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Old 17-03-2018, 20:04   #1
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What about Mitzubishi?

I am going to view an Amel Santorin which was repowered with a "Midif MD 1760" engine. I looked this up and it is a Mitzubishi Diesel inboard (50hp turbocharged) distributed in France. I couldn't find any reviews or discussion about this engine online. Does anybody know anything about the reliability of small Mitzubishi marine engines? Thanks for any info.

-Paul
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Old 17-03-2018, 20:14   #2
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Re: What about Mitzubishi?

I've always remembered being told to avoid diesel engines made by companies that start with M; Mitsubishi, Mazda and Mercedes as they're nothing but problems. Sorry.
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Old 17-03-2018, 20:15   #3
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Re: What about Mitzubishi?

Where are You going to be operating the boat??
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Old 17-03-2018, 20:19   #4
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Re: What about Mitzubishi?

I had nothing but problem with my vetus (s4l2) . Parts were hard to get . I've come to
The conclusion that if your going to. Operating any where out side of norm , having something common is very important
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Old 17-03-2018, 20:36   #5
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Re: What about Mitzubishi?

Friends ran a big end bearing in their Vetus/Mitsu 3 cyl engine on their way to New Caledonia a few years back. Cause was running engine when the boat was at big heel angles (charging batteries in a gale). Whilst chasing parts from Noumea, one chap who was listed as a dealer said he had relinquished his dealership. When asked why, he said "what colour is your engine?". "Yellow, of course". "And what colour is a lemon?" he said...

True story, unnown relevance.

Jim
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Old 17-03-2018, 20:52   #6
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Re: What about Mitzubishi?

All this bad mouthing of Mitsubishi diesels and almost no facts, just little zingers. Mitsubishi makes a lot of diesels for both cars and industrial use and they are used in a number of marine diesel conversions by different manufacturers. The engine parts should be available from a Mitsubishi supply house for the engine proper. The marine conversion stuff from the converter. Maybe the conversions weren't well done but that doesn't have much to do with the actual engine itself. Get some real world opinions before making a decision whether these Mitsubishi based engines are a problem.

FWIW, Mercedes has the reputation for building some of the best diesels out there. Have owned two of the 300D Turbo powered cars and they just ran and ran and are noted for going well beyond 300,000 miles before needing a rebuild. So much for your 'M' theory.
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Old 17-03-2018, 22:03   #7
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Re: What about Mitzubishi?

Thanks for the responses so far and interest in this question. I am still hoping to hear from someone with personal experience or real data or links to same. I don't think the Vetus is comparing lemons to lemons (the Midif is blue, not yellow...;0, and French, not Dutch). The Santorin is currently lying in Martinique, so we would be beginning our cruising there, and then...who knows. We will be in Martinique next week so will try and find out more down there. I am sure parts would need to be ordered from France no matter where in the world we are. We don't plan on cruising where there are West Marines so having a common engine probably wouldn't be such a big advantage. Just need to keep plenty of spares on board, I suppose. Anyway, this is just one of a few boats we are going down there to look at so we are not wedded to it by any means. Trying to be a well-informed shopper, that's all.
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Old 17-03-2018, 22:30   #8
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Re: What about Mitzubishi?

Pretty well any diesel engine built by an established Japanese manufacturer is going to be solid and reliable and Mitsubishi is one of their well established manufacturers.

I suspect any problems you might have are more likely to be either from complete unsuitability of the engine for marine use due to some design characteristic - exceptionally shallow sump which allows the oil pump to suck air when heeled - or the design of the conversion to marine use deficient.

Since you know, or can readily ascertain, the engine model get a parts book for it and you will be able to order engine spares direct from the manufacturer or their agent. Water pumps are generally bolt-ons from Johnston or one of the other specialist pump manufacturers and the parts for them available through chandlers or engineering supply shops.

Things like alternators tend to be a similar situation widely available if you know the manufacturers designation rather than the party doing the conversion.

The parts you are likely to have problems with are those supplied by the party carrying out the marinization such as castings and hoses.
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Old 18-03-2018, 02:24   #9
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Re: What about Mitzubishi?

Yup no real world experience here, just what i've picked up on youtube sailing channels.

Regarding the Mitsubishi and the availability of parts , don't count on it .

Misubishi flags the serial number of the motor. If you go to a dealer and try to purchase they probably wont sell one with out the serial number. Too many variants and they dont want to be liable for selling you the wrong part. When they see the serial number they will tell you to go to the company whos name is on the motor.

Try getting parts from the maranizing manufactuer. You'll wait months for simple parts and gaskets and pay 3x as much, then figure the importing to where ever you are. Finally you'll have gotten enough of the mitsubishi parts numbers you can order off the internet and ebay.


When I repowered I went with a Kubota based engine, Beta gave me the Kubota parts catalog for the base block.

My point is try to stay away from more exotic brands. Yanmar , Volvo, Beta, Nani are all pretty safe bets just about any where in the world. ( or can be readily sent to any where in the world)

The other lesson i have learned is if you are going to buy a sailboat, get the motor compression tested, no matter how new or how few hours are on it. This has potential to save you thousands and potentailly months of sitting around.

Motor issues this year cost me months, and tens of thousands of dollars. It was more the lost time / use of the boat that bummed me out .

The next boat i buy the cost of a re-power is in the offer, no matter what the condition


LD
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Old 18-03-2018, 03:48   #10
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Re: What about Mitzubishi?

I have never surveyed a yacht with a Mitsubishi diesel. They must be pretty rare?
I surveyed a yacht with a two cylinder Yamaha diesel the other day. I don’t see to many of them.
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Old 18-03-2018, 09:41   #11
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Re: What about Mitzubishi?

I put approximately 5000 hours on a 30hp Vetus Mitsubishi. Did things go wrong? Occasionally, but nothing that I thought major. The only big thing was the exhaust manifold/heat exchanger corroded out on the elbow... bad design.
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Old 18-03-2018, 10:10   #12
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Re: What about Mitzubishi?

We have well over 4K hours on a Mitsubishi S4L-2 / Westerbeke 44B Four. Approx 50% of these hours are the supposedly "deadly" idling to charge/engine driven refrigeration hours. (she did a 5 year 24/7 97% of the time on-the-hook wrold cruise)The engine is in absolutely perfect working order in every way and has been extremely reliable other than for the Westerbeke made marinized parts.

I tracked down the industrial parts book for the engine, and have a distributor, but so far the only thing I have called them for, in over 10 years, was a rear main seal. It was only replaced because the Westerbeke installed Sachs damper plate was rattling more than it should.

I replaced the rear main because I was already "in-there" and it would have been foolish not to spend the $30.00..... I also replaced the glow plugs as our LiFePO4 bank cooked them with a typical 10-15 second hold time but those were a simple NGK part number for about $5.00 each... Other than that nothing Mitsubishi made on this engine has failed, broken or worn beyond spec, only Westerbeke components have failed us.

Would a Mitsu/Westerbeke be my first choice if re-powering, heck no, but if the boat is otherwise good, I would not check if off my list unless the marinizing company is a complete disaster of a company....
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Old 18-03-2018, 10:37   #13
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Re: What about Mitzubishi?

FYI, here is a link to the specific engine I was inquiring about:

Inboard engine / diesel / turbocharged / mechanical fuel injection - MD 1760 - MIDIF DIESEL

As you can see it is one of a series of diesel engines made specifically for marine applications (scroll down and you'll see that you can even get a nice little 700 hp ship's engine if you want).

As for being "rare," I am thinking perhaps they are less rare among French sailors and Amel owners than among the rest of the cruising population. Amel owners are a unique cliquish sort of bunch, and I just registered on their owners group forum and posted my question. Will see what they have to say.

-Paul
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