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Old 02-11-2016, 09:31   #1
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Diesel Engines Love & Hate List Features and Problems

I am starting this thread as an ongoing thread where any CF member can post something about their Diesel engine that is particularly LOVED or HATED.

Whichever Engine brand you have, please note the following when you post:
1. Engine Brand, Model, and Year
2. Engine Hours
3. Type of Boat and model

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Here are a few ideas to get you started:
It could be a unique mechanical part that is either a positive or negative.
It could be a problem getting replacement parts (e.g. Old engines).
It could be outrageously expensive parts.
It could be a labor saving device (manual oil pump for oil changes).
It could be an optional part that is added to increase reliability (electric lift pump).
It could be a poor design of the engine or parts that causes failures or issues.
It could be quirks or odd things required to service the engine.
It could be excessive noise (hate) or lack of noise and quiet (love).
It could be hard to access parts that require special tools or contortions.
It could be that you are in LOVE with your engine and consider it the best brand, the best model, and the very best you have ever had in your life.

The rest is up to you. Show your Love or show your Frustration (Hate).
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Old 02-11-2016, 09:35   #2
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Re: Diesel Engines Love & Hate List Features and Problems

LOVE feature = Oil Change Pump

Here is a photo I found showing a Beta Marine engine with a manual oil change pump attached. I believe this is a Beta 25hp.

The owner was very pleased with this and said it made changing the engine oil as simple as finding a bucket and then pumping by hand.

I noticed that some (older?) Westerbeke engines may have this too.
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Old 02-11-2016, 09:39   #3
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Re: Diesel Engines Love & Hate List Features and Problems

love my perkins 4-108. covet a 4-236, but formosas donot plane ha ha ha ha ha
is simple and easy. rebuilds are not difficult--parts available world wide.
got no clue as to year originally built, rebuild completed 2014, august, and less than 200 hours on currently.
it is perfect.
i have no urges to gain more power by turbocharging--the turbos run too hot, and in at least 2 instances within the past year have caused total loss of boat due to fire. engine bays in boats do NOT have the air flow necessary to keep turbos cool.
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Old 02-11-2016, 09:47   #4
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Re: Diesel Engines Love & Hate List Features and Problems

I love how Diesels run, and run and run, properly cared for they last a long time, but are less tolerant of abuse than a spark ignition engine.
I hate the noise, absolutely hate the noise more modern ones make, sounds like I have some kind of yard implement in the boat.
However, the older, less powerful, heavier designs that run at less than 2,000 RPM, I can deal with that sound a whole lot better.

A Diesel is a very simple machine to service, just stick to a regular maintenance
schedule


Oh, I won't have a green one though
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Old 02-11-2016, 10:59   #5
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Re: Diesel Engines Love & Hate List Features and Problems

It seems that Volvos are despised throughout the universe. Sadly. As I love the cars, older versions at least.
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Old 02-11-2016, 12:46   #6
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Diesel Engines Love & Hate List Features and Problems

I love our Yanmar 4JHE. In one word...reliable. It has never let us down. In the 17 years we've owned it we've put on about 2000 hrs, so now it has nearly3000 hrs on it. I'm very conscientious about regular maintenance, filters, impeller replacement, hoses, clean fuel and oil changes, etc. My diesel mechanic loves this engine too.

On the negative side only two things to mention.

1) the wiring harness is located such that the connections are too near the exhaust elbow. A tiny pinhole leak (found and replaced quickly) wet the connection and eventually led to corrosion which was harder to find. There could have been better placement for this vulnerable connection.

2) The design of the boat, placing the engine low and near the center, puts the water pump">raw water pump below the cabin sole in a hard to reach spot. Not impossible but not comfortable to get at. Despite this awkward location I replace the impeller every 100 hours or once a year so it's not really a problem.
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Old 02-11-2016, 13:03   #7
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Re: Diesel Engines Love & Hate List Features and Problems

TO ALL: Good comments! Keep'em coming!

I am sure over time the Love/Hate relationships cruisers have with their engines will be something that rings a bell with others and can help newer cruisers and yet to be cruisers understand that every engine, like every boat, is a compromise.
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Old 02-11-2016, 13:16   #8
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Re: Diesel Engines Love & Hate List Features and Problems

I hate horizontal oil filters on Yanmars. Its a mess everytime I change them.
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Old 02-11-2016, 13:22   #9
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Re: Diesel Engines Love & Hate List Features and Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
It seems that Volvos are despised throughout the universe. Sadly. As I love the cars, older versions at least.
Nope, I think our little green chugger is a great little engine. Oh sure it won't start without ether in the winter and leaks oil occasionally but its still going after 28 years which is more than can be said for many. Oh did I say I like old landrovers too
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Old 02-11-2016, 13:36   #10
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Re: Diesel Engines Love & Hate List Features and Problems

I'll also reiterate how reliable and beloved my Yanmar 3GM30F is. Rght now, I can't think of anything I dislike about it, but if it starts to give me problems, I might revise that assessment. A little TLC seems to keep it going nicely
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Old 02-11-2016, 14:17   #11
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Re: Diesel Engines Love & Hate List Features and Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
I hate horizontal oil filters on Yanmars. Its a mess everytime I change them.
That's the kind of frustrating design issue I hoped to see mentioned in this thread. Thanks for adding it.
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Old 02-11-2016, 14:25   #12
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Re: Diesel Engines Love & Hate List Features and Problems

I had a Yanmar 2YM15. Liked that nearly everything for normal maintenance was in the front where I had best access. Access to the impeller was simple as opposed to the GM models, fuel filter and dipstick were right there, and I could easily get to the fuel-pump lever from the front of the engine to bleed it after changing fuel filters. Also liked that there is no zinc to keep an eye on.

+1 on the horizontal oil filter as a dislike. Lots of absorbent pads and a zip lock bag to dump it into as quickly as possible were required.

Did not like that many parts are Yanmar specific and they restrict who can sell them where - even mail order.
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Old 02-11-2016, 14:32   #13
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Re: Diesel Engines Love & Hate List Features and Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
Nope, I think our little green chugger is a great little engine. Oh sure it won't start without ether in the winter and leaks oil occasionally but its still going after 28 years which is more than can be said for many. Oh did I say I like old landrovers too
There was one model of Volvo which was notoriously unreliable.

The others are all fine as far as I know.
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Old 02-11-2016, 14:45   #14
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Re: Diesel Engines Love & Hate List Features and Problems

Volvo MD17D, 31 years old, maybe 10000 hours ( hour meter stopped at 5000 hours in mid 1990's), luverly engine.

What do I like about it? Pretty much everything. Big solid dedicated normally aspirated marine diesel designed from the ground up for the job in hand.... unlike some that started life in rice paddies....

What don't I like? Some of the dedicated Volvo parts could be getting hard to find but I have spares of all of them, ie left handed starter motor, fresh water circ pump, lift pump, some rod thingos from its insides, head gaskets, manifold gaskets.

Another ten years would be nice , both she and me are already well out of warranty......
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Old 02-11-2016, 14:51   #15
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Re: Diesel Engines Love & Hate List Features and Problems

Yanmar 4HJ3HTE 1999 year model (although the boat was built in 2001). 2500 hours. 2000cc, 100 hp, turbocharged and intercooled. When I bought the boat it had 780 hours on it so I've used it a lot.


Like/Love:

1. Starts instantly in any weather. Look at it sideways and it[s already running. I've never used the air pre-heater, not even in below freezing weather. I'm not even sure it works!

2. Gear-driven camshaft -- no timing belt, no timing chain!

3. Makes a lovely sound, as if it's pleased to be running. Very smooth -- sometimes I could swear it's a six cylinder. Very quiet -- like half the noise of one of the big Perkins. Runs clean and happy at any speed from 1000 RPM to 4000 RPM.

4. Doesn't burn or leak any oil. Coming from a Westerbeke 4-108, this is almost impossible to believe, but it leaks not a drop -- literally, not a drop -- of oil. As a result, engine room bilge and outside of the engine, and engine room walls and ceiling, and other gear in the engine room -- stay nice and clean.

5. Has been completely reliable.

6. Came from the factory with second alternator mounts.

7. Except for raw water pump, everything is easy to get to.

8. Very compact and light for a 100 hp engine. Slightly more than half the weight of an 83 horsepower Perkins.

9. Lift pump is built into the injection pump. Eliminates risk of diesel fuel in the oil via punctured diaphragm. There is no diaphragm because it's a roller type.

10. Gear driven injection pump -- no timing belt or chain.

11. Self-bleeding.

12. Impellers last forever. Maybe not a Yanmar-specific feature, but rather a function of raw water pump below the waterline, so it's always well primed.


Dislike/hate:

1. Smokes like a chimney, especially when cold. Has done so since I bought the boat, and I almost didn't accept the boat from the seller as a result. Three mechanics and two surveyors couldn't find any problem with the engine. The injection pump went to the test and calibration rig, replaced all injectors, overhauled turbo (all at the expense of the seller) -- nothing helped. The second surveyor said "They All Do That" . I've lived with it now for all these years and it hasn't changed.

2. Poor engine electrics -- starting circuit. Apparently typical for Yanmar. Solved by adding a relay to the solenoid circuit.

3. Raw water pump hard to get to, and will douse the starter with sea water if you forget to close the sea cock.

4. Expensive parts, sometimes hard to get, through Yanmar's tightly controlled distribution network. No way to get parts from tractor dealers since these engines are made exclusively for boat -- there is no tractor version.

5. As others have mentioned -- horizontal oil filter. HATE this.



All in all, though it has a couple of weak points, I have been very pleased with it. Most of all -- I like that it's smooth running and sounds good. As a result, I don't mind starting it and motoring in a calm.
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