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Bimini Babe

Biting the bullet

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For my money as an ex volvo mechanic, marine engineer and current owner of a 30' boat with a 2gm20 yanmar I would not go past the yanmar option. Ours has a lot more hours on it than I would normally admit but it is strong, simple and reliable if a little industrial sounding. Direct sea water cooling removes a bunch of complexity without seeming to have any long term effects. (recently had the engine out to replace shaft seal so had a real good chance to eyeball the cooling passages and no problems visible). Only weak point seems to be the factory mounts which are expensive and seem to deteriorate quickly. One of ours separated a while back and as it wasn't on the ahead thrust side I sikaflexed it back together and it has been 100% OK. After market direct replacements are available. A Kiwi couple in Fiji a couple of years ago accidentally filled their engine cylinders with water when flushing the engine for storage, came back and found it seized. From memory the total cost of new pistons, gaskets, labour etc was less then $1k so not hideously expensive. No special tools needed and so simple any 3rd world mechanic with limited training can fix it easily.

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First off, a new installation is going to outlast your trip. The only things you should be looking at replacing will be oil, filters and cooling impellor and maybe, if you spend several years out there, perhaps an exhaust/water mixer. You have to be very unlucky for anything major to fail on pretty much any Diesel and a major component failure will likely do so early on in it's life and while under warranty.

Costs of transplants come into it when you are fitting an engine different to what you have, as in either make of Hp. The costs come in with things like engine mounting, exhaust, plumbing and so on and extra Hp means shaft and prop replacement, which is where the big expensive in repowering come in.

The new generation Volvos(I will leave my personal feelings about Volvo out of it) have the high pressure fuel rails. As far as I know (and please correct me if I am wrong) Yanmar does not(small ones anyway) nor for that matter, any other smaller brand. The high pressure fuel rails means the injectors are computer contolled and this means a flatter Hp/Torque curve and better fuel economy, along with easier starting. Normally Volvo parts are stupid expensive. Yanmar used to be cheap. Maybe, from what Grinna states, that has changed. Most of the names you mentioned are easy to get parts for around the world, or at least you can order and have sent anywhere in the world fairly easy these days. I certainlly would not discount any of those other makes...well apart from Buhk.

By the way, every brand of engine out there is quite possibly not an actual of that brand. Most Brands use different engines to fill a range and specialise in making just a few. Even Volvo use several different makes to fill there range. Each manufacturer specialises in a particular engine size and then buys in others to create a particular range. Plus Engines are rarely made as marine engines. That part is done later.So the supplier buys the basic engine and then fits all the marinising gear to it and sells it as a marine engine. Yanmar and Perkins are the only two manufacturers (that I know of) that designed engines on the drawing board as a marine engine. That is not saying all their engines were, but a few in thier range were.

So hopefully that gives some food for thoughts, but I also feel it hasn't really answered your question. Apart maybe from looking at the other brands on offer as well.

Oh and I believe the real biggy is not the engine itself, but the installation. I have seen so many bad installations that have given the engine a bad name, when it was the dipsticks that installed the engine that caused the problems. So get a good installer.

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Each manufacturer specialises in a particular engine size and then buys in others to create a particular range. Plus Engines are rarely made as marine engines. That part is done later.So the supplier buys the basic engine and then fits all the marinising gear to it and sells it as a marine engine. Yanmar and Perkins are the only two manufacturers (that I know of) that designed engines on the drawing board as a marine engine.

 

 

From memory I have Perkins stamped on the block of my 2003 Volvo. I have just had it completely rebuilt from scratch and in hind site I would have been better to repower. The parts were stupidly expensive and had to come from Europe. The only consolation I had was that the previous owner paid all the bills as part of the warranty.

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Thanks for all the replies guys.

 

OK, from what I gather, one new engine is about as good as another. So check out the cheaper Kubota-based ones - which I shall - and give Andy @ The Engine Room a call (a name that's come up in previous engine threads quite regularly I see!)

 

Installation - the plan was always to DIY this to save cost. I too have heard the 50% rule, which is a little scary on a $10k motor, so DIY installation is an attractive alternative... Can it really go that horribly wrong? Should I seriously be considering professional installation? What are the possible pitfalls of DIY installation that I'm not aware of? I'm anticipating a severe backlash to the suggestion of self-installation, in which case, who do you recommend I go to that's not a 'dipstick'?

 

Interesting you should bash the Bukh Wheels. Any reason? I've heard good things about them too, but of course, everyone's got their reasons. And I thought Volvos were designed as marines too? I know most of the rest are all tractors etc!

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One advantage of DIY is you will know it inside out and never be scared of tackling later problems yourself.

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BB ive got a 13 year old volvo 30HP in my boat and its built around a Perkins engine block.

 

and FWIW, i love my little green monster.

 

Also, are you sure you need a new engine? Just because it wouldnt start one day doesnt mean you need to rip it out and replace. Maybe give it some love, a nice clean starter motor and a new glowplug?

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Thanks TL, but this motor and I? We have a history. She used to only start for me. A gentle woman's touch was all she needed to breathe her into life. But the relationship has now soured beyond repair, and it's D.I.V.O.R.C.E time I'm afraid.

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The rule of thumb of double the cost is when you are putting in something bigger and then you need tp replace Prop and shaft and all that goes with that. The only major issue you have with a different similar Hp engine is the engine mount position, the gearbox mounting, wich can usually be done with an adaptor plate and you may have exhaust outlet on a different side or position and maybe water intake on a different side or position. Apart from that, normally it's not too hard.

The issue I have with Volvo is the exhorbatant cost of parts. Not filters, but actual parts. Especially when they are often engines that are available from their own manufacturer far far cheaper.

You would be surprised how many different Marine engines are Perkins origin. Even Catipiller. They have brought the tooling for the Perkins 6.354 and are now biulding the Perkins as their own engine.

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