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Old 18-09-2009, 17:05   #31
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If your basic block is in good shape (not all clogged up or corroded) I would be tempted to rebuild with your setup. I'm not sure what the issues with a high rpm rated engine like a Yanmar would be with your shafts and large prop on a small ish shaft...? Or maybe the John Deere... ($) You should talk with another mechanic too.... maybe it's just my luck, but the only engines in all my boats that ever needed major work were two Yanmars with less than 2600 hours on them.... Also, there are rebuilt perkins avail for reasonable prices.
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Old 19-09-2009, 11:34   #32
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Final thought about availability of parts and service worldwide. If you stay with the Japanese brand names getting parts and service worldwide should not be a problem. The Japanese have been very big in establishing their presence in little countries all around the world. Their equipment and parts are readily made available at good prices for political reasons, they are looking for support to continue whaling and fishing activities. In the small island countries surrounding the Caribbean just about anything motorized is Japanese. Everything that does not move is Chinese.
This is definitely a consideration. Everyone keeps telling me how extensive the Yanmar parts/spare distribution network is. Am I looking at this the wrong way by thinking a well-built and well-maintained diesel shouldn't need so many repairs?
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Old 19-09-2009, 11:38   #33
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If your basic block is in good shape (not all clogged up or corroded) I would be tempted to rebuild with your setup.
If I can use identical Mazda parts at 1/10th the price of "Westerbeke" parts (a buddy commented that "that red paint ain't cheap, you know"), then a rebuild is the way to go.

I did a motorsail last night on a steel boat that had a new 55 HP Volvo with soft mounts, an Aquadrive, a hydraulic tranny, sound-deadening paint in the engine bay and lead-foil foam under the cockpit floor hatches. I am convinced that even my existing Westerbeke, if I pop for the rebuild, will be "transformed" into a much quieter and smoother diesel installation thanks to these measures.
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Old 19-09-2009, 11:54   #34
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I've gone as far as to make an insulated bag my perkins resides in. The bilge blower supplies air and there's a thruhull in bottom leading to a plastic jug to collect any drips. Way quieted down things. Engine is inches from galley sink and it used to resonate like a speaker.
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Old 20-09-2009, 09:08   #35
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That's initiative for you!
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Old 20-09-2009, 13:53   #36
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for sheer availabilty and knowledge, Yanmar is the best , fitted to moat european production boats. Beta makes a good engine , but really its a small niche UK manufacturer. Perkins is fine fir reconditioned stuff, but really hasnt a new design diesel. Cummins is really a US make, hard to get parts elsewhere. (good engines though, bit like Scania in Europe)

Volvo is OK though there has been a lot of trouble with teething problems on the D series. Good spare parts availabilty but expensive.

Most new engines will be turbocharged and generally common rail , as its the only way that manufacturers can meet emissions standards. Modern turbos are as least as reliable as the basic engine and in most diesels dont work particulary hard. I wont be afraid of a turbo based engine

I stay away from "wierd" brands like vetus and volkswagon ( yes the basic engines parts are easy to get , but the engine has a large number of specialised marinised parts that have to be sourced from a very specialised and small distribution. I would also be concerned that VW could abandon marine engines at any time ( remember bmw marine engines anyone) as its a pimple on their core business
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Old 20-09-2009, 16:49   #37
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I like Volvos until they break. Then you learn the real cost of Swedish cradle-to-grave socialism <G>.

I'm not afraid of turbos per se, just suspicious of the added level of mechanical complexity, the increased number of failure points, and the perhaps dubious goal of getting more shaft power and fuel efficiency out of a smaller, lighter block. All that's great in gas engines, but less successful (I think, anyway) in small diesels, where it may be a false economy in terms of physical forces due to the higher RPMs and heat evenly getting through the block in short runs. I have a steel boat: a big, "stupid" diesel with a comparatively massive iron block seems like a good idea to me.

But I can't object to common rail...it seems a sound technology.

Thanks to all for your thoughts. While I haven't decided firmly yet, this has helped me clarify my thoughts a great deal.
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Old 20-09-2009, 17:12   #38
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not to get into a big turbo versus non-turbo debate, but in reality modern high performance diesels have been a huge success and I for one perfer them over petrol ( gas) engines my current car. In fact my diesel outperforms the gas supercharged equivalent model. The fact is that the future is diesel anyway as diesel technoligy has some ways to go before hitting various physical limits whereas gas engines are pretty much topped out design wise

There was nothing particulary good, or efficient about heavy cast iron diesels, yes they were reliable , but thats all, and mainly because they were slow turning. But they were(are) incrediably inefficient weight wise and drank fuel compared to modern models. Turbo charging has been very effective in boosting ecomony and performannce in diesels and is apllied with design criteron that are very differnt to turbocharging modern gas engines. Yes increased performance means more attention to maintenance schedules etc. You cant ignore a modern diesel.

In the case of you heavy steel boat why make it any more heavier then it needs to be.
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Old 20-09-2009, 17:33   #39
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If it is a Mazda block also used by Ford, then I would expect that between those two sources you could get parts anywhere in the world. Or at least, as close to anywhere as any other brand.

The trick with a rebuild (again, of any brand, anywhere in the world) is to find a shop that will do a real quality job with or without bankrupting you.

Part of the question to ask them might be "How much of this is labor and how much is parts?" since many shops will only work with gen-you-whine parts that they buy wholesale and charge you full retail for. And if you supply the parts--they won't warranty anything, if they'll do the job at all.

My admitted prejudice against anything Westerbleak (ahem) is that they assemble everything then paint it all red. Including the hoses, which the hose makers are all very explicit about NOT PAINTING. Hoses, belts, all rubber parts are always damaged by paint, and if Westerbeke can't respect that, I have to question whether they really pay attention to ANY important concepts at all. Or, just to "Who can get us the best bid this week?"

Admittedly, a prejudice. Just like my prejudice against swimming with sharks, or sleeping with lions. Totally unfounded and irrational, I'm sure. ;-)
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Old 20-09-2009, 17:37   #40
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In my experience, volvo, Nanni, vetus, Beta,Yanmar, paint their hoses, I really dont think I base my decisions on that point,really no

As to rebuild , parts for the basic block maybe fine, but you have to ensure that these parts are actually the same as the marine version. Often marine engines are tweaked to output more power then automotive or truck versions, and fundemental parts like crankshafts ,bearigs etc were updated from the ordinary engines. Even the basic blocks had modified oil galleries etc. You need to be sure what you are replacing is actually the same. Them you have the problem of sourcing the specific custom marine parts.

My view is that a proper rebuild really requires factory certification, anything else is a DIY and "your mileage may vary".

If you are into DIYing it ,it properly cheaper and easier to just marinise a truck engine then rebuilding a clapped out marine engine
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Old 20-09-2009, 19:49   #41
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If you are into DIYing it ,it properly cheaper and easier to just marinise a truck engine then rebuilding a clapped out marine engine
Again I'll give Diecon in Brisbane a plug (I'll need commissions soon)
They do these 40-180hp Marinised Nissans
and these 15-28hp Marinised Kubota Diesels
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Old 23-09-2009, 20:27   #42
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First choice if you can afford it is Yanmar - basically best reputation and they know it, so the prices are not low. For the 50hp max range look at BetaMarinaNC for the marinized Kubota engines. index Beta Marine US Ltd. Distributors for Kubota based marine The chap that runs the operation is very good. I worked with some of their engines and liked them so much I bought one of their genset versions. Love it.

Im conversing with Stanley at Beta Marine NC at the moment about replacing the rather old and dubious Volvo Penta MD-17C that is on Sabre Dance. The price he quoted me, delivered to Toronto Intl Airport is frankly amazing. I'm currently looking at the Beta 28 with the standard transmission. Being as the Volvo sticks out into the main cabin somewhat, the shorter Beta 28 may well fit under the cockpit sole with out any problems.

The Volvo emptied its oil pan into the bilge last summer and I have no idea why at the moment. The engine smokes a bit at all times, and the second time I started it up, half the marina disappeared in a huge black cloud of smoke. Being it was installed new in 78, I guess its about do for either a major overhaul (tres expensive) or a replacement. I was looking at the Nanni, which is also a Kubota but their price is about a grand higher.

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Old 23-09-2009, 21:42   #43
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Like most, I re=powered my last boat to a Yanmar 4JH. Great engine. Starts immediately, Good fuel economy and really easy to get parts annnnnd...cheaper parts. I have had 2 Volvos. A MD2B and a 2003. Parts were extremely expensive (Starter $600) and the 2003 might as well have been a Yugo, it broke down so often.
I have also had a Westerbeke/Perkins 4-107. After I stopped trying to fix oil leaks and just accepted them, we got along fine. I doubt it should cost 1/3 of a new engine to rebuild what you have. I would also not put a whole lot of stock in how little you think you will motor. Everyone thinks they are going to sail almost all the time. I have talked to seasoned cruisers who have claimed 50% of the time.
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Old 24-09-2009, 10:08   #44
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Oh, yes...it's a motor-sailer as designed, although I prefer to think of it as a sailer-motor as it moves fairly briskly for a steel cutter, and this trip is only going to have deadlines imposed by typhoon seasons.

The Volvo parts are the deal-breaker for me. The Volvos as a marine diesel engine line are very good and have some great features...but they are as susceptible to on-route failure as any others, but the parts are crazily expensive.

I have some leads on rebuild kits in Australia. If the price is less than a third of new, given the low hours of my old engine (1,300 in 22 years, all in freshwater), that's the way to go.

The Yanmar 4JH would probably be my choice, but not because I'm in love with the engine, but because it has the greatest pool of spares available thanks to "market penetration" and to the dealer network. Even though I like aspects like the plastic heat exchanger (no pencil zincs required there), I still worry that the engine itself is too light and runs too fast...if they still made the Cummins 3b3, that would suit me.

If anyone's interested, I'll post my decisions as they occur. I'm sure I'm not the only one wondering about the utility and economics of rebuild vs. new.
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Old 24-09-2009, 10:11   #45
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If that engine is a freshwater engine and only 1300 original hours it's a great candidate for overhaul.... probably only suffering from underuse.... and shouldnt need a complete rebuild...
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