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Old 10-15-2014, 08:43 AM   #1
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Volvo vs. Cummins

I have a question for everyone out there. If you had a choice as follows:
2 boats, exactly the same, both in price and appearance.
1 boat had a Cummins
1 boat had a Volvo

That was the only difference. Which one would you buy?

Chester
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Old 10-15-2014, 08:47 AM   #2
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Volvo is OUT!
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Old 10-15-2014, 08:49 AM   #3
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I think there was another recent thread discussing the same question...

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Old 10-15-2014, 08:53 AM   #4
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Cummins without a doubt.

Parts are cheaper and Here at least more mechanics know Cummins.
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Old 10-15-2014, 09:20 AM   #5
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Cummins! Way better parts availability and support.

Volvo has punked anybody with older engines with diminishing/non existent parts availability. What parts are available are EXPENSIVE.
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Old 10-15-2014, 09:40 AM   #6
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My Volvo MD2030 is really a Perkins in disguise. My engine has been nothing but reliable and easy to work on; but I would not purchase a NEW Volvo for some of the reasons cited above.

Can you tell us the Volvo model?
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Old 10-15-2014, 09:44 AM   #7
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Old 10-15-2014, 10:12 AM   #8
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Cummins! Way better parts availability and support.

Volvo has punked anybody with older engines with diminishing/non existent parts availability. What parts are available are EXPENSIVE.
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Old 10-15-2014, 10:19 AM   #9
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It does depend on what model when it comes to Volvo, I find their larger more commercial versions are very good, but as others have said parts and service area's are not in the same ball park as Cummin's.
Like:
Cummins 6B (mechanical)
Volvo 63
Dislike:
Cummins 4B
Volvo 41
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Old 10-15-2014, 11:10 AM   #10
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Cummins hands down as Volvo has the worst customer service in the industry. If you need parts for an engine that Volvo no longer produces you are SOL. If you luck out and find the part, you will pay triple the price of Cummins or Cat.
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Old 10-15-2014, 11:43 AM   #11
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Some of this comes down to age. Back in the 80's and even 70's, Volvo made lots of engines installed in trawlers, etc. Cummins at the time was making the v-block 504, 555, etc. Not the greatest engines, and not supported now, either. The B and C Cummins came out in the mid 80's, and they certainly had their share of trouble. Especially the higher hp B's. They were pretty good at sorting the problems, but it still took a while for the Cummins to get popular in the market. Meanwhile, lots of Volvos were being sold.

In the mid 90's, Cummins came out with the B 370hp and we all joked that this thing was going to be an absolute firecracker. But it was not. The dang thing held up, and now is the gold standard for planing type boats. Still available now as a reman, basically unchanged over nearly 20 years.

The B210 is basically unchanged from the troublesome early 250hp in the 80's, but at its lower rating, it holds up wonderfully. The market realized this and again starting in the mid 90's, it became the gold standard for trawler engines.

The point of all this is that many of the Volvos we like to complain about, and with validity, tend to be quite old.

The Cummins we are so fond of tend to be newer. The old ones were trouble and most are long gone.

I do think the Cummins has a more simple, serviceable and robust cooling system, which is the weak spot on marine diesels- all of them. And the Volvo parts prices are nuts.

So the bottom line still is the rec's go for Cummins. But Volvo did and does make some fine machines. None is perfect.
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Old 10-15-2014, 12:29 PM   #12
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Ski, quit using logic and get with the program. Everyone knows that Volvos suck! Say it out loud a few times. You'll get used to it. Time to join the team for the big win.
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Old 10-15-2014, 02:48 PM   #13
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I have a buddy with Cummins "triple nickels" the same year as my Volvos. He can still get parts for his old engines while I cannot. Don't know why, but aftermarket builders have no interest in Volvos.
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Old 10-15-2014, 02:58 PM   #14
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Ski, quit using logic and get with the program. Everyone knows that Volvos suck! Say it out loud a few times. You'll get used to it. Time to join the team for the big win.
I almost always get a concerned look whenever I mention to a knowledgeable skipper that my trawler is powered by a Volvo--I quickly explain it really is a Perkins (even has a Perkins decal) and can use M30 parts.

A tow boat captain came along side one afternoon to share some compliments about my boat. After I gave him all the details/history he quipped "you were doing fine until you said it had a Volvo!"

I've had to order parts and they were almost comically high (e.g., raw water pump and tachometer).

Nevertheless, the MD20xx Volvo diesels were good, reliable engines that can be found on many sailboats and trawlers. I do love mine and value its realiability, but it wouldn't have been my first choice!
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Old 10-15-2014, 03:10 PM   #15
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Vashon- Pretty sure your MD2030 is not only not a Volvo, it is not a Perkins either. Really a Shibaura 753. You are lucky, you can get lots of parts from tractor places.
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Old 10-15-2014, 03:22 PM   #16
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volvo

What a timely thread. I want to move up to a raised pilothouse so I always watch YW for what's new on the market that might fit the budget and other requirements. I'm sure that I am not the only one that has seen the Sea ranger 47 " ZIG ZAG" for sale. It looked pretty good on paper but I wondered if the TMD 40 motors are the reason it's been on the market for so long.
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Old 10-15-2014, 03:28 PM   #17
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A friend of mine has volvos and I agree with those here that parts are hard to find and expensive. i.e. raw water impeller-Volvo $280, Cummins $38. When search for a trawler, I immediatly rejected a boat with volvos and ended up with Cats...
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Old 10-15-2014, 03:43 PM   #18
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Vashon- Pretty sure your MD2030 is not only not a Volvo, it is not a Perkins either. Really a Shibaura 753. You are lucky, you can get lots of parts from tractor places.
You did your homework, Ski! Yes, you are most correct: Ishikawajima Shibaura Machinery from what I found on the net. I wonder if I'll find a Shibaura decal if I peel off the rest of the Volvo decal and then peel off the Perkins decal!

Common parts are far less expensive if I get them for the Perkins Perama M30. Oil filters, for example, are almost one-third the price as compared to "Volvo" brand.
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Old 10-15-2014, 03:54 PM   #19
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I have had both Volvo and Cummings, If all things on the two boats were equal it is Cummings hands down for me.
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Old 10-15-2014, 06:29 PM   #20
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You did your homework, Ski! Yes, you are most correct: Ishikawajima Shibaura Machinery from what I found on the net. I wonder if I'll find a Shibaura decal if I peel off the rest of the Volvo decal and then peel off the Perkins decal!

Common parts are far less expensive if I get them for the Perkins Perama M30. Oil filters, for example, are almost one-third the price as compared to "Volvo" brand.
My D2-75 says Shibaura right on it.
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