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Old 30-12-2011, 11:31   #16
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Re: Batteries to low to start the engine

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Originally Posted by avb3 View Post
Having hand cranked more than a few tractor engines, you are exposing yourself to things like sprained wrists, bruised knuckles, broken arms or lacerations.

Practice in advance, and make sure you know when you need to let go. Hand cranking is sometimes necessary, but not without risks.
Our old tractor had a compression release and a flywheel on the side. You would get the flywheel spinning by hand and then let loose the compression release. And off she'd sputter. putt putt putt
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Old 30-12-2011, 11:32   #17
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Re: Batteries to low to start the engine

Forget the hand-cranking.

You already have a separate start battery. You're just not using it right.

That battery needs to be electrically and automatically separated from the house bank, except when charging. Automatically, because otherwise you can (and did) forget.

Best solution is to rewire alternator output and all other charging sources (like solar and shore charger) to the house batteries, and install a simple voltage follower device like the Xantrex EchoCharge to take care of the start battery. That device will automatically keep your start battery fully charged. It does so by sensing the presence of any charging voltage (13.0V and above) on the house batteries, and stealing a little current for the start battery.

Start batteries don't need much charging, but they do need some :-)

With this setup, you won't need to switch anything or worry about a full start battery to start the engine.

Bill
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Old 30-12-2011, 11:37   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btrayfors
Forget the hand-cranking.

You already have a separate start battery. You're just not using it right.

That battery needs to be electrically and automatically separated from the house bank, except when charging. Automatically, because otherwise you can (and did) forget.

Best solution is to rewire alternator output and all other charging sources (like solar and shore charger) to the house batteries, and install a simple voltage follower device like the Xantrex EchoCharge to take care of the start battery. That device will automatically keep your start battery fully charged. It does so by sensing the presence of any charging voltage (13.0V and above) on the house batteries, and stealing a little current for the start battery.

Start batteries don't need much charging, but they do need some :-)

With this setup, you won't need to switch anything or worry about a full start battery to start the engine.

Bill
Great post Bill, you must have been typing this as I was posting.

This is exactly how I would set it up as we'll.

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Old 30-12-2011, 11:48   #19
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Re: Batteries to low to start the engine

Expensive, but no electricity needed.

Spring starters Simms, Lucas, CAV mechanical starter motors from Kineteco Home Page
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Old 30-12-2011, 11:52   #20
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Re: Batteries to low to start the engine

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Good tool if you can get toit.
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Old 30-12-2011, 11:57   #21
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Re: Batteries to low to start the engine

[QUOTE=avb3;848792]Having hand cranked more than a few tractor engines, you are exposing yourself to things like sprained wrists, bruised knuckles, broken arms or lacerations.

Yessir! I can tell you, it's very hard to do with even a one or two cylinder diesel. I was never successful although tried on two different boats. Often, there is no room to crank a full circle on a boat installation making it worse. I did start a wisconsin water pump engine on the farm a few times when I was a teenager. One time I ended up getting my broken wrist set and wore a cast for weeks. Forget cranking, buy a backup car starter pak., and/or set up your charging system so the starting battery is islolated..... it's easy to forget to change the switch from "all"
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Old 30-12-2011, 13:20   #22
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Re: Batteries to low to start the engine

Never ever use the start battery in conjunction with the house battery unless you can accept what happened to you. Always keep the batteries separated except when charging and best not even then. Monitor your house bank and when it's down to 50% charge, use the engine battery to start the engine and then switch over to the house battery to charge them back up. Don't use the start battery except to start the engine except in an emergency.

Never put the switch to both except as an absolute last resort. If one battery is good and the other discharged, as soon as you switch to both, the good battery drains into the discharged one. Voila!!! 2 dead batteries faster than you can hit the starter button, btdt.

You discovered the achilles heel of solar panels. Without direct sunlight, they put out precious little juice. May take several days to get enough charge in the batteries to start the engine even with all your electrical equipment turned off for the duration.
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Old 30-12-2011, 13:34   #23
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Re: Batteries to low to start the engine

I might mention that switching batteries with the motor running is risky, it could damage the alternator. It's best to have your charging wires into the batteries different then the power out.

IAW no matter where your switch is, all the batteries that need it will get charged. It's better to have a combiner/diode system so the batteries that are low get most of the charge, not all at once.
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Old 30-12-2011, 13:39   #24
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Re: Batteries to low to start the engine

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Never put the switch to both except as an absolute last resort. If one battery is good and the other discharged, as soon as you switch to both, the good battery drains into the discharged one. Voila!!! 2 dead batteries faster than you can hit the starter button, btdt.
Then how do the car jumper battery packs work? You hook a small battery in parallel with a dead car battery and now the the small jumper battery is dead before you can hit the starter button. Perhaps you exaggerate?

John
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Old 30-12-2011, 13:45   #25
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Re: Batteries to low to start the engine

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Then how do the car jumper battery packs work? You hook a small battery in parallel with a dead car battery and now the the small jumper battery is dead before you can hit the starter button. Perhaps you exaggerate?

John
I think Peter is thinking in series. Doesn't drain the battery but reduces the voltage, as in two 6V batteries.
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Old 30-12-2011, 14:02   #26
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Re: Batteries to low to start the engine

I was shown how to start the diesel with nearly flat batteries, and the decompression lever.

It takes two people, but is much safer than hand cranking.

Open the de-compression lever, and crank with the starter. Hopefully, despite the batteries being flat, there's enough juice to turn the engine over without compression.

Release the lever while the engine is spinning, with luck it will start.
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Old 30-12-2011, 14:17   #27
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Re: Batteries too low to start the engine

I hand cranked my Volvo MD2b for 10 years. It was no problem but the engine had a huge flywheel, compression releases and was designed to be handcranked as the primary starting source. Without compression releases you will not be able to hand crank a diesel. Without a large flywheel. there also not be enough stored energy in the rotating engine to start the engine. To start a diesel, you don't turn it against a compression stroke as in a gas engine. With a diesel, you release the compression and get the engine revolving as fast as you can with the crank, this is where the flywheel comes in, and then drop a compression release and the engine will hopefully start on one cylinder. You then drop the remaining compression releases and Bob's your Uncle.

The 2 cylinder MD2b was no problem to handcrank. The 3 cylinder MD3b was a lot harder to start because of the internal friction of the added cylinder. It took much more effort to get the 3 cylinder cranked up to the RPMs you needed to start it. I started one and probably could have continued to do it but not willingly. Don't know if you'd be able to hand crank a four cylinder even it was designed to be cranked.

If you want to have another starting system for you engine, a separate start only battery and spare starter motor would be the best choice. Their used to be inertial starters available for the Perkins 4-107 but haven't heard these mentioned for more than 30 years.
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Old 30-12-2011, 14:22   #28
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Re: Batteries too low to start the engine

Why not fix the problem?

Your low battery charge is most likely caused by a combination of old battery and insufficient charging.

So, unless the battery is almost new you could be in for a replacement.

If you get consistent wind over 15 knots where you moor then a wind generator may be the go, otherwise you'll need to increase the total wattage of your solar panels or buy a generator/battery charger.

In the meantime you may need to run your engine for more than a few hours to get some charge into your battery.

Do check the water level in your battery and top up with "distilled" water as necessary.
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Old 30-12-2011, 14:48   #29
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Re: Batteries to low to start the engine

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Our old tractor had a compression release and a flywheel on the side. You would get the flywheel spinning by hand and then let loose the compression release. And off she'd sputter. putt putt putt
Let me guess, the tractor was John Deere green in color, right? Notorious for bad starters; I remember doing the same thing, but you had to be careful you were not wearing a scarf or got your sleeve caught in those in the winter. And yes, those old two cylinders certainly had a unique sound; putt, putt, putt pretty well describes it.
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Old 30-12-2011, 15:28   #30
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Re: Batteries to low to start the engine

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Let me guess, the tractor was John Deere green in color, right? Notorious for bad starters; I remember doing the same thing, but you had to be careful you were not wearing a scarf or got your sleeve caught in those in the winter. And yes, those old two cylinders certainly had a unique sound; putt, putt, putt pretty well describes it.
Actually is was a 3 cylinder with steel spoked wheels, no paint left that I remember. Probably all rusted away by now. Didn't even have a battery. That was back in 1960 doing work bailing hay. My worse nightmare, probably why I have a bad back today.
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