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Old 04-12-2011, 23:12   #1
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Diesels Getting a Bad Rap ?

Have not been on a boat newer than say 5-7 years old where the engine didn't fire up immediately, run like a top, with no smoke and do exaclty what it was supposed to do for hours on end. The exception being a Yanmar in a race boat that was abused pretty badly and the only thing that needed was a new battery and alternator.

As I read many engine thrreads here there seems to be some common themes.

- really old and history unknown - my boat has a 10hp Volvo that might have been overhauled 7 years ago but I really don't know the history. If true the factory run was 23 years - not bad...
- really suspect fuel. My tiny tank had not been cleaned in 30 years as far as I knew. It took an hour of continuous flushing to get all the crap out.
- the engine had some work done, top overhaul say, but the pumps (fuel and water), alternators, wiring harnesses etc. were set aside and reinstalled. The reliability of these components were not improved

My engine is currently out of commission due no compression. If true that it was overhauled 7 years ago the mechanic did way worse than the factory on the rebuild. As I sit here feeling sorry for myself and the 3-4000 estimate to get the overhaul I remind myself that spending for the parts is expensive, putting the parts together in a craftsman like manner usually makes the difference in 7 years and 20. I hope to spend 4 grand, go slower and supervise the overhaul closely and amortize over 20 years than slap 3 grand of parts together and amortize over 7.

So do diesels get a bad rap because of our lack of "proper" zero timing?
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Old 05-12-2011, 00:23   #2
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Re: Diesels Getting a Bad Rap?

Lol.

If ever someone tells you diesels are unreliable, tell them to talk to aged Brits that have had Stuart Turner two-strokes. My Old Man spent half our summer holidays trying to get the engines on our first two boats to fire up.

I think that's how I learnt to cuss! Learned off the master ...
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Old 05-12-2011, 00:58   #3
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Re: Diesels Getting a Bad Rap?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post

My engine is currently out of commission due no compression. If true that it was overhauled 7 years ago the mechanic did way worse than the factory on the rebuild. As I sit here feeling sorry for myself and the 3-4000 estimate to get the overhaul I remind myself that spending for the parts is expensive, putting the parts together in a craftsman like manner usually makes the difference in 7 years and 20. I hope to spend 4 grand, go slower and supervise the overhaul closely and amortize over 20 years than slap 3 grand of parts together and amortize over 7.

So do diesels get a bad rap because of our lack of "proper" zero timing?
I cant say Diesels are any worse than petrol but I would say the mechanic must be a Craftsman as as poor job may not even make it 2 years saying that from a car point of view as I have had 3 car engines rebuilt and sold them quite quickly after as they never seamed to run right again.
For me it just get new your from a cheep part of the world so get new.
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Old 05-12-2011, 05:37   #4
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Re: Diesels Getting a Bad Rap?

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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
- really old and history unknown - my boat has a 10hp Volvo that might have been overhauled 7 years ago but I really don't know the history. If true the factory run was 23 years - not bad...
To me in reading boat ads overhauled is an abused word! No one really ever knows what this means and who did it.
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Old 05-12-2011, 05:53   #5
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Re: Diesels Getting a Bad Rap?

Modern engines are marvels (not that older ones don't last either)...if there are no unknown defects straight from manufacturing...the average boater who uses their engine regularly with the minimum of maintenance should get a decade or better out of gassers and twice that with a diesel. Easily double that if you regularly but only lightly use those engines.

Look to the commercial world and see how badly some engines are treated and just keep on ticking.
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Old 05-12-2011, 06:05   #6
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Re: Diesels Getting a Bad Rap?

A little off- thread, but about longevity of diesels.
A friend was on the early Alaska pipeline route preparation crew.
Told me that the Caterpillar dozers would clear ground all day, and would have their exhausts routed through heat exchangers at night for accomodation heating.
These machines apparently were dry-sump type, with dual oil holding, pump and filtration system, allowing service without shutting down.
One machine he knew of had not shut down in 4 years, 34944 hours.
In another case, I read where the earth movers building the Pan-American Highway were run 24-7 for 3 years and then driven into the hole ahead, and buried by the replacement machines.
Its all about the engine oil.
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Old 05-12-2011, 06:09   #7
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Re: Diesels Getting a Bad Rap?

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Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Modern engines are marvels (not that older ones don't last either)...if there are no unknown defects straight from manufacturing...the average boater who uses their engine regularly with the minimum of maintenance should get a decade or better out of gassers and twice that with a diesel. Easily double that if you regularly but only lightly use those engines.

Look to the commercial world and see how badly some engines are treated and just keep on ticking.
My Westerbeke W46, with 2100 hrs since rebuild, carries a March 1970 build date.
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Old 05-12-2011, 06:34   #8
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Re: Diesels Getting a Bad Rap?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Stocking View Post
A little off- thread, but about longevity of diesels.
A friend was on the early Alaska pipeline route preparation crew.
Told me that the Caterpillar dozers would clear ground all day, and would have their exhausts routed through heat exchangers at night for accomodation heating.
These machines apparently were dry-sump type, with dual oil holding, pump and filtration system, allowing service without shutting down.
One machine he knew of had not shut down in 4 years, 34944 hours.
In another case, I read where the earth movers building the Pan-American Highway were run 24-7 for 3 years and then driven into the hole ahead, and buried by the replacement machines.
Its all about the engine oil.
Heard the same from my Yanmar mechanic back in the early 80's. Said he used to work on yanmar diesel generators serving small South American villages as the town's power. He said there were villagers who never remember the diesel being off for years and years...just add oil. Even the oil filters were in engine metal types that you just turned a handle that self cleaned them by dumping the junk back into the crankcase.
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Old 05-12-2011, 11:21   #9
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Re: Diesels Getting a Bad Rap ?

As a different perspective, have you considered a new engine. Parts for Volvos are not cheap and a new engine shouldn.t be that much more expensive.

If you were in the US or Europe, I would suggest a Beta Marine which is based on a marinized Kubota engine. Their 14 hp model should work for you and is a two cylinder. They will supply engine mounts that make installation somewhat easy although it may take a new or cut down prop shaft to fit.

But service in Singapore may be difficult. But Kubotas are everywhere. And there isn't anything special about the marine parts that a Volvo, Yanmar, Westerbeke mechanic couldn't figure out.

David
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Old 05-12-2011, 11:43   #10
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Re: Diesels Getting a Bad Rap ?

You have a 10hp engine in a 77 ft boat?
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Old 05-12-2011, 15:23   #11
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Re: Diesels Getting a Bad Rap ?

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
You have a 10hp engine in a 77 ft boat?
I remember the first time Ex mentioned that his boat was 7.7 meters not 77 feet. I thought it was the longer one too.
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Old 05-12-2011, 16:08   #12
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Re: Diesels Getting a Bad Rap?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Stocking View Post
A little off- thread, but about longevity of diesels.
A friend was on the early Alaska pipeline route preparation crew.
Told me that the Caterpillar dozers would clear ground all day, and would have their exhausts routed through heat exchangers at night for accomodation heating.
These machines apparently were dry-sump type, with dual oil holding, pump and filtration system, allowing service without shutting down.
One machine he knew of had not shut down in 4 years, 34944 hours.
In another case, I read where the earth movers building the Pan-American Highway were run 24-7 for 3 years and then driven into the hole ahead, and buried by the replacement machines.
Its all about the engine oil.
As a diesel fitter I can assure you, it has little to do with the oil but everything to do with not being allowed to cool down.
Diesels got a great rep. in Aust in the long haul trucks, there ran all day and night, 2 drivers and miles and miles of highway. A million mile before a spanner touched them was not unusual. The short haul around town diesels never got milage like that.
The govt busses run 24/7, three shifts, only stop for a service. They are constant stop/start but still get big mileage. The private operators run between 6am and 11pm, the rest of the time the buses sit in the yard, they don't get even half the miles out of an engine the govt buses do, are govt bus mechanics twice as good as private company bus mechanics?

On the "overhauled" tag, if the engine is completely stripped, cases line bored through the bearing tunnel, block decked square and the bores re aligned and resleeved, the rods shot peened and close honed, the heads rebuilt with new injector tubes, valve seats, valve guides, valves, springs and collets, new rockers and assocated gear, the crank is ground, checked for straight and linished, the cam, lifters and timing gear replaced with brand new, the cambearings replaced and line honed, new oil pump, the injector pump fully rebuilt with new parts, new injectors and all the injector pipes replaced, every part sonic bath cleaned, the fuel system including tank sonic cleaned with new filters and pick up screen, the airfilter housing and pipes sonic cleaned and new 2 stage filters fitted, new water pump and oil heat exchanger, new hoses.... you can say it was overhauled.
Anything less and it had a minor rebuild, that's nothing like overhauled, even reconditioned isn't overhauled, it's just had service parts fitted and the next size rebore and crank grind, what ever can be carried over from the old engine as servicable is reused. You can expect the life out of something half done to equal that of new or properly overhauled.

T1 Terry
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Old 05-12-2011, 16:15   #13
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Re: Diesels Getting a Bad Rap ?

12,000 hrs on both little Yanmars and they stiil purr like kittens
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Old 05-12-2011, 16:35   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako
You have a 10hp engine in a 77 ft boat?
I love the fact that the swedes stole the Maxi name and applied it to my 7.7 meter boat. Gives me lots of totally and completey undersereved dock cred - LOL

I have a line on the parts for the Volvo and a line on a builder with some references. Repowering is not in the cards. The replacement od saildrive to shaft,, associated controls etc. she's also 30 years old...

It' a matter of getting the engine out, prolly a days work, sourcing the parts and getting motivated to start. Oh and closing my eyes and writing some checks...

I did install a 5hp outboard on the transom temporarily. Many of the other Maxis here have simply pulled the diesel and stayed with the outboard. That is still an option. $4000 buys a lot of solar and wind generating power which is one ofa the utilities of the diesel and alternator.
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Old 05-12-2011, 16:56   #15
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Re: Diesels Getting a Bad Rap?

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Originally Posted by T1 Terry View Post
As a diesel fitter I can assure you, it has little to do with the oil but everything to do with not being allowed to cool down.
Diesels got a great rep. in Aust in the long haul trucks, there ran all day and night, 2 drivers and miles and miles of highway. A million mile before a spanner touched them was not unusual. The short haul around town diesels never got milage like that.
The govt busses run 24/7, three shifts, only stop for a service. They are constant stop/start but still get big mileage. The private operators run between 6am and 11pm, the rest of the time the buses sit in the yard, they don't get even half the miles out of an engine the govt buses do, are govt bus mechanics twice as good as private company bus mechanics?


T1 Terry
Similar situation with petrol powered taxis. very big kilometers vs private cars.
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