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Old 18-07-2008, 02:59   #1
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VW Marine Diesels - Anyone Have Experience?

Hi,

I'm wondering if anyone has any experience of the new generation of Volkswagen Marine Diesels? These are less than 7 years in the market, but look like very interesting power plants.

Any thoughts? Any first hand experiences?

Thanks
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Old 02-12-2009, 18:17   #2
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Have a friend who owns an S-2 with a deisel vw eng late 70,s vintage. He loves that eng, it is very economical , can get parts at any auto parts store (big savings) . The water pump">raw water pump is belt driven and runs about 350.00 but has found a machine shop that will put in new bearings and seals (also avaiable at auto parts stores)for 150.00.Not related to your particular eng but your parts should also be economical.
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Old 02-12-2009, 18:50   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sytaniwha View Post
Hi,

I'm wondering if anyone has any experience of the new generation of Volkswagen Marine Diesels? These are less than 7 years in the market, but look like very interesting power plants.

Any thoughts? Any first hand experiences?

Thanks
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")
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Old 02-12-2009, 21:33   #4
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Never seen one so I can't make a judgement
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Old 03-12-2009, 05:25   #5
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See also ➥ 42hp Pathfinder Marine Engine
for a discussion of the “old” V-W Diesels
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Old 03-12-2009, 06:34   #6
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[QUOTE=sytaniwha;183999]Hi,

I'm wondering if anyone has any experience of the new generation of Volkswagen Marine Diesels? These are less than 7 years in the market, but look like very interesting power plants.

Noted you were interested in late model engines and received info on old ones. Europe builds the best Diesel engines at this time, whether the marine versions are as good I could not say but suspect they would be. Just as Yanmar who build good engines get a hammering from this forum I expect the same for VW. Most cruisers are very set in their ways and seem to have a love affair with old style Perkins/Cummins type engines. They have the opposite effect with me and regard them as boat anchors. My last boat had a turbo charged Yanmar 55hp and was one of the reasons I bought the boat as most 70's boats are still fitted with those old engines. I am sure I will receive plenty of flack for my comments.
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Old 03-12-2009, 08:39   #7
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Not sure about the new VW marine versions, but time ago i own a VW Golf car, and and i made 170.000 kms in the meter with no problems in the engine at all, for me VW car engines are wonderfull engines , Germans made good engines, in the marine world
i dont know, Cheers.
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Old 20-12-2009, 10:57   #8
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I used to own a Power catamaran equipped with 2 x 165 HP VW marine diesels 5 cyl
I used the cat for 2 years and found the engines reliable, very silent, economical and easy to service The fuel consumption was much lower than originally expected
The factory support was outstanding, a freezer plate broke out after warranty was over and a mechanic drove in from Germany to fix the problem no cost.
Although these engines are derivatives of the car engines the similarity is only 40 % of parts so the marinizing was done in a extreme good way , The weight was also on the lighter side compared with rivals like Yanmar and Volvo
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Old 20-12-2009, 11:35   #9
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Why make life difficult - go for a Yanmar or Kubota based conversion (Nanni, Beta etc) and you won't have a problem. Industrial based blocks, cast iron OHV are the way to go.
If you look at the "new" Golf diesels, they are very similar to the original model - aluminium head, rubber band drive OHC, inaccessible FW pump, inaccessible oil filter. Probably same arrangement on injector pump where you need power for it to run. Remember these engines are designed to be serviced from underneath on a hoist. Trying to find service support outside Europe will not be easy, in my case we managed to convince a mechanic at a car dealership to sort mine out after hours.
The duty of an engine in a car cannot be compared with a boat - it is working much much harder in a boat due to the constant high loading. As for reliability unfortunately there have been alot of premature failures in new generation common rail turbo'd car diesels. These engines are being over stressed to squeeze out the horsepower
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Old 21-12-2009, 05:58   #10
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I had an older VW Pathfinder diesel which I just replaced this fall. Mine was almost 30 and the last few years was pretty "needy" of time and money. When running it was smooth and pretty quiet. The thing about VW engines that I found to be a PITA is that while there are thousands of VW mechanics out there, none of them work on boats. Nor did they want to.
I learned to do a lot of my own work but any time I needed a pro I had to beg. I really liked the help I got from Pathfinder Marine and the ability to get parts most anywhere but this fall I put in a Yanmar.
Cheers, David
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Old 14-04-2010, 09:25   #11
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All of the responses so far refer to the "old" pathfinder engines (or older VW) which were very popular. The new ones are exceptional - this according to a friend who replaced his older PathfinderVW motor. The new engine is about the same size and weight but has almost 20 h.p. more than the old one. Pathfinder in Montreal will take your old vw diesel in trade in for discount. More specs here: Volkswagen Marine >*SDI 50-4*<
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Old 14-04-2010, 09:54   #12
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We recently purchased a 2010 VW Golf with one of the new TDI diesels. Amazing. When riding in the car you can't tell it has a diesel engine: no diesel smell, no diesel sound. Good power and great mileage.

Based on that experience, I'd give a marine version of a TDI diesel a good look.
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Old 15-04-2010, 00:25   #13
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I have the old Pathfinder so I can't say say anything good or bad about the new ones, but I have a friend that re-powered his old Pathfinder with the new one and he likes it...it has many of the old issues resolved.

It's true about finding a knowledgeable mechanic to work on a Pathfinder, but those mechanics are out there. Changing the oil and filter is easy, along with any work from the exhaust on up. Any motor in our boat would be tough to work on from the exhaust down, because the motor by design is located below the floor boards for a better center of gravity. The starter and the fresh water pump are the hardest items to get to, but besides those two things everything else is accessible.
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Old 15-04-2010, 16:49   #14
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The new generation of VW marine diesels are probably the best engines you can get for your boat. But I also agree that getting parts for it in 3rd world cruising grounds will be much harder than for Yanmar or Perkins. But then again, FedEx is your friend.

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 15-04-2010, 17:55   #15
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The new generation of VW marine diesels are probably the best engines...
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.
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