12 volt generator (optional).
Delco Remy 24 amp 12 volt generator (optional).
Prestolite 35 amp 12 volt alternator (optional).
Prestolite 40 amp 12 volt alternator (optional).

Circa 1964: Serial #71____
Ongaro – Teleflex electric control panel with electric tachometer (optional), electric oil pressure gauge, electric water temperature gauge.

Circa 1965: Serial #77____
“Old” Sherwood (7 end cover screws) rubber impellor water pump.

Circa 1967: Serial #79476
New style cylinder head with thermost housing.
Holley thermostat.
New style Sendure heat exchanger kit (optional).
Medallion 6 unit control panel with electric tachometer (optional), electric oil pressure gauge, Electric water temperature gauge.

Circa 1967: Serial #170509
Zenith series 68-7 alumininum alloy carburetor with fixed main jet.
Delco Remy distributor (#1112446 – 2G11/6C16/3HI8).
Delco Remy 070FLX 12 volt coil.
Delco Remy 1107679starter and new ring gear to fit.
Larger flywheel housing to fit new ring gear.
Motorola 35 amp 12 volt alternator.
Motorola 51 amp 12 volt alternator (optional).
Oberdorfer model 202M3 rubber impellor water pump (fitted to most engines).

Circa 1967: Serial #171514
External valve chamber oil line no longer fitted.

Circa 1968: Serial #174340
Oberdorfer model 202M3 water pump standard.

Circa 1969: Serial #174802
New style valves (stamped “Eaton” or “Etn”).

Circa 1969: Serial #175503
New transmission housing, oil fill moved to front.

Circa 1970: Serial #176500
Valve guide inner diameter revised to .3145 – .3150 in (new valve guide/valve stem clearance specification of .003 – .004 in to prevent valves sticking in guides).

Circa 1972: Serial #178801
Paragon marine gear updated with new outer plate combined with pressure plate, and new wider metric gear carrier ball bearing.

Circa 1975: Serial #192787
New style deep flywheel housing and flat sheet metal cover.

Circa 1977: Serial #198___
New style electric instrument panel (electric tachometer optional).

Circa 1979: Serial #202987
Mechanical fuel pump replaced with Facet electric fuel pump and low oil pressure shut-off switch.

Circa 1980: Serial #204___
Production stopped (sales continued to 1984).

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