Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Windy Wyoming
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Re: MD6A Value
We're contemplating replacing the MD6A on our Albin Ballad, so I can give you one potential buyer's mental 'spreadsheet'.
Replacing with a newer or overhauled Volvo Penta would be an easy solution, especially an MD6 or 7. We know they fit the space, minimal engine bed work would be required, same control panels, cabling, etc. Much would depend on what you mean by 'overhauling': full tear down and re-man by a qualified diesel technician? Few hours spent with some JB Weld and a can of Krylon? Has the MD6 been upgraded to fresh water cooling? What's the compression like?
OTOH, some of the reasons for pulling our MD6 would not be addressed by dropping in another one. They are still old engines, & most ran salt water thru the blocks for many years. They are terribly underpowered for their weight and have trouble pushing a 30'er in wind or chop. They aren't very fuel efficient, have generally poor access to impeller, dipsticks, and filters, and can be hard to start in cold weather (no glow plugs). Alternator is too small, and most still use the Dynastart magneto as started/secondary charger. Parts are very hard to find and staggeringly expensive; there is no parallel supply chain like you get with Universals, Yanmars, or marinized Kubotas. The parts problem is magnified in remote locations.
So I guess I would consider dropping up to $3200 on a professionally remanned MD6 with FWC and 2-yr warranty. Asking price higher than that, I'd be tempted to swap over to a used/rebuilt Yanmar ~18hp and just do the necessary to make it fit. That would be good up to $5000 or so. Above that, I'd step up to a new Nanni or Beta and install it myself, hopefully keeping the price down to around $8-9k.
Albin Ballad 30, Fionn