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Old 08-08-2012, 09:02 AM   #1
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Lehman vs Volvo

What are your opinions of Volvo MD40 vs Lehman or Perkins.
Smoothness, ease of maintenance, economy, etc.?
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Old 08-08-2012, 10:58 AM   #2
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Volvos are good engines and easy to work on, however, the cost of replacement parts is triple that of Cummins or Cat, if they are availible, as Volvo does not support their older engines.
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Old 08-08-2012, 11:50 AM   #3
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The Lehman engine is still supported very well by American Diesel Corp. You can get the best troubleshooting advice and parts overnight if need be. Plus parts are pretty cheap compared to others.
Some of the older (pre 1981) Perkins are tough to get parts for, at least that was my experience in Ct.
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Old 08-08-2012, 02:04 PM   #4
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Can't go wrong with a Lehman, unless you're Marin. :-)
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Old 08-08-2012, 02:44 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ancora View Post
Volvos are good engines and easy to work on, however, the cost of replacement parts is triple that of Cummins or Cat, if they are availible, as Volvo does not support their older engines.
We have a friend who just replaced his Volvo for all the above given reasons.

We had a Perkins and could get parts any where in the world. We have a Ford Lehman now and have never had an issue getting parts, not that we have needed many and they are competitively priced.
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Old 08-08-2012, 03:21 PM   #6
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Can't go wrong with a Lehman, unless you're Marin. :-)
I'll take a Lehman over a Volvo, however. Not because Volvos are bad engines-- they're not. But because in this area, at least, support for Volvos up the coast is slim to none. And as has been noted, Volvo parts are amazingly expensive assuming they can be located to begin with.

I'm not a fan of Lehmans for technical reasons, but reliability, longevity, and ease of service are not among them.
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Old 08-08-2012, 04:10 PM   #7
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Despite high parts cost I'd still go Volvo. No question. Then Perkins and then Lehman. And if Lehman's were great AD would'nt exist but it seems the've got plenty to do. Before I left Thorne Bay I heard a Volvo run and if it wasn't 135hp I'd wish it was in my boat. Volvo's may be worth the high prices. To me even more important is how much power the engine is. Way too many boats are over powered or way over powered. At least w a repower you have a choice.
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Old 08-08-2012, 07:24 PM   #8
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Perkins Parts

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Originally Posted by jleonard View Post
The Lehman engine is still supported very well by American Diesel Corp. You can get the best troubleshooting advice and parts overnight if need be. Plus parts are pretty cheap compared to others.
Some of the older (pre 1981) Perkins are tough to get parts for, at least that was my experience in Ct.
For anyone needing Perkins parts, you may want to consider these guys. They are a Perkins dealer and have a very knowledgable sales force. Engine Power Source | Auxillary Generator and Industrial Engines
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:07 PM   #9
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Best thing about 4 cylinder Volvos is that at least one model is actually a Perkins, rebadged and painted green. BruceK
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Old 08-08-2012, 09:16 PM   #10
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For anyone needing Perkins parts, you may want to consider these guys. They are a Perkins dealer and have a very knowledgable sales force. Engine Power Source | Auxillary Generator and Industrial Engines
MY problem with parts was in the mid to late 90s. Perkins set up very strict district borders and would not let dealers ship out of territory. No exceptions even after I pleaded with Perkins north America. The New England Perkins dealers were new, and did not have engine manuals for the pre range 4 series engines, therefore they could not get my parts. IF I happened to know the pert number they could get it, but I didn't have a parts book at the time.
Perhaps things are different now but that motivated me to sell my Perkins and repower with a Cummins 6BTA (the best thing I ever did to that old Mainship by the way).
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Old 08-08-2012, 09:46 PM   #11
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Have had both 6 cyl Lehman and Perkins both are good basic engines, reliable and simple to maintain. Since they went out of production the internal components for both are easy to come by, but a few of the marinized parts are either very expensive or not available (cooling water elbows and some exhaust manifold models and risers.)

Volvo's have the same dependability rating, but are not well supported and parts are ridiculously expensive. Last year a friend had his electronic injector harness fail in June. Volvo didn't have a replacement available and the boat was down until September.

That alone would keep me from buying a Volvo.

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Old 08-09-2012, 06:49 AM   #12
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Depending on the boat ,I would prefer a marinised industrial or at least a truck engine from a large truck.

The car or farm implement marinizations mostly are sucessfull because they never are run at their rated HP, which they cant do for long.

Rated at 120 or 135 hp and operated at 2 or 4 GPH a few hours a year,they work just fine.

However if you are looking for a blue water boat a more robust engine ,

As some marinizers like Deere select might work longer.

Of course if you do get realistic with engine selection , you might find a gas engine the most suitable choice .

My simple rule of thumb is to go to the web site of the converter / builder and look for a 24/7 rating.

Many car conversions have no such rating , and to me are not suitable for a boat that may have 24/7 requirements.

The boats intended use should be taken into consideration for engine selection.
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:12 AM   #13
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Depending on the boat ,I would prefer a marinised industrial or at least a truck engine from a large truck.

The car or farm implement marinizations mostly are sucessfull because they never are run at their rated HP, which they cant do for long.

Rated at 120 or 135 hp and operated at 2 or 4 GPH a few hours a year,they work just fine.

However if you are looking for a blue water boat a more robust engine ,

As some marinizers like Deere select might work longer.

Of course if you do get realistic with engine selection , you might find a gas engine the most suitable choice .

My simple rule of thumb is to go to the web site of the converter / builder and look for a 24/7 rating.

Many car conversions have no such rating , and to me are not suitable for a boat that may have 24/7 requirements.

The boats intended use should be taken into consideration for engine selection.
I find curious why you are always pointing out the differerce between true bluewater boats and most of our "coastal cruisers" yet always recommend engines that are suitable for bluewater or commercial work when even loopers never work an engine anywhere near it's continuous duty rating...

How come?
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Old 08-09-2012, 07:28 PM   #14
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Volvo's have the same dependability rating, but are not well supported and parts are ridiculously expensive. Last year a friend had his electronic injector harness fail in June. Volvo didn't have a replacement available and the boat was down until September.

That alone would keep me from buying a Volvo.
As many times as I have heard the "I would never buy a Volvo" statement, they seem to be doing quite well.
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:05 PM   #15
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I have heard recently from a couple of people who have Volvo-powered boats about long waits up the coast for parts. Like a week or more, most of which was apparently spent by various people simply trying to find the parts.

I have never heard anyone complain about how their Volvos ran or performed.

But a couple in our boating club are getting ready to depart the PNW for a sail around the world, or at least a good portion of it. Right now their boat is having a bunch of work done to it to make it ready for this kind of sailing, and part of that includes replacing its Volvo engine with a Yanmar. The reason, I learned this past weekend, has nothing to do with the performance or reliability of the Volvo but has everything to do with the extreme diffculty of getting Volvo parts away from major centers of civilization. Apparenlty, parts can be almost impossible to get in the southwestern Pacific, for example. And when you can find them, they are staggeringly expensive. Where Yanmar parts are apparenlty available virtually everywhere and for very reasonable prices.
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:48 PM   #16
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i freind of mine has a volvo TAMD 41 and he has to wait 5 weeks for a oil cooooler, and the only one that will work has to be from a volvo,none avaiable in the country is what they told him,and the cost is 2400$ so much for having a volvo?
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Old 08-10-2012, 06:18 AM   #17
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"I find curious why you are always pointing out the differerce between true bluewater boats and most of our "coastal cruisers" yet always recommend engines that are suitable for bluewater or commercial work when even loopers never work an engine anywhere near it's continuous duty rating..."

I boat for pleasure , so repairing cheap stuff ,is not part of the retirement pleasure plan.

Many folks rightly curse the PO , previous owner for purchasing cheap crap.

As a boat can and may be used for years a suitable engine seems more realistic than what is simply the cheapest.

My preference is for a reliable engine and tranny, rebuilt used is fine with me if the engine is a marine engine.

Since my preference is for single engine a "bullet proof" engine even at higher weight is no problem.

One of the reasons I like the DD -71 series is it will usually operate , even partially broken, or mostly worn out.
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:56 AM   #18
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I agree w FF. Old stuff is great as long as it's in good condition. Frequently it's even better as it's not available anymore. Detroit Diesels are not cheap crap.

As to the Volvo's I didn't know it was that bad.
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Old 08-10-2012, 11:11 AM   #19
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............. As to the Volvo's I didn't know it was that bad.
Do you believe everything you read on the Internet?
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:11 PM   #20
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Interesting thread as I am looking for a live-a-board trawler
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