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Old 08-11-2012, 16:47   #16
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Re: Mechanical starters: Anyone used them?

I'll need to talk to the manufacturer, I think, as I do not have decompression levers.

That's basically why I was looking for alternatives.

Thanks to all for your input.
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Old 11-11-2012, 18:23   #17
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Re: Mechanical starters: Anyone used them?

I keep a spare starter onboard my boat as a spare.
The USN used some hydraulic starting systems on some of their vessels and ground power equipment. The pressure in the hydrostatic starting system bleeds down after some time. If you have ever had the misfortune of having to hand pump the starting reservoir up to pressure (3000 PSI) It can take hours and you need to have a few friends to help or blisters will prevail. Don't stop at (1800 PSI) and try to start the engine or you will have to start the pumping process all over again. Sounds good in theory but I wouldn't have one on a bet.
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Old 18-11-2012, 00:30   #18
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Re: Mechanical starters: Anyone used them?

Spring starters are good but they are hard work and expensive, best going for the spare $150 starter and well maintained dedicated battery for sure.
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Old 18-11-2012, 05:40   #19
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Re: Mechanical starters: Anyone used them?

One can buy a Bukh with such a thing. I think it is a good idea but actual use (? may depend ?) on how your motor is designed (decompression, glowplugs, etc..).

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Old 18-11-2012, 09:36   #20
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Re: Mechanical starters: Anyone used them?

Thanks for the opinions. I think I will keep my eyes open for a used one, but will go for a spare electrical starter as the "designated spare" as I would require some pretty impressive systemic failures to lose so many Ah aboard that I couldn't otherwise turn the starter.

I still like them conceptually, however!
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Old 01-03-2017, 13:25   #21
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Re: Mechanical starters: Anyone used them?

We had a starting handle on our last boat, with a 4 cylinder Yanmar, but even having extended the handle so we could swing it cleanly, and being fit and strong ( a climber, mid 30's) We still could not start it, by the time someone flipped the 3rd decompression lever it was just too tiring.

The only chance was if the engine was warm- but thats not going to help is it! We tried wd40 Nigel Calders suggestion but to no avail, I guess Cold start would do but I would never choose to use it unless it was an emergency.

The handle was bid for just turning over the engine while you serviced it doing the valves and bits. Expensive breaker bar though.

Our new boat with no decom levers, we carry a spare starter and we have, a house, engine and genny bank.
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Old 01-03-2017, 16:58   #22
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Re: Mechanical starters: Anyone used them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
I'd rather have a hydraulic starter than a spring starter. It's a hell of a lot easier to pump pressure into a reservoir than it is to crank a spring!!
We used to have hydraulic starters on some of the ship's lifeboats. When we were in the tropics I would test run the engines weekly for an hour each.
When we were in the Bearing Sea in winter I would run them for 5 minutes, if that long to prove they would start. With the engines so cold it took multiple times to pump up the accumulators to 2500-3,000 PSI. We got so hot pumping that we would start sweating in below 0 degrees weather.
I like the crank and chain system with the decompression lever better. Much easier to start. Some of the lifeboats had them. The ships emergency diesel generator was hydraulic start and had a pump that would pump up the accumulator bottles after the engine started. That was pure luxury.
All of the main propulsion engines were air start if diesel. Of coarse some of the ships were steam turbine. All you had to do to start them was light a fire in the boilers and wait an hour or so to build up steam pressure.
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Old 01-03-2017, 17:08   #23
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Re: Mechanical starters: Anyone used them?

P.S. I just remembered "Flight of The Phoenix" Jimmy Stewart used what looked like a shotgun shell (blanks) to spin the old radial engine, and Mel Gibson used the same setup
in the "Road Warrior" to start the Mack truck out on the highway. must be a modified form of air start using the expanding gas from the exploding cartridge. That's cool.
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Old 28-03-2017, 13:06   #24
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Re: Mechanical starters: Anyone used them?

I found a spring starter made by Kineteco in Kent, UK. Designed to fit my Perkins 4.236 engine it is priced at ~$1500. Anyone ever use this brand?

Also, if you don't have decompression levers, you can spin the engine up with a heavy drill if you block the air intake. When spinning uncover the air intake. Or so I am told. Spring starter sounds much easier.
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Old 28-03-2017, 15:19   #25
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Re: Mechanical starters: Anyone used them?

Hydraulic starters work great, but are expensive if bought new. A basic system is a hand pump, accumulator, and valve to the starter. A better system has an engine driven pump that recharges the accumulator. I have seen used basic setups for under $1000.
Financially it's easier to have electric spares than a hydraulic system.
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Old 28-03-2017, 20:25   #26
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Re: Mechanical starters: Anyone used them?

We have a small Paguro 5kw generator which is powered by a single cylinder Farryman.it has a decompression lever and is relatively easy to hand start.
Then I can charge the batteries or change the starter. Being a cat with independent start batteries for each engine Its unlikely to come to that but you never know.
I carry a automotive type battery charger as a backup in case the main chargers go down.
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Old 29-03-2017, 11:40   #27
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Re: Mechanical starters: Anyone used them?

Gm (Detroit) used to supply emergency ship generators in excess of 100 hp with an emergency manual centrifugal starter.
The starter provided no sweat easy start of the generator.
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Old 05-04-2017, 09:34   #28
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Re: Mechanical starters: Anyone used them?

We had the same motor on our cat and we used it twice, mostly because the belt on the starter/alt slipped.
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Old 08-04-2017, 17:15   #29
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Re: Mechanical starters: Anyone used them?

In the last year or so, I have seen lifeboat Perkins 4-107s with hydraulic start for sale on the west coast. A Seattle ship yard had several for sale for around $1500. Those engines probably are very low hours and properly maintained, but from reading this thread I was surprised by the mention of how much pumping it took to reach proper pressure. I always had thought they might be a good idea, but I dont need blisters to get an engine running. _____Grant.
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Old 08-04-2017, 18:43   #30
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Re: Mechanical starters: Anyone used them?

I had problems with charging batteries at one point so I bought an emergency battery starter at West Marine for about $120. I know that isn't as pure as a spring starter, but it's relatively cheap and it works. I have an Alberg 35 with a Yanmar 3gm30F
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