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Old 30-06-2015, 07:38   #1
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1973 Perkins 4.107

Hello all,

I have been on this forum for many years and last month I got myself a sailboat. A 1973 Irwin 37 Competition. It follows the most basic rule of sailing and that is to keep the water out and the air in. Other than that it does nothing else. It is in a slip on lake Lewisville near Dallas, TX. It is for sure a project boat. When I got the boat the owner said the engine ran well 3 years ago before the starter went out. My list of questions for all of you.

1) Would love to buy a new starter, install it and hope for the best. If I do that, what do I need to do to prepare the engine to start after so many years.

2) Should I fight that and pull the engine, get it inspected and if in good shape just rebuild it.

3) From what I have read, the engine is really to big as in power for the boat, so if I replace what should I replace it with? The specs show the boat displaces 15,500lbs and has a hull speed of 7.26 knots. Would a smaller, more modern engine be worth doing.

I plan on rebuilding this boat over the next few years and sailing and motoring around the lake until I retire in about 10 years where I want to transport it to the coast and cruise around and live aboard.
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Old 30-06-2015, 07:50   #2
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Re: 1973 Perkins 4.107

I looked at replacing my 4.108 over the winter and was stunned by the number of mechanics (who stood to make a tidy profit off an instal), recommended that I not replace it until I absolutely had to because it was such a reliable engine. So I didn't.

I would think the same advice would be given for a 4.107- although I suspect yours is considerably older than my 1988 Perkins.

I think it's fair to mention I am not very knowledgeable about engines, I am just sharing the advice I received.

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Old 30-06-2015, 08:31   #3
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Re: 1973 Perkins 4.107

I would look into getting the starter fixed, not buy a new one. These starters are very robust but they can have problems with brushes and solenoids etc..
Sitting for 3 years is not that bad. I would definitly get it running and then see what you have.
It does not seem like too big of an engine to me. A Perkins only puts out 50hp at something like 4,000 rpm. Way less at 2450 rpm where you will probably be running it.
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Old 30-06-2015, 11:11   #4
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Re: 1973 Perkins 4.107

Thank you both for your input. I really want to get this boat moving and getting the starter fix would be the fastest and cheapest way.

What precautions should I take when trying to start this engine after all this time?

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Old 30-06-2015, 11:20   #5
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Re: 1973 Perkins 4.107

Change the oil. Change the coolant. Change transmission fluid. New impeller, new belts, check the air filter. Keep a close eye during startup for adequate cooling flow. Perkins start like crap when they're cold, so put heat on in the engine compartment if required. Keep your face away from the moving parts

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Old 30-06-2015, 11:30   #6
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Re: 1973 Perkins 4.107

Yes, try to rebuild... or just fix the starter. Maybe you can just put brushes in it for now. They are pretty simple. Your immediate goal should be to get the engine running to assess it's condition. Some thoughts:
-Try to turn the engine manually a bit to ensure it's not frozen up. use a breaker bar and a socket on the crankshaft to do this. You are just trying to move it a bit to make sure it's not locked.
-If ok I would get the old oil out of the engine. Any cheap oil is fine for the test, you will want to change it later soon anyway.
- I would likely pull the injectors and squirt some WD40 in the cylinders liberally and let it sit. Also... do this if it wont turn.
-If it turns, get the starter operating. Most auto parts stores can test it for you for free.
- Also, the brushes may be fine.. you may just need to clean the whole starter up inside. Brighten up the armature etc. you can google that.
- if the starter gets fixed, clean the fuel system, replace fuel filters and bleed it at the injectors while cranking.
At this point you can give it a shot. Don't crank for more than 10-15 seconds at a time or you might burn up a battery cable. Also beware; extended cranking could fill the exhaust with water which will get into the engine. Having a way to draining the muffler or exhaust would be good. Or just keep the seacock closed for now.
-If the fuel is real old also you probably should do something with that. You could use a temporary small tank, or just fill the filters when you change them with fresh fuel. That should be enough to get it running for a several minutes.
Once you know it runs, getting the fuel tank fuel cleaned is good, fresh oil in it after the initial running is good also.
I wouldnt worry about new belts, coolant etc until you know it runs. You need to assess it's condition.
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Old 30-06-2015, 14:50   #7
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Re: 1973 Perkins 4.107

Thank you all. This is what I came up with so far

Replace hoses if needed

Replace belts if needed

Change air cleaner/filter

Change coolant

Drain oil

Change oil filter

Drain fuel tank

Inspect fuel tank, if in good condition fill fuel tank with new fuel if bad, use small diesel fuel can as a short term solution while testing the condition of the engine

Change Fuel Filter

Find the Sea Water Pump and add a little glycerin or melted Marfak 2HD grease to the pump to lubricate the impeller and keep it from breaking

Take out glow plug and add transmission fluid,*the transmission fluid acts like a penetrating oil.* The reason for doing this is to avoid breaking a piston ring.* Keep doing this until the engine is turning freely & smooth.

Pull off the valve covers and pour transmission fuild over the rocker arms.

Let it sit for a day or two.

Try turning the engine by hand. If it turns your good.

If it doesn't, then let it sit for a day, try to turn if not, let it sit longer, repeat up to two week.

Once it turns by hand:

Turn the crank one way, then the other way, but not all the way around, if it turns both wasys stop and add more transmission fliud to the cylinder and turn the crank all the way around in both directions.

Remove glow plugs so engine cranks easier and add Marvel Mystery Oil into each cylinder.

Crack the fuel lines at the injectors, and crank the engine until fuel leaks out line to injector union and all the oil is out of the cylinders.

Crank the engine over MANY, MANY times to distribute/dissipate the oil, as well as prime the engine's oil pump (and injector pump). Hopefully you can get the oiling system primed to the point where some oil gets to the camshaft bearings and lobes and not fry the starter.

Tighten fuel lines, install glow plugs.

Drain the oil pan, again

Reinstall oil plug

Install another oil filter

Pure 2 quarts of good oil (SAE 10W) over rocker arms, both heads, and down each cylinder

Put more oil in until it is at the proper level

Replace valve covers with new gaskets (old ones may be asbestos)
*
May need new points,condensor, rebuild the carb and elbow.* May need a new fuel pump or glow plugs.

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Old 30-06-2015, 15:31   #8
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Re: 1973 Perkins 4.107

That is a lot of stuff to when it will probably start right up with only a few things done to it. You won't need points and a condensor or a new carb though. So thats good.
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Old 30-06-2015, 15:44   #9
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Re: 1973 Perkins 4.107

Get a good 4-107 or 4-108 mechanic for 1-2 hours. Let him/her supervise the startup, and give you an opinion on what needs doing. It will be the best $$ you've ever spent.

Bill
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Old 30-06-2015, 15:47   #10
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Re: 1973 Perkins 4.107

Beware the internet! Your engine does not have points, condenser, carb, air filter, or glow plugs. Three years is not a long time for it to have been sitting around.

Step 1--get the starter tested and rebuilt if necessary. Open up the raw water pump and remove the impeller. If it looks OK, apply soap, glycerin or whatever to the impeller and replace it.

Step 2--use a breaker bar to see if the engine turns over by hand

Step 3--if it turns by hand go to Step 5

Step 4--now remove the INJECTORS and squirt some penetrating oil in each cylinder and let sit for a day or two. If it is broken loose, go to Step 5, but do not replace the injectors yet.

Step 5--replace the starter, and make sure that you have a good starting battery

Step 6--crank the engine with the starter for 15 seconds, rest, and do it again. This will lubricate the cylinders and bearings with proper oil, and remove any excess fluid in the cylinders. Reinstall the injectors if you removed them, with new copper washers. If you did not remove them hold the stop lever/solenoid so that the engine will not start. Bleed the injectors if you removed them by cranking at full throttle until you see fuel squirting out of the pipes going into the injectors, then tightening the pipe nuts.

Step 7-- Now open the water inlet valve and crank it to start it. If it starts, check for water coming out the exhaust.

Do NOT replace the fuel filter or drain the fuel tank until you try steps 1-7. The engine will run just fine on 3 year old fuel, and if you mess with the fuel supply system, you will have no idea where the problem is. If the engine cranks but does not does not start in step 7, you can try squirting a little WD40 in the intake.

The 4107 is as good or better than any of the modern engines available today, except that it tends to leak a lot of oil. Its just fine for your Irwin 37.
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Old 30-06-2015, 16:44   #11
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Re: 1973 Perkins 4.107

Thank you all!

I am very happy to hear that I have a great engine and with some luck it should start up without too much fuss. I think hiring a expect for a couple hours would be a very smart move, can learn the right way to start it, and maybe learn a little about maintaining the engine. If I can't find one in my area then I think I will go with Donradcliffe plan and cross my fingers. I love that the boat is staying afloat, but want a little more out of the boat.
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Old 30-06-2015, 17:35   #12
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Re: 1973 Perkins 4.107

Quote:
Originally Posted by SammyMH View Post
Thank you all. This is what I came up with so far

Replace hoses if needed

Replace belts if needed

Change air cleaner/filter

Change coolant

Drain oil

Change oil filter

Drain fuel tank

Inspect fuel tank, if in good condition fill fuel tank with new fuel if bad, use small diesel fuel can as a short term solution while testing the condition of the engine

Change Fuel Filter

Find the Sea Water Pump and add a little glycerin or melted Marfak 2HD grease to the pump to lubricate the impeller and keep it from breaking

Take out glow plug and add transmission fluid,*the transmission fluid acts like a penetrating oil.* The reason for doing this is to avoid breaking a piston ring.* Keep doing this until the engine is turning freely & smooth.

Pull off the valve covers and pour transmission fuild over the rocker arms.

Let it sit for a day or two.

Try turning the engine by hand. If it turns your good.

If it doesn't, then let it sit for a day, try to turn if not, let it sit longer, repeat up to two week.

Once it turns by hand:

Turn the crank one way, then the other way, but not all the way around, if it turns both wasys stop and add more transmission fliud to the cylinder and turn the crank all the way around in both directions.

Remove glow plugs so engine cranks easier and add Marvel Mystery Oil into each cylinder.

Crack the fuel lines at the injectors, and crank the engine until fuel leaks out line to injector union and all the oil is out of the cylinders.

Crank the engine over MANY, MANY times to distribute/dissipate the oil, as well as prime the engine's oil pump (and injector pump). Hopefully you can get the oiling system primed to the point where some oil gets to the camshaft bearings and lobes and not fry the starter.

Tighten fuel lines, install glow plugs.

Drain the oil pan, again

Reinstall oil plug

Install another oil filter

Pure 2 quarts of good oil (SAE 10W) over rocker arms, both heads, and down each cylinder

Put more oil in until it is at the proper level

Replace valve covers with new gaskets (old ones may be asbestos)
*
May need new points,condensor, rebuild the carb and elbow.* May need a new fuel pump or glow plugs.
haha that's funny!

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many ways to skin a cat I suppose, Don't do a bunch of maintenance until you know it runs. You don't need to do the BOLD items until then. It can even run a couple minutes without cooling water to find out if it starts.
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Old 30-06-2015, 17:55   #13
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Re: 1973 Perkins 4.107

When I bought my current boat, the engines hadn't run in 6 years. One was an old 4108 running a generator. Changed filters, checked fluids and bled fuel systems. No issues at all. ebay is probably the best place to buy a starter. There may be someone in your area that rebuilds starters (cheaper than new and maybe as good).
Lepke
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Old 30-06-2015, 18:43   #14
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Re: 1973 Perkins 4.107

Thank you everyone, I will keep you posted. With the being a holiday weekend, may have to wait until the week after to try to start her up. I will keep you posted.

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Old 16-12-2016, 23:58   #15
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Re: 1973 Perkins 4.107

Have a friend who has a 4-107 that he is putting back together. It is fresh water cooled and has a vertical heat exchanger, guessing early 70's.


Does anyone have, or know where to get, an outline or pictures of the hose placement? The manual does not show the cooling system broke down this way.


Thank you for any help.
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