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Thread: Inboard Diesel Lifespan?

  1. #1
    Member AK_Stick's Avatar
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    Default Inboard Diesel Lifespan?

    Hey guys.


    Looking at a few boats, mostly Sea Sports, with I/O Diesels. But I can't find much info about how long the engines typically last between rebuilds.

    The boats I'm interested in have the following engines

    Volvo Penta

    KAD 42
    KAD 43 P-A
    AD41 P-A
    D-4 260

    Of those, are any more reliable than the others? Are any of them preferable, or to be avoided more so than the others?

    I know about boatdiesel.com, however, my internet here in Kosovo won't allow me on it for some reason, so I can't find any info there.

    Thank you!

  2. #2

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    I think what's more important is how you maintain it and giving it clean fuel. If you operate it with proper cool down, change oil and give it clean fuel. You will probably never need to change it out. The outdrive is the weak link on these boats in my opinion.

  3. #3

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    Tough question; everything depends on prior maintenance. Of the list, I believe the D-4 to be the latest editions of the diesels from Volvo. I would think the motor itself to have a pretty long life span (charter boats I worked on had AD41 DP's; 2 boats both had those motors) of at least 8k hours. Ours went 10k plus, no re-builds. Just religious maintenance. The outdrives also depend on maintenance and part of this is checking the lower unit gear oil regularly. Should be golden in color and clear, not milky or smelling burnt. Lots of folks having these packages do not check this regularly. Milky oil means water in there (bad) and will be $$$$ to fix if not addressed immediately. I'd be wary of these boats if they're kept in a slip continuously as it's pretty tough to keep an eye on the condition of an outdrive when they're underwater. I've haven't heard of too many rebuilt diesels but rebuilt outdrives are common. Lots of people work on them, but not many can really fine tune them. Not trying to steer you away from these, as most bigger boats have these packages. Try to find a one owner setup with complete maintenance records, and have it inspected by a real Volvo mechanic. Ex-charter boats are not necessarily a bad thing to consider because SOME of them have been kept in good shape (I would'nt have hesitated to buy one of the ones I worked on, even at 10k hours, knowing the history of the boat/maintenance).
    Good luck!
    Jim
    PS----popular trend is to find a boat like what you're considering and if the motor package is weak, bargain on the boat and ditch the I/O for a bracket and 4 stroke OB's.

  4. #4

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    I agree with jim.....try and find a charter boat that has been taken care of even with some hours on the engines.....there are a few of them for sale and they are very sea worthy.. Every sea sport i have ever been on was like riding in the back of a cattle truck....there is a nice bertram here with twin deisels and for a lot less than a sea sport....just my 2 cents...happy huntin....
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    Member Soundfisher's Avatar
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    Default

    I purchased a cattle truck (SS Pilot) this winter and I had the same questions you are having now. I was considering a vessel witha KAD 43, and one with a KAD 44. After calling around and talking to the pros (here and Seattle) I have heard of them getting anywhere from 1000 up to 8000 hours on the higher HP diesels. The main factors were maintenence, RPMs, and being proped right. All of them did tell me to stay AWAY from the 42. They have had many problems with those. I do believe Windypoint is correct that the OD are a weak point with the higher HP diesels. I got the boat with the KAD 43 in it. Just because it was the boat I liked better. It does not have all of the electronic shift and throttle controls which the 44 and the D4 have. I thought that that was a good thing because maybe there is less to go wrong.Good luck

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    Member AK_Stick's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Soundfisher View Post
    I purchased a cattle truck (SS Pilot) this winter and I had the same questions you are having now. I was considering a vessel witha KAD 43, and one with a KAD 44. After calling around and talking to the pros (here and Seattle) I have heard of them getting anywhere from 1000 up to 8000 hours on the higher HP diesels. The main factors were maintenence, RPMs, and being proped right. All of them did tell me to stay AWAY from the 42. They have had many problems with those. I do believe Windypoint is correct that the OD are a weak point with the higher HP diesels. I got the boat with the KAD 43 in it. Just because it was the boat I liked better. It does not have all of the electronic shift and throttle controls which the 44 and the D4 have. I thought that that was a good thing because maybe there is less to go wrong.Good luck

    Yeah, I saw that boat of yours. I'm ridiculously jealous. That is the exact boat I want..... Absolutely beautiful


    Thanks for the info everyone,

    boneyard, I haven't seen the twin diesel Bertram, do you know who has it for sale, the only one I saw was a twin gas? Though thats probably a little big for me.

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    Member bhollis's Avatar
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    All other things being equal, I'd definitely go with the D-4. It's the newest of these engines, and the most advanced. The thing that sets the D-4 apart from the others is that it's a common rail diesel--which translates to less smoke and about 10% better fuel economy.

    Only problem with the common rail engines seems to be that they're more susceptible to problems from fuel contamination than some of the older models. But, on balance, the new D series common rail engines seem to be getting very good reviews.

  8. #8

    Default DPH Drive

    The other good thing about the D4 is that it comes with the DPH drive that has been beefed up to handle the tourque that the D4 and D6s are capable of putting out. There should be less outdrive problems with these engines if maintained well. It seems that some of the past problems had to do with weaker outdrives married to the 43 and 44.

    Quote Originally Posted by bhollis View Post
    All other things being equal, I'd definitely go with the D-4. It's the newest of these engines, and the most advanced. The thing that sets the D-4 apart from the others is that it's a common rail diesel--which translates to less smoke and about 10% better fuel economy.

    Only problem with the common rail engines seems to be that they're more susceptible to problems from fuel contamination than some of the older models. But, on balance, the new D series common rail engines seem to be getting very good reviews.
    What-a-Day
    27' x 9.5' Glacier Craft - Volvo 300hp D4 Diesel
    Remember: Any fool can be uncomfortable.
    Denny

  9. #9
    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    I am in complete agreement with the last two posts about the D series engines having a great reputation so far, but that is not to say that the 41's or the other motors are bad in any way. I know several people that have each of these earlier motors and they love them. The comparison between the new common rail diesel trucks and the ones a few years old is a good one. The new motors get better mileage, are quieter, and smoke a lot less. I think the first point of failure on any of these motors if they are treated right is the outdrive, and from what I have heard you can expect a rebuild at 1500 hours on the outdrive.

    Jim

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    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
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    Wait till you go to replace the u-joints on those wonderful D series volvo'$ !!! my buddy just did his this year and you have to buy a complete ujoint package and i think it costs aprox $800.00 just for the part, typical volvo ripoff.

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  11. #11
    Member AK_Stick's Avatar
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    What, was the issues with the KAD 42? do you remember?

    My knowledge of inboards and diesels is severely lacking. Any info or words of advice would be greatly appreciated.

  12. #12
    Member bhollis's Avatar
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    I've got twin KAD-44's in my boat, and can attest that they're good engines. Haven't heard of any particular problems with the 43's. As for the 42's, not really sure. I do recall that some of the 40 series engines have had some problems, but I don't know the details. Again, if you could post this question on boatdiesel.com, I'm sure you'd get a lot of responses.

    Another point that Potbuilder alluded to is that all of these VP diesels are going to be expensive to mainain and repair. Quite a bit more than similar sized gas I/O's. So make sure you're taking this into account when you make your decision on whether to go with gas or diesel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bhollis View Post
    I've got twin KAD-44's in my boat, and can attest that they're good engines. Haven't heard of any particular problems with the 43's. As for the 42's, not really sure. I do recall that some of the 40 series engines have had some problems, but I don't know the details. Again, if you could post this question on boatdiesel.com, I'm sure you'd get a lot of responses.

    Another point that Potbuilder alluded to is that all of these VP diesels are going to be expensive to mainain and repair. Quite a bit more than similar sized gas I/O's. So make sure you're taking this into account when you make your decision on whether to go with gas or diesel.

    I work with alot of diesel equipment, and engines at work. All my Tractors, Tugs, Forklifts and such are diesel powered so we can run them on jet fuel. So I'm fairly competent on maintenance, and costs of operating, and maintain systems. I just don't know much about Volvo or Marine diesel engines, and outdrives.

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    Member ksbha4's Avatar
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    Default Kosovo

    Hey AK Stick, I don't mean to hijack your thread, but I couldn't help but notice you're in Kosovo. How about that, I probably see you when you guys stop by the FARP for refuel. Sorry no info on diesels, but if you want any info on Volvo marine diesels, there's a fellow in Juneau who is a licenced dealer/mechanic for volvo and he could tell you which models are good/bad etc. Name is Mike Grieser with New Life Motors (907-789-5582) if that helps.

    Mattson

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK_Stick View Post
    What, was the issues with the KAD 42? do you remember?

    My knowledge of inboards and diesels is severely lacking. Any info or words of advice would be greatly appreciated.
    I think it was something to do with the cylinders. I do know for sure that almost every 42 installed in the cordova fleet blew up after a very short time. Volvo wasn't very customer friendly with repairing those engines and i know that a few guys had to sue to get any satisfaction from volvo. One other thing i'd stay away from any charter boat thats for sale no matter what they tell you about maintainance, in my opinion they overload the boats with people, fuel, ice and whatever else then expect to run them at full cruise speed so usually the weakest link(the outdrive) blows up or the engine is run at a high exhaust temp and your melting the engine without knowing it, only way to know your exhaust temp is with a pyrometer (exhaust temp gauge) and i seriously doubt any of the boats out there have one installed. I've got a 41P w/duoprop on my bowpicker and i do have a pryo so i know what the pyro can do for a engine, by the way my outdrive has about 8,000 hours on it and thats because none of the local mechanics have touched it.

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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ksbha4 View Post
    Hey AK Stick, I don't mean to hijack your thread, but I couldn't help but notice you're in Kosovo. How about that, I probably see you when you guys stop by the FARP for refuel. Sorry no info on diesels, but if you want any info on Volvo marine diesels, there's a fellow in Juneau who is a licenced dealer/mechanic for volvo and he could tell you which models are good/bad etc. Name is Mike Grieser with New Life Motors (907-789-5582) if that helps.

    Mattson

    No joke, what are the odds...... OK, thanks.

    -Lime.

  17. #17

    Default Im here to.

    ... Let me know when you figure out your boating situation and I take turns driving.

    Angol,

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