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  #1  
Old 01-25-2007
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Engine question

Does "Volvo penta 3cyl. 28hp diesel, 2003 series model" mean that the engine was new in 2003.
I suppose a lot depends on how well an engine was maintained, but how many hours is reasonable for a diesel engine. Is 2700 hours on a '94 Yanmar 3GM Ok.
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Old 01-25-2007
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Yes and absolutely yes regarding maintenance being the salient issue, regardless of engine hours. A well-maintained '94 Yanmar with 2000+ hrs on it is much preferrable to a similar year, similar engine with 500 hrs on it with little routine maintenance and infrequent use at low RPM.
Obviously, if your question is in the context of a potential purchase, a thorough engine survey is a good idea, regardless
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Old 01-25-2007
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You have asked a couple of questions.

1. I do not know what is meant by "2003 series model". It sounds like salesman talk.

2. 2700 hours works out to over 200 hours per season for 12 years use and is quite a lot in an auxiliary sailboat, probably indicates a southern boat.

3. A Yanmar (I own a 2GM) ought to be able to give good service with that number of run hours, provided that it has been maintained and serviced properly. A lube oil analysis and a compression check will help to verify its condition. Be sure to check condition of the cooling system very carefully, especially if it is raw water cooled.

Last edited by Goodnewsboy; 01-25-2007 at 10:39 PM.
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Old 01-25-2007
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Engine hours alone are not always a good barometer. Some with high hours, but good maintainance, can be in much better shape than one with low hours and poor maintainance. Also, how the hours were put on is a factor. One run primarily to charge batteries (ie: low rpm, no load) will be more problematic than one used to motor with.

So it's hard to say, just on hours alone, what shape an engine is in. Diesels can be remarkably long lived, if taken care of properly. And short lived if not. If this concerns a boat you are looking at, I would have an engine survey done.
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Old 01-25-2007
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From what I was told, the "2003" has nothing to do with the year, for Volvo its just a model number. I looked at a boat that had a 2002 model, the engine was built in 1994.
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Old 01-25-2007
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PBzeer's got a good point... Diesel engines are more likely to die of neglect than over use. Using one too few hours usually means it is neglected... since it usually extends the time period between maintenance checks.
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Old 01-26-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bestfriend
From what I was told, the "2003" has nothing to do with the year, for Volvo its just a model number. I looked at a boat that had a 2002 model, the engine was built in 1994.
I think that's correct - 2001/2002/2003 are 1,2,&3 cylinder models of that series of Volvos.

And to add to PBs point- engines that have sat unused for long periods of time can have compression issues because the rings can stick in the piston head and not seal on the cylinder wall properly. You could be better off with a well maintained motor that's been run regularly (and has hours on it) than an old low hour engine.

Last edited by Faster; 01-26-2007 at 01:03 AM.
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Old 01-26-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by castoff
Does "Volvo penta 3cyl. 28hp diesel, 2003 series model" mean that the engine was new in 2003.
I suppose a lot depends on how well an engine was maintained, but how many hours is reasonable for a diesel engine. Is 2700 hours on a '94 Yanmar 3GM Ok.
The 2003 is a 3 cylinder engine in the Volvo 2000 series. There was the 2001 (single) 2002 (2 cylinders) 2003 (3 cylinders) and 2003T (3 cylinder turbo). These engines were manufactured from about 1984 to 1990. They were the worst engines Volvo manufactured as can be noted by the short run. Volvo claimed they were the state of the art at the time but I think they were more experimental. After these Volvo stopped manufacturing small block diesels and assembled them using I believe Kubota blocks or they repainted Perkins small diesels. I would not buy a boat with a 2000 series engine unless the cost of a new engine is factored in.


2700 hours on a 3GM would not worry.
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Old 01-26-2007
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Not to be redundant as in some of the prior posts, the conventional wisdom is to do an engine oil analysis as part of a survey of the engine. It is, however, essentially meaningless, as a stand-alone result. To be of any real use in determining engine integrity, it has to be done on a routine basis such that any trend(s) can be observed which would be the only significant indication of engine problems.
You will find many people who believe the inaccurate marketing of this analysis or just don't understand the chemistry of an engine which is wearing improperly. It is both misleading and a waste of money to do an engine analysis unless you have multiple previous analyses with which to compare it.
I could go into the years of experience I've had with this hype, the lack of QC of various labs which do these analyses as well as their lack of precision and reproducability of the results and the meaninglessness of the results, all of which is pretty boring so I'll save that if anyone cares for later.
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Old 01-26-2007
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K1...so then, how do you best evaluate the condition of an engine you are about to buy? Run it and watch what happens and compression test? Or is there something else you would do?
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