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Old 11-09-2012, 11:47   #1
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Location: Dublin, Ireland
Boat: Amel Santorin 46ft
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Perkins prima 50 service

We were unfortunate to suffer a failure of the coolant circulation pump during the summer. The engine has 5200 hours up on the clock and is serviced regularly according to the requirements set down by Perkins. But because the boat is a club boat, some club members have expressed a concern about the reliability of the engine and a mechanic should look over the engine and give it the ok. I'm of the opinion, that it's working fine so just look after it and deal with the next problem, if and when it arises. We have a good set of spares and I intend to build up the set even more.
Any thoughts from the members.
Regards Joe McDonnell
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Old 13-09-2012, 01:31   #2
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Hi,

I've the Volvo version of this in my boat, a few things spring to mind, did the engine over heat when the pump failed or did you spot the leak at a earlier stage. At 5000 hrs the engine would certainly in its van application be getting towards the end of its life, I appreciate that boat engines generally work for longer periods so there should be less wear due to cold starts for a given amount of hours. I note that the boat is owned by a club, that will mean that a variety of people, some with no mechanical ability will have access to the boat and for that reason if it was me and funds were available I would be tempted to change it whilst there is still some value in it. Having been the boat officer at my dive club I was always amazed at the lack of nouce of my fellow boat users and feel that reliability must come first to avoid accidents.
From memory the amel has a nice big hatch for the engine compartment in the cockpit sole so to change to say a beta should not be to difficult.
Good luck with your descision, sorry if this was not what you wanted to hear.

William
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Old 13-09-2012, 02:44   #3
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Hi William
You hit it on the nail. There are all levels of experience in the club, with some members not willing or able to take on the work required. I think they forget that as club members they own the boat and the are required to develop the higher skill level required. Your right, in that there is great access to whip out and replace an engine but I hope that your wrong about the 5000hours being near the end of life of the engine, as I believe that this equates to only about 150,000 miles on the road. As you would know in a club situation, Money does not grow on tree's. But I've already been looking at Beta marine and I think that now, I better speck the engine required, just to be ready.
Thanks Joe
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Old 13-09-2012, 03:34   #4
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William
I should have added there was a small leak of coolant through the bearing housing of the pump, this only occurred when the engine was turning over and the drip was not evident, as it was being thrown by the alternator belt. The pump failure was spotted before any major damage was caused and shut down. I sourced the replacement pump through Perkins here in Ireland, but I'm kicking myself as I found the part at a fraction of the cost on e bay. I have since ordered an Austin rover montego diesel engine manual ( 5euros From Amazon) which I hope will help build up my knowledge, as it was basically the same engine as the M50 and your Volvo. Regards Joe
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Old 13-09-2012, 13:34   #5
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Hi Joe

Just a thought about the Montego idea, I would be pretty sure that each year at 150000 you will have one of the engine ancillaries failing or causing agro. For you or me with a bag of tools and a bit of ability there should not be too much of an issue, but for your typical male who cannot change a wheel or put up a shelf it might be a bit of an ask. Having lifed out 2 light vans from new in my business I can only say they were good for the first 150k and then were a pain from then on.

I read an article on the Beta company last month and the point that came up is that diesel engines without a common rail system might be a bit scarce in the future which means that the likes of you and me are going to have to get in an engineer in to sort out any problems.

Regarding the specifics of the Perkins, issues with mine have been leaks on the crankshaft oil seals, the rear seal is still leaking a bit, next time I have a go at it I will use a sleeve on the crank to give a fresh surface for the oil seal. We also have had to fit a water pump and other than my lack of trust in any engine with a cam belt that's about it. I can't tell you how many hours we have on the motor as the hour meter has been broken for the last 8 years.

William
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Old 14-09-2012, 03:07   #6
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Hi William
While I would agree that common rail diesel seems to be the way forward in road transport I think the bog standard diesel will see out my sailing days (which I hope is another 30 to 40 years away). But what ever type engine, that will be the standard in cruisers in the future, they will still require regular service out in the field. Plus, I don't know how that high pressure pump would survive the fuel quality issues we tend to have to deal with. It would be interesting to hear, if anyone in the Forum, has taken the leap forward and installed a common rail diesel.
Regards Joe
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