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Old 23-08-2008, 12:19   #1
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Auto parts in diesel engine

I'm writing a novel which includes a boat explosion and wanted some advice/clarification. In my novel, a character who owns a fishing boat uses cheaper auto parts to replace worn-out marine diesel parts in an effort to save money. Another character does some work on the boat after the auto parts have been put in, but doesn't know about the auto parts. If you are doing maintenance on a boat's engine (inboard diesel for a 30-40' trawler), would you know immediately if certain engine parts were in fact auto parts, or would you have to be looking for that? I want to know how likely it is that someone could work on the cooling system of a marine diesel engine and not see that some engine parts (say, in the crankcase) were actually auto parts.
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Old 23-08-2008, 12:47   #2
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marine engine is bigger couse there's not a lot of weight and space problem. outside the block u can change different tubes (cooling tubes), wires, fuses etc; don't know for inside the block/ cover
maybe something to consider in your case also -> non original parts can be a big problem. it can brake in a period of weeks!
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Old 23-08-2008, 12:50   #3
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For a marinized diesel, some parts are exactly the same as the parts that would go in a vehicle and some are completely different. Some parts would be very different such as having a heat exchanger and some parts might appear exactly the same such as an injector or head gasket.

Yes, someone could have problems using a part for a vehicle on a marinized diesel.
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Old 23-08-2008, 13:11   #4
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I'm curious about this as I thought virtually all smaller marine diesels were essentially marinized versions of 'auto' diesel engines, usually tractor engines. The marinization would primarily be in the cooling exhaust system, and there wouldn't be 'auto' versions of these parts. I'm hard pressed to think of a part that would exist on both the 'auto' and 'marine' versions and not be interchangable. Case in point, Beta engines, marinized versions of a Kubota tractor engine, the parts can be bought at a Kubota tractor dealer, and their literature makes that point, as does their parts manual. The exception would be the marinization parts, i.e. the heat exchanger, sea water pump, etc. that wouldn't exist on the tractor version to begin with. This is true for most 'modern' engines, but possible an older diesel might have some true parts differences to fit your needs.
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Old 23-08-2008, 13:30   #5
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Are Yanmars or Volvo's used in tractors? I don't know. I don't think too many 30-50 HP tractors exist anymore...not in the states at least with gigantic corporate owned farms. I know most cars now are at least 100 Hp. 100 Hp for a small yacht diesel is pretty big.

I know Cummins makes B series five liter diesels for both trucks and boats. From what I have seen, there are lots of parts that are different. Boats and trucks work in two completely different environments and have different work loads. Boats tend to work at a steady speed and sustain most of their time at higher outputs. 80-90% sustained output for a boat is not unusual. 80-90% sustained for a truck is virtually unheard of. Generally, the marine versions have to be beefier for this reason. This means better heat dissipation, beefier valves and valve guides and other things.

The engineers know what they are doing when they put different parts on a marine engine because they do not want them to break under a higher sustained load and harsher environment than that of trucks.

The new tier two engines are computer controlled and you can bet that you would not be able to change over parts without the computer "knowing" it. There are sensors and computer controlled parts all over those engines now.

I don't think the prices and the different parts are there because they know they can rip off boaters "because they have more money". I think it much more amounts to service duty and operating environment.
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Old 23-08-2008, 13:44   #6
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Hope you do better than Patterson's novel -"Sail" which was riddled with errors. It is unlikely that a diesel powered boat would explode in any situation; it could burn but diesel is not likely to lead to an explosion. This is, in fact, on of the advantages of diesel power. In most cases of evident by inspection would be identical aon diesel and gas powered engines - belts, oil filters, alternators(although higher output), starters, etc. Other parts, not seen, would be difficult to substitute - crank shaft, pistons, piston rings, etc. Get a good consultant!
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Old 23-08-2008, 13:47   #7
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Quote:
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Are Yanmars or Volvo's used in tractors?
If I recall correctly current Volvo's are marinized Mitsubishis (or one of the other major Asian engines), and I believe Yanmars are as well.

Quote:
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I don't think too many 30-50 HP tractors exist anymore...not in the states at least with gigantic corporate owned farms.
Tons and tons of them when you get into the rest of the world.
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Old 23-08-2008, 15:37   #8
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I don't think too many 30-50 HP tractors exist anymore...
Many of these engines are also used as industrial engines, driving pumps, generators, etc. in oilfields and other heavy industry all over the world. They have very similar duty cycles to marine engines. They don't just take engines destined for some little auto and beef them up. The marinization, as previously noted, is primarily in the cooling system and controls, plus it's mated with a reverse gear.
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Old 23-08-2008, 15:58   #9
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I am currently living in a remote area of the Sierras and there are probably ten 30-50hp diesel tractors with 15 miles of my property.

Also diesel doesn't explode like gasoline I have a friend who used to throw his cigarettes into a bucket of diesel to put them out.

Perhaps your character could use cheap parts such as a fuel filter for an onboard gas powered generator or have saved money having a local do some wiring work at the generator that could certainly cause explosive problems
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Old 23-08-2008, 16:18   #10
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Blown up by using willfit parts?! It doesn't seem very exciting to me, how about a pirate attack or mis guided missle?
Just Kidding
good luck on the book
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Old 23-08-2008, 16:35   #11
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I hope your book doesn't start like this.

It was a Dark and Stormy Night.....

or

While watching the sunset go down while at anchor at......

the best way to start is

You ain't gonna believe this $hit.......
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Old 23-08-2008, 17:26   #12
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How about using lithium Ion batteries as the source of ignition. The owner of the boat could install some state of the art Li-Ion cells not made for a marine application and the maint guy could plug them into a battery charger not rated for lithium batteries then the whole marine could burn down. All the gas boats could give you the explosions you are looking for.
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Old 23-08-2008, 18:17   #13
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How about just filling the fuel tank with gasoline instead of diesel?
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Old 23-08-2008, 18:49   #14
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Just keep the raw water seacock closed...

Just keeping the raw water seacock closed could do the trick with an inexperienced crew.

No cooling water > engine overheats severely > engine/fuel catches fire > not noticed immediately > burns to waterline.

I believe this happened to some poor soul who was taking his intended out to propose...
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Old 23-08-2008, 19:04   #15
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both the concept of the books author. As well as several post to this thread are riddled with errors.
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