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Old 10-25-2013, 06:14 PM   #1
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City: Benson,AZ
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Cummins vt555

Any input to this engine. According to data sheet on Boatdiesel it is a non commercial use engine and annual usage on 300 hrs.

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Old 10-25-2013, 06:34 PM   #2
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City: Everett, Wa
Vessel Name: The 6-Pack
Vessel Model: 1983 45' CHB Europa Trawler
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Wally, yes, that is the not so affectionately named "triple nickel." We have them in our boat. If you do a search you will see lots of negatives. There are some major draw backs the most important being parts are extremely expensive and can be hard to find! Our boat has 4000 hours on bother engines and between the PO and I they have never missed a beat for the past 15 years with regular maintenance. They are 1983's and they run great for me. 270hp each can push our 45' 14-16k. I run her at 8k mostly and 1650rpm does that rather nicely.

The engines were used extensively in busses and other heavy transport but were discontinued in the early 80's and that has made parts rare...

It will depend on the maintenance of those engines!



Jeff & Michelle
The 6-Pack
1983 45' CHB Europa
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Old 10-25-2013, 07:33 PM   #3
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Vessel Model: 50' Gulf Commander
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Triple Nickels

Yes I have 555's on my boat too. Before I purchased, my research found lots of mixed feedback (ie good and bad). The point on them being old and getting hard to find parts was universal though!

What seemed to be a trend is that the bad feedback was from installations where they were being driven harder - higher rpm, turbo, express cruisers, etc. The lower stress installations had the great feedback - 20,000 hours, run forever, etc.

My conclusion (and hope!) is that my lower stress, non-turbo install is the latter. I have twins and run them at about 1900 rpm, so far below what express cruisers would. So far so good!
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:41 PM   #4
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City: Olympia
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Vessel Model: 43 Ocean Tri-cabin w/Cummins V555
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We have the v555M and just purchased the boat this summer. 215hp @3000. We had to think long and hard before we purchased this boat due to the 555. Everyone told me to stay away from the 555. But i did not listen. Some part are hard to come by. I have spent many hours looking for parts just in case i need to do serious work on them. It seems as you can get all parts needed for this engine, it may cost but dont all engines cost $$.
I would say get a seperate engine survey done and then decided on the engine. The only part that would appears hard to locate so far is the raw water pump. Jabsco does not make the pump any longer. but i have not spent the time to find a replacement the pump is big enough and looks to be built like a tank.

Granted we have not had this long but the 555 starts good does not smoke when cold. We cruise at 1700rpm
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Old 03-09-2017, 10:04 PM   #5
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I see that this post is from 2013, we just bought an OA 43 with a single triple nickel in Florida. After a good fuel polishing, it ran down the ICW at 8-9 kts 1750 rpm with out a hitch. I too did the research on line and saw all the negativity too. I then talked to a friend that is a diesel mechanic by trade. He told me the VT555 is a fine overbuilt engine who's weight to hp ratio is out of proportion because of it. It's not a high revving high performance engine, he said keeping it below 2000rpm will make it last forever...
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Old 03-09-2017, 10:35 PM   #6
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City: Brisbane
Country: Australia
Vessel Name: Insequent
Vessel Model: Ocean Alexander 50 Mk I
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You might like to take a look at this thread for some further discussion

Engine surveyor for Cummins VT555-M's in SF Bay Area?
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Old 05-30-2017, 07:06 PM   #7
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As a follow up, we just brought "Plan B" from Ensenada BC Mexico up to the Sacramento Delta, we averaged 8.4 kts and a 4.3 gph fuel burn. The triple nickel never missed a beat. We had to change fuel filters on the way up, but that's all. I'm pleased with both the economy and the performance.

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