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Air Brakes and other fun stuff
Air Brakes and other fun stuff, Mechanic
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Experience:  2 years of school and 8 more of experience
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Considering buying..2 Cummins VT-555-BC engines..rebuilding

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I am considering buying a boat with 2 Cummins VT-555-BC engines with 1600 hours. Can you tell me anything about history, reliability, service issues, are they rebuildable or worth rebuilding. Is there anything I haven't asked that I shluld be asking.

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Air Brakes and other fun :

Hi, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I think I can shed some light into a 555, or as it has been known, the triple nickle. A 555 Cummins is a V-8 that dissplaces 555 cubic inches. That, i bet you already knew. They can be rebuilt successfully due to the fact that they have wet liners as compared to an engine with no liners. I have seen 555's with broken crankshafts, but any engine can do that. If this is something that you plan to do a majority of the engine work on then some experience on Cummins engines might not be a bad idea. But if it is something that you will not be doing a majority of the engine work on then the rule of thumb applies.... "If you take care of it, It will take care of you." Regular services and oil analisis is a must. Every time I see anything with a triple nickel roll up in the drive everybody starts to knock it, but there are alot out there and alot still running. In my eyes, it is just another engine. Hope this help.


Thanks for the response. Is there any kind of standard time before rebuild or overhaul? Or, if properly cared for would you see a problem with 1600 hours on these engines. I work on my gas GM big blocks but I am new to diesels but that is what I want in my next boat.

Air Brakes and other fun :

1600 hours is very early in this engine's life span. Most Diesel engines will run double or triple what a gasoline engine runs. The best advice I have to you is to buy the Cummins service and repair manuels for this engine. If you are a gear head like me they will keep you up at night with all of the information. Also they have excellent pictures that describe pretty much anything you need to know how to repair. Cummins engines operate like nothing else, and if you get into the situation it is a great conversation piece about being stuck out at sea and having to rerun the overhead on one engine to get back to shore. Hope this helps! Luke


Thanks Luke. I appreciate the answers.

Air Brakes and other fun :

No problem.

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