ksamnic

How many hours on your diesel marine engine?

Recommended Posts

While looking at used 15-20 yr old sailboats I notice a large number of boat listings that report engine hours between 4000 and 5000. It doesn't seem to matter if it is Yanmar or other.

Unfortunately I don't know how many hours one should expect to put on a properly maintained marine engine before it dies (ie: needs a full rebuild or replacement), so I thought I would ask those of you who own boats ... how many hours do you have on your engine and how long do you expect it to last?

I guess I am trying to decide if I should factor engine replacement costs into a purchase of a 20 yr old boat with 4500hrs?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Way Too many variables to be specific but using an auto/truck  analogy 300000 miles @ 60 mph is 5000 hrs

...not an unusual longevity for a truck application. Marine diesels tend to rev slower and run under much more steady state conditions than their land based brethren which will increase longevity. Countering that are the extended periods sitting idle in a moist corrosive environment. 5-6000 hrs is prob ok. Look for smoke, noises, and signs that routine maint. has been done. Unlikely replacement needed more likely service work needed, fuel injectors, fuel pump. Alternator etc.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There really isn't a good rule of thumb it all depends on the specific engine and how it was maintained.  Most newer recreational and smaller diesels don't even have service by hr intervals outside of oil filters etc changes.  Alot of older engines with sleaved blocks it's possible to completely overhaul more or less forever as long as you have parts.  A good diesel mechanic should be able to give a reliable survey.

For reference a commercial boat operating 7-8 months will put about 5,000 hrs plus minus a year on it's engine-s. 

In most sailboats it's usually one end of the spectrum or the other, the boat was used as a motor boat and the auxiliary had the shit run out of it.  Or it was a battery charger and get int he dock thing that never ran loaded.

A well maintained boat with engine etc is hard to fake IE a quick once over wash before they show it.  No Harry home owner fixes, no corrosion, clean painted engine and bilge, written service records.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, ksamnic said:

While looking at used 15-20 yr old sailboats I notice a large number of boat listings that report engine hours between 4000 and 5000. It doesn't seem to matter if it is Yanmar or other.

Unfortunately I don't know how many hours one should expect to put on a properly maintained marine engine before it dies (ie: needs a full rebuild or replacement), so I thought I would ask those of you who own boats ... how many hours do you have on your engine and how long do you expect it to last?

I guess I am trying to decide if I should factor engine replacement costs into a purchase of a 20 yr old boat with 4500hrs?

My 1990 boat had about 5500 hours on the engine.

it threw a rod/lost it's main bearing( maybe both) while idling as we were prepping to take sails down.

I chose to replace rather than to rebuild for the simple fact that the marinized parts are no longer available. It's going to cost well north of $20k.

 

I've read 6-8k is easily attainable if you maintain it, run it in the right operating bands (60-85% of WOT) etc.  This one got close to that.

6,000 hours would be the equivalent of 240,000 miles if you average 40mph.....

 

 

Edit:  i've had the boat 18 months. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can't speak for boats but in heavy equipment 5,000 hours is no big deal, have run some with 10,000 and engine still in good shape, like cars it's all the other stuff that keeps breaking.  Keep in mind in those applications they are either at idle or wide open - also they tend to run for hours at a time - I would think boats that do short runs will shorten the life - much like multiple short trips in your vehicle or highway miles vs stop/go traffic.  Oil changes/service needed more often then.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the boat I work on we have a Perkins-Sabre M130C 130hp (non-turbo) that is 20 years old currently has over 13K hours on it and running great with just normal maintenance.  The same block makes something like 225 hp in the turbo non-commercial version, which I suspect doesn't have nearly the lifespan.  We've been told by a number of people familiar with these engines that we should expect to get close to 20K hours before any major rebuilds.

On the flip side, on our personal boat we've got a Perkins 4-108 with something like 5500 hours that we're pretty close to replacing - it still runs fine, but is starting to suffer some blow-by, uses oil like it's going out of style, and is getting harder to find parts for it, at least in the US.  That engine has been rebuilt once about 15 years ago, but don't know if the hours are since the rebuild or since new.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Raz'r said:

6,000 hours would be the equivalent of 240,000 miles if you average 40mph.....

The average speed out there is more like 20 MPH.

I own fast cars and drive them fast - I've probably had more speeding tickets than most people have had hot lunches yet my average speed is under 30 - in the range of 29, 29.

By that measure, 6K hours is only 120 - 150,000 miles which is nothing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

The average speed out there is more like 20 MPH.

I own fast cars and drive them fast - I've probably had more speeding tickets than most people have had hot lunches yet my average speed is under 30 - in the range of 29, 29.

By that measure, 6K hours is only 120 - 150,000 miles which is nothing.

maybe nothing, and not making excuses for diesels, but mine died just this side of 6000.  Rebuildable, yes, but not worth it given I recently had to have even a water pump pulley custom made. I was able to get an OEM waterpump, but not the pulley...

 

Depending on the manufacturer of the said 6000 hour engine, you could be fine, or you could be f'd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cannot compare road transportation engine hours to boat hours. Completely different use. Can compare to industrial engines, maybe. Boat engines are greatly derated in max power because of the tendency to run at full power for long periods. I’ve done full power for two weeks straight, 24/7, at times. Highway vehicles don’t spend much time at full power. Construction equipment tends to run at high RPMs but highly variable power output bcuz of the hydraulic systems.

For accounting purposes 5000 hours, with good maintenance, would be prudent. Unless there is also a great amount of calendar time since new.

I have 1700 hours on this one. A seven year trans-Pacific tour. Seems like new. A few rusty spots could be painted. Never peeked inside or tested anything. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...that said...a friend down the dock tells me he has 30 years and 24,000 hours on his diesel. Always at moderate power. Well maintained. Says it smokes a bit. Leaks a tiny bit of oil. Wow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Diesels on sailboats get no where near the 'normal' life expectancy of a commercial marine or over the road diesel.  They generally sit idle 6-8 months out of the year, don't always get the oil changed every year and generally are the forgotten ballast down under the stairs.  A boat that's been cruised extensively in the PNW is likely to have higher hours and also not be nearly as 'old' as an east coast boat that gets 6 weekends and 2 or 3 weeks cruise someplace each year.  A couple hundred hours a season is a lot, so 5000 hours is, as you've noted, about what a 20-25 year old boat is likely to have.   It's 'old', unless someone is an OCD engineer type and values her/his equipment.    Context, usage history carries far more weight than engine hours.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Marine engine hrs are more stress the 'on the road' hrs. A boat never coasts! All time is under load (except re-charge only running)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, longy said:

Marine engine hrs are more stress the 'on the road' hrs. A boat never coasts! All time is under load (except re-charge only running)

Plus some folks attach large alternators to their engines with high belt tension so the bearings get a little abused.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have an engine oil analysis performed.  The report will give you a good idea of the engine's health.  It's not expensive. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, longy said:

Marine engine hrs are more stress the 'on the road' hrs. A boat never coasts! All time is under load (except re-charge only running)

Not only do they never "coast", every bit of their life is spent going uphill. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not to denegrate the above but it's 100% has feathers and quacks logic. No rule of thumb fits. Get a real survey and go from there.  One of the boats I worked many years on has main engine hrs around 160,000 the other was only 140,000.  The scania  auxiliary gen's ran for 30,000 as per man rec before any service outside of filters and oil.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

160,000 hours? Wow Even slow turning medium speed diesels will need top and bottom end overhauls well before that. Running 24/7 = 8760 hours in a year. So you are talking about 18+ years if it was non stop operation. But big commercial marine diesels that are well maintained are nothing like a small 20 or 30 HP sailboat diesel.

For a small sailboat diesel, I agree that around 5000 hours problems start to creep up. Not saying it won't go for another decade (200 hrs/year x 10 years = 2000 more hours).

But I'd be leery. Lots of small diesels get used to motor in / out of a marina, then the sails get raised and the engine is shut off before it has baked the condensation out of the oil.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dealt with a guy in S.F. who called himself an obsolete marine engine specialist.

He said he had seen Perkins 4107's and 108's running water pumps in wine country that had 40,000 hours on them - only shut down for oil changes.

It's somewhat similar to cars that spend their lives doing long distances on the highway - they will rack up much higher mileages than the same car running around town. Steady state running is the key.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Zonker said:

160,000 hours? Wow Even slow turning medium speed diesels will need top and bottom end overhauls well before that. Running 24/7 = 8760 hours in a year. So you are talking about 18+ years if it was non stop operation. But big commercial marine diesels that are well maintained are nothing like a small 20 or 30 HP sailboat diesel.

For a small sailboat diesel, I agree that around 5000 hours problems start to creep up. Not saying it won't go for another decade (200 hrs/year x 10 years = 2000 more hours).

But I'd be leery. Lots of small diesels get used to motor in / out of a marina, then the sails get raised and the engine is shut off before it has baked the condensation out of the oil.

Obviously thats with many service intervals, the hrs stated are on dnv ships built 1982 and 1987 the point being that you have to assess each case individually.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Diesel engine hours on small boats don't mean shit and most of them don't have tickers anyway. I'm on my second Volvo Penta, fully re-built meaning(it was second hand but...)every single part taken apart soaked in diesel and put back together on my 1981 boat. The original lasted until 8 years ago.  Bottom line, is you don't know the use pattern of the previous owner and diesels like to run. This is what makes them healthy. I'm not a mechanic but there are certain factors in the life of an engine that spell the end of the road. 

Also, the ratings between 'continuous run' and your basic  diesel engine are two completely different animals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As mentioned above, it depends. Yanmar on my last boat had >6000hrs on it, 25 years old, still ran perfectly. Properly serviced, very little time at idle. Local dealer says it should be good for >10,000hrs if well looked after.

Only problems I ever had were electrical, increasingly frequent in recent years, due to corrosion, dumb wiring by PO, etc. Often a PITA to fix.  If I hadn't sold the boat I probably would have replaced the engine for this reason alone - it must be reliable......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This may be a jinx, but the original Universal 5424 is in my 1980 Tartan. Change the oil, keep the cooling system in good shape, change the fuel filters and they run fine. The only additives are a bio-inhibitor and a top end lubricant in the fuel. I run her at no more 23-2400 for very brief periods. Normal RPMS are down at 2000. Finally replaced  the glow plugs.  She starts up with 15-20 sec of preheat and runs fine. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The common thread here I think is "it depends." Many of the small "marine diesels" were designed and manufactured as small tractor and forklift engines, which typically run a lot of hard hours between major overhauls. The marinization bits and pieces vary a bit by brand in terms of the quality of engineering, materials, installation, longevity and over time, availability. As everyone has said, good operating and maintenance routines are critical, and unfortunately unknowable when looking at used boats, so you have to be a detective. In general, using the engine is better than not using it. How the engine "looks" is a decent place to start. Some sailors seem to hate their engine, rarely use it, let it sit filthy and rusty in a rarely visited dark and dank dungeon, full of crappy wiring, hoses, and gunk. An engine like that has a higher probability of not being used lovingly and getting necessary and timely maintenance.  There's no guarantee that a nice clean engine, in a well lit and clean engine compartment, with well thought out wiring and plumbing, was operated carefully and well maintained... but higher probability. Gee, I guess that's pretty obvious, huh? Ask to look at included spares, tools and maintenance logs. A good spares kit and tools, and an up to date maintenance log are big plusses. Beyond that a decent marine diesel mechanic can give you a good idea of engine health, using oil analysis, compression and leak down tests - running it a little hard underway, and checking temps with an infrared thermometer, and looking at exhaust smoke is a good idea.  I reread your post, and not sure the above really helps you? Current boat is 35 years old, approximately 4,500 hours (discovered hour meter was under reporting hours, it eventually died, was later replaced). I'm guessing the engine core has a decent shot at reaching 10,000 hours. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Snore said:

This may be a jinx, but the original Universal 5424 is in my 1980 Tartan. Change the oil, keep the cooling system in good shape, change the fuel filters and they run fine. The only additives are a bio-inhibitor and a top end lubricant in the fuel. I run her at no more 23-2400 for very brief periods. Normal RPMS are down at 2000. Finally replaced  the glow plugs.  She starts up with 15-20 sec of preheat and runs fine. 

I hope you're not a jinx because I have the same engine in my 1982 Tartan. I run at the same RPMs as you, but I run it for at least 30 minutes every time, to burn off any condensation. I try not to idle much and I don't use it to charge the batteries.  In warmer weather, I never need the glow plugs in fall/winter, I need 10-20. I'm sure I'm due for glow plugs.

I'm religious about oil changes, filters, clean fuel and pump impellers but for all I know, this is locking the barn after the horse has escaped. Who knows how the other 4 owners treated the engine before me?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've read that most sailboat diesels die of overheating.

In the last two years, the engine in my 30-year-old boat has started belching a bit of brown smoke on starting. Also, not starting quite as easily as before. I suspect compression is down in one of the cylinders.  The engine in my father's boat was replaced when three cruises in succession were interrupted by some sort of mechanical problem with the engine, at least one of which involved spraying oil around.

Noticing the symptoms is probably a better guide than the engine hours meter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had the brown smoke thing on my current 2GMF - it was sticky injectors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My Perkins had only 2,500hrs when it needed a rebuild. Some salt in the oil and low compression on Piston #1, probably due to the v-drive installation. It’s taken me 8 years to put another 250hrs on it.  My guess it will last until the parts run out. Haven’t had any trouble so far, but when rebuilt all the accessories were changed to standard AC Delco parts. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The parts for Perkies ain't gonna run out - I recently read that some company has picked up the flag and is producing rebuild kits - cheap too.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks people ... so I guess there is no guideline wrt # hours to go by. About getting a survey ... I plan to do this when I find a boat that I like enough to make an offer on. What I wonder is "how much can the surveyors tell about the engine"? I mean, do they do anything other that start it up and run it a bit, check the oil etc.? Do they send oil out for analysis as Ajax suggested?

I had never even heard of this 'oil analysis' stuff before so googled it a bit and found an older article here https://www.proboat.com/2013/05/reading-oil-analysis-reports/  about it. Sounds like an excellent idea - as long as the oil hasn't just been changed. It is even better I guess if the seller has log information indicating # hours since last service (which is the kind of info I like to see anyway).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, ksamnic said:

Thanks people ... so I guess there is no guideline wrt # hours to go by. About getting a survey ... I plan to do this when I find a boat that I like enough to make an offer on. What I wonder is "how much can the surveyors tell about the engine"? I mean, do they do anything other that start it up and run it a bit, check the oil etc.? Do they send oil out for analysis as Ajax suggested?

I had never even heard of this 'oil analysis' stuff before so googled it a bit and found an older article here https://www.proboat.com/2013/05/reading-oil-analysis-reports/  about it. Sounds like an excellent idea - as long as the oil hasn't just been changed. It is even better I guess if the seller has log information indicating # hours since last service (which is the kind of info I like to see anyway).

The surveyor will send in the sample assuming you ask him to. It’s a good idea. Of course, you really learn over time. I had one engine that showed elevated aluminum. But religious oil changes on the 6 month interval(I didn’t run hundreds of hours so it was more time than hours) and running the engine at recommended load rpm and it cleared up. I also made sure to run the engine up to hot at least monthly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All that said, my engine was all good; maintenance, water flow, oil analysis, fluids, etc and it still threw a rod/lost its main bearing....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ours was built in 1986 and has a Westerbeke 21 HP with 2700 hours.  The original owner was meticulous about keeping records and the other two kept that going. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just another data point here. My PO and his wife ran a skippered charter service on my boat and repowered it ~2003 with a Yanmar 4JH3-HTE. When I bought the boat in 2013, the engine had 4000 hours on it but the engine had been impeccably maintained. It started within seconds every time but would blow a bit of smoke. The service schedule called for a turbo rebuild, valve adjustment, injector inspection, etc. I did all that, including new injectors and all new rubber, and found that the turbo had seized up at some point prior to my ownership. After the service, the smoke went away and she's performed like new. Barring some catastrophic internal failure, I suspect she'll easily go another 4000 hours.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For those who haven't done them, in the US oil alaysis kits are super cheep.  Pretty much any big oil supplier can get them for you, Chevron Mobile etc. Usually larger fuel docks who service commercial boats and sell bulk oils are a good source.  Even if the oil is new a sample taken after a hard run in period will tell alot.  Water, fuel content and high metal content are all picked up.  These are all things that can hide or not show up easily in a survey.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/27/2019 at 3:40 PM, ksamnic said:

While looking at used 15-20 yr old sailboats I notice a large number of boat listings that report engine hours between 4000 and 5000. It doesn't seem to matter if it is Yanmar or other.

Unfortunately I don't know how many hours one should expect to put on a properly maintained marine engine before it dies (ie: needs a full rebuild or replacement), so I thought I would ask those of you who own boats ... how many hours do you have on your engine and how long do you expect it to last?

I guess I am trying to decide if I should factor engine replacement costs into a purchase of a 20 yr old boat with 4500hrs?

I don't actually know how many are on ours. The hour meter was broken before we bought it and replaced with a new one.

I can check the original survey and compare it to the meter to see what we've added, but I'm not on the boat.

A few thousand hours to be sure. We just had to replace the turbo and the after cooler. Cha-ching.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, B.J. Porter said:

I don't actually know how many are on ours. The hour meter was broken before we bought it and replaced with a new one.

I can check the original survey and compare it to the meter to see what we've added, but I'm not on the boat.

A few thousand hours to be sure. We just had to replace the turbo and the after cooler. Cha-ching.

Volvo? Double ca-ching...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Yanmar in my cruiser has 5500 hrs on it.  The two launches at my yacht club have similar Yanmars in them, they are at 11,000 and 18,000 hrs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Volvo MD17D.....  1986..... when I bought her at 8yo she had an hour meter that had stopped working at 5000 hours..... never have got round to fixing it.... 

How many hours in the 25 years since then ?  Dunno.... rather a lot.... fitted new liners in 2003(?).... blows a bit of smoke... burns a bit of oil...

Lovely motor.... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I remember being on a job where the owner had his personal dozer -  JD450 that was a total POS, well north of 20,000 hours. Engine ran great, if diesels are maintained they are tough to kill.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, d'ranger said:

 if diesels are maintained they are tough to kill.

The Top Gear episode where they tried (and failed) to kill the diesel Toyota pickup was a wonderful demonstration of that fact - at one point they left it on a launch ramp to be submerged by the tide. It not only got submerged but got washed away. They found it, raised it, drained the water out (no parts changing allowed) and it fired up.

It was an amazing demonstration of ruggedness.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

The Top Gear episode where they tried (and failed) to kill the diesel Toyota pickup was a wonderful demonstration of that fact - at one point they left it on a launch ramp to be submerged by the tide. It not only got submerged but got washed away. They found it, raised it, drained the water out (no parts changing allowed) and it fired up.

It was an amazing demonstration of ruggedness.

Neighbour of mine has an old one of those, 480,000 km and original engine/trans. Still running fine.

I had an old Mitsubishi. The body rusted out but the engine & trans plus running gear was still good.

Got a 1954 IH TD9 Drott tracked loader with 4 in 1 bucket waiting its turn in the workshop.....

My Bukh DV36 now has 41 hours on it. Hopefully we'll add to that later this week if the weather improves.

FKT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

more than 5,000 hours on my  4 cylinder Lehman Ford diesel on my Hinckley SW 50 when I sold it. Factory advised that it was time to replace it but it was still chugging along just fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, jhiller said:

more than 5,000 hours on my  4 cylinder Lehman Ford diesel on my Hinckley SW 50 when I sold it. Factory advised that it was time to replace it but it was still chugging along just fine.

Seriously? A perfectly good engine and they wanted you to chuck in a new one? Is that sort of like changing your underwear once a week whether you need to or not? Hopefully they were going to pick up the tab if they thought it was such a good idea?!?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/6/2019 at 4:04 AM, Fah Kiew Tu said:

Neighbour of mine has an old one of those, 480,000 km and original engine/trans. Still running fine.

I had an old Mitsubishi. The body rusted out but the engine & trans plus running gear was still good.

Got a 1954 IH TD9 Drott tracked loader with 4 in 1 bucket waiting its turn in the workshop.....

My Bukh DV36 now has 41 hours on it. Hopefully we'll add to that later this week if the weather improves.

FKT

That's how I found a replacement engine for my boat over 10 years ago. Nissan designed a 4 cylinder diesel to power water pumps and generators back in the late 60's. Chrysler marinized the engine, and it's larger 6 cylinder version in the 70's for boats under Chrysler/Nissan. My boat had the 4 cylinder installed in 1974. 

 

Fast forward to the 1980's, Nissan de-marinized essentially the same block as an option their Nissan pick up trucks. The only change was to swap the fuel injection pump, a Bosch pump that had a governor (to less than 2800 rpm), for a Bosch pump that allowed higher RPM's (not outrageously high). 

 

Fast forward again to 2008, my 1974 Chrysler/Nissan dies an early death due to a poorly installed 2nd large frame alternator(not installed by me). What do I do? Repower, rebuild, perplexing for an old boat of limited $ value and me always on a budget. 

 

5 miles from my house, I find a mechanic who in fact has an SD-22 in a 1984 Nissan PU truck. The story: Old lady in Cushing bought the PU new, drove it to Rockland a couple times a week for nearly 20 years. He (Nissan mechanic) serviced the truck. Truck body rusts out completely. He buys the hulk from the old lady with plans to use the engine which at that point had 70,000 road miles. He kept it for a few years, started it periodically, but the project to use the engine never came. Karma I guess. 

 

I believed his story (still do). He hooked up a battery, hit the glow plugs, and the diesel fired right up. Sounded strong to me. I wrote a check for 1K and he took it out of the hulk and put it in my truck. 

 

All I had to do was remove the injection pump, install my slower gov'ed injection pump (much easier than I expected), install the manifold, heat exchange, raw water pump, transmission.

 

The best part was that with a man on a small crane, me in the cabin, I had the engine in place and on the beds in half a day. I'm no great mechanic!  Compare that to starting with a new block install. 

 

Over a decade of use now, it starts in seconds even at freezing temps, uses about 1/4 a quart of oil between 100 hour changes. 

 

My 1K investment hanging. 

133726803_83SD22asdelivered._.thumb.jpg.11bc910fc8b140046242630e28360b40.jpg

Oh, so that's exactly how many hours I have on my diesel. 70,000 road miles plus 4 years in storage plus 11 seasons in a sailboat. Exactly.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, to the OP question, you'll likely find a majority of boats for sale with engines that are at least a couple decades old and many much older than that. I think this is the nature of most marine diesels. They are long lived. 20-30 years old is pretty irrelevant in the condition. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fast forward again to 2008, my 1974 Chrysler/Nissan dies an early death

:D Only 34 years - Yikes.

Don't you hate it when engines die so young?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

Fast forward again to 2008, my 1974 Chrysler/Nissan dies an early death

:D Only 34 years - Yikes.

Don't you hate it when engines die so young?

This one really was a shame as it ran well. Typical hours would have amounted to 3400, maybe. These engines go in forklifts and run much longer before rebuilt.

The symptoms were heavy black smoking, slow starting. The stern would become black and exhaust water blackened the hull at the exit. Had injectors rebuilt.

Clue: I was always aware of a slight skip, or play when I would turn the crank over manually with a bar. I'd hear some play if I moved it backward a degree or so. 

 With the old engine stripped of parts I was about to take it to the dump. On my truck I decided to see if I could loosen the nut on the crankshaft. It came off easily enough (I would find out later that should be torqued pretty tight). 

Here's the smoking gun that killed the engine: 

572158700_SD22woodruffkeyworn.jpg.7b1f611afbe6d004c791f5210141c4a9.jpg

The timing gears should have been torqued tight. The wood ruff to the gear that runs the injection pump, over maybe 20 years, rocked back and forth until it had deformed the key way on the crankshaft. An engine engineer-expert said he suspected that it was caused by the 2nd heavy frame alternator, either in it's application or on a faulty installation. 

 

That's where I was getting the heavy smoke - and the clicking feel when I manually turned the crankshaft. The injection pump was mistimed, and injecting eradically.

 

What a shame. It would have taken an entire tear down(I was told) by a shop to repair-replace the crankshaft. Worked out in the end. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, jhiller said:

more than 5,000 hours on my  4 cylinder Lehman Ford diesel on my Hinckley SW 50 when I sold it. Factory advised that it was time to replace it but it was still chugging along just fine.

~6500 on one with no problems.  I'm told these go over 10k regularly, with good maintenance and smart use.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Diesels on sailboats suck.

The most secure career in the marine industry is being a recreational marine diesel mechanic.

Diesels on commercial vessels are entirely different: the opposite in every way.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not much of a fan of cars (hate them, mostly :) ) and can't remember hardly one car engine in my past. Ok, I remember a 2 cycl. SAAB engine and a V-4 I had in a Saab Sonnet years ago. 

 

But I remember all my boat diesels (I remember outboards but none with fondness). I didn't like them all but I never disliked them either. 

 

I like this one so much that I enjoy watching it run. I even like the sound: 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Kris Cringle said:

I'm not much of a fan of cars (hate them, mostly :) ) and can't remember hardly one car engine in my past. Ok, I remember a 2 cycl. SAAB engine and a V-4 I had in a Saab Sonnet years ago. 

 

But I remember all my boat diesels (I remember outboards but none with fondness). I didn't like them all but I never disliked them either. 

 

I like this one so much that I enjoy watching it run. I even like the sound: 

 

 

Closes door - volume doesn't really change. :D  When I think in my mind "diesel" that's what I hear. I like it too....

My parents boat had the same model Perkins 4-108 as mine, so for me the sound of that clattering diesel is the sound of a memory. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, it will never be quiet. I haven't even considered installing sound proofing in this old stick built interior. Seems that would be a disaster as well as nearly impossible. It's a sailboat,... :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, these are true auxiliaries. I installed soundown, and it helps control the volume a bit, but there are so many air gaps in the bilge that let most of the sound out anyway. At the correct rpm I can vibrate every loose item in the boat. The item that is worth while is the engine blower and crank rebreather. Definitely reduces smell.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Elegua said:

Closes door - volume doesn't really change. :D  When I think in my mind "diesel" that's what I hear. I like it too....

My parents boat had the same model Perkins 4-108 as mine, so for me the sound of that clattering diesel is the sound of a memory. 

OMG!  Kris, I didn't realize you had an offset companionway.  You ARE keeping your life insurance paid up, right?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, Kris Cringle said:

I'm not much of a fan of cars (hate them, mostly :) ) and can't remember hardly one car engine in my past. Ok, I remember a 2 cycl. SAAB engine and a V-4 I had in a Saab Sonnet years ago. 

 

But I remember all my boat diesels (I remember outboards but none with fondness). I didn't like them all but I never disliked them either. 

 

I like this one so much that I enjoy watching it run. I even like the sound: 

 

 

I don't know if it's a wood (or largely wood) boat thing, but I think the Perkins 4-107 I have now has a comforting rumble. Diesels in my FG boats have to me had a more objectionable sound. Harder surfaces? 

I do remember- far too clearly- a 3 cylinder, two stroke Saab engine (Monte Carlo 850) I lived with for years.  But not fondly. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/27/2019 at 9:55 PM, vibroman said:

Way Too many variables to be specific but using an auto/truck  analogy 300000 miles @ 60 mph is 5000 hrs

...not an unusual longevity for a truck application. Marine diesels tend to rev slower and run under much more steady state conditions than their land based brethren which will increase longevity. Countering that are the extended periods sitting idle in a moist corrosive environment. 5-6000 hrs is prob ok. Look for smoke, noises, and signs that routine maint. has been done. Unlikely replacement needed more likely service work needed, fuel injectors, fuel pump. Alternator etc.

 

 

And the biggest difference of all.... no dust at sea. This is what kills engines on land the fastest.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I will say I now have an engine with 1 hour on it. So 35 years, 2 different boats, ~5000 hours was the lifespan of that engine. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now