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Old 10-15-2014, 07:24 PM   #21
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A friend had 1980 TAMD 40 somethings in his Phoenix. When he started up in the morning, a third of the marina disappeared in blue smoke.
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Old 10-15-2014, 09:24 PM   #22
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Cummins.

Now if you included John Deere, this informal pole might not be so lopsided.

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Old 10-16-2014, 01:46 AM   #23
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Wonder what's the opinion of Swedish boaters.
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Old 10-16-2014, 02:26 AM   #24
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And you guys think Volvo parts are expensive?
When searching for a new boat some years ago, any boat offered with Cummins or Cat had a big minus to them. They are perceived over here to come with astronomically high parts costs. Parts are also much harder to come by locally.

It seems like not even modern engine will live forever. I am close to a SAR / tow vessels operation. I have seen MAN, Yanmar, Volvo, Cummins… fail one after another. A heap of problems caused by vibration, both turbos (literally) breaking apart after 100hrs, coolers being eaten up, wear-and-tear, electronic control putting engines in low-power-mode for no apparent reason. Any problem you can’t even dream of. Most engines in the size/HP range we are using in our trawlers seems to be at end of life in this operation at 4 – 5.000 hrs
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Old 10-16-2014, 02:33 AM   #25
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Do low-intensity diesel engines, naturally aspirated, without turbos, and mechanically controlled, have longer lives?
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Old 10-16-2014, 05:23 AM   #26
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>Do low-intensity diesel engines, naturally aspirated, without turbos, and mechanically controlled, have longer lives?<

Gardner enthusiasts seems to think so, and not many folks prefer the lower rated DD for extreme service life.

1 hp from 3 cubic inches of displacement seems pretty safe for long term cruising..
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Old 10-16-2014, 05:28 AM   #27
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Do low-intensity diesel engines, naturally aspirated, without turbos, and mechanically controlled, have longer lives?
Yes.
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Old 10-16-2014, 06:05 AM   #28
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Do low-intensity diesel engines, naturally aspirated, without turbos, and mechanically controlled, have longer lives?
Good leading question.

The real answer is nobody in a commercial application would buy one without all those horsepower and improved bsfc add ons. By the sixties turbos and JWAC were standard issue on trucks, loaders, dozers and the plethora of other equipment out here seeing heavy duty work.

Today's big diesels loaded with electronics to match their turbos and after coolers are yielding much improved HP to weight, longevity and efficiency.

The cost effectiveness of the past nearly one hundred years of Diesel engine progress is stunning big (ship size) and small (auto size).

Just ask Mark why he didn't put a 40 year old Lehman in his Coot.
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Old 10-16-2014, 07:06 AM   #29
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Funny...asked this question my old boss who is the lead mechanic on a fleet of over 20 vessels ranging in smaller crewboats (up to 46 feet) to small (up to 42 feet) pusher tugs. He also had a fleet of assistance towboats in there till he sold them off.

He thought Volvos weren't any worse than the other's in his fleet that included John Deeres, Cats, and DDs (those 4 in his fleet I know of)....including parts and prices.

He has a very good relationship with a local large diesel shop who is a distributer for Volvo's, so after buying some of them for new installs, maybe he get's a better deal.

I was surprised...I wonder how many Volvo horror stories are third hand and why there are horror stories for other engines that don't get the press for some reason.
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Old 10-16-2014, 07:28 AM   #30
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Do low-intensity diesel engines, naturally aspirated, without turbos, and mechanically controlled, have longer lives?
Lowest HP for a particular series (Cummins 220 HP for the 6BT) will almost always have the best life / lowest repairs. Turbos and electronic injection have become so refined that they are generally not an issue. Secret to making a turbo last is change the oil regularly. The 6BT in my pickup has 375K miles on it and the original turbo runs like the day I bought it.

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Old 10-16-2014, 10:07 AM   #31
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Pretty much all continuous duty engines are turbo'd or turbo/aftercooled, except for little engines. The big freighter engines included, and some run insane amounts of boost. Turbo does not reduce engine life in itself.

Even modern common rail engines have some continuous duty ratings, like Cummins QSB5.9 at 230hp, QSL9 at 285hp, Cat C18 at I think 450. They are available. Half the hp and reduced rpm compared to the "fun" engines.
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Old 10-16-2014, 10:55 AM   #32
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I think it's real easy to be one of the boys and jump on the Volvo bashing bandwagon but there's more to it .....

I've heard ... that Volvo's are a very good engine. Perhaps they are and having to pay high prices for parts may be worth it to many.

Nobody that I can recall has said anything about how good the Volvo is. Everybody's just jumping on the bandwagon bashing Volvo like the're real smart and know better than to buy a Volvo ... but nobody mentions anything except the high parts cost.

I don't know if I need it yet but my Mitsu has a higher price than typical for a specific part (injector pump solenoid) but in ten years I've not had to buy any other parts so I'm not the least bit troubled by this.

We often talk about the high cost of fuel but occasionally somebody points out that fuel is just a small part of boating costs and we move on. I suspect the high Volvo parts prices are much the same and if I were in the know I'll bet I'd find that the Volvo's were a very good engine.
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Old 10-16-2014, 10:57 AM   #33
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The hottest marine engine setup for the past few years has been the IPS drive type systems, led by guess who - Volvo of course. Not everybody reads (or believes) TF Volvo 3rd party stories.

It has been proven time and again that all builders can exhibit feeble attempts at building a marine engine from an otherwise good engine.
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Old 10-16-2014, 12:36 PM   #34
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I've owned my twin Volvo powered Nova for 14 years and I can vouch that Volvo does not support legacy engines. The Volvo web page states that "Volvo no longer supports that model engine" for my TMD 40s. They are good engines but it is not fun boating with the "sword of Damocles" hanging over your head. Worst case scenario, needing a part while on a cruise, knowing none are available. That is scary stuff.
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Old 10-16-2014, 12:42 PM   #35
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Worst case scenario, needing a part while on a cruise, knowing none are available. That is scary stuff.

Craigs list , purchase a spare and pull what you need .
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Old 10-16-2014, 01:11 PM   #36
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Today's big diesels loaded with electronics to match their turbos and after coolers are yielding much improved HP to weight, longevity and efficiency.
Even some older ones, but maybe not as old as a TMD 40. Here's my anecdote:

Our Volvo KAD44P was built in 1997. It's a 24-valve straight six, turbocharged, aftercooled, and supercharged. Electronic engine controls, throttle, and shifting. 260 hp out of only 3.6 liters (219 cu in). We've put 6,032 hours on it so far, and it's ready to go for another summer on the PNW coast. It smokes very little even at startup, and runs smoothly at any RPM. At trawler speeds we get 4-4.5 nmpg.

Some parts seem pretty expensive, but nothing like the $280 impeller mentioned earlier. Mine were $70 this year. We've spent maybe $300-400 on engine parts per year (almost all consumables, for 400-500 hours of operation), except for one turbo and exhaust elbow that was replaced after 12 years and 4000+ hours. Sterndrive maintenance has been maybe $1500 every three years. The only part I've ever had trouble getting was a sterndrive trim indicator sensor.

Despite this good experience, I'd go with Cummins in a bigger boat.
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Old 10-16-2014, 03:21 PM   #37
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...I wonder how many Volvo horror stories are third hand and why there are horror stories for other engines that don't get the press for some reason.
I suspect most of them are. Bashing Volvo on boating forums seems pretty common but it's not actual Volvo owners doing the bashing. It's usually a "friend" or a "friend of a friend".

I bought my boat (year 2000) in 2008. The Volvo TAMD41P engine has about 3600 hours on it and my total parts cost (other than filters, belts and impeller) is zero so far. I understand that some parts may be expensive or hard to find but I'll cross that bridge when and if I come to it.

The engine starts instantly even in cold weather, smokes very little and purrs like a kitten.

I think it would be foolish to pass on a boat of your dreams because you read bad things about Volvo engines on the Internet. If they were that bad, builders would not install them.
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Old 10-16-2014, 03:25 PM   #38
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IMO where you are is a big factor. In northern Europe Volvo parts may be more available and wont have duty imposed. In the US Cummins would be my choice. I don't know who gas the best support in asia pacific but local support is usually important.
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Old 10-16-2014, 07:48 PM   #39
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Yeah folks, I am guilty of VOLVO bashing!! Of course I owned a VOLVO.
Couldn't give me a an IPS drive. The only thing worse than the IPS drives in my book are DUO props. Both great if your Martha Stewart and have Hinkley take your sled out post Labor day from your 8 annual hour use at your Winter Harbor , Maine "Camp" and do the open checkbook "tune up" over the winter.
I also Bash Detroit diesel 8.2's (which I also owned) in a high hour set up (read, REAL WORLD) use.
You won't hear me bad mouthing 71 series detroits, Cummins, and many other brands which I havn't owned.
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Old 10-17-2014, 03:20 AM   #40
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I'm not sure your question is relevant anymore in regards to new engines. Talking to a diesel mechanic a few days ago and he advised me that because of the new Tier ratings, you have to have higher RPM engines that require the turbo's to burn off the pollutants.
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