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Old 07-29-2019, 09:54 AM   #1
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Deere and "Right to Repair"

From everything I have heard and read Deere makes a great marine engine. On the other hand Deere is often talked about in any discussion of right to repair issues. The talk is mostly about farmers not being able to repair their tractors themselves because diagnostic and repair software is not available to them. I just retired but the last few years I spent a lot of time speccing a new vessel for Glacier Bay National Park. The contract for the boat has just been awarded and Deere engines have been chosen. At this point I don't think they are locked into one particular engine brand though, it probably could be changed. The park does all their vessel maintenance in house. They have a very good marine mechanic. The park is isolated though and a Deere technician if needed would have to be flown in. Probably all new engines are computer controlled these days and require software to diagnose some issues but some makers might be more willing to let owners use the software.
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Old 07-29-2019, 10:01 AM   #2
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You're correct. The new engines are common rail with most manufactures except a few that only make small, under 120hp, engines. Cummins would be my first choice for larger diesel engines. Most marine techs can handle them with ease. Reliability is as good or better than Deere in my opinion. They are the go to engines for a lot of fishermen in the northeast US.
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Old 07-29-2019, 11:02 AM   #3
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Cummins are really good and easy to work on. I have the common rail 5.9L 24valve in my truck, and have been able to do it all myself.
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Old 07-29-2019, 11:10 AM   #4
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I imagine marine engines are getting to be like newer car engines. You need very special diagnostic equipment and software to find out what's wrong. This equipment is very expensive, usually tens of thousands of dollars. It is available to shops that are not part of a dealer network, but most of them can't afford it. I can see a future when all the older mechanically based engines, as opposed to electronically controlled, will be worn out and gone and dealers will be the only ones around who can work on them.
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Old 07-29-2019, 11:12 AM   #5
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I have the same 5.9L Cummins on Kinship. I did run into a problem with one reputable diesel shop having some issues with their Cummins diagnostic software. It took them a bit to get it resolved. The Cummins shop tech always seemed to have a backup laptop available with the software loaded.

I think Cummins would be happy to sell the Park a software license for the diagnostic software but not sure about the expense. I imagine Deere would be the same.
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Old 07-29-2019, 11:20 AM   #6
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I imagine marine engines are getting to be like newer car engines. You need very special diagnostic equipment and software to find out what's wrong. This equipment is very expensive, usually tens of thousands of dollars. It is available to shops that are not part of a dealer network, but most of them can't afford it. I can see a future when all the older mechanically based engines, as opposed to electronically controlled, will be worn out and gone and dealers will be the only ones around who can work on them.
Ain't that the truth. For my 2017 BMW/Mini you can check the oil level with the electronic display, but not manually. There is no dipstick. And you can't add oil yourself. Only the dealer can.

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Old 07-29-2019, 11:41 AM   #7
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Ain't that the truth. For my 2017 BMW/Mini you can check the oil level with the electronic display, but not manually. There is no dipstick. And you can't add oil yourself. Only the dealer can.

Big brother rules!!!

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I donít think it is that completely. I would guess that a lot of it is that a small percentage of complete idiots ruined it for everyone by not reading the manual, using epically wrong oil spec or doing things like filling the crankcase with coolant. We have all seen the YouTube videos done by mechanics. These foolish maneuvers cost the brand in both money and perceived brand value. It doesnít surprise me at all that manufacturers are taking some of the user maintenance away to keep a strong brand. Moreover, there are becoming fewer and fewer people (perhaps generational) that even want to do things like oil changes in their cars. When they balance time v. money, it can often just make more sense to let the dealer do it. They just donít have, or were never exposed to, the satisfaction and joy of these jobs.
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Old 07-29-2019, 12:06 PM   #8
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I really dislike the dealers that do not provide overhaul and diagnostic manuals and equipment to owner, and avoid them. Volvo is another one.



There's no reason a competent mechanic can't learn most everything about maintaining their engine, including major stuff. The owner can decide if it's cost effective for him to do it, or have someone do it under his supervision.



I like to have that option for all my mechanical stuff, planes, cars, boats, and any machinery.


Some things I can do better than a shop or dealer and some I can't. With some, I'll hire a mechanic to work under my supervision and often that's way more cost effective that a dealer that has high markups and overhead. So, it depends, but I could argue to have the option.


I really like the Yanmar and Cummins for a first choice.
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Old 07-29-2019, 12:52 PM   #9
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There is 3rd party diagnostic software for some engine brands. Usually engines also used on the road. I use one for my diesel pu that cost about $300. Less than the cost of one trip to the dealer.
But for marine, I stay with 100% mechanical engines. On the ocean, especially in remote locations, you need reliability. None of the electronic engines have that kind of reliability. They may work well for years until the components and wiring age. Then they're an expensive nightmare if they don't get you killed.
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Old 07-29-2019, 02:21 PM   #10
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I have never felt a need to hack into my engine software, but for those that do, you might find this interesting.
https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/x...inian-firmware
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Old 07-29-2019, 05:42 PM   #11
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My Deere 4045 is electronically controlled and you can read most of the fault codes on the engine display. The 2 problems I've had (ECU plug issue) ( throttle position potentiometer) were diagnosed though the display, 2,000 miles from my dealer. Happily both were resolved with guidance from the dealer, over the phone, no charge. You may not be able to diagnose everything through the display and fix it over the phone, but there is certainly a lot of issues you would be able to diagnose.

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Old 07-29-2019, 06:04 PM   #12
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Thank goodness the 2010, 80 h.p. John Deere 4045 (naturally aspirated, non-electronic) serves me well. My engine mechanic loves it too.
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Old 07-29-2019, 06:05 PM   #13
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Do JD or Cummins for that matter make an engine?

As an example, our 855 Cummins is actually a Komatsu but also badged as a JD 8960
There are plenty of examples of this rebadging out there.
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Old 07-29-2019, 06:28 PM   #14
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I really doubt the 855 Cummins is a re-badged Komatsu. Cummins and Deere really do make their engines. The B3.3 is an exception, think that is Komatsu or some other Japanese mfr. Some bigger Deeres might be sourced elsewhere, but the 4045, 6068, 6081, 6091 (??) pretty sure are Deere.

The 855 has been made since like the 60's or 70's. By Cummins. Smaller cube versions of the same basic design even earlier than that.
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Old 07-29-2019, 07:01 PM   #15
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Cummins are really good and easy to work on.
+1. I have twin 210's which I consider the most bulletproof system on the boat. Many round trips to Alaska on these engines.
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Old 07-29-2019, 07:26 PM   #16
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I really doubt the 855 Cummins is a re-badged Komatsu. Cummins and Deere really do make their engines. The B3.3 is an exception, think that is Komatsu or some other Japanese mfr.
855 in the Komatsu list here as well as many others
https://dkengineparts.com/Komatsu
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Old 07-29-2019, 07:40 PM   #17
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At a boat show, I looked at one of those common rail diesel engines. There was so much stuff hanging on the block you could pour a bucket of water on the engine and not a drop would reach the bilge. No thanks. I'll stick with an engine I can work on myself and leave those common rail gold mines to the checkwriters.
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Old 07-29-2019, 07:53 PM   #18
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Manufacturers for both auto and heavy trucks are now starting to lock the independents out of their software. What they have developed is a device that plugs into the communication port and your internet connection. A trained factory technician using factory software then does the diagnostics or reflashing. This is not happening overnight but we are seeing more of this. Chrysler locked out the 2019 models. The third party vendors came up with a hack, it’s now in the courts. Expect to see more and more of this. On the other hand, with a good sat/internet connection the factory can come to you anywhere in the world.
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Old 07-29-2019, 10:20 PM   #19
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855 in the Komatsu list here as well as many others
https://dkengineparts.com/Komatsu
It might be that Cummins licensed Komatsu to make some engines. I'm a bit out of the loop there so not certain. But I am sure the 855 originated with Cummins.
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Old 07-29-2019, 11:00 PM   #20
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Cummins is happy to license their software (and sell the required interface module). The price isn't even that bad, considering the Cummins label.
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