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Old 06-01-2010, 10:04   #16
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Bert,
Do you have a water heater warmed by the engine? I had a similar problem with a Yanmar 2GMF. I turned out that the water heater was full of air preventing the water pump from pumping even though everything else was full of coolant. I disconnected the water heater and flushed the from the bottom up with a garden hose. Reconnected and no more overheating.

PaulM
Hey Paul!

Indeed, I do have a water-heater plumbed to the engine cooling circuit. I can isolate the tank with ball-valves in both the inlet and outlet lines. There's also a header tank above all hoses as well as a bleed nipple above everything except the header tank itself. I was careful to ensure that these lines were bled when I bled the fresh-water side.

I checked this system when I refilled fresh water cooling system with 50/50 by leaving the pressure cap off the heat exchanger and the temp sensors out of the cylinder head by adding coolant at the highest point and ensuring it flowed freely out of first the temp sensors in the head and then the pressure cap. Once the system was completely full, I closed the ball valves in the water-tank inlet and outlet lines and removed the pressure cap on the heat exchanger. Coolant level sits at the very top of the cap! This is good! Opening the ball valves one at a time and then both resulting in the coolant overflowing the heat exchanger - as it should. This told me that the inlet and outlet lines weren't blocked.

Having said all that, everything I've mentioned is on the fresh-water side, so it's still suspect until I get this resolved...

Bert
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Old 06-01-2010, 10:19   #17
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Can you pressure test the FW side just past the heat exchanger and other points down stream to check for blockages. I've got to believe that this is something simple that is hard to find.
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Old 06-01-2010, 10:45   #18
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Had overheating problems for years in the BVI; no mechanic there could find it. Flew in best diesel mechanic I knew, along with his wife for a "vacation". Took him 45mins to diagnose 3 problems, and about an hour and a half to fix all three.

No more overheating problems.

One of these was the heat exchanger. Although it had been cleaned (yes, with Muriatic acid), that didn't do the trick. Mechanic found that the pressure needed to pass thru it was significantly higher than with a new one. Also, contaminants can build up on the tubes, greatly reducing their ability to transfer heat. Later, installed an oversized heat exchanger -- about 10 years ago -- and never any problem since.

BTW, other two problems were: an air leak and an air lock, occasioned by the hot water heater plumbing; and an improper gasket which had been installed on the circulation pump. There are two gaskets which fit on either side of a thin metal plate which goes between the block and the pump housing....these gaskets are NOT identical. Local mechanic had installed a new pump with identical gaskets, and had inadvertently plugged a passage.

Good luck,

Bill
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Old 06-01-2010, 12:16   #19
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I like the idea that the cast impeller may not be turning. The OP indicated this was a sudden event, so that makes me think something mechanical failed, not a slow clogging of a heat exchanger, elbow, etc. Sort of related: My home is heated and cooled by a heat pump and there is an external heat exchanger that circulates water and (hot) freon to make hot water. A small water pump circulates the water from and back to the water heater tank when the AC or heat pump is running. One morning, the admiral (of course) ran out of hot water taking a shower and (of course) it was immediately all my fault. Turned out the cast impeller had sheared off the pump shaft, resulting in no circulation back to the water heater. His cast freshwater impeller may be sitting loose inside the housing. BTW, we get 150 degree hot water with the breaker turned off to the water heater. Good luck and let us know how you fixed it.
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Old 06-01-2010, 13:13   #20
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I like the idea that the cast impeller may not be turning. The OP indicated this was a sudden event, so that makes me think something mechanical failed, not a slow clogging of a heat exchanger, elbow, etc. Sort of related: My home is heated and cooled by a heat pump and there is an external heat exchanger that circulates water and (hot) freon to make hot water. A small water pump circulates the water from and back to the water heater tank when the AC or heat pump is running. One morning, the admiral (of course) ran out of hot water taking a shower and (of course) it was immediately all my fault. Turned out the cast impeller had sheared off the pump shaft, resulting in no circulation back to the water heater. His cast freshwater impeller may be sitting loose inside the housing. BTW, we get 150 degree hot water with the breaker turned off to the water heater. Good luck and let us know how you fixed it.
Hey Steve!

I'm thinking this is a possibility as well. The problem was sudden and catastrophic and as you suggested, this would indicate either a component failure or a blockage. I can't find a blockage so...

Here's what I'm going to try next: I'll pull the thermostat housing, remove the alternator belt and rotate the pump pulley by hand. If the pump impeller is actually "impelling", I should see water pumping through the thermostat housing and making it's way to the heat exchanger. Well, that's my theory anyway

I'ld feel better if the impeller were keyed onto the shaft, but it's an interference fit. However, I'm sure stranger things have happened!

I'll let you know!

Bert
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Old 07-01-2010, 14:02   #21
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If yours is a material that's weldable, maybe a small TIG tack weld would be good insurance against any loose funny stuff happening under load.
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Old 07-01-2010, 14:32   #22
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I agree with cburger, exhaust constriction would be the first after all water issues are checked. If the engine blows white or black smoke on start up CHECK THE AIR INTAKE, there is no filter, just a screen and it gets plugged up with sh_t floating about. Clean it out. This is a listed issue related to overheating in the Perkins manual. Another not listed is did you do anything to your charging system IE change/tighten the belt, replace alternator/batteries? Does the belt squeal? If so remove and check fresh water pump for bearing movement (up and down). My monies on the clogged air inlet though.
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Old 07-01-2010, 14:53   #23
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Helloo!

I had a similar problem on a 1984 4-108. Ruined a family outing. I spoke with a perkins specialist and he suggested pulling the fresh water pump. Sure enough, the impeller had disconnected (sheared) and was no longer rotating and pumping water. I bought a new one, installed and was running cool after about two hours total work time for remove and replace. The pump cost something like $350.00 in 2004.
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Old 23-01-2010, 09:29   #24
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I am having a very bad day, went out last night for a short sail and over night fishing trip with a friend. Everything went fine until after I went to bed and my friend ask my wife if we could return because he foregot his meds. well she started the motor and it ran about 15 min then over heated, So I get out of bed and see that the fresh water tank was dry. I added water and started the motor at this time it was very hard to start (first time ever) after it did start there was alot of smoke coming out the back I ran the motor about 30 min and it over heated yet again and out of water again, I have not check the oil yet to see if there is water in it.

My first thought is head gasket and I really hope that is all, this motor has never smoked at all but has for the last 3 years run hot if you took it over 1,600 rpm so this is why I think it is a head gasket.

The bad part about this is I have a bad back and dread taking it apart but something that must be done.

At first I thought it was steam coming out the back but after I got to the dock I got a better look and it is white smoke and a small slick in the water behind the boat.

I recall seeing a gasket kit or rebuild kit for around $700 but not sure. I do not mind putting $3,000 into the motor due to the low cost I have in the boat but on the other hand I have so little in the boat would I be better off selling the boat and get another?


Dutch
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Old 23-01-2010, 09:46   #25
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Dutch,

You didn't say if this was a Perkins 4-108 but I assume it is since this is a Perkins thread.

First, the white smoke indicates water content, the black is usually unburned fuel.

You may be right re: the head gasket, but you may well have other problems. Not being able to run the engine over 1600 RPM would indicate some serious problems which should be thoroughly investigated. Cruising RPM for this engine is about 2200-2500 RPM.

You said you have a bad back, but you're willing to invest a bit. The 4-108 is a great, reliable engine and is very well known. I'd find an experienced Perkins diesel mechanic and have him go over the engine with you, identifying problems and potential problem points, then giving you an estimate of what it would cost to put the engine right. This is a case where some professional hands-on could save you tons of grief over time and, potentially, $$$$ if you don't get it right.

And, hey, the main thing is you don't want to risk further back problems...that could put your sailing days to an end.

Bill
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Old 23-01-2010, 10:52   #26
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Air will get in the engine if you have the thermostat housing off and it will overheat immediately. You need to fill the engine below the thermostat prior to bolting the thermostat housing in place. However, you had the problem prior to removing the stat...hmmm... had a boat that ran "hot" all the way from Trinidad to the DR once... much expense and mechanic work later a new one suggested the sender was bad... and it was! Did you actually remove the heat exchanger tubes to check them? I have heard of the seals leaking causing salt and fresh wter to mix on those... the water level always looks good under the filler cap!
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Old 23-01-2010, 16:01   #27
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yes it is a 4-108 and I do beleive that you misunderstood or I did not explain the RPM thing right.

When I first got the boat the temp would show 125 degree at 1400 rpm when you went above that the temp went up to 175 never ran it over that temp, over the 3 years I had the boat I have taken the boat out alot 2-3 times a week, the temp always bothered me so I took the heat exchanger off and had it cleaned after I was able to run above 2200 rpm before the temp would get up to 175 degree. It has always been something I would watch very close because something I never did trust and every time I ran the motor up to 175 degree the next time I used the boat I would have to add water, All clues to a failing head gaskit.

I will start in on the motor tomorrow and post an update on what I find. I did some looking online and so far found a rebuilt 4-108 for 3,500 to $4.500 but feel it is too soon to give up on this motor yet. I love Perkens and know they are very strong and last years.


Dutch.
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Old 23-01-2010, 18:01   #28
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Dutch,

The proper operating temperature for a 4-108 with a heat exchanger (like yours) is 190F. Yes, 190F. That is NOT overheating.

However, the loss of water is certainly a concern.

Don't even think of replacing the engine until you get an expert opinion...an experienced Perkins diesel mechanic ON THE BOAT to diagnose the problem(s).

One simple thing to check/do: replace the radiator cap. These can and do go bad. If the seal is bad with the header tank, you can lose some water and the pressure is insufficient to maintain the proper operation.

Good luck,

Bill
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Old 23-01-2010, 19:32   #29
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Do you have the normal amount of water exiting the exhaust pipe? I once had the line between the strainer and the thru hull plugged up with weed. I changed the impeller, cleaned the strainer, and was baffled at why the flow out the exhaust was still way less than normal. To fix take the hose off the input side of the raw water pump and with hose clamps and hose fittings fix an ordinary garden hose. Once everything is tight turn on the hose full and run for a few minutes. It will dislodge anything in the pipe. Take off the hose and re-atrtach to the raw water pump. I have also heard, but not tried, that this can be fixed if you have a foot pump like you use to inflate a dinghy. It can be attached the same way as the garden hose and stomped on to dislodge clogs when you are not near a shore facility with runnning water.
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Old 23-01-2010, 19:33   #30
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I have dealt with a couple problems similar to this and there is a fairly easy step you can do to test the flow on the coolant side of the system.

I use a five-gallon bucket with a pipefitting plumbed into the bottom. Run the coolant return line off the heat exchanger into the bucket (open discharge) and then run the bottom of the bucket back into the circuit (it should report to the pump, but I not exactly sure how you are set up. Just keep the bucket higher than the pump and it works fine.

Remove the thermostat, put a gallon or two of coolant mix in the bucket and fire it up. You can easily figure out the pumping rate by catching the output in a qt or gallon bucket and timing it.

I suspect you will have a pump output of nearly nada, but check it out.

Um Saudade
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