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Old 27-08-2012, 15:58   #1
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Perkins Engines

Anyone know Perkins engines? I'm looking at T6.3544M twin on a 40' trawler. 6300 hrs on engines.

Reliability? How long before rebuild? Ease of maintenance and repair?

Thanks all.


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Old 28-08-2012, 06:20   #2
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Re: Perkins Engines

i've got normally aspirated 6.3544 on my 41 ft trawler (single)...has 8000 plus hrs on it and besides changing oil (straight 40 wt---in fla) and racors every 100 hrs. i haven't touched it in the 5500 hrs i've owned it..i hope to be dead by the time i have to rebuild it...

sure, i've had to replace things (fresh water pump/rebuild oil/trans cooler/boil heat exchanger/rebuild high pressure pump/lift pump) but that is just normal stuff... i run it at 1850 rpm at 7 kts and it sips 2 gal/hr....

had a turbo perkins on my first trawler but only put 1000 hrs on it and had no problems w/ my opinion, perkins is the best diesel you can have...

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Old 31-08-2012, 12:58   #3
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Re: Perkins Engines

I had 2 T6.354M perkins in my 78 californian. They are hard core industrial engines. The engine itself could out live most of us, however, Perkins did not make the marine parts with the same thing in mind. In fact they didn't make a lot of those parts. So if you have a good running engine expect it to keep doing that. Where the fun starts is stuff like the combination intake exhaust heat exchanger manifold. It is aluminum and will fail if your cooling water becomes acidic or there is any seawater leakage around the tubestack cover. This part is now $5000.00! I would have the manifolds and tubestacks (oil cooler too) removed, inspected and re-sealed as a condition of sale. Replace the trans cooler. If the trans has the dropped out put shaft beware that there are no parts for them. I would buy this boat with enough room $$$ to repower with a smaller modern engine.
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Old 01-09-2012, 07:02   #4
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Re: Perkins Engines

We have two 6.354 naturals in our Gulfstar trawler.... They both have well over 7000 hours...both still start quickly, and do a good job. I expect that we will get over 10,000 hours out of them before thinking about doing an in-frame...

TAD sells many parts for the 6.354' include Bowman conversion kits.

I would even possibly think of converting the engines from turbo to natural, thereby relieving the need for the expensive mani-cooler....
Forrest Gump was a true philosopher...
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Old 14-09-2012, 19:42   #5
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Re: Perkins Engines

Hi FB lady, the Perkins 6354 engine is regarded by diesel engineers as the benchmark of industrial diesels, it's smaller sister the 4236 likewise. The secret as with any engine is TLC, service it by the book and it will last well in excess of 30 yrs before rebuild, you can get spares at (they manuf for Perkins) any marinising parts can be sourced direct from Bowman. A very very important tip for long life for all diesels, especially turbocharged is to let them idle for a minute or so before revving to get the oil lubricating the turbocharger bearings, and idle around 5 mins after running, this allows the cooling system to slowly relieve the thermal stresses around the combustion area before shutdown.
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Old 14-09-2012, 20:25   #6
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Re: Perkins Engines

With a Perkins, it's all in the Maintaince! If the Oil and Filters have been changed as per the specs, they may very well run 10,000 to 15,000 hours! I would have an Inspection done by a Good Diesel Mechanic, and have a oil test run by Catapiller if possible! this will tell ya the story on the motors! I also like to run the valve adjustment once a year, but many don't wish to spend the time it takes or pay for a new gasket for the valve cover ! LOL to me the Perkins and Ford Lehman are the pick of the litter for trawlers or sailing boats !! just my 2 cents
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Old 15-09-2012, 02:40   #7
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Re: Perkins Engines

I know of a angled 6.354 that did 4000+ hrs a year in a bus, for about 20 years, and 10 years ago was converted to power a commercial fishing boat.
Stand behind it and the exhaust is clear.
Amazing motors.

so many projects--so little time !!
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