Perkins T6 354M expected life

Discussion in 'Diesel Engines' started by Zappi, Dec 8, 2008.

  1. Zappi
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    Location: Puget Sound

    Zappi Senior Member

    I am looking at a 39' trawler powered by a single Perkins
    T6 354M that puts out approximately 185 hp. The boat is a 1978 and I would assume the motor is original and never been rebuilt. She has about 2700 hours on her but seems to run great. What kind of life can be expected from these engines? Is this motor tired or could I get 5,000 hours plus out of it? Thanks for the info!!!
    Aaron
     
  2. kenJ
    Joined: Jul 2005
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    Location: Williamsburg, VA

    kenJ Senior Member

    Most diesels will run for ever with proper maintenance. Are there records? If not a survey by a knowledgable diesel mechanic might be your best course of action.
     
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  3. marshmat
    Joined: Apr 2005
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    Location: Ontario

    marshmat Senior Member

    I think Ken's right on here.... there are two ways to tell if the motor's been well maintained. One is the paper trail. The other is to find a good diesel mechanic who's familiar with old Perkins units, and pay him a few hundred bucks to give it a thorough inspection. (For what you'd be spending on the boat, the cost of an inspection would be tiny- and it may give you some leverage to bargain the price down, so consider having the survey done anyway.) If it's in good shape now, I see no reason not to expect thousands more hours of service, if you maintain it well.
     
  4. Landlubber
    Joined: Jun 2007
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    Location: Brisbane

    Landlubber Senior Member

    My 6354 had over 10000 hours on it when i sold my business in Sydney in 1989. The motor was in very good condition and I would expect it to do a lot more still for the new owners.
     
  5. Zappi
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    Zappi Senior Member

    Thanks for the replies. I was planning on having a true diesel mechanic doing a complete survey on the motor. I would rather not waste my money on it if it was predictably tired though. It sounds like she's worth paying for the survey then. There is no paper trail to go by so survey it is. Thanks, Aaron
     
  6. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    What do you think the engine survey would consist of?

    A compression check would be the obvious but then what?

    A boat survey does not usually consist of mast and engines because there can not be a definate answer.

    If it runs well and starts well (from cold) smoke normal and oil pressure to specs along with oil pressure fall off on turning off the engine and feeling by hand back pressure from the rocker box is about all you can do.

    2700 is not a lot for that engine.
     
  7. Zappi
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    Location: Puget Sound

    Zappi Senior Member

    Would an oil sample test be the simplest and tell me the most, considering cost and simplicity?
     
  8. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    An oil sample will tell you whats wrong with the oil, water or acid content all illiminated by changing the oil.

    At the end of the day the engine will not just fail,-- ie stop on you.

    As I said to a friend last week who was buying a yacht with a 70HP Volvo with similar hours that also ran perfectly, negotiate with those hours, then when you have a good price taking the hours into consideration forget about it. If it starts to play up then you have the money for an overhaul.
     
  9. Zappi
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    Location: Puget Sound

    Zappi Senior Member

    Good advice, thanks Frosty.
    Aaron
     
  10. FAST FRED
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    Location: Conn in summers , Ortona FL in winter , with big d

    FAST FRED Senior Member

    QUIZ the owner .

    Hardest on a diesel is improper storage , the wrong oil or the wrong antifreez (in some engines).

    So a good look in the lazarette at oil etc ANd a look for yard bills when out of service will help decide how (IF?) the engine was maintained.

    BE SURE to start the engine from ROOM TEMP, to judge the amount of smoke on early warmup.

    The longer it takes (monitor coolant temperature ) for any white smoke to clear , probably the better the compression , and the fewer rust pits in the cylinders.

    Be very wary of any propulsion engine used for battery charging , and be very very wary of clean oil , that was just changed so an oil sample wont work.

    FF
     
  11. Zappi
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    Location: Puget Sound

    Zappi Senior Member

    The owner is out of state so all I have to ask questions is the broker. There is no paperwork. On our sea trial she smoked blue and smelled rich for the first half hour or so. I It took her at least that long and more to reach operating temp but I was taking it easy on her. She wasnt smoking profusely but enough you could tell she was smoking. Once warm exhaust changed to white steam and a puff of blue when you hit the throttle. The oil looked clean but I am sure its been in there for at least 6 mos. It just hasnt been ran in months. Thanks for the help guys!
    Aaron
     
  12. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    Im not familiar with the engine is this a turbo?
     
  13. george allard
    Joined: Jul 2005
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    Location: kentucky

    george allard Junior Member

    The Perkins 6-354 is very good engine. Very tough lower end. Most hard starting problems are created by the injection pump. The hardest thing on these engine is starting fluid. It will break the top 2 ring lands on the pistons. That is the only problems that we have incounter. Most are good for at least 15k hours with only an injector pump rebuild.
     
  14. Zappi
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    Location: Puget Sound

    Zappi Senior Member

    Frosty, yes its a turbo.
    George, I kind of doubt starting fluid was ever used but really, what do I know. 15k hours??? Holy crap. I guess these are good engines. WHat would an injector pump and injector rebuilds cost?
     

  15. Landlubber
    Joined: Jun 2007
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    Location: Brisbane

    Landlubber Senior Member

    Don't be fooled into believing starting fluid is bad.

    Use it when you have to use a pressure pak of paint. Remove the nozel and swap it for the starter fluid (ether). This will clean out the nozel and not waste pressure in the paint can. Replace them back where they came from and the spray cans will last till the last drop.

    Don't use starter fluid for starting.....duh, it will stuff the engine real fast, especially good for blowing head gaskets.

    Nnup, it will start most engines if you really have to do it, but.....
     
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