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Old 20-04-2019, 11:53   #1
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Perkins Diesel 4-154 turbo kit?

The engine in our new-to-us Irwin 46 is a Perkins Diesel 4-154 rated at 62hp. How easy is it to install a turbo kit on it, and what might the overall increase in power be? For a 33,000lb boat, it seems underpowered and am hoping this would improve it. Is it difficult, or a simple bolt on/add hoses job?
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Old 20-04-2019, 13:17   #2
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Re: Perkins Diesel 4-154 turbo kit?

Usually turbo engines have a lower compression ratio than natural engines and may have a different cam. The best way to acquire the turbo and air/exhaust plumbing is to buy a bad turbo engine of the same model. Maybe on ebay.
You could expect up to double the hp and triple the fuel usage. Also a shorter engine life because of the increased exhaust gas temperatures.
Do you want more speed and are up against hull speed? It gets expensive to go past hull speed unless in a planing hull.
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Old 20-04-2019, 13:38   #3
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Perkins Diesel 4-154 turbo kit?

For a low boost application, say 10% to 20% increase in power you can usually bolt on a turbo.
To get much more than that gets tough, low compression forged pistons, increased oil capacity and usually oil sprayed onto piston bottoms to remove heat, larger oil cooler due of increased oil temps, stronger rods to sustain higher loads due to higher HP, sometimes larger main bearings, forged crankshafts, after coolers etc.
Then almost always if you just boost power output of an engine, and use the additional HP, you greatly decrease life expectancy, ask people with NA Detroitís vs boosted ones.

In other words in my opinion, you should not even consider it.

Learn to enjoy life in the slow lane, and be alert for strong currents

Iím 40 HP on a 24,000 lb boat, and wonít use that due to prop vibration that I canít seem to cure, you get used to it.
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Old 20-04-2019, 13:46   #4
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Re: Perkins Diesel 4-154 turbo kit?

That's 3 for 3. All three - including a guy who owns the same model - all think I need to be happy with it the way it is. In fact, PuttingDoctor thinks it has more than enough power. Mind you, he has a MaxiProp on his. I would get one, but PYI wants $4,000 for one.

Alas, I will leave it alone. Thank you for straightening that out for me.

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Old 20-04-2019, 17:49   #5
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Perkins Diesel 4-154 turbo kit?

A Max prop will be less efficient than a good fixed prop.
The reason is that the Max Prop and many if not most other feathering props blades are just flat plates, where a good efficient propís blades will have an airfoil shape and blade twist.
Only thing that may beat a good fixed prop is a prop that can adjust its pitch, then you could reduce pitch some when beating into wind and waves, and increase pitch when running downwind.
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Old 20-04-2019, 20:17   #6
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Re: Perkins Diesel 4-154 turbo kit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Only thing that may beat a good fixed prop is a prop that can adjust its pitch, then you could reduce pitch some when beating into wind and waves, and increase pitch when running downwind.
Wouldn't that be nice, ....but the price tag would be too.
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Old 21-04-2019, 09:12   #7
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Re: Perkins Diesel 4-154 turbo kit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
For a low boost application, say 10% to 20% increase in power you can usually bolt on a turbo.
To get much more than that gets tough, low compression forged pistons, increased oil capacity and usually oil sprayed onto piston bottoms to remove heat, larger oil cooler due of increased oil temps, stronger rods to sustain higher loads due to higher HP, sometimes larger main bearings, forged crankshafts, after coolers etc.
Then almost always if you just boost power output of an engine, and use the additional HP, you greatly decrease life expectancy, ask people with NA Detroitís vs boosted ones.

In other words in my opinion, you should not even consider it.

Learn to enjoy life in the slow lane, and be alert for strong currents

Iím 40 HP on a 24,000 lb boat, and wonít use that due to prop vibration that I canít seem to cure, you get used to it.
I'm 16000 and run a 50hp.
It's not going faster than 8kts, by engine alone, ever.
Why? Hull speed.
If you plan carefully, and are less concerned about your ETA, you'll get to where you want to be, in good time.
Cheers
SV CLOUD DUSTER
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Old 21-04-2019, 09:25   #8
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Re: Perkins Diesel 4-154 turbo kit?

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Originally Posted by Boatyarddog View Post
I'm 16000 and run a 50hp.
It's not going faster than 8kts, by engine alone, ever.
Why? Hull speed.
If you plan carefully, and are less concerned about your ETA, you'll get to where you want to be, in good time.
Cheers
SV CLOUD DUSTER
It's not my ETA, and I get the hull speed maximum. I had an IT40 with 7' of freeboard. Hull speed is irrelevant when motoring into the waves and wind if you can't make decent headway, ....this I know. Both practically and economically, having excess power to overcome that resistance can actually save fuel, and be easier to helm.

My concern, which seems to have been addressed, is whether an Irwin 46 with a 62hp Perkins 4-154 engine will make decent headway coming up the US west coast, or if I should look to increase the power output and/or change out the prop. I don't yet know what prop it has, but when I get back to it next week, that is the first thing I will find out. I asked the broker who used to own the boat, and he asked the current owner, and neither of them know.
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Old 21-04-2019, 10:24   #9
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Re: Perkins Diesel 4-154 turbo kit?

I disagree with a lot of what is being posted here, I would suggest you talk to a diesel shop. Guys are adding turbos on standard automobile engines by the droves and these gas engines are much more lightly build than any diesel. Also it is my understanding that turbos increase fuel efficiency.
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Old 21-04-2019, 10:27   #10
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Re: Perkins Diesel 4-154 turbo kit?

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I disagree with a lot of what is being posted here, I would suggest you talk to a diesel shop. Guys are adding turbos on standard automobile engines by the droves and these gas engines are much more lightly build than any diesel. Also it is my understanding that turbos increase fuel efficiency.
Excellent suggestion. I'll be meeting with the mechanical surveyor on the 30 and will ask him. While I have never met a surveyor who didn't bark up his own immeasurable tree, I can at least get his opinion.
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Old 21-04-2019, 10:37   #11
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Re: Perkins Diesel 4-154 turbo kit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by captlloyd View Post
I disagree with a lot of what is being posted here, I would suggest you talk to a diesel shop. Guys are adding turbos on standard automobile engines by the droves and these gas engines are much more lightly build than any diesel. Also it is my understanding that turbos increase fuel efficiency.


Itís because a turbo on a car only boosts for seconds at a time, autos donít pin the throttle and keep it there, unlike airplanes and boats which can and do. Autos also install Nitrous Oxide and donít all blow up either, and again itís because itís used only for a few seconds.

A turbo properly done can make a very slight contribution to fuel efficiency, it does so by using what is otherwise waste heat, but the increase is slight at best, hard to measure slight.
Mazdaís new Diesel which will be introduced to the US next year is such a motor, one that was boosted for efficiency, not power so much, but those are rare, and are way beyond the capabilities of anyoneís bolt on kit.
There are relatively few motors that take to turbo charging very well, the original A version Miatas are an excellent example, the reason is they were actually built as a turbo motor and Mazda left that off when the Miata was built, so adding a turbo is within the engine design limits, as long as itís not too excessive.
The advantages of a turbo have to do more with packaging than anything else, with a turbo itís possible to extract the same power from a smaller and lighter motor.

When you a gear head and study motors and build them, you know that a turbo motor is built from the ground up to be a turbo motor, with much increased cooling and stronger parts to withstand the higher power output.
With engines as most things, there is no free lunch
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Old 21-04-2019, 10:39   #12
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Perkins Diesel 4-154 turbo kit?

Weíre 47í, steel, 42,000 lbs with the same engine (4-154). Yes, by newer standards itís underpowered, but we maintain excellent pasagemaking speed (typically average just shy of 7 kts) offshore in varied conditions. Motorsailing effectively is the secret. Learn your engineís sweet spots, your rigís strengths, and invest in gear that can be strapped in hard and flat. We burn less than a gal/hr at 1800 rpm, very tolerable noise and vibration, and excellent speed.

Sure, you will be down to 3-3.5 when pounding straight into 35 knots and 4-6í chop. But youíre still moving, in control, and if youíre rigged properly you can run a staysail and double or triple reefed main, crack off 20 degrees and have a helluva ride...

Would I like another 25-35 hp? Sure... but the cost and fuel consumption is simply not worth it.

When (if) this beast of an engine ever dies, Iíll probably go for more power, but no more than 85-90 hp; and definitely NA.
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Old 21-04-2019, 11:10   #13
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Re: Perkins Diesel 4-154 turbo kit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NSboatman View Post
Weíre 47í, steel, 42,000 lbs with the same engine (4-154). Yes, by newer standards itís underpowered, but we maintain excellent pasagemaking speed (typically average just shy of 7 kts) offshore in varied conditions. Motorsailing effectively is the secret. Learn your engineís sweet spots, your rigís strengths, and invest in gear that can be strapped in hard and flat. We burn less than a gal/hr at 1800 rpm, very tolerable noise and vibration, and excellent speed.

Sure, you will be down to 3-3.5 when pounding straight into 35 knots and 4-6í chop. But youíre still moving, in control, and if youíre rigged properly you can run a staysail and double or triple reefed main, crack off 20 degrees and have a helluva ride...

Would I like another 25-35 hp? Sure... but the cost and fuel consumption is simply not worth it.

When (if) this beast of an engine ever dies, Iíll probably go for more power, but no more than 85-90 hp; and definitely NA.
Very encouraging. Thank you.
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Old 21-04-2019, 15:07   #14
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Re: Perkins Diesel 4-154 turbo kit?

A64 pilot summed it up nicely with no free lunch.
If you need more power buy a purpose built higher hp engine but motorsailing works well too.
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Old 21-04-2019, 17:36   #15
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Re: Perkins Diesel 4-154 turbo kit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CptCrunchie View Post
It's not my ETA, and I get the hull speed maximum. I had an IT40 with 7' of freeboard. Hull speed is irrelevant when motoring into the waves and wind if you can't make decent headway, ....this I know. Both practically and economically, having excess power to overcome that resistance can actually save fuel, and be easier to helm.

My concern, which seems to have been addressed, is whether an Irwin 46 with a 62hp Perkins 4-154 engine will make decent headway coming up the US west coast, or if I should look to increase the power output and/or change out the prop. I don't yet know what prop it has, but when I get back to it next week, that is the first thing I will find out. I asked the broker who used to own the boat, and he asked the current owner, and neither of them know.
We have 4.154 on Morgan 46. 33000 lbs, 19" feathering prop. Never see more than 7 knot in calm conditions. Max RPM is 3000. Upwind in 30 knots with 6 to 8 ft seas we slow to 4.5 knots, even 3.5 in a bad wave train, main reefed and strapped tight. Grin and bear it, or wait in harbor.

If you have more power, you will need a bigger prop or run higher RPM. Doubt that just higher pitch will help in windy conditions.
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