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Old 31-07-2005, 06:13   #1
Kai Nui
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Lombardini Diesel

Does any body have any experience with Lombardini marine diesels? I am repowering a boat early next year, and am considering one of these engines, but I have no basis to compare them. I have had good luck with Yanmars, and have found Perkins easy to repair. Can anyone tell me how the Lomdardini compares to these?
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Old 31-07-2005, 11:48   #2
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recommendation in UK is to fit Beta or nanni engines (both based on the same power plant - Kubota) spares are available worldwide, and the engines are great workhorses with good reliability records.
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Old 31-07-2005, 17:28   #3
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I have used the Kubota engines, and currently have one in one of my boats. But... Why is the Kabota better than the Lombardini. (parts issues aside) The engine will go into a trimaran, and I am looking for quiet operation, and light weight. The Lombardini advertises both. Of course, so does everyone else. I am hoping someone has run one of these engines, and can give some feedback on the Lombardini's performance.
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Old 31-07-2005, 20:23   #4
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The difference is that the kubota engine is used all round the world. primarily in the smaller sizes to drive some form of commercial machine such as cement mixer, dumper truck,etc. Thus the engine tends to be less costly, but much more robust (economies of scale). Of the two versions of the kubota, the beta would be better ofr you although heavier than the equivalent nanni, because they add a heavy plate to help balance the engine, and this provides a much smoother and easier engine.
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Old 01-08-2005, 04:23   #5
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Thanks for the response Talbot. I would be curious to hear about your experience with the Lombardini engines. I also would comment on your reference to the heavier "plate" on the Beta Marine. I would guess you are refering to the flywheel. As these are high RPM diesels, of relatively small displacement, Beta and others are attempting to get less vibration, and more torque from the engine by adding a heavier flywheel. This does accomplish that goal, but at the expense of logevity. Nothing wrong with these engines for auxilary engines, as they will often not see very many hours in a year. I would not rely on one for a motor-sailer. As for cost, the Lombardini is approx 20% less initial cost than the Beta Marine. As for parts availablitlity, they claim that they have been used extensively around the world in industrial applications. Unfortunately, I can not verify the need for major components while cruising until I get some feedback from someone who has actually either owned or worked on one of these engines.
While an old Colin Archer with a 3-53 Jimmy will get me through the biggest storm 50 years from now, and fix with some plumbers tape and JB weld, plastic fantastic with a modern high RPM diesel is always worth considering.
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Old 02-08-2005, 12:35   #6
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?????

Italian motor manufacturers, traditionally, make fine engines, but require excessive maintenance. Ferrari, Lamborghini, are fine examples of very high quality and equal maintenance. A high revving deisel I would put in the same category but your application (you don't specify) is the key to the type and manufacturer of an engine.
Kubota engines are marinized by a number of engine suppliers. They have a proven track record for tractors, dozers. generators, boats, and other working machines. Chances are good that they will rot out before wearing out.
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Old 03-08-2005, 02:25   #7
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Thanks for the reply. This particular engine is manufactured in the US. A company out of Georgia currently produces them. Unfortunately, you are correct about the Kubotas rotting out before wearing out. With fresh water cooling, they last OK.
As for my application, I am installing the engine in a 35' Piver trimaran that weighs about 9000#. At this point, I am planning coastal cruising with the boat, to include the San Juans.
The engine is lighter (222# compared to 250# with the Kubota), it sounds quieter when I heard it test run., and it is 20% less expensive up front. What I do not know, is 6 months down the road, will I be fighting to get it started at a mile bouy somewhere, and after 24 hours of motoring against a 4 knot current, is the head going to crack, and after 500 hours am I going to start hearing a lower end knock, and...
Unfortunately, it appears that no one has ever run one of these engines, or maybey they are so good, that the people who have them want to keep it a secret so the price stays low. I am just searching for opinions about this engine.
And for the record, I think Kubotas are top notch, I have had nothing but good experiences with Yanmar, and I can rebuild a perkins in my sleep, so no need to convince me about the quality of these engines.
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Old 03-08-2005, 06:55   #8
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I don't think you will find any issues with the Lombardini engine. It has been around awhile, and has not had any major issues that have given it a bad name. Also 500hrs is nothing for any deisel engine. If you are clocking up a few thousand hrs per year, then a more rugged commercial engine like the perkins, will better suit the bill. But as I presume 100-200hrs per year is probably it for you, then you will see many years of use out of it.
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Old 04-08-2005, 04:36   #9
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Thank you! That is what I am looking for. I put a lot of sea time on my boats, but do not run the engine more than 50-100 hrs per year. That may change with the trimaran, as beating up a narrow channel to my slip will be far less practical in the tri, but I doubt I will run it much more than 100 hrs per year.
I would not mind hearing any negatives on the engine, as I appreciate any feedback at all. It is always hard to part with this kind of money, so the more input, the better.
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Old 04-08-2005, 06:29   #10
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Negatives on most good name diesels are a hard one to pin down. You are going to have situations were someone with a rugged design has had niggly problems and visaversa. It does seem to be certain installations that will affect different engines in different ways. However, some engines just have bad reputations for certain things. I don't know of any real bad ones for the Lomabardini. HOWEVER! here is where diesels and especially marine diesels run into problems. When I say "especially" marine diesels, it is because you see this situation the most. POWER TO WEIGHT RATIO. Most importantly, lots of power and revs from a light weight design. Let me explain. Certain brands that have the "bullet proof" reputation, have gained that from being an engine design that has on average, clocked up many hours of problem free running. But you will also notice usually, several factors.
1: they are heavey built for the power they produce.
2: they rev slower
It all equates to longer life expectancy.
But we have owners today, that want their boat to go fast, get up on the plane faster, and spin on a dime, so want twin engine installs and use less fuel doing all the above.
So the manufacturer makes a spruced up version of a diesel. He takes a small engine block and bores it out, pokes more air into it with turbos', winds up the fuel dosage, fits an intercooler, makes the whole thing rev higher to get a higher HP curve and drops this tiny four cylinder block on a retailers floor with a flashy sign advertising a gazillion HP.
So to condense all the above, there is a basic rule of thumb. The more HP you squeeze out of an engine, the less it's life expectancy will be.
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Old 04-08-2005, 06:38   #11
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Negatives on most good name diesels are a hard one to pin down. You are going to have situations were someone with a rugged design has had niggly problems and visaversa. This is due to installation and maintanace or lack of it. However, some engines just have bad reputations for certain things. I don't know of any real bad ones for the Lomabardini. HOWEVER! here is where diesels and especially marine diesels run into problems. When I say "especially" marine diesels, it is because you see this situation the most. POWER TO WEIGHT RATIO. More to the point, a marine engine tends to lean towards lots of power and revs from a light weight design. Let me explain.
There are a couple of engine names out there that have the "bullet proof" reputation. These few have reputations of clocking up many hours of truoble free operation. But to do this, you will notice a couple of factors.
1: they are heavey built for the power they produce.
2: they rev slower
On the other side of the design board, we have boat owners that want their boat to go fast, get up on the plane faster, and spin on a dime, so want twin engine installs. which require small engines and use less fuel doing all the above. Plus the odd sail boat install, where room is little and size and weight and fuel consumption are all premiums.
So the manufacturer makes a spruced up version of a diesel. He takes a small engine block and bores it out, pokes more air into it with turbos', winds up the fuel dosage, fits an intercooler, makes the whole thing rev higher to get a higher HP curve and drops this tiny four cylinder block on a retailers floor with a flashy sign advertising a gazillion HP.
So to condense all the above, there is a basic rule of thumb. The more HP you squeeze out of an engine, the less it's life expectancy will be.
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Old 04-08-2005, 11:29   #12
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I've been holding my responce, but here goes.
There is only one distributer in the US for Lombardini Marine all the marine parts must go thru them. Lombardini industrial has many distributers and can get the common parts easily. I have no direct experience working on the newer engines.
Did you know there are still a few Yanmar
2GM20Fs around new.

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Old 04-08-2005, 19:12   #13
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You have touched on a good point Pat. Service!!! It doesn't matter what engine you have if at the end of the day, you either can't get parts or the parts cost you both arms and legs, and thus you get called Bob. There is one very recognised name of marine engine down here, personaly I don't like them, but I believe the biggest negative is the price of the parts. You can't even lift a cover off some part of their engine or drive to look inside without it making your eyes water.
So Kai Nui, you need to weigh up the initial price and weight saving etc etc, against, can I easily get service and parts if and when needed. And it's no good if a yard anywhere you happen to end up, can't carry out the work, because only an "Authorised Dealer" can touch the thing, especially under a warranty issue.
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Old 04-08-2005, 20:55   #14
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There is one very recognised name of marine engine down here, personaly I don't like them, but I believe the biggest negative is the price of the parts.
Wouldn't possibly be volvo? - their spares appear to be priced so that you treble the purchase cost of the engine every 10 years.
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Old 04-08-2005, 22:50   #15
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No way it could be Volvo. I have excelent service from them. I order parts and go pick them up at the national wharehouse 10 minuits away...LOL
Must just be me.
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