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  #61  
Old 04-05-2013
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Re: Westerbeke vs Yanmar

I have a Westerbeke Universal M35-B (gray paint, not red). The engine is eight years old - can't recall exactly how many hours on it, somewhere between 800 and 1000.

Have had no real issues with the engine, but it is low "milage". Heat exchanger failed when a bracket failed. Fuel filter bracket failed. Minor stuff.

I've had Yanmars in the past and loved them. The Universal is good, but engine for engine, I prefer the Yanmar. Having said that, Westerbeke customer service is very good. I call Engines 1 whenever I need a part or have a question and they get me exactly what I need. Yanmar reps are hit and miss.
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Old 04-05-2013
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Re: Westerbeke vs Yanmar

Our personal experience is with a Westerbeke 55B. We had a blown head gasket. My husband took everything apart and ordered new valves. MONTHS later, we FINALLY received new valves...the wrong ones! This is despite camping out in a yard that is a Westerbeke dealer, and the distributor nearby too! We pondered how bad it would be if we were stranded in some obscure location! We were so frustrated that we were considering replacement despite the cost/hassle barrier. (Beta would probably have been top choice). Anyway, we finally got the right parts and rebuilt engine. It will have to prove itself before we feel any warm fuzzies, though.
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Old 04-05-2013
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Re: Westerbeke vs Yanmar

maybe the Westerbeke customer service is hit and miss, too...
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  #64  
Old 04-05-2013
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Re: Westerbeke vs Yanmar

Quote:
Originally Posted by nkamper View Post
Our personal experience is with a Westerbeke 55B. We had a blown head gasket. My husband took everything apart and ordered new valves. MONTHS later, we FINALLY received new valves...the wrong ones! This is despite camping out in a yard that is a Westerbeke dealer, and the distributor nearby too! We pondered how bad it would be if we were stranded in some obscure location! We were so frustrated that we were considering replacement despite the cost/hassle barrier. (Beta would probably have been top choice). Anyway, we finally got the right parts and rebuilt engine. It will have to prove itself before we feel any warm fuzzies, though.
That would push me to do something extreme. I'm notoriously patient, but that is beyond reason.
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Re: Westerbeke vs Yanmar

I think we still have yet for someone to tell a horror story about a Yanmar. I don't have any, except the time Huricane Wilma knoked my boat off it's stands and it landed in the newly rebuilt Yanmar that was sitting under the boat on a pallet, which ended up in the junkyard. That was my last attempt at putting an engine in.
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Old 04-05-2013
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Re: Westerbeke vs Yanmar

If you have to wait months for a "Westerbeke" part, that's part of the problem. You need to know who actually made your engine block. Is it a Mistu? A British Leyland? A Perkins? They've used others, too. Once you find out what the engine block really is, you can usually order parts from the local NAPA dealer or a dozen other sources, and get them in 48 hours at the worst.

According to their web site, WB are using engines from "several" actual makers today.

Last edited by hellosailor; 04-05-2013 at 05:41 PM.
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Old 04-05-2013
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Re: Westerbeke vs Yanmar

I had a reliable Westebeke 4-107 for 15 years and my problems were related to a messy rear seal oil leak and I was a little disappointed with the cost of replacement parts,- poorly machined water pump, and an unavailable heat exchanger. I've had my Yanmar 4JH3E for 11 years and it has also been very reliable though it seems to "eat" oil pressure sensor units,- I'm on my fourth at 6,000 hours. I like my Yanmar that I've owned from new to now. I was less pleased with my Westerbeke, but I owned it from it's 12th to it's 27th year of duty. My answer is a useless mix of anecdotal opinion. I think that. if you take care of them, then they will do you well! If pressed, I would choose the Yanmar!
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Old 04-08-2013
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Re: Westerbeke vs Yanmar

FYI,

Just got off the phone w/ Vitus, US. Anyway, they will no longer be selling any small diesel engines in the US, they don't comply w/ the clean air regs.

Called the US headquarters, they refered me to a distributor that mentioned the above, WTF

Dam the LH vs RH rotation issue, I'm going w/ a Yanmar....
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Old 04-12-2013
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Re: Westerbeke vs Yanmar

Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeyrouse View Post
As generally deduced, Westerbeke only marinizes short blocks from real manufacturerd. I have had three.

They actually start with a fairly complete engine right down to the starter and alternators on some. They make the bell housings and add a raw water pump, manifold, mounts HX, wiring harness and a few other marine specific items, oh and paint them red, as opposed to black... .

Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeyrouse View Post
The base engines are strong and reliable, but the parts that Westerbeke adds are where problems will lie: alternators and regulators, water pumps, and especially electrical components.

No engine manufacturer makes their own starters, alternators, fuel lift pumps etc. etc.. They are all pretty much the same. Yanmar uses Hitachi alts & starters, Westerbeke uses Mitsubishi, Balmar or Leece-Neville. I have not found a single brand to have any more or less reliable alternators, starters, fuel lift pumps etc.. They also use pump companies like Johnson, Jabsco etc. to make the OEM pumps. Some Yanmar's share the same pump parts with some Westerbeke engines because the pumps are built by the same OEM supplier...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeyrouse View Post
Their wiring is poor grade, as though they didn't know these in engines were being used in boats ON WATER.
There is not an engine maker I know of that makes a decent wiring harness, just a sad reality.. Yanmar IMHO, as a marine electrician, is one of the worst when it comes to wiring harnesses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeyrouse View Post
Connectors are the same poor grade.
They all pretty much use crappy on-engine wiring.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeyrouse View Post
And while Kubota parts are widely available, they're little if any cheaper.
Westerbeke engines are marinized Mitsubishi industrial engines not Kubota's. Universal, Westerbeke's sister company, marinizes Kubota's.

Kubota parts are a LOT, LOT, LOT less expensive than through Westerbeke. I have saved over 80% on many Kubota items. IIRC I have paid about $7.00 for a Kubota glow plug and Universal wanted about $80.00.....

Even Mitsubishi parts are a LOT, LOT, LOT less than through Westerbeke but finding the Mitsubishi parts can be tedious as their "contract" with Westerbeke disallows for Mitsubishi dealers to sell parts to Westerbeke customers, if they know they are going on a Westerbekje engine..

Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeyrouse View Post
What you are most likely to replace are the parts Westerbeke uses to marinize. Get the credit card ready.
I work on all the engines and I don't find Westerbeke / Universal to be out of line parts price wise for the "marine" market.. Volvo is the worst but they all GOUGE for the "marine" label.

BTW if you get creative Yanmar parts can also be purchased through industrial/farm channels too. These engines are also widely used in industrial and farm applications. There are a LOT of John Deer / Yanmar powered tractors out there and even through a John Deer dealer (not known for inexpensive parts) the base engine parts can be had for quite a bit less...
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Old 04-12-2013
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Re: Westerbeke vs Yanmar

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Originally Posted by Capt.aaron View Post
I think we still have yet for someone to tell a horror story about a Yanmar. I don't have any, except the time Huricane Wilma knoked my boat off it's stands and it landed in the newly rebuilt Yanmar that was sitting under the boat on a pallet, which ended up in the junkyard. That was my last attempt at putting an engine in.
I do! But I prefer it be made off line as to many ears and eyes are on here..
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