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Old 23-04-2013, 09:43   #16
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Re: Perkins 4.108 Overheating While Under Load

Yeah, the overflow reservoir
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Old 23-04-2013, 18:52   #17
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They say a picture says a thousand words. Well, a video says a million:



This is what happens when the engine reaches operating temperature of 180 degrees.
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Old 23-04-2013, 19:18   #18
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Re: Perkins 4.108 Overheating While Under Load

No Bueno.

The brown coolant is troubling, as is the steam at operating temperature.

If you have access to a cooling system pressure tester, take off the heat exchanger cap and pressurize the system to the rating on the cap (it should be stamped onto the cap) with the engine off. It should hold that pressure for at least a few hours if the engine is cold. If the pressure bleeds down right away, find out where it's going. (out the exhaust? into the cylinders? into the bilge?)

One more check is to run it with the cap off. Top the coolant up, then start it up. There should NOT be bubbles coming up. If you have the cooling system pressure tester, install it without pressurizing and start the engine from cold. It should NOT build up any pressure within a few seconds. If so, it is likely a head gasket or cracked cylinder head.
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Old 24-04-2013, 10:08   #19
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Re: Perkins 4.108 Overheating While Under Load

Looks like exhaust gas....? does it do it cold also?
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Old 24-04-2013, 10:35   #20
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Re: Perkins 4.108 Overheating While Under Load

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Looks like exhaust gas....? does it do it cold also?
Yes, it happens at all temperatures. Changes in RPM do not make a noticeable difference in the output either.

What would be the most common form of intrusion of exhaust gas into the coolant on an engine that hasn't really been put into service...? My first thoughts are either the manifold or head gasket...
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Old 24-04-2013, 10:44   #21
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Re: Perkins 4.108 Overheating While Under Load

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Yes, it happens at all temperatures. Changes in RPM do not make a noticeable difference in the output either.

What would be the most common form of intrusion of exhaust gas into the coolant on an engine that hasn't really been put into service...? My first thoughts are either the manifold or head gasket...

Head gasket ! if you bleed all the air pockets from the coolant side and with the cap off you still see bubles coming is most probably a head gasket blowing gasses to the coolant , the brown color dont bother me as is very usual when the iron block rust inside , you need to flush the system more than twice to get ride off of most rust inside and take off both draining screws in the block to drain the bottom of block, if the engine never be in service for a long time and is new or rebuild it you know that the head need to be retorqued after some hours of service , check if this is be done before... Cheers.
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Old 28-04-2013, 00:55   #22
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Re: Perkins 4.108 Overheating While Under Load

Just as a matter of interest have you checked the sea water inlet pipes and filter for restricted flow ? Remove the inlet water end plate(3 bolts) on the gearbox oil cooler as the tube stack may be blocked/restricted.
On engines that have been laid up/out of use for long periods the vanes on the Jabsco seawater impeller become brittle and break, it may be worth removing the cover and checking.
If fitting a replacement you don't need any special tools, just a pair of angled long nose pliers, use copperslip(anti seize compound) on the splined shaft and coat the impeller liberally in washing up liquid and it will slide into place easily, don't worry about the direction of the vanes, the moment you start the engine they will align themselves.
A couple of tips on seawater pumps, if replacing an impellor that has broken vanes, use a household vacuum cleaner and place the nozzle up the outlet pipe of the pump, any pieces of broken vanes that have gone up the pipe and caught at the heat exchanger tube stack will be sucked back out, if left in they will restrict the water flow and cause overheating under load. I would recommend fitting a replacement impellor cover with one made by a company called Speedseal, it's a very very easy conversion but makes any future work on the seawater pump childs play.
I hope this is helpful and doesn't cloud the issue or go 'off thread'.
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Old 28-04-2013, 21:44   #23
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Problem solved!

Thanks everyone for your helpful insight. The problem has been solved! The air bubbles entering the coolant reservoir stopped when I tightened the nuts on the manifold's cover plate. The nuts were not very loose, but they were loose enough to let air or exhaust gas or both into the cooling circuit. 99% of the bubbling stopped after I tightened the bolt.

My next project involves replacing the gasket on the cover plate and resealing it. I do have a question about gasket materials for this cover plate. What would the most appropriate gasket material be? Is there a liquid gasket that would work well with marine manifolds?

Thanks in advance for your suggestions...
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Old 29-04-2013, 10:25   #24
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Re: Perkins 4.108 Overheating While Under Load

I don't know if it's available in the US but I use blue Hylomar, developed by Rolls-Royce for use on their engines but there are many proprietary makes available. If you visit a local motor factor or truck supplies they will help you. Make sure you describe the application to them clearly so that they can recommend the correct product.
As a word of caution learn to protect your investment and monitor your engine's vital signs regularly until it become second nature and at the first sign of irregularity locate the problem and fix it immediately. After all if you felt sick you wouldn't want to work so hard would you ?
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Old 15-05-2013, 18:31   #25
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Re: Perkins 4.108 Overheating While Under Load

Glad you found the problem. 4-108 is a great engine.
kind regards,
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Old 30-06-2013, 21:09   #26
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Re: Perkins 4.108 Overheating While Under Load

Just thought I'd provide an update. After tightening the bolts on the manifold, many of the air bubbles stopped. I took the boat out on the river and ran the engine under load; and sure enough, the temperature spiked up within 10 minutes. I limped (at low RPM's) back to the dock and opened the engine compartment, only to see the bubbles return. The manifold bolts were tight, so I guessed they were from another source.

I gave up and called a marine mechanic who had considerable experience working on the 4.108, and he was able to diagnose the problem within minutes. He removed the expansion tank and had me crank the engine for a few seconds. He placed his hand on the opening where the thermostat was mounted. Sure enough, air was spitting out as I cranked the engine. My head gasket had failed!

The head was fairly easy to remove. It took less than 2 hours. I had the head resurfaced, replaced the head gasket, and bingo! The bubbles stopped. Replacing the head gasket and reinstalling the head took considerably longer (almost 6 hours); and at least two hours of that time was used to clean the surface on the block and prepare it for a new gasket.

It seems the head was never properly torqued. The manual specifies 90 ft/lbs for head bolts; and I'm guessing the bolts had no more than 20 ft/lbs. The machine shop removed a considerable amount from the head during the resurfacing process. They removed 8/1000, which is far more than I expected.

The bubbles are completely gone now!
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Old 30-06-2013, 21:17   #27
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Re: Perkins 4.108 Overheating While Under Load

Glad you finally figured it out.
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Old 30-06-2013, 21:52   #28
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Re: Perkins 4.108 Overheating While Under Load

dont forget to re-torque the head bolts after about 50 hours of service. its is very important!
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Old 30-06-2013, 22:56   #29
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Re: Perkins 4.108 Overheating While Under Load

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dont forget to re-torque the head bolts after about 50 hours of service. its is very important!
Thanks. My mechanic stressed it as well. I'm watching the hour meter diligently; and when it hits 50, out comes my torque wrench!
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Old 01-07-2013, 14:30   #30
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Re: Perkins 4.108 Overheating While Under Load

As a word of caution make sure you torque the head bolts in the correct sequence, and check the tappets settings.
I guess you've learn't a valuable lesson, that it's to treat your engine like your best buddy. It may seem extreme to some of you guys but in a force 6 going on 7 you need a dependable buddy to get you home safe.
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