3500 hour club- tell your story

Toolate

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Every thread has the guy saying he owns a boat with an engine with 4000 or 12000 hrs or knows a fishing boat with 15k or whatever. 3500 seems like the border between an acceptable number and too many for comfort (to me anyway) especially when buying a new boat and inheriting someone else's hours.

If you have a boat with over 3500, please tell us your story and what you learned along the way.

I would think there would be lots of little tidbits that are engine specific that so many of the members would love to hear (parts that failed in odd ways, parts that repeatedly fail, bad service, really good service techs, tuning tips, oil analysis habits and lessons learned, etc.)

Include boat details, engine details etc.. Hope this gains some speed because I want to hear what people have to say.
 

offshore31

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still new to the boat but i bought (31 bhm) with a 370 volvo with 5300hrs. I bought if from the guy who put the engine in and put all 5300 hrs on it. i've done basic preventative maintenance and she's been running good for me so far. unfortunately due to my work schedule i haven't put much time on her this season, only ~50hrs, but the hours on the engine didn't scare me when i bought her. basic thing that i learned from my prior diesels were, change the oil and all filters (oil, fuel, air) religiously, change zinks, feed them clean fuel, and most importantly stay on the maintenance schedule and they'll go along time. actually most important is that it's propped right. then worry about maintenance. this engine was maintained like i'd maintain it, so i bought it. only time will tell, but in the end, diesels are simple beasts. they like to run, and want air and clean fuel. i bought my last boat with 1800hrs on 4yr old diesels. i put another 600hrs on them, and they were running strong when i sold it and bought this boat.

next season when (hopefully) work settles down i'll update this thread when i get some real hours on her. hopefully all i'll update it with something like "another couple of hundred hours, oil/filter changes, and still running strong".
 

greg

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A lot of the boats with long hours run well below the rated capacity of the engine. Some rarely go above 2000 rpm's on an engine where 3400 is wot. Few that violate the 20% rule make it far in life.

Lots of things will kill a diesel engine, but one sure way is to run it too hard. Over-propping, running it hot (from a pyrometer perspective), ignoring the raw water cooling system, or allowing water ingestion through the exhaust are prime causes.
 

lobstercatcher

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I've only had 3 engines.. one had about 27,000 since new and it was replaced and now must have 8000/. My new boat must be coming up on 5000 hrs. If you use and maintain your boat regularly,, 5,000 hrs is just broken in. 3000hrs on a 15yo never used engine could be equal to a 20,000 hr engine. Low hours doesn't always mean a good thing.
 

jwalka51

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3500 hours isnt even broken in for a commercial grade engine. Unless you are talking about gas engines. That is a whole different animal. 3500 hours is alot for a gasser but certainly not a quality diesel. Are you talking about gas engines???
When I bought my john Deere it had 16,000 on it. I just rebuilt it. Time for another 16,000
The guy who ties up across from me has a John Deere 6081 with 12,000 hours.It doesnt smoke, knock, leak or burn oil. That thing runs great
The guy next to me has a cummins 6bt with around 11,000. Same thing, also runs like a clock.
And a guy a few slips down from me has a 205 isuzu with almost 20,000 on it. Even that thing runs great.

I do not understand where you are coming from with this 3500 hour shit. I guess I could see it with a high revving rice burning piece of garbage like a yanmar.
But I think that that is my point, manufacturers like yanmar make light duty, high revving engines, and thats just a recipe for disisaster.
If you stick with slow turning heavy engines that make all of there power and torque at low rpms, then you should have no problem getting at least 10,000 hours.
 

lobstercatcher

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These are great ideas and points guys, sounds like you are both experienced diesel owners/operators.

My problem is that there is no way for me to gather that information for sure or know if it's true or not. I haven't really investigated this kind of information with this boat I don't know if I could completely trust it even if it was provided. Could you feel comfortable buying this particular boat Given the engine and number of hours?

You haven't givin the boat or engine. Pics would work well too if you have them.

Never mind I see your have another thread going.
 
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CaptAlex

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My "rice-burning, piece of garbage Yanmar" just ticked past 4500 hours, and has never run better.
I will say this though - certain engines (like Yanmar) use a lot of dissimilar metals to reduce weight. I had to replace my 10 year old aftercooler because of corrosion, and that was a just an inevitable matter of saltwater and time.
Parts are certainly $$, but I'll take my 13-year old, 4500hr, conservatively run, religiously maintained MECHANICAL rice burner to get me out 150miles and back every time ...
 
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captcod

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3500 hours is not alot of hours....and of course this can be dependant on whether it is a detuned or pulling max power out of a motor as in a pleasure duty application. in some cases low hours can be a bad thing, lots of time just sitting and corroding
 

Toolate

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IT could just be me Jwalka but I think the average, non-commercial, buyer looks at most engines over that number as a little too high for comfort. Maybe I am just trying to find enough reasons why I shouldn't worry about it so I can talk myself into buying this boat I am eyeing (see thread in found boats section) but either way, I would imagine that if you polled 1000 boat buyers, there would be some hour boundary where the majority of them became uncomfortable with buying. For me I guess its around 3500 hrs but I am not a diesel guy (yet- this thread is helping ;).

For gas and for me, I think its around 1300 where you start to really think about how an engine has lived and what it might have left.

I searched a little and couldn't find one place where high hour engines were discussed (and how they got there) so I started this thread. Please feel free to chime in with a different hour mark if you think there should be a higher one.
 

Brooksie

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3500 hrs. is just broken in for a properly propped and maintained quality diesel. I have very old and high hour engines in both my boats and my experience is that it is the accessories that kill most engines. Leaking coolers, heat exchangers, aftercoolers, manifolds, & elbows that allow coolant or seawater into your lubricants, intake, or exhaust. Change that stuff b/4 it fails, use cu/ni exchangers, change your oil & filters as specified. Then "Live Long and Prosper" to quote Spock
 

monktails

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John deere 375 9800 original hours. Lugger 450 19000 original/9000 on rebuild. Oil change every 250, injectors once a year and clean fuel as stated.
 

pugsley

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personally if i spent 20k or 30k or higher on an engine and only got 3500 hours i would be seriously pissed. that would be less than three years for me, damn i would expect an outboard to last longer than that.
 

jwalka51

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Look at it like this. The average tractor trailer truck will do well over 1-1/2 million miles... I am pretty sure that they do a hell of a lot more than that. Most of those miles are at highway speed under a pretty good load. Do the math, 1.5 million divided by 60 miles per hour= 25,000 hours. Thats a commercial grade diesel engine for you. But look at the average car. Junk at less than 200,000 miles. thats about 3500 hours at highway speed.
Do you see what I am saying??? A properly cared for commercial grade diesel engine will go a hell of a lot longer than a non commercial engine will.
So to get back to your original question. Whether or not 3500 hours is a lot of hours depends on what engine you are talking about. If you are talking about a 350 gas bomber, then yes it is a lot of hours. If you are talking about a big slow turning diesel like the cummins, detroits, luggers, john deere, and some of the volvos and cats, then 3500 is just barely broken in.
Also, it depends if we are talking about naturally aspirated engine which will usually run forever, or a high revving, turbo-charged sea water after-cooled engine which will not go anywhere near as long as the naturally aspirated version of the same engine.
 

Toolate

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Hey man I am glad you are having fun with this. I meant diesel from the start, just didnt clarify.

There has to be people reading this who are just not into typing a book here but have some great stories about almost blowing up their engines, repairs at sea, panty hose for belts, condoms for gaskets, beer cans for.... I have been there with my 4x4's.

I am looking for a boat with a cummins or cat diesel. Just interested to hear what people say. Wouldnt mind hearing some stories of diesels ending their lives early either.
 

BillD

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Hey man I am glad you are having fun with this. I meant diesel from the start, just didnt clarify.

There has to be people reading this who are just not into typing a book here but have some great stories about almost blowing up their engines, repairs at sea, panty hose for belts, condoms for gaskets, beer cans for.... I have been there with my 4x4's.

I am looking for a boat with a cummins or cat diesel. Just interested to hear what people say. Wouldnt mind hearing some stories of diesels ending their lives early either.

Toolate,

hop over to boatdiesel forum and you can read all you want about owners ending the lives of their marine diesels early. :D

you can also learn about how to get your money's worth out of them marine diesels.
 

jwalka51

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When I put my boat in the water this year we discovered that one of the head gaskets had blown between two cylinders. This caused hot exhaust gas to go back and fourth between the two cylinders as the engine ran. Eventually it gouged a 1/4" deep rut in the top of the engine right where the head meets the block between the two cylinders. So upon discovering that I no longer had compression in two cylinders, we took the head off thinking that I had some bad valves. we found that not only was the motor gouged by the hot gases, but that it was also cracked about another 1/4" below this gouge because of the concentrated heat stress..
So, I ground the crack out and then some, pre heated the area, and welded it with some castweld-55. We then spent a whole day very, very carefully and gently grinding the welded area of the two cylinder walls until it was close enough to hone. After honning I polished it. Then I decked the top of the two cylinders with a file, once it was very close, we honed and polished the same.
We installed the head with new gasket, and I have been running it with absolutely no issues all season. Hauling gear 3-4 days a week 6-8 hours a day and have had absolutely no problems. I have probably put 500 hours on it since.
I personally still cannot believe that it worked out as well as it did.
 

Toolate

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Love the hand work- my favorite tool is my hand plane and most of the guys are reaching for an electric sander/plane or something and by the time its set up, most little jobs are done with the plane.

I am surprised that a weld would hold between cylinders. The hand work I believe but its not just anyone that could do some thing like that.
 

lobstercatcher

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Hey man I am glad you are having fun with this. I meant diesel from the start, just didnt clarify.

There has to be people reading this who are just not into typing a book here but have some great stories about almost blowing up their engines, repairs at sea, panty hose for belts, condoms for gaskets, beer cans for.... I have been there with my 4x4's.

I am looking for a boat with a cummins or cat diesel. Just interested to hear what people say. Wouldnt mind hearing some stories of diesels ending their lives early either.

my 2 cents on a cat (3208). My boat that built 27,000hrs on its engine(Volvo) without any breakdowns other than starters ,alternators and water pumps, proved to me time after time while I went out fishing and the boats with cats couldn't due to breakdowns not of that nature. It was almost every one of them. Not a specific boat to put the malfunction due to owner operation. Then there is the class action suit cat engines, ( I don't know what ones they are because I can't even consider a cat engine due to my observations) and then there is the 3116 and its line ,, then there is some engines in the harbor with them ( I don't know what that cat engine is either} but it appears the owner works on it for a couple days with about every 10 days of operation.. ( maybe he is down there buffing out the engine??????)

I would look at the cummins. Iveco is a cummins block and might be ahead of cummins with the Iveco parts. Someone else might be able to tell you the advantages of finding the Iveco because I just am aware they are better but don't know why.
 
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