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Old 28-08-2013, 15:00   #16
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Re: Yanmar reliability vs Beta ??

Part of being "reliable" is being able to reliably find parts. If you are in the USA then no problem with either. If you are in the Caribbean you really want a Yanmar. I have no direct experience but have heard that in the Pacific Yanmar is even more dominant.
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Old 28-08-2013, 15:31   #17
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Re: Yanmar reliability vs Beta ??

I think you cannot go wrong with either.

As others have said unless you need an engine rebuild its likely to be the marinised parts that fail. These are only available from Beta / Yanmar. The tractor dealer will not stock these.
Yanmar have a great distribution network.

I also have some concerns if Beta go out of business, or discontinue the engine. If the same thing happened to Yanmar the sheer number of 4JH4 engines (even the turbocharged variants share a number of parts in common) would ensure that parts availability would remain reasonable for many years.

The biggest factor in favour of the Beta is that if you do have to do a rebuild the major components will be cheaper because of the Kubota base.

Faced with a similar decision a few years ago I chose the Yanmar.
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Old 28-08-2013, 15:48   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
I think you cannot go wrong with either.

As others have said unless you need an engine rebuild its likely to be the marinised parts that fail. These are only available from Beta / Yanmar. The tractor dealer will not stock these.
Yanmar have a great distribution network.

I also have some concerns if Beta go out of business, or discontinue the engine. If the same thing happen ended to Yanmar the sheer number of 4JH4 engines (even the turbocharged variants share a number of parts in common) would ensure that parts availability would remain reasonable for many years.

The biggest factor in favour of the Beta is that if you do have to do a rebuild the major components will be cheaper because of the Kubota base.

Faced with a similar decision a few years ago I chose the Yanmar.
I chose Yanmar as well. I think Beta is probably OK, but I found the price about the same and I have found parts to be reasonable. Mine starts in a fraction of a revolution. I love this engine. Have 500 hours. I find impellers and filters to be cheaper from my Yanmar dealer than the auto parts store, FWIW.
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Old 28-08-2013, 17:04   #19
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Re: Yanmar reliability vs Beta ??

I think it boils down to which one is easier to install in your particuilar installation. In Italy I had a choice of Volvo or Lombardi. I made the shipyard aware of Beta and they came in cheaper and having no need to make changes to the engine bed. I don't think that you will have a problem getting parts for the Beta anywhere in the world b/c 1) you can find tractors anywhere in the world and 2) with overnight mail you can get parts pretty quick.
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Old 28-08-2013, 17:28   #20
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Re: Yanmar reliability vs Beta ??

FWIW,

If you think that the presence of Yanmar signs in small island nations, or even big island nations means that there is a good supply of parts in stock, well, guess again!

Can't begin to tell you how many Yanmar owners I've heard bitching about parts availability once away from major yachting centers in major nations. Yanmar's practice of not allowing parts purchase from distant vendors, coupled with minimal inventory has frustrated a lot of cruisers.

Beta and the other Kubota based engines share the basic engine bits with tractors, and are pretty widely spread in the world. The heat exchangers, exhaust manifolds and other marinizing parts may not be locally available either, but they are available via internet order.

But really, if we are talking about buying a replacement engine, well, a new engine should not require all that many replacement parts for quite a few years/engine hours. Perhaps that factor is not the most important in engine selection.

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Old 28-08-2013, 18:15   #21
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Re: Yanmar reliability vs Beta ??

As I just completed a major engine overhaul on my yanmar 3gm I;ve a few comments. The yanmar has been mostly flawless, untill a piston failed at 1100 hours. Parts were relatively easy to get, but not at all available online on the west coast. It required driving two hours to the nearest yanmar dealer and spending 40 minutes ordering the list of parts I needed.

On the plus side the Yanmar prices was not that bad except for the engine mounts which I though was spendy at $150 each. Parts only took a week to arrive. Which was good as if they had to be ordered from the main warehouse in georgia it would take a week or two longer and a third shipping fee.

So I was a little annoyed that my engine needed to be rebuilt at 1100 hours. actually the bearings and cylinder walls and the good rings showed stock clearances all around. Matter of fact both the old and new rings had the same end gap clearance. I checked. Though used new rings anyway.

If I had to pay someone to rebuild the yanmar it would have been lotta dinero's. On the order of $5000 for labor. Lucky this blonde chic was sort of handy with a torque wrench.

Mind you the yanmar once again runs flawless and starts with just a touch of the starter, so happy girl. But if I had to repower, I would go Beta no question.
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Old 28-08-2013, 18:36   #22
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Re: Yanmar reliability vs Beta ??

I chose the Beta 50 a few years ago, based on my previous good experience with Kubota-based engenes, a number of reports on serious problems with Yanmars, and the fact that I would have had to increase the exhaust diameter from 2" to 3" to get a warranty from Yanmar. I put about 1800 hours on the motor before I sold the boat, and the only failure I had was the oil change pump, which was promptly Fedexed to Trinidad by Beta at no cost to me. After I sold the boat, there were some fuel problems, but they were caused by an old fuel filter, not the engine.
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Old 28-08-2013, 18:40   #23
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Re: Yanmar reliability vs Beta ??

I bought a Beta 60 for the boat we're currently building. I was impressed by the build quality and especially the very rugged, large and heavy flywheel / clutch plate assembly. Beta makes this component themselves in England and combined with the Twin Disc transmission looks to be very serviceable. Plus the built in oil change pump is nice, the raw water impeller is easy to service and the motor mounts are high quality. Stanley at Beta in NC is a most valuable resource-the man has some definite blue water miles under his keel and is a joy to work with.
Our engine sat for 18 months before we cranked it. It started and ran perfectly smoothly on the first push of the start button.
I've had several Kubota tractors over the past 20 years and they have both given excellent service, starting right up even in sub freezing weather.
I became so annoyed with Yanmar , which we had on our Caliber, due to their highly regulated "territories". I couldn't buy parts from the friendly guys at Torreson, but rather had to order from a place in Louisiana, who obviously didn't care the least about my little sailboat motor. That being said, I have no doubt that the Yanmar is a good engine, but it's the details that matter.
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Old 28-08-2013, 18:45   #24
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Re: Yanmar reliability vs Beta ??

Which? Kubota or Yanmar ? - SailNet Community

Same ? different forum. )

Same conclusions.
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Old 28-08-2013, 19:25   #25
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Re: Yanmar reliability vs Beta ??

It is often noted that the Beta is based on a Kubota industrial block. What many people do not seem to realise is many of the Yanmar marine engines are built on their own industrial blocks, eg the 3/4JH4/5 originates from Yanmar's TNE industrial series (see 3/4TNE88). Yanmar have their own range of tractors, generators, pumps etc driven by these engines and they are OEM suppliers to John Deere & others.
So if you need block related components have a hunt beyond the marine dealers
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Old 28-08-2013, 21:15   #26
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Re: Yanmar reliability vs Beta ??

Don't know if it's still the case but the small John Deere tractors were just rebranded Yanmar's. Pissed a lot of the Yanmar tractor dealers off when John Deere got exclusive rights to market the Tractors in the US. Had a local dealer here who'd busted their butt to establish the Yanmar Tractor Brand. Interestingly, that dealer became a Kubota Tractor dealer when they had the rug pulled out from under them by Yanmar.

Yanmar has been in the tractor business for longer than they've been in the marine business. Unlike most engine/tractor builders, Yanmar do their own marination of their industrial/tractor engines.

If you are going from an Atomic 4 to a diesel, Beta is probably your best choice. Unless Yanmar has changed their engine footprint, it may not fit in place of an A4 without doing major work to the engine beds. Had to do a lot of carving and grinding on the A4 beds, change to after market engine mounts and modify the stock rear 3GM30 motor mount brackets to get it close to where the A4 resided. Still about 4" farther forward than the A4. No way to get it as far back as the A4 was without carving holes in the hull.
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Old 29-08-2013, 08:22   #27
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Re: Yanmar reliability vs Beta ??

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Yanmar has been in the tractor business for longer than they've been in the marine business. Unlike most engine/tractor builders, Yanmar do their own marination of their industrial/tractor engines.
I thought Yanmar was basically the first company to produce marine diesel engines? I could be totally wrong about that, but I thought they had that claim to fame.
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Old 29-08-2013, 08:27   #28
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Re: Yanmar reliability vs Beta ??

So they say that they built the first "commercially viable" marine diesel engine in 1933 and has sold over 15,000,000 engines.

According to Beta's website, they've sold 25,000 engines (since 1987).

So Beta has sold 1/600th of Yanmar's install base, or 0.17% (rounding up).
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Old 29-08-2013, 22:46   #29
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Re: Yanmar reliability vs Beta ??

I seem to remember a long standing problem with a Yanmar engine on a boat based in the UK. Seems the problem disappeared after the IP was tested on a million dollar test machine and found to be in good shape, no problems. How long did it actually take to resolve that problem DH? How much did it cost you? Seems there was a lot of work done on the engine before the IP was pronounced good to go, and it seems that it actually has been good to go. Am I correct in that assumption?
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Old 30-08-2013, 00:21   #30
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I seem to remember a long standing problem with a Yanmar engine on a boat based in the UK. Seems the problem disappeared after the IP was tested on a million dollar test machine and found to be in good shape, no problems. How long did it actually take to resolve that problem DH? How much did it cost you? Seems there was a lot of work done on the engine before the IP was pronounced good to go, and it seems that it actually has been good to go. Am I correct in that assumption?
Yes, that was mine. Problem magically disappeared after putting injection pump back on. My Yanmar JH3HTE has not been trouble free, although it ran perfectly this year. One reason why I'm not a blind fan-boy of Yanmars (or of any other brand of anything).

But I think Yanmars are pretty good; people have occasional trouble but mostly get excellent service from them. I also have a very good opinion about Betas, although I've never owned one. Friends with them all love them; my friend who runs the Hamble River water taxi also swears by them -- he does 20k - 30k hours on them in a couple of years, then just swaps them out, no overhauls or other faffing about. Never any trouble, he says. Granted, those are easier hours than the way we use ours, letting them sit for weeks or months at a time.

After 100-odd years of mass production and continuous development, the internal combustion engine is a mature technology and almost always reliable product. Other than certain models of Volvo, I think most marine diesels are pretty good.
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