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Old 29-09-2012, 01:28   #1
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Beta 38 or Yanmar 3JH5E

We are about to replace our old Volvo 2003T with a new engine and are torn between a Beta 38 or Yanmar 3JH5E. Reading earlier posts, there are quite a few of good things said about the Beta 38 engine, but not much either way about the Yanmar. Has anybody got any direct experience of either engine? Any advice greatly appreciated, particularly the ease of routine maintenance etc.
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Old 29-09-2012, 09:34   #2
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I should have added that if anyone is interested in the old engine, then let me know. It is still running and is 1990 vintage. Hours not known. Will be advertising in classifieds soon if no interest. Free to anyone able to pick it up. Fort Myers area, Florida.
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Old 29-09-2012, 09:39   #3
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Re: Beta 38 or Yanmar 3JH5E

We replaced our old engine with a Beta 38 hp motor over the course of last Summer. So far we've been pleased with it.

I've read a lot about both engines and feel that both of them are a good motor. I believe Beta's are marinized in the UK so they may be cheaper for you over there but I do not know.

The reason we went with Beta is that we got a good deal from a dealer that specializes in repowers in our boat model and also that the replacement parts seem quite a bit cheaper than the yanmar equivs, which in the long run will hopefully save us money.
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Old 29-09-2012, 10:10   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailingmartin
I should have added that if anyone is interested in the old engine, then let me know. It is still running and is 1990 vintage. Hours not known. Will be advertising in classifieds soon if no interest. Free to anyone able to pick it up. Fort Myers area, Florida.
I maybe, I will pm you on Monday, looking at a boat with a sea ceased motor, also in that area. Can pick it up. How many horses?
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Old 29-09-2012, 11:26   #5
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The engine is a Volvo 2003T, rated at 43HP. The turbocharger gives the extra power - the I believe the engine has the same footprint as the Volvo 2003 28HP. No rush as engine still in the boat at the moment.
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Old 29-09-2012, 11:55   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailingmartin
The engine is a Volvo 2003T, rated at 43HP. The turbocharger gives the extra power - the I believe the engine has the same footprint as the Volvo 2003 28HP. No rush as engine still in the boat at the moment.
Great, lets keep in touch, I can arrange to grab it at the yard when you pull it.
Keith@asr-service.com
Thanks
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Old 29-09-2012, 11:58   #7
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I maybe replacing a BMW 30, so the fit may work atleast to move to ft Lauderdale.
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Old 29-09-2012, 17:06   #8
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Hi
how many hours are up on the clock, what's wrong with the engine that requires replacement. Regards joe
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Old 30-09-2012, 10:22   #9
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Re: Beta 38 or Yanmar 3JH5E

The last owner reports around 3,000, but there is no independent verification. There is nothing "wrong" with the engine, but we have just bought the boat and are planning a long six-month cruise, including an Atlantic crossing. In my experience it is not if an old engine has problems but when and how often. Not being very mechanical - I can do regular servicing but not much more - we prefer the security of a new engine for this trip. Hence the need for advice Beta or Yanmar?
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Old 30-09-2012, 10:30   #10
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Re: Beta 38 or Yanmar 3JH5E

If your engine is running fine it is foolish, IMHO, to change it out. Diesel engines, properly maintained, will run for a very long time. If you are concerned then have a certified engine surveyor have a look at your engine and give you his expert opinion. Better I think to spend your time making sure the fuel tanks are clean, the fuel lines are in good shape and inspect and buy a spare fuel lift pump. Also clean the heat exchanger and inspect/clean/replace the mixing elbow. Change oil in engine and transmission and you should be good to go.

Edit: If you do change engines my choice would be the beta.
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Old 30-09-2012, 10:44   #11
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Re: Beta 38 or Yanmar 3JH5E

Thank you DeepFrz. In many ways I agree with you. But partly it's economics and partly fear. With our last boat we did exactly that (minus the fuel tank clean) and everything came up fine with the survey and we had the engine serviced professionally. Three weeks later it seized when punching a strong tide and that was that! Even the course of action you suggest will probably cost us low $thousands and we will still have a 22-year old engine. If I were a competent mechanic I would be tempted to do what you say, but I am not, and I think we would be permanently on edge for the whole trip (of a lifetime). In comparison, a few thousand dollars would be well worth it! Thanks for the Beta vote.
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Old 30-09-2012, 10:58   #12
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Re: Beta 38 or Yanmar 3JH5E

Your welcome. It must have been exciting when your last engine seized. I would probably feel the same as you after that kind of experience.

Remember that approx. 95% of all diesel engine problems are fuel related so do everything possible to keep your fuel supply clean and your fuel system in good order. The more you do, or help a mechanic do now, the better off you will be later in your cruise.
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Old 30-09-2012, 12:05   #13
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Re: Beta 38 or Yanmar 3JH5E

We replaced our old Volvo MD17C with a Yanmar 3JH5E about 2 years ago. We are well pleased with it. It's smooth, quiet and reliable. We considered the Beta, but decided on the Yanmar because they are pervasive in our cruising grounds, and Beta dealers aren't readily visible. There were some other considerations, as well, mostly related to mount geometry and our desire to stick to the engine manufacturer's bracket design to minimize dynamic alignment problems.

We did the replacement ourselves -- a thoroughly satisfying exercise. Details and pictures are on the blog -- look at the posts beginning around 12/26/2010 if you're interested.
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Old 30-09-2012, 12:19   #14
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Re: Beta 38 or Yanmar 3JH5E

Quote:
Originally Posted by Play Actor View Post
We replaced our old Volvo MD17C with a Yanmar 3JH5E about 2 years ago. We are well pleased with it. It's smooth, quiet and reliable. We considered the Beta, but decided on the Yanmar because they are pervasive in our cruising grounds, and Beta dealers aren't readily visible. There were some other considerations, as well, mostly related to mount geometry and our desire to stick to the engine manufacturer's bracket design to minimize dynamic alignment problems.

We did the replacement ourselves -- a thoroughly satisfying exercise. Details and pictures are on the blog -- look at the posts beginning around 12/26/2010 if you're interested.

As a side note, you're not going to find "visible" Beta dealers. You will however find Kubota dealers almost anywhere. And the Beta engine is a marinized Kubota so look for tractor stores. Same with Nanni and the other Kubota based marine diesels.
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Old 30-09-2012, 12:42   #15
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Re: Beta 38 or Yanmar 3JH5E

Just because of the cost of Yanmar spares, I'd go Beta. As noted, they are marinized tractor engines, and spares shouldn't be a problem. I hate how Yanmar markets: They market like the razor companies, they give the engines away (no, I know they don't give them away for free - just cheap) to the boat builders, and then make their money on spares (razors & blades). They protect their geographic distributor/dealer network, which results in MUCH higher prices (no competition) for parts.
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