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Old 12-04-2013, 07:41 PM   #6
Underway
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 741
We have twin 250 8.2s in our OA.

The 8.2 Detroit experienced a rash of blown head gaskets shortly after the introduction of the turbo version. The original 4 bolt pattern around the cylinders was subsequently changed to five, and bolt diameter was increased. There was also a problem with faulty thermostats, which contributed to the head gasket issue. The new bolts and revised thermostats solved the problem. A lot of what you read is hearsay and is biased by that early history.

The OA 44 was offered with engine options from Lehman, Volvo, Cummins, Cat and Detroit. I was well aware of the 8.2 "rep", so I researched the engine at length....and compared what I read to failures and issues for other potential engine brands. Then I called Johnson and Towers who had marinized the engine for Detroit. Two of the engineers who were part of the original design team gave me the history on the conversion. They candidly advised me to avoid the 300+ HP intercooled versions as they had tried to stuff 10 pounds in a 5 pound bag...and that version of the engine did not hold up to the typical ""on the pins" operation in the small sport fish application. They both viewed the 220/250 HP turbo engine as a "gem" that took to turbocharging like a duck takes to water. Further, in their experience, while the 8.2 had fared poorly in the varying rpm road application, it thrived in the constant rpm marine operation. I subsequently selected the 8.2 over the other offerings and thank my lucky stars.

The engines in our boat (1300 hours) start the instant the button is depressed (even after eight months of winter storage). They don't leak, don't smoke, have zero issues with injection pumps (because they don't have one), are arguably the most fuel efficient engines offered in the 35-45' semi-planning "trawler" segment, and as a bonus have a burley V8 rumble (life is too short to put up with a 6 cylinder drone). That said, I don't lean on the engines very hard....nor do most owners of other engine brands in these older boats.

So, if you do an engine comparison, be sure to investigate all engines on your list of candidates. You'll find the 8.2 stacks up just fine if you discount the 10 pounds in an 5 pound bag version. Parts are still available from Detroit and used parts are common. By the way, Detroit used to provide the warranty history on old engines. I got the printout for the engines in our boat before closing the deal.
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