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2004 Cummins 480 CE Marine Engines #5242946 10/18/19 05:29 AM
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jmichels Offline OP
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So I did some oil samples on a boat we are looking to purchase. It has dual Cummins 480 CE 8.3 engines. This was one of the results I got back. The mechanic seems to think the high iron content is because the boat sat for several months and was started multiple times to show people at the slip but never completely warmed up or run. Oil was over a year old. What are your thoughts? Really nice boat and want to make it work but also do not want to be doing a motor in several months. It seems Polaris Labs ear on the cautious side versious other labs like HO Penn. Thoughts?

oil sample.JPG
Last edited by jmichels; 10/18/19 05:31 AM.
Re: 2004 Cummins 480 CE Marine Engines [Re: jmichels] #5242954 10/18/19 05:36 AM
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bullwinkle Offline
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How was the result for the other engine? If it was caused by cold starts, shouldn't it be the same?


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Re: 2004 Cummins 480 CE Marine Engines [Re: jmichels] #5242970 10/18/19 05:58 AM
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Donald Offline
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I am not sure how useful a UOA is for an engine that been sitting for awhile, started a few times but not really run. You also don't know much for sure. They can say anything that want about the oil but take all that with a grain of sand.

UOA are basically for trending on engines you own or manage.


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Re: 2004 Cummins 480 CE Marine Engines [Re: bullwinkle] #5243019 10/18/19 06:49 AM
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jmichels Offline OP
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Originally Posted by bullwinkle
How was the result for the other engine? If it was caused by cold starts, shouldn't it be the same?


yes virtually the same

Re: 2004 Cummins 480 CE Marine Engines [Re: Donald] #5243022 10/18/19 06:50 AM
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jmichels Offline OP
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When the sample was taken the engine were warmed up to operating temp and then taken but prior to that the engines were started and shut down multiple times over a series of months.

Anything alarming you guys see on these or does it sound accurate?

Re: 2004 Cummins 480 CE Marine Engines [Re: bullwinkle] #5243026 10/18/19 06:53 AM
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[Linked Image]

Star Board Engine

Re: 2004 Cummins 480 CE Marine Engines [Re: jmichels] #5243036 10/18/19 07:00 AM
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Might as well through this in the mix as its all part of the package. This is the Generator oil sample. Same situation hasnt been running consistently for a long time and allowed thermal cycles. Sounds fine, runs fine. thoughts







[Linked Image]

Re: 2004 Cummins 480 CE Marine Engines [Re: jmichels] #5243094 10/18/19 07:56 AM
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CT8 Offline
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I would wonder if Cummins would be the best resource for answers in this case. Pricey engines !! I don't even want to think about the cost of the Boat !!! I saw the trans uoa . Are there service records?

Re: 2004 Cummins 480 CE Marine Engines [Re: Donald] #5243109 10/18/19 08:07 AM
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Joel_MD Offline
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Originally Posted by Donald
I am not sure how useful a UOA is for an engine that been sitting for awhile, started a few times but not really run. You also don't know much for sure. They can say anything that want about the oil but take all that with a grain of sand.

UOA are basically for trending on engines you own or manage.

I tend to agree with this reply. In 2016 I bought a 2005 Sea Ray that had the Cummins 480CE engines (~800 hours on each) and an Onan genset. I paid the local Cummins dealer to perform an engine survey, which included UOAs. The UOAs were worthless because the oil only had a few hours on it. I bought the boat and used it for three years, doubling the engine hours before selling the boat a year ago.

As for the boat in question, the mechanic's speculation about the high iron seems a bit dubious, but who knows? Weigh all the evidence you've accumulated about the condition of the boat before deciding the roll the dice. I wish you good luck.


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Re: 2004 Cummins 480 CE Marine Engines [Re: jmichels] #5243213 10/18/19 10:00 AM
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A_Harman Offline
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Originally Posted by jmichels
[Linked Image]

Star Board Engine


I liked the suggestion for the Analytical Ferrogram. More information would help make a good purchase decision. 133 ppm of Iron would trigger me to make an oil change, but isn't excessive.
No Lead in the sample is a good sign there is no bearing distress.
No water in the sample is a good sign.


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Re: 2004 Cummins 480 CE Marine Engines [Re: A_Harman] #5243671 10/18/19 07:03 PM
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jmichels Offline OP
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Originally Posted by A_Harman
Originally Posted by jmichels
[Linked Image]

Star Board Engine


I liked the suggestion for the Analytical Ferrogram. More information would help make a good purchase decision. 133 ppm of Iron would trigger me to make an oil change, but isn't excessive.
No Lead in the sample is a good sign there is no bearing distress.
No water in the sample is a good sign.


So would you say its just old oil and a lot of dry starts?

Re: 2004 Cummins 480 CE Marine Engines [Re: Joel_MD] #5243672 10/18/19 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Joel_MD
Originally Posted by Donald
I am not sure how useful a UOA is for an engine that been sitting for awhile, started a few times but not really run. You also don't know much for sure. They can say anything that want about the oil but take all that with a grain of sand.

UOA are basically for trending on engines you own or manage.

I tend to agree with this reply. In 2016 I bought a 2005 Sea Ray that had the Cummins 480CE engines (~800 hours on each) and an Onan genset. I paid the local Cummins dealer to perform an engine survey, which included UOAs. The UOAs were worthless because the oil only had a few hours on it. I bought the boat and used it for three years, doubling the engine hours before selling the boat a year ago.

As for the boat in question, the mechanic's speculation about the high iron seems a bit dubious, but who knows? Weigh all the evidence you've accumulated about the condition of the boat before deciding the roll the dice. I wish you good luck.


Thanks. How did you like the boat? What model was it. Why did you sell?

Re: 2004 Cummins 480 CE Marine Engines [Re: jmichels] #5244357 10/19/19 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by jmichels
Originally Posted by A_Harman
Originally Posted by jmichels
[Linked Image]

Star Board Engine


I liked the suggestion for the Analytical Ferrogram. More information would help make a good purchase decision. 133 ppm of Iron would trigger me to make an oil change, but isn't excessive.
No Lead in the sample is a good sign there is no bearing distress.
No water in the sample is a good sign.


So would you say its just old oil and a lot of dry starts?


The high Iron and Copper may indicate old oil. I don't suppose the seller had a log book telling how many hours at the last oil change?
I was hoping that the analytical ferrogram would say it's a lot of iron oxide, so would probably be surface iron coming off the cylinder liners.


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Re: 2004 Cummins 480 CE Marine Engines [Re: A_Harman] #5244770 10/20/19 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by A_Harman

Originally Posted by jmichels
Originally Posted by A_Harman
Originally Posted by jmichels
[Linked Image]

Star Board Engine


I liked the suggestion for the Analytical Ferrogram. More information would help make a good purchase decision. 133 ppm of Iron would trigger me to make an oil change, but isn't excessive.
No Lead in the sample is a good sign there is no bearing distress.
No water in the sample is a good sign.


So would you say its just old oil and a lot of dry starts?


The high Iron and Copper may indicate old oil. I don't suppose the seller had a log book telling how many hours at the last oil change?
I was hoping that the analytical ferrogram would say it's a lot of iron oxide, so would probably be surface iron coming off the cylinder liners.


Unfortunately no log book. The owner only had the boat almost 2 years. When the mechanics changed the oil they said it looked very dirty and old , especially the gear oil in the transmissions. Im hoping that's all it was. Unfportunately though there is no way to get 50 hours on the boat and retest for survey purposes so I have to make a judgement call to proceed or not. Thats where I am torn.

Re: 2004 Cummins 480 CE Marine Engines [Re: jmichels] #5244875 10/20/19 10:35 AM
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OilReport99 Offline
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I second the Cummins dealer’s survey . That’s an expensive engine... Good luck.

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