Caterpillar won't release engine records

Discussion in 'Diesel Engines/Drives/Transmissions/Props' started by Arickosmo, Apr 25, 2017.

  1. Matt

    Matt New Member

    96
    May 6, 2008
    Braintree, Ma.
    400 Db
    Cummins 6cta8.3m 450
    Get the survey done by a Cat dealer or Cat specialist. $1000 is chump change in Diesel world. I had the 600 Hr done just last year on my Cummins 450 diamonds $3500. The boat had 400 Hr on it when I purchased it and the broker pushed me to have Cummins do a full engine survey at the sea trial he found what turned out to be $3000 of needed repairs which the owner and I worked out before the sale. The survey cost was $1500 the guy spent a full day on the boat including the sea trial he gave me a list of findings one of which was a leaking head gasket on the port engine and a leaking raw water pump on the starboard engine. It was well worth the price to find out before I bought the boat.
     
  2. JVM225

    JVM225 Well-Known Member

    Apr 8, 2008
    Farmingdale, NY
    2002 410 Sundancer, Monaco Edition.
    3126 Cats.
    I called HO Penn to do a survey when I was going through the purchase process. Their outrageous prices were bad enough, but the 6 week wait for them to get to it was even more insulting.
    I wound up finding a surveyor who also had the expertise to survey the motors so I paid him to do them. He charged me less than half of what HO Penn wanted.
     
  3. Boatingnut

    Boatingnut Member

    299
    Dec 18, 2008
    Saugatuck, MI
    Shopping, sold the 440
    Big as possible
    Seems like Cat has proprietary tools for downloading the ECM (if you have them), installing software, etc. Not sure if that is available to folks outside of Cat. Have not run into anyone that does, at least from a boat survey standpoint.
     
  4. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 20, 2012
    Florida
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60
    No idea whether there were ECM's in 98.

    One of the huge benefits of the engine survey by a cummins tech was seeing the graphs of when alarms had occurred - and what alarms went off. Lots of interesting statistics around how the boat was run % of time at different power levels.

    I would not buy a significant size boat without both an overall boat survey and a specific engine survey from an authorized shop. Just my thought...

    Mark
     
  5. JC3

    JC3 Active Member

    Oct 6, 2006
    Kentucky
    N/A
    N/A
    Mark, You are 1000% RIGHT. No way I would buy any significant boat without a survey. Example: When I was looking for my bigger boat we
    found a 400DA that looked great. Everything looked good, Cat Records good, Maint Records etc... all looked good. Survey found a large area
    of significant elevated moisture in the hull. The need for a quality survey of both boat and engines is the best money that will be spent on the boat. JC
     
  6. JVM225

    JVM225 Well-Known Member

    Apr 8, 2008
    Farmingdale, NY
    2002 410 Sundancer, Monaco Edition.
    3126 Cats.
    A good surveyor is worth his weight in gold.
     
  7. Arickosmo

    Arickosmo Member SILVER Sponsor

    186
    Apr 10, 2012
    Middle Coast
    2003 400DB
    Mercruiser 8.1L
    Update:

    Survey was completed last Thrusday. The motors and hull passed with flying colors. The seller had water systems on both engines maintained last month as well as an oil change. (New impellers, one pump, hoses checked, aftercoolers cleaned.) I saw old impellers on board and they were still very serviceable. Generator has water in the oil and possibly a bit of diesel. I can see the water but can smell the diesel. Samples of oil were sent off for all three engines. I'll know more soon. I visited the boat this Saturday. She ran great from a completely cold start. Aside from the generator and one concerning ding in the hull it just needs some love. (a bulb here, a latch here, etc...)

    Seller has agreed to let Cat talk to me and they've been doing all maintenance on the engines since new. It's a one owner boat. So, assuming they tell me the engines are healthy at only 340 hours what do I need to ask? I plan to ask for a maintenance schedule since I don't currently know it.
     
  8. Boatingnut

    Boatingnut Member

    299
    Dec 18, 2008
    Saugatuck, MI
    Shopping, sold the 440
    Big as possible
    I assume you will be doing a sea trial, and I would have Cat onboard for that. I did not see you list which motors are in the boat, but it really does not matter. Have Cat check for the basics: making correct RPM, check temps all over the motor, check cooling (WOT run), check blow by, etc. Again, service records won't tell you any of this info. You gotta run the boat, and you need to stress it a bit to make sure all is well. Money well spent....
     
  9. fwebster

    fwebster Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 6, 2006
    Middle Tennessee ; Panama City Beach, FL
    1996 450DA
    3116 Caterpillars
    There is a mandatory service on these engines at 250 hours that includes, setting the valve lash, setting the injector timing and checking the pump related setting for the governor and idle. On very low time boats, that service is frequently overlooked but it is critically important on Caterpillars. Verify that the service was done, or do it before you run the boat for any extended period of time. It is the one big service on Cat engines and will take 6-8 hours and special tooling…..cost is around $1000.
     
  10. Blkbird

    Blkbird Member

    200
    Jul 5, 2010
    Lake Lanier, GA
    1997 Sea Ray 450 Sundancer
    Twin 3126 CATS
    The local CAT mechanic is a guy named Larry. Worth his weight in gold. Not sure what a marine mechanic is doing up at Lake Lanier but I was glad he was around to rebuild my engines.

    And if you need someone local to check into anything, meet someone or just take photos of the boat, please just ask. Any excuse to go look at boats :)
     
    Cocktail Time likes this.
  11. Arickosmo

    Arickosmo Member SILVER Sponsor

    186
    Apr 10, 2012
    Middle Coast
    2003 400DB
    Mercruiser 8.1L
    The deal fell apart. Boat sure did run nice but there's too much work to do on her.

    Thank you all...again...for the help. I learned a bunch at a cost.
     
  12. barlow

    barlow Member

    281
    Feb 28, 2009
    Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand
    450 Sundancer
    3116 T/A Cats 350 hp
    Used HO Penn in CT but would not recommend them.....
     
  13. Jus the two of us

    Jus the two of us New Member

    27
    Dec 7, 2015
    United States Lake Cumberland
    1998 Sundancer 450
    3116 Cats
    I agree with everything Frank is telling you. Spend your time and money finding out what condition the engines are now. I think that will tell you how they have been cared for in the past. Our 1998 450 had 900 hrs., Oil and coolant analysis came back great and also showed the last 3 analysis done on the engines, That was a plus. You can tell by the appearance of the engines and engine compartment if it has been well maintained or just visited when there was a problem. These Cats are great engines, The analysis, the way they look and sound will tell you what you need. If a engine has problems, these things will tell you.
     
  14. Cocktail Time

    Cocktail Time Member SILVER Sponsor

    496
    Jul 9, 2007
    Lake Lanier, GA
    1998 400 Sundancer, Garmin 430 GPS, Furuno RDP-110, B&G GPS pilot etc.
    Cat 3116's, Westerbeke 7.6kw
    Blkbird, can you share Larry's info with me? I have a great diesel guy but there are times when he is out for a couple weeks at a time. It would be great to know someone else in a pinch. Thank you.
     

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