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Old 01-09-2013, 07:38 PM   #1
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Peninsular Engines - diesel - quality??

Ahoy TF diesel gurus!

Is anyone familiar with the following type/model diesel "Peninsular Engines"?

Repower I'm looking at shows 220 hrs on meter and recently completed a 500 mile journey with no hiccups. Hope to learn of the engine's durability and parts availability from a boater who's experienced this engine or heard reports from others. - Thanks, Art

Peninsular Engines

Model: 400TMR-270
Engine Type: Four Cycle
Number of Cylinders: Eight
Bore and Stroke: 4.06
x 3.82
Displacement: 400cu.in. (6.554cc)
Fuel Pump: Stanadyne-Mechanical
Brake Horsepower: 270BHP at 3600 rpm
Peak Torque: 446 ft. lbs. at 2800 rpm
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:49 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Art View Post
Ahoy TF diesel gurus!

Is anyone familiar with the following type/model diesel "Peninsular Engines"?

Repower I'm looking at shows 220 hrs on meter and recently completed a 500 mile journey with no hiccups. Hope to learn of the engine's durability and parts availability from a boater who's experienced this engine or heard reports from others. - Thanks, Art

Peninsular Engines

Model: 400TMR-270
Engine Type: Four Cycle
Number of Cylinders: Eight
Bore and Stroke: 4.06
x 3.82
Displacement: 400cu.in. (6.554cc)
Fuel Pump: Stanadyne-Mechanical
Brake Horsepower: 270BHP at 3600 rpm
Peak Torque: 446 ft. lbs. at 2800 rpm
Sounds like the GM/Detroit 6.5 liter engine designed for their pickups and lite trucks. We have two of those engines in trucks, One with a couple of hundred thousand miles on it. They have not had a good reputation in boats. I do not know of any specific cases, but even GM didn't use it but for a few years. That should tell you something.
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:59 PM   #3
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I concur with Don on this one. I was once very interested in a gorgeous 28 ft. Nauset that had the Peninsular V-8. It sure looked like a 6.5 GM to me. Not having much luck with with the engine in a truck application, I sure didn't have much confidence in a marinized version. I dearly loved the lines of that Nauset, but no thanks on the GM.
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:09 PM   #4
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Thanks Moon and Hustler - I'm calling their marine engine HQ tomorrow and will ask questions re GM. (616) 530-1298

http://www.peninsulardiesel.com/WP-PENTEST/?page_id=202
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:16 PM   #5
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Thanks Moon and Hustler - I'm calling their marine engine HQ tomorrow and will ask questions re GM. (616) 530-1298

400TMR-270 – Peninsular Engines
“AM General” purchased this base line of diesel engines from GM in 2000. Peninsular Motors marineized these engines since 1984. I spoke with Mitch at Peninsular HQ (lead parts man), he said since AM General's engine production and with proper maintenance he knows of no too soon failures as well as a fellow in CA that has 14K hrs on same model diesel who recently ordered new injectors for first time. Also said parts are readily available.

Further due diligence: I spoke with lead mechanic “Dave Williams”, at Peninsular Motors dealer “North Harbor Diesel and Yacht Service, Inc.” / 72 – 30th St. / Anacortes, WA 98221 / Howard Bean – Owner / Phone: (360) 293-5551 / Fax: (360) 293-0728 / E-mail: nharbor@fidalgo.net

Dave says: GM had completely messed up this type diesel. “AM General” did good job correcting the problems after they purchased from GM. GM’s would break down in 2000 +/- hrs, AM General's well serviced last for many thousand hours. All parts easily available from Peninsular Motors who do good job marineizing. Also mentioned many general parts still affordably available at GM dealers.

In boat I'm reviewing, engines were installed 2004. Depending on boat’s general condition when I visit her I may take this baby for a sea trial to see what I think! Will post here if a sea trial comes into play.

Must tell you that it is due to my love of truly classic vessels that I am even contemplating taking this raised deck Stephens sport fish baby under my wing (still working on Admiral’s agreement to this). Boat's a 1958 woody that has paper showing she was bottom refastened in 2001. Far as wood boats go (I worked in yards with shipwrights restoring/maintaining wood boats for years when young) Stephens is one of the best builders ever... right up there with Grebe!

Time will soon tell if I move on this at all!
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:07 PM   #6
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Good info, Art- shows that a bit of research trumps internet hearsay and the occasional "my cousin had a friend whose 2nd cousin......" stories.
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:59 PM   #7
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According to boatdiesel archives blocks made between 1996 - 1998 had a high failure rate. Assuming the blocks in question are newer than 1999 the only other issues seem to be weak glow plugs and insuring lots of room to work on them as some parts and pieces are hard to get at.

North Harbor diesel is a ways away Art, do you have a local guy who is capable and willing?
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:19 PM   #8
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Good info, Art- shows that a bit of research trumps internet hearsay and the occasional "my cousin had a friend whose 2nd cousin......" stories.
Not exactly, Pau Hana. I own two of those engines. While not in boats, I think I know the problems with them in trucks. I also delivered a boat with two in it from Orange Beach, AL to Clearwater, FL. While not a major engine failure, it did lose a turbo. The guy ultimately got rid of the boat because of problems with the engines. However, due diligence is the thing to do. I would believe Boat Diesel before the manufacturer. The problems we've had with the engines ie: oil pump and injector pump replaced under warranty were at first denied by GM. I have the paperwork to prove it. The oil pump problem was later the subject of a recall. In a boat the engine would have been trashed.
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:51 PM   #9
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Not exactly, Pau Hana. I own two of those engines. While not in boats, I think I know the problems with them in trucks. I also delivered a boat with two in it from Orange Beach, AL to Clearwater, FL. While not a major engine failure, it did lose a turbo. The guy ultimately got rid of the boat because of problems with the engines. However, due diligence is the thing to do. I would believe Boat Diesel before the manufacturer. The problems we've had with the engines ie: oil pump and injector pump replaced under warranty were at first denied by GM. I have the paperwork to prove it. The oil pump problem was later the subject of a recall. In a boat the engine would have been trashed.
As an aside, there's another company using the Hummer short block in a marine application www.marinedieselengineering.com/md/ Marine Diesel started off in Stillwater Oklahoma and were bought out by a Swedish firm as I understand it. They use supercharging instead of turbocharging. Might be informative to compare things like injection pumps and other ancillaries between the truck, Peninsular, and Marine diesel engines. There is a Marine Diesel dealer in the Houston area, I believe. I compared the two suppliers a few years back and was more favorably impressed with the Marine Diesel approach. I am pretty sure the block on the AM engines are made from a higher quality material than the run of the mill GM truck engine.
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Old 01-10-2013, 04:46 PM   #10
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According to boatdiesel archives blocks made between 1996 - 1998 had a high failure rate. Assuming the blocks in question are newer than 1999 the only other issues seem to be weak glow plugs and insuring lots of room to work on them as some parts and pieces are hard to get at.

North Harbor diesel is a ways away Art, do you have a local guy who is capable and willing?
Sun - In this area I know two marine diesel experts. One with crew and waterfront shop. He will perform survey on these engines if I decide to purchase. Thanks for asking.
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Old 01-10-2013, 04:59 PM   #11
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Not exactly, Pau Hana. I own two of those engines. While not in boats, I think I know the problems with them in trucks. I also delivered a boat with two in it from Orange Beach, AL to Clearwater, FL. While not a major engine failure, it did lose a turbo. The guy ultimately got rid of the boat because of problems with the engines. However, due diligence is the thing to do. I would believe Boat Diesel before the manufacturer. The problems we've had with the engines ie: oil pump and injector pump replaced under warranty were at first denied by GM. I have the paperwork to prove it. The oil pump problem was later the subject of a recall. In a boat the engine would have been trashed.
Don - What year were the diesels (truck and/or boat) you refer to in bold quote above? From what I understand since AM General purchased build-out rights from GM in 2000, after their engineers straightened items out on the engines, from about 2001 onward the build-out improved considerably and break down reduced greatly. Repowered engines in boat I'm contemplating are 2004.
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:28 PM   #12
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Don - What year were the diesels (truck and/or boat) you refer to in bold quote above? From what I understand since AM General purchased build-out rights from GM in 2000, after their engineers straightened items out on the engines, from about 2001 onward the build-out improved considerably and break down reduced greatly. Repowered engines in boat I'm contemplating are 2004 .
Art, truck engines are '97. The boat delivery was about 2002. I don't remember the year of the boat. It was a fairly late model at the time. The owner has passed away, so no way to find out.
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:57 PM   #13
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I believe our lube truck was a '98, but the issues were more serious. First was hard starting in cold weather, then a blown head gasket and a few glow plugs. Then a spun bearing and while doing the pulldown a cracked skirt was discovered and the engine was finally replaced with something like 55,000 or so miles. Sorry I can't remember the exact details. Of course, one can find the occasional engine that wasn't assembled quite as well, but even with a block heater the new engine was still hard starting in the cold. I know we did two starters, a flywheel and a drill and tap job on the crank pulley before we sent it to the auction. I saw the truck for two years after that, apparently running with the same engine.

It's good to hear that AM General saw something in the design. I'd like to know what they did.
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