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Old 01-02-2014, 10:37   #1
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starting diesel with Honda 2000i

If our batteries are completely dead and we need to start the diesel engine
( a Yanmar 4j H2-te ) will our Honda EU 2000i generator supply enough power if companioned directly into the boat's shore power socket or
will we need to use the generator to charge the batteries before firing up
up the diesel? If the generator is connected to the batteries with jump start cables, will it supply enough power to jump start the diesel?
Thanks for any help offered,
HV
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:56   #2
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Re: starting diesel with Honda 2000i

You will need to run the Honda generator to charge the batteries for an hour before you try to start the engine. Your Honda put out 120 volts AC for the boat's shore power, and you need 12 volts DC to start the engine. The Honda also has a 12vDC outlet, but it is not nearly powerful enough to start the engine itself. Most of its power goes into the 120 VAC output, which can power the built-in battery chargers on the boat.

If the boat batteries have been dead long enough that they will not accept enough charge to start the engine after an hour, you can bring a good car battery onboard and use the jumper cables from that to start the engine. However, you will need to replace the boat batteries as soon as possible.
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Old 01-02-2014, 11:08   #3
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Re: starting diesel with Honda 2000i

A related issue: I bought one of the self contained jump start devices a couple years ago. I bought the good heavy duty one. When the batteries went dead on my boat (at the dock fortunately) I tried to use it... guess what? It doesnt work. The problem is.... if the batteries are really dead... they immediately soak up all the juice the jump start device is providing... so the motor wont turn over! I imagine it works if your batteries are just marginally dead. So much for that idea as a backup plan.
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Old 01-02-2014, 11:11   #4
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Re: starting diesel with Honda 2000i

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
A related issue: I bought one of the self contained jump start devices a couple years ago. I bought the good heavy duty one. When the batteries went dead on my boat (at the dock fortunately) I tried to use it... guess what? It doesnt work. The problem is.... if the batteries are really dead... they immediately soak up all the juice the jump start device is providing... so the motor wont turn over! I imagine it works if your batteries are just marginally dead. So much for that idea as a backup plan.
You could hook it directly to the starter motor & engine block to get it started.
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Old 01-02-2014, 11:36   #5
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Re: starting diesel with Honda 2000i

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You could hook it directly to the starter motor & engine block to get it started.
Yeah, I thought of that but would need to disconnect the batteries... then not sure if that would blow the Alternator diodes when the engine starts. Anyway... just passing this along in case any others have that as a fallback plan!
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Old 01-02-2014, 11:48   #6
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Re: starting diesel with Honda 2000i

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
A related issue: I bought one of the self contained jump start devices a couple years ago. I bought the good heavy duty one. When the batteries went dead on my boat (at the dock fortunately) I tried to use it... guess what? It doesnt work. The problem is.... if the batteries are really dead... they immediately soak up all the juice the jump start device is providing... so the motor wont turn over! I imagine it works if your batteries are just marginally dead. So much for that idea as a backup plan.
Cheech.... I have two of these, and agree they are crap at best.... Both are the biggest model of the several that were available at the place of purchase... Success rate is about 20% at best, and the only way I was able to start a 4-107 was with the intake blocked to get her spinning....

I read a few reviews, as I believe the theory still has merit! ... This one is my starting point for the next attempt.... Probably will go bigger...

Amazon.com: Schumacher PSJ-2212 DSR ProSeries 2200 Peak Amps Jump Starter and Portable Power Unit: Automotive
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Old 01-02-2014, 12:44   #7
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Re: starting diesel with Honda 2000i

As others have said, the 12 V outlet on a Honda has a low amp rating, 10 amps I think and it won't begin to start the engine by itself. If left connected for a long time, it would charge up the dead batteries and then they would be able to start.


But the best solution is to connect the 120 V output to your shore power cord, turn off all 120 V appliances except for the shore battery charger and let it charge the starting battery.


But you need to be aware that a Honda EU2000i will only supply enough continuous current to run a 50-75 amp charger- about 13 amps. If you have a 100 amp inverter/charger for example it will overload the Honda. But those chargers are usually settable for maximum output current (or maximum AC input current) for just that reason.


How long you have to charge depends on how much current your shore charger puts out and the starting battery capacity. For a typical 80 amp hour starting battery you should be able to start at 1/2 charge or maybe an hour of charging with the right sized charger.


David
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Old 01-02-2014, 12:47   #8
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Re: starting diesel with Honda 2000i

If your batteries are truly dead, or if there's the chance of a shorted plate or some other damage that will preclude them (without further diagnoses) capable of holding a charge, I think there's a case for disconnecting/"debelting" the alternator, removing the starter and bolting on a spring-loaded starter:

Spring starters Simms, Lucas, CAV mechanical starter motors from Kineteco Home Page

These are common on items like bulldozers in the Arctic and other places where there's not much hope of holding a decent charge if you leave the equipment out of doors for a week.

There's not a lot of anecdotal evidence that they are particularly common aboard pleasure craft, but if I was going to carry a spare starter, I would give serious thought to carrying whatever mechanical starter fit my diesel. It seems logical to me.
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Old 01-02-2014, 13:27   #9
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Re: starting diesel with Honda 2000i

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
A related issue: I bought one of the self contained jump start devices a couple years ago. I bought the good heavy duty one. When the batteries went dead on my boat (at the dock fortunately) I tried to use it... guess what? It doesnt work. The problem is.... if the batteries are really dead... they immediately soak up all the juice the jump start device is providing... so the motor wont turn over! I imagine it works if your batteries are just marginally dead. So much for that idea as a backup plan.
I'm surprised by this. I use them all the time to jump start trucks with totally dead batteries and motors 3 or 4 times the size. Maybe you just had a bad booster or connected to your house bank instead of the starter battery or your selector switch was turned to both. Just as a reference, we have 60 trucks in our fleet, live in Michigan, and have to do this on a monthly basis for years. Why you might ask? Computers and GPS systems left on overnight.

As far as the generator, don't charge the house bank unless your motor is only connected to it. Just charge the starting battery. I'd guess it will take about 1 minute. It doesn't take much to turn over a 75 hp motor.
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Old 01-02-2014, 13:42   #10
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Re: starting diesel with Honda 2000i

The spring started looks bomb proof, anybody ever used one? They look pricey.

Thanks for pointing it out "S.V. Alchemy".
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Old 01-02-2014, 13:51   #11
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Re: starting diesel with Honda 2000i

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The spring started looks bomb proof, anybody ever used one? They look pricey.

Thanks for pointing it out "S.V. Alchemy".

Prior to WWII, a lot of aircraft were started this way. I believe BD Maule , of Maule aircraft fame patented it prior to WWII
http://www.google.com/patents/US2314547
I'm not familiar with the one in question, but the idea has been around fo r along time and it's sound
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Old 01-02-2014, 16:00   #12
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Re: starting diesel with Honda 2000i

wait a minute. Are you guys SURE about the Honda? I thought those were inverter based generators, in that they actually start out making 12 vdc and then invert that to 120 AC. How could they have "more" ac than they have dc to run an ac charger that is going to convert the ac to dc to charge the batteries?

I'm just asking, because if that's true, it seems it would be just about the height of inefficiency to burn fuel to generate dc which you invert to ac to move three feet to another device that converts that ac back to dc and moves it another few feet back over to the batteries.

Isn't something lost in each conversion? Why isn't the dc output of the Honda more efficient hooked directly to the batteries? Or am I wrong in thinking that they are inverters?
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Old 01-02-2014, 17:21   #13
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Inversion would be used to allow variable engine speeds for fuel conservation and supply frequencies. I suspect the actual "generator" would still be AC as an alternator is more efficient than a DC generator.
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Old 01-02-2014, 17:36   #14
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Re: starting diesel with Honda 2000i

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Originally Posted by giant View Post
The spring started looks bomb proof, anybody ever used one? They look pricey.

Thanks for pointing it out "S.V. Alchemy".
They do look cool. Where do you buy them? I cannot find any place online and the Simms web site does not have a buy or where to buy link. What is the ballpark cost?
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Old 01-02-2014, 17:39   #15
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Re: starting diesel with Honda 2000i

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Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post



But you need to be aware that a Honda EU2000i will only supply enough continuous current to run a 50-75 amp charger- about 13 amps. If you have a 100 amp inverter/charger for example it will overload the Honda. But those chargers are usually settable for maximum output current (or maximum AC input current) for just that reason.

I have run my EU2000i for nine years now. With my 100 amp charger I regularly see it putting in over 90 amps. The Honda sounds like a banshee but it keeps on putting out. I change the plug every season, keep the carb clean and replaced the inverter 3 years ago or so. Luckily a buddy had one he'd cannibalized off one of his old Hondas.
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