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Old 22-10-2012, 16:13   #31
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Re: Retirement age of a diesel engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluewaters2812 View Post
Yip, that is what reckon having read all on here. Just a question: what are all the service items that one should attend to regularly?
Clean cooling system/heat exchanger, regular oil changes, run at higher rpm now and then to get rid of carbon build up, retorqing the head/adjust valves.

"Diesels run considerably hotter than gas engines ...."
Hmmm.... surprising to me... most mine havent run very hot at all. I'm ususaly more worried about running too cold if anything. I think most modern car engines run over 200+ degrees with higher pressure cooling systems dont they?
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Old 22-10-2012, 19:59   #32
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Re: Retirement age of a diesel engine

bluewater8212 -

the perkins 4-108 is one of your country's most revered products (along with my great highland bagpipes). and if memory serves they sadly went out of production back in the 90's. but because they were so widely used outside the marine industry there will probably be parts and service available for many years to come. the boat yard i'm in right now uses a massey-ferguson farm tractor that came from the factory (canada) thirty years ago with a 4-108....
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Old 22-10-2012, 20:41   #33
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Re: Retirement age of a diesel engine

FWIW, more andcdotal evidence: On our previous boat, the BMW D-35 had over 6000 hours when we sold the boat, running fine, but had had some issues with raw water cooling over the 17 years of its life. Current boat has Nanni converted Kubota 43, about 4000 hours, runs as new, no issues. Close friends had a Bukh 3-cyl, circa 30 hp (don't remember exactly). Ran 11000 hours, was rebuilt, ran another 10000 hours, needed another rebuild and was replaced. However, the saildrive to which it is coupled has been a nightmare, with rebuilds, replacements, failures, aarrghhh!

Don''t know that this proves anything other than they last a long while if taken care of, and a fairly long while even if abused!

Cheers,'

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Old 22-10-2012, 23:14   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluewaters2812

Yip, that is what reckon having read all on here. Just a question: what are all the service items that one should attend to regularly?
It is heat, and contaminates that place undo wear and tear on any engine.

Anything you can do to lower the average temperature and max temperatures of an engine will contribute to longer engine life.

Many many many people poo ha ha the idea of engine treatments, however, there is something to the science of some of them. For every goose call on the start of hunting season, somewhere in the woods, is a real goose. I like X1R. Has awards from government and NASA. However, a super old engine, just aquired, that is running ok? I would not fix something that is not broken. Engine treatments on an old engine will always cause them to leak oil. Sometimes new equipment also. I am not putting any engine treatments in my old Yanmar. It has gotten 36 years, let it go another 36.

I have my eye on a new larger Kabota Marine, and I would treat that after the break in period. I have a race V8 motorcycle, that has been treated, and we had an occasion to strip her down to change oil pan, and add timing gears, replacing the chain. Also changed the intake. Mechanic said he has never seen a cleaner engine, ever. Zero wear, and that bike has been pushed to the limits several times. The bike broke a 500 hp dyno at 89 mph and climbing.

Engine oil change every fall. In the spring, warm it up, and change it again. Moisture collects. Get rid of the moisture. Warming up an engine well, will drive out the moisture, but sitting all winter is a long time for an engine to sit.

I like Rotella T

Change all the filters regularly

Talk nice to your engine. Several studies have shown mechanical equipment that is appreciated, lasts longer. Can't hurt.
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Old 23-10-2012, 00:37   #35
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Re: Retirement age of a diesel engine

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Originally Posted by onestepcsy37 View Post
bluewater8212 -

the perkins 4-108 is one of your country's most revered products (along with my great highland bagpipes). and if memory serves they sadly went out of production back in the 90's. but because they were so widely used outside the marine industry there will probably be parts and service available for many years to come. the boat yard i'm in right now uses a massey-ferguson farm tractor that came from the factory (canada) thirty years ago with a 4-108....
Yeah the Perkins factory in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, UK is about 10 miles away from me (not sure whether it closed with the latest economic downturn but I don't think so). Good thing you don't use bagpipes in a marina or at anchor lol.
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Old 23-10-2012, 00:39   #36
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Re: Retirement age of a diesel engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryMayo View Post
It is heat, and contaminates that place undo wear and tear on any engine.

Anything you can do to lower the average temperature and max temperatures of an engine will contribute to longer engine life.

Many many many people poo ha ha the idea of engine treatments, however, there is something to the science of some of them. For every goose call on the start of hunting season, somewhere in the woods, is a real goose. I like X1R. Has awards from government and NASA. However, a super old engine, just aquired, that is running ok? I would not fix something that is not broken. Engine treatments on an old engine will always cause them to leak oil. Sometimes new equipment also. I am not putting any engine treatments in my old Yanmar. It has gotten 36 years, let it go another 36.

I have my eye on a new larger Kabota Marine, and I would treat that after the break in period. I have a race V8 motorcycle, that has been treated, and we had an occasion to strip her down to change oil pan, and add timing gears, replacing the chain. Also changed the intake. Mechanic said he has never seen a cleaner engine, ever. Zero wear, and that bike has been pushed to the limits several times. The bike broke a 500 hp dyno at 89 mph and climbing.

Engine oil change every fall. In the spring, warm it up, and change it again. Moisture collects. Get rid of the moisture. Warming up an engine well, will drive out the moisture, but sitting all winter is a long time for an engine to sit.

I like Rotella T

Change all the filters regularly

Talk nice to your engine. Several studies have shown mechanical equipment that is appreciated, lasts longer. Can't hurt.
36 years! Now the record books are really being challenged in a couple of cases here lol. I wonder whether your bike engine is perhaps a Suzuki?
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Old 23-10-2012, 00:41   #37
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Re: Retirement age of a diesel engine

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
FWIW, more andcdotal evidence: On our previous boat, the BMW D-35 had over 6000 hours when we sold the boat, running fine, but had had some issues with raw water cooling over the 17 years of its life. Current boat has Nanni converted Kubota 43, about 4000 hours, runs as new, no issues. Close friends had a Bukh 3-cyl, circa 30 hp (don't remember exactly). Ran 11000 hours, was rebuilt, ran another 10000 hours, needed another rebuild and was replaced. However, the saildrive to which it is coupled has been a nightmare, with rebuilds, replacements, failures, aarrghhh!

Don''t know that this proves anything other than they last a long while if taken care of, and a fairly long while even if abused!

Cheers,'

Jim
Certainly does seem to be the case having read the anecdotal evidence posted here, thanks.
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Old 23-10-2012, 01:14   #38
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Re: Retirement age of a diesel engine

Bluewater,

I will say that a well-built diesel engine that is properly run & maintained will last forever. Proper maintenance means changing the oil at least every year, ensuring that you have a water separation filter in the fuel line and a fuel filter (that are emptied and changed often, respectively). While diesels don't like prolonged idling, they should be warmed up before sailing. I suggest starting it and letting it idle for 3-5 min. The same for shutdown. Let it idle and cool off for a couple of minutes.

Depending on the type and model, most diesels run best at around 2000 (check your manual). On another thread here, some are suggesting that Yanmars should be run at 80-85% of max rpm. This is wrong. Not only is the diesel usage excessive at this speed, but most Yanmars reach maximum torque at around 55-60% of max rpms. This is the correct speed for cruising. The quick way to check this is to sail the boat. When the increasing rpm's start digging the stern deeper into the water, you are stressing the engine. back off a couple of hundred revs and you now have the optimal rpm. optimal rpms will change with boat trim and load.

Make sure you winterize the engine( if you are hauling it out or not sailing in the winter) by running some oilgylcol mix through the heat exchanger. This will clean out the exchanger and coat it so you don't get salt crystallization. Engines don't like not being used. So a good idea is to try to run it at least once a week. By running, I mean getting it warm and then letting it cool properly down.

Finally, make sure you only tank clean diesel. If you are sailing where this is an issue, filter your diesel as you fill the tank (especially diesel that has sat for a long time will have a tendency to have water in it and therefore will have diesel pest.)

Good advice for preventing diesel pest is to pour a 1/2 liter carburetor alcohol in with every 100 liters of diesel you fill.

Doing the above will mean you have a clean, well-running engine and it will probably last at least as long, if not longer, than your boat

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Old 23-10-2012, 01:22   #39
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Re: Retirement age of a diesel engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluewaters2812 View Post
36 years! Now the record books are really being challenged in a couple of cases here lol.
Here's another shot at records:

Back in the late 80's we met some folks in teh Sea of Cortez that had a very old Bahamian work boat that had been "converted" as a cruising yacht. It was big, heavy and kinda rough. In it was the original diesel, built sometime in the '30s. It ran, but was getting perhaps a little tired, and while we were in company it developed a rod knock that you could hear over the pretty high ambient noise level. On a lark, they contacted the company that had built the engine some 50 years before (still in business on the Clyde in Scotland)... and they had all the parts available for a rebuild. I was stunned! And the owners decided that the rod knock wasn't all THAT bad and continued on their way. Lost track of them years ago, and often wonder if that old beast is still knocking away.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 23-10-2012, 01:48   #40
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Re: Retirement age of a diesel engine

Ones needs to be fair, and point out to the less experienced folks...that a comercial shrimp boat's engines are a "little" larger, and a little slower reving than a 3 cyl Kubota. This does make a difference. Just saying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
FWIW I just came off of a fairly ordinary 90' shirmp boat 3 hours ago. The generator engines each had in excess of 20,000 hours of runtime with no rebuild, the mains were approaching 20,000 hours. These are engines installed in a commercial fishing vessel, so the maintenance isn't exactaly stellar, but the oil is changed and the engines are run a lot.

What I have seen as the largest problem with pleasure craft installations is not being worn out from use by and large, but rather a host of insurmountable problems from lack of use.

We've got 1800 hrs on our 3 cylinder kubota engine in the boat. I've also got a stationary genset that has 4500 hours on the same model engine, it starts easily and burns no oil.
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Old 23-10-2012, 01:48   #41
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Re: Retirement age of a diesel engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
Bluewater,

I will say that a well-built diesel engine that is properly run & maintained will last forever. Proper maintenance means changing the oil at least every year, ensuring that you have a water separation filter in the fuel line and a fuel filter (that are emptied and changed often, respectively). While diesels don't like prolonged idling, they should be warmed up before sailing. I suggest starting it and letting it idle for 3-5 min. The same for shutdown. Let it idle and cool off for a couple of minutes.

Depending on the type and model, most diesels run best at around 2000 (check your manual). On another thread here, some are suggesting that Yanmars should be run at 80-85% of max rpm. This is wrong. Not only is the diesel usage excessive at this speed, but most Yanmars reach maximum torque at around 55-60% of max rpms. This is the correct speed for cruising. The quick way to check this is to sail the boat. When the increasing rpm's start digging the stern deeper into the water, you are stressing the engine. back off a couple of hundred revs and you now have the optimal rpm. optimal rpms will change with boat trim and load.

Make sure you winterize the engine( if you are hauling it out or not sailing in the winter) by running some oilgylcol mix through the heat exchanger. This will clean out the exchanger and coat it so you don't get salt crystallization. Engines don't like not being used. So a good idea is to try to run it at least once a week. By running, I mean getting it warm and then letting it cool properly down.

Finally, make sure you only tank clean diesel. If you are sailing where this is an issue, filter your diesel as you fill the tank (especially diesel that has sat for a long time will have a tendency to have water in it and therefore will have diesel pest.)

Good advice for preventing diesel pest is to pour a 1/2 liter carburetor alcohol in with every 100 liters of diesel you fill.

Doing the above will mean you have a clean, well-running engine and it will probably last at least as long, if not longer, than your boat

All very good advice which I will follow thanks. I so agree with the water/diesel filter/separator inline. A good friend had to continually pump out and sort out water contamination on almost a 2 weekly basis because he did not have an inline water separator/filter on his diesel engine on a fresh water river near us (I shudder to think of the sea environment problems). I navigated for him to cross the Solent on the UK East Coast (we did it at night because of time constraints and tides!), yikes, never again!

He was also always very reluctant to allow anything much more than idle the engine and would idle it for long periods thinking he was saving the poor old girl (I think she was a Perkins). I can only imagine the internal sufferings that engine was going through. Just glad she purred across the Solent and the few times we needed her to work hard she did so without missing a beat thank goodness.
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Old 23-10-2012, 01:49   #42
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Re: Retirement age of a diesel engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Here's another shot at records:

Back in the late 80's we met some folks in teh Sea of Cortez that had a very old Bahamian work boat that had been "converted" as a cruising yacht. It was big, heavy and kinda rough. In it was the original diesel, built sometime in the '30s. It ran, but was getting perhaps a little tired, and while we were in company it developed a rod knock that you could hear over the pretty high ambient noise level. On a lark, they contacted the company that had built the engine some 50 years before (still in business on the Clyde in Scotland)... and they had all the parts available for a rebuild. I was stunned! And the owners decided that the rod knock wasn't all THAT bad and continued on their way. Lost track of them years ago, and often wonder if that old beast is still knocking away.

Cheers,

Jim
Eish, the stories get better lol. Just glad I was not the engine.
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Old 23-10-2012, 02:47   #43
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Re: Retirement age of a diesel engine

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Originally Posted by Bluewaters2812 View Post
All very good advice which I will follow thanks. I so agree with the water/diesel filter/separator inline. A good friend had to continually pump out and sort out water contamination on almost a 2 weekly basis because he did not have an inline water separator/filter on his diesel engine on a fresh water river near us (I shudder to think of the sea environment problems). I navigated for him to cross the Solent on the UK East Coast (we did it at night because of time constraints and tides!), yikes, never again!

He was also always very reluctant to allow anything much more than idle the engine and would idle it for long periods thinking he was saving the poor old girl (I think she was a Perkins). I can only imagine the internal sufferings that engine was going through. Just glad she purred across the Solent and the few times we needed her to work hard she did so without missing a beat thank goodness.
Probably the bet advice I ever got regarding engines was from a mechanic back when I was young. I had a little VW Beetle and he said, "rev it all the way out in all the gears when accelerating, cruise at medium revs, change the oil every 5000 miles, oil filter every 10,000."

He was exactly right. dirty oil is the number one cause of engine failure.

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Old 23-10-2012, 03:14   #44
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Re: Retirement age of a diesel engine

one of my neighbours has an old timber cruiser dating from wwII with a fordson diesel, still pushes it up to 10-12 knots, so it may be 70 yrs old. Parts? well its a tractor motor so they're probably not easy to find but not impossible either.
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Old 23-10-2012, 03:21   #45
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Re: Retirement age of a diesel engine

Well, when one of these Yanmars or Kuboto's are 50 years old we will know whether they were as solid as the older diesels.
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