I had a few private enquires so thought Iíd post an update.
The engines are going well. I sold one of my boats to a friend and heís reporting good operation. If I feared the engines were Ďlemonsí and didnít have confidence I wouldnít have sold it to him!
Iím needing to replace the gearbox Ė but there is more to that story and Iíll get to in this post.
My point or aim when I kicked off this thread was to share my user experience with these engines. With that in mind I offer now something of a summery of my experience over 2000 hours off use (1000 on each engine) over 24 months of ownership
and trial. Keep in mind, this is very subjective and my perspective and my circumstances here in the Solomon Islands are fairly unique. In short, what works for me of course doesnít for everyone and visa versa.
In summary, despite the issues chronicled in this post and considering my circumstances here in the Solomon Islands, they have proven a good choice and I would do the same again.
Even with the cost of having to fix the issues caused by the faulty breather hose installation
, the price still come out well ahead.
The engines have now done 1000 hours over the past 24 months, so relatively fairly new. However, once the teething issues solved
, they have been 100% reliable. Time will tell more as they age and work more hours.
Back up and parts
Overall, I feel that the factory dealt fairly with me. If buying
through an established agent I imagine this should be even better. Main reason though I rate highly is that parts and expendables appear to be available from sources far and wide. Now this is something very important in a remote
place like the Solomon Islands where the sourcing parts is something a quest of sometimes biblical-like scale. Working with a dealer here can backfire against you. Itís a small country so the dealerships are usually the sole avenue; in short they have an absolute monopoly with often poor service
and terribly inflated prices. It appears that there are many parts for these engines that overlap with other diesels, particularly pumping equipment
so rather ironically perhaps, I feel better supported, here in this remote
location, with the knowledge I can relatively easily get parts and expendables from Australia
and China. More so than if I were locked in with a dealership of a name engine.
The original issue with the faulty factory installed breather hose initially dented my faith and a left doubt about the overall construction of the engine. I felt pretty let down by this and BOTH engines failing before just 20 hours of use! Needless to say this caused some pretty major impact up front on my confidence. A shame, because otherwise Iíd be offering a more glowing report. That said though, with the experience Iíve learned/gained Iíd be confident purchasing
As for my problem with gearbox on one engine. Iíve concluded that more than likely has to do with the running gear than failure of the gearbox. I think that I would be unfair and quite probably just plain ignorant to point blame solely at the gear. The engines are installed in old boats that had done a huge workload before I bought them. The running gear is original and I donít know its history
but it will have worked hard. The prop shaft was pretty worn and Iíve since replaced it and added a plastic flexible coupling between the gear flange and flange on the shaft. Flexible Drive Couplings - Poly Flex Group Pty Ltd
Perhaps if I had have installed an expensive name engine, the gear on that too would have been damaged and I would have been faced with replacing a $5000 gearbox rather than the $1000 bill I now face ÖÖÖ
Lastly, works for me, but the conditions here are relatively unique and if I were in a more industrialised country with many more choices and options, perhaps I'd choose different. Im not sure. The engines were good choice for me with my circumstance and kind of boat here in the developing country. You know how these things are, there is no one solution for every application.
In short though, in my experience I think it fair to say despite a hard learning
curve, I have found the engines good value. Iíd buy em again.
Will post any more news.
Iím providing a link here to photos of the boats Iíve put the engines in and a video when I tested the engine after seizing and replacing the bearings.
TDME 385 Slideshow by pagu1 | Photobucket