Marine diesel technology progress!!

JeremyF

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A few years back, a diesel car would only go for 6000 miles between services. Thats about 140 hours, or not a lot different from the 100 hours interval for yacht diesels. On my way into work, the service indicator light came on my new diesel - 20500 miles after leaving the factory. I appreciate much is to do with the latest synthetic oils, but why haven't marine diesels made much progress in this area.

Thinking about it, I don't think I would tolerate many attributes of a marine diesel in a car - oil leaks, mysteriously dirty fuel, noisy, crazy vibrations at various revs.
I would have thought that there's enough manufacturers to have led to the kind of technology competition we've seen in car diesels, but no. I guess we'll get the usual excuses about the uniquely harse marine environment, but hey, bowling down a motorway on a wet winters day, with salt having been spread, thats not too kind an environment
Any thoughts. fellow posters?
 

oldharry

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Agree entirely! But there is nothing (much!) to stop you putting the latest auto diesel engine in your boat.

Many of the problems of marine diesels actually result from poor installation - not from the power unit itself. And dirty fuel? The culprit there is nearly always the fuel pontoon.

Having said that: your car is in regular use - probably out most days, with a rapid turnover of fuel in its tank. How many yacht owners replenish their boats fuel tanks more than 2 or 3 times a season outside the annual cruise? Plenty of time for condensation and contaminants to separate out and gang up on your filters and Injection gear.


But modern marine diesels should not vibrate unduly - if they do, then there is something not right - mountings, alignment, short cuts in installation - insufficient sound deadening etc etc, and a little thought to the exhaust system should ensure that it doesnt sound too agricultural.

But there is no reason or excuse for a modern marine diesel to be at all intrusive either on board or to passers -by.

But it seems astonishing how often they make their presence felt - or heard!
 

chas

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Like you, my car is powered by a sophisticated diesel. My boat engine dates from the 1950s. The difference is that I am happy to fiddle with the boat engine whilst the car is way beyond me. I think I would prefer basic technology that I can deal with at sea - as long as it goes.
 

ccscott49

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I agree with you, naturally aspirated, simple, but with as the guy said good instalation, good silencing and a WATER SEPERATOR FILTER! why won't people fit these, saved my bacon a few times!
 
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To a large extent it is a marketing thing...

You can sell more cars to the biggest market ( fleets) if the running costs are lower than those of a competitor.

I grew up in a business that ran a fleet of vehicles from the 1960's through to the 90's. In that time "Recommended" service intervals dropped (nay rose) from 4000 miles between oil changes to 15000!. Now metal is metal and oil is oil and they need thinner oil now to get around the twin OHC engines and hydraulic tappets etc!. We always changed the oil and filter at 4000 regardless and this was repaid by NEVER having to conduct major engine repairs. In fact one of our old vehilces (a J reg - at the end! Escort) lives around the corner and the lady driver confirms that it has been around the clock twice and is well on its third.

My new (three weeks) BMW greets me at morning switch on with the information that I will need an oil change at 15500 miles. No way am I going to leave the gold paint that will be the result of bedding in of bearings etc. in my engine for that long!

A compensating factor of course is that boat sumps are due to space constraints smaller that car ones so the same oil goes around more often therefore needs changing more often. Don't neglect it. If it's black it needs changing (& the filter too)

Steve Cronin
 

Chris_Robb

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Modern Diesels

I agree about changing oil more regulary. I can't imagine that they have changed the chemistry of the burning of Diesel so that the oil does not get dirty and corrosive so quickly.

Also the modern engines are all totally electronically controlled, so if something goes wrong, there is almost nothing you can do.

I'll stick with my good old Perkins 4236!
 

JeremyF

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Re: Modern Diesels

I agree with much of what has been said, but I suspect there has been more progress in automotive than marine. The 20000 mile interval is Mercedes - they are hardly going to risk their reputation (let alone their status of taxi for the world) by stretching the service interval so it can no longer go round the clock 3 times.

I suspect that synthetic oils, and computer-controlled tolerances have been the main contributors.

Marine diesels are stuck with 60's technology - a bit like old BSA's and Triumph's.
 

ccscott49

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Re: Modern Diesels

You would think, mercedes would be big in marine diesels, the amount of truck and car diesels they make and their well deserved reputation for longevity, but no, not many. You do see them powering generators, but not marine amin propulsion units, unless somebody else is using them as a base and adding there own bits. Can somebody enlighten me!
 

DavidTocher

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Re: Modern Diesels

>Marine diesels are stuck with 60's technology - a bit like old BSA's and Triumph's.

My T110 'Tiger' from 1960 used 1930s technology! Decoking every 7,000 miles, chains repacing what seemed like every mont, oil pouring out of every joint. No wwonder they went broke.
 

ccscott49

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Re: Modern Diesels

I have a 1971 BSA B50, great machine, oiltight, starts first kick (elec.ignition) and doesnt go through chains etc. amazing what 11 years will bring even in british motorcycles. Just keep the oil clean, no problems, but can you imagine, I had to fit an after market filter!? it only had a gauze one in the oil line! in 1971!
 
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Getting off boats but ... Early 2CV\'s..

.. didn't have an oil filter at all. It was thought that the third world wouldn't change one if it were fitted or might loose it or just couldn't get a replacement.

Steve Cronin
 

Col

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Re: Getting off boats but ... Early 2CV\'s..

Fiat 126's had centrifugal filters ( bit like a Dyson )
Now that was a good idea !!
 

ccscott49

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Re: Getting off boats but ... Early 2CV\'s..

Centrifugal filters were also fitted to Leyland L60 engines fitted to chieftain tanks! There is a filter system available, mainly for trucks, that claims you never need to change your oil?? They are in use with some truck fleets, with amazing results, centrifugal and a special element which you change, ok, but I would still like to add age/temperature depandant additives. I wonder if this system can be used on marine engines? Does anybody elses' grey matter remember this filter, we are talking a year or two ago, I read it somewhere.
 

david_bagshaw

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Re: Getting off boats but ... Early 2CV\'s..

The spin filter is still fitted to scania, road units and also to the marine , saw one on the boat show exibit last jan, but you also have a conventional filter as well.

David
www.yachtman.co.uk
 

brianhumber

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Suggest you get your installation checked out.
If your fuel system is in good condition your oil will last many years, only condensation is a concern. ( the need to change your oil every winter is a sad myth promoted by those who should know better)
Vibrations are a function of a bad mounting selection by the installer and any builder who hands over his boats with this defect should be chucked in jail.
keeping your tank full will prevent water forming in it and prevent the bugs from growing and thus fouling filters - a good water separator is an excellent way of trapping any small amounts entrained within the fuel flow.
 
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