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Old 12-02-2006, 22:01   #1
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Diesel Engine is harder to start....?

For some reason the good old Perkins 4-108 takes a bit longer to start these days.

Pretty much like when older folks takes longer to wake up...

For the past 7 years the Perc started just fine, but lately I noticed that I need to push the start button a few more seconds and when I release the button the engine stops before it even started.

If I advance the throttle slightly before I push the start button, then she fires right up.

Hmm, perhaps the idle RPM is adjsuted too low?

Not so, Idle RPM with a warm engine is just normal.
Cold RPM is a bit low, but then again, cold here in Florida, at the most extreme is + 10 Celsius... In the past it fired right up regardless of temps.

I noticed a difference after I changed secondary fuel filter.
After I R & R the filter it seemed to start slower.
Yet, I see no leaks or air bubbles. (As if the new fuel filter is not mounted quite right and the pressure to the pump is low)

Speaking of slow starting engines: What is the symptoms of a worn out high pressure pump?

Could that be IT..?

All other parameters are normal: Plenty of power, very little smoke, temps OK.
Injectors was overhauled 800 hours ago.
Fuel tank cleaned and filters changed on a regular bases, etc.

What could it bee?
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Old 12-02-2006, 22:23   #2
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It could be your cylinders are getting polished. You don't let it sit and idle for long periods , do ya?

A new filter wouldn't slow the fuel flow unless it were REALLY bad. Most timed pumps bypass the extra fuel right back to the tank, meaning if it runs and accelerates, it's probably not the fuel flow from the symtoms you mentioned.

Do a compression check..............._/)
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Old 12-02-2006, 22:39   #3
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What Delmarrey said.
Ain't you guy's experiancing a lot colder weather than normal?? Temperature will have a really big impact. Even +10C will be cold enough to make a difference. How does the cranking speed sound? About normal? Cold can slow cranking speed.
How about the fuel type. Do you have a "winter" fuel? You can place an additive in the fuel to help.
Now here is an interesting thought. Anychance a bit of gunge got past the filter when you changed it?
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Old 12-02-2006, 22:54   #4
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Quote:
It could be your cylinders are getting polished. You don't let it sit and idle for long periods , do ya?
No, negative, negative...

I run meh diesel hard. The only idle is for a few minuttes warm up.
Then it is 2000 RPM IN GEAR IN REVERSE to charge batteries while sitting at anchor.


Quote:
How does the cranking speed sound? About normal? Cold can slow cranking speed.
Cranking speed is just fine.
New batteries, newly overhauled starter motor.
All that stuff is a-okay.

(Gents: I used to drive diesel trucks in Norway in the winter, I know about cold temps, low batteries, stiff oil, pre-heaters, etc, etc...- 20 C..Here in Florida we average +20 C in the WINTER.
Temp is not a factor in this question or problem)


Quote:
Now here is an interesting thought. Anychance a bit of gunge got past the filter when you changed it?
Possible, possible...Never thought of that.

Hmm, how do I follow up and trouble-shoot that one?

have to take the high pressure pump off and clean the lines?

But if there is an obstruction in the lines. that would be even more obvious on high power settings.?

Not so, I get my 4000 RPM from the Perc whenever I need it. It is just the first start that is hard..Or slow.

So, uh, what is the symptoms of a high pressure pump needing overhaul...?
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Old 13-02-2006, 00:07   #5
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My experience has been that perks can be a real pain to start in colder weather. They seem to reach a magic point where they just don't want to know, 1/2 degree warmer and they're fine though. This magic point gets warmer as the engine ages but is not necessarily symptomatic of the need for any drastic overhaul work. Does your engine have the cold start, fire in the manifold option and if so, is it connected? These systems were designed into the engine by the manufacturer but are often left disconnected by installers who think they know more than the people that developed the things.
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Old 13-02-2006, 00:37   #6
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Nah in hind sight, I am on a wrong tangent. A blocked "something" is going to give issuse at the other end of the RPM scale.
Pete is on the right track with temp. I think it is just a sign of age, but not neccessarily sign of anything wrong as such.
Injector pumps can be checked on a test bench for fuel dose, but that isn't going to cause your problem. Once again, it is lack of injector pressure that shows up in other area's, like the max RPM and another one is smoke issues.
Hey, maybe you have your head cocked on teh wrong angle when you turn the key? Try to the left, not right.
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Old 13-02-2006, 00:44   #7
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Not as silly as it seems Alan. We used to have a forklift in the bay with a Perkins. The guys would come in to unload at 2 am and wouldn't be able to start it so would call me out. Scrape the sleep out of my eyes and head down to the wharf, crank her over and away she goes, no problem. I asked them to show me what they were doing and couldn't spot anything wrong, in fact the battery was often run down a bit by the time I got there and it would still start fine. I solved the problem by starting it up before I went to bed and leave it idling until they got in.
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Old 13-02-2006, 00:56   #8
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I bet you went back to bed with a smile on the dial though
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Old 13-02-2006, 03:50   #9
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I believe an exhaust manifold clogging itself will make the engine gradually harder to start. Not too tough to pull and check/clean and well worth it on an engine that charges batteries a lot.
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Old 13-02-2006, 04:56   #10
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"Cold" is a relative term.
When I was boatrighting in Ft. Lauderdale, I had a 10 year old ambulance (my service truck) with a Ford diesel, which wouldn’t “winter” start without properly operating glow plugs. I imagine my “cold starting” problems occurred at about 50 - 60 degrees F ((10-15 C).
When I brought it North, it wouldn’t start even with new glow plugs & controller. Had to use Ether starting fluid (not recommended).
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Old 13-02-2006, 05:07   #11
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I re-read your post CSY man and saw the temps you are talking about. Temperature seems unlikely to be the main cause of the problem but should not be ruled out as it likely to be contributory cause at least. Warmer temps can give a battery a lot more oomph and you may just be experiencing the end of your start battery's life. Do you have a cross connection to your house batteries? If so, and they are well charged, use it for the first attempt at starting next cool day and see if it makes any difference. Or get the battery load tested.
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Old 13-02-2006, 05:09   #12
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I re-read your post CSY man and saw the temps you are talking about. Temperature seems unlikely to be the main cause of the problem but should not be ruled out as it likely to be contributory cause at least. Warmer temps can give a battery a lot more oomph and you may just be experiencing the end of your start battery's life. Do you have a cross connection to your house batteries? If so, and they are well charged, use it for the first attempt at starting next cool day and see if it makes any difference. Or get the battery load tested.
Gord, I used to drive a Nissan diesel. On a frosty morning I had to remove the air cleaner and light a small fire on top of the air inlet. Ahhh, those were the good old days.
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Old 13-02-2006, 08:15   #13
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Aye mates, the battery is just find..Brand new 2 months ago and fully charged at all times.

The cranking speed is not the problem, the old engine spins (cranks) quite fast, it is rather that it don't fire right away, and when it does it seems to be on one cylinder at a time, then it slowly gets up to normal idle speed.
Or it dies if I don't stay on the startbutton.

No, I am not aware of any cold start gizzmo on the engine, no glow plugs either...The engine was delivered to Florida in 1979 and was probably set up for warm weather.

I did clean the exhaust manifold last year, nothing wrong there.

THe injectors were serviced a few years ago, probably 7 or 800 hours since.
Some mechanic told me that every 1000 hours was a good interval.

Some other guy suggested that the springs in the high pressure pump was getting weak, and that would cause a slow start.

Not sure about that.

Occasionally I start up my friends Yanmar, cause he lives over seas and I look after his boat.
The Yanmar fires right up, even after sitting for several months.
Big difference.

I should also note that my boat has an electric fuel pump. (To assist with bleeding the engine, and also as a go-home pump in case the lift pump fails)
It makes no difference if I boost the low pressure side with the electric pump.
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Old 13-02-2006, 08:16   #14
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Cold

They usually do not have winter fuel in places unless it goes to about minus 10 C. Five above can cause a diesel to be hard to start. A drop of oil on each cylinder is safer than starting fluid. We have to use ever increasing amounts of throttle to get the diesels to start up here. Full throttle is not uncommon. In the absense of flow plugs we need to create heat. That can be doon with using the decrompesion lever and spinning the motor. Adding fuel by using the throttle cools the engine but if you do not have a bunch of fuel it will not start. So crank for a bit, and throttle for a bit is the routine. Usually it is reducing compression that makes them harder to start. The starter motor was a good suggestion as cranking speed is needed.
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Old 13-02-2006, 08:17   #15
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Hey pwederell.

You might explaining a little more about that fire over the air inlet senario?
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