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Old 07-29-2015, 10:00 PM   #1
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Which diesel engines

Still doing my homework on my next purchase. Want a 38 to 42 Californian LRC However I am open to other makes. Looking at twins only. Most makes I have looked at have Perkins, Perkins turbo, Leman, Hino, Caterpilar 3208. Heard a little about all. Not sure if the above brands of engines would sway the purchase. They appear to have equal reputations. What say you?
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Old 07-29-2015, 11:30 PM   #2
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What say you?
In 1995 I bought a used Offshore 48 that had a pair of Perkins in it. I never had a problem with those engines and they ran like a sewing machine. Never skipped a beat.
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Old 07-30-2015, 01:05 AM   #3
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Having owned a Perkins T6354, and now Lehmans 2715e, both are good. But with Lehmans, check if the Jabsco raw water pumps are replaced with Johnsons from American Diesel, they cost $495 each.
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Old 07-30-2015, 02:07 AM   #4
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I have owned all of them except on Hino. They all performed well and my preference is the Cat 3208.
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Old 07-30-2015, 11:47 AM   #5
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How are the parts availability on these makes?
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Old 07-30-2015, 12:02 PM   #6
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Parts can be a little tough on the Volvos I have them

I have had Lehman and cat 3208 in the past both great engines
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Old 07-30-2015, 08:12 PM   #7
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You'll find the Lehmans, Perkins, Detroits and Cats are going to be easy to find parts and people to service them. I'd invest some time in learning the basics on maintaining and doing some basic tune ups. Also keep up the maintenance and run them as often as you can.
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Old 07-31-2015, 06:24 AM   #8
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Usually the longest life comes from the simplest engine.

A NA , no turbo, inter cooler etc is the lowest parts count.

If your goal is a speedy boat , you are stuck with a far more complex engine , as well as a grand fuel burn.
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Old 07-31-2015, 11:55 AM   #9
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Thanks for the input. I usually do all my engine work and maintenance. I like being able to find parts. I figured that among the name brands the engines would be similar in reliability and close in performance.
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Old 07-31-2015, 12:01 PM   #10
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VOLVO parts for older engines are hard to find as VOLVO dos not support engines that are no longer in production. If you do fid a part, it will be triple the price of Cat Cummins, etc.
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Old 07-31-2015, 01:12 PM   #11
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Keep in mind that FL120s require an oil change in the fuel pump every 50 hours. I don't think the FL135s require this. Ford Lehman owners, is this correct?
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Old 07-31-2015, 02:09 PM   #12
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If you do settle on Perkins, be sure and have an engine survey with special attention to the exhaust manifolds and elbows. For the 6-354's, NA 130's exhaust manifolds and the later "Range series" Engine with Manicoolers, they are custom built by Mesa Marine and are pricey, for the Turbo charged 160 -180's manifolds are available from Barr.

But overall a very good engine with excellent reliability!!


PS: 90% of all Californian's 34' - 42' LRC's were twin engine. I have seen one 42' LRC with no flybridge and a single engine. Also a few Californian commercial fishing boats that were singles, but they're very rare!!
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Old 07-31-2015, 02:34 PM   #13
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Keep in mind that FL120s require an oil change in the fuel pump every 50 hours. I don't think the FL135s require this. Ford Lehman owners, is this correct?
Yes it is.

The injection pump on the FL120 is self-lubed; it has its own lube oil sump. Its the nature of this kind of injection pump (called jerk injection) to gradually wear down the plungers and the walls of the bores they go up and down in. As the wear increases, more and more fuel can leak down past the plungers into the lube oil below. The lube oil only lubes the pump's drive mechanism. The plungers themselves are lubed by the fuel they are sending to the injectors which is why for this type of injection system fuel lubricity is critical.

As the fuel leaks into the lube oul it dilutes the oil and it becomes a less effective lubricant. To ensure the lube oil is always doing the proper job of lubricating the pump's drive mechanism even with a fair anount of leak down and dilution the oil change interval of 50 hours was selected.

The FL135 is also a jerk injection engine. However being a somwhat newer design than the FL120 Ford figured out how to lube the pump's drive mechanism using the engine's lube oil. So leak down still occurs and gets worse with time, but now instead of diluting a half a quart of lube oil it's diluting three gallons or so. So the engine's specified oil change interval is sufficient to deal with it.

The FL120 also has an automotive-type fuel pump that sends fuel to the injection pump. As on an automotive engine, this fuel pump is driven by the camshaft and is lubed by the engine's lube oil.
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Old 07-31-2015, 07:00 PM   #14
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I have a Perkins 4-236. Bullet proof so far, and I've given it several chances to bite me in the ass.
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Old 07-31-2015, 08:08 PM   #15
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I also have the Perkins 4-236 and like them. I did lose a main fuel injection pump last year. The engine had 2550 hours, but was 43 years old. I guess it was time. This year, prior to moving aboard and looping, I had the other injection pump overhauled for good measure. The exhaust elbow could be a concern, but replacements can be bought from American Diesel.
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Old 07-31-2015, 10:15 PM   #16
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Keep in mind that FL120s require an oil change in the fuel pump every 50 hours. I don't think the FL135s require this. Ford Lehman owners, is this correct?
FL120s appear to be high-maintenance engines.
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Old 07-31-2015, 11:27 PM   #17
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Not so much high maintenance, Mark, as more frequent maintenance than newer generation engines. One advantage is that, as naturally aspirated engines, they dont have the potentially expensive maintenance/repair/replacement costs associated with turbochargers.
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Old 08-19-2015, 10:08 PM   #18
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ok looked at 2 trawlers. both Sea Rangers, same size 38's, same layout one with twin Leman 110hp engines the other with twin Volvo Penta 156 hp engines. Things being equal which is the better engine set up?
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Old 08-19-2015, 10:14 PM   #19
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ok looked at 2 trawlers. both Sea Rangers, same size 38's, same layout one with twin Leman 110hp engines the other with twin Volvo Penta 156 hp engines. Things being equal which is the better engine set up?
I'm familiar with Ford Lehman 80, 90, 120, and 135 diesels. A Ford Lehman 110 is a new one to me unless it's a turbocharged version of one of the two four-cylinder models (80, 90 hp).
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Old 08-19-2015, 10:28 PM   #20
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Non turbo probably 120's misprint on the flyer. 1981 only 565 hours apiece on the lemans. Sounds too low. Speaking neighbor boat owners they never see the current owners on the boat.
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