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Old 06-07-2019, 02:19 PM   #1
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Detroit 6V53

Anyone run with these? I'd like to hear about your experiences, good bad or indifferent. I value opinions on this site. People that use their boats - enjoy them and do work on them. I am looking at a higher HP vessel that has twins. I plan on using the boat most of the time between 8-15 knots so well below WOT. Or less than 60% WOT. I typically do all my maintenance and then leave major repairs to a yard.
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Old 06-07-2019, 02:23 PM   #2
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I have a mid-eighties 6V53 single running through a dry stack exhaust; about 2500 hrs and no complaints. A bit noisy but I really don't notice much anymore.
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Old 06-07-2019, 04:49 PM   #3
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The detroits do best when they are not turbo charged. They all have superchargers, it's part of the design and they are still considered naturally aspirated, even with the blower. What is the power rating of the 6V53 you are looking at? Getting parts and finding qualified expertise is getting more difficult as the older guys retire, I'm finding there aren't that many options for qualified techs on my 671's and the guys I do find are at retirement age or already past, so they won't be available a lot longer.
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Old 06-07-2019, 04:59 PM   #4
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400hp

400HP is what they are rated at.
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Old 06-07-2019, 05:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
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400HP is what they are rated at.
That's a whole lot of power out of 318 cubic inches, they must be turbo versions. I don't have experience with turbo charged detroits. The non turbo detroits have an excellent reputation for reliability, maybe someone with turbo versions can give some account of their experiences.
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Old 06-07-2019, 06:53 PM   #6
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I had 6V53s that were rated at 216 hp. They were fine but 400 hp is a lot of power from them. It would depend on how they have been run. Mine were fine except they did leak oil and burn about a gallon per 24 hours.
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Old 06-07-2019, 07:05 PM   #7
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I had a DD6V53 natural in my last boat. It ran like a top and was very dependable but like most detroits, especially the 53's, it was noisy as all get out and did weep oil. I ran it at 1650 to keep the noise down as much as possible but you still couldn't hold a normal conversation with the engine running. Disclaimer: The boat was a 44 Chesapeake deadrise & the engine was above deck in a non-insulated engine box. The boat was built in '48 for clamming, not entertaining (when I owned it I cruised it and didn't work it), so I don't think the engine noise factor was an issue to the builder!
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Old 06-07-2019, 07:17 PM   #8
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B - There was thread on this very topic, DD 6V53's, a couple months ago. You might check the archives. Lots of info and opinions on this engine.

I had DD 8V71n's, which were deadnuts reliable but leaked oil like mad and my hearing now is history. Still, they're a marvel of engineering for the 1930's when they were designed.
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Old 06-07-2019, 09:10 PM   #9
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I did spend a lot of money on oil absorbing pads when I owned the boat with 6V53s.
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Old 06-07-2019, 11:10 PM   #10
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I ran many twin 6v53s with jet drives in patrol boats in Vietnam. The engines ran great and were reliable. I consider them to be easy to work on. Engine rebuild kits will be available for a long. time. Ebay is a good spot to find spares.
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Old 06-07-2019, 11:43 PM   #11
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And the parts are relatively cheap too.
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Old 06-08-2019, 12:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bshillam View Post
400HP is what they are rated at.
Must be a TIA model. I have seen them in a 40 Hatteras (great boat), but never got to run them in any boat.

Have you consulted boatdiesel.com?
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Old 06-08-2019, 12:39 AM   #13
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2800 rpm and 76.7 hp/liter.

2325 pounds.
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Old 06-08-2019, 01:28 AM   #14
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At 400hp that thing is definitely strung out. It will not live long if run at high power setting. If run at hull speed it should live very long, even in high hp dress. Just have to figure out whether in previous life it was dogged or not.

Rock solid base engine, but it does not like running hard at that rating.
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Old 06-08-2019, 08:15 AM   #15
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That's a sub 5k hr life expectancy at that hp. The naturals run forever, the mild turbos will still go 10k hrs. But 400hp out of a 6v53 is about as hot as they were ever built, and it will not last very long.

If you want to run it slow, you'll still need to run it up to 1800rpm or more routinely to keep the turbo healthy. 15 minutes of full cruise for every 3hrs of low boost is the rule of thumb I've always heard. However my Detroits are naturals so I can't say for certain.
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