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Old 15-05-2014, 06:32   #1
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Thumbs up Perkins 4-108 was stuck and has some water in it, free now but NEED HELP

Hello,

My 4-108 will turn with a 1 1/2 wrench on the pulley nut now but will stop after a couple of CW revolutions??? I suspect the the Camshaft thrust plate is doing this and is supposed to do this. It turns fine CCW endlessly. (check out the Perkins parts manual pg 7, item 5)

I have two questions.

1. Is it normal for the engine to hit a stopping point when manually turning CW? (I have not tried to crank it with the starter other than just bumping it)

2. Where would the water have come from (exhaust, gasket leak,)

Here is all the background on the engine to help you help me:

I purchased a 37' 1977 Gulfstar with the Perkins 4-108 in an unknown condition. The seller had "someone" look at it for him and the seller said " We got it started but there was some stuff coming out of the carburetor (his words not mine) so we shut it down". (Of course we all know there is NO carburetor!)

The engine would not turn over, even with a wrench on the large pulley nut. I used liberal application of PB Blaser into the injectors, the air intake manifold, and shot some down the dipstick until it came to the dipstick tube. It appeared that oil had been pulled out and the oil filter had been removed.

There was evidence of water in the oil pan and under the push rod cover. The little bit of oil I could see on the dipstick was dark and not milky. The water was clear and the boat is in a freshwater lake

With PB Baster in every place I could think to add it I tried to gently get it to move going back and forth on the nut and tapping socket on the nut. No luck until I used the starter to bump it and it began to move a little. More PB blaster and some WD 40 shot into the air intake manifold and now it is much free-er. The pulley nut actually broke free when I was turning CCW and I was VERY carefull not to strip it or break it off turning CW!!!

When I got it to move back and forth a half turn on the nut I used a vacuum to pull all the oil, PB Blaster, and any water out. Then I put and extension tube on the dipstick and filled the entire engine with a lower weight oil (5-20) to ensure everything is lubed very well. The oil it ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP OF the oil fill opening. I figured this would saturate the WHOLE engine, it has been like that for 3 days now.

THEN I began to turn the engine backwards and forwards and now it seems a little tight but free and turning. Once again it will turn CCW endlessly but hits a spot with turning CW where it stops. I have not tried to force it past this stop. The timing gear camshaft has a Camshaft Thrust plate that has two "arms" that appear are designed to spring out and catch something or align something. It looks like it may be the culprit and if so it is perfectly OK for the engine to stop turning there.

The reference I used is the Perkins Part manual PG 7 item 5. Here is the link: http://www.alberg37.org/Project%20DB...4-108parts.pdf

Once I am comfortable that it is turning OK with the starter I intend to change all the filters and have a diesel mechanic check her out and fire her up.

Thanks , in advance for any help or advice!
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Old 15-05-2014, 06:57   #2
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Re: Perkins 4-108 was stuck and has some water in it, free now but NEED HELP

I had one that did the same. It turned out to be a wiper ring on the piston. I have been through a couple of these and the only people that have made any sense were the folks at TA Diesel in Hayes VA. My block filled with water through the raw water exhaust. Salt water. I believe a bad siphon valve. Sounds like a rebuild is in your future.
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Old 15-05-2014, 07:07   #3
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Re: Perkins 4-108 was stuck and has some water in it, free now but NEED HELP

Thanks Redcoat!

I bought the boat knowing that a rebuild was a distinct possibility. I have even removed the cabinetry in front of the motor in preparation for that.

I spoke with the folks at TA Diesel about it and that is were I will take it if I need to pull it out!

The good thing is that when I vacuumed out the oil pan and looked under the valve cover I saw no rust. The engine is very low hours (642) and always used in Lake Norman so any water would be fresh water and I suspect it was not in there long before the guy decided to sell.

I am crossing my fingers, hoping for the best and at the same time I am realistic and prepared for the worst!

Does anyone else have some advice for m?
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Old 15-05-2014, 07:34   #4
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Re: Perkins 4-108 was stuck and has some water in it, free now but NEED HELP

Redcoat, I forgot to ask you. Was your engine frozen and then freed and did he wiper on the pistion cause it to stick turning it on direction and about the 2nd rotation?
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Old 15-05-2014, 11:15   #5
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Re: Perkins 4-108 was stuck and has some water in it, free now but NEED HELP

I don't think there is anything in the gear drive system on the front of the engine that would do what you describe. The only thought I have is a valve sticking open. It could have rusted and is stuck in the guide. It kind of goes along with the 2 turns thing as that is how often a valve actuates. I doubt the piston could hit and bend it but be careful.
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Old 15-05-2014, 12:00   #6
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Re: Perkins 4-108 was stuck and has some water in it, free now but NEED HELP

I would have it overhauled before you really make it unfixable... just sayin...
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Old 15-05-2014, 12:46   #7
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Re: Perkins 4-108 was stuck and has some water in it, free now but NEED HELP

Hi, "push rod cover" might mean the tappet inspection plate on the side of the block - or the rocker cover on top of the head. Rocker cover is better.

In either case you can tell if you have a stuck valve by checking for free play on all 8 (pushrods or rockers) while turning the crank a little at a time.
A stuck valve will show as a large clearance at a rocker at some point over 2 crank rotations.

Better to rotate the engine only forwards not backwards as a rule. Injection pump might not like reverse, never tried it though.
Can't remember whether thrust plates could cause lock up, sorry.

For anyone who needs a 4.108 manual: http://www.marinesurveyorontario.com/Perkins4108.pdf
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Old 15-05-2014, 17:44   #8
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Re: Perkins 4-108 was stuck and has some water in it, free now but NEED HELP

Thanks to everyone for your input. I am being very careful NOT to do damage as I free it up!

After soaking in oil for a few days I went out today and gently bumped the socket on the pulley nut and the engine turned past the stuck spot!!! I sprayed plenty of WD-40 into the air intake manifold and slowly turned the engine over several times the correct direction (as verified by moving the pulley slightly with the starter). Now the engine is turning over with the starter!!!

There was more water in the oil pan today and the intake and exhaust hoses are disconnected. I think the moron the said some stuff was coming out of the carb actually poured WATER into the oil fill!! That would explain why clear water was on top of the valve rockers AND why they had drained the oil from the oil pan and removed the oil filter! I don't know where the water was "hiding" but when poured more oil into the oil fill it pushed all the water out and eventually a milky oil was coming out (indicating the water was all gone).

I am going to pull all that old milky oil out and try filling it again and see if it stays clear and water free. At least it is spinning now!!!
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Old 15-05-2014, 20:12   #9
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Re: Perkins 4-108 was stuck and has some water in it, free now but NEED HELP

I can understand wanting to avoid the expense of a rebuild but do you know you can buy a pretty comprehensive kit for £350 - ish? Link is in a recent thread.

Thing is, without a rebuild now your engine might seize after an hour's running.
Worse, it might last for a couple of years of you babying it at 2000 rpm - and then seize solid the first time you're forced to run it hard in an emergency.
With a complete rebuild and a year or so of no problems I'd start to think about trusting it.

Having said that...

Think about numbering the injectors and sending them for testing and servicing now while you flush the rest of the fuel system and everything else, change filters, splash & blow oil everywhere etc.
Good injectors and fresh fuel from a can will at least give it a fighting chance of starting. Knowing the present condition of each injector might prove useful later.
Good luck!
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Old 16-05-2014, 05:34   #10
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Re: Perkins 4-108 was stuck and has some water in it, free now but NEED HELP

So agree with the injectors maintenance. Once it is running and you are not getting water in the oil(lots of oil changes) run it hard for at least 30 min and then change the oil again. I would probably send in some oil and get it analyzed.
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Old 16-05-2014, 05:56   #11
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Re: Perkins 4-108 was stuck and has some water in it, free now but NEED HELP

If your filling it completely full of oil to the top of the valve cover, oil can leak past the pistons and give you a hydraulic lock, so with it that full of oil I wouldn't spin it with the starter, your not strong enough to bend a connecting rod by hand, but give a starter a running start at it, it might.
Once you get it running, it may smoke like a freight train at first, but if your lucky, the rings may re-seat and you may be OK, just don't let a lot of initial smoke discourage you too much
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Old 16-05-2014, 06:12   #12
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Re: Perkins 4-108 was stuck and has some water in it, free now but NEED HELP

Thanks all!

My plan is to pull out the milky oil, put in fresh oil (again) to the correct level and see if any more water gets in (don't know where would come from).

If the oil remains looking fresh and no water is in it THEN it is time to call in a good diesel mechanic to look her over and assess the need for maintenance, overhaul, or rebuild. I didn't really plan on getting as far as I have, I figured for sure I would have to pull the engine, and still will if I need to in order to have a reliable power plant.

I will keep my fingers crossed and keep you posted!

A64pilot, thanks for reminding me about the vapor lock thing!
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Old 16-05-2014, 10:48   #13
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Re: Perkins 4-108 was stuck and has some water in it, free now but NEED HELP

It sounds tome like you might save the engine. Even though free, you might damage it if you try to start it now (break a ring, score the cylinder, break a valve etc)Here's what I would do to preserve the engine integrity. It sounds like the engine may be reclaimable.
*Pull the head, have it inspected and valves ground if necessary while it's off. This is not hard, you can likely have it off in an hour.
*Wipe the cylinder walls clean with light oil by slowly turning the engine over so they can be cleaned completely. see if they are rusty at all or just light surface stuff.
*Clean all the rocker components etc.
*Completely drain the pan, using the drain plug for the last little bit if necessary.
*If everything looks good replace the head and put all back together properly.
*Replace the oil, and filter, cheap is OK. Try to run the engine, if you can.. run it an hour or more making sure it gets up to temperature for a while.
*Replace the oil again.
*Test run under load etc.
* If oil looks clean it's ok, if it looks dirty or slightly milky, change oil again.
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Old 17-05-2014, 05:51   #14
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Re: Perkins 4-108 was stuck and has some water in it, free now but NEED HELP

Wanted to post a second for Cheechako's above post. Take the time to pull the head, inspect the valves and cylinder sleeves, and replace the head gasket before an attempted start.

Where the water can come from...
Exhaust system back-flow (raw water into open exhaust valve)
Bad head gasket (coolant loop into cylinder)
Cracked head (coolant loop into cylinder)
Failed heat exchanger tube in oil cooler. (raw water into crankcase)
Failed raw water pump shaft seal (raw water into crankcase)

Don't forget to replace the raw water pump impeller before trying to start engine. Sure to be toast by now. Better than chasing bits of impeller through the raw water passages. Excessive wear on the raw water shaft where it passes through the seal will also cause raw water enter the crancase.
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Old 17-05-2014, 06:37   #15
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Re: Perkins 4-108 was stuck and has some water in it, free now but NEED HELP

Another thing, when you start it, have the silencer off and have a hard back book or piece of wood handy to starve the engine of air. Just in case the governor in the fuel control is knackered.
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