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Old 10-11-2008, 10:54   #1
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Availability of spares/info on GM Toroflow Turbo diesels

Having spent ages going through all the Engines Forum posts I hope we are not duplicating this reuqest. WE fly from the UK to USA on 24th November to buy a motor boat to cruise the ICW with. We have found a 38' Grand Banks/American marine Laguna for sale with GM toroflow twin diesels - we assume they are the original engines from 1974. However despite trolling the internet I can find no information as to spares, manuals aor anything else about these engines. We have a Nauticat 38' in Turkey with a Ford Guffstaffsen 4 cylinder 80hp engine 28 years old that is very reliable so are used to old engines, but we would appreciate any information/advice as to these GM motors.
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Old 10-11-2008, 21:54   #2
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The GM TOROFLOW is a gasoline engine block that was used to be the base of a Diesel Engine.....It was tried in trucks and some cars in the US......without much success or long life.
www.dieselstop.com search for toroflow.
www.boatdiesel.com also has some stuff on the engine.

I have never seen one in a boat around these parts
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Old 13-11-2008, 23:48   #3
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Look at it this way, if they are the original motors, they must be ok. I think they were based on the old oldsmobile 350 cubic inch gas engine, which was a fairly stout motor for the time..bulletproof in gas form anyway. When the engines turned to diesel they were put in larger cars with automatic transmissions..including cadillacs, I believe. I had one in a 1978 Chevrolet Caprice station wagon (Estate for you Brits, I believe) and it returned around 25mpg on the highway when the same engine in gas form was getting around 15-18. When used in trucks, however, it was a total piece of crap. Why? Because it was NOT designed for the abuse that people put trucks thru. I've seen half ton pickups trying to pull 12k pound loads. Yes, people here are that stupid. I actually pulled a 9,000 pound boat with my four cylinder nissan two wheel drive pickup. I eventually tore the entire rear bumper off of the truck doing it (no real frame hitch) but I went 600 miles with that boat behind me..slowly, mind you and I hated ANY kind of an uphill grade..but that shows you what people would put that engine thru. In a marine environment, I'd imagine they'd do quite well if they were not stressed very much. While a 38 foot grand banks is a LARGE and HEAVY boat, it is also a trawler, and not a 20 knot boat, correct?

If it was putting along at 8-10 knots, I think those motors would last quite a while. The big problem is that even in the automotive applications, they have NOT BEEN MADE in at least fifteen years, because the 6.2 liter truck diesels came out in the early 80's if not earlier. That engine is based on an extremely LIGHT duty detroit/allison diesel engine, but it returned good fuel economy and is very reliable if, again, not used for pulling heavy loads..that's where you buy a cummins diesel powered truck.

But for your boat, if they are still in there and they're original with less than 3000 hours on them, they should be fine. Parts would have to come from someone who specializes in them or an auto parts store. So when you pick up the boat, pester the hell out of the former owner to reveal his parts sources and what spares he'd recommend. I'd bet he has the needed spares on board anyway, but check to be sure. Have a GREAT trip, and welcome to the US..your timing is perfect..fuel prices are at a 4 year LOW right now..but diesel is still higher than gasoline by about a dollar a gallon..

Good luck!

Dave
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Old 14-11-2008, 03:31   #4
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Thanks for that Dave. Timing is right for us for the fuel prices BUT we are losing pounds by the minute as the UK pound drops like a stone against the dollar to a 6-7 year Low. fortunately we already bought some dollars to buy a boat with!!! We will be looking at the boat around 26th November so we will see what she is like!. thanks again. Mike
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Old 14-11-2008, 05:10   #5
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Mike, one last thing that you should do. Be SURE to get a marine survey done on the boat before accepting it. Get a pro too..there is a society of marine surveyors that has pretty high standards. I found it by google searching for marine survey.

Pay very close attention to wood moisture levels..and do NOT trust a survey that he had done..not even if it is by a reputable surveyor. In this day of everyone going broke, you might find the one he employed was susceptible to bribery.

Grand Banks are very good boats, but they are just as susceptible to wood rot as any other.

I just bought a 30 foot 1973 Pacemaker Sedan Bridge..here is the link. Although she needs work, I think you'll agree that the price is decent..try not to choke when you see it, ok?

eBay Motors: winter project 1973 pacemaker, no reserve!! (item 200269290430 end time Nov-05-08 15:35:54 PST)

I bought it as you see it and I have not even seen it in person, but at that price, I can't go wrong, I think. Plans include picking up either a Raytheon or Furuno 24 to 36 mile weather radar set (used) and a combination sonar/gps chartplotter, also used, off ebay or anywhere else I can find one cheap. MY GOAL is to have a very seaworthy, bulletproof cruiser for under two thousand dollars US that will do whatever I want it to do. It might be ugly, but it is mine, and it is paid for. Plans are to drop her in in the mississippi river near where she's stored just south of Chicago (the very southern tip of Lake Michigan) and float her down to the Gulf of Mexico. from there I'll putt down the coast to florida, stopping at a few air force and navy marinas (I'm retired military..retired in May after getting blown up in Iraq..then found the wife had two kids and was pregnant with a third and that she'd stolen my house out from under me and divorced me..I lost everything I owned after a 25 year two service military career defending the freedoms of her kind to destroy the lives of people like me.. I wound up being 80 percent disabled, but I'm also now free to do whatever the hell I want..and now, nobody can tell me what I can and cannot do..

So after hitting the florida beaches and stopping to recharge my bank account for fuel, I'm going to take a shot at hitting the Bahamas and some other islands..

I'm a race car mechanic and engine builder (I've been racing for 35 years and building engines for most of that time as well) and I've got damned near every tool known to man as well.. so if you see her, feel free to run me down and we'll share a pint and I can pick your brain about the stuff I really DON'T know, like an autopilot.

My regular email is beemer1@att.net. Feel free to shoot me a message any time you like.

I spent a bit of time at Mildenhall RAFB and Molesworth. I'm also (supposedly) Scottish-Italian..meaning I'm a lazy cheap bastard who likes bagpipes and has an opinion on everything. I don't know why I like bagpipes, but I can listen to them for hours. A guy on base played them professionally for the US Air Force Band while he was attached to them, and every week he'd come out dressed in kilt and whatever the rest of the clothing is called, and I could listen for hours.. Chilling sound, yet it calls to me..almost like someone instinctively calling you home maybe?

I'd love to visit there before I die..been to italy and loved it, but it just didn't call to me. Guess right now would be a great time to make the trip with the dollar being worth more eh?

I was in germany when the deutchemark was 2.75 to the dollar. By the time I left it was down to 1.73, so I know what you're feeling about the exchange rate.

By the way, I KNOW why all you brits drink warm beer..LUCAS ELECTRONICS made your refrigerators! (even got the frogs back..lucas made all the wiring and sundry items for my Peugeot 505 TD..and I'll be damned if it wasn't so poorly wired that I asked my buddy who owns a sports car shop if Lucas made the wiring, and he said YES..I almost died laughing. I've had a succession of british cars starting with a 67 E-type Jag (with a later V12 and a transmission WITH synchros) a 68 MGB GT V8 with the american Buick aluminum block 215 cubic inch V8 that Rover/British Leyland bought the rights to, a Triumph TR8, same engine only fuel injected, with Lucas electronics. And anyone who says Smiths Guages are accurate has been breathing gasoline fumes for WAY too long.

So I can say quite truthfully that no matter HOW bad that boat of yours turns out to be, it won't be as bad as anything with the Lucas brand name on it..it won't leak oil, it won't vapor lock, and it won't leave you stranded..

They were all GREAT cars..until you tried to drive them.

Cheers, and you'd BETTER bring a few cases of REAL Newcastle Ale with you!
The Newcastle we get here in the US is piss water by comparison. But if you're a black and tan drinker, my hat's off to you..pine tar and asphalt..about like a low alcohol Jaegermiester.. You SHOULD try some ANCHOR STEAM beer though..their christmas beer is REALLY good..even by european standards.
Dave
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Old 16-11-2008, 23:29   #6
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Hey, if your Grand Banks doesn't work out for you, I found one on ebay that is a pretty decent deal at 15 grand if you don't mind losing four feet of boat. Better engine too..still diesel, but about twice as efficient..but not as fast..your call..

eBay Motors: Beautiful 1967 Grand Banks 32 foot Flybridge Trawler (item 310100531731 end time Nov-21-08 05:10:43 PST)

Also, if you're looking for something bigger that is a multipurpose boat, you might consider this ship. For the money, it is a hell of a lot of boat, and with a complete refit in 2006, including all new electronics, and rebuilt engine, I'd bet the price of the refit was more than the asking price.. Lesson learned a LONG time ago by me. You can't sell receipts..not on a car, house, aircraft OR boat..no matter how pretty she is.

If I had the money, this might be the boat I'd buy. Simply because it HAS had the refit..very few hours SINCE the refit and it is built as a commercial boat..back in the days when shipbuilders too PRIDE in their work..and particle board wasn't really popular yet.

eBay Motors: Restored and Refitted Steel Research Vessel (item 330286938383 end time Nov-22-08 18:34:36 PST)
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