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Old 09-08-2011, 09:05   #1
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Perkins Fuel Injection Pump Timing Problem

I just installed a rebuilt perkins hydraulic fuel injection pump on my Perkins 4-108 inside my 40' sailboat. Before I installed the IP, I also installed a new electric lift pump and blocked off the old mechanical lift pump, because after removing it, it no longer seemed to work.
My original IP main shaft broke after 10 hours of rough water use with a dirty diesel tank. (I also cleaned the tank and all lines, and rebuilt all injectors).
I did not turn over the motor after removing the old IP and did not check that #1 cyl was at TDC when I installed the rebuilt IP. After installing the rebuilt IP and aligning the timing marks perfectly, the motor barely started and then ran VERY poorly (smoked, clanked) until I twisted the IP back 5/16" above the original timing mark. It now runs fine, with a few exceptions. 1) it now produces a little blue/white smoke out of the exhaust (unlike previously with the old IP), 2) it now only allows up to 2000 rpms under torque (5 knots max in the calm) and 2500 at idle (it used to give 2500 rpm's easily under torque and 3000 at idle).
I will try readjusting the timing again today, but I do have a couple questions maybe somebody can answer.

1) Could this IP have been rebuilt incorrectly (out of time by one notch)? Why else would I have to change the timing so drastically for it to run decently? Or could I have installed the IP one complete engine revolution out of time (on the exhaust tdc)? And if so, would the engine even run?
2) Could the governor have been set too low and is this is why it doesn't get more than 2000 RPM's under torque? I used to get 2500 or more if needed and get more than 5 knots in the calm.
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Old 10-08-2011, 05:56   #2
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Re: Perkins Fuel Injection Pump Timing Problem

In regard to your two questions, yes either is possible. Really doubtful if it is 180 out of sync in which case it would not run at all. I would think that the rebuilder assembling off timing is super unlikely, but anything is possible. If the timing is off I would bet that the pump to hub is off by a tooth. Perkins are used in many applications each of which may have specific rpm usages and therefore differing governors. If you are running smoothly but not able to go beyond 2500 rpm at idle, it may be the governor such as one used on generators. The slight smoke should not be a concern. Sounds like it is a tad rich. Could be due to a slight timing adjustment required.
BTW, the procedure for instaling the pump is to have the engine set at no. 1 TDC and align the timing mark on the pump shaft. Then install the gear without moving assembly and center the slots in the gear with timing marks aligned. From there, minor adjustments can be made by advancing/retarding the gear due to slots.
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Old 10-08-2011, 06:06   #3
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Re: Perkins Fuel Injection Pump Timing Problem

One potential problem that I have often pondered is that when I have had the pump rebuilt and then I installed....Wht can't the pump shaft be installed 180 degrees out of time. Since the interface is a flat blade slot, why cant this be mated wrong? I never had a timing problem but have thought on this issue, even when the motor is not turned from the removel setting????
Can someone enlighten me?
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Old 10-08-2011, 07:34   #4
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Re: Perkins Fuel Injection Pump Timing Problem

Basically it is the timing gear set and associated timing marks. When all timing marks are aligned the pump is synced with cam shaft via the idler gear. This sets the injector along with the intake valve. You'll note that the gear on the crank is half the size of the idler, cam, and injector pump. So the latter rotate once for every two rotations of the crank which means the injector pump fires every other crank rotation on the intake stroke. As long as marks are aligned you cannot be out of sync (provided the pump shaft, drive hub, and cam marks are also aligned along with timing gear marks). Yup, there are a lot of timing marks to line up...
Hope that helps.
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Old 10-08-2011, 07:54   #5
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Re: Perkins Fuel Injection Pump Timing Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldRover View Post
Basically it is the timing gear set and associated timing marks. When all timing marks are aligned the pump is synced with cam shaft via the idler gear. This sets the injector along with the intake valve. You'll note that the gear on the crank is half the size of the idler, cam, and injector pump. So the latter rotate once for every two rotations of the crank which means the injector pump fires every other crank rotation on the intake stroke. As long as marks are aligned you cannot be out of sync (provided the pump shaft, drive hub, and cam marks are also aligned along with timing gear marks). Yup, there are a lot of timing marks to line up...
Hope that helps.
So you are saying that the pump shat turned 180 degrees one way or the other makes no difference when mated to the idler gear? I have always understood..."dont crank the engine" warning with the pump out.
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Old 10-08-2011, 09:00   #6
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Re: Perkins Fuel Injection Pump Timing Problem

I don't know about an injection pump for the Perkins 4.108, but on the Perkins 6.354 injection pump the spline shaft end has a large quadrant where is it filled in (no splines) and as a result it is impossible to install the pump anyway except the correct way.
- - But we also scribe a line on the pump and pump mounting surface of the engine to "remember" the timing setting. When installing a new pump you then align with the old scribe mark to start and fine tune from there.
- - If the new pump is really too far out than I would suspect that an error was made in rebuilding the pump or they gave you a wrong pump.
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Old 10-08-2011, 09:09   #7
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Re: Perkins Fuel Injection Pump Timing Problem

Thanks for all the replies. Here is an update.
I forgot to mention that my old IP main shaft broke in half, which would mean that every time I attempted to start the motor after it broke, the pump and engine alignment went out of adjustment. So I could have moved the fly while all I wanted after I removed the IP.
Fortunately, I must have replaced the IP in the right location, or it wouldn't have run at all. Right?
Also, when I said that I was out 5/16" I was wrong. Yesterday, I measured it again and I only had the IP retarded (I twisted the IP backwards ((upwards)) against the arrow on the IP identification plack) 3/16", which hopefully isn't that bad. It basically won't hold an idle at 700 rpm without retarding it this much.
When OldRover suggested that the pump hub might be off by a tooth, I got lost. This IP only fits two ways (either right or wrong ((180 degrees out)). So is OldRover suggesting that this IP might have been rebuilt slightly out of time (off by a tooth)?
Also, yesterday, I lessened the retarded (I think I'm retarding it by twisting it upwards away from the arrow) timing by a 1/16" (giving me 3/16" total retard) and now I easily get 3,000 rpm at idle (I won't allow it to go higher for fear ???) and the power at anchor seems to be enough to get me by. Next time I take it out, I will not be towing my heavy ass dinghy and see how what kink of power I get. I'm expecting enough will be the case.
Here is a little tip for anybody having to replace their Perkins 4-108 that I have finally figured out. That damn allen wrench head screw bolt that goes into that back IP hole (one of three) requires a special long ass (I guess at least 14") allen wrench and another person to help align the allen wrench every time you want to loosen it to readjust or even tighten that bolt. So what had to do, rather than buy a $82.00 long handle allen wrench set, which may not have been long enough anyway, was to make my own allen wrench with a 1/4" steel rod and a file (first attempt worked fine if you have the bolt or a 7/32" female allen wrench hole to guage it by. Then I bent the end an inch or so to turn it with. And yesterday, after tiring of having to always bring my wife out to help align that damn allen wrench, I picked up some fast drying metal weld glue (B&H or whatever) and glued the long ass allen wrench to the allen head bolt. Hopefully, now if I ever have to remove or readjust the IP, it'll be a one man task and a hell of a lot easier.
Another thing I may have forgot to mention is that before buying the IP I shut off my old mechanical lift pump that I that was bad and in fact may be (I gotta buy another one now) and replaced it with a new electric lift pump (westerbake) that may have developed a plugged filter while draining the old diesel out of the tank (even though I had placed it after the primary filter). I'm now hoping that this dirty elect. pump filter may be causing the problem. But kink of doubt it since that would mean I would be running fuel poor and not rich, which would not account for the diesel smell, or excess diesel burning. But then maybe the electric lift pump may be pumping too much fuel into the IP, which is another reason why I plan on buying a new mechanical lift pump and then see how she runs.
Thanks guys for help. I'll let you know what happens after I get my new mechanical lift pump installed and shut down that electric lift pump (Anchorage marine in Canada charged me $280.00 for that sucker plus tax). I guess they saw me coming. They also told me if my IP was bad, it would cost $5,000.00. These are hard pumps to find, but not that hard.
Oh, and one more thing. I found a guy who said he had a NEW pump somewhere in USA for $1299 but wouldn't accept a credit card and wanted me to pay with a bank deposit check. What a joke. Be careful. This guy is still out there. He may honest, but I doubt it, considering he is a big shot IP rebuilder in USA and advertises but doesn't accept credit cards or Paypal and only accepts cash deposits into his bank. I would even imagine that NEW IP for this motor would have cost more that the $1299 he was asking in cash.
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Old 10-08-2011, 09:15   #8
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Re: Perkins Fuel Injection Pump Timing Problem

Well, osirissail, this is deffinately the exact same pump that I did have. And yes, I did have a scribed mark (perfectly machine scribed by the manufacturer) on both the IP and the motor housing, which WAS aligned perfectly with the old IP, but now had to be changed 3/16". And yes, this was my first thought too, what whether or not the IP rebuilder messed up on the rebuild by a notch. But I'm still not sure if that is possilbe.
And yes, my splines are also filled it to make it impossilbe to get off by one spline when reinstalling. Of course I could be off by 360 (or 180) degrees, but I doubt that is possible or it wouldn't even start, let alone run so well.
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Old 10-08-2011, 09:34   #9
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Re: Perkins Fuel Injection Pump Timing Problem

Since the engine is a "whole system" over time the old pump and the other parts like valve timing may have been compatible. But now you may need to re-adjust the valves for optimum results. But 3/16" is not all that much as on my Perkins I can rotate the IP about an inch either way.
- - Good timing is an "art form" and finding an old timer who can do it is well worth the money.
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Old 10-08-2011, 12:51   #10
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Re: Perkins Fuel Injection Pump Timing Problem

wow, an inch! That is a lot. the Perkins 4-108 only allows about 5/16" either way considering the bolt slots have limited play.
You may be right about the valves, or maybe too the compression has been reduced after running it with with dirty diesel.
Oh yeah, that is one more thing I forgot to mention in my original post. The diesel tank was filthy dirty with about 1/4" of muddy gunk on the bottom. I doubt it had ever been cleaned in 43 years of use as the back half (behind the baffle) of the tank didn't even have an access hole cut in, which I had to do to clean the tank.
One mechanic told me the dirty diesel may have plugged the injectors and just one plugged injector could have broken the IP shaft. What was weird was that the motor ran perfectly for 8 hours while motor sailing the Georgia Strait in rough weather. It didn't show any problems until I shut the motor off to talk with the customs officials on directions to their Nanaimo customs dock. Only when I tried to restart the motor did it not start, which is weird considering the IP pump shaft was broken into two pieces. Perhaps it broke when I tried to restart it, I don't know. It turned over beautifully, but wouldn't start. An obvious sign of fuel delivery problems.
As far as timing by ear, I've been doing that for years, so no problem there. I have my new lift pump tomarrow and disconnect the new electric pump and let you all know what that brings.
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Old 14-08-2011, 10:21   #11
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Re: Perkins Fuel Injection Pump Timing Problem

I just installed a NEW mechanical Perkins lift pump and removed the new electric pump I had recently installed, hoping this would help allow the IP back to perfect alignment, which it didn't as I did try retiming it by ear after getting it running. But, I was able to get better power at idle and in gear at anchor, which gives me hopes of having it run better next time I take it out. It actually will get up to 4500 RPM now with little difficulty out of gear, which should give me at least 2500 in gear, considering last time I could get 3000 rpm out of gear and 2000 in gear. I'll know for sure later today.
I also reckon I'm retarding the timing on the IP by turning the IP 3/16" against the direction of the arrow that is printing on it's identification plate.
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Old 14-08-2011, 23:49   #12
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Re: Perkins Fuel Injection Pump Timing Problem

Whoops! Forgot to mention one very important little item that may be why I couldn't obtain over 3000 RPM out of gear. While adding the new mechanical lift pump today, and disconnected the old one, I found the old lift pump had one little rubber hose shaped waster (1/4" x 1/4") that fit into the holes where the two pipes connected on both the secondary filter and the lift pump. Two hose washers were missing, one on the old lift pump and one on the secondary filter.

These copper tubes that connect on thise devises are different from the four tubes that connect from the IP to the injectors. These tube ends are flared out and then aproximately 5/16" unflared copper tube after the flare, which is where these hose washers fit. After replacing the missed ones on the lift pump and the sencondary filter, I was finally able to get 4500 RPMs at standing position (very quickly of course).

However, adding these gaskets still didn't effect the 3/16" IP retarded timing I find neccessary to get max engine performance.

I'm now happy. Thanks for all the help.
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Old 22-08-2011, 09:32   #13
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Re: Perkins Fuel Injection Pump Timing Problem

I take back that I'm happy and satisfied with my retarded IP timing. My engine doesn't start nearly as easy as it used to when cold and it doesn't seem to have the power that I had before exchanging IP's.
I just read a post (Diesel Talk Forums - 4108 problem) by some guy who was having the same problem as I and he was told:
"We are a Perkins Master Dealer and an authorized fuel shop. We also rebuild engines. You might need to check you fuel pump drive gear and make sure the insert is lined up with the gear. There is a Letter stamped in the gear and the insert that must align. This could be your timing difference. We have run into this problem before. Also you can not always go by the internal snapring position as it sometimes get set wrong. Gary"
Even though this guy was talking about a Perkins 4-108, I'm still wondering what the heck he was talking about as our gear inserts only fit one way into the engine.
I'm still trying to figure out if this IP could have been rebuilt incorectly -- out of time by just a little bit. I've still got 10 days to remove and return this IP if this is the case. I only got a month return policy.
I think I need to talk to a real IP professional rebuilder, but the ones I talk to won't give me any simple answers. They only tell me to remove it and send it to them and they will check it out. . .
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Old 22-08-2011, 10:08   #14
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Re: Perkins Fuel Injection Pump Timing Problem

The new pump doesn't need to be timed where the old pump was timed. If they all had to be in the same place then there wouldn't be any adjustment.
There was obviously problems with the old pump, the shaft broke. Maybe it was timed to an odd spot to compensate for the shaft problem that hadn't fully developed yet and now your new pump is timed close to where most of them should sit.
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Old 22-08-2011, 15:25   #15
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Re: Perkins Fuel Injection Pump Timing Problem

I like the hypothesis, but doubt that possibility.
The old pump worked perfectly timed on the money -- both marks lined up perfectly. Never a miss, excellent power, and instant starting almost all the time.
I'm thinking this latest rebuilt IP I just installed may have been well used before the rebuild and thus lost its tight tolerances, developed a little slop from wear and tear. I feel lucky the timing can even be adjusted enough (the bolt pattern only allows so much movement) to make the motor run the way it does, which really isn't too bad, except the hard starting when cold.
I would like to have bought a new pump, were one available that I trusted the dealer. The only guy I found selling a new one wouldn't take credit cards and lived 5,000 miles away and in another country (I was in Canada at the time). Too risky for my blood. He wanted $1299.00, which would have been worth it were he to accept credit cards.
I could remove it and ask for another but the job is too big to make it worth it. Besides, the other one he does have is probably in the same condition.
Of course, I'm no professional mechanic or IP rebuilder, but this is my hypothesis. Take it for what it's worth.
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