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Old 03-27-2013, 03:57 PM   #61
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Eric--- Buick has been the most popular brand in China for decades. We have some footage of early CAAC operations shortly after Mao & Co. pushed the nationalist off the mainland to Taiwan. A bunch of nationalist pilots defected to Mao and brought their C-47s with them to form the PRC's initial airline (CAAC). In the film officials are being driven up to the planes in..... Buicks.

Today while the Chinese drive everything from BMWs to Citroens to Range Rovers to Ferraris, Buick is still extremely popular. They have models over there, including a really good looking, streamlined 4-door and several sizes of van, that we don't have in the US.
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:05 PM   #62
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Eric--- Buick has been the most popular brand in China for decades. We have some footage of early CAAC operations shortly after Mao & Co. pushed the nationalist off the mainland to Taiwan. A bunch of nationalist pilots defected to Mao and brought their C-47s with them to form the PRC's initial airline (CAAC). In the film officials are being driven up to the planes in..... Buicks.

Today while the Chinese drive everything from BMWs to Citroens to Range Rovers to Ferraris, Buick is still extremely popular. They have models over there, including a really good looking, streamlined 4-door and several sizes of van, that we don't have in the US.
Speaking bout Buicks:

Early 1970s: From a dealer; I purchased 1966 Buick Wildcat; 425 cid, 325 hp coupe w/buckets and console - Toured U.S. in it for couple years in my very early 20's... out of my own pocket - after selling my 1st business; a restaurant and tavern in Maine I started building at 18 yrs inside a seven years abandoned kids garment factory and sold my 51% at 20. Eventually, that Wildcat had seen its day. I parked it down a secluded wooded road. It was assaulted by a bunch of wild kids - they truly totaled it! I mean seats were ripped, all glass broken, lights smashed out, interior door panels stove in, dents in the doors, quarter panels, hood and trunk. Even the 4bbl carb had been smashed with a big rock. I don't know where they ever got the energy for all that - show-offs being drunk I guess. I finally tracked down the two leaders (had been four of them). Parents had them pay it off by working for me in my masonry and concrete const co. They were not really bad kids - just did a dumb/wrong thing!

Sept 1998: From original owner/estate; I purchased 1967 Buick Wildcat; domed heads, 430 cid, 360 hp, 10.5 to 1 comp ratio, a 4 door sedan w/bench seat and cold AC - all electric accessories, 72,321 miles. 121,342 mi as of yesterday. She's still all orig except I added 2" i.d. duel Flowmasters exhausts with pressure equalizer crossover pipe. Sunday driver for me, Admiral, and our grand kids while they’re still young enough to want to hang out with us! This 430 1967 engine is way more powerful than the 66 425. When driving “Cat” by myself, I like to play with the BMWs, Mercedes, and other sporty cars. My solid color “Arctic White” land yacht can really get it on... especially at 70 to 100+ mph hwy speeds, her 430 engine loves to perform at high rpm. Can also drop 100’ rubber from stand still. At 4,400 lbs she still clocks 6.9 seconds 0 to 60. I call her my Luxury Muscle Car! Yeah Baby!

Gets pointed at and mentioned nearly every place we go.

Classic Buick Wildcat is a Fun, Fast, and Comfortable Car!

But, be prepared to pay for plenty of high test gas!
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Old 03-27-2013, 08:16 PM   #63
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I keep clicking back on this thread hoping to see something about boats. Mods, can you split this one too?
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:46 PM   #64
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OK Cal,
Running an engine w no load is an extreme version of running an engine w a light load. It's all a matter of how long you run a diesel w a low enough load to force the engine to run w it's lube oil, piston, valves and other vital parts at too low a temperature.

Extreme cases like trucks running all night are probably offset by running up 3000' mountain pass at a 10% grade ... at gross weight. We trawler people never do that so we should be more concerned about light loading, idling and no load running.
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:23 PM   #65
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I think if Eric and Marin are done discussing cars, there is no need to split this thread, it has stayed true to the original post fairly well. Guys..?
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Old 03-28-2013, 12:10 AM   #66
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I think if Eric and Marin are done discussing cars, there is no need to split this thread, it has stayed true to the original post fairly well. Guys..?
Yep. More boats, less Buicks.
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:35 AM   #67
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Back in the 60's when GM built a motor home chassis with all the GM engines to select they chose the Olds.

The 403 and 455 were the best heavy duty engines they then made , and the use of the 455 goes on in ski boats 40 -50 years later.

Improvements in engines does continue , so today a 305 or 350 crate engine could deliver the cruise HP of the old big blocks with far better efficiency .

Most only cruised at 10 GPH per engine , 100 HP then , about 130-140HP today.
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:29 AM   #68
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OK Cal,


Extreme cases like trucks running all night are probably offset by running up 3000' mountain pass at a 10% grade ... at gross weight. We trawler people never do that so we should be more concerned about light loading, idling and no load running.
You/us trawler people do that virtually every time you put the boat in gear, especially as you approach hull speed; a boat is always running "up hill". The truck also has a bunch of gears designed to keep the load on the engine consistent.
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:18 AM   #69
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You/us trawler people do that virtually every time you put the boat in gear, especially as you approach hull speed; a boat is always running "up hill". The truck also has a bunch of gears designed to keep the load on the engine consistent.
Truck engines experience many abrupt changes of rpm and therefore stress due to often speed changes in regard to speed limits and ensuing gear selections, road angles (up or down or flat) and weights encountered per load hauled. Whereas, boat engines, for the most part, are set at one (the same) speed/rpm with virtually same load for hours upon hours while cruising in fairly calm waters. Only in tall, confused seas do boat engines experience abrupt load/rpm alterations and stress. Durations of 5 mph canal speed as well as idle time are minimal in regard to overall hours of use.
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:39 PM   #70
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"Diesel engines can idle for hours on end with no adverse effects other than burnt fuel".

The independiant operators in the OTR industry would disagree with you.

And yet some of the biggest offenders who waste fuel are independent owner operators.....

In the "old days" the engines would idle all night providing heat or air cond and electric power for an inverter.

In many cases they still do...

Fuel costs (and the air police) made an APU a less costly way to operate overnight.

This is true...any yet the weirdos on the left coast in CA even got pissy about APU's, unless they met their special standard.

Fewer oil changes (done on testing) and about 40% more miles between overhauls has delighted them.

Cummins has been approving
a 28,000 mile oil change regimen for new engines for years now.

"no adverse effects "

If cylinder glazing and burnishing, rings sticking, lower compression and more blow-by contaminating the oil is not adverse , I don't know what is!
Never had a problem with any of that...as the engines in the tractors (semi) that I drove were running well and not using much oil between changes and we put 750,000 miles on our engines before we sold the tractors.... I'm experienced with Cummins N-14's, N-14E's, ISM's, M-11's, Cat C-16's, DD-60's.... I ran coast to coast, flats, mountains, you name it. Pulled dry vans and chemical tankers almost always running at over 79,000 lbs.... 20 years of it. Retired now!!
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Old 04-03-2013, 10:02 PM   #71
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"In the "old days" the engines would idle all night providing heat or air cond and electric power for an inverter".

Exactly ... they ran all night with a heavy load. Not quite the same as running with no load



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Old 04-03-2013, 10:19 PM   #72
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"In the "old days" the engines would idle all night providing heat or air cond and electric power for an inverter".

Exactly ... they ran all night with a heavy load. Not quite the same as running with no load


That big engine? What do they aircondition and power, a stadium?

The reefer units that freeze a whole trailer only have a small 4 cylinder diesel.

I'm thinking that cooling the cab, and running a small fridge and TV, would be NO load. HeatIng is definitely NO load.

Where I live, there are times of the year you keep the engine running, unless you have someplace to plug the block heater in.
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:47 AM   #73
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"In the "old days" the engines would idle all night providing heat or air cond and electric power for an inverter".

Exactly ... they ran all night with a heavy load. Not quite the same as running with no load


Most air cond are under 10 hp of load , hardly heavy for a 400 HP rated engine.
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Old 04-04-2013, 01:33 PM   #74
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"In the "old days" the engines would idle all night providing heat or air cond and electric power for an inverter".

Exactly ... they ran all night with a heavy load. Not quite the same as running with no load


Most air cond are under 10 hp of load , hardly heavy for a 400 HP rated engine.
Ummm, I think you reversed yourself....

The biggest problem nowadays with excessive idling....particularly with the diesels that hve "EGR" valves on them it seems to accelerate the gumming up of the EGR....which then leads to turbo failure.

We ran M-11 Cummins with and without EGR's for hours at idle running a PTO pump to off load chemicals....and sometimes to load... The amount of load placed on the engine when the PTO was engaged...was not noticeable.

The biggest issue now with idling whether you drive as a fleet driver or owner operator...is the cost of fuel....
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Old 04-04-2013, 02:32 PM   #75
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75 posts later what I do not understand is most of these boats have been around for 20 to 30+ years with the original power plant. By and large most re-powers are done by owners with the money to want a modern lump in the keel, not an owner that experienced a catastrophic failure. The previous owners had no internet forums telling them about the hazards of under loading diesel engines, yet the motors survived just fine in spite of it. Many here have over 3,000 hours on engines that could very well have been chronically under loaded their entire life for all we know and yet they run fine today.

Could this kinda be like the dino/synthetic debate in that there is no right answer? Just maybe one slightly righter than the other depending upon variables. Not trying to imply under loading is a good thing, just trying to understand where all the catastrophic failures are from under loading. Are there some broken blocks and cranks that we can point at?

I've read Tony Athens take on engine loading and it seems to be up at the upper end toward over loading that causes the failures on higher performance diesel engines. Unless I've completely missed the point, idling and low loads are not traditionally the engine killers.
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Old 04-04-2013, 04:07 PM   #76
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Many here have over 3,000 hours on engines that could very well have been chronically under loaded their entire life for all we know and yet they run fine today.

Could this kinda be like the dino/synthetic debate in that there is no right answer?
Personally, I think you are right on the money. Internet forums like this allow people to armchair theory things to death and get totally wrapped around the axle on issues and details that make absolutely no difference to reality.

The second boat I fished on in Hawaii in the later 70s was a 32' custom-built fishboat (made by a builder in Seattle) and powered with a Volvo Penta turbocharged, aftercooled diesel. That engine ran at low trolling speeds (perhaps 4 or 5 knots) for hour after hour, day after day, month after month, and the owner kept running it for years after I left the state in 1979.

In the late 90s while in Honolulu on a Boeing project I looked him up (he now runs a small longline tuna fleet and an ice plant that supplies most of the state with party and block ice). I asked him about the boat we used to fish on, and he said he used it a bunch of more years after I left in the same way. Never had any problem whatsoever with the engine, which is one reason when he started having his longline boats built he specified Volvo diesels.

I've had no experience with the newer generation electronically controlled diesels, although their sophisticated control systems probably make it even easier to run them at slow speeds for long periods without detrimental effects. But on the old generation engines like the Lehman, Perkins, etc, I completely agree with CP. Operate them intelligently per the builder's manual, service and maintain them properly, and they will do the 12,000 to 14,000 hours in recreational boat service they built their reputation on, a reputation that was created in reality long before synthetic oil or anyone gave a rat's butt about loading as long as it wasn't totally over or under-done.

In short, I think much of this kind of discussion these days is -- as Bill S. put it in the late 1500s-- Much Ado About Nothing. If any of it held any water, the 30 and 40 and older year-old engines in all sorts of boats today would have died decades ago. But they didn't and they continue to give good service today.
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Old 04-04-2013, 04:12 PM   #77
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75 posts later what I do not understand is most of these boats have been around for 20 to 30+ years with the original power plant. By and large most re-powers are done by owners with the money to want a modern lump in the keel, not an owner that experienced a catastrophic failure. The previous owners had no internet forums telling them about the hazards of under loading diesel engines, yet the motors survived just fine in spite of it. Many here have over 3,000 hours on engines that could very well have been chronically under loaded their entire life for all we know and yet they run fine today.

Could this kinda be like the dino/synthetic debate in that there is no right answer? Just maybe one slightly righter than the other depending upon variables. Not trying to imply under loading is a good thing, just trying to understand where all the catastrophic failures are from under loading. Are there some broken blocks and cranks that we can point at?


I've read Tony Athens take on engine loading and it seems to be up at the upper end toward over loading that causes the failures on higher performance diesel engines. Unless I've completely missed the point, idling and low loads are not traditionally the engine killers.
......................... .....
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Old 04-04-2013, 04:18 PM   #78
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Big big difference between idling at no load and running at low load. I had my engines surveyed by one of the premier Detroit guys on the east coast. During the sea trial portion, I'd go down to the engine rooms now and then to check on him. At one point when we were coming back in at about 800 rpm, I asked him about running them that slow. He said at that speed "they'll outlast all of us". So asked him, "well then, how long am I going to live?". The #1 caution he had about running them? Don't idle them for more than a few minutes at no load and not up to operating temp. Never found a qualified person who disagreed with that. You could look it up.

Those prior owners were lucky in that they didn't have internet forums feeding them lots of bad information and hearsay, just a few gossipers at the boat club at worst.
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Old 04-04-2013, 04:24 PM   #79
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I tend to agree about the idling thing, but that's not what's being talked about here, I don't think. The issue is underloading. By some people's calculations, we are severely underloading our two FL120s by running them at a cruise rpm of 1630. These engines are currently 40 years old, have been run by at least the previous owner at cruise rpm of 1500 to 1700 (according to his records).

Today, 14 years after we bought the boat, the engines use less than 1 quart of oil every 100-150 hours, don't smoke, don't fart unburned fuel out the exhaust except at cold startup, and start immediately.

So my guess is that our engines did not read all the posts about the horrors of "underloading" diesels in a boat, or if they did, they just laughed and said, "What a bunch of crap."

These engines are very smart, by the way, so I can imagine them having that conversation. For example, they both quit (on their own) if we try to take the boat south of Anacortes. I guess they feel we're threatening to take them back to California if we do that. So they both stop and won't re-start until we can somehow get the bow back around to point north, at which point they happily fire right up.


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Old 04-04-2013, 05:10 PM   #80
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Earlier folks where talking about making sure you tossed the lines and started moving as soon as you fired the engine. The fear amounted to any idling exceeding a few minutes was detrimental to engine life. I just don't see it.

Marin's engines certainly don't bear that out. I see the idle thing all over California right now for smog emission purposes with construction equipment by folks who can give a crap about longevity of the power plant.

In my mind if the factory set the low idle speed at X, the engine should run just fine at whatever X happens to be. Otherwise someone explain to me where Nordhaven gets all their passagmaking range charts from considering they are running engines in gear just above low idle speed to get that range. There should be Nordhavens and Krogens everywhere getting re-powered because their owners crossed oceans at low load/speed settings.
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