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  Topic Review (Newest First)
04-30-2014 06:36 PM
Re: Universal 5424 Diesel

On the subject of gauges, it is de rigueur to bypass the ammeter in the instrument panel, as the Universal wiring is unable to safely carry the alternator charging current. This makes the ammeter rather useless.

I replaced mine with a voltmeter - much more useful
04-30-2014 05:10 PM
Re: Universal 5424 Diesel

Gee, for a 33 year old boat, 2,440 hours doesn't seem very high...maybe even a little light? 2440/33=75 hours per year, huh? Check to make sure the hourmeter is actually working. Realistically at that age the kind of use it's received is probably way more important than the number of does it look? Original or sixth owner? Decent engine maintenance logs or none? I have a 5444 with over 3,000 hours, and just finished redoing the cylinder head, replacing the "water flange" that the thermostat sits in, overhauling the heat exchanger, and replacing the gauges in my instrument panel.

I think the Kubota's are good little engines, and the Universal marinization bits seem okay too. That said, you have to be ready to do a little detective work figuring out the Universal/Kubota parts cross reference - search Google for "Kubota parts" and you'll get a bunch of hits (Kumar Brothers sells a lot of aftermarket stuff). Shops & mechanics used to working on Yanmars, Perkins and Volvos may not be enthusiastic to work on it, but they are pretty simple engines. How much of a DIY'er are you? I replaced three gauges in my panel with nice new Teleflex gauges that are nicer than the originals for $160, and it took maybe a day all told, including changing a bit of wiring.

One thing I learned is that compression and leakdown tests can tell you a lot. OTOH, my understanding is that the real value of oil analysis is tracking changes, so a one time test isn't all that informative. SOME of the marinization parts on these engines are getting pretty scarce (like exhaust manifolds), and even finding these parts used can be tough, but I think most things could be MacGyvered. Good luck!
04-28-2014 03:15 PM
Re: Universal 5424 Diesel

Lots of tractor parts are available for that engine (the non marinized parts) at deep discounts to the cost of marine engine parts (sometimes as much as 90% off). If you buy the boat, PM me and I will email you a spreadsheet with crossover parts numbers I have put together. There are some issues with decreasing parts availability (search for M-30 and heat exchanger for an example) but they don't seem too bad. 2500 hours doesn't have to be "HIGH" if the engine was well maintained it may have tons of life left. Frankly, the Hurth transmissions seem to be the biggest source of complaints I have noticed (I have had no such probs myself -- KoW). Look for smoke, it should probably run @2800-3000RPM at the top end. Cost to replace has more to do with the set up of your stringers, motor mount, etc. New Kubota is probably under $8K to purchase . . . with basic install maybe $12-15K -- installed with bells and whistles probably run you as much as $20-22K.

Could you email the spreadsheet for the 5424. I am looking for some cooling system gaskets that I cannot find through the marine stores.
01-23-2014 03:13 PM
Re: Universal 5424 Diesel

Originally Posted by Maine_bill View Post
Good Morning
Almost hate to ask this question..but i will anyway

I am looking to purchase a 1981 Pearson 35 that is equipped with a Universal 5424 engine with HIGH hours, 2440.
The heat exchanger has been replaced (don't know when, yet!)

Even tho I will have the boat surveyed, hopeful finding a surveyor with that engine knowledge, what are your thoughts on what to watch out for regarding this engine: Parts avail...cost to replace...transmission know, all those same question to a new boat owner.
any PROS or CONS
That is not a lot of hours at all. The motor, if well maintained should be good for close to 10,000 hours. This is a sturdy little tractor motor. If really concerned have a mechanic look it over, or an engine oil analysis. Parts are quite available with some creativity with a few exceptions. Now if it has not been maintained well, then that it could be near the end. I would take one over a Volvo any day!
01-23-2014 01:57 PM
Re: Universal 5424 Diesel

The instrument panel isn't available, but one is from Catalina Direct for a Cat with the same engine. You'd just have to be a bit cunning with the wiring.

See here :

Catalina Direct: Electrical

You can replace the instruments with generic ones. I've replaced several, installed a quartz hour meter because the one in the rev counter broke, and replaced the ignition switch.

If your panel needed replacing though, I would use a CAD program to design a panel, have it made, and use generic instruments.

The electric pump is just a lift pump and any low pressure diesel pump should work. Catalina Direct have the correct one, though. For $237.
01-23-2014 01:18 PM
Re: Universal 5424 Diesel

I too have a 5424, that I new nothing about. HAD I known what I know now... maybe I would have...?

Other than the starter, alternator and filters, nost everything else is no longer available. No fuel pumps (not the electric ones), manifolds, instrument panels. OK, I will get arguments about Kabota tractor engine parts... but really? My boat is at a marina surounded by marine fixem shops, but I have to try and mail order parts from all over the country? Your hours are not an issue if everything is in good order. I've got 3359 and runs like a kitten. I resolved that when she goes... bite the bullet and repower. Mine was in excellent condition so I went with it.

01-22-2014 01:25 PM
Re: Universal 5424 Diesel

PS, I use Wix filters from a truck parts store.
01-22-2014 01:24 PM
Re: Universal 5424 Diesel

Generally, it's a very good engine. Tough and long lasting, but a bit noisy and vibratory. It should have ample power for that Pearson.

Transmissions are available, rebuilt, or you can put in a ZF.

So far on my 5424, the Sherwood raw water pump has been lasting for 2 years / 200 hrs before the shaft seals fail. Watch for corrosion on the block under the pump, which indicates a leak. A slight leak is not too disastrous for a short while, until the corrosion blocks the hole in the pump that allows water to escape, then it starts getting forced into the engine oil!

You can get the parts to rebuild the Sherwood, or replace with an Oberdorfer. The Sherwood is nudging $400 for a replacement, the Oberdorfer around $200 right now. I've installed an Oberdorfer, and hoping for longer life. I also rebuilt the Sherwood to use as a spare.

The manual says to change the transmission oil every 100 hours, and it needs it. There isn't much oil quantity and it's under some heat stress.

Heat exchangers are easily available.

The main issue seems to be the exhaust manifold, hard to find.

All the engine parts common to the Kubota block are easily available. Just bought a starter motor for $80.
01-22-2014 01:21 PM
Re: Universal 5424 Diesel

The 5424 was one of the original Universal diesels. Since the boat is a 1981, I suspect its the original engine. As has been noted they are marinized Kubota diesels. Parts are available from Universal dealers (pricy!) or Kubota dealers if you know their engine or tractor model number. If its been well maintained, it should be good for a number of more years of service.
01-22-2014 12:32 PM
Re: Universal 5424 Diesel

FYI... don't expect any surveyor to give you any kind of useful info on the state of the engine. A separate mechanical inspection would be required as well. Same goes for the state of the rigging, esp above deck level. Most surveyors will remark on visual indicators only.
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