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Diesels Volvo vs. Cummins

Old 09-10-2020, 05:18 PM
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Default Diesels Volvo vs. Cummins

Hey guys, I have settled on a 1998/99 Formula 41 PC as my next boat. There are plenty around, most offer Cummins 6CTA 450 engines which, after all my research, seem like an excellent option. Recently I have come across one with the Volvo TAMD74C engines. After coming out of a boat with Volvo Gas engines with outdrives that were an absolute nightmare, I am hesitant to go into Volvo Diesels. Are Volvo diesels similar to their gas engines/drives, in that, the parts are very hard to find, the engineering can often be strange and difficult to work through and also needing many specialty tools to repair things? I have researched that specific diesel motor and it seems to have many good reviews and be well respected but I just want to know moving forward, especially since this particular boat I'm looking at had a one recent turbo and transmission replacement last year but only on one side on a twin diesel 41 foot boat.

Thanks!

Brian
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Old 09-10-2020, 05:33 PM
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Everyone after me gonna tell you how terrible they are, but I can only report my personal experience. My TAMD 41 volvos have been bulletproof. Parts are expensive but easy to source. They are now 20 yrs old but still run great.

If I had to choose id go cummins - but if I got an amazing deal on a volvo diesel powered boat I'd definitely give it some thought.
Old 09-10-2020, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by mrobertson View Post
Everyone after me gonna tell you how terrible they are, but I can only report my personal experience. My TAMD 41 volvos have been bulletproof. Parts are expensive but easy to source. They are now 20 yrs old but still run great.

If I had to choose id go cummins - but if I got an amazing deal on a volvo diesel powered boat I'd definitely give it some thought.
Good advice!
Old 09-10-2020, 05:49 PM
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Volvo makes great engines. The Volvo network is poor. Parts if needed are double what they should be. Support is also questionable. Resale will be difficult. The first question when you go to sell is, ‘ Is it Cummins powered? “
Old 09-10-2020, 06:10 PM
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I'm a first-time Volvo owner. Mine are latest generation D4 300 hp. So far (400 hours ish) I'm super impressed.
Old 09-10-2020, 06:14 PM
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The above comment pretty much sums it up

"If I had to choose id go cummins - but if I got an amazing deal on a volvo diesel powered boat I'd definitely give it some thought."

Volvo makes a quality engine, but the parts network is small, with lead times and much more expensive. Cummins is everywhere. Also a huge network of people who know how to work on them. After all, alot of these engines are already all over the interstate around you in a different form.
Old 09-10-2020, 06:22 PM
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There has been an Estate sale 41PC at our yacht club for about 70k if you are interested. Pretty sure it has Cummins 450s.
Old 09-10-2020, 06:31 PM
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All being equal, to me, it’s Cummins, hands down, no hesitation. I had a set of
Volvo 72’s in my boat and hated them. I have been told the 73’s and later were much better engines. The mechanical C series Cummins are very solid and simple motors. However looking at a 20 year old boat, hours, condition and maintenance means a lot!
Old 09-10-2020, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by fireisland1 View Post
Volvo makes great engines. The Volvo network is poor. Parts if needed are double what they should be. Support is also questionable. Resale will be difficult. The first question when you go to sell is, ‘ Is it Cummins powered? “
I was going to chum in but Fireisland has said all you need to think about.
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Old 09-10-2020, 07:57 PM
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Yes, Hottoddie, who can I reach out to for more information?
Old 09-10-2020, 08:00 PM
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Thanks everyone for these helpful responses!
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Old 09-10-2020, 10:54 PM
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I'd look for a boat with the Cummins engines but more importantly is how the engines were maintained. You want to hear the words 'open checkbook' and you want to see those maintenance records. Marine age plays an important factor. You don't want to see a boat that age, over 10 years old, with 200 hours on the engines. You want to see at least 1,000 - 1,500.
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Old 09-11-2020, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by brians3000gt View Post
Yes, Hottoddie, who can I reach out to for more information?
PM sent
Old 09-11-2020, 10:45 AM
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I had the Cummins 480c version of the ctas. If you prop them right they will run forever. I had them for 16 years with only doing mostly maintenance. The parts and service network is extensive and the parts cost wont knock you over the head like volvo
Old 09-11-2020, 01:38 PM
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Brian,

The issue is not that the Volvo parts network is poor, but that Volvo relies on its dealer network to support the customer base. Bad dealer bad experience, good dealer, good experience. We are now ending our second year with twin D6s and I am very pleased. But yes I do have a complete set of all filters, belts and Volvo specific engine hoses. We just had our annual oil service done and the parts came out of my inventory and will be replaced by new parts from the dealer as they come in.
Old 09-11-2020, 02:31 PM
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I have not personally owned boats with either type engines in them. We've been CAT, Yanmar, MAN and DD powered boats. I can say this though; my friends who own volvo boats hate them, my friends who own cummins boats love them.
Old 09-11-2020, 03:31 PM
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Cummins is a no brainier compared to volvo
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Old 09-11-2020, 03:47 PM
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Here is my best example of Volvo service and support annoyance. I got the NMEA gateway that allows you to access engine NMEA date through an App on your phone. After a month or so it popped a connection error so I looked for the Volvo tech support and they refer you to your dealer. You can imagine how much help the dealer was able to provide with respect to the app failure. Called VP and they just say they don’t have any consumer direct support. Call our clueless and ill informed dealer for help.

that is a typical VP experience.
Old 09-11-2020, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by DestinBillMe View Post
Here is my best example of Volvo service and support annoyance. I got the NMEA gateway that allows you to access engine NMEA date through an App on your phone. After a month or so it popped a connection error so I looked for the Volvo tech support and they refer you to your dealer. You can imagine how much help the dealer was able to provide with respect to the app failure. Called VP and they just say they don’t have any consumer direct support. Call our clueless and ill informed dealer for help.

that is a typical VP experience.
The dealer should put an argus case though to Volvo.
Old 09-11-2020, 06:06 PM
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All I can say is, I'm now at 1,550 hours on my D6's
So far it's been a water sensor on my port fuel filter and I just did a fuel cooler on my starboard. It was working but was showing some signs of deterioration so I replaced it
I did rebuild both water pumps this past winter, One needed it, so I did both
Called, got it, put it in
No problem getting parts

Expensive? It's all relative
Other then oil, filters, belts - stuff like that, I'm in for less then $3k in parts in 14 years
I'm religious about PM and following service guidelines

It's more about how you run them and how you take care of them

If you think Volvo can't build diesels, look in your rear view mirror when you're driving
How many trucks have a diagonal bar across the front?
(And yes, I realize that's road and not marine)

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