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Old 15-11-2019, 13:56   #1
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Chinese engines - Houfeng HF Power

Has anybody experience with Chinese diesel engines? I am considering Houfeng HF Power, namely their HF-490 60 Hp for repowering my heavy cutter, replacing my over 30 yrs old Ford 48 Hp (industrial marinized motor, 2000 rpm max, 3200 cc).
It would be a real luck hearing from some fellow adopter, thanks for all your contributions.
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Old 15-11-2019, 14:16   #2
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Re: Chinese engines - Houfeng HF Power

Have you searched these forums? There have been some discussions which may have addressed that particular engine.

I don't remember which brand it was, but one of the Chinese diesels died very, very quickly simply because the crank-case breather hose collapsed after the first run, the crank-case pressurised and blew out all the oil, then the engine seized.

Sure, that's just one engine, but the take-home messages seemed to be:

1. Check the ancillary stuff, it may not be all that well fabricated, particularly where the rest of the engine is just a copy of something good like a Kubota.

2. That's a lot of blow-past for a new engine.

I can understand the temptation, given the price, but personally, I decided I would not do it until they got a bit more experience at making this sort of stuff.

It's worth remembering that when I was a kid, made in Japan was a criticism. Now I go out of my way to find stuff that was made in Japan, even for my ancient English car.
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Old 15-11-2019, 14:50   #3
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Re: Chinese engines - Houfeng HF Power

No direct experience with Chinese diesels... I just wanted to suggest that I wouldn't personally go with anything new and unproven in a cruising boat. So until you can hear from some cruisers with several years' of happy experience with a Houfeng diesel... i'd take a pass.

(which I guess is what you're attempting to do)
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Old 15-11-2019, 15:06   #4
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Re: Chinese engines - Houfeng HF Power

I suggest you post your inquiry on a couple of trawler/powerboat forums. Some builders used Chinese engines. I think Bayliner was one of these companies.
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Old 15-11-2019, 16:01   #5
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Re: Chinese engines - Houfeng HF Power

No experience with those engines but I reckon it would be much less of a gamble to completely rebuild your existing engine if you can get parts for it & do most of the work yourself.
Have read some horror stories of cheap chinese marine diesels. The ones sold locally say just for light use. My translation of that runs along the lines of " Wont last long, will blow up if pushed to max for even a short time"
what post #2 says
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Old 15-11-2019, 17:38   #6
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Re: Chinese engines - Houfeng HF Power

regarding your ford engine this company still do the ford conversions and parts,very good customer service and ship globally

https://www.lancingmarine.com/index.html
https://www.lancingmarine.com/databo...es/fordXLD.pdf
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Old 16-11-2019, 10:11   #7
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Re: Chinese engines - Houfeng HF Power

Thank you all for your contributions. I am well aware of the risks implied in this Chinese choice (incidentally, this is the reason for asking first hand experiences). But I am also well aware that Chinese engines are sold all over SE Asia to every kind of commercial operators - in the 100,000s. And as for commercial ability, Asian operator are not less skilled than Western ones, I cannot imagine they could suffer losses from low quality engines dying too early.


When in Europe Japanese cars where looked down, as GILow recalls, I started shopping for, guess what, a Toyota. Then a Honda. And since 1999 I am the proud owner of a Toyota Land Cruiser totaling more than 250,000 km and still running fine.


My first contacts with Chinese companies are surprising. When I asked for a quote regarding a 50 Hp the company Weifang, the answer was that they would not sell one of their engines to me, because they are intended for light duty and coastal use only: it never happened to me with a European company before!


As for Houfeng, the situation is completely different: they produce industrial and marine engines branded Man, Deutz, Iveco, Perkins (branded, not simply derivatives).


Re my Ford rebuild, I'll follow the links offered by Atoll (thanks again), but have to say that the specialized companies I found in Italy and France that are able and willing to rebuild the engine pointed to the fact that there are risks in this operation, too, and that in very few years it could prove impossible to find spares.


So what? Even if I have a slight penchant for jumping to a Chinese engine, I am well aware of the risks (and as a self builder of my boat, of all the work needed to modify he structures as needed). Please, if possible just don't let me be the first to make this test...
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Old 16-11-2019, 11:23   #8
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Re: Chinese engines - Houfeng HF Power

Suggest you post same question on YBW / Len


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Old 16-11-2019, 11:52   #9
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Re: Chinese engines - Houfeng HF Power

Pm me. I have the 380 30hp model the I fitted recently.
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Old 16-11-2019, 11:54   #10
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Re: Chinese engines - Houfeng HF Power

So this is like the harbor freight or marine engines?

Aside from not liking to support china, a blue water boat engine is the last thing I trust to their quality control.

Also there are HUGE differences between the culture of china and Japan, which is which why I’m not holding my breath on china becoming the next Japan.
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Old 16-11-2019, 12:27   #11
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Re: Chinese engines - Houfeng HF Power

Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthernMac View Post
So this is like the harbor freight or marine engines?

Aside from not liking to support china, a blue water boat engine is the last thing I trust to their quality control.

Also there are HUGE differences between the culture of china and Japan, which is which why I’m not holding my breath on china becoming the next Japan.

As he smashes out his answer on a Chinese made iPhone or other Chinese made device

China also make Ford, Cummins,Volvo,Mercedes,BMW and and and so are clearly more than capable of making quality.
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Old 16-11-2019, 13:54   #12
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Re: Chinese engines - Houfeng HF Power

I remember seeing Chinese marine engines for sale in N.Z.some years ago. They were much heavier than Japanese engines.
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Old 16-11-2019, 14:29   #13
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Re: Chinese engines - Houfeng HF Power

Quote:
Originally Posted by Visarend View Post
Thank you all for your contributions. I am well aware of the risks implied in this Chinese choice (incidentally, this is the reason for asking first hand experiences). But I am also well aware that Chinese engines are sold all over SE Asia to every kind of commercial operators - in the 100,000s. And as for commercial ability, Asian operator are not less skilled than Western ones, I cannot imagine they could suffer losses from low quality engines dying too early.

When in Europe Japanese cars where looked down, as GILow recalls, I started shopping for, guess what, a Toyota. Then a Honda. And since 1999 I am the proud owner of a Toyota Land Cruiser totaling more than 250,000 km and still running fine.

My first contacts with Chinese companies are surprising. When I asked for a quote regarding a 50 Hp the company Weifang, the answer was that they would not sell one of their engines to me, because they are intended for light duty and coastal use only: it never happened to me with a European company before!
...
As for Houfeng, the situation is completely different: they produce industrial and marine engines branded Man, Deutz, Iveco, Perkins (branded, not simply derivatives).
I see some parallels between Japan and China, I am a big fan of Japanese vehicles and engines, and I have some Chinese things (eg a generator) that have performed reliably so far... but they are different countries with different histories, systems and markets.

The fact that Chinese brand engines sell well all over SE Asia is not necessarily an indication of quality. Often, it's all they can afford... and they learn to make do, and how to repair it economically.

On a boat, my prime requirement is reliability; I don't think it's the place to cheap out on an engine.
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Old 16-11-2019, 14:34   #14
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Re: Chinese engines - Houfeng HF Power

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simi 60 View Post
As he smashes out his answer on a Chinese made iPhone or other Chinese made device

China also make Ford, Cummins,Volvo,Mercedes,BMW and and and so are clearly more than capable of making quality.

I’d happily pay more, or take my business to a US/Japan or other non communist country manufacture.

Thing is if my chinese built phone craps the bed, sucks but oh well, I’m my commie built engine craps the bed at the wrong time it could be my ass.

I had a buddy of sorts who had things made in china, the hardness of the metals was important, he would take these files to every shipment to see which one would make a mark thus showing the hardness of the metal, he was a good customer, paid well and on time, was also very nice, yet the chinese would always try to get away with sending him cheap soft metal, every once in a while a shipment would come in and not pass the test.

There is very little communist countries make well other than poverty, misery and the AK, engine wise, MIGHT buy a chinese made weedwacker, and even at that point it would have to be because no free country made one.

For a single engine blue water boat, you’d have to be straight crazy.

“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.” Franklin

Plus I try very hard to not support that place, as anyone who cares for human rights and the environment should.
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Old 16-11-2019, 14:45   #15
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Re: Chinese engines - Houfeng HF Power

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lake-Effect View Post
On a boat, my prime requirement is reliability; I don't think it's the place to cheap out on an engine.
Price is no indicator of quality, price is an indicator of gullibility of purchaser and capacity to pay more.

I have a large Cummins engine
I have bought parts from Cummins China air-freighted to Australia for $95 for 10.
Same parts in Australia would have cost near $3000 and taken longer to arrive.

Another example would be cigarettes and alcohol.
In Vietnam for example, a packet of Marlborough and a bottle of Havana Club would cost about $15.
Same in Australia will cost around $97.
Same product.
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