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Old 01-07-2011, 08:23 PM
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Default Cummins 6BTA59MA-300

I am looking at a 31ft boat with a 300 hp cummins diesel 6BTA59MA-300, It has around 1500 hours,Looking to find out the good & bad on this series engine would appreciate any imfo.thanks.
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Old 01-08-2011, 02:48 AM
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dodge has beeen using them for years
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Old 01-08-2011, 04:53 AM
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One of the best didsel engines available today. I had 2.
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Old 01-08-2011, 06:25 AM
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Great motor,check out boatdiesel for lots of good info-read all the articles posted by Tony Athens-he's the "man" when it comes to Cummins.Overall bulletproof -just don't over-prop and be sure to maintain the cooling system well. BTW the raw water pumps are crap Sherwoods and are sometimes difficult to service.
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Old 01-08-2011, 07:29 AM
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Bullet proof?

Saltwater aftercoolers,,,,,,,,,,,,,,major headaches
fuel coolers,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,junk
raw water pumps,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,junk
raw water cooled exhaust elbows,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,problems
loction of raw water pump,,,,,,,,,horrible
very sensitive to overpropping,,,,,,,,,,never try to pull the rated horsepower out of them

According to Boat Diesel they're great. Unfortunately it seems the addons to make them "marine" are junk. Could cost you quite a lot to make them reliebale according to boatdiesel.
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Old 01-08-2011, 07:34 AM
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Apparently in various forms the 5.9 is the most produced diesel engine in the world. Have one in my sig boat, 1995 315hp Diamond Series. Yes, the raw water pump is a PIA to service. Right up next to one of the engine bearers. Best to remove for service. Better still, keep one ready to go onboard.
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swj View Post
Bullet proof?

Saltwater aftercoolers,,,,,,,,,,,,,,major headaches
fuel coolers,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,junk
raw water pumps,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,junk
raw water cooled exhaust elbows,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,problems
loction of raw water pump,,,,,,,,,horrible
very sensitive to overpropping,,,,,,,,,,never try to pull the rated horsepower out of them

According to Boat Diesel they're great. Unfortunately it seems the addons to make them "marine" are junk. Could cost you quite a lot to make them reliebale according to boatdiesel.
Not entirely true. They are great engines that, when serviced correctly, will give thousands of hours of dependable service.

Not all B series have fuel coolers, the 300hp versions do not. The raw water pumps are not junk, you just need to keep an eye on them.

These engines are no more sensitive to over-propping than any other marine diesel.

All engines have warts. I'd rather have these engines than any Cat, Detroit, Yanmar, or Volvo.
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:10 AM
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Like any engine, it had it's growing pains. The Sherwood raw water pumps are junk...you may get lucky(like I did)and have some that work well, but I would upgrade to the Seamax pumps at some point. Not all boats have the clearance issues with the pumps...many do require loosening the motor mount to remove the pumps, but mine do not. If it is an issue with the boat you are considering, it's an easy fix. The problem with the salt-water aftercoolers is that if it failed, it usually led to a catastrophic engine failure--that is more of a design problem. Not all have this design. Properly maintained, you can and will get thousands of hours of use. If you want the complete low-down on these engines, go to boatdiesel.com and seek out Tony with Seaboard Marine...he knows more about them than just about anyone.
1500 hours on these don't concern me in the least...as long as they have been maintained.
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Old 01-08-2011, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
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Bullet proof?

Saltwater aftercoolers,,,,,,,,,,,,,,major headaches
fuel coolers,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,junk
raw water pumps,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,junk
raw water cooled exhaust elbows,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,problems
loction of raw water pump,,,,,,,,,horrible
very sensitive to overpropping,,,,,,,,,,never try to pull the rated horsepower out of them

According to Boat Diesel they're great. Unfortunately it seems the addons to make them "marine" are junk. Could cost you quite a lot to make them reliebale according to boatdiesel.
This is from the expert at boat diesel. Of course he does sell the "cures" for some of the "problems".
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Old 01-08-2011, 06:22 PM
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if it is the 300 hp version (cpl0970), you want to be sure it is propped correctly. The heads had valve problems when overloaded and the fix is to get the newer style head with valve rotators. Of course, it is only an issue if it is overloaded. if propped properly, it is not an issue. The earlier welded aftercoolers are also known to have issues, but the later model cast ones solve those problems. I just purchased and rebuilt one to put in my single screw boat... i'm not scared of them one bit, they are great motors. get a good engine surveyor and you'll be fine...
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Old 01-08-2011, 10:33 PM
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I have dealt with Athens a number of times and he certainly knows those motors and is worth talking to no matter where you are. If you get the production numbers off the engines (IIRC all the marine B motors start with "CPL") and call him or any factory Cummins shop they should be able to tell you what issues that particular setup had.

I don't recall the exact year but one little got ya on some of the mid 90s engines was the bolt that holds the idler pulley for the belt. Bolt breaks, belt flies, no water circulation pump running and bad things happen pretty quick under a good load. Athens does have an alarm setup that goes on the exhaust manifold and goes off faster than the factory temp alarm pickup. The exhaust manifold heats up quick when the fresh water stops. A pretty easy one time DIY fix drilling/tapping it for a bigger grade 5/8 bolt. On any engine pyrometers are nice. Air filter and crankcase breather setups (other than Walker) are available or fab one up yourself.

One big pro is the availability and price of parts. At 300HP the Cummins is in a comfortable part of the HP/displacement ratio and is a great engine if you take care of it and don't abuse it.

Aftercoolers, exhaust mixers and water pumps are certainly maintenance items on any engine.

As for the fore mentioned "list":

Saltwater aftercoolers - A maintenance item that should be done as soon as you get any Cummins B motor and every 2 years or so after that. If one is reasonable handy with a wrench then it is a DIY item. Of course it has to be done correctly

fuel coolers - I forget the exact issue with the fuel cooler but IIRC it is not a big deal to fix if your engine was affected.

raw water pumps - at the first hiccup swap the Sherwood pump for the SeaMax.

raw water cooled exhaust elbows - A raw cast exhaust mixer is a maintenance item on any wet exhaust engine and Cummins is no different. Like any marine engine the exhaust has to be done right so if your install could be improved then you should consider bitting the bullet and spending a big chuck of change on some stainless if the mixers need to be replaced. Just like you would with any other engine.

location of raw water pump - Depends on the install and sure some are bad. Usually easier to pull the pump to service it as it is certainly a DIY item. Just like the exhaust doing it right pays off.

very sensitive to overpropping - No worse than any other engine. You have to run them within the specs for a recreational engine otherwise problems will follow.
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Old 01-09-2011, 05:34 AM
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SWJ's comments are so far out in left field that they don't even warrant a response.

A fuel cooler???? Where is this located SWJ?

The Raw Water Pump difficult to access?? - if you call a 10 minute job to replace an impeller difficult then "YES" you are correct. Takes 3 bolts and done. Yes a bit tight in there but very easy to replace. I can replace a Cummins impeller in 1/2 time of any outboard.

Sensitive to overpropping?????? Compared to what? An outboard engine? All diesel engines must be propped correctly

Remember, SWJ is the same guy who defends the nut cases and eco-terrorist on the Discovery Channel "Whale Wars" ....... so please consider the quality of the source when weighing his opinions.
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Old 01-09-2011, 07:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisrack View Post
SWJ's comments are so far out in left field that they don't even warrant a response.

A fuel cooler???? Where is this located SWJ?

The Raw Water Pump difficult to access?? - if you call a 10 minute job to replace an impeller difficult then "YES" you are correct. Takes 3 bolts and done. Yes a bit tight in there but very easy to replace. I can replace a Cummins impeller in 1/2 time of any outboard.

Sensitive to overpropping?????? Compared to what? An outboard engine? All diesel engines must be propped correctly

Remember, SWJ is the same guy who defends the nut cases and eco-terrorist on the Discovery Channel "Whale Wars" ....... so please consider the quality of the source when weighing his opinions.
Chris you are the type of person who believes everyone must believe in the same things as you do or they are "nut cases". Bet you think your septic tank is a rose garden also.

Like I said these are not my views on the Cummins but what the "expert" moderator Tony Athens posts on 'Boat Diesel. Got a problem? Then contact Athens.

Also thanks to the person who also mentioned the problematic Cummins idler pulley bolt that also must be "redone" according to Tony Athens. Maybe Athens like Whales also?

Have a nice day and just remember that anyone that doesn't believe exactly as you is some "nut case".
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Old 01-09-2011, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
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very sensitive to overpropping - No worse than any other engine. You have to run them within the specs for a recreational engine otherwise problems will follow.
I agree all engines are subject to issues with overpropping, but the cpl0970 is worse than average. Cummins has a bulletin out about when replacing the head NOT to go back with the cpl0970 head in marine applications but to upgrade to the newer head with the valve rotators. Bad news is it is about double the cost.

I am finishing up the rebuild of one now and though the head appeared fine, I chose to upgrade it...
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Old 01-09-2011, 08:32 AM
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90% of the motors in the charter fleet in OB are cummins, 1 boat in particular has 18,000 hours on a QSM11 585 and it still runs strong. I just worked on a repower with a friend, we pulled the 2 cummins 6bta 300HP out with around 9000 hours on each and they were running fine. The owner just put new motors in because of BP and taxe reasons. I have changed raw water pumps on these motors. Yes we had to jack the motor up with a bottle jack and loosen the motor mount but it took no time at all. They have their small quirks but go buy parts for any of the other brands and you will spend more money on them. I would not own any other diesel and I have ran em all.
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Old 01-10-2011, 11:36 AM
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Also thanks to the person who also mentioned the problematic Cummins idler pulley bolt that also must be "redone" according to Tony Athens. Maybe Athens like Whales also?
I have seen 2 engines burned up when the factory bolt snapped. A cheap DIY fix to swap out the smaller bolt makes doing it a no brainer IMO.

Athens may be a little opinionated and "gruff" at times but he certainly knows Cummins engines AND he knows what customer service is.

I live about 60 miles from his shop (a VERY nice shop BTW). I was fabbing up breather systems for a pair of Perkins and the Racor breathers had an odd thread size and did not come with any fittings to attach the hoses. When I went to pick up the Racors from him he mentioned this and when I asked if he knew where I could get said fittings, which he didn't have, he went down to the lathe and made the fittings I would need while I waited. Top drawer service in my book.

I have no dog in the hunt - Just a happy customer that likes whales
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Old 01-10-2011, 11:22 PM
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finally some real info on 6b s other than how they are so great. in my opinion they are my last choice, other than cheap parts they have no advantage over any other marine deisel. i have seen too many in recreational boats time bomb at 2000hrs. every one always talks about 10000hr motors, and i m sure they are out there, but so are cats and volvos and deers and detroits. a commercially used engine that is ran 1ooo hrs a year is alot different than a recreationally used deisel. they have small cooling systems, and why do they all run at 205 temp it s just scary to run that hott you can t take your eye off that guage.
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Old 01-11-2011, 05:09 AM
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they have small cooling systems, and why do they all run at 205 temp it s just scary to run that hott you can t take your eye off that guage.
The marine 6B has a small cooling system? I just changed the coolant in mine and it held ~5 gallons. They also run around 185 - 190 degrees. If you're trying to run one at 205 then you're overheating it the entire time.
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Old 01-11-2011, 09:03 AM
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Also forgot the Cummins KDP.. Much talked about but no one seems to really agree on whether or not it is a threat to a marine 6b. Experts say absolutely no threat on a marine 6b, others say, yes it does happen and can kill an engine. Lots of cures being sold.

The Cummins expert at Boat Diesel pulls the fuel coolers off most all of the engines he installs saying they aren't needed and cause problems. They are raw water cooled and can dump the coolant into the fuel upon failure. The expert also sells the ones he pulls off advertsing them as very high quality. He also sells a whole lineup of cures and fixes for the 6b.

The expert also hates Detroits, hates Racor fuel filters, yes, he has his own "line" of plumbed filter heads he sells with "truck" style spin on filters. Calls his first filter a "mud" filter which seems like a really good sales pitch. Buddy, you gotta get that mud out of your fuel!

I do own one Cummins 6bta with jacket water cooled aftercooler. Approx. 5000 hours on original raw water pump, fuel cooler and original venting system. Currently sitting on the garage floor awaitng inspection/overhaul. Recieved as a RTO.

I am not a paid member of boatdiesel, have never bought anything from the expert moderator. Yes, I am always a little extra cautious when someone talks about a problem and they also are selling the "cure". Yes, the expert at times can be rude and insulting or however you want to put it. Yes, his customers say he gives great service and like his "cures".

I've always had natural Detroits. No turbo, no aftercoolers, no sherwood water pumps mounted low, no venting problems, never needed a "mud" filter, prop it to pull full power. No major cures needed. Done right from the start. No longer made. Seems like a great engine would be done right from the start and not need a bunch of cures to be "great".

Anyone wanting to know how the boatdiesel expert feels about whales should contact him.
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Old 01-13-2011, 11:54 AM
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SJW,
I looked over you profile on this forum.
382 posts since 5-29-2010.
Zero friends on this forum.
110 visits to your profile by forum members.

I have a really hard time believing anything you have to say about a Cummins Marine
6BTA engines.
Also, what is your "beef" with Tony Athens from Seaboard Marine. He makes great aftermarket products for the 6B and has solved 1000s of problems/issues for Cummins Marine owners.

What's up? Post some facts, show some pics.

You seem spiteful and angry about everything.

What gives?

Provide the forum some facts.

Start with some "clear pics from all four (4) sides of that 5000 hr. 6B you claim you own"
Of particular interest to me is the Sherwood pump that you claim has given great service with zero issues for 5000 hours.

Waiting patiently,

BillD
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