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Old 06-09-2013, 09:05   #31
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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post

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.
I have a 4Jh4E and als had problem w/ IP that had to be a factory fault but didn't show up till after the warranty expired. Currently have a Beta and love it but not enough hours to report faults.

Fair Winds,


Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
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Old 01-01-2015, 10:34   #32
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Re: Yanmar reliability vs Beta ??

I just purchased a Cascade 42/44 highsides that has a Perkins 4-108 50HP diesel with about 2100 hours, a 1991 vintage. It has a Borg Warner velvet drive. It looks as though the engine was not well maintained (but not sure of that), and the transmission may have issues according to the surveyor because it is well rusted, no original paint - apparently a sign that the transmission was run hot because of little or no transmission fluid. Engine mounts are toast. During sea trials, the engine seemed to be running well and topped out at about 2400 RPM. There is quite a bit of oil under the engine showing signs of oil leaks but understand that Perkins engines tend to leak oil anyway. We are considering options including repowering with a Yanmar or Beta, but also thinking about rebuilding, but was told that the Perkins 4-108 was no longer supported. I am new to the Cruisers Forum and would appreciate opinions, advice, comments.

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Old 01-01-2015, 12:39   #33
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Re: Yanmar reliability vs Beta ??

Fall of 2013 I re powered our Cal 39, which had a Perkins 4-108/ Borg Warner engine package. I installed a 55h.p. Volvo D2-55/ Hurth package. Since the repower I have put 470 hours on it without doing anything except the 50 hour oil change.

The D2-55 engine is based on the Perkins 404 series industrial engine, which is found in thousands of industrial applications, as well as the Caterpillar and Northern Lights 20 kW marine gensets. The base engine is produced by Perkins in the UK, Japan, China and the U.S.

The reasons I like the engine are:
- very quiet running, more so than the Yanmar and Beta
- Low RPM.....3000 max and cruises strongly at 1800-1900
- 115 amp alternator is standard, along with serpentine belt and mechanical belt adjuster ( no more levering on the alternator)
- high capacity oil sump with 500 hour oil change interval
- service and internal parts availability from multiple sources
- easily remoted oil and fuel filter for easy maintenance
- mechanical electronic controls
- deep oil sump allows operation at 30 degrees heel to Port and Stb.

So far I'm happy with it.

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Old 01-01-2015, 12:56   #34
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Re: Yanmar reliability vs Beta ??

Hello djquade,

I bought a smaller hp Beta to replace a very old Volvo. The good comments I found here on the forum, good research and excellent support from the N.C. Beta distributor made the decision a no-brainer for me.

On the other hand, I have pals who swear by their 4-108s, and finding reasonably priced parts and service has not been an issue for them. I've included a link to a reputable company that handles every manner of 4-108 service and repair. I dealt with them in the past in behalf of a voyaging cruiser. They were terrific folks, and from the issues encountered, they demonstrated a great knowledge of 4-108s!

Perhaps they can give you some advice and maybe some leads on 4-108 resources near you.

TAD for perkins engines, perkins diesel, perkins marine, perkins parts, perkins generators, perkins service

Good luck. Roger
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Old 01-01-2015, 13:40   #35
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Re: Yanmar reliability vs Beta ??

My 4-108 is 35 years old and still running strong. My borg warner velvet drive is equally old and working fine. My advice to you would be to have a good marine mechanic look it over and render an opinion. For a few thousand i would have it fixed/cleaned/adjusted. For more than a few thousand i think i would go for a new engine/tranny. JMHO.

Parts and service are available worldwide at competitive prices.
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Old 01-01-2015, 14:11   #36
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Re: Yanmar reliability vs Beta ??

Aww.. The age old question. Lots to ponder . One hidden benefit of a new engine/ trans. Is no engine work for a long time. Lots of folk out cruising nursing the old diesel along. The peace of mind of a new engine gives me when " out there" for me is priceless. On my first boat I installed a beta marine . As far as how I chose the engine for my repower, I was new to boating then and was influenced by the beta marine ad in magazines and the number of still shiny yanamar engines laying around the boat yard. On my first boat I went with a new engine/ trans package, no problems for 8 years. The new / old boat needed a repower as well. I went with beta again but this time rebuilt the existing BW trans. I thought the install would be easier with the existing trans, it was not. The price of the beta was almost the same with a new trans or prepped for the BW.

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Old 01-01-2015, 15:04   #37
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Re: Yanmar reliability vs Beta ??

I seem to always hear people mentioning Yanmar and Beta.. Have you looked at Nanni? Uses the same base Kubota engine as Beta but different marinization components. I have been pricing them out and so far they are cheaper than both Yanmar and Beta.

The posts I can find about them (usually European forums) praise them. Maybe its something you should look into.
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Old 02-01-2015, 11:14   #38
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Re: Yanmar reliability vs Beta ??

Thank you all, it is a question to ponder for sure and not an easy decision to make. I have read lots from folks who are Perkins fans, as well as Yanmar and Beta fans but one thing comes out loud and clear, confidence in what is powering the vessel is paramount. Thank you all for your comments and advice. I'm thinking my apprach will be as recommended by onestepcsy37 and have a good marine mechanic have a look and take it step by step and let the $ be the guide as it seems that the options are all good. Thanks again!
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Old 05-01-2015, 01:31   #39
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Re: Yanmar reliability vs Beta ??

We have had perkins, volvo and yanmar's over the years and have had good and bad with all of them. When it came time to re power our current vessel that had a perkins we looked at the Beta. I did a lot of research on the Kubota and found that there were a lot of big marine engine names using the Kubota base engine. My research lead me to Nanni and they won hands down. Nanni has been doing the marine diesel marinization for over 60 years. They have a world wide dealer network the best warranty you will find anywhere. Even though I had some delays in the custom build I would use them again. Click image for larger version

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