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Old 28-08-2013, 08:37   #1
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Yanmar reliability vs Beta ??

We are very fed up with our Volvo, and are considering repower
Main options are Beta 50 HP or Yanmar 4JH5E, (53 HP)
I am well acquainted with the tech data, and see no significant difference on power, torque etc
Issues such as dimensional fit are easy enough to check
To me, key issue is reliability, (surprise!) both manufacturers claim is excellent
What is your experience?
Are the Kubota parts for the Beta engines really easy to find?
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Old 28-08-2013, 08:44   #2
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Re: Yanmar reliability vs Beta ??

I have the 4JH2E, it's never not started or run perfectly. The only things I've ever needed to do is regular maintenance, replace an oil cooler, and get the heat exchanger cleaned. Even with those sort of screwed up, it still ran fine.

From my own experience with Yanmar and what I've heard of Beta, I'd go Yanmar.
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Old 28-08-2013, 09:00   #3
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Re: Yanmar reliability vs Beta ??

Thanks for your comment
Oil coolers should not need replacing.
How many hours and years of operation have you?
Any specific negatives about Beta engines?
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Old 28-08-2013, 09:31   #4
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Repowered my previous boat with a beta, going to get the 39hp for my current boat. Had a great experience with the company and the engine never had an issue.
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Old 28-08-2013, 09:45   #5
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Re: Yanmar reliability vs Beta ??

I have one of each. A Yanmar 4jh4e and a 30 hp Beta. In five years (900 hrs) I have had repeated problems with the fuel system of the yanmar. I think I finally have it fixed but I had to replace the lift pump and have the injection pump rebuilt. Not including my own labor I have about $2800 into getting it fixed. Now it seems to run well. Too soon to tell on the Beta but with 175 hours I have had no problems. Parts for the actual engine are much cheaperfor the Beta then the Yanmaras long as you can buy them at a tractor dealership. I don't have enough hours or time on the Beta to give a strong opinion but so far so good.
One plus for the Beta is that it is very easy to service with everything on the front of the engine.
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Old 28-08-2013, 09:46   #6
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Re: Yanmar reliability vs Beta ??

We repowered with Beta. First time I've replaced an engine. Cannot say enough good stuff about the customer service coming from Stanley at Beta and the other folks in their supply chain. Have only had the motor 2 years so too soon to report on reliability but haven't had any issues.

Spares have been extremely easy to find. They actually cross reference other makers part numbers IN THE MANUAL. How cool is that?
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Old 28-08-2013, 09:50   #7
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Re: Yanmar reliability vs Beta ??

Rebel.. what have you heard of beta?

I have a Beta 62 HP 5 Cyl. It does not like to spend hours above 1900 RPM but will drive on forever at 1800 RPM. Not had the boat long, but so far I am pleased. It was installed in 2007, and nothing replaced other than oil and impellers.
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Old 28-08-2013, 10:10   #8
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Re: Yanmar reliability vs Beta ??

It's real hard to say about reliability... Yanmar has been out there a long time, there have been a lot of issues with them; turbos, and pistons come to mind... but then,,, they have a lot of engines out there too. The kubotas have a great rep, and many of the parts could be bought from a tractor dealer without the marine mark up. Whatever you choose go naturally aspirated.... usually whena turbo is added, the manufacturer is taking a lower HP engine and trying to get more HP out of it. The best engine will be the lowest HP rated engine in that block series.... JMHO
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Old 28-08-2013, 10:17   #9
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Re: Yanmar reliability vs Beta ??

Well, one way to consider the question is to check the CF files for numbers of mentions of Yanmar problems vs number of BEta (and other Kubota based marques) problems.

My very informal assessment is that the Kubotas win hands down. Of course, one has no way of determining how many examples of each are out there.

Cheers,

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Old 28-08-2013, 10:33   #10
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Re: Yanmar reliability vs Beta ??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Well, one way to consider the question is to check the CF files for numbers of mentions of Yanmar problems vs number of BEta (and other Kubota based marques) problems.

My very informal assessment is that the Kubotas win hands down. Of course, one has no way of determining how many examples of each are out there.

Cheers,

Jim
In which case, as a method of analysis, this is completely meaningless

Imagine that in your city there were 100,000 Lexuses, and one Ford Pinto. You make statistics of the number of times people mention having problems with their Lexuses, and compare this to the number of mentions of problems with Ford Pintos. Using Jim's method, the Ford Pinto "wins hands down", as out of 100,000 Lexuses (Lexi?) you will have at least 50 with problems, law of averages.

I'm joking, of course, but methodology is methodology.

I would pay more attention, myself, to the proportion of people posting who like versus dislike their Betas, and like versus dislike their Yanmars. My impression is that unhappy Beta users don't exist, versus a statistically significant number of happy Beta users. That says something, IMHO.

I also like the idea of totally simple, low stressed, naturally aspirated tractor engines, with a very good marinization done to them. And the tractor parts cross reference published! Sounds good to me; check it out.

Yanmar is also clearly a good choice; this is the biggest maker of pleasure boat engines with a vast amount of experience and competence. Unlike the case with, say, Volvo owners, you will just about never find a Yanmar owner who is disgusted and wants to change to a different type. There's more marine-specific engineering in Yanmar engines than all the others combined, I would think.

No one has mentioned Luggers? The Rolls-Royce of generators -- is the Lugger the Rolls-Royce of marine engines? I guess parts availability might be a concern.
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Old 28-08-2013, 10:36   #11
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Re: Yanmar reliability vs Beta ??

Either are great engines. Parts price differences are mostly overrated. Sure you can buy non marinized parts from a tractor dealer but that isn't what usually needs replacing- it is the marinized stuff.

But if you are going from another engine manufacturer to the Yanmar or Beta, Beta makes it easy for you to match up to your existing mountings. Stanley is good at that.

And as others have noted, everything you need to routinely service is easily accessible on the Beta.
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Old 28-08-2013, 10:58   #12
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Re: Yanmar reliability vs Beta ??

I have a Yanmar 2YM-15. I would not buy another simply because:

1.) Removing the starter is so difficult removing the heat exchanger is described as required in the shop manual. I have however, managed after grinding down the topmost part of an engine mount bolt, to do it without removing the heat exchanger. Could never do it underway however.
2.) Replacing the water pump">raw water pump belt requires removing the primary V-belt driving the fresh water pump and alternator. Then, getting the replacement belt onto the pump pulley requires removing the pump. The space between the pulley and pump bracket is too narrow to slip in the new belt, even if due to wear you are able to remove the old belt... Also a real challenge to to in a seaway with the boat being tossed around. In a dire emergency it is possible, but under any other circumstance something to be avoided - like the plague.

Of course, doing anything with the engine is difficult given the small space in which the engine resides.

Strange, no way to get rid of the > up there...
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Old 28-08-2013, 11:43   #13
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Re: Yanmar reliability vs Beta ??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
In which case, as a method of analysis, this is completely meaningless

Imagine that in your city there were 100,000 Lexuses, and one Ford Pinto. You make statistics of the number of times people mention having problems with their Lexuses, and compare this to the number of mentions of problems with Ford Pintos. Using Jim's method, the Ford Pinto "wins hands down", as out of 100,000 Lexuses (Lexi?) you will have at least 50 with problems, law of averages.

I'm joking, of course, but methodology is methodology.

I would pay more attention, myself, to the proportion of people posting who like versus dislike their Betas, and like versus dislike their Yanmars. My impression is that unhappy Beta users don't exist, versus a statistically significant number of happy Beta users. That says something, IMHO.

I also like the idea of totally simple, low stressed, naturally aspirated tractor engines, with a very good marinization done to them. And the tractor parts cross reference published! Sounds good to me; check it out.

Yanmar is also clearly a good choice; this is the biggest maker of pleasure boat engines with a vast amount of experience and competence. Unlike the case with, say, Volvo owners, you will just about never find a Yanmar owner who is disgusted and wants to change to a different type. There's more marine-specific engineering in Yanmar engines than all the others combined, I would think.

No one has mentioned Luggers? The Rolls-Royce of generators -- is the Lugger the Rolls-Royce of marine engines? I guess parts availability might be a concern.
G'Day Dockhead,

Don't believe that I suggested statistical rigour was present in my "analysis", and thanks for the lesson re Lexus automobiles... how enlightening that was!

Actually, Dockhead, it seems to me that you are saying the some of the same things that I did! There have indeed been a lot of unhappy Yanmar posts... consider the lengthy saga of Sailorchick34's rebuild of an engine with very few hours on it to name just one of recent fame. There are frequent references to Yanmar engines having parts that are very difficult to access for service -- is that the "marine specific engineering" that you were lauding? There have been a few posts relative to the high rpms required to get the rated HP from Yanmars and again this seems contraindicated for marine usage and reliability. Some Yanmar's appetite for consuming exhaust elbows has caused considerable consternation... and so on. Seems to me that in the crucible of CF opinion and experience that the reliability of Beta vs Yanmar issue is seen to trend toward the Beta being better.

And the op wasn't asking for suggestions of other, possibly better, choices. For ultimate reliability things like your Lugger, and Gardner and Caterpillar and others are truly "lifetime" engines, but have size, weight and cost issues that rule them out for many applications... perhaps that is why he isn't considering them.

Anyhow, I hope that the OP can glean some useful ideas from all of the feedback that he gets, statistically relevant or not.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 28-08-2013, 11:48   #14
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Re: Yanmar reliability vs Beta ??

Both make great engines although my Yanmar has been more trouble free than my previous Universal but the Yanmar is newer. The Betas are just Kubota tractor blocks with some marinized parts. Lots of the tractor parts are the same and much, much cheaper than Yanmar. I suspect they may also have decent world wide parts coverage too. Universal also uses Kubota so you could conceivably bolt on Universal parts.
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Old 28-08-2013, 14:46   #15
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Re: Yanmar reliability vs Beta ??

Quote:
Originally Posted by nmccubbin View Post
Thanks for your comment
Oil coolers should not need replacing.
How many hours and years of operation have you?
Any specific negatives about Beta engines?
The oil cooler only needing replacing because the heat exchanger corroded, because the previous owner used the wrong coolant (didn't use dexcool). If dexcool was used the aluminum in the heat exchanger would have been protected and the oil cooler would have been fine.

I'm not bad-mouthing Beta by any means; but their install base is a fraction of Yanmar. More people have problems with Fords than Jaguars, but there's a hell of a lot more Fords running around.
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