I went through the “repair-replace” dilemma last year with another series Westerbeke. The shop cost at a diesel shop that wasn’t “marine” was $2700 to replace all gaskets, bearings, rings, and a valve job. Quotes from” marine” shops were at least two times, plus a 3 month lead time, or they just wouldn’t quote until the engine was in their shop. A suitably-sized Yanmar
was $16,000, also with a 3 month lead time. This is in the Houston
market. I handled removal
, and the engine quotes were without installation
Our previous engine was a Westerbeke 40. Westerbeke has used various designations on what I understand is the same basic block. In addition to the “40” name, they have also referred to it as “99”, and “4-107”. All of these are marinized versions of a Perkins
107 engine. Variations involved the marine gear
attached, which could be a Warner, Paragon, and possibly VZ-Hurth. There may have been other gear
I always felt that the basic block lent itself to extreme longevity. The cylinder liners and valve seats are removable, which are two of the most wear-prone parts on an engine, not excluding the crankshaft. Though Perkins
introduced the engine in the early 60’s, hundreds of thousands were built and distributed world-wide for use in anything a 40 horse diesel would be suitable for: stationary uses like pumps and compressors, construction equipment- even marine propulsion! Parts are generally available today if sourced as Perkins. Westerbeke, on the other hand, seems to be making efforts to make it difficult to buy parts- I think there may be only a couple “ stocking distributors” for Westerbeke, and they seem to be back-ordered or just out of stock on anything I need.
I would encourage re-building the Westerbeke, but I would also encourage getting the Perkins parts manual for the engine and getting parts sources lined up. Mack Boring and Mid-Atlantic Diesel are two that are on the East Coast
. Diesel Parts Direct in Baton Rouge is also a source. I am sure there are others. It will be a LOT cheaper. Besides things like engine mounts, cooling water
, fuel lines, exhaust
, controls, etc. are already in place for that engine. A conversion to a different engine is a big job. It will be lengthy and expensive.
I see no advantage in a specialized marine engine shop, unless they have a service dock
and capable crane. What makes a diesel “ marine” is the cooling
system and gear. Once its out of the boat, it’s just an engine. Almost all marine propulsion
diesels ever installed are marinized versions of general purpose engines.
I feel your pain. Good luck with what ever you decide.