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Old 31-05-2016, 11:59   #1
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Perkins 4.236 starter replacement question

My Perkins 4.236 starts up in the first rotation or few (1/2 sec or less) but the other day the solenoid just clicked.

Thinking like most would I thought that the start battery was weak/not-charged and the like.

Checking the voltage on the start battery during a key turn shows the battery voltage drops to 6 volts. This kinda bummed me out as that the battery is a 1 year old AGM that has been on a dedicated truecharge2 10 amp charger and should have been fully charged.

Time to put into action plan B which calls for hooking the starter up to the house bank. The house bank is a 700 AH LiFePO4 bank....

Turning the key and the engine turns over and starts. However, the lights and instruments running off the house bank took a significant voltage drop. The lights went out (LED lights!) and the chart plotter rebooted (kinda to be expected).

Looking at the starter I could see some puffs of smoke coming from inside the started and going out where the wire goes from the solenoid to the inside of the starter. Looked like something burnt inside the starter.

With that in mind I hooked the starter battery up to the inverter and powered a space heater off it. The start battery powered the heater without problems. 150 amps for 5 minutes (no need to test longer it was fine).

I have to conclude that the started is bad - hopefully it was not burnt and that was just the brushes "burning".

This leaves me with 2 options.

The starter is a delco remy 1107539 (MT20 I think) that I could have the local shop rebuild. PMX is a great shop and would do a good job.

Option 2 is to source a replacement starter. There are a bunch that appear to be able to work. All appear to have a reduction gear. ASE Supply Outlet is in town and looks to have one (based on the MT28 I think) that should fit.

So it the questions are what replacement starters have you used on your 4.236? Did you have a MT20 rebuild and how did that work out?

Thanks!
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Old 31-05-2016, 12:16   #2
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Re: Perkins 4.236 starter replacement question

Surprised you have a Delco on a Perkins, but there's a lot I'm surprised about! If you know a good shop who will rebuild your starter, that's probably better than a factory rebuild one built by a former burger flipper!
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Old 11-06-2016, 09:40   #3
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Re: Perkins 4.236 starter replacement question

Just to follow up.

Took the starter to PMX in Portland Oregon. $240 later I had a rebuilt starter. The engine again starts on the first turn.

The starter has a shorted field coil. Which was replaced along with the brushes and solenoid.

I'm not sure what current the AGM could supply, not enough. But, the LiFePO4 could and thus got at least one more start. Gotta like them.
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Old 11-06-2016, 16:39   #4
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Re: Perkins 4.236 starter replacement question

Several new ones on Ebay for $95-140.
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Old 12-06-2016, 20:30   #5
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Re: Perkins 4.236 starter replacement question

I did look at the starters on EBay and locally. They are all for the most part reduction geared starters - which is fine. This allows for a smaller motor turning faster with the gear reduction converting RPM into torque.

I opted to have the original starter rebuilt. The original starters did not have gear reduction and thus were quite robust in order to get the torque needed to turn the engine over. They tend to have higher rpm compared to starters with reduction gears.

One of the points I considered in choosing to have the original rebuilt was that I could be assured of the skill of the rebuilder. And that the builder stood behind their work 100%.

Here is a quote from PMX's website - I chould add that they have done work for me off and on for over 30 years. And never a problem.

"PMX was founded by Hal Jungck in 1977. In 1979 Hal's son Bill joined the business. When Hal retired in 1994 Bill took over the business and has been operating it ever since."

I expect this starter to give another 30 years service.

You pays your money and takes your chances.
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Old 13-06-2016, 09:52   #6
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Re: Perkins 4.236 starter replacement question

Quote:
Originally Posted by evm1024 View Post
I did look at the starters on EBay and locally. They are all for the most part reduction geared starters - which is fine. This allows for a smaller motor turning faster with the gear reduction converting RPM into torque.

I opted to have the original starter rebuilt. The original starters did not have gear reduction and thus were quite robust in order to get the torque needed to turn the engine over. They tend to have higher rpm compared to starters with reduction gears.

One of the points I considered in choosing to have the original rebuilt was that I could be assured of the skill of the rebuilder. And that the builder stood behind their work 100%.

Here is a quote from PMX's website - I chould add that they have done work for me off and on for over 30 years. And never a problem.

"PMX was founded by Hal Jungck in 1977. In 1979 Hal's son Bill joined the business. When Hal retired in 1994 Bill took over the business and has been operating it ever since."

I expect this starter to give another 30 years service.

You pays your money and takes your chances.
Good choice. When you think about how little a starter motor actually gets used it ought to last the engine life damn near.... and most do on gas cars.
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Old 13-06-2016, 13:26   #7
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Re: Perkins 4.236 starter replacement question

I have been around engines most of my life. By far marine diesels but also racing engines from Indie to dirt, aircraft piston and various auto.
Gear drive starters are made to turn engines at a faster speed and to overcome higher compression. The electric motor is usually higher hp and better built than a standard starter. I have never had one fail. I am 67.
I agree that a rebuilt starter is better than some new ones. But when I can buy 2 new starters for 1 rebuild I go with the new. They were probably made in the same factory that made the original. The factory is keeping busy.
Few engine manufacturers, if any today, make their own starter or other accessory. Pennies per unit count. It doesn't pay. Specialized companies make these, largely by being the lowest cost to the engine maker. If you view an engine brand over years you will find several slightly different starters used as bids/maker changed.
I realize that many yacht owners have a code that requires them to pay the highest price possible. If that is you, please forgive and disregard this post. I would have appreciated you as a customer years ago.
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Old 13-06-2016, 14:38   #8
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Re: Perkins 4.236 starter replacement question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lepke View Post
I have been around engines most of my life. By far marine diesels but also racing engines from Indie to dirt, aircraft piston and various auto.
Gear drive starters are made to turn engines at a faster speed and to overcome higher compression. The electric motor is usually higher hp and better built than a standard starter. I have never had one fail. I am 67.
I agree that a rebuilt starter is better than some new ones. But when I can buy 2 new starters for 1 rebuild I go with the new. They were probably made in the same factory that made the original. The factory is keeping busy.
Few engine manufacturers, if any today, make their own starter or other accessory. Pennies per unit count. It doesn't pay. Specialized companies make these, largely by being the lowest cost to the engine maker. If you view an engine brand over years you will find several slightly different starters used as bids/maker changed.
I realize that many yacht owners have a code that requires them to pay the highest price possible. If that is you, please forgive and disregard this post. I would have appreciated you as a customer years ago.
I fine it hard to respect your opinion when you do not respect mine.

I realize that snide comments are often given by those who feel that their advise should be taken - and is not. If that is not you, please forgive and disregard this post. Likewise, If I have take offense unjustly please accept my apology.

But on to the discussion sans condescension:

We know that Horsepower is torque times rpm (with a few conversions factors thrown in).

We know that gear reduction reduces the rpm and thus for any given hp the torque must go up.

We know that gear reduction starters use a reduction of 3.8 or so.

We know that starter motors turn their output gear in the 1000 to 2000 rpm range under load.

So for a 1000 rpm output shaft rotation the motor in a gear reduction starter is turning at 3850 (whatever the reduction ratio is).

Looking at the specs for various starters I see that straight through starters in the size I have give around 20 ft/lbs torque and that the current generation reduction starters for the same application have around 18 ft/lbs torque....

Of course reduction starters generate their starting torque with less current so are more efficient. But do not spin the engine faster under "normal" conditions. They are speced to spin the engine at the same rate. Taking less current they can still spin the engine with a weak battery - which can be an advantage in cold weather and with other adverse conditions.

Lastly, we are talking about the rebuilding of a Perkins 1984 Delco-Remy starter. Looking at a few websites that offer genuine Perkins parts I see starters ranging from $1400 (crazy!) to a more reasonable $380.

Of course aftermarket starters are or can be quite good....

As for the 2 for one cost difference - I had not planned on carrying a spare starter. I do plan on being in out of the way places. I likely will take a rebuild kit with me.
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Old 13-06-2016, 15:19   #9
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Re: Perkins 4.236 starter replacement question

Sounds like your rebuilder is OK. I had a good one too. I wanted a spare and ask him what he had. He recommended a Cevy 327 starter with the gear changed. Seems the Cevy is 10 tooth and the Perkins is 11. That was about 22 years ago. Still doing a good job.
Bob
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