Believe it or not there are still 300,000 of the old 2-cycle Detroit Diesel engines on the road and in boats all over the world – out of the 3.5 million that were built since 1940. A high percentage of those old diesels in are in boats. Just look for the sheen on the waters in any marina with large boats and you’ll be able to find them. But the Detroit Diesel brand lives on under the wing of MTU and now the company has launched a new website specifically for owners of the old 2-cycle 71, 92, and 53 series engines. This is a god-send to owners nursing these old lumps of iron along as they blow injectors, weep oil from a dozen locations, and refuse to start on a cold morning. In addition to parts service there is also a place on the site to submit your DDA “stories.” Currently there are only three posted – so we are asking for your help to generate more stories of these “legacy” engines!
The Detroit Diesel 71 Series diesel saw lots of action in the Pacific during WW II. Please send us your Detroit Diesel stories (winner gets a coveted Ducky!)
From a recent MTU Detroit Diesel press release--
MTU Detroit Diesel has announced the launch of a new Web site specifically dedicated to customers who own and continue to operate legacy 2-Cycle Detroit Diesel engines. There are hundreds of thousands of these storied engines still operating around the world in industrial, marine and defense applications. This new Web site will help supply those customers with parts and maintenance information. In addition, the site will encourage customers to share stories about their engines and applications.
"The goal of the new site is to show our 2-Cycle customers that the product is fully supported by MTU and its distributor organization," says Dave Sears, director of after sales for MTU Detroit Diesel. "Further, this site enables our customers to get the specific information they need as simply and efficiently as possible.""The goal of the new site is to show our 2-Cycle customers that the product is fully supported by MTU and its distributor organization," says Dave Sears, director of after sales for MTU Detroit Diesel. "Further, this site enables our customers to get the specific information they need as simply and efficiently as possible."
MTU is in Charge Now --
While the brand name on the engine may say Detroit Diesel, the support for that 2-Cycle engine is actually provided by MTU and its global network of authorized distributors. This name difference has caused some customer confusion, leaving 2-Cycle owners to wonder about the availability of factory parts and service for these legacy engines.
"The 2-Cycle business is alive and well," says MTU 2-Cycle parts product planning manager Lisa Farrens. "Many customers have been led to believe that Detroit Diesel doesn't do 2-Cycle anymore. However, we want to spread the word that MTU does 2-Cycle and we support it with the highest standards and most progressive programs."
With the new 2-Cycle microsite, MTU hopes to both educate customers and give them a forum for sharing their stories. The Web site is organized in four sections:
The About section provides company facts, a company profile and historical information that details the relationship between Detroit Diesel and MTU and how the Detroit Diesel 2-Cycle product line is now fully supported by MTU.
The Products section includes information about 2-Cycle parts, engines, maintenance products and service tips. It also showcases current promotions.
The Stories section features real-world articles about Detroit Diesel 2-Cycle customers and their varied applications. Customers are encouraged to submit their own recollections and story ideas about their engines.
Finally, the Contact section provides the contact information for MTU's distributor organization and gives customers the opportunity to sign up for future email updates and promotions.
Highly-trained techs look at the 71 Series in utter amazement.
A Bit of History from the Detroit Diesel site---
Back to the future
MTU inherited a legendary series of engines that have stood an extraordinary test of time. The granddaddy of them all is the Series 71 engine, so named because it had a displacement of 71 cubic inches per cylinder. It was developed by GM® in 1938 for stationary power equipment, landing craft and tanks.
By 1965, a million Series 71s had been manufactured. Today the original design lives on in new, powerful eight-cylinder versions produced for the military, while remanufactured reliabilt® models are sold by MTU for military and non-military applications alike.
The same is true of the 6V53, a six-cylinder version of the Series 53 that was introduced over fifty years ago. New 6V53s are still being manufactured by MTU for military applications and reliabilt® models are sold for all uses around the world.
The two newest 2-Cycle designs are younger by comparison but still approaching a comfortable middle-age: Series 149 engines were introduced in 1967 and are still being sold as remanufactured reliabilt® models to the mining, marine, industrial and power generation customers who have sworn by their performance and dependability ever since.
If there is a greater among equals, it’s the Series 92®. First produced in 1973, the Series 92® has been sold new in 6, 8, 12 and 16-cylinder configurations to military, marine, construction, industrial, on-highway and energy industry customers. Today it’s manufactured for military applications and in reliabilt® versions for all applications.
Submit Your Own Detroit Diesel Story –
Anyone who has ever owned one of the old these old “storied” Detroits has at least one good story. We’d love to hear about them and we’ll send them all on to the folks running the new DDA website for inclusion. In addition, we will award one of the coveted Duckys to the story that our panel of former Detroit Diesel 2-cycle engine owners deems the best. If you can write your story in 300 words or less, then please use the “comments” box below. If it is longer, you must submit it in an e-mail or attachment to: Editorial@BoatTEST.com. The winning and runner-up articles will appear in a future issue of Offshore Motoryacht.