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Old 05-29-2018, 05:10 PM   #1
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Bought a used engine? Post your experience.

There's many used diesel engines out there to be had and I know a few guys in my marina that have had success in buying running pull outs.

I have an original perkins 354 that's running fine but the mind wanders.

Just curious about first hand experience going down this road vs re manufactured or new.
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Old 05-30-2018, 07:32 AM   #2
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I’m in the same situation. Looking to repower a obsolete TV8-540 Perkins and trying to decide whether to buy a reman Cummins or try to find a good used one. A lot of money to be saved by buying used, but I’m always thinking, if it’s good engine, why was it removed. So far l’ve not seen a used engine that gives me a warm fuzzy feeling and I’m afraid of any engine that was rebuilt by a backyard mechanic. I’m probably going the reman route unless a cream puff engine turns up with good verifiable history.
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Old 05-30-2018, 07:49 AM   #3
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Before adding HP to your trawler think. The builder picked the engine based upon his design and experience.
Changing the engine will necessitate changing the transmission.
You have a full displacement hull. Trying to push it over hull speed will only cost you fuel. Is it really worth the effort and money?
I guess you have at least 4 options.
1. Buy a factory reman
2. Buy a 'shade tree' rebuild
3. Have yours rebuilt. Assuming it can be rebuilt by a professional service.
4. ???

I am told, there is a AT42 (fast trawler) out there with a builder installed over sized engine, at the new owner's request. All it accomplished was increase in fuel consumption, more noise and a little bit of speed increase. Oh, and made the available space in the engine room smaller.

Remember that cost/benefit ratio?
Chances are you are entering into the world of "best guess." You may not be happy with the results.
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Old 05-30-2018, 08:31 AM   #4
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There will unlikely be any decent RTO Perkins T3.54 engines available. As others have said, if it were decent and running perfectly then why take it out. The only thing I would consider as opposed to a repower with a new/remanned engine is a rebuild job by Trans Atlantic Diesel. And even then I would be concerned about the condition of the integral manifold/cooler.

TAD lists a 120 hp NA version for $10,000 plus core exchange. I suspect a turbo 6.354 would be more.

The logical alternative is a remanned Cummins 210 hp 6BT. Others have successfully repowered Mainship 34s with this engine. It will be more expensive than a drop in Perkins but it will last forever.

But you will be spending more than $20,000 to do this.


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Old 05-30-2018, 09:42 AM   #5
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Several years ago a friend with an old 34 Mainship repowered with a rebuilt Perkins 240 HP. Rebuilt by TAD. He brought them the old 240 and said rebuild and do whatever it needs.
130 hours and a season later the crankshaft broke. He returned it to TAD and they told him that the harmonic balancer should have been replaced.
So why didn't they do that initially?
They rebuilt it for him at their cost, plus his cost for the balancer. It cost him an entire season to get it all done.
Moral of the story is that even professionals don't always do a good job rebuilding.
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Old 05-30-2018, 10:41 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrwesson View Post
There's many used diesel engines out there to be had and I know a few guys in my marina that have had success in buying running pull outs.


I have an original perkins 354 that's running fine but the mind wanders.

Just curious about first hand experience going down this road vs re manufactured or new.
First hand.

In 2000, I had a pair of TMD40 150 hp. I was in the store for belts and oil filters. My mechanic, knowing my engines, asked how many hours I had. The Q led to going out back, where he had a pair of TAMD41s 200hp. I put mine on the market, ads in fish and workboat mags. When I found a customer for mine, I scheduled a haulout and did the swap.
My net cost after selling the running TMD40s, was ~ $5000 including haulout, engines, rebuilding injectors on the new ones, HIAB to do the lifting.
After a couple of years I also re-pitched the props, so add $300.
More modern design, faster startup and less smoky at startup, reserve hp, 3000 fewer hours. All positives.
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Old 05-30-2018, 11:29 AM   #7
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Gots to be careful out there. There is some junk being peddled. Run across some first hand that were major disappointments.

Best is to buy where there is some solid history on the motors, such as a long term owner taking them out, but still can be sea trialed, a reputable shop that can give some warranty, etc.

Some vendors have a well established bad rep that is easily found on the net, yet folks still buy their engines.

On my personal boat, I bought a used Cummins 450C that had about 1200hrs on it. I bought it from a reputable shop that I knew from other business dealings. The shop gave me a six month warranty that began not at purchase but at startup as I was building the hull at the time. That was over ten years ago and engine has had no major issues.

Bench running on a pallet can only tell you about half of what you would want to know.

And yes, you need a solid explanation as to why they came out of the boat.
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Old 06-06-2018, 04:06 PM   #8
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To date I have purchased two engines off Craigslist. One as a potential back up replacement for the 4-154 Perkins with the constant leaking rear main seal (Twice replaced). The second as the actual replacement as a upgrade to a 4-236 Perkins
The first sold without ever starting. The second, purchased from a fellow in Everett Washington, who's word was good on every aspect. This engine, hours unknown and year then not known, later confirmed as a 2004 built engine has proved to be the best buy of the year then, $1000.00 delivered to the barge line. Checked out by qualified shop on arrival and deemed one fine "steal".
Runs like a clock. So good buys exist, buyer beware understanding the risk factor. Never spend money you can't afford on a second had buy.

I believe a $1000.00 gamble was a bet then and I know I won!!

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Old 06-07-2018, 05:34 AM   #9
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"Before adding HP to your trawler think. The builder picked the engine based upon his design and experience."

Probably nice to believe that but I think pri$e was the builders first concern.

For decades Volvo has had great low OEM pricing , it gets them sold , and they make up on parts over decades!

The Naval architect should specify the engine

Weight, power , transmission ratios, prop diameter, exhaust and cooling are far beyond the usual boat assembly operation.
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Old 06-07-2018, 09:07 AM   #10
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"Before adding HP to your trawler think. The builder picked the engine based upon his design and experience."

Yes true but mostly based on what will sell.

Willard picked the right engine in it’s day for my boat but that’s unusual .. now and then. Installed it was 33hp but it was used extensively in taxi’s and rated at 4000rpm to 50hp. To this day many still call the Perkins 4-107/8 50hp.
Cars have lots of extra hp and for good reasons. Boats do not. Boaters have 1000 times as much experience w cars so contemplating an 8 ton boat w only 33hp dosn’t fly. Chances of selling the boat w 50hp is far better. People would not belive a 33hp engine could push the boat. Too much car in the head.
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Old 06-08-2018, 06:04 AM   #11
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"Installed it was 33hp but it was used extensively in taxi’s and rated at 4000rpm to 50hp."

That rating was for acceleration , probably good for 20 seconds.

The old rule of 3 hp per ton (a ton is 2240lbs) max needed for cruising works fine.

Another useful rule of thumb is 3 cubic inches of engine displacement per HP of output .

Sadly there are few lower HP diesels that are industrial rated , so the install of "oversized" engines is required .
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