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Old 14-08-2013, 21:59   #16
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Re: TD Power Marine, Chinese marine diesel engine

Bob wrote: "I posted the trouble we have had down the bayou with these engines, Seems like somebody did not listen" ==> Actually 'somebody' did listen - hence the discussion on the bypass oil filter and the strong magnet in the oil pan to reduce the problem mentioned. Based on the OP's comment and experience I will closely pay attention to the hoses - and based on other comments, will likely replace all the rubber/plastic parts as soon as practicable with better quality stuff (assuming such stuff can be found here in the Philippines) - this includes hoses, belts, gaskets. Based on your comment I will try to add a bypass oil filter if I can find or make one - likewise with the magnet idea. Based on a comment by Manitu, I am actively looking to replace the salt water pump with the Johnson pump alluded to - and note that he also indicated that the engines are being imported and apparently used in Europe, so perhaps they are not total crap but just have some teething problems. Sometimes there isn't as much choice here in third world locations as to what to buy - the OP in the Solomon Islands and myself in the Philippines. Nor are all of our requirements the same - I will likely only be cruising in coastal environments a day at a time and likely never out of sight of land. Further, I don't need an engine that will last thirty years - I am 68 now so if the engine will give good service for five years it is likely enough. Your contributions were noted, appreciated, and acted upon (or will be). What is needed is more advice to make the best of what is available, not a condemnation of making the best effort consistent with available finances and availability.
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Old 15-08-2013, 08:44   #17
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Re: TD Power Marine, Chinese marine diesel engine

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What is needed is more advice to make the best of what is available, not a condemnation of making the best effort consistent with available finances and availability.
The advice already given in the first thread was ignored, which was to stay clear of Chinese made diesel engines that cost 1/3 what a quality engine costs. This thread is simply evidence that regardless of the experience and advice given by others, it is rare for anyone to listen so I really wonder why people ask in the first place.

Some further thoughts on this particular exemplar...

As noted in the first thread, one way manufacturers of cheap engines make them cheap is by allowing for machine tolerances that are much looser than a quality engine. This means that depending on where you are in the wear cycle, you will get an engine with tolerances that are way too tight (this case), or come with 10,000 hours of factory installed wear on them.

The 'breather' on a quality engine vents to the outside of the engine, carrying with it a minute amount of oil with it, which is why Walker Airsep is in business. This engine probably passes so much oil through the breather that they have to vent it back to the sump. To provide a solution to this, they attach a cheesy piece of rubber and install it kinked. Why? Because no one cares.

These are the obvious defects, and you can pretty much count on others you can't see quite yet, although corrosion from poor paint is already clear from the photo posted. Hope not, but I wouldn't hold out a lot of hope.

If money available determines what you buy, buy reconditioned, or used out of a wreck. The OP paid half what he would have paid for reconditioned, and now has one engine he paid twice for. Do the math.
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Old 15-08-2013, 18:28   #18
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Re: TD Power Marine, Chinese marine diesel engine

Delfin wrote: "buy reconditioned, or used out of a wreck" ==> Were I in your location I would do this. I have already searched, using several contacts who have much wider contacts than I. The only available reconditioned engine was a 12 hp Yanmar (3 month warranty) that cost $4,500 without a transmission or instrument panel. The customs duties alone on a new Yanmar cost more than this entire engine/parts - and it too would have to be shipped in.

The engine I am trying to replace is a Volvo-Penta 2002 which was an 18 hp engine when new - likely not so much now. Almost everyone tells me that this engine is greatly under-powered for my 42' catamaran. So even if I put more money into fixing it, it will still be under-powered. The other issue is that because of the install with the V-drive, the 'stuffing box' - actually some rubber oil seals on the shaft inside a piece of plastic hose held in place with a series of hose clamps - is nearly impossible to adjust with the engine in place on top of it. I foresee a major maintenance problem even if it runs. I am neither an experienced boat owner, sailor, nor have I ever owned a diesel engine before.

Yes, I now know that I should have never started this process and become a boat owner - yet, except for the engine, the catamaran is ready to go. Clearly I am both ignorant and stupid, but nevertheless, persistent. I am determined, after over four and a half years of construction, to sail for at least a year or two - and perhaps a bit more.
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Old 15-08-2013, 19:01   #19
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Re: TD Power Marine, Chinese marine diesel engine

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Originally Posted by Bruce626 View Post
Delfin wrote: "buy reconditioned, or used out of a wreck" ==> Were I in your location I would do this. I have already searched, using several contacts who have much wider contacts than I. The only available reconditioned engine was a 12 hp Yanmar (3 month warranty) that cost $4,500 without a transmission or instrument panel. The customs duties alone on a new Yanmar cost more than this entire engine/parts - and it too would have to be shipped in.

The engine I am trying to replace is a Volvo-Penta 2002 which was an 18 hp engine when new - likely not so much now. Almost everyone tells me that this engine is greatly under-powered for my 42' catamaran. So even if I put more money into fixing it, it will still be under-powered. The other issue is that because of the install with the V-drive, the 'stuffing box' - actually some rubber oil seals on the shaft inside a piece of plastic hose held in place with a series of hose clamps - is nearly impossible to adjust with the engine in place on top of it. I foresee a major maintenance problem even if it runs. I am neither an experienced boat owner, sailor, nor have I ever owned a diesel engine before.

Yes, I now know that I should have never started this process and become a boat owner - yet, except for the engine, the catamaran is ready to go. Clearly I am both ignorant and stupid, but nevertheless, persistent. I am determined, after over four and a half years of construction, to sail for at least a year or two - and perhaps a bit more.
How many hours a year do you plan on running the engine? Diesel has many advantages for vessels, but low initial cost is not one of them. Gas engines have been used for decades and while additional care MUST be taken in fuel management, for a motor that will be run 200 hours a year, a gas engine can make a lot of sense. The marinization of a gas engine is not that difficult, so if you really wanted to go cheap and go local and weren't planning on motoring more than most sailors doing passage making this might be an option.

Or, if you look on eBay you'll see quite a few used and reconditioned marine diesels for less than $3,000. Some come with trannies, some not, but you can find those as well. For example, the engine below is basically the same unit I marinized for a couple hundred $ and put in a 36' 12 ton cutter. Ran beautifully. Any freight expediter can get it to you anywhere in the world, which is certainly going to cost a bit, but if you can wait a month or two shouldn't break the bank.

I deeply respect the need to spend one's resources where it goes the farthest and I have nothing but admiration for those who live their dreams without having to generate massive amounts of cash to do so. So please don't take my wonderment that anyone should be surprised that a no name Chinese diesel turns out to be the piece of sheet others said it would be as a criticism of a budget conscious approach to passage making. Hope you find what you need.....

Isuzu 4B 2 2 Diesel Engine 40 HP Power Unit Diesel Engine Marine Industrial | eBay
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Old 15-08-2013, 20:09   #20
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Re: TD Power Marine, Chinese Marine Diesel Engine

Do you really expect these engines to last more than a year or two of continuous service? If they cost 1/3 of name brand ones, wouldn't you want to know the quality of components used inside the block, let alone the block itself? Would you really trust your life/safety on this engine? In the long run, cheap is very expensive; irrespective where it was made.

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Old 15-08-2013, 20:48   #21
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Re: TD Power Marine, Chinese Marine Diesel Engine

Teknav wrote: "Do you really expect these engines to last more than a year or two of continuous service?" ==> Perhaps a year or two will be enough - with a year of sailing experience and a working engine I can get from the Philippines to Malaysia where there are many other engine options and no import duties on yachts in transit. It is not far - probably not more than a couple of hundred miles - and I can cross over to Palawan and sail down the coast before jumping over to Borneo.
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Old 15-08-2013, 21:10   #22
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Re: TD Power Marine, Chinese Marine Diesel Engine

Delfin wrote: " Any freight expediter can get it to you anywhere in the world, which is certainly going to cost a bit" ==> Perhaps, the Philippines has some odd import restrictions - you can't import a used car over five years old for example. With the number of crap diesel engines being put into small fishing boats here one would think that the place would be a magnet for old diesel engines. Labor is cheap here (relatively skilled labor is about PHP650/day - $7) so the cost of marinizing them would be minimal - but one doesn't see them for some reason.

The other problem is that unlike you, I lack the experience to select an appropriate engine, sight unseen, from ebay. I will likely have this experience when I no longer need it. Good suggestion though.
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Old 28-08-2013, 04:20   #23
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Re: TD Power Marine, Chinese marine diesel engine

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Originally Posted by bobconnie View Post
There was a post on here a couple of Mos ago, On that one I posted the trouble we have had down the bayou with these engines, Seems like somebody did not listen !! LOl do the word junk come to mind?? Sorry you got took but so did a bunch of shrimp fishermen down here !! To bad ya did not read the prior post, or listen to it !!
Sorry I did miss your previous post warning about these engines.

The word I've had back from the factory is that the kinked rubber hose installation to the oil breather is standard. I find that hard to believe as this caused massive oil loss on both the engines I bought so if standard I can't imagine that I'm the only person in the world to have encountered this problem.

I'd be curious to hear from others who have bought these engines, or have experience with them, if the kinked rubber hose is standard? Did your engines, or the ones you have experience with in Louisiana come with that installation?
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Old 28-08-2013, 08:46   #24
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Re: TD Power Marine, Chinese Marine Diesel Engine

Just a followup - based on all the research and opinions expressed on this thread and the previous one, I have decided to get a Beta 38 instead of a TDME-385. Yes, it is going to cost about four times more - but thanks to a member of the forum who is much more knowledgeable than I, and who has contacts I couldn't make here - this became an option. Yes, it is likely to take somewhat longer to get - but the engine is more powerful and weighs 100 kg less - and it will be reliable, and I can get all the bits needed to perform a quality installation. Because I only have thee one engine, I think that this is a better option for me. It is likely that the Philippine duties on the Beta 38 will, alone, be more than the TDME-385. I wasn't entirely happy with the lack of answers from the Chinese salesman who ignored my questions about servicing, and would only say that I could get parts shipped from China. They couldn't provide any recommendation as to the propeller specifications that should be used with their engine. Had I proceeded with that purchase I was buying a set of spares except for the salt water intake pump which another poster indicated was replaced with a Johnson pump when the engines arrived in Europe. I was getting a set of three spare injectors, the fresh water pump, and a spare diesel pump assembly - plus a set of all the gaskets, filters, belts and such. In addition to this, it was entirely possible that this engine might have to be junked and a new one re-installed anyway in a couple of years based on quality issues - although there was a low but finite possibility that it would have been fine. My new catamaran depends on having a good engine as boats typically can't be reliably insured here - so when given an opportunity to get an established engine, I took it. I do appreciate the people who take/took the time to respond and offer their considered opinions - and we do pay attention even if it doesn't always seem like it.
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Old 28-08-2013, 08:59   #25
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Re: TD Power Marine, Chinese Marine Diesel Engine

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Originally Posted by Bruce626 View Post
Just a followup - based on all the research and opinions expressed on this thread and the previous one, I have decided to get a Beta 38 instead of a TDME-385. Yes, it is going to cost about four times more - but thanks to a member of the forum who is much more knowledgeable than I, and who has contacts I couldn't make here - this became an option. Yes, it is likely to take somewhat longer to get - but the engine is more powerful and weighs 100 kg less - and it will be reliable, and I can get all the bits needed to perform a quality installation. Because I only have thee one engine, I think that this is a better option for me. It is likely that the Philippine duties on the Beta 38 will, alone, be more than the TDME-385. I wasn't entirely happy with the lack of answers from the Chinese salesman who ignored my questions about servicing, and would only say that I could get parts shipped from China. They couldn't provide any recommendation as to the propeller specifications that should be used with their engine. Had I proceeded with that purchase I was buying a set of spares except for the salt water intake pump which another poster indicated was replaced with a Johnson pump when the engines arrived in Europe. I was getting a set of three spare injectors, the fresh water pump, and a spare diesel pump assembly - plus a set of all the gaskets, filters, belts and such. In addition to this, it was entirely possible that this engine might have to be junked and a new one re-installed anyway in a couple of years based on quality issues - although there was a low but finite possibility that it would have been fine. My new catamaran depends on having a good engine as boats typically can't be reliably insured here - so when given an opportunity to get an established engine, I took it. I do appreciate the people who take/took the time to respond and offer their considered opinions - and we do pay attention even if it doesn't always seem like it.
Because the Beta is a marinized Kubota, and Kubota has a very good reputation in small diesel engines you should be very pleased. Sorry you had to pay more, but sometimes paying more up front is the cheapest route, if you can swing it.

Let us know how you like the engine. All the reviews I have seen are very positive.
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Old 28-08-2013, 13:53   #26
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Re: TD Power Marine, Chinese Marine Diesel Engine

[QUOTE=Bruce626;1324560]Just a followup - based on all the research and opinions expressed on this thread and the previous one, I have decided to get a Beta 38 instead of a TDME-385.

Good call and I'm sure you won't be disappointed. If I was re-powering a large cat where you've a lot of value at stake and also resale value to consider, I don't think that I would be considering anything other than a trusted and known engine.

My own circumstances: I literally pulled the hulls out of a junk yard, and the project is a bit of an experiment.

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Still, even then with the relatively 'disposable' thinking around my project, I now regret my choice in engines. With this in mind, I was surprised by the post from 'bobconnie' alluding that shrimp fishermen in the US had bought these engines? Seems an odd choice for a professional boater. 'bobconnie' it would be great if you could share more specifically what were the problems that were encountered with these engines?

[QUOTE=Bruce626;1324560]I wasn't entirely happy with the lack of answers from the Chinese salesman who ignored my questions about servicing, and would only say that I could get parts shipped from China.

Yep, that's my bugbear really, I haven't run the working engine enough yet to be able to state here openly online they are junk or otherwise, but what I know for fact is THAT THERE IS NO BACK UP FROM THE MANUFACTURER. If you couldn't get answers up front, while you still held the bargaining chips (an impending sale) then what hope for a mug like me whose bought and paid for getting any back up ......

'Delfin', before you rub yet more salt into my wound with another I told you so reply, hey, someone has got to be the guniea pig and go first! and I hope others reading this can benefit from my mistake. Horses for courses as the saying goes and there are lots of different boating needs, but in conclusion, safe to say that an unreliable donk of no use to any of them!
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Old 28-08-2013, 13:59   #27
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Re: TD Power Marine, Chinese Marine Diesel Engine

Can you get your money back from this dudes?? What happen now with the seized engine?
Warranty? nothing?
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Old 28-08-2013, 14:04   #28
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Re: TD Power Marine, Chinese Marine Diesel Engine

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Can you get your money back from this dudes?? What happen now with the seized engine?
Warranty? nothing?
When I've asked about warranty or refund, no reply.

I've taken that as meaning 'no, nothing'.

They claim the rubber hose installation is standard. That they have sold many of these engines with that installation around the world and never had this problem before. I'm the first and it just so happened to me not once but twice.

Needless say I have some skepticism and for this reason I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM SOMEBODY ELSE WHO HAS BOUGHT OR KNOWS SOMEONE WHO HAS ONE OF THESE ENGINES. I'm incredulous that every engine is sold with the kinked hose to the oil breather but there has never been a problem in the past. Doesn't make sense.....
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Old 28-08-2013, 14:17   #29
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Re: TD Power Marine, Chinese Marine Diesel Engine

Wow!! if the kinked hose is standar, better for you if you claim money back or a replacement engine ,seems to me you are the only one with this problem , i dont see any report in the net about this kinked hose problem, ohh man im sorry for you, is so lame to get 0 response from the dealer , and legal stuff can be a waste of time , no idea..
Send some serious claim to Ms. Zhen-li Zhou and skip the suckers at the customer service if there is any...Good luck.
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Old 28-08-2013, 14:27   #30
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Re: TD Power Marine, Chinese Marine Diesel Engine

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Wow!! if the kinked hose is standar, better for you if you claim money back or a replacement engine ,seems to me you are the only one with this problem , i dont see any report in the net about this kinked hose problem, ohh man im sorry for you, is so lame to get 0 response from the dealer , and legal stuff can be a waste of time , no idea..
Send some serious claim to Ms. Zhen-li Zhou and skip the suckers at the customer service if there is any...Good luck.
Thanks for the moral support!

I'd like to know with certainty more about the manufacturers installation. What really is the standard. I can't honestly see any irregularities in the way my engines are installed into the boats. I might be in the boonies in the Solomon Islands, but the job was done by a pro yard with decades of experience. The engine rooms are spacious and very well ventilated. I mean there is nothing in the engine room environment that I can see might have created some anomaly.

Before I go in accusing though, just want to be sure I'm clear.

Who is Ms. Zhen-li Zhou? Do you have experience with this manufacturer?
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