Life of a Diesel Engine?? - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 09-10-2006
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Life of a Diesel Engine??

I am wondering what everyones thought are about the potential life of a diesel engine.

I am looking at several boats that have high engine hours. If an engine is used a lot, but well-maintained, what would be the expected life be? Is 5,000 a high number, or do they usually go to 10,000? Specifically, how about a Perkins 4108 or Yanmar? Anyway, just curious.
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Old 09-10-2006
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They keep going and going if taken care of well...but I guess about 5000 hrs. is considered high "mileage" in the used boat market. Typically a lot of boats need rebuilds in the 5-10K area so you ideally would want the prior owner to have taken care of that expense. I'd also be wary of a boat that was relatively young and had a lot of engine hours...not that that s so terrible but it is usually a good sign of charter use which is not so good!
Well kept diesels can last 15-20,000 hrs. the trouble is finding one which has been well kept! Perkins makes a very rugged engine, but I've heard that 4-108 parts are getting hard to find now. I presently have a 4-286 on my boat and it keeps on chugging! Had a Yanmar 44 on my last boat and it too kept me happy with no problems. I would think that the higher compression and RPM's in the Yanmar would cause a shorter life but maybe more modern materials make it all come out about even. I WOULD avoid the turbo models.
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Old 09-10-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie
Typically a lot of boats need rebuilds in the 5-10K area so you ideally would want the prior owner to have taken care of that expense.
Is a "rebuild" a major expense? Any idea?
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Old 09-10-2006
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Slow speed => long life

Our 22hp Sabb '2GZ' is said to go 40,000+ hours between major overhauls. (Redline is 1,800 RPM)

Check back in a few years.
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That's encouraging.... I guess they make airplane engines so they need to be reliable
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Addressing the itch of curiosity, why avoid the turbo models? As for rebuild expenses, yeah, it can get pretty steep. You're dealing with better materials to begin with, and quality costs more. This is more than balanced by the return on the investment since it'll last so long between major overhauls.
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Old 09-10-2006
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One thing to remember, a diesel engine with low hours, that is older, is probably going to have more problems than one that is the same age and has more hours. Low-hour engines generally have a lot more issues caused by disuse, than engines that are run more often and properly maintained.
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Generally, at around 5000 hours, the 4-108 head will need to come off and be rebuilt including valves, valve stems/guides, valve springs etc. Also, the timing chain will likely have a lot of slack and wear and it too should be replaced however many run on without. These are wonderful diesel engines and worth this attention if you have confidence in how the previous owner, or owners, kept maintenance.
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Old 09-11-2006
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Timing chain??? Yikes!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seabreeze_97
Timing chain??? Yikes!
Oops, I confused the 4108 with another similar diesel that does use a timing chain. The 4107 and 4108 in fact run helical timing gears run off the cam and seldom wear out....sorry
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