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Old 11-25-2015, 04:24 PM   #1
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Repower Options

I have ’79 DeFever Down East 40 with the original single Ford SSD 655M engine. The engine runs fine, smooth and starts quickly, but it is a very obscure and obsolete engine. I have run across only one boat shop that has even heard of this engine. It is the same engine as the Iveco Aifo 8061.04*05G made by Fiat, just marketed by Ford in the USA in the late 70's. Parts are nearly impossible to find today.

I keep the boat in the SF Bay area and if I were going to just cruise locally, I would probably leave that engine in place. But I plan on running it up to the Puget Sound for a couple of seasons, and making the inside passage to Alaska at least one time is on my bucket list. I just do not have enough confidence that this engine will make the trip. So my obvious question is; what are the smartest repower options. I can have a new modern engine dropped in, but I also have the shop and skills to rebuild a take-out marine engine. Here’s some of the current specs on the boat.
• DE 40: (same hull as DeFever Passagemaker), 30,000 lbs full displacement
• Engine: Ford SSD 655M, Inline 6, 117hp, 2300 RPM full throttle
• 6.9 knots @ 1900 RPM
• BW transmission (don’t know gear ratio, will check)
• 25x19 three blade prop
I am shooting for the same or a bit more speed. I have been reading posts from the Trawler Forum and DeFever Cruiser Forum. Cummins BT6 and John Deere variants’ seen to be popular. I like simple, so I am somewhat concerned with newer electronically controlled and turbo engines. They may increase efficiency and performance, but in my mind they have more things to fail. I’d hate to be stuck in a British Columbia fiord with a failed electronic engine component.

It will be a couple of years before I make the Alaska trip, so I am in no particular rush to repower. But getting it done sooner will allow more time for me to shake out the bugs. Any opinions or personal experiences will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Bob Mills
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Old 11-25-2015, 05:13 PM   #2
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I'll get flamed outta this place for saying this but look into the new offerings from Volvo. I was looking into repowering a couple years ago and Volvo made good sense. By the time a new Volvo becomes a "legacy engine" I'd be dead and my kids or new owner can deal with it.
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Old 11-25-2015, 05:18 PM   #3
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The guy to talk to is Tony Athens at


Custom Cummins Marine Diesel Repower Specialists | Seaboard Marine
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Old 11-25-2015, 05:25 PM   #4
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Tony will probably recommend the rock solid Cummins 6BT 210 hp engine. It is sold as a remanned engine by Cummins, but in fact is an entirely brand new engine, just called remanned to get by the EPA.


More hp than you need, but it will last forever running slow. There is a turbo charger but no after cooler to worry about. The turbo should last as long as the engine if installed and propped right.


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Old 11-25-2015, 05:36 PM   #5
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I agree with Dave M, Cummins reman. With help and guidance from Tony Athens in Oxnard and your shop and skills it seems like a good overall fit.
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Old 11-25-2015, 06:10 PM   #6
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I did a repower in 2000. I went from a pair of Volvo TMD40s with 4500 hrs to a pair of Volvo TAMD41s with 1500 hrs. The swap cost me a haulout and $2500 after selling the old engines through a fishboat magazine ad. I did the work myself, except for the HIAB truck to physically lift the engines out and in.
You need to know whether your BW trans has the standard bolt pattern, whether your Iveco engine has the motor mounts the standard lateral and fore/aft spacing, which side your incoming water attaches, your exhaust attaches, exhaust diameter, whether you can get it out through the door, and the new one in, etc, etc.
Boatdiesel.com is a great resource. Engines are for sale there too.

OTOH, I had a client once who dropped $100k on a swap. He took out a pair of Ivecos and put in a pair of Cats, without paying adequate attention to the issues I have outlined above.
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Old 11-25-2015, 07:03 PM   #7
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I don't think Volvo offers any mechanical engines anymore. All computer stuff. I think the only mechanicals above 100hp are Cummins reman and maybe Deere has something similar. Fortunately with the older boat a reman is a go. New hulls have to use computer/emission engines.
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Old 11-25-2015, 07:22 PM   #8
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When I did my repower, the John Deere 4045 tier 2 emissions was my first choice. The Cummins 6BT 220 HP was my second. Found a JD 4045, but there are no more new ones tier 2. Had the Cummins 6BT210 in my charter boat till upgrading to more HP. Have a 6BT 220 in my Dodge pickup that just turned 400,000 miles. I'm a big believer in the 6BT 220!

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Old 11-25-2015, 07:34 PM   #9
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From everything I've heard the Perkins 6-354 is very good and has no downsides like the Lehmans. There is a lot of them out there and a used one becoming availible is very likely. So in addition there is the engine that FF frequently mentions ... (IH). The International would of course be too much power like the Cummins.

If you're going to buy a new engine the JD looks foolproof to me. You may be fully happy w the 80hp NA engine like Mark has. Dave has already suggested you double your power so to ballance that the 80 hp Deere may be an engine you'd like to run at higher power settings more comfortably.
The best option IMO if you're going w new is to buy from a small company the marineizes industrial engines. There is at least two in Seattle. I bought mine from one of them that has been supplying prime movers and generating engines since the 60's. I got it custom made for me w all the features i wanted. Steel exhaust manifold and plastic engine mounts and a number of others. All the other engines
I looked at had aluminum manifolds w no options. And it all cost much less than a brand name engine.

You ask about options .. Well I think the most important option you have while repowering is to choose the amount of power you will install. After you make you're move that's it. You will probably not get the option again.


If I were you I'd want very much to retain the BW gear.
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Old 11-25-2015, 08:23 PM   #10
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Greetings,
Mr. mb. Lehman's have downsides? Pray tell...
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Old 11-25-2015, 09:54 PM   #11
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Mr RTF,
Just #6 cylinder overheating and the fuel pump requiring extra maintanance. Not much of a downside but they aren't usually cheap either. Many are running FL's at low power for several reasons but having the faith run them hard seems lacking for a lot of owners on the forum. Why buy a used engine w issues when there are so many without.
If I found a great deal on an FL power boat the FL certianLy wouldn't be a deal breaker. But as I posted there are better options.
I'd like to see someone install one of those IH truck engines .. if they needed that much power. Too much power is silly .. thats the only S word I'll use.
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Old 11-25-2015, 10:12 PM   #12
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Perkins parts are available world wide. The 6-354 at 120 hp is bulletproof. The 4-236 is as good or better at 80 hp. Cummins 6bt and 4bt are GREAT options in the good ol USA. Not so much in the EU. If I were you I would go with the engine you like and know best.
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Old 11-25-2015, 10:27 PM   #13
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The Cummins 6BT would be an easy choice for me. I've had two Dodge Cummins PU's, a '99 24 valve and a 2003 common rail. Common rail is much quieter. It is hard to argue the longevity and parts availability. It is a lot more HP than I can use. I was considering a JD 4045 variant, but would the NA 80hp be enough without pushing it too hard? I have seen Mark's JD in the Coot and would really appreciate the extra space in the engine room. I have read the 4045's are balanced in such a manner that they run nearly as smooth as the inline 6. Manyboats, can you post or PM the names of the engine builders you mentioned. Do they put marine component on JD engines?

Koliver: good suggestions. I'm not sure about the standard transmission bolt pattern. It looks like a typical industrial engine bolt pattern. These engines were used in a lot of Allis Chalmers loaders and motor grader in the 70's and 80's, as well as Ag water pumps. The engine mounts appear to be normal, though they are recessed into the stringers about 4 inches. I will measure and photograph everything next time I am at the boat. Funny thing is, this boat was used for the Down East 40 brochure. The brochure lists the FL120 as standard and the 6-354 as an option, yet they had this oddball engine installed in their demo boat. Go figure?
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Old 11-25-2015, 10:52 PM   #14
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Greetings,
Mr. mb. Point taken.
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Old 11-25-2015, 11:32 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manyboats View Post
Mr RTF,
Just #6 cylinder overheating and the fuel pump requiring extra maintanance. Not much of a downside but they aren't usually cheap either.
I'm no English tractor motor expect of course but in my 30+ years of dealing with Lehmans I've never seen one with the #6 cylinder issue. Nor seen any abnormal fuel pump issues with them. And I never babied them either.

But YMMV.
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Old 11-25-2015, 11:47 PM   #16
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Thanks RT.

remwines,
Sounds like the Ford that you feel is original may not be. Your engine mounts being recessed 4" into the engine bed suggests that they were lowered to accomodate the present engine and gear. The fact that the planetary drive BW gear has a shaft output that is 3 - 4" above most other gear outputs indicates that posibility. Just a thought.

Bill many say that but many over the years say otherwise.
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Old 11-26-2015, 12:13 AM   #17
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True. But many just seem to repeat what they've been told or heard.
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Old 11-26-2015, 12:20 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manyboats View Post
Mr RTF,
Just #6 cylinder overheating and the fuel pump requiring extra maintanance. Not much of a downside but they aren't usually cheap either. Many are running FL's at low power for several reasons but having the faith run them hard seems lacking for a lot of owners on the forum. Why buy a used engine w issues when there are so many without.
If I found a great deal on an FL power boat the FL certianLy wouldn't be a deal breaker. But as I posted there are better options.
I'd like to see someone install one of those IH truck engines .. if they needed that much power. Too much power is silly .. thats the only S word I'll use.
Have you been sipping out of Marin's Koolaid????....
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Old 11-26-2015, 12:23 AM   #19
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Are there any CUmmins 6B naturally aspirated engines available out there???? ....Remans maybe? That would be a sweet ass engine for this application!
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Old 11-26-2015, 12:40 AM   #20
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With the OP's desires to put 10,000 nm or more on his single engine vessel and at times far away from a marine or NAPA store, having a reman Cummins with all NEW hang ons like:
  • Starter
  • Alternator
  • Exhaust elbow
  • HXers
  • Transmission
  • Raw water pump
  • Coolant pump
  • Belts
  • Hoses
  • Wiring
may be appealing. Plus a full warranty.
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