Engines: general discussion

from the

††††††††† ††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Sailnet Tayana List




Subject: Engine soundproofing


††† I agree with Tad - Dacron is ideal for when the wind is blowing. But barring that, you need something with better sound absorbing qualities.

††† We purchased our 1990 Van42 PH the summer of 2000. The PH was a factory-customization, executed extremely well but with absolutely no thought to engine sound levels. It was awful. The entire area under the PH sole was open to the engine, and the PH floorboards had only standard Ta Yang "acoustical tiles" attached to the underside. I still don't understand how the prior owner put up with the engine noise for 10 years.

††† A friend of mine recommended I check out Soundown, http://www.soundown.com.He had sought their advice and used their materials to totally remount his genset and construct a better genset enclosure on his Privledge 485 catamaran. I can attest that you simply cannot hear his genset anymore - except for the exhaust water coming out. I was impressed.

††† Soundown's business is noise reduction solutions for various industries, including marine. Their web page (click Noise Solutions and take link to sailboats) has quite a bit of general information regarding sound isolating engines and gensets. If you call them they're more than happy to discuss your specific issues with you and recommend solutions in detail.

††† West Marine sells noise barrier foam kits which Soundown supplies ('tho the catalogue doesn't say they're from Soundown), however West's price was the same as the direct Soundown price and West listed only a couple of their products (plus they didn't carry the heavier absorption materials). I'd go directly to Soundown.

††† For my situation I built two removable panels around the exposed (to the rest of the area under the PH sole) aft and port side of the engine. I then insulated the entire engine box and cover with their 2 pound 2" vinyl barrier milar-backed acoustical foam. I continued with 2#/2" foam throughout the remainder of the PH sole. I also purchased some 1 1/2# 1" foam for the steps in front of the engine (where I had less clearance), for the sole area in the aft of the PH above the genset (where I also have less space), and for several other miscellaneous areas I wanted to sound-deaden.

††† I finished the 2" installation plus the most critical 1" in June, then decided to enjoy the rest of the summer. The difference was incredible. I hope to finish the job this fall and/or before commissioning again next spring.

††† Buy their installation materials too. They have some mechanical fasteners that are clean and designed specifically for the job. Use either their glue or the 3M-equivalent they recommend. I understand some adhesives don't work well on their acoustic foam. Use a hand circular saw to do your cutting -- don't even think about sabre saws or other cutting tools.

††† The stuff isn't cheap, but I'm glad I went with them. Most people will probably be able to do the job for about $250 - $300 in materials - my cost was about twice that due to the fact that I was heavily sound isolating a significant cavity below the PH sole open to all the machinery & needed a lot more square feet than most applications will require.†† Bottom line - the stuff works. Good luck.


Bill ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††September 2001


Hi Bill - - - I replaced my OEM flexible-mounts with the "R&D" mounts available from this site. http://www.pyiinc.com/ Engine vibration is now greatly reduced.An excellent product.


Keith Okennon†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† ††††September 2001


††† The engine bearers are timber and attach to the boat with two bolts. These bolts go sideways through the timber (not sure where they go yet Ė presume into the stringers). Anyway one of these was broken. The mounts themselves were loose on the bearers. I would never have known this without removing the engine.

††† I will no more about the mounts in a week or so once I have prepared them for the new engine.

Bill Moloney†††† Covenant III†††† #34††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††September 2001


John all

††† This is the response I had from Lancing marine in the UK re oil coolers on Perkins 4-108's.

Bill Moloney ††† Covenant III ††† #34

From: Lancing Marine [mailto:anyone@lancingmarine.com]

Sent: Thursday, October 04, 2001

Subject: Re: 4-108 Oil Cooler

Hi Bill,

††† The 4-108 is best not used with an oil cooler, as in the raw water circuit, it cools the oil too much, and results in sludge formation in the sump.

††† At one time, Perkins issued an instruction for existing coolers to be removed.

††† If you are determined to fit one, and have a "spin-on" oil filter, the cooler can be inserted between the filter and its mount, and have hot jacket water routed through it to avoid excess cooling.

††† If you have a bowl-type filter, then I have spin-on conversions, but filter then hangs down. This can be used with or without the cooler.

Mike ††††††††††††††††††††††††††
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††October 2001




††† Perhaps because mine is fresh water cooled and is also used to cool the auto Transmission, it does not over-cool. One thing we have been pleased with is the engine temp which remained at 185-190 in Alaska with REALLY cold water and did not change when we went to Mexico where the water can be in the high 80's. When I picked the cooler up from Pacific Detroit Diesel in Vancouver Washington (who also sells and deals with Perkins), and they said nothing about not using one on our 4-108.


Bryan Biesanz Tundra Spirit††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††† †† †††††††††††October 2001



††† I have a T-47 that I just repowered. She had a Yanmar 55hp with 5500 hours. It was not in good condition, and a complete re-build was in order. I decided to replace it with a 100 hp Yanmar. My rational was as follows. I am preparing for an open-ended cruise, and so a new engine I hope will offer me more reliability, at least for the initial part of the cruise. The 55 was underpowered for the boat. The cost differential was about 2 times more expensive in the end, but when I thought about the overall cost amortized over the life of my cruise, it seemed like the better choice.


††† There were a couple of unanticipated problems. The 55 had a duel belt pulley that ran a 125 amp alternator and the compressor for the refrigeration. The new 100 could not accommodate a 2-belt pulley. The new engine came with a 55-amp alternator, not sufficient capacity for my needs. So I had to replace it. The largest single belt alternator was a 100 amp Balmar. I had to buy a new bracket for the refrigeration compressor, and am not especially pleased with the long belt I need to use in order to use it. The new engine is equipped with an intercooler. In order to access the starter motor or the raw water impeller, the intercooler has to be removed. I'm not particularly pleased with this additional work either.

††† As is often the case with upgrading, with all that new horsepower, I decided to upgrade my prop. I went from an 18 in. fixed 3 blade, to a 21" feathering Max-Prop.In order to install it, I needed a custom made end nut and had to shave about a 1/16th of an inch off the end of my shaft (of course, you don't realize this when your ordering, only when your installing).

††† Notwithstanding the certain degree of frustration, I am pleased with my decision. The boat really moves along much better with the extra power. The Max-Prop is amazing. I am getting almost an extra knot of speed sailing. And while I am still getting use to backing down with it, there is almost no prop wash. The boat actually backs straight. I still have a tendency to approach a dock at a more severe angle than is now necessary. After years of mastering swinging my port side to the dock in reverse, I now don't have that action. Good luck with your decision.

Phillip Yaffa †††††††††††††††† S/V Peregrina ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††October 2001



††† Have the mechanic return and do a dynamic pressure test: ...... remove the injectors, exhaust manifold, air cleaner, and oil fill cap, open the throttle wide and make sure each piston is at dead bottom (during test), then install a high pressure air hose into the injector ports and sequentially bring the air pressure up to the max. possible delivered to each cylinder. With air pressure in each combustion chamber, simply listen to where the air is escaping.... if manifold = exhaust valves, If air intake = intake valves, if out through the oil fill pipe = piston rings, etc. .... for an old engine simply listen for the location of the worst case air leak. If all your cylinders were 260 I wouldnít be overly concerned; but, since there is a major difference between #2 & #3, I personally would do more testing.

††† When was the last (first?) time you did either a "crankcase soak" with automatic trans fluid or Marvel Mystery Oil???? Many times engines (diesel or gasoline) will show poor compression because of crudded-up/sticky piston rings due to excess carbon build up in the piston ring groove surfaces and or sticky exhaust valve guides. On 'elderly' engines, I simply change the crankcase oil, replace with 100% Marvel Mystery Oil (contains enough earth ravaging solvents, etc. to give the EPA a heart attack), remove the injectors put a few tablespoonfuls of MMO down the hole, spin the engine for a few minutes with the starter, rest, spin, rest, spin, rest, spin, rest for one week, remove 1/2 of the Marvel, top off with regular Oil, reinstall the injectors and restart and run with ****no load**** until warm, let sit for a couple of days, drain old oil mixture and replace with new. Run the engine a few hard hours ....... then do the compression test AND the air pressure test !!!!!

††† On gasoline engines I do this every 50K miles... and regularly get 200K+ miles (+ some minor valve work). (I also keep 25% Marvel and 75% oil in the crankcase).†† You might want to discuss this with your mechanic if you feel uncomfortable doing it yourself (if he has a lot of gray hair he will know exactly what you're talking about).

††† BTW - The Marvel Soak will also sometimes free a 'frozen' engine that has aspirated cooling water retrograde (backwards) through a faulty exhaust system, etc.Hope this helps.


Rich Hampel ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††October 2001


††† I own a 1983 37 with a Yanmar 3QM. The engine has no hour meter but is estimated to have 4000+ hours. I recently had a mechanic do a compression check and the results left a little to be desired. When the engine left the factory it was 420 in each cylinder. The best it could muster in the recent check was 260, 260, 320. Now before you tell me to repower I need to say the engine leaks no fluid, starts right up on a warm day, and burns no oil. The injectors are in good shape as well, or so says the mechanic. My question is this, do you think a valve job will significantly improve the old girls compression.

Jim Grant ††††††† S/V Adventure Bound††††††††††††† #370†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† October 2001


††† I talked with our Diesel mechanic at work today and asked him what caused blue smoke!

Answer burning oil.He offered a couple of thoughts.

Did you have the bore honed? He said that the bore can become tapered!

Are the ring joints staggered?Might be caused by a broken ring!

Until carbon builds up behind the new rings oil will be burned! Run the dickens out of the engine to bed the rings!

Were the valve guides replaced or just the seals? The oil can get past the seals if the wear on the guides is excessive.

I think he said white smoke is not enough fuel and black smoke is too much fuel.

††† This guy is a master at his trade so I assume he knows what he is talking about, he served his apprentice in
England and has worked on all sorts of diesel engines. I will be incommunicado for the next week but can hook you up with this guy for more information if you wish. Contact me off the list and I will give you his e-mail address. captedl@worldnet.att.net .

Ed††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††† October 2001


††† Just for my two cents worth.

††† The issue you have to decide on isn't whether you can avoid adding to society's wasteful behavior by dumping a repairable engine. It is the personally critical issue about the importance of having a reliable engine that you can count on when trouble rears its ugly head. If you feel that you will be uncomfortable with an uncertain repair job, then spending the extra $1,000 or $2,000 on a new engine is cheaper than psychotherapy, and surely more effective. (Yep, I used to be a Psychiatrist long before I went into research).

††† I really hate having an unreliable engine. I can live without a reliable head, or stove or CD player. But the mast and rigging, the hull, anchor and the engine get absolutely priority.

††† But make absolutely certain that you get a truly complete estimate on the cost of the job before you agree to it. Will it include new engine mounts, checking shaft, alternator of adequate size, panel in the cockpit with all the proper gauges, modification of the stringers, soundproofing, new fuel lines, new filter system for the fuel, water lift on the exhaust, exhaust hose, intake filter. You should also triple check the through-hull for the intake and possibly replace that as well. Get several references on the people doing the job, and call the people they suggest - but also check with people in the area. By the way, if you can get a new Yanmar of that size completely installed for $8K, it seems like a very good price.

Harvey††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††October 2001


Subject: Perkins blues


††† I'm not a Perkins mech, but most times the rings have joints that have to be staggered around the piston upon assembly..ie joints don't stack above eachother. Short of this, the rings probably aren't seated yet. I would recommend running at various speeds under load and make sure that the oil is the correct weight, probably non-detergent for break in.

Mark††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† October 2001



††† For a useful review of various sound insulation materials, check a review in Practical Sailor about a year ago. The brand that received the very highest rating is by Soundown. They are based in New England, but now have an office in Fort Lauderdale.http://www.soundown.com/ .The material is expensive, but said to be extremely effective. Speak to Sam Smollen at the Ft Lauderdale office.

Harvey J. Karten†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† October 2001



††† This is what you're serial number on you Perkins engine means to the parts suppliers. I received this after I received the incorrect part:

The engine serial number should begin with 2 letters - may be ED followed by 5 digits followed by a letter and further digits and then a letter.

The first 2 letters tell the engine family.

The five numbers tell us the engine build list.

The next letter gives the country of manufacture code.

The next set of numbers is the actual serial number of the engine.

The last letter is the year of manufacture.

††† From this we will be able to see how engine left the factory and to what specification it was built. What we are unable to do is to advise of any parts which may have been fitted after the engine left the factory.

Andy††††††††††††††† Windy Blue††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† June 2002



††† Just a comment on zincs for the Perkins 4-108.I purchased an in-line (seawater line) zinc from the local Perkins dealer here in Ft Lauderdale.It is a brass casing with two barbs either side. The pencil zinc screws into the main casing.A small wire then connects to the engine.I mounted mine as close to the seawater pump as possible.I am not sure yet how well it works.If anyone is interested, I will post a photo on the FTP site.

Phill††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †† July 2002



†† I've got a CT37 with a Perkins 4-108. There seems to be a LOT of differing ideas over the max RPM of the ole Perkins. I get 7 knots, hull speed, with my Perkins only turning 1800-2000 rpm. I think I've got a 16x9 RH prop and she does just fine with that -- no problems. My Perkins shop says that 1800-2000 should be fine -- as long as I can reach hullspeed and not under or overheat. Just my two cents -- I'd love to hear other opinions.Happy sailing.

John Kalpus ††††††††††††††† Prudence †††††††† CT37††††††††††††††
San Diego†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††† September 2002



Question: Anyone know where I can obtain a shop manual for a Perkins 4-108?


Answer: If you are unsuccessful at locating an original printed manual, a bound Xerox copy of the 1992 4-108 manual may be purchased from:

S & W Diesel, Inc.

336 N. Lakme Ave.

Wilmington, CA 90744

(310) 835-3155

Ron Birdsall †††††††††††††††† Tayana 37 †††††† #415 †††††††††††††† "SmoothSail"††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††† September 2002


Now online at ftp://tognews.com/Perkins_4_108_Workshop_Manual .


††† We got our shop manual (two years ago) from Southwest Products Corp. I think it was the one in AZ. Go to www.southwestproducts.com and the contact information is on the opening page. We also got a parts book for our particular engine (need your engine serial number) but I don't remember if we got it from them.


Good luck, Tim and Cindy Cullen ††††††† Masquerade ††† Union 36††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††† November 2002


Parts manual also online at: ftp://tognews.com/Perkins_4-108_Parts_Manual .



†††† A couple of weeks ago, I hit the starter button (Yanmar 3QM30F) and got a nice loud click for my efforts rather than the familiar sound of the starter engaging.

††† Troubleshooting with various and sundry meters has led me to believe that the solenoid is bad (it's drawing in excess of 28 amps when I'm told the norm is 14 or 15). Apparently, the problem is intermittent as the engine fuse (30 amp) only blows sometimes.

††† I've looked into procuring a new solenoid but my usual Yanmar supplier says the solenoid and starter come as one...a $1300+ part. That doesn't seem right.

Two Questions:

1. Anyone have a source for just a solenoid?

2. One of my mechanic pals says I should be using a 30 AMP, SLO-BLO fuse for the engine. Anyone have an opinion?Thanks in advance...

Tad McDonald†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††† ††††††† ††November 2002



††† Before you spend part of your life savings on a new solenoid.... first with a digital volt meter in series with the control panel starter button and the solenoid primary lead disconnected, press the button and see what voltage you get. If much less than 12v, you need a new starter pushbutton SWITCH or need to clean the corrosion from ALL the terminals/connectors between the control panel and the starter solenoid. Its simply amazing that the Yanmar control panel is wired together with automotive (non-tinned) wiring instead of marine grade wire !!!??!!On the stern portside of the engine (bolted on just below the cylinder head) you will find a mounted fuse inside of a plastic cover/box (automotive 20-30A U type) that is subject to corrosion (hence low voltage downstream)- this fuse is for the solenoid primary (and you guessed it - more non-marine grade connectors). Yanmar solenoids are pretty bombproof, check the upstream wiring first for voltage drops / high resistance, etc. Remember, if low voltage (due to resistance due to corrosion, etc.) you will get a high amperage draw.

††† I betcha the farm that either the fuse or the pushbutton (or wiring) have gone over to the 'dark-side'.

††† How to test with a screwdriver: **Fully charge the battery**, transmission in neutral, ... take an old screwdriver (test may severely burn the blade of the screwdriver) and place the blade ON the heavy
battery cable connection.... slowly bring the shank of the screwdriver in contact with the primary connection (the black wire that runs back to the fuse) thus shorting the heavy battery connection directly to the primary wire of the solenoid .... You have just entirely bypassed all the starter panel, fuses, wiring, etc. If the starter engages and turns over without hesitation ...... you have a problem in the primary circuit, and its probably corrosion. BTW.... remember which is the primary wire that you short to... as a screwdriver can be used to start most 'Delco' type starters in an emergency. (I keep an

old burned up screwdriver in the engine compartment just for this purpose.)

††† If you find that all the upstream (of the solenoid) voltages are reasonable, check the solenoid for electrical continuity of the windings, with the voltmeter. Then if there is an open short of high
resistance in the windings, THEN consider to replace. On some solenoid models you can remove the Bakelite insulation (requires resoldering, disassemble the contacts and rotate them 180 degrees so they make a better/more solid connection.... you'll see what I'm talkiing about if or when you open the Bakelite insulation - the contacts are square and the poppit/plunger is round, etc.

††† Slow blow fuse... probably not needed. :-)


Rich Hampel†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††† November 2002



††† I would like to have the fuel pump come on when the oil pressure comes up and turn off when the pressure drops. This would prevent the pump from running after the engine has shut off.. I think I can use whatever it is that shuts off the alarm and the light.

Has anyone done this before or have a different way to do this? Traveler has a Yanmar 3JH2E engine.

Coleman Blake †††††††††† Traveler††††††††††† T-37 #328††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† January 2003



††† What you describe is common to virtually ALL modern automobiles: place a tee in the oil pressure line where the oil pressure sensing switch is located, get an oil pressure safety switch (Delco - auto parts store stuff), put the switch in series with the fuel pump. If you require marine grade/sealed you can get such a unit from www.indigoelectronics.com or www.moyermarine.com .... standard retrofit for Atomic-4 marine engines.

††† For the above you will need to wire in a bypass switch/circuit so as to energize the fuel pump when the oil pressure is low/zero so that you can start the engine, especially if your engine has been not running for a few days and the fuel pressure is no longer present in the rails.The (3-pole) bypass switch also becomes a pretty damn foolproof anti-theft device. I use a bi-color LED to monitor the switch position:
ON-OFF-BYPASS (start).I have such an arrangement on ALL my cars and boats.


Rich Hampel†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† January 2003



Subject: Pre-luber? Any experience?


††† The Defender catalog is one of my favorite things to browse when I need something to read for a few minutes...Yesterday I noticed a thing called the "pre-luber" and it seems like a good idea. The Pre-luber is a pump that fits between the oil sump drain and the oil pressure sender. You switch it on for half a minute or so to pressurize your oil system before starting the engine. The idea is that this prevents a large percentage of engine wear which occurs when you first start it.I know that the little engine on my Norsea sounded like someone shaking a bucket of bolts when I first started it. In a few seconds it would quiet down. I guess this was due to the oil getting distributed around the engine.


††† An additional use of the pre-luber is changing the oil. They sell an optional quick disconnect fitting that allows you to pump the oil out of the engine at oil change time. There is another pump called "Reverso" that can be used for that application. There is a good photo article on this on the boat us web site. The Reverso option also lets you pump the new oil directly into the engine sump.Does anyone have any experience with this device or a similar system for pre lubricating the engine?


Thanks, John Lewis††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† January 2003




A friend of mine has one on his Westerbeke 80-HP and highly recommends it. I think it would be a great thing to add. The pre lubber is probably the best thing you could do for your new engine. Especially if you need to run it everyday for hot water and electricity.


Ray Slaninka††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† January 2003



††† Sounds like a good idea. I had heard an alternate method to pre-lube the engine, but have not tried it. Perhaps someone can indicate if it really makes sense: Turn the starter for a few seconds, but with the kill switch activated so that the engine doesn't actually start up. This supposedly pumps the oil and starts the lube process of the engine. Then wait a few seconds, turn off the kill switch, and now start up the engine.


††† Probably not as good as the pre-luber, but it doesn't cost $400.


regards, Harvey††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† January 2003


††† This does not sound like a good idea. You get the same amount of dry running as if you had started it. The idea of the pre-luber is to coat all the surfaces before the parts move. Instead of just one dry start you have to have two.


††† According to the pre-luber web site it does not take long for the oil to drain out. Probably happens pretty quickly if the oil is warm.


John Lewis†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† January 2003



††† A pre-oiler is only of limited benefit as it supplies oil principally to the journal bearing galleries and valve rockers. A pre-oiler unfortunately doesnít lubricate the cylinder walls (oil control and
compression rings) where cold start wear is the most aggressive (cylinder walls).If you really want to prevent adverse wear, use an engine block heater, etc. (and a 14 mile long extension cord) so that all the clearances are thermally correct at start-up.

††† I used to use hand pump pre-oilers on racing engines in the vain attempt to prolong lifetime between rebuilds.... didnít happen. On most engines you develop full oil pressure within a few rotations during starting (unless your journal bearings are badly worn).

Rich Hampel†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† January 2003



††† I was replacing my raw water pump impeller last weekend for the first time since I bought the boat last year an observed something interesting I thought I'd raise to the list. My boat has a Perkins 4-108 and when I removed the pump cover plate I noticed the interior is not symmetrical. At the base of the chamber was what appears to be a brass insert that has 2 small holes on each side of the crescent shaped insert.The holes line up roughly with the pump intake and outlet pipes. The net effect is the impeller becomes substantially compressed as it goes over the crescent shaped insert. It seems to be within the impellerís tolerance to be compressed but the whole arrangement looks suspiciously custom engineered. Has anyone else observed this sort of insert and any guesses on the benefit? Increased pressure/velocity?Highly compressed and perplexed.


j.ware††††††††††††† T-37 Tortuga ††††††††††††† #175††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††† May 2003



††† That is perfectly normal. In fact, that is how it is designed to compress the vanes and create "suction" (pressure difference anyway). Otherwise, you'd just have a spinning "wheel" in there.

††† By the way, before it comes up...it makes no difference how the vanes are compressed when inserting the new impeller. Once the engine/pump starts, the vanes will be properly "aligned" by themselves.

††† Hint: precompress the vanes with a cable tie about 1/3 from the inside end (the end you are going to insert) and then put some dishwashing soap on the impeller to facilitate loading. Once you get the initial part in, cut the tie off and push the impeller in to seat properly (they are usually keyed so watch

your alignment).


Tad McDonald†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† ††††May 2003



Subject: Fuel Pumps

††† I was thinking of adding an electric fuel pump to my Yanmar fuel system down the road. I found the below article on the IP list. Interesting read and seems like some good info, so I thought I would pass it on....

John Hovan††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††† May 2003


††† The reason that recent model autos and trucks have the electric fuel pump running constantly is that they do not have mechanical fuel pumps anymore. Yes, some have fuel injector pumps, but their electrical fuel pump is the only thing that brings fuel from the tank to the carb or injector pump.


††† On our Yanmar engines, there is a mechanical (diaphragm) fuel pump which brings fuel from the tank to the injector pump. The electrical pumps on our boats are strictly redundant and not needed except to bleed the system after a filter change or running out of fuel. Not only is the electrical pump not needed for normal operation, running it may be problematic. The engine-mounted mechanical fuel pump has an opening from the pump diaphragm to the crankcase. If that diaphragm fails, fuel under pressure from the electric pump can flow into the crankcase, filling the crankcase with diesel fuel and causing an engine runaway. If the mechanical diaphragm fails, it is much better for the engine to stop due to lack of fuel at the injector pump than to have a runaway. Also, if you only run the electric pump when needed to bleed the system, it will last a very long time. If you want to use your electric fuel pump like autos and trucks, you should route your fuel lines to bypass the mechanical pump. In fact you could do this if the mechanical pump failed in order to run the engine after a mechanical pump failure.

Art Richard

posted by: John Hovan†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††June 2003


††† I get the drift, I think,.... but please explain how you get engine run away from fuel in the crank case. How does that wind up in the combustion chamber? On my truck I could see it if my turbo blew a seal and engine oil leaked into the air intake, but I must not understand something very basic if the fuel can get into the cylinder from the crank case and cause a runaway. If the engine oil on my truck winds up in my cylinders (as in the case of my turbo seal on the truck engine) I do have a runaway. Crank case oil or diesel in the crankcase should not cause runaway. Granted it may not be too good for bearing lubrication but I fail to see the runaway connection.

††† Please explain!


Jeff Leech†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †† June 2003



††† A couple of weeks ago I was motoring at about 1800 RPM (my normal cruise setting) and my Yanmar 3QM30F started losing RPM. In the past when this has happened it has been due to a clogged primary fuel filter (Racor 10 micron).I changed this filter but the problem continued. I then changed the engine-mounted filter. I tried to bleed the engine-mounted filter with the lever on the fuel pump but it didn't seem to be working properly so I installed an new fuel pump as well. I am still having the same problem. It runs great at 1500 RPM but when I try for 1600 or more it looses power. I have tried bleeding the system but it is pretty hard to do with the fuel pump lever.

††† Can anyone comment on what they think the problem might be? Also, I have read many comments on auxiliary fuel pumps, multiple pre filters, etc. Any suggestions in that area would be great as well.
Thanks, Alan

Alan Jett†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††† July 2003



Subject: engine problems

††† What is the condition of your exhaust elbow?????

††† The typical Yanmar elbow is prone to carbonate formation just after the area of the water injection port. Many times these elbows are sooooo full of 'salts' that the exhaust gases are severely restricted at higher rpm. With such back pressure you will have difficulty in attaining high rpm.


†††† What is the surface temperature of your packing gland when running???? A gland that is too tight will extract quite a few horsepower from the engine.What is the condition of the prop? A huge ball of barnacles on the prop will also retard the output rpm.

††† Most Yanmars are very easy to bleed and typically you donít have to bleed anything past the high pressure pump - all you have to do bleed the low pressure side, up TO the injection pump .... once primed, the injection pump will push the air all the way through to the injectors. However, if your fuel system has 'compression' fittings instead of flared fittings, -- compression fittings are prone to vacuum leakage and will draw in a considerable amount of air if not very tight (they can loosen due to vibration) ..... when you bleed the lift pump do you get relief bubbles during EACH bleed?


Rich Hampel†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† ††††June 2003



††† The exhaust elbow was replaced in 2000-Fall and should be in good shape.Packing gland is very cool - I am using the GFO product. Prop is very clean - I am in fresh water. I think you may be right about getting air on the low-pressure side. If I shut the engine down, open the bleeding screw on top of the fuel filter and operate the priming lever on the fuel pump, it takes a while for the fuel to begin coming out which indicates air in the filter housing. I currently have no way to prime from the primary filter but I may try to disconnect the vent hose and apply a little pressure there. I will tighten all of the connections in the fuel lines as well. I am thinking about installing 2 of the 500 FG filters in line (expensive). I know my fuel is cruddy and there are no companies here to clean it. If I can get the tanks close to empty I will try to tackle the job myself. Thanks!

Alan Jett†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††† June 2003



††† That you are getting air constantly during bleeding indicates an obvious leak. Clogged filters will 'discover' any leaks as the lift pump will be developing lots of vacuum when stalled against a clogged filter set. Did you lubricate the filter housing gaskets with fuel to endure a good seal? Do your RACORís have a drain valve and clear plastic bottom sump - they leak if not properly tightened (not overtightened). Itís easy to deform the thin flat gaskets on RACORís when reinstalling. If you opt for new Racor housings/heads spend the few extra $ for the style with the integral purge pumps - a small rod operated piston pump that is used to bleed the filter. Buy the LARGEST filter that will fit. The best way to monitor RACORís, etc. is to add a vacuum gage between filter sets. If youíre drawing a high vacuum, it indicates to change the filter. RACOR sells the vacuum gauges.

††† An electric automotive fuel pump installed between the first filter and the tank will greatly aid in bleeding. Turn on the pump and sequentially bleed the whole system while the pump is running. The pump's valves will permit flow when the pump is in standby. Can be used as a 'standby' pump if the lift pump fails.

††† Tank cleaning:(especially if the filters/;tank are fouled with bacterial slime), add BioBor or other biocide and let it sit to kill the bacteria., Discard (or recirculate/polish later) the fouled oil, Get a long handled stiff bristle brush, open the top, get inside and knock off all those 'rust flowers' if the tank is iron, You'll use a ton ofpaper towels in removing all the crud. (a tank cleaning polishing service will use a high pressure power washer or steam) A bacterial scum/slime looks like black mayonnaise. If you can rent a 120v 2-3 gpm diesel fuel transfer pump, go to Home Depot or Lowes and buy a cheap
polypropylene filter housing for 2.5" dia X 10" long filters, then go to a gasket distributor and change the gaskets/O-rings to EPDM (EthylenePropyleneDiamineMonomer) Search for polypropylene "swimming pool" filters made from polypropylene or - either spun bonded depth media or pleated at 15ĶM or 10ĶM 'rating'.... Wash the tank sides with fuel to deposit most of the particles to the bottom. With the transfer pump, use a dip tube and suck from the very bottom of the tank ... into the pump (should have an integral screen for pump protection) into the filter and back to the tank. Add 10-15+ gallons of fuel and run the system for many hours until the fuel becomes crystal clear. You'll probably consume two or three filters, change ONLY when the flow rate degrades. Stop and clean the pump screen often, so the pump doesnít stall and burn out the motor. Many tool rental shops in maritime areas rent self-contained fuel polishing skids .... buy the filters elsewhere if you can to save the huge 'markup' of the rental shop.

††† Whatís happened is that water has probably collected at the bottom of the tank. The bacteria thrive at the interface between the water and the oil. Water vapor gets in the vent line and condenses on the tank walls, especially in winter. Its a good practice to seal the tank vent when the boat is not in use for long periods of time, or keep the tank filled to keep the walls covered with oil.

††† A Yanmar is VERY cranky when there is bacterial slime in the oil.... instantly clogs the filters, etc.. A very common problem. Add BioBor, etc. when adding fuel to retard the bacteria (consider to add a Cetane booster to compensate for the modern 'de-rated' fuels).Fuel oil polymerizes over long term storage. If you're not using much fuel, keep the tankage level low; donít store a lot of fuel that you arent going to use right away. Seek out only high turnover pumping stations. Donít buy from mom & pop operations that donít pump a LOT of fuel (goes for gasoline too) so that you are putting in only FRESH fuel. The shelf-life of fuels is fairly short, buy only 'fresh' fuel.

††† Iíve posted an onboard polishing system on the Tayana ftp site. I run this recirculation system anytime the weather is rough or the engine is on. You have to have a clean tank to start with before you add an onboard recirc. system. Since adding this recirc system 3 years ago, I have essentially NO particulate load going to my RACORís.


Rich Hampel†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††† June 2003



Problem solved...

††† I removed the vent hose from the fuel tank and attached another hose long enough to reach the engine. I blew into the hose and observed fuel leaking out from around the gasket between the two halves of the fuel pump. The screws were a little loose so I tightened them. I also inspected the short piece of rubber fuel hose between the copper fuel supply line and the fitting on the fuel pump. It looked to be slightly clogged so I replaced it. I then bled the entire system, started the engine and after all seemed OK I took her out for a spin. No problems at all even at high RPMís. Thanks for all of the helpful advice.

Alan Jett†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††† June 2003



††† Seems to be a nice product..... especially the stabilizer; a Biocide would be a plus. The difficulty is if you have a 'sludged' tank you can possibly 'sluff-off' .large amounts of bioburden that will overwhelm the filters. Would probably be OK in a tank that wasnít totally fouled with bacteria, etc. Iíve run similar stabilizer products in gasoline engines .... with quite remarkable boost in combustion efficiency as a side benefit!!!!

††† While we're on the subject of engine additives, my crankcase mixture is 75% Rotella and 25% Marvel Mystery Oil. The MMO keeps the carbon from fouling the piston ring grooves and the valve stems from sticking - hence better compression etc. MMO is an old time 'snake-oil' additive that seems to work - I use the same mix in my autos .... and I add it to the fuel on older gasoline engines to 'top oil' the valves and upper cylinder areas. The MMO can be used as a 'spa' treatment - totally fill the crankcase, run with NO load until warm, let sit a few days, drain. Works great on older engines that are starting to lose compression. Some diesel mechanics I know use transmission oil to the same effect.

††† Anything that raises the Cetane number will be of benefit, especially in engines that were designed before the mandated lowering of Cetane % and less sulfur content. ..... same thing for gasoline engines - an octane booster is always a benefit in older engines.

††† Racor Filters:215R2 housing/head with see-through sump/bowl and integral primer pump. To these heads I apply 10ĶM and 2ĶM spin-on elements ...... but I have a recirculating polishing system and therefore do not challenge the RACORís with debris. The recirc. system was added after installation of the RACORís.


Rich Hampel ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††July 2003



To prevent/retard Morse cables from rusting:


††† When replacing with new cables, remove the inner cable, squirt in a 'rust reformer' containing phosphoric acid, soak the removed inner cable with rust reformer. Rust reformer will 'blue' the metal by forming a rust retarding ferrous oxide layer. Take the outer cable and with a grease gun push in waterproof grease until it comes out the opposite end. Replace the central 'wire'.. Either remount to a 'protected' location or place a splash shield (removable Plexiglas, Sunbrella, etc) over the exposed end --- but let the cover 'breathe' and not so tight as to form condensation. The internal grease will last for many years until it hardens.

†† If someone would make such Morse type cable system with a 'zerk' fitting attached, I'd be a very happy boy.Hope this helps.


Rich Hampel ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† August 2003



Subject: Perkins 4.108 starter rebuild/replacement

††† Seems the trusty ole solenoid on the starter on Prudence's Perkins 4.108 has stuck/frozen or broken altogether. Symptoms: pushing the start button causes the solenoid to "click," then the starter motor whirs nicely but does NOT engage the engine. I turned the Perkins over several revs by hand to isolate a possible bad spot on the flywheel to no avail. So, I've probably got a bad solenoid.

††† Unfortunately I can't just remove the solenoid but must remove the starter/solenoid as a whole unit. Any ideas of a good place to secure a rebuild job, and/or a replacement for a spare? I'm in the
San Diego area but am willing to send it wherever I need for the work.

††† Harvey, you out there?? (-;

††† I'm also curious as to other experiences with the starter on the 4.108.I've got a Perkins rebuilt in 1998. Perhaps they simply installed the old starter on the new rebuilt. I wouldn't be surprised. Ideas? Suggestions? Fair winds to you all...

John Kalpus†††† Prudence†††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††† September 2003



††† Getting the #$%^&* off is the hardest thing. Once it is off, take a look at it yourself before sending it off for a rebuild.

I had a similar problem in
Martinique last spring. After carting the 40# monster all over the island on the bus system and failing to find a place to rebuild it, I tackled it myself. In my case it ended up being trivial. Yours is probably also a simple task. Cleaning the corrosion off all connection points and the actuator piston is probably all you need to do. There isn't a lot that can go wrong with a beefcake solenoid like that besides poor connections. Since it clicks it is probably trying to work but not getting enough magnetic oomph to throw the actuator fork. It's easy to test without reinstalling it using a jumper cable to a car battery. Worth a try at any rate.

††† While it's apart inspect the bearings and brushes, clean the case, take some ultra-fine sandpaper to the commutator, and clean up the connections to the motor itself. As long as the brushes have plenty of meat left the rest of the starter is probably fine. In my case it took me less than an hour and I was figuring it out as I went along.

HTH, Charlie††††††††††††††† s/v Kamaloha†††††††††††††† T37 #542†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††† September 2003



Hey Jim, Harvey, John, et al...

††† You won't believe this, BUT, the ole starter came right out! (-; Actually, the trick was using my new 24 inch socket extension. That enabled me to bring the ratchet wrench to the front of the engine where I wasn't as likely to break my knuckles. I sprayed a liberal coating on the 3 bolts and let it sit for a good hour. Then I simply cranked on the ratchet wrench and out came the bolts.

††† I did have to "tap" on the starter with a mallet to free it up from the housing. No worries, mate. I'll take it to a rebuild shop in
San Diego tomorrow and have them refurbish the unit. I also think I'll pick up a spare. I checked with my local Napa store as well and they list a rebuilt starter for the Perkins 4-108 for around $255 + a core charge of around $67. I'll keep you all posted on the ensuing saga.

John Kalpus†††††††††††††††† Prudence††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††† September 2003




††† I purposely do not run the engine over 3000, for the reasons you state. During the sea trial in summer of 2002, we were able to get it up to 3350, but with much smoking and stern squatting. So, I don't think it is 22% overpitched, probably closer to 10-15%.

††† If you feel 10-15% then simply reduce by 15%.

††† I also have never been an advocate or retorquing cylinder heads periodically. I would not advise anyone to do this as a maintenance practice. There is too much margin for error in retorquing, and I don't want to run the risk of unevenly loading the studs, or cracking head gaskets.I'll strongly disagree on that one! I used to re-torque the head on my Offenhauser every time I took it out for a trial or race. I re-torqued my studded (also shaved head) Atomic 4 every 25hrs. As if I didnít, it would blow a head gasket. If the threads are clean (cleaned) and oiled and the torque wrench is accurate (better to use a moment arm gauge than a spring/snap release) you will get the SAME torque every time .... its just a matter of stress/strain and using a known/calibrated wrench. There is also a technique to be followed .... 70% then move through the torque sequence pattern by +15% then another +15% to at the final number. If you torque to the final number in one single step, youíll risk warping the head (you have to wait for the gasket to relieve the strain). If you lug and engine and the cylinders develop excess pressure you better hope that the head is properly torqued .... or you blow the head gasket .... and no engine likes cooling water dripping into the combustion chamber - its hard on the rings!

†† I know all boats are different. I feel like the fineness of the pitch adjustment on the older model MaxProp might be an issue, with the setting I have in on now being too much pitch, but the next available one down being too little. I was more wondering whether anybody else has had this dilemma.

††† If the pitch index numbers/increments on your max-prop are too 'wide' and thus bracket the rpm that you desire, then consider a reduction of**blade diameter** (then rebalance - just get the blades back to the same/equal weight once you remove diameter). Its vastly better to be slightly underpitched than over pitched as when you need max power though heavy chop/waves, the boat will be going slower and you can use up all that reserve HP. If over-pitched, you'll still lug the engine - risk of bending something and promotes extreme cylinder, etc. wear. Thanks for the info.

Frank Timmons †††††††††† V42 ††† Magic Dragon†††††††††††††
Deltaville, VA††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††† January 2004



Subject:Welded Parts


††† I second the heat approach, but in addition I would soak the "joint" in cutting oil overnight first. I don't know if it really makes a difference but I like to use all the weapons at my disposal. Assuming the parts are mobile, I've also been known to put really recalcitrant parts in the freezer overnight before heating them, just to make the heat differential that much greater (A propane torch is all I have). Heat the larger part which surrounds the smaller part and try to keep a heat sink like a vise on the smaller part. The point is to create a heat differential between the two in order to break the corrosion bond. As Frank said, a few cycles of this and lots of patience usually takes care of it. When reassembling the parts afterwards use a long-lived corrosion inhibitor like Lanocote so it won't happen again.


Charlie†††††††††††† s/v Kamloha†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††† February 2004



††† Today I tried to start the engine with the air filter off, but no heat (to see if lack of air/dirty air filter, as suggested by Harvey, was causing my problems in starting.). It did not start easily.It started easily when heat gun was applied. The boat probably thought it was in Panama... So I think that proves it is a compression problem that a preheater will solve. I will let the group know how installation goes, and
the results. It is scheduled for March 18.

Imants††††††††††††† T37PH†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††† February 2004



††† Well, the engine preheater is now installed on my Perkins 4-108. It is a standard Perkins part that fits below the air filter dome. It consists of a cigarette lighter type coil and a copper tube from after the fuel pump. Current is applied to the coil via a push button switch, the coil heats up and lights the diesel. Kind of like a kerosene lamp... You do this for 10 to 15 sec and star the engine. It now starts a lot quicker, but not quite as quick as when I used a heat gun. Total cost was about $125 for parts and $200 for labor, including running wires from preheater to switch on dashboard.

Imants††††††††††††† TY37PH††††††††† "Laiva"††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† March 2004



Subject: Clunk noise, metal shavings, uh oh?


††† Ok, this one's new to me. We own a T37 with Yanmar 3qm30 (1986) and have had absolutely NO problems with it ....til now. We were out on lake this weekend, anchored overnight and started engine first thing to get back to marina. Wife heard noise below, I immediately pulled engine cover and sounded like kind of a metallic "ting" noise. Suspected alternator (have had this one before) and changed it out after checking water pump. Restarted and it didn't get any better, revved it up to about 1200 and noise was faster but not away. Went into locker to check trans, and it got louder and started getting progressively louder - shut down and called for tow.


††† At dock, went into locker and checked drive-saver, all intact. Hmmm. Noticed what appears to be metal shavings on top of bell housing, near "vent" slots. We are currently in a transient slip, pending tow to marina haul out. I suspect clutch disc came apart.


††† ANY input would be greatly appreciated! Also, does the engine need to come out to put clutch in, or can the shaft be pushed back, engine supported and trans removed?HELP, this one's stranded us!


Mark †††††††††††††† s/v Querencia, T37†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††† May 2005




††† I see you haven't been answered yet so maybe this will help.


††† I once blew my drive damper on my Perkins 4-108. Was cruising along and heard a bang and had RPM jump way up. No unusually sounds after that but it was obvious that the transmission was no longer connected to the engine. The drive damper is attached to the flywheel inside the bell housing. It is not a clutch but takes the place of one. The transmission shaft fits into it with its splined end. There are lots of springs on the damper and they flex to take up the shock of spinning up a transmission and shaft. There were no external indications of damage or any unusual sounds but I sheared the rivets that held the damper to the flywheel and it was freewheeling on the transmission shaft.


††† Don't know if any of this applies to your Yanmar but it may help. Good luck getting the problem identified and fixed.


Wayne ††††††††††† V-42 †† C/C †††† RESTLESS††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††† May 2005


Subject: 4-108 starter problem

††† My starter has started acting up. It momentarily (Very momentarily) starts to engage then hums. After several tries, usually 3-7, it will finally engage and start the engine. I'm assuming it's time to rebuild the starter. Is there anything special about a starter for a Perkins 4-108, or could any rebuild shop do it? Any suggestions for ease of removal/ replacement? I know
Harvey covered this in the past, but since then my computer crashed and I lost all my old threads. The setup on my Mariner sounds as bad as on the Tayana 37's.

Tim Pruss ††††††† S/V Chardonnay ††††††††† Tayana Mariner 36†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††† July 2005



Hi Tim,

††† I switched to a Delco starter. My local starter shop wouldn't touch a Lucas starter. He said he could probably get a replacement Delco for around$250 but couldn't supply the adapter plate required. And getting the proper adapter plate was one of the more difficult jobs I've ever tackled - even buying it from TransAtlantic Diesel. I finally had to use two adapter plates to make the new starter fit. The Delco also requires the starter wiring to be modified. In general, switching starters was a huge headache...

††† Could be that a little lubrication on the starter shaft might help your problem. Sounds like the starter pawl is not extending enough to always engage the flywheel.

Wayne†††††††††††† V-42†††††††††††††† C/C†††††††††††††††† RESTLESS†††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††† July 2005


Hi Tim,

††† 1) Check your battery and all the connections.

††† 2) I don't know what you have in mind about "any rebuild shop." Most of them are hackers who will nearly destroy your starter in order to save a buck. They often swap out parts between different half-dead units. Find a shop that is considered reliable by the local high end mechanics. The only place I would trust here in San Diego is called PeeGee's Automotive. They charged about $160 about 5 years ago. They stripped it down, and completely replaced any necessary parts with new components. If someone offers to do the job for $50, say "many thanks" and leave with your starter. The situation is even worse with alternators. Lots of chop shops out there. Find a place that specializes in marine components. (PeeGee calls itself "Automotive", but the owner is a boater, and all the local mechanics recommend it highly). Replacing it with a new or rebuilt starter can be dicey. You have make sure that you match the gear pattern, if it is for the right or left side of the engine, etc. Best if you have your own unit rebuilt, if they deem it still worthwhile. Good shops will test it on the bench and tell you its condition.

††† Depending upon the model of Perkins you have, the starter may be in different locations on the engine. On ours, it is on the port side low down under the exhaust manifold, and damned near inaccessible. It is held in place with three bolts, as I recall. Get a good socket wrench set with extender arms and even with a hinged head.

††† Disconnect the batteries.

††† Double check to make sure you disconnected the batteries.

††† Get some adhesive tapes of different colors.

††† Get a good light. Get a second headlamp so that you can point your head in the right direction at critical moments.

††† Label the various leads to the solenoid and any other connections on the starter with different color tapes.

††† Are you sure you disconnected the battery? If the hot (red) line is still active, and you touch it to the engine block, you will have sparks jumping all over the place.

††† If you have a nice little digital camera, take a bunch of pictures of what it all looks like - wires, bolts, orientation of starter.

††† Remove solenoid wires (labeled, of course).

††† Remove Hot Lead (red wire). (The engine block itself is often directly connected to the black (return or "ground" lead). Tape over the connector on the red lead so that it doesn't accidentally contact the engine block and short.

†††† Depending upon the relative position of your starter, you may find it helpful to take a board and lie it across the bilge. You may even want to put a pan under the starter to be safe. This will help provide a place to rest your hand, catch parts before they fall, etc.

††† Now prepare to bloody your knuckles as you try to remove the three critical bolts.

††† Use your socket/ratchet wrench with a long extender to reach the bolts.

††† The top most bolt will probably also need a universal joint connector.

††† Just crack each one slightly.

††† Then gradually loosen them all.

††† The starter is quite heavy, and clumsy to handle when it is almost out of your reach, and threatens to drop into the bilge.

††† Once the bolts are loose, it should be easy to remove.

††† Photograph it and label the photo to indicate which wire attaches to which point.

††† Take it to a good shop and have them test it.

††† This doesn't sound half as bad as it actually can be. You have to wiggle under the engine, scrape your hands, shmoosh your nose against the floor boards, and will discover curse words you didn't know that you had in your vocabulary.

††† The good news is that it actually only takes about 10-15 minutes to remove or replace the starter. The big problem is putting it back. It is heavy, and getting that first bolt in place is a drag.

Harvey †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††July 2005



††† If I can add my $0.02 - although I have a Yanmar 4JH3E - Harvey's (1) item should be in BOLD. Chances are all you have is corroded connections, and it's easy to tell without removing anything. Just put a voltmeter across the starter solenoid COIL connections and turn it over. If it's like mine, you'll see about 7 volts - not enough! My problem was a bad ignition switch and had nothing to do with the starter. If you get 11-12 volts across the solenoid coil connection, then you can take the starter off and start to rebuild. BTW, in 90% of the cases it's quite easy to rebuild a starter yourself. Unless it has been getting real wet and the bearings or insulation have gone, most likely the commutator just needs cleaning or brushes need resurfacing or replacing. Nigel Calder's book shows you how, and it won't cost you anything but time and a little sandpaper. I've done mine twice now - the first time because it needed it and I was in a land where they spoke French and I didn't, and the second time when it didn't need it and I discovered the trick about bad ignition switches!

Charlie††††††††††† s/v Kamaloha†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††† July 2005


††† Yes, Yes. I agree completely Charlie. Our recent problem was a bad switch that on a few rare occasions failed to kick in the solenoid. But under that circumstance, we didn't even get a hum. We initially considered that it might be a transmission safety lockout (as on your automobile). Since we were out sailing at the time, I pointed out into the ocean to gain time to play with the connections. I finally took a screwdriver and jumpered across the leads to the solenoid.Calder says that this is the most common source of problems. A bad solenoid is likely to result in a repeated clicking sound, not total silence. But your point about reading Calder is very well taken, especially his little book on Diesel engines.


Harvey†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††† July 2005