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Old 14-10-2016, 18:18   #1
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Engine run hours. How to tell without meter?

HI All,
New boat I bought has a great Yanmar 3qm30 in it.
Runs great, been serviced by local pros in Ft Lauderdale.

Instrument panel has no hour meter. Last owner said he never ran it much but kept it maintained alot. He only had it for 5 years.

Runs smooth, zero colored smoke.

How can I figured out the run hours please? Is there diagnostic tools, computer programs?
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Old 14-10-2016, 18:36   #2
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Re: Engine run hours. How to tell without meter?

i havenever had a hobbes meter in my boats. i count hours i use th emachine. when i buy a boat i usually either overhaul engine or buy a different one.
kalunk died and i had it rebuilt--no hobbes meter--i have just under 150 hours on my engine post rebuild.
if your memory is poor, write hours of use in your ships log.
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Old 14-10-2016, 18:59   #3
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Re: Engine run hours. How to tell without meter?

There is no way to exactly estimate hours. Compression or leak down test by a good mechanic can give an estimate about the condition of the rings, valves and cylinders. If you have good oil pressure and no smoke or oil in the exhaust, you probably have an engine that will be good for many years if maintained and not run hard. Dirty oil and high exhaust gas temperatures cause excessive wear. Running the engine monthly keeps the internal parts protected with an oil coating.
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Old 14-10-2016, 19:24   #4
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Re: Engine run hours. How to tell without meter?

If the boat has a chartplotter and if it hasn't been reset, there is usually an hour log on it somewhere. This will only tell you how many hours the chartplotter has been running. We have ours on almost every time we go sailing. Of course the motor isn't running all of this time, but at least you can get an idea of the maximum possible time that it might have operated. When we bought our boat, we had the oil tested and supposedly, this told us if the motor was in good condition.
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Old 14-10-2016, 20:18   #5
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Re: Engine run hours. How to tell without meter?

I know its a 30+ yr old engine, but man this thing has been well kept.
When I get it back to the Fl Keys I will have the Yanmar guy look it over good.
I guess thats the best that can be had.
thx
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Old 14-10-2016, 20:28   #6
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Re: Engine run hours. How to tell without meter?

RunningCool,

Although it won't tell you about the past, installing one now, will at least allow you to know how many hours you run it. It will help you to time when you want to change the oil, and so forth. Better late than never. You can also, of course, simply pick a little notebook for keeping track of boat maintenance issues, water usage, engine hours, oil changes, engine zinc renewals, etc.

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Old 14-10-2016, 20:46   #7
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Re: Engine run hours. How to tell without meter?

RunningCool.
You said you have already bought the boat.

Sooooooo, what value is there in getting the Yanmar guy to assess it?
He will say.."Well, it's 30 years old it needs an overhaul that'll cost you $10k but at that price you'd be better to repower for $13k".
That will do 2 things: make you less confident in your new boat, and lighten your wallet.

Just love your boat! Your engine works so what more do you want?
Yes, an independent oil lab test could be good. But nothing else is real independent, is it?
'Buyers remorse' is a sickening thing so don't let it happen. Its working, starting, not blowing smoke: That's a working engine.


The least the Yanmar guy will say after u tell him to F off is "well, u really need all new hoses $1000".

No you don't need new hoses till they burst.

Go enjoy your boat
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Old 14-10-2016, 21:02   #8
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Re: Engine run hours. How to tell without meter?

runninf cool-- the firstthing i di dwhen i bought a boat with an unknown diesel was consult my yanmar guy. i was on my way into the dock with my boat when the engine sucked the air cleaner and made yukky black oily smoke ok
i had him go thru it for the 600 hour overhaul which is pretty extensive-- you may consider that option.
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Old 15-10-2016, 10:04   #9
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Re: Engine run hours. How to tell without meter?

A frequently used recreational sailboat will run the engine about 100 hours per year.
Now, you can write your own hours in the ship's log or, add an hour meter, wiring it into either the key switch or, more accurately, into the oil pressure sender unit circuit.
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Old 15-10-2016, 10:05   #10
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Re: Engine run hours. How to tell without meter?

If the former owner(s) kept a fuel log, you can get a fair estimate of hours run from the total fuel purchased. When we bought our current boat, we "inherited" a maintenance, repair and fuel log--that we have since maintained--that that began with the yacht's delivery to the original owner (we're the second owners). Your engine would likely consume something on the order of .6 gallons per hour. Given a fuel log, if the total gallons purchased were something on the order of 2500, that would equate--roughly--to 4167 hours (= 2500/.6) which, over a 30 year period, would equate to roughly 11.6 hours a month which, unless someone motors extensively, would be reasonable for a seasonally used recreational boat.

FWIW...
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Old 15-10-2016, 10:36   #11
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Re: Engine run hours. How to tell without meter?

The reality is that hours do not matter at this point, too many other variables that you don't have answers too, maintenance being primary, oil changes being at the top of that list. Take an engine oil sample, send to lab for analysis. That will tell you nearly everything going on inside that you can't see. Whats metals are present tells whats wearing badly, fuel in oil, what ever contaminates are present, you will know.
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Old 15-10-2016, 12:10   #12
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Re: Engine run hours. How to tell without meter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lepke View Post
There is no way to exactly estimate hours. Compression or leak down test by a good mechanic can give an estimate about the condition of the rings, valves and cylinders. If you have good oil pressure and no smoke or oil in the exhaust, you probably have an engine that will be good for many years if maintained and not run hard. Dirty oil and high exhaust gas temperatures cause excessive wear. Running the engine monthly keeps the internal parts protected with an oil coating.
and spend a buck on a meter.
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Old 15-10-2016, 13:01   #13
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Re: Engine run hours. How to tell without meter?

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Originally Posted by Cadence View Post


and spend a buck on a meter.
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Old 15-10-2016, 13:01   #14
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Re: Engine run hours. How to tell without meter?

IMO past engine hours will tell very little about the present condition. An well used engine is often in much better condition than an engine that has sat for years without being run.
The time starts now that its yours. The past is a mystery. Just accept that.
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Old 15-10-2016, 14:35   #15
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Re: Engine run hours. How to tell without meter?

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Originally Posted by Kokanee View Post
IMO past engine hours will tell very little about the present condition. An well used engine is often in much better condition than an engine that has sat for years without being run.
The time starts now that its yours. The past is a mystery. Just accept that.
So true! Hopefully his mystery is a winner.
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