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Old 07-19-2015, 06:29 PM   #1
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Northern Lights 12KVA - Diesel Motor

Does anyone know who makes the motor they use? My Onan is a Kubota, which makes a huge difference with parts prices. If I can find out who makes the motor I may save some dosh. Thanks!
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Old 07-19-2015, 06:34 PM   #2
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Think mines a Shibuara, or something along the lines of that spelling.
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Old 07-19-2015, 08:19 PM   #3
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Does anyone know who makes the motor they use? My Onan is a Kubota, which makes a huge difference with parts prices. If I can find out who makes the motor I may save some dosh. Thanks!
Lugger
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Old 07-19-2015, 09:12 PM   #4
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My NL 12KW on the previous boat was a Lugger as well.
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Old 07-19-2015, 09:16 PM   #5
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I guess mines a lugger too. But I think it's a Shibuara marinized by lugger. I'd just by the lugger parts and get it over with, but that's my thinking. Better to put same brand stuff that was in there.
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Old 07-19-2015, 09:24 PM   #6
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the good thing is they don't often need parts.
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Old 07-19-2015, 09:31 PM   #7
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the good thing is they don't often need parts.

Exactly!
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Old 07-19-2015, 09:49 PM   #8
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Lugger does not make any engines, they buy them from someone and put the marine hardware on. 12kW gennie is a Shibaura.
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Old 07-19-2015, 10:13 PM   #9
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Thanks, Ski. Live and learn.
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Old 07-19-2015, 10:26 PM   #10
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Thank you gentlemen, Shibaru/shibaura/shebang it is.
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Old 07-19-2015, 10:46 PM   #11
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My NL 12KW has a Lugger as well. The story I got is that NL buys the engines and "blue prints" them. Blue prints? (Tears them down, checks and re-machines (if necessary) all components to tight tolerances and marinizes them.) Often called the "Finest Generator" in the recreational boat market.

Now, I have no way of confirming this but so far my gen has been terrific!
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Old 07-20-2015, 12:28 AM   #12
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Blue prints them?? Ok, ask them for the blue prints.

They do not tear them down. That would be silly.

The Shibaura is a fine engine, but no better than a Kubota, Mitsubishi or Isuzu. No company is going to buy one of those and tear it down to check dimensions.

Northern Lights does a good job marinizing, and that is key. But they can't take credit for the engine. Other than buying a decent one.

Note they have no replaceable exhaust valve seats. Even old bucket-o-rocks Onans did.
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Old 07-20-2015, 06:51 AM   #13
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"Note they have no replaceable exhaust valve seats. Even old bucket-o-rocks Onans did."

Any auto machine shop should be able to find seats and machine to install them.

Back when the air police removed the lead from our gasoline , this was a common refit.
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Old 07-20-2015, 08:07 AM   #14
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Mine is also. Ford used Shibaura engines in their tractors for awhile which may be a better source for parts. Northern Lights make a great genny but they totally suck when it comes to supporting their older models.
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Old 07-20-2015, 08:39 AM   #15
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Iv'e had two of them and the thing to always keep track of is the exhaust elbow.
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Old 07-20-2015, 11:09 AM   #16
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They do not tear them down. That would be silly.
Here's a passage from Lugger's Captains Class.


Northern Lights strips most of the components from the outside of the engine, and replaces them with components that work better in a marine environment and also have a longer expected life. In other words, they toughen and marinize an engine that already began as a well-respected diesel engine. You should have seen the pile of spare parts that they ship back to John Deere for use in future John Deere engines. The reason most people haven’t heard of Lugger engines is because they’re too expensive to be practical for most applications, and now I understand why.

They do this in their propulsion engines as well as their generator engines.

Here is the article about the captains Class if any body is interested.

Lugger Captain’s Class « David’s Voyage Blog
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Old 07-20-2015, 11:41 AM   #17
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Not the same as tearing them down. They buy the industrial engines and take off things like dry exhaust manifolds and install the marine stuff. Manifolds, turbos, heat exchangers, sea water pumps, etc. That's the marinizing process.

Other companies build their engines as marine from the start, so no need to take off and recycle the industrial components.

Blueprinting involves taking the engine completely apart and matching/weighing/balancing the moving parts to tolerances tighter than the mfr's original specs. Different process.
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Old 07-20-2015, 12:21 PM   #18
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Blueprinting involves taking the engine completely apart and matching/weighing/balancing the moving parts to tolerances tighter than the mfr's original specs. Different process.
I agree and years ago I was on an Offshore 55 that was powered by twin Luggers that had gone through that exact process.
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Old 07-22-2015, 10:47 AM   #19
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I agree and years ago I was on an Offshore 55 that was powered by twin Luggers that had gone through that exact process.
Perhaps as part of a rebuild, but I'm otherwise with Ski on this one. I think whoever told you that their new engines go through such a tear down and blueprinting process was either confused about internal vs external, or was telling a salesman's tale.
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Old 07-22-2015, 11:39 AM   #20
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I spent a couple of days at the Northern Lights/Lugger factory in Seattle and would have to agree with Ski about the blue printing. The pile of parts they take off the engines is very impressive, especially when you compare them to the size,thickness and heftiness of the parts they put back on, but they are not blue printing the engines. Most of the parts used are the "best they can buy", but not all and they de-rate the engines quite a bit for long life.

A few examples of the parts that are not exactly "best of breed" would be the Jabsco raw water pumps (used because the parts are so readily available world wide) and the three Bosch automotive relays used in the start/run circuits (good relays, but also used because replacements are easily available at almost any auto parts store and they are easily swapped around - you don't need all 3 to run).

YMMV,
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