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Old 10-12-2015, 16:47   #1
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Replace Bukh DV20... choices...?

Ahoy there, ye old salts...

I am trying to evaluate the options available for a repower if (as seems likely) I decide not to rebuild my dear old Bukh but instead install a new, freshwater cooled engine. I'm in BC Canada, so am looking at engines readily available here.

The candidates at present are:

Beta 25
Mitsubishi (Sole MINI-29, Westerbeke, or equiv)

I eliminated the Isuzu "Suzie 23" because its mounts are too widely spaced (athwartships) and I'd have to modify the beds. Also I had a "lil suzie" in a previous boat and found it far too jumpy. All the remaining engines are physically smaller than the Bukh -- enough so fore/aft that I will probably have to replace my driveshaft. So packaging should not be a headache.

I have a leaning towards the Beta Marine just because I have seen them on the chandlery floor -- so the visual impact of all that shiny cuteness, and the very convenient placement of routine service items, left me irrationally biased in their favour. I'm trying to find more rational ways to compare apples/apples and see which engine is the best bet.

Unfortunately it's hard to find out some of the things I'd like to know. For example, I prefer cast iron for head and block. I can't find out (so far) what Mitsubishi uses. Beta proudly advertises "cast iron". Yanmar... well, there are so many models of Yanmar! some of the older ones still had cast iron blocks, but the literature doesn't mention the heads.

But in the end, it's experience in the field that really counts. The things that matter most to me are (a) reliability, (b) smooth/quiet, (c) ease of service, (d) affordable and available parts. A slightly lower RPM range would be a modest selling point, as I don't love the howl of a high-revving motor.

I have heard that Betas "eat anodes" and that their heat exchangers rot out rather quickly. I have heard that modern Yanmars don't last as long as the famous old ones. I know nothing at all about Mitsu's other than that Westerbeke (marinised Mitsu) are well-loved by a couple of people I know that have one.

So... let the opinion wars begin! if you have one of these, or are contemplating the same choice, please share your thinking!
Never too old to be messing about in boats...
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Old 10-12-2015, 18:57   #2
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Re: Replace Bukh DV20... choices...?

Although my more recent engines have been Yanmar, I sort of like the Beta range and it would be my choice these days.

They do change stuff on them (like filters and pumps and such) and each time something is changed, the new arrangement seems better. It is almost like they listen to the industry and act on feedback.

I can't quantify this impression but others may know more about it .

Have a close look where filters, belts and pumps are located and check whether they are located in a position that is accessible when installed in your boat.

For instance, my 2GM20 has a oil filter that I can get to but I saw a new 3 cylinder Yanmar the other day that has a oil filter that would be inaccessible in my boat.
All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangereous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. T.E. Lawrence
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Old 10-12-2015, 19:15   #3
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Re: Replace Bukh DV20... choices...?

Recently a Bukh was needing some help after spraying all the oil out of a mis-fitted oil filter.
I researched it for the owner and found, if memory serves, a factory re-built Bukh from the UK costing about $2500, with trade in of old motor, and about $350 for freight to Panama.

The mechanic who's people originally were responsible for the damage, persuaded him to buy a new Yanmar, at a cost of about $6k. When the modifications were done, (Exhaust on wrong side, fuel and water connections, engine mounts) the bill was nearer $8k AND, the engine mounts were modified so that the oscillation is no longer concentric with the shaft, meaning it is going to eat through Cutless bearings.

Do yourself a favor and search in England for re-manufactured Bukh DV20/24 (its upgraded) and you will be pleasantly surprised at the price for a plug in solution, with fresh water cooling.

Bukh diesels are IMHO some of the highest quality engines made, and its not a surprise that they are SOLAS approved for Lifeboat duty.

Stay with the original, thats my 2c worth.
Tight sheets to ya.
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