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Old 11-10-2013, 08:09 PM   #101
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I started my FL120 today as well, it took a few extra cranks, but same oil slick behind the transom as ever.
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Old 11-10-2013, 09:38 PM   #102
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My take? Diesels are tough. Nothing I do with a puny little boat for a few thousand hours matters enough. Keep the oil changed, the fuel filtered, and the cooling system reliable and I won't have to buy another one.

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Unless you own Cummins 6BT's......
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:48 PM   #103
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Unless you own Cummins 6BT's......
John:
I don't understand why you are so down on Cummins 6BTs! I've had a sport fisher with a pair of 210s, a single with a 210 and my present boat that has a 330. Other than the 330 running at 92 degrees which I've been told not to sweat it, by several pros, I haven't had any trouble at all!
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Old 11-11-2013, 09:03 AM   #104
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My take? Diesels are tough. Nothing I do with a puny little boat for a few thousand hours matters enough. Keep the oil changed, the fuel filtered, and the cooling system reliable
There are a few more things to service if you want your engine to survive. A good look at your owners manual or elsewhere on maintenance for the after coolers (if so equipped), belts, through hulls, hoses, valve adjustments, air filters, transmissions, zincs, fuel coolers, turbos, exhaust elbows, prop setup and wiring connections to name a few.
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Old 11-11-2013, 10:03 AM   #105
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John:
I don't understand why you are so down on Cummins 6BTs! I've had a sport fisher with a pair of 210s, a single with a 210 and my present boat that has a 330. Other than the 330 running at 92 degrees which I've been told not to sweat it, by several pros, I haven't had any trouble at all!
The engine in and of itself is not a bad engine. The 210hp versions are great. They don't have after coolers or fuel coolers and they are not "squeezed" so hard. Your current engine is rated at 330hp and is only 360 cubic inches.

None of this really has much to do with my view of them. Bottom line, you go look at boats on YW. It is VERY common to see Cummins powered boats where one out of the two engines has been rebuilt/replaced. It just seems that all of the "peripherals" on the engine were not engineered that well and while, cheap, they can do some very expensive damage. And that is what seems to happen. That and the fact that they are extremely sensitive to being overpropped/loaded. These two things are the biggest reasons why they don't last. I bought my boat with 350 hours on it. I figured I got to them before any damage could have occurred. And I was mostly right.....BUT....I had a fuel cooler fail and have been chasing my tail ever since. Injectors on the STBD engine got trashed. I finally got that squared away. Now I have a smoke issue on the PORT engine where I have adjusted the valves and changed the injectors....to no avail. It smokes pretty heavily on start up(white unatomized fuel...slick on water)....and clears up quite quickly and virtually smokeless after that. Which tells me it might be a ring sticking on start up. I have not thrown it out to the boat diesel crowd but I am going to today.

My point here is one of the reasons I like diesel engines on boats is you can work them very hard and generally not have to worry about them. That does not seem to be the case with the Cummins. I have yet to have any carefree operation out of them yet. It just seems something is always needing attention and it seems I feel the need to baby them....all qualities of a gas engine. My last boat was Yanmar powered. 4LHA-STP....240hp with only 213CID!!!! SO it was squeezed even harder and I ran it hard. BUT.....not a single solitary hiccup in the 1000 hours that I operated it. And the people that know Yanmars say the 4LHA is one of the best Yanmars in the bunch. Anyway, given the choice in a planing or semi planing boat, I would choose Yanmar over Cummins every time.

Another thing, and this is total conjecture on my part. Cummins really are good engines at their core. So good they seem to chug along happily even when something is wrong...masking whatever it is. So when you think something is wrong or just think something is not right...a small symptom that you are inclined to "blow off"....DON'T!!! It is trying to tell you something.

Your engine will do you just fine in your installation because you don't run it hard(my assumption). My guess is you run it in the upper teens. It will last 100 years at that power setting. But I would get a stategy for your aftercoolers(which I think you have done) and your fuel coolers. Your fuel coolers will **** your world if they fail. They have mine. Tony Athens pretty much says to just remove/bypass them. Easy to say when the highs in the heat of the Summer where y'all live might reach the upper 70s while soaking in 50-60 degree water. My strategy is to replace them every 2 or 4 years. The Cummins price is $190 per. I buy mine from Tony at $85 per cooler...because he has piles of them that he takes off of brand new engines. Anyway, $170 every 2 years is pretty cheap insurance and what I feel is good enough risk mitigation.
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Old 11-11-2013, 01:51 PM   #106
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The engine in and of itself is not a bad engine. The 210hp versions are great. They don't have after coolers or fuel coolers and they are not "squeezed" so hard. Your current engine is rated at 330hp and is only 360 cubic inches.

None of this really has much to do with my view of them. Bottom line, you go look at boats on YW. It is VERY common to see Cummins powered boats where one out of the two engines has been rebuilt/replaced. It just seems that all of the "peripherals" on the engine were not engineered that well and while, cheap, they can do some very expensive damage. And that is what seems to happen. That and the fact that they are extremely sensitive to being overpropped/loaded. These two things are the biggest reasons why they don't last. I bought my boat with 350 hours on it. I figured I got to them before any damage could have occurred. And I was mostly right.....BUT....I had a fuel cooler fail and have been chasing my tail ever since. Injectors on the STBD engine got trashed. I finally got that squared away. Now I have a smoke issue on the PORT engine where I have adjusted the valves and changed the injectors....to no avail. It smokes pretty heavily on start up(white unatomized fuel...slick on water)....and clears up quite quickly and virtually smokeless after that. Which tells me it might be a ring sticking on start up. I have not thrown it out to the boat diesel crowd but I am going to today.

My point here is one of the reasons I like diesel engines on boats is you can work them very hard and generally not have to worry about them. That does not seem to be the case with the Cummins. I have yet to have any carefree operation out of them yet. It just seems something is always needing attention and it seems I feel the need to baby them....all qualities of a gas engine. My last boat was Yanmar powered. 4LHA-STP....240hp with only 213CID!!!! SO it was squeezed even harder and I ran it hard. BUT.....not a single solitary hiccup in the 1000 hours that I operated it. And the people that know Yanmars say the 4LHA is one of the best Yanmars in the bunch. Anyway, given the choice in a planing or semi planing boat, I would choose Yanmar over Cummins every time.

Another thing, and this is total conjecture on my part. Cummins really are good engines at their core. So good they seem to chug along happily even when something is wrong...masking whatever it is. So when you think something is wrong or just think something is not right...a small symptom that you are inclined to "blow off"....DON'T!!! It is trying to tell you something.

Your engine will do you just fine in your installation because you don't run it hard(my assumption). My guess is you run it in the upper teens. It will last 100 years at that power setting. But I would get a stategy for your aftercoolers(which I think you have done) and your fuel coolers. Your fuel coolers will **** your world if they fail. They have mine. Tony Athens pretty much says to just remove/bypass them. Easy to say when the highs in the heat of the Summer where y'all live might reach the upper 70s while soaking in 50-60 degree water. My strategy is to replace them every 2 or 4 years. The Cummins price is $190 per. I buy mine from Tony at $85 per cooler...because he has piles of them that he takes off of brand new engines. Anyway, $170 every 2 years is pretty cheap insurance and what I feel is good enough risk mitigation.

Were these engines marinized by cummins? It sounds like the marine equipment could use upgrading, but I have worked extensively with cummins engines in the automotive and equipment fields. They are easily considered the most reliable engine in their class. The 6bt at least. I've personally put over a million miles on one, and have maintained quite a few that have surpassed that number. When I raced motorcycles, I drug a 41' camper all over the country, a total of over 700,000 miles, and the truck dyno'ed at over 700hp with less than 1000 miles on it. It was beaten mercilessly since day one. I have been accused to driving like ticked off teenager, and don't deny it. With over 30,000lbs behind it, no one passed me to the onramp. When I sold it, it had no blow by, and started first tap of the starter. No excessive smoke, unusual sounds or anything but routine maintinance.

You mentioned a fuel cooler failure. If you got saltwater in your engine, it needs a rebuild. Period. Entire fuel system, and engine. Salt is abrasive, no telling what other contaminates made it in as well. You destroyed an engine, it won't be reliable until its fixed properly. The fact that it still runs is a good indication of how tough and reliable it is. I know tons of people who hate yanmar tractor engines, they are half a step above junk to most farmers, ranchers and construction crews. Maybe they marinize better, but I would look at a cummins first anyday. But, I am far more familiar with cummins. A yanmar expert would choose otherwise probably.
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Old 11-11-2013, 03:06 PM   #107
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A road going cummins, while the same engine, is apples and oranges. Even with your trailer you are still relieved of most of the load once you reach cruising speed. Boats aren't so fortunate. Water is ten times more dense than air. My engine where the fuel cooler failed is just fine, thank you. My smoking issue on the port engine very seriously concerns me. An engine with a whopping 440 hours on it. It could be a valve...a weak cylinder...a ring. We will see. It could be a failed intake heater...if it even has one. I am on the way to the boat to check that. But even if it does, I doubt that is the cause. I have a hard time believing heaterless ones smoke that much. But that would be the easiest cheapest cause...which likely means that ain't it.

To drive my point home. My boat weighs around 25,000 pounds loaded up. And I gotta drag that through the water at 18kts. Your truck and trailer weigh much less that that and has wheels and goes thru the air. It is an irrelevant comparison as it relates to wear and tear and longevity.
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Old 11-11-2013, 03:31 PM   #108
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Ahoy skippers! been reading the posts on winters & engines and want to add my procedures: Boats were a GB 42 classic and an Alaskan 46. Bothe were powered by 120 Lehmans. Was in Michigan so haul out was necessary. After haul out, boat was covered & I spent a day in the engine room. Pulled the raw water impellers, placed them with covers, screws & gaskets in a ziplock bag on the engines. Closed all seacocks while assuring myself that they were free. If they were tight, I disassembled, cleaned, wiped with Vaseline & reassembled. Freshwater pumps were treated likewise. Water lift mufflers drain plugs were removed, sea strainers emptied, cleaned, reassembled (w/Vaseline on "o"ring ). Next all fresh water lines were drained including the hot water tank. Batteries were all checked, toped off as necessary. Now my Process regarding engine care in winter was monthly visits to turn over engines (with fuel off) 7 look for flicker of oil pressure on the gauge. By doing this I was sure that oil was pushed up into the top of the engine. Springtime was reverse all the tasks & I gave careful attention to the impellers. Bend each blade all the way over & look for any cracks. If present, trash it, and install a new one! This process and lots of time poking in the cold times worked well and in nearly 20 years had only one shut down when under way & it was due to low fuel onboard & rough seas. (Stirred up stuff in bottom of the tanks. Limped into port, cleaned strainers & all was well.) So guys, its fun to mess around in boats & I'm envious. Classy Lady (the Alaskan 46) is now in Auckland NZ, & we are ashore. Age does get to you! I hope to be lurking for sometime to come! Gayle
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Old 11-11-2013, 03:38 PM   #109
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A road going cummins, while the same engine, is apples and oranges. Even with your trailer you are still relieved of most of the load once you reach cruising speed. Boats aren't so fortunate. Water is ten times more dense than air. My engine where the fuel cooler failed is just fine, thank you. My smoking issue on the port engine very seriously concerns me. An engine with a whopping 440 hours on it. It could be a valve...a weak cylinder...a ring. We will see. It could be a failed intake heater...if it even has one. I am on the way to the boat to check that. But even if it does, I doubt that is the cause. I have a hard time believing heaterless ones smoke that much. But that would be the easiest cheapest cause...which likely means that ain't it.

To drive my point home. My boat weighs around 25,000 pounds loaded up. And I gotta drag that through the water at 18kts. Your truck and trailer weigh much less that that and has wheels and goes thru the air. It is an irrelevant comparison as it relates to wear and tear and longevity.
Truck weighed a hair over 8,000lbs, the trailer weighed in at just under 33,000 with the bikes, fuel, tools etc in it. It was also at a far higher output than stock. I won't deny that that pushing a boat at planning speed uses more power constantly. That doesn't change the fact that my engine had 90psi of boost thrown at it ever time I accelerated. Heck, in a boat, the engine has a more consistent load on it, the way diesels like it, not the on and off of highway driving. That's better for longevity of a diesel. Cruising at 20% or less load with occasional spurts to 80% isn't near as good for a diesel as holding a constant 70-90%. It is apples to oranges to a point, but not as different as you try to make it. I've worked on 6bt irrigation pump engines that ran non-stop at 80% load with over 20,000 hours on them. Sure, the pump isnt as heavy as your boat, but that doesn't change the amount of work it does. Same thing with equipment. Just being in a boat isn't some magical torture for an engine.
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Old 11-11-2013, 03:51 PM   #110
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You are not the first to think a boat engine sees easier duty than a pickup, and be incorrect. But rather than debate it here, raise the same topic on boatdiesel.com where the experts abound.
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Old 11-11-2013, 04:12 PM   #111
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You are not the first to think a boat engine sees easier duty than a pickup, and be incorrect. But rather than debate it here, raise the same topic on boatdiesel.com where the experts abound.
I never said they see easier duty in a boat. They (if run correctly) are kept under a greater load. But that is good for a diesel. I've seen dozens of trucks that never saw a load in their life and needed a rebuild in under 100k miles. Same thing if the boat just idles around the harbor it's entire life. Diesels do have to be worked. All the high mileage trucks I've seen with original engines were always towing heavy their entire life. Under working a diesel will kill it quicker than overworking it. But you can't tell me that the 6bt isn't one of the toughest engines in its class. It's a time proven beast. If abuse through improperly marinized equipment killed it, that's not the engines fault. Sounds to me like someone thought low hours meant well maintained then neglected to properly maintain them because "low hours means invincible." Then he has to blame a proven design to make himself feel better about a bad purchase. I would be checking anything that has seawater pumped through it, reguardless of hours, but that's just me.
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Old 11-11-2013, 04:15 PM   #112
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I've worked on 6bt irrigation pump engines that ran non-stop at 80% load with over 20,000 hours on them.
80% of what? Most commercial applications are de-rated. IOW, 80% of a 210hp 6bt is about 165hp....which is only 50% of a 330hp version. And yes, marine application is torture. They are surrounded by salt water and salt air and they have saltwater pumping through them. And most of all....they sit!!!...inactive for long periods of time.

If you are an expert on these engines, I suggest you go into business for Cummins Marine....you will get rich!
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Old 11-11-2013, 04:45 PM   #113
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I never said they see easier duty in a boat. They (if run correctly) are kept under a greater load. But that is good for a diesel. I've seen dozens of trucks that never saw a load in their life and needed a rebuild in under 100k miles. Same thing if the boat just idles around the harbor it's entire life. Diesels do have to be worked. All the high mileage trucks I've seen with original engines were always towing heavy their entire life. Under working a diesel will kill it quicker than overworking it. But you can't tell me that the 6bt isn't one of the toughest engines in its class. It's a time proven beast. If abuse through improperly marinized equipment killed it, that's not the engines fault. Sounds to me like someone thought low hours meant well maintained then neglected to properly maintain them because "low hours means invincible." Then he has to blame a proven design to make himself feel better about a bad purchase. I would be checking anything that has seawater pumped through it, reguardless of hours, but that's just me.
I sure hope you are not pointing this at me. I did my due diligence BEFORE I bought the low hour boat and I am NOT ignorant as to the ways of marine diesels. I felt this way about these engines BEFORE I owned them and BEFORE my "bad purchase". I apologize if I hurt your feelings as it relates to the almighty Cummins!!! If you read my post up above, my opinion of this engine in a marine application is based on fact...not emotion or on land based applications. Tony Athens, the accepted expert on these engines calls it "marine age". And that is a big factor in the maintenance program of these engines....and it is without regard to engine hours. The operators that get thousands of hours out of these things are (commercial)fishermen. They have 4 year old engines with 5000 hours on them. That is because they put hours on them more quickly than the poorly designed marinization of these things can **** them up. On top of that, they are lightly built and heavily loaded. Look at the power profiles of a Cat 3208. They are almost identical to the Cummins....although they start off at 210NA. I am sure the 3208 has it's issues. But they have a tendency to last significantly longer than the 6bts. Why, because they are TWICE the displacement and are asked only to do the same amount of work.

Do a Yachtworld search with 2 engines and Cummins as a keyword. You will find an alarming amount of boats that have at least 1 engine rebuilt/replaced while the other only has around 1000 hours on it. THAT is what I base my opinion on. And feel free to search MY posts on this forum. I have felt this way about Cummins engines and said so since(and before) this forum began So you might want to "look around" before you accuse "someone" of being ignorant.
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Old 11-11-2013, 04:50 PM   #114
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80% of what? Most commercial applications are de-rated. IOW, 80% of a 210hp 6bt is about 165hp....which is only 50% of a 330hp version. And yes, marine application is torture. They are surrounded by salt water and salt air and they have saltwater pumping through them. And most of all....they sit!!!...inactive for long periods of time.

If you are an expert on these engines, I suggest you go into business for Cummins Marine....you will get rich!
Why would you have saltwater pumping through one? Send the seawater to heat exchangers so it doesn't enter the engine. That's simple. Any vehicles operated near the coast see the same salt related issues. That's just coastal living. It is a tough environment, but filters are there for a reason. It's harder on any engine near salt water. But a heat exchanger problem isnt an engine problem, it is an accessory problem that can hurt an engine. It's simple really, replace with better parts. Why go back to a known problem part?

Aren't the 330hp cummins built by someone other than cummins? I have heard of them being problematic, but heard it was a 3rd party, not cummins. Improperly mod one and it won't be good. And even huge companies get it wrong.

You are right about the pump. 180-210hp. Some ended up with bigger pumps over the years and had to be bumped up a little to run them. Farmers are cheap and abuse the heck out of stuff.
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Old 11-11-2013, 04:54 PM   #115
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It took 3 clicks...

1997 Pursuit 3400 Express Cummins / Tower Power Boat For Sale -

This is all too common! I am a yachtworld freak. And sadly, I would see this all the time while shopping boats....THAT is where I get my opinion. The real problem is people that think just because they are awesome in a truck means they are awesome in a boat. They have an excellent reputation in Dodge trucks. And that excellent reputation has spilled over into their marine applications. I do NOT think it is deserved.
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Old 11-11-2013, 04:57 PM   #116
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So far I am averaging 1 every 3 clicks....

1996 Tiara 31 Open with Cummins Power Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

Feel free to continue the sampling of my search....

http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi...dedSelected=-1
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Old 11-11-2013, 05:00 PM   #117
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I sure hope you are not pointing this at me. Because your accusations are completely baseless. I did my due diligence BEFORE I bought the low hour boat and I am NOT ignorant as to the ways of marine diesels. I felt this way about these engines BEFORE I owned them and BEFORE my "bad purchase". I apologize if I hurt your feelings as it relates to the almighty Cummins!!! If you read my post up above, my opinion of this engine in a marine application is based on fact...not emotion or on land based applications. Tony Athens, the accepted expert on these engines calls it "marine age". And that is a big factor in the maintenance program of these engines....and it is without regard to engine hours. The operators that get thousands of hours out of these things are (commercial)fishermen. They have 4 year old engines with 5000 hours on them. That is because they put hours on them more quickly than the poorly designed marinization of these things can **** them up. On top of that, they are lightly built and heavily loaded. Look at the power profiles of a Cat 3208. They are almost identical to the Cummins....although they start off at 210NA. I am sure the 3208 has it's issues. But they have a tendency to last significantly longer than the 6bts. Why, because they are TWICE the displacement and are asked only to do the same amount of work.

Do a Yachtworld search with 2 engines and Cummins as a keyword. You will find an alarming amount of boats that have at least 1 engine rebuilt/replaced while the other only has around 1000 hours on it. THAT is what I base my opinion on. And feel free to search MY posts on this forum. I have felt this way about Cummins engines and said so since(and before) I founded this forum. So you might want to "look around" before you accuse "someone" of being ignorant.
It wasn't pointed at you. Every thread I've seen with negative comments about cummins engines seems to be based off of the aftercooler or fuel cooler. I was thinking of another thread on another site when I made that comment. Guy bought an boat that had been sitting, 20ish hours. Had never been hauled or maintained in any way. Heat exchangers that sit for 5 years will corrode worse than those where the water sits for short periods of time. He bought without inspection based solely on low hours. Both aftercoolers and fuel coolers failed first run (6 months after purchase). I did not mean to compare that to your situation, if I did so, it was unintentional and I am sorry.
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Old 11-11-2013, 05:09 PM   #118
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Why would you have saltwater pumping through one? Send the seawater to heat exchangers so it doesn't enter the engine. That's simple. Any vehicles operated near the coast see the same salt related issues. That's just coastal living. It is a tough environment, but filters are there for a reason. It's harder on any engine near salt water. But a heat exchanger problem isnt an engine problem, it is an accessory problem that can hurt an engine. It's simple really, replace with better parts. Why go back to a known problem part?

Aren't the 330hp cummins built by someone other than cummins? I have heard of them being problematic, but heard it was a 3rd party, not cummins. Improperly mod one and it won't be good. And even huge companies get it wrong.

You are right about the pump. 180-210hp. Some ended up with bigger pumps over the years and had to be bumped up a little to run them. Farmers are cheap and abuse the heck out of stuff.
100% Cummins built. That is not to say parts are outsourced. You can't get away from that. But the problems are not endemic to a certain version of the engine. They are just being asked to do too much work with too little iron. That is all. The lower powered ones do quite well(and usually dont have aftercoolers or fuel coolers which are big time failure points). BUt the more you squeeze, the more you have issues.
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Old 11-11-2013, 05:15 PM   #119
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It wasn't pointed at you. Every thread I've seen with negative comments about cummins engines seems to be based off of the aftercooler or fuel cooler. I was thinking of another thread on another site when I made that comment. Guy bought an boat that had been sitting, 20ish hours. Had never been hauled or maintained in any way. Heat exchangers that sit for 5 years will corrode worse than those where the water sits for short periods of time. He bought without inspection based solely on low hours. Both aftercoolers and fuel coolers failed first run (6 months after purchase). I did not mean to compare that to your situation, if I did so, it was unintentional and I am sorry.
Todo bien mi amigo!!!! No worries. And I apologize for getting all pissy!!!... I just keep getting frustrated with these things and talking to mechanics that talk about broken tips from injectors like it is a normal every day thing. Like "weak" cylinders are a normal every day thing....etc...

I bought this boat REALLY hoping I was wrong....and I still hope I am.
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Old 11-11-2013, 05:22 PM   #120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baker View Post
100% Cummins built. That is not to say parts are outsourced. You can't get away from that. But the problems are not endemic to a certain version of the engine. They are just being asked to do too much work with too little iron. That is all. The lower powered ones do quite well(and usually dont have aftercoolers or fuel coolers which are big time failure points). BUt the more you squeeze, the more you have issues.
There is a lot of iron in the cummins engines. I know in trucks, each generation has gotten lighter and weaker. The 24 valves run lighter rods and cranks. But those are 6bta. But the 6bt 12 valve run massive internals. Rods weigh 3 or 4 times what powerstroke parts weigh. The crank is easily twice that of the larger v8. But yes, the more power they make, the shorter the projected life. If it weren't for bad heat exchangers, what problems are there?
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