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Old 26-11-2008, 21:48   #1
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Go the 4108?

Hi. I have a Vetus 33 in my sailboat, but I overheated it and the rings are distorted, putting pressure into the sump with the consequent problems. The cost of parts for the Vetus (based on a 1.6 litre Mitsubishi) make it not viable to repair. I've always fancied the Perkins 4108, even though they're getting a bit long in the tooth. Nonetheless, I'm thinking of acquiring one to replace the Vetus. Either I'll get a lowish hours one, or one that requires a rebuild before fitting. What do people think of this idea?
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Old 27-11-2008, 02:11   #2
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Replacing the engine with one that is not identical does significantly complicate the installation, but if doing this I would be more inclined to go for a new modern diesel such as Yanmar. They seem to have less problems with the marinized parts than the Perkins, resale will be higher, parts easier to get as well as smoother and quieter.
I have never seen the value in a rebuilt marine diesel. You end up with too many expensive parts that are not changed. In the long run I am not convinced it is much cheaper and given the considerable work involved in removing and replacing an engine I would go for new if this is possible.
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Old 27-11-2008, 02:19   #3
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Hi Cherp and welcome to Cruisers Forum.

What boat?

I tend to agree with Yanmar in general...
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Old 27-11-2008, 06:30   #4
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a 4-108 is still a decent engine. As you say they are getting long in the tooth. Parts and casting will get harder to find in serviceable quality. If you have decided the Vetus is beyond repair. Consider some of the newer engines. Not just Yanmar, but Westerbeke, Universal, Beta, Nanni, Phasor and Volvo. The engine you select should be one well supported in your home cruising grounds.
I think you'll be surprised by the prices of new Vs. a reman 4-108
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Old 27-11-2008, 15:55   #5
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good advice

Thanks for the advice. It's maybe confirmed what I suspected - the 4108 may be getting a little old, and new is better than remanufactured. I had a 4108 some years ago and it was a good reliable old thing, if a little noisy. That's where the "soft spot" came from. The Vetus I mentioned is not badly damaged -but it doesn't need to be to make a rebuild unviable because of the cost of parts. Dan, the boat is a Swanson 36, which is an Australian design from the 1970s, which is still popular in Australia as a strong cruising yacht. I've just joined this forum. I wasn't aware of it. I like it. Regards - Cherp. By the way, the "Cherp" cames from a dream my teenage son had. He was in Asia in this dream, and was eating things called "cherps" from a roadside stall. In the dream, they were a kind of roasted nut, which tasted delicious. He's actually in China now and loves the food there. He's not found any cherps though.
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Old 27-11-2008, 17:11   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherp View Post
He was in Asia in this dream, and was eating things called "cherps" from a roadside stall. In the dream, they were a kind of roasted nut, which tasted delicious. He's actually in China now and loves the food there. He's not found any cherps though.
The closest thing I have seen to cherps are deep fried grasshoppers in Thailand.

Yuck...

Good luck with the repower.
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Old 27-11-2008, 19:32   #7
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My word Dan, they look like they would be an acquired taste. Pass the cherps.
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Old 27-11-2008, 20:27   #8
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If all the "marinization" parts are still viable, how about finding a used Mitsubishi (likely a fork lift or reefer power unit) and swaping your old bits on to it?? I guess it depends on your budget...

New is indeed nice, but "different" may cause a lot of headaches and expenses that don't show up on the cost analysis sheets.

Good luck with it
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Old 27-11-2008, 20:40   #9
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Jim...this has crossed my mind. I plan to get the engine details from it and talk to the local Mitsubishi dealer to see if I can find parts/engine through them. It must have been used in all sorts of applications, not just the Vetus marine one. Cheers.
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Old 27-11-2008, 20:54   #10
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Maybe not a total rebuild...

If cash is not a problem then a new engine is the way to go.

However you say you overheated your Vetus and distorted the rings, but that parts are expensive.

If your diagnosis is right then you may get away with honing out the cylinders on the Vetus and replacing the rings. Doing the valves and head at the same time may not be expensive. An experienced mechanic may even be able to do this in the boat.

If it is Mitsubishi based then I cannot imagine engine parts being that costly. A little searching may turn up a complete engine in reasonable condition at a wreckers. The size sounds like it would be used in small trucks, SUV's or vans.

The really expensive part of a rebuild is the injection pump and the injectors. If those on your Vetus worked well before your overheating then it could be possible to skip that step, especially if you are not planning a long trip.

Replacing an engine/gearbox involves many difficulties and expenses that are not immediately obvious.

I trust you have removed the source of the overheating problem.
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Old 27-11-2008, 21:11   #11
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Hi Borocay. The engine has only done a few hundred hours. I certainly know the cause of the overheating. I did not turn on the cold water inlet valve. Trouble is, when the engine was fitted the electrician mounted the temperature alarm inside the boat. I was outside steering and did not hear it. My son went below and said there was an alarm going off. It was not run very long overheated- some minutes. There did not appear to be any damage initially. Then I noticed oil from sump fittings like the oil removal pump and oil-level dipstick. Pressure in the sump. My initial reaction was to do as you say. However, I was quoted around $AU900 for rings, which outraged me a bit. No, a lot. At that stage I began to lose interest in the Vetus fairly quickly. However, it may be that I have to go with the piracy and re-ring it and get the head checked. Simpler I guess than putting in another motor, with the attendant fitting problems. I can afford another motor. I just had a bad reaction to Vetus' idea of what rings are worth for a four-cylinder engine. But maybe it's still the line of least resistance.
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Old 27-11-2008, 21:56   #12
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Not too old...

If the engine has done only a few hundred hours and is not too old then it is a good candidate for repair.

I think that you would get a better job by pulling it out of the boat and taking it to a diesel specialist.

When they get it apart they may recognise the parts.

Your engine may be referenced here or here.
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Old 27-11-2008, 22:24   #13
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And that's what I think I'll do. I think this discussion site is excellent. Only just discovered it. A mechanic has told me the bore or rings have been glazed by the overheating. He says it's still OK to use a little. I'll pull it out at the end of summer and have take it to him for fixing. In the meantime I'll do a lot more sailing than motoring. Cheers.
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Old 29-11-2008, 13:51   #14
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If you are going to delay the repair keep a close eye out for water in the oil system. and oil in the water system.

Overheating could have cracked a ring and likely glazed the cylinders but warping the head is a big potential as well.

Aside from the rings you are likely looking at some head and block surfacing, a gasket kit etc. With goog luck the valve train is OK.

Shop around for alternate rebuilders. You may just luck out and find the parts cheaper elsewhere.
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Old 29-11-2008, 15:05   #15
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Cherp I did this repair on a Yanmar.
Disconnect engine and put it in any available space in/on boat.
Pull off head and sump.
Take head to firm specialising in diesel/head repair.Have them determine if head needs shave,valve,injector work.
Disconnect big ends,push piston/conrod out .
Get abrazive thingy goes on your low speed power drill and take any glaze off the bores.Clean up result.
Forget Vetus rings.Get quotes from Mitsi dealers.If still expensive beat the bushes for piston ring suppliers anywhere on the internet.Used to be ,piston ring specialists could make up ring sets for unpopular engines.
A few gaskets and you are back in business.
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