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Old 08-23-2014, 06:25 PM   #1
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Trolling for info on Perkins

Hi all,

New Member here, I'm sure this has been discussed before but I am hoping ya'll might be able to provide a Trawler neophyte some info. We have been sailboaters our entire lives and have recently sold our sailboat and have pulled the trigger on a 1986 42' CHB Ponderosa with twin Perkins ST6.3544M's (200hp) and a 8kw Onan genset. I'm not familiar with the larger Perkins or Onan Gensets and was wanting info (Pros and Cons of these particular engines and genset) before we begin our "due diligence" phase of the transaction. Engine and Boat surveys are scheduled for next week. Please advise.

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Old 08-23-2014, 06:44 PM   #2
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No real cons. Except some parts are hard to find for the contra-rotating models.

Other than that the Perkins are great.

like any engine, how it's treated will determine if it's good or not.

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Old 08-23-2014, 06:50 PM   #3
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The 6.354 base engine has been around many many years. As long as they're maintained, they're great engines. Mine are over 35 years old with no mechanical problems, have done a valve job on one engine and that was caused by saltwater ingestion from a leaking saltwater cooling line..

With a few exceptions, parts are readily available. Exhaust manifolds can be pricey, but available. Good idea to ask to see the engine maintenance log and if you are serious about the boat, have a qualified Perkins mechanic, not a boat surveyor, do a thorough engine survey. Sounds like they are Range 4 generation engines which is a solid engine with a good track record.

Sorry, I have no knowledge of Perkins generators
Larry B
Careful . . .I Have a Generator and I'm not afraid to use it !
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Old 08-23-2014, 07:26 PM   #4
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We were sailors also. Our has a single Perkins 6.354 and so far so good. I always use Perkins oil and fuel filters , don't know why just do . They are tough engines. Good luck with your new venture.
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Old 08-23-2014, 09:11 PM   #5
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I have the same engines 1991 Range 4 200 hp turbo. We are getting close to completing our Great Loop trip and both engines have run flawlessly

A test the other day after topping up my tanks showed I am burning 3.2 gph @1800rpm combined which is awesome

We change the oil every 220 hours and send the oil in for analysis at every change and the results have been very good

Like said before good maintenance and regular engine room checks with a temp gun while underway are important, we do our engine checks every 2 hours and I sample approx 10 points with an IR gun on each engine plus transmission and packing gland temps.

I have not had problems getting parts and I use the genuine filters especially the oil filter which has the flapper in it when mounting the oil filter full and inverted.

Good luck
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Old 08-28-2014, 06:52 PM   #6
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Have Perkins 200 HP turbos on Jefferson 45. No major problems ,did lose transmission do to leaking Oring in cooler. With all three coolers in line and only a Oring between them can leak or fail. Look for leaks at connection and end bells .Parts are local in ft Lauderdale but heat exchanger is $$$$$$. Change oil and filters at 200hrs.
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Old 08-28-2014, 08:28 PM   #7
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The reverse running engine has unique parts (in fact, I thought only the John Deeres had one that ran backwards - whaddayaknow?) like a unique starter, camshaft, water pump(s) etc. Those may be hard to find so plan to acquire spares as part of your initial spending spree.
Don't believe everything that you think.
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Old 08-28-2014, 09:27 PM   #8
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Mr. X. Some Detroit Diesels run backwards as well.
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Old 08-28-2014, 11:10 PM   #9
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Many Detroits run backward on port side. In fact all with Allison and Capitol gearboxes have reverse rotating port engines. And this includes some older Cummins and Perkins too. Parts for any of these reverse engines can be trouble. Except for Detroit, the parts are all common there.
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Old 08-29-2014, 08:03 PM   #10
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It is unlikely that a range 4 engine is counter-rotating. The direction of the prop rotation is accomplished in the transmission with an extra gear. If there is any doubt look at the engine number which is located beside the injection pump and if it has an "X" in the string then it is counter-rotating. My understanding is that the CCW engine was discontinued in the 70's. The main issue with the range 4 engine is the "manicooler" which is of aluminium//cast iron construction and is subject to corrosion and extreme expense. I had 20+ years experience with the previous generation of the T6-354, both CCW and CW and the only issue I had was with the inter-cooler. So that issue would be worth checking into, too. On the 200 HP model, they too are expensive.

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Old 09-02-2014, 08:24 PM   #11
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Trolling for info on Perkins

Last post is correct the reversal is with the transmission, I love my Perkins range 4 we just ran hard for 12 hours down Lake Michigan today starting off in 2' to 4' every 3 seconds and ended up with less than 1' for the last 7 hours, great 87 mile day and the engines didn't miss a beat.

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