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Old 16-04-2010, 17:40   #16
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Originally Posted by daddle View Post
I agree with Nick. Which does kinda have me choking on my words. Those are amazing engines. I want one. I have a 28 year old Pathfinder 42 still going strong...but very rusty.
What kind of boat is your Pathfinder on?
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Old 03-07-2010, 15:15   #17
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Very Very poor equipment service and support

We have one below us - and a worse decision has rarely been made by us - but firstly the good points. It is quiet - extremely (even when it runs properly) - it is very compact - it is very fuel efficient. The bad points, VW distributor sold us a planing engine for a trawler - had the dreaded water ingress and cylinders filled - NOT through the exhaust - these engines in many cases REQUIRE a siphon break in between the main water pump">raw water pump and the turbo, otherwise they (in our case) are prone to form a strong vacuum and pull water past the raw water pump dumping it into the cylinders (once the siphon effect starts.....). We were told we had a bad install (VW distributor oversaw, though at a distance) and no warranty (10 day old engine). Offered a discounted replacement - except the distributor mis-diagnosed the original ingress point - same result - same blame - distributor walked away - 2 dead engines. VW obviously are aware of this issue, but instead of rectifying the problem properly or putting warning notices on the engines - they put a small blurb in the online manual and let the installers have at it !!
We have now been waiting six months for service to the latest engine (turbo feedback issue to the computer) and are still waiting after several thousand spent in interim marina fees where the vessel is stuck.
The first 10 days our VW ran before getting hydrolocked - it ran great and we loved it. Would we buy another - does that question really require answering? Likely a John Deere or Yanmar after the dust settles.
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Old 03-07-2010, 16:38   #18
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Old 03-07-2010, 18:13   #19
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Having had my Golf diesel GTI PD 150 for over 3 years and driven it very hard, I can confirm its a fantastic engine for reliability and fuel economy and of course the performance is as a result of the mass ballance flywheel and variable vane turbo, neither of which you may have in a marinised version

I had one of the first 1600cc VW diesels brought out i the UK back in 1980 and that car set the british car manufacturers a competition they couldnt win. It didnt rust and just didnt stop, rain or shine.

I have every faith in the Germans and in diesels generally.
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Old 04-07-2010, 16:30   #20
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In my experience I would avoid companies that "get into " the marine market. Stay with long proven companies like volvo or Yanmar etc. They might not be the most advanced, but there is a store of knowledge, peolpe to service them and spare parts etc ( though expensive).

Remeber the BMW diesels. ALso just becuase a diesel is good in a car does not mena its any good at all in a marine form. ( witnes the Yanmar 24 valve issue on a block that is a reliable Nissan Patrol 3.0 block).

Dave
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Old 05-07-2010, 09:36   #21
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We seem to have generated a little additional discussion - so we'll add a few more points of our experience. Dealer network (somewhat lacking at present - 2010) outside of Europe makes these engines less than desirable at the present time.

Fed Ex is only your friend if you can reliably source the parts in the EU.

Dealers seem to be unaware of upgrades or modifications required for reliability - our "new" engine was misssing some.

The ONLY way to properly diagnose these engines is with the VW proprietary computer (not supplied) and if there are significant issues you (unless you are VERY fortunate and find a VW car dealership willing to go against VW [current posted] policy and do a partial diagnosis) WILL remain, quite literally, dead in the water (or in limp mode).

We'd consider (based upon our own experiences) anyone utilizing these for long distance or blue water work to be the wrong side of the fine line between genius and insanity, unless you have twin engines or a very good back up power source.

Irrespective, in our opinion, if one of these units is to be used on your vessel, you must, absolutely must, install a very high quality fuel polishing system as the on-engine final filter will clog due to the immensly high pressures that the fuel system creates, which we've been informed can create "mini tarballs through polymerization" - this information came to us after (clean tanks, new fuel, dual racors @ 30 & 10 micron) we averaged plugging up the on engine filter every 20 hours or so of running time.

Having said that - properly installed and set out for inshore cruising, with good local back up and service technicians on hand, if you're ready for that up to 8 hour bill just to have a belt changed (been there - done that - at 30 hours use - 6 cylinder) - they are perhaps something you might consider. The 5 cylinder (yes - we've now owned both) is by comparison VERY user friendly and easily serviced (after the problem is identified).

For offshore cruising on a single engine, the first thought is [at this time] - don't - but if you do then Racors, Fuel polishing, a VW diagnostic computer, good parts supply, and back up power are needed.

They have incredible future potential - just not there yet in our opinion.
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Old 18-07-2010, 15:47   #22
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1st hand experience

I bought an VW marine diesel december 2008 and installed it during winter 2008-2009.
I used it the whole seasson 2009 and now since june this year, but only a bit over 50 hours due to lack of time.


I threw out a mercruiser 260hp alpha 1 and repaced it with an VW 165-5 bravo 1 wich i installed in a Bayliner 2755- year 1990.
The boat weighs about 5500 pounds
I used the same propeller 16"x16" which works thus the alpha had 1.50:1 ratio ant the bravo 1 diesel has 1.65:1 and the engines also work at different WOT RPM.

Of course i lost huge on performance but i went down from fuel 2,5l/nm to diesel 1,5l/nm at 20 knot cruise. Before it made 32 knot WOT and now i only reach 24knot at WOT.

The engine is a bit louder and it vibrates some more than before. I think you could sau that the WOT noise is similar, and the VW engine almost runs at WOT at cruise ant the Mercruiser ran at 50% load at cruise.


I would strongly advise against Volvo Penta due to the horrible weight, the Penta diesel engines are not for planing boats, only for tugs and slow deplacing boats.

Between VW and Mercruiser ??? i dont know really, maybe even Yanmar.

In my boat i couldn't mount Yanmar due to the length of the engine, and in the choise between VW and Mercruiser my choise fell on VW due to a good offer where i got a really good discount on the VW engine, but i'm satisfyed with the decision.

Regards

Lars from Sweden

P.S.
Before it was a struggle to do ANYTHING in the engine conpartment, now i can jump down and sit beside the engine due to the compact and small engine, great space.
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Old 18-07-2010, 16:37   #23
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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
In my experience I would avoid companies that "get into " the marine market. Stay with long proven companies like volvo or Yanmar etc. They might not be the most advanced, but there is a store of knowledge, peolpe to service them and spare parts etc ( though expensive).

Remeber the BMW diesels. ALso just becuase a diesel is good in a car does not mena its any good at all in a marine form. ( witnes the Yanmar 24 valve issue on a block that is a reliable Nissan Patrol 3.0 block).

Dave
VW diesel engines have been around for over 30 years, so I think that's long enough for a company to develop experience.
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Old 18-07-2010, 16:48   #24
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Contradiction?

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
In my experience I would avoid companies that "get into " the marine market. Stay with long proven companies like volvo or Yanmar etc. They might not be the most advanced, but there is a store of knowledge, peolpe to service them and spare parts etc ( though expensive).
So stick with yanmar because although expensive, they know what they are doing

Quote:
Remeber the BMW diesels. ALso just becuase a diesel is good in a car does not mena its any good at all in a marine form. ( witnes the Yanmar 24 valve issue on a block that is a reliable Nissan Patrol 3.0 block).

Dave
Stay away from Yanmar, they DO NOT know what they are doing.

So which is it Dave?
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Old 18-07-2010, 16:49   #25
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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Remeber the BMW diesels. ALso just becuase a diesel is good in a car does not mena its any good at all in a marine form. ( witnes the Yanmar 24 valve issue on a block that is a reliable Nissan Patrol 3.0 block).

Dave
funny....Yanmar is using a 2L and 3L BMW for the BY series
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Old 18-10-2011, 17:46   #26
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Re: VW Marine Diesels - Anyone Have Experience?

I am interested in the new Marine VW's and have conducted quite a bit of research. Now, in 2011 with VW under Cummins, do you think some of the issues presented here have been resolved?

The VW 3.0 motors have a tremendous low end torque curve, they are hard to resist. I see some important warnings about installing these motors above the water line and the availability of high rise mixing elbow. Would this have resolved some of these issues talked about here?

And, I finally got a real quote today from Cummins on one of these. Quite a bit more than the Yanmar BY (BMW) series, but VW has some great options. Cummins has not been able to advise me on controls as of yet? The VW use a NMEA CanBus, so can I shift and throttle electronically? What do the VM controls consist of? Can anyone help?

Thanks,

LN
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Old 18-10-2011, 18:53   #27
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Re: VW Marine Diesels - Anyone Have Experience?

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Originally Posted by NoTies View Post
Poorly designed for maintenance, hard to source parts for, early ones had a major issue with exhaust & filled cylinders with water (they even made a warning in the manual but did nothing to existing engines to actually fix the problem). Getting the glow plugs out to remove the water was next to impossible for most installations. They are right next to Volvo at the bottom of my list. (Funny that, they both start with a "V")
There is a prettty negative view of Volvo diesels it seems on this forum and some other places. I have some trouble understanding it. Is it the cost of replacement parts? After recent reading of Yanmar parts cost is that view still valid? When I was running an aluminum boat company we installed quite a few Volvo diesels with Duo prop outdrives. They are big, heavy, durable......as a diesel should be in my thinking. I am unaware of ANY issues with the engines in the time I was there.
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Old 20-10-2011, 09:27   #28
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Re: VW Marine Diesels - Anyone Have Experience?

Hey LN...welcome to the forum.
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