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Gardner 8L3B Replacement?

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by Elastoboy, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. Elastoboy

    Elastoboy New Member

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    Oct 20, 2011
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    Newbe here! My project vessel (retirement present to myself) is a late sixties steel displacement, 84’ LOA, 72’ LWL, 19’ beam, 5’10” draught – Cruise 10 knots, VNE 12.8 knots.

    2 x Gardner 8L3B with 3UC type 2 boxes – originally 230Hp @ 1180 rpm, very frugal on fuel! – now both are completely shot!

    Looking for suggestions, options, your experiences for replacement with “modern” engines – Maintenance, availability, economy and possible weight savings are the selection criteria, up-front costs are secondary.

    Cruising Caribbean & Eastern seaboard, about 600 hrs/year usage.

    Hope you can point me in the right direction.
  2. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    Nothing wrong at all with newly rebuilt Gardners. My last boat had 2 ten years ago and are still working just fine, they drink no fuel and only need the oil changing so often.

    Gardner Marine Diesel Engine Maintenance Services - HOME

    A newer option may be Doosan. I've seen a few fitted to commercial trawlers and have heard very few complaints about them.

    Doosan Engines
  3. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    I'll second that. Rebuild the Gardners and take great delight in them. But if you want to get rid of them let me know.
  4. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    I will pitch in with my ideas to re build those old girls.

    What do you mean by" totally shot"

    If the big castings are ok and the cranks are still within spec there are so many after market parts to rebuild those things you would be mad to junk them.

    You will not find another engine that is so simple and reliable anywhere.

    If you are going to junk them and Marmot doesn't want them both I would like to know, One would look good in my Garden and I might be able to use it to saw bigger logs than I can now.
  5. Yachtjocky

    Yachtjocky Senior Member

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    Oct 17, 2010
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    Gardners

    If those engines were the original ones in the 60's built boat they are just about run in now.

    Seriously though if you want them rebuilt call Joe Duggan in Fort Lauderdale or Andy Bruce at Seaward Engineering in Glasgow, Scotland, both great on Gardners.

    Those 8L3B's will start & run on one cylinder and as long as they have not "run away" and blown the block up you would be mad not to rebuild them as they will continue for many years
  6. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    Aw c'mon, those things are junk. It's past time to replace them with something smaller and lighter.

    Just to make it easier, I am willing to help the OP remove them and I'll even haul them away.
  7. Yachtjocky

    Yachtjocky Senior Member

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    gardner

    can you hear those newly rebuilt engines purring away and then there is the smell of a good warm one. Those little brass control rods and those tranmissions bigger than those new Fiat 500's
  8. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    May I put it this way, in 3 years I spent more money and time servicing and repairing the tender's Yam 40hp 4-stroke outboard than I did the Gardners.

    Enough said.
  9. Blair

    Blair New Member

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    Mar 6, 2008
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    It was interesting at the Auckland International Boat Show recently to see boatbuilders and marine engineers crowding around a rebuilt Gardner 8cyl (all tikety boo, polished brass etc.) and almost drooling. I swear they all stroked it like lovers. I think it was only the naive owners and would be's who otherwise drooled at the horsepower ratings and comparative minor dimensions of the Cats, MANs etc.

    However the most relevant illustration as to why you should retain the engines is the fact that Marmot and Kiwi would offer their left testicle to take them off you.
  10. rcrapps

    rcrapps Senior Member

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    Location; Americas????
    If your on the East coast, I pick them up for you. TRUST MEEEEEE.....

    Mine were cut years ago, L & R are yours for the blocks.

    Even if the cranks have some problems, Even if anything has some problems, FIX THEM.

    Hopefully everybody has talked you into keeping them. Please start a new thread with plenty of pictures of them getting rebuilt and the final installation.

    I have been with one Gardner many moons ago. Of all others since, I'd love to see more of those fine ole girls.

    ,Ralph
  11. Elastoboy

    Elastoboy New Member

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    Thanks for the input - BUT!

    To all, thank you for your inputs, it appears that there are many people "devoted" to Gardner engines. I do agree that they could be considered as works of art, but I really do need to save 32" in the overall engine room length and the iron lumps are way too long! Realistically it is my intention to remove the Gardners and completely rebuild them to "as new" specs - what else can a retired engineer do!!
    So any thoughts on fitting a couple of de-rated C7 or cummins big sixes??
  12. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    With an 84' to push, you're really going to need de-rated 12 cylinders for the torque factor or large 6's. I forget the CAT model designation but I think they were 3506's that they normally used in purposes such as yours. Cummins also makes a big 6 that would be ideal for your purpose, I think it's a KTM 12 and they were normally around 600hp. Although it might be too much HP for your boat than you're looking for.
  13. david_japp

    david_japp Senior Member

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    Gardner Engines

    We are just completing the TOTAL rebuild of Alto volante (pka Tiky) a 1961 62ft steel FEADSHIP motoryacht (more on that in other posts ).

    It was was, as I said previously, a TOTAL rebuild that has taken over 2 years and we have replaced literally everything on board from all the wiring to all the plumbing...new thruster, stabilizers, prop shafts. we fitted an entirely new interior and replaced 30mts of hull plating, a new teak deck and a new Pilot House. Unfortunately we also had to replace the lovely old MAN V12s cos they were seized and beyond hope ...and after a lot of research, guess what we fitted instead...GARDNERS!

    We found a retired Gardner engineer and his son in the UK who bought two 40 year old 6LXB engines and took them completely apart and then rebuilt them. They are now real beauties that are "as new", suit the boat and will see me out.

    At 84 ft and presumably with a displacement round bilged hull, you're never going to do more than around 12knts so you need slow revving engines with torque. Gardners are ideal for that and that's why so many big offshore fishing boats use them especially in the far east and Australia

    re-engining is a major item and not to be undertaken lightly as you'll need to adjust if not rebuild the bearers and probabaly fit new shafts etc, to say nothing of the ventilation requirements ...you could probably save some space with modern gearboxes..

    but my advice is to stick with the Gardners ...
  14. david_japp

    david_japp Senior Member

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    some pics of my new Gardner 6LXB engines being rebuilt

    Attached Files:

  15. dennismc

    dennismc Senior Member

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    Rebuilds

    WOW !!! look at those long stroke con rods,,,yummy...
  16. macka17

    macka17 New Member

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    Hi
    Keep your Gardeners.
    They and Kelvins. were the best 4 strokers around.
    Wichman and Hundestadt. were the best two strokers.
    (Pom Pom's).

    Big old slow boats. You won't find better. for torque.
    reliability or economy.

    There's a bloke in Adelaide Australia. specialises in rebuilding\repairing them.
    His main mechanic, is a pom.(english) did his trade training with Gardeners.
    He's brilliant.
    Goes all over Aust. Repairing.Maintaining them in fishing boats.

    For Displacement type vessels. You won't get any better.
    Newer motors. are higher rev's, higher wear factors. and much more multi parts.
    IE. More to wear out.

    Up to 60 ft. my Choice for a donk. would be an old Air Start
    Wichman 52hp One potter with Hundestadt prop behind it.

    They will do 7 1\2 to 8 1\2 knots all day. Using a cupfull of fue.l Pushing a 55\65ft Timber trawler through any seas
    Without missing a beat.
    A lot heavier than these modern "snot and cloth" (Fibreglass) Vessels.

    Simple wheelhouse. with a Wheel . Throttle lever. and a winding wheel.
    Behind or beside you.
    Left for forward pitch on prop. Right for astern.
    Just set the rev's and change pitch to suit seas. Trawl. or cruise.

    You young fella's don't know what you missed.
    Sitting in a fishing harbour at 4 to 5 am. All the old Timber. Herring fleet trawlers starting up.

    "Puff" one big smoke ring. coupla seconds and "Poof" another one. Slowly building up to a tick over of around 45rev's.

    20 or 30 boats all doing it together.
    With the odd Kelvin or Gardener local boat cranking up in between them.
    Bloody lovely. There used to be another brand too. But old age precludes.(I've forgotten the brand.)
    I'm 70 now. and can still hear. feel and smell them.

    Then I used to go round to the Steam Trawler I was decky on.
    She was even better again.

    A lot of the Trawlers built round here in the 80's were installing second hand or rebuild Gardeners, or Volvo's.
    The older models of them were very reliable too.

    A bloke Called Chris Williams in Victoria had a good name for real Steel seaboats. round the 50 to 65\70 ft size..

    Off that coast the next stop is Antarctica. So we had some decent weather blowing through.

    Stick to your Gardeners mate. and be thankful you have them to start with..

    Macka17
  17. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    While Wichmann were a well known engine builder till they were swallowed up by Wartsilla, Hundestadt as far as I know have only ever been into props and drive lines not engines.

    What engines did they build?
  18. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    If I was building a steel long range cruiser today I would love to get hold of one of these Kelvins.

    Model_170-6M A-2
  19. macka17

    macka17 New Member

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    Kiwi.

    Could be wrong.
    I'm dredging 55 plus yr old memories here. Pre '56..

    I'm sure Hundestadt build early 2 Strokers.
    Could have been a different brand.(There were two different mfg's.)
    In which case I apologise for misdirection.

    Just enjoying some of my old memories. Like tar caulking boats on rollers at top of the beach
    After hauling them up on an old hand winch. and melting the tar down in drums on wood fire.

    You lot don't know how lucky we are nowadays.
    I'm still good with a caulking iron and Hemp.

    Addendum.

    Just checked up on Google.

    Hundested. Semi Diesel and Hot bowl. one and two pot.

    They show them starting and running.
    I remember going down in the engine room. Floorboards at crank level.
    Huge flywheel with a half rope round it.
    Couple of you on the rope.
    One long Pull.
    Chuff. Off she went. That was the Kelvin Multi Cyl, mainly.

    Some others. Not sure of make. Had a Cartridge holder going into head.
    Drop a charge in there. She'd bang into life.

    The Wichmanns had a compressor beside engine. With an air pot.Like a double head above piston.
    Throw lever on Air cyl. Pushed piston over stroke. and away she went.
    Went forever. at about 60\70 rev's with a huge prop hanging off the back. Went through any seas.
    The torque on them was unbelievable. Variable prop controlled direction

    Technology went backwards after them. For displacement boats.
    Small. multi part. high revving. with gearboxes.

    Same as the old ship engines. Throw the ship away and build another round the engine.
    I worked on a couple of the old 9 and 15 cyl Fiats..
    They were easy would run with one piston Con.rod out and injection disconnected while swapping over.

    Very basic and went forever. at around 500\750rev's max.

    From memory Kelvins are\were, still avail in UK?. But bigger ones.

    Thank's for bringing back some enjoyable old memories.
  20. sharkins74

    sharkins74 New Member

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    Aug 13, 2013
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    help n gardner engines

    To make a long story short, I inherited an 80 foot steel beut...a REAL beaut. nearly everything has to be redone (well worth it!!!) to me surprise, when I took a look in the engine room a 8L3B and a 6L3B were staring me in the face. THEY ARE NOT shot!! Does anyone have any manuals on them? or any information on them?

    thanks

    steve

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