Atomic 4 Updates

This page contains newer information that I haven't merged into the Alberg 30 Atomic 4 maintenance page

Add your own information

Start at http://www.alberg30.org/collaborate/Atomic4Engine and either find, or start, an appropriate page for the information. The pages in that section are editable by everyone and have the potential to become a huge repository of information.


  • Captain Ron's Atomic 4 page has moved and gotten better.
  • Atomic 4 discussions are carried out on Usenet and SailNet. I highly recommend joining the Atomic 4 mailing list.
  • The Atomic 4 is apparently not based on the Jeep or Farmall or Cub Cadet, according to this account of the history by Robert Hess. Also available here.
  • Chris Wilson's photos of the Atomic 4
  • Don Moyer finally has a web site
  • Joe Palmer's Classic Sailboat site has an Atomic 4 comments and tips page.
  • Another place to check for Atomic 4 parts online, is here. (Caveat emptor; I don't know these people.)
  • Indigo Electronics is still a good source for certain Atomic 4 upgrades, including electronic ignition, oil filter, crankcase ventilation, fresh-water cooling and electric fuel pump.
  • In Annapolis, MD try:
    • Annapolis Napa, 1750 McGuckian Street, Annapolis, MD 21401 410-263-2695
    • Vosbury Marine & Recreation, 1656 Homewood Landing Road, Annapolis, MD 21401 410-757-3844
    There may be others.


Much of this has been gleaned by listening to others. I'm also collecting rebuilding tips.
  • NAPA 1970 Volvo 4 cylinder wire set
  • Pep Boys wire set #1924 (1974 Volvo)
  • Volvo #875781-7 thermostat replaces Holley thermostat on newer engines if you put it on top of a 1/8" thick spacer (in the shape of the gasket).
  • Starter: (ref Kerry Edwards & Advance Auto Parts)
    • AC Delco (GM) 1107679
    • AC Delco remanufactured 323779
    • AGA 4149
  • Rings: (ref Thoma Kresge)
    Hastings Rings part #6520 (available +10, +20 or +30 oversize)
    325 North Hanover, Hastings, Michigan 49058-1598 USA
    Phone: 616-945-2491 * Toll-Free Orders: 800-776-1088 * Fax : 800-837-2495
  • Coil (ref Captain Ron)
    • Standard Motor Products Incorporated, Blue Streak UC-15 with internal resistance (FOR MOST A-4 ENGINES). $32.78 at Discount Auto Parts.
    • Standard Motor Products Incorporated, Blue Streak UC-12 for use with with external resistor (not usually for A-4's*).

    They also make a UC-12T and a UC-15T which are less expensive but quality control is probably less. I have been told that the SMP UC-15 is comparable to a BorgWarner: E40BAP or a NAPA: IC64SB

    *I understand that the reason there is a is a coil made for use with an external resistor is so it can be wired into an starting/ignition system that by-passes the resistor only during starting, thus producing a hotter spark for easier starting.

    Since the Atomic Four engine was installed in about 40,000 boats, there may be a few around that are wired up this way, and they may still need the external resistance coil. The external resistor that I saw was a white ceramic block about 3/4" x 4" that is mounted on the engine room bulkhead.

This Old Boat book cover This Old Boat by Don Casey

Subtitled "turn a rundown fiberglass boat into a first-class yacht on a shoestring budget," this book is the best introduction I know boat maintenance for the new or prospective owner of a "modern classic" sailboat. Starting with guidelines for selecting a boat, Casey proceeds to fiberglass repairs, cabin and deckwork, spars and rigging, boat equipment, woodwork, electrical, plumbing, refrigeration, painting, canvas work and sails. All of this is described in clear, simple terms perfect for the inexperienced. This is the book that taught me fiberglass work. But don't let it fool you; this book is appropriate for experienced boatowners, too. I still refer to it.

Other books by Don Casey

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Last modified: Monday 19-Mar-2007