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  #11  
Old 09-06-2013
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Re: Diesel Engine Surveys

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimgo View Post

To those wishing us good luck, thank you, but that part of the boat's history is (hopefully) over. We hired a good marina to do the work for us. It took a lot longer than we expected, but we splashed about 2 months ago and made the trip "home" to NJ a few weeks ago. The engine survived over 200 miles of motor-sailing over 3 days (most days being 10+ hours a day) without any apparent issues.
That's great.
Just out of curiosity though do you mind sharing what it cost to get it repaired etc.
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Old 09-06-2013
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Diesel Engine Surveys

Calder's Marine Diesel Engines book has a nice DIY engine survey process. Many good tips/tricks but I can't imagine a boat owner being willing to let anyone (engine surveyer included) disassemble anything, even exhaust hose connections. It's just too easy for something simple to become a larger problem especially on older engines. Even oil analysis requires multiple samples over time to be useful barring some super serious issue. I think it's reasonable to question the utility of an engine survey at all.

The sea trial is a great tool for checking the engine. Smoke color at cold start-up, rattle/vibrations through the RPM range, RPM under load, acceleration/de-acceleration, temperature, etc. Talking to the owner and getting a feel for their knowledge and maintenance habits also provides some indicators. It's also good to do thorough homework on the specific engine models as most issues are well known in older models and you can focus on those, ask the owner, or check for the necessary fixes.

As others have noted the OP's specific failure mode was probably undetectable unless the pending failure manifest itself in some observable/measurable way. I was unaware of the shaft rotation trick. Might be nice if someone would compile a list of non-destructive/disassembly approaches for identifying engine issues that would be doable during a boat viewing.

Josh
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  #13  
Old 09-06-2013
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Re: Diesel Engine Surveys

David, it's tough to give you an exact total, because we had other work done. I also don't have the bills in front of me, so I may be off a bit, but here's a rough breakdown as I remember it off the top of my head (I may be off by $100-200 on any of these):

New transmission: $1200
New heat exchanger: $800
New motor mounts: $400
New damping plate: $400
New inner seal and hoses: $400

Then there was the labor/marina time. They hauled, power washed, blocked, and launched the boat. They disassembled the engine and transmission, pulled it from the boat, broke it down, inspected everything, degreased it, painted it, reassembled it, installed and tested it, and took me out for a "shake-down" cruise, too. I believe that was about $3000.

The reason I'm a bit fuzzy on the details is that we had other work done too (the jib needed to be repaired, and they handled sending it out, they removed the old name for me, and a few other small things). So, I'm trying to keep that separate from the engine work. Plus, my repairs were full of stops-and-starts, mostly because the marina had other projects going on, too. So, the marina knocked off several hours worth of charges due to the inefficiency they created.

I should note too, since you asked about costs, that another marina quoted me close to $9,000 to do the same work, and that didn't include the heat exchanger or the rear seal. They were also going to charge me storage the entire time I was waiting for them to get around to fixing my boat. The marina I chose (Haven Harbour in Rock Hall, MD) didn't charge me for storage, and they let me "hang out" in the marina for a few weeks for free after the work was done so we could test things out.
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Last edited by jimgo; 09-06-2013 at 09:55 AM.
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Re: Diesel Engine Surveys

That's not bad pricing. It pays to shop around for marinas....
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Re: Diesel Engine Surveys

Saillife, thanks for the comment on the pricing. My only complaint with Haven Harbour was how long it took. Of course I'd have liked the repairs to have cost less, but that's outside of my control, and in the end I believe the marina charged me a fair price for the amount of work they did. Over all, except for how long it took, I was very pleased with them. They were nice people to deal with, too.
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