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

Patrick McAneny

Kent,  It may be the electronics , not the basic engine that is the problem. With all the Volvos out there, it seems odd that parts aren't available , I have heard they are expensive, fortunately I only remember buying an oil pressure sender and a timing belt. I guess I have been lucky ! It was great seeing you again when you stopped by in Oct. , maybe next time it won't rain for three days.
SM Shenanigans

-----Original Message-----
From: Kent Robertson karkauai@... [amelyachtowners]
To: amelyachtowners Sent: Sat, Dec 5, 2015 10:05 am
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Engine Problems Amel 54

Hi Pat.  I don't know if older Volvos have more problems than Yanmars.  I do know how difficult it is to find mechanics who like working on Volvos, and how parts are often not stocked in the Caribbean, and seem outrageously expensive.
The newer Volvos have a lot of electronics designed to make them more efficient and "green", and troubleshooting them is apparently very difficult.  If Yanmar is doing the same thing with their new engines, I'd guess that they will have similar problems.

My experience has jaded my thoughts about Volvos, but it also says something that the Volvo guru in Puerto Rico recommended that I repower with a Yanmar if I was going to cruise in isolated corners of the globe.
SM 243

On Dec 5, 2015, at 9:18 AM, Patrick Mcaneny sailw32@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

I am not an authority on engine design , but I can attest to the fact that I have had two Volvos in my Amel , and my previous boat for a total of about 22 years and thousands of engine hours and have never had any problems. I can not comment on costs of parts and service, for I have had little need for either. I have been told that the Volvo was a Perkins, and that they have proved to be very dependable engines in cars and trucks in Europe. I figure any engine can have problems . Have the Volvos really been that trouble prone and the Yanmars trouble free ? What specifically is the flaw in the Volvo design I need to be concerned with ?
SM #123
-----Original Message-----
From: Vladimir Sonsev sonsev52@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...>
To: amelyachtowners <amelyachtowners@...>
Sent: Sat, Dec 5, 2015 4:56 am
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Engine Problems Amel 54

We are very sorry for your engine troubles. Do not rush with replacement of Volvo to Yanmar. There are happy Volvo engine owners. New Yanmar now using similar technology an on your Volvo. 
On Dec 4, 2015 8:56 AM, "James Wendell ms42phantom54@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:
Kent, I think you (plus war stories from others) have convinced me to ditch the Volvo. I can fix most anything if I study it long enough, but not this engine. I and many others have tried now for more than 5 months to identify the problem(s). Not being able to get service is beyond frustration. I have been through 7 different "experts" including the local Volvo tech for the area, who just sat in the cockpit for an hour philosophizing. Plus parts are absolutely ridiculously expensive.

I just don't want to take it apart any further to investigate. While it is not the end of the world to take off the head, putting it all back together will be time consuming, even if I do find a simple solution (not likely). Toast or not, I do not want to have to pull out the engine as a bunch of parts. And it would still be a Volvo.........!

I know that a much more mainstream Yanmar will be easier to service and get parts, and it will certainly be less expensive. I had one on my old boat and it was very reliable. Lots of folks who can help if need be. Right now I am waiting for proposal options.

I am on the hard and fortunately I don't have the kind of problem you had with the prop. I have figured out all the various Amel electrical systems (thanks to all who have warned me about the DC isolation relays Amel has installed), and I agree with your advice about the install. I will be here 125% of the time, doing whatever I can to minimize labor, while still ensuring warranty in the future.

Thanks again,
s/v Phantom Amel 54

On Thursday, December 3, 2015 11:03 PM, "Kent Robertson karkauai@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

I re powered with a Yanmar 4JH4HTE 110HP 3 1/2 years ago in Fajardo, Puerto Rico.  The total cost was ~$20K, 6K was installation cost.  I didn't understand about the electrical isolation of the engine, the bonding system wasn't right, and a fault in my charger/inverter conspired to cause severe electrolytic damage to my prop shaft.  That was another $20K.

Make sure you understand the Amel electrical system completely and don't let them work on it while you aren't there!

In spite of all my trials and tribulations, I LOVE "Yanni", my new Yanmar.  I will NEVER own another Volvo!


On Dec 3, 2015, at 7:25 PM, Danny and Yvonne SIMMS simms@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

I hope I'm wrong too. Kent has been through it, perhaps he could comment.

From: "James Wendell ms42phantom54@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...>
To: "amelyachtowners@..." <amelyachtowners@...>
Sent: Friday, 4 December 2015 12:00 PM
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Engine Problems Amel 54

Danny, I sure hope you are wrong about the installation costs. A new Volvo Penta D3-110 engine is about $21K, plus any hoses, fittings, muffler, etc. that might be necessary. I cannot see the install costs being more than about $4K to $5K. While granted a bit lighter, I had a brand new Northern Lights generator (with sound shield) "shoehorned" into a very tight space in my old boat, where there was none before, and the install costs (mounting, alignment, exhaust) were less than $3K (I installed the electrical systems and the raw water intake myself). I am budgeting about $30K for the job - that sure hurts just writing down that number. I could have a new truck for that!

There really is not that much to do if I go with the same engine - not sure if I will though. There is lots of work area in the engine room and access is excellent. A different brand would be more work of course. Plus I plan to ready the old one for haul out in advance.

I recognize that an overhaul would be less, but certainly close to half the cost of a new engine, and I will still have a questionable engine, even if I do get it running. While the parts would be much less, I feel that the labor to overhaul would definitely be more than that to install a new one. If I am going to do this (I feel I have no real options at this point), it needs to be done correctly, so I can rely on the engine if I travel with the World ARC in 2018. At least that is my goal.

I will be getting proposals, so we shall see.

s/v Phantom

On Thursday, December 3, 2015 3:55 PM, "Danny and Yvonne SIMMS simms@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

If  a reputable engine reconditioner was available a full overhaul head and block is likely to be a whole lot less than a new engine. You have already replaced a number of expensive accessory items. Removing the engine for overhaul does not require the removal and replacement of all the electrical, electronic accessories and instrumentation. There is a bundle of these to the panel by the steering station. I have heard it stated that for budgeting purposes the installation costs of a new motor are generally about equal to the cost of the new motor.
SM 299 Ocean Pearl

From: "jjjk12s@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...>
To: amelyachtowners@...
Sent: Friday, 4 December 2015 9:33 AM
Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Engine Problems Amel 54

Are you sure you want to rule out taking the head off and inspecting/trying to repair it? Even if you still end up getting a new engine your old one will be worth something second hand and the cost of that work may be recoverable eventually, especially if you get the engine running. Maybe you find any damage is limited to the head? I'm not familar with that engine but any chance it has cylinder liners that can be changed?
Maybe also consider getting the engine running or putting the new one in and straight away measure the exhaust back pressure. If it is indeed too high then you also have a reference for how much you can reduce it with changed muffler/shorter hose/larger diameter hose. I haven't read all these posts but maybe part of the problem might be the previous owner leaving the boat for extended periods without running the engine and the problem won't re-occur with more regular running and monitoring?
Regarding isolation, some engines are permanently grounded and others have a relay that activates via the ignition otherwise isolates them when they're not running.
John. (Maramu #91 Yanmar 75HP, plus 2 other boats - 1 MAN 1000HP. 2 Yanmar 650HP)

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