Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Engine Problems Amel 54

Alexandre Uster von Baar <uster@...>

Good morning Jamie,

I have been reading your troubles…
I won’t be able to contribute solving the issue, but this reminds me last winter when I was in Fort Lauderdale.
I thought my Volvo TDM 22 P was running a little warm.

I was recommended to use Diesel of America.
It was an absolute disaster…
They took me for a ride, $8000 later, and the engine was now running hotter…

Their first reply was: “We put new parts this is normal you are running hotter… “
I answer: I hire you to make it run cooler.

Their second reply: “We check the specs, this is totally normal for your engine. “
My reply: if it is normal now, so it was before, why did you make me spend $8000.

Their third reply: “we can’t find the specs for your engine”
Obviously it was a lie after another one, they had no clue.

All I was hoping for was to be back like I was.
It is only under the threat of hiring a lawyer that they sent me their senior technicien which eventually found some mistakes.

All that to say, it seems your mechanic is incompetent and taking advantage of you.
Fire him. I know it is difficult to start using someone else as you feel you have “invested” so much, but he won't solve your problem. All he will do was charing you more and more.
Have these reimbursing the labor and get a discount on the parts.
Ask VOLVO dealership directly the best they recommend.

I didn’t do the mistake twice, when I wanted my genset totally checked, I had Onan doing the work.

I feel for you…
Emerald Bay Marina, Great Exumas, Bahamas


On Sun, 11/15/15, James Wendell ms42phantom54@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Engine Problems Amel 54
To: "amelyachtowners@..." <amelyachtowners@...>
Date: Sunday, November 15, 2015, 9:06 AM


 Mark, thanks for the suggestions.
As you can see this is a perplexing problem and I still do
not know the culprit, but I have systematically ruled out
many things. We isolated the fuel system by providing an
independent day tank, eliminating the boat fuel tank and
filters. I am not sure what else external to the engine
could be studied. The battery is fine and the ECM is getting
good voltage. As you know we replaced the ECM and then
returned it.

The Volvo
Tech did nothing except sit in the cockpit and watch the
Seven Seas mechanic do a couple of tests. I am going to ask
for a quote on doing a compression check test. Getting the
injectors out does take some time as I have already done
that once, and the mounting parts would have to be replaced
again. Those parts alone are several hundred dollars. When
you figure the labor a compression check will likely cost
about $500 to $600. I have already spent nearly $4,000
replacing fuel pumps, high-pressure lines, and servicing the
injectors. Maybe the added expense is worth the
knowledge, and I
concur that a compression check is in
order.Also, we have not cranked the engine
with the fuel line to the injectors loosened. That is very
risky at the high pressures generated, but we do know that
fuel is returning from the injectors? Why do you think WD40
alone would not be enough to cause the engine to cough? If
the engine has sufficient compression it should at least try
to fire. Continuous spraying into the air intake while
cranking did not do anything, and we tried it a couple

On Saturday,
November 14, 2015 9:28 PM, "'Mark Erdos'
mcerdos@... [amelyachtowners]"
<amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


I have to agree with Bill regarding the fact:
What if the issue is external to the engine. Personally I
would like to know for certain if the engine is shot, or

As for the compression check. I cannot believe the Volvo
Tech did not perform this. It is not hard to do and requires
only mildly expensive equipment that any good mechanic would
regularly carry in their tools. The compression check test
each cylinder by removing the injector, attaching the gauge
and cranking the engine for about 15 secs per cylinder. It
should take less than an hour to test all cylinders. For a
problem such as yours it would be very insightful to know if
compression, or lack of it, is the issue. If the results
confirm you thoughts, you may well be better replacing the
engine. But what if you have good compression? If could mean
you are on the wrong path of diagnosis. I have read this
thread since the first post and have thought this is more
likely a fuel problem. Also, you shouldn’t need a Volvo
mechanic to do a compression check. Any capable diesel
mechanic can do this test.

I asked these questions before but did not see a response.
Has the engine been cranked with the fuel line to the
injectors loosened and fuel observed leaking out of the end?
Are you absolutely certain you have fuel entering the
cylinders? I do not think WD40 alone would be enough to
cause the engine to cough.

With best regards,


Super Maramu 2000

Hull #275

Currently cruising: St Augustine, FL

From: amelyachtowners@...

Sent: Saturday, November 14, 2015 2:22 PM

To: amelyachtowners@...

Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Engine Problems Amel


My take away from all of your posts is that the mechanics
and other experts that you have hired have done nothing
except throw parts at your engine hoping that the part
dejour will solve the problem.

Also, it seems to me that most of the diagnoses that you
have written about has come from you and not the people you
hired to diagnose the engine non-starting problem.

If you are replacing the engine because you have had a
series of people do nothing toward identifying the problem,
you could be making another mistake. What if the problem is
external of your engine?

I would raise all sorts of hell with Volvo Penta and demand
that they identify someone who can give you a diagnoses and
a recommended solution. I would also insist on some sort of
compensation for parts replaced in error. I am not sure that
I would get anywhere with these things, but I would work at
it very hard.

If you are not going to do this, do you plan to buy and
install a Volvo? And, if you are going to change that engine
to Yanmar, you may be looking at all sorts of other
issues...the house 24VDC alternator, motor mounts, Vetus
coupling, etc.

Just my two cents worth.

One last comment: That boat does not appear to have been
maintained properly...probably not neglect, but likely some
things were not completely understood by the
the barnacle and marine growth...possibly there was an
engine overheating issue...a proper compression test would
give you a strong indication of damage. That boat spent a
lot of time in Curacao where the barnacles breed like few
other places. Gary left most things up to mechanics in
marinas rather than being hands-on...and you know the
quality of mechanics in marinas...I think you have met some


BeBe #387

On Sat, Nov 14, 2015 at 6:07 PM, James Wendell
ms42phantom54@... [amelyachtowners]
<amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

Kent, I certainly appreciate the input, and I have to agree
with you in principle. The engine seems to have expired
prematurely, but that 10,000 hours is only realistic if
properly maintained. But I have no other explanation, as we
have tried almost every possible "solution" to no
avail. Many folks have tested, diagnosed, and assessed the
engine. I have listened to the engine spin and everyone
(including myself) feels that it spins too easily. Spraying
WD40 into the air intake should have at least allowed the
engine to "cough" or "kick." It did not,
and this is not the first time we have tried to inject
"fuel" directly into the combustion chambers. I do
not know how to explain that except with low compression in
at least 2 or more cylinders. Plus, the suction at the
intake during cranking seems quite weak.

We have not tried a compression check at this point, since
that in itself is a fairly involved process. If we discover
anything other than adequate compression, then I am faced
with further engine tear down. Even if the compression is
good, what then? We have tried almost everything else we
could try. The technician did not actually volunteer the
possibility that fuel starvation could have caused the
problem, but when I explained to him that the engine stopped
and failed to restart during sea trial (filters were solid
black with contamination), he concluded that lack of fuel
"lubrication" could have at least contributed to
engine failure. He could not positively identify the problem
without further investigation.

At this point I am becoming more and more convinced that
there is internal engine damage. Again, I feel that chasing
the problem will be quite costly unless I undertake that
expedition on my own. I am most weary of fighting with this
engine, as it has not run for the last 4 months, and I have
already replaced a bunch of parts that have not allowed it
to start.

If you do get an opinion from your contacts, I would sure
welcome additional inputs.

Thanks, and I do agree with your opinion on

Jamie Wendell

On Saturday, November 14, 2015 11:56 AM, "Kent
Robertson karkauai@... [amelyachtowners]"
<amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

He "thinks"??? Has he actually checked
compression? I'm skeptical. I wrote to Danny Ramos but
he didn't reply, sorry.

If it really is a low compression problem, how does he's
explain that fuel starvation caused the problem? Does he
explain what he thinks is the problem? Bad rings? Bad

I would guess that engine should be good for 10000 hrs.
I'd contact Danny Ramos at Marine Mechanical in Fajardo,
PR before I bought a new engine.

If you're set on re powering, look at a new Yanmar.
Much easier to work on, get parts, etc.


SM 243

On Nov 14, 2015, at 11:35 AM, ms42phantom54@...
[amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...>

I want to thank everyone for the great advice and
suggestions regarding my Amel 54 (Phantom) engine
"no-start" issue. Since no one has been able to
pinpoint the problem, I just had a Volvo Penta factory
technician out to survey the situation. He thinks the
compression is low on the engine, as it would not fire even
as we sprayed WD40 into the intake. Although he had no
specific rationale as to the possible cause of this
conclusion, he did suggest that earlier fuel-starvation
could have caused the problem, stressing the importance of
maintaining a clean fuel supply at all times.

I have decided to replace the engine. That will restart the
clock with zero hours and a 5-year warranty. The alternative
would be to start tearing down the engine to determine the
problem. Even if we do find something (blown head gasket,
stuck valves, scored cylinders, etc.), chasing this
"rebuild" tactic would be a very expensive and
time-consuming operation - and it will still be a 9-year-old
engine with 2500 hours. Although hugely expensive, a new
engine is the only rational option. I do not want to
continue chasing "ghosts."

Thanks again for the support.

Jamie Wendell

s/v Phantom

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