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Thread: small air cooled diesel as inboard?

  1. #1
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    Default small air cooled diesel as inboard?

    Anyone know of or used one of the small air cooled diesel engines available as an inboard for a smaller boat?

    I'm looking into potential power for my putt putt boat and a small single cyclinder air cooled diesel sounds fun. The Chinese ones seem too good to be true price tag wise but there some interesting ones by Kohler and the like that seem a little more legit.

    Is this realistic? Is it going to rust out instantly in a salt water setting? Etc?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: small air cooled diesel as inboard?

    i think it will work, but how long it will last is another.I never had faith in those chinadiesels.
    take a look at a ferrymann unit also
    the noise is one thing and the exhaust is another-whic can be solved with an elbow below the waterline with a seacock.
    does it have to be a diesel? the small Honda units are dead reliable, another forumite not long ago put one in a small sailboat.

    please tell us about the boat? size weight what you are you using it for?
    There's one rich man onboard and there's twentyfive poor men and they enjoy it more then the rich man does -Jim Kilroy when asked if yacht racing is a rich mans sport.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: small air cooled diesel as inboard?

    The Chinese diesels have good rep amongst the diesel motorcycle crowd ..... but they are LOUD under power , not too bad at low revs ,but it's the same with any aircooled diesel .Maybe in a box with sound deadening material with baffled airflow in an out ?
    Try to work out what the marketing guy wants you to do then do precisely the opposite.

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    Default Re: small air cooled diesel as inboard?

    lister-petter.......will still be running when you have replaced your china diesel a dozen times....say no more. Cheers

  5. #5
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    Default Re: small air cooled diesel as inboard?

    Yes , but it will cost 6 times as much too !
    Try to work out what the marketing guy wants you to do then do precisely the opposite.

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    Default Re: small air cooled diesel as inboard?

    i will agree ion the Lister petter
    but i have always been curious about the india single cyl diesels...most likely the tooling is from someone else.
    There's one rich man onboard and there's twentyfive poor men and they enjoy it more then the rich man does -Jim Kilroy when asked if yacht racing is a rich mans sport.

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    Default Re: small air cooled diesel as inboard?

    Don't get me wrong ,a Lister Petter would be brilliant but a new one is $7000 here . That's a lot for a 10 hp engine .
    Try to work out what the marketing guy wants you to do then do precisely the opposite.

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    Default Re: small air cooled diesel as inboard?

    Remember the TV show "Combat" with Vic Morrow? Remember the sound of the german machine gun? That is what an air cooled diesel sounds like after a few hours.

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    Default Re: small air cooled diesel as inboard?

    Four years ago I bought a "Carroll Stream" 1 cyl diesel, 4.2 hp for 300.00 usd (brand new, original
    Chinese packing). As it turned out the engine is a Yanmar Industrial LH48 which is re-labeled for sale here in the usa! I installed it in an Arch Davis Penobscot 17 which I built. The transmission is a centrifugal clutch and gear box from a post hole digger. A local machine shop, using gears I purchased from Carr-McMaster, regeared the box to bring the ratio to 2:1. The shaft, prop and strut were the easiest part. The whole engine thing cost less than a good used outboard and I've kept the traditional look with a louvered engine box. The exhaust goes overboard just under the shear. I happen to love the pukketapukketa....and diesel in the early morning. Go for it!

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    Default Re: small air cooled diesel as inboard?

    Quote Originally Posted by georgecerny View Post
    Four years ago I bought a "Carroll Stream" 1 cyl diesel, 4.2 hp for 300.00 usd (brand new, original
    Chinese packing). As it turned out the engine is a Yanmar Industrial LH48 which is re-labeled for sale here in the usa! I installed it in an Arch Davis Penobscot 17 which I built. The transmission is a centrifugal clutch and gear box from a post hole digger. A local machine shop, using gears I purchased from Carr-McMaster, regeared the box to bring the ratio to 2:1. The shaft, prop and strut were the easiest part. The whole engine thing cost less than a good used outboard and I've kept the traditional look with a louvered engine box. The exhaust goes overboard just under the shear. I happen to love the pukketapukketa....and diesel in the early morning. Go for it!
    Now there's a good news story ! Thanks .
    Try to work out what the marketing guy wants you to do then do precisely the opposite.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: small air cooled diesel as inboard?

    I wouldnt buy a new lister/petter....at least in the UK there is a mass of second hand one for sale, and parts for these engines are cheaper by far than any other diesel in my experience to Yanmar or imported China parts,yes,the engines are cheap,but the parts can be very expensive. To be fair, i even looked at buying a 4hp china diesel and stick it on the leg of an old seagull motor, but i dont think i would want to hear it anymore than i would the seagull ! Rather have the thing in a box to deaden the noise. Anyone who can provide a simple forward/neutral/reverse gearbox for these things will make money! Cheers

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    Default Re: small air cooled diesel as inboard?

    Granuaile had a 1942 two-lung Deutz that I really fell in love with. Should I ever repower Marmalade that's the way I want to go.

    The farmers in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, use lots of small Deutz as stationary units for pumping and such. It turns out that that continuous duty is so much like small boat duty that you really don't have to marinize the mill. Just find at suitable tranny and prop and stick them it. So, check that area - small engine shops abound and you can pick up a suitable air cooled, most commonly Deutz, rebuild for under $5,000. You'll not find a better deal and you will not live long enough to ever require a major repair on such a unit.

    For a power boat, and even some sail boats, I'd solve the cooling air and exhaust problems in one blow with a thermal and sound insulated stack a bit above head high from the deck. Some incomplete experiments on Granuaile near the end of her life lead me to believe that you could get away with no muffler if you insert the exhaust into the cooling air outflow and point it all straight up though a well insulated stack. For that small size unit you need about one square foot section total exhaust.

    By the way, if you turn out to need more cooling power, something an exhaust pyrometer will help you guess if you can't tell from the wierd white smoke which in a cooling air exhaust flow is too dispersed to see, just make a small pipe loop along the keel and tap it to the oil pump. Instant keel oil cooler. It's incredible how efficient that is.

    G'luck

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    Default Re: small air cooled diesel as inboard?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    By the way, if you turn out to need more cooling power, something an exhaust pyrometer will help you guess if you can't tell from the wierd white smoke which in a cooling air exhaust flow is too dispersed to see, just make a small pipe loop along the keel and tap it to the oil pump. Instant keel oil cooler. It's incredible how efficient that is.

    G'luck
    Noted with thanks !
    Try to work out what the marketing guy wants you to do then do precisely the opposite.

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    Default Re: small air cooled diesel as inboard?

    Quote Originally Posted by skaraborgcraft View Post
    I wouldnt buy a new lister/petter....at least in the UK there is a mass of second hand one for sale, and parts for these engines are cheaper by far than any other diesel in my experience to Yanmar or imported China parts,yes,the engines are cheap,but the parts can be very expensive. To be fair, i even looked at buying a 4hp china diesel and stick it on the leg of an old seagull motor, but i dont think i would want to hear it anymore than i would the seagull ! Rather have the thing in a box to deaden the noise. Anyone who can provide a simple forward/neutral/reverse gearbox for these things will make money! Cheers
    I'm jealous ! They are rare and expensive here .I should import a 10hp water cooled .
    Try to work out what the marketing guy wants you to do then do precisely the opposite.

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    Default Re: small air cooled diesel as inboard?

    Yanmar uses a 10 HP air cooled diesel in their 6 KW generator. The generator has a small radiator to suck off the heat from inside the sound proofed box.
    I have an engine like the one they use and had it in a 23 foot sailboat. It moved the sailboat along with no problem and used a teacup full of fuel. I am using the gearbox for another project so have thought about putting the 10 HP in a small fishing boat and use an outboard motor prop direct drive. Hit the starter button go forward and shut it off to stop. The Atlantic is fair sized so not much fear of running into something. The outboard prop turns about the same speed thru a gear box that the diesel would turn using direct drive.

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    Default Re: small air cooled diesel as inboard?

    I would think there'd be used 10-12 hp LP engines from gensets kicking around. Too bad you're not in the states, as I've got one... Anyway, many remote navigation lights used 'em, as did commercial back up power gensets from the 60's & 70's. Another advantage to the LP is the ease of working on them. The manual for mine (written in classic British manualese) says "The head bolts should be torqued to 60 ft. lbs. If you do not have a torque wrench, that is very tight with a 7 inch spanner". Not a single "special tool # 123" mentioned in the entire manual.

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    Default Re: small air cooled diesel as inboard?

    Like everyone I want the best for free and my money for nothing.

    If the chinese diesels are just Yanmars and will end up reliable then that's an appealing option. I've talked about a Honda too.

    My boat is a 16ft open inboard launch. I have a go/neutral crash clutch bolted to a basket case wisconsin that I'll probably use. It was free and is nice and small. A box with baffles will go in without question. A small fan mounted inside for added air flow might be an option as well.

    I like the small engines from India but I had a suspicion they would be expensive. This is a budget boat of sorts.

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    Default Re: small air cooled diesel as inboard?

    Deltabrent, i reckon for the price it may be worth experimenting,the only thing i would do myself is after breaking in the engine, would be to fit some kind of oil filter(some engines dont have them), and use a top quality synthetic oil, i believe it will have a better chance of surviving oil coolent problems. These things may be "based" on a Yanmar design,but that is not to say the materials are the same quality,and this is why you get what you pay for. Any Honda engine with clean oil will run and run, same as an old iron Briggs. Good luck with it.

    Peter,shame about that,what motors do you have in deisel powered cement mixers out there? There was so much plant equipment fitted with LP motors and most of it went global. The replica stuff in India is ok, but not all of them pass the EU emission standards,but i dont suppose thats an issue.

    One of my all time favourites is a Petter PH2 (air or water cooled), depending on service is rated between 12-18hp from 1200-1800 rpm. I had to work alongside one of these running 24 hours a day,surprisingly,it was not unpleasant, something about the resonance and mechanical bangs seemed to flow into a rather nice mechanical melody,weighs over 450lb,so it would be a fair size boat to put one in,but would would burn only a gallon every 4.5 hours. There are several available now second hand from 200 pounds sterling.Coplete diy rebuilds are possible and very cheap. I love em!

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    Default Re: small air cooled diesel as inboard?

    A brief comment passed on a Chinese diesel owner is to change the oil ,frequently when new .Lot's of unexpected swarf and crap appears .After that they are apparently Ok .I know one chap on a diesel bike forum who has 10,000 km on his China diesel powered bike .


    Skaraboroughcraft ... once upon a time dumpies and mixers ran Listers but they all seem to have gone away these days .If I had my choice it would be a P4 Kelvin but that's just dating me isn't it ? A Petter would be lovely .

    I have a friend with a 1960s Yanmar /Lister clone in his 32 foot ketch .A 20 hp twin cylinder job that sits at around 1200 rpm all day .You can even sit in the cabin with it .An entirely pleasant machine ! Very much like your PH2 .
    Try to work out what the marketing guy wants you to do then do precisely the opposite.

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    Default Re: small air cooled diesel as inboard?

    If you do a search on 19ft sailboat honda inboard (this forum) you will see my complete story.
    Here is one link.
    19 ft sailboat engine inboard (5.5 HP Honda)
    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre....5+HP+Honda%29
    Last edited by donald branscom; 04-10-2011 at 12:02 AM.
    I love the smell of fresh cut plywood in the morning.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: small air cooled diesel as inboard?

    Quote Originally Posted by deltabrent View Post
    If the chinese diesels are just Yanmars and will end up reliable then that's an appealing option.
    Most are based on an older Yanmar design - but not actually Yanmars. From what I've seen (& that seems to be born out here) - the big problem is quality. Some are fine, but others are iffy at best.

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    Default Re: small air cooled diesel as inboard?

    Here is my noisemaker, used from1984 to 1994. Had a glasspack muffler, leadlined airbox/closet,soft copper tubing wrapped around the exhaust pipe, a loop of fuel line to cool the fuel, all kinds of evolving things. It was a great engine for a young man (me) who was short on $ and long on time (to sail).
    Her glory day was going wide open for 10 hours through the Panama canal (south to north)in a group of 5 yachts, all with bigger engines, and being the second boat to arrive at Balboa, getting through in one day. The dry stack burned out, but we kept going .
    16 HP Ducati 3000 rpm
    hey wha hoppen to de pic?!!
    Last edited by wizbang 13; 04-11-2011 at 08:07 AM.

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    Default Re: small air cooled diesel as inboard?


  24. #24
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    Default Re: small air cooled diesel as inboard?

    The U.S. government just auctioned off hundreds of Farryman 4hp aircool diesels. You might want to look at the website of govliquidation to see who bought them. Also three days ago they auctioned off a bunch of 4kw generators, some with Onan engines, some repowered with Yanmar aircools, with recoil starts. They are actually made in Italy. Ruggerini? Dunno.
    In Alaska when I was working for a salmon company a lot of the seine skiffs were powered by six cylinder Deutz engines, before that I'd seen the 4-cyl. version of that engine in ag. tractors on a farm next to where I was farming. Good engines. I've worked on Lister-Petters, and am not so impressed.
    I used to work for a company that was an Onan dealer, and spent many happy hours repairing the MDJE generator. Today I own the aircooled version of that generator, which uses the same terrible Kiki injection, good generator end. The air cool and watercool use the same pistons, rods, valves, etc. Just different blocks. Okay engine but LOUD.
    An aircool has to be ducted for cooling in a cabin, and uses up a lot of room. Much better in an open boat, where a well-lagged dry exhaust can just go out the side. But, by the time you've put sound shielding and mufflers in, you'll be at about the same weight as a water-cool.
    One problem with using a reduction gear from a none-marine application is that you have to have a thrust bearing to take the thrust of the propeller. Must gearboxes, and engines, have thrust bearings in them, but they're not designed to take continuous thrust.
    A Hurth box isn't terribly expensive, and are set up for thrust. All kinds of home-made rigs can be fabricated. I once helped make a thrust bearing that was based on the hub of a boat trailer, using the pair of tapered roller bearings that are the heart of almost all marine thrust bearings. The shaft ran in a cutless stern bearing, then through an inside-mounted stuffing box, then to the thrust bearing, which was bolted to the aft end of the engine beds. Just aft (an inch or so) of the thrust bearing there was a drive pulley from a snowmobile, using one of those flat cogged belts. The engine sat over the shaft, with another cog belt pulley. The difference in pulley sizes gave about a 3:1 reduction. No reverse or neutral. I always worried about the side load on the crankshaft, but that's one of the virtues of the cog-belt: they don't need a lot of belt tension.
    It was a tremendous amount of work, some of it pretty skilled welding, lathe machining.
    By contrast, last year I walked into my local Yamaha dealer, gave them $1,000.00, and they gave me a brand new four-stroke long shaft 4hp Yamaha. It will push my KamikazeKidz boat, an O'day 22, at just over 5kt. It does not appear to consume fuel.
    The new gasoline outboards are amazingly reliable, cheap, clean, quiet, and efficient.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: small air cooled diesel as inboard?

    Any good?

    http://www.usednanaimo.com/classifie...ngine_14076689

    So a standard air cooled non marine engine needs a reduction gear?

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    Default Re: small air cooled diesel as inboard?

    I had a launch that had the water cooled version of that engine. Very good bottom end, but the heads are known to be weak - & I had to replace the head with roughly 500 hours on the engine.

    Reduction gear: most diesels - marine or not run at similar speeds (2500 rpm max) - though Yanmars run faster than many (3200). If you were able to find a generator engine that was designed to run @ 1200 rpm then you might get away without it. Those are very rare though - as most gensets run at 1800 - though some run at 3600, so be careful.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: small air cooled diesel as inboard?

    I was given a 3 cylinder Kubota diesel by my son's friend. I to was thinking of using this in a flat bottomed plywood skiff of around 20-22ft. It produces 26hp at 3600rpm. The engine was used to power refrigeration units on tractor trailers.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: small air cooled diesel as inboard?

    I think that shafts on small displacement hulls shouldn't turn faster than 1,500 rpms. Why do I think this? Just observation, no science.
    So if you can get adequate horsepower at 1,500 rpms, no matter what the rated top speed of the engine (you need the horsepower curve chart to tell this. Or a dynamometer...), then go ahead and try it direct drive. But without a thrust bearing the engine may be short-lived.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: small air cooled diesel as inboard?

    Check out the following link. Lots of discussion about how to use an air cooled engine.

    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...r-Double-Ender

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