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Old 11-04-2012, 23:08   #1
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Repowering with Perkins 4.108 -- Have some questions...

Hi Everyone...

This is not a typical repower. I have a 28' Bayliner Victoria cabin cruiser I am repowering with Perkins 4.108 engine. I've had the old 260 horsepower Chevy 350 pulled out and I'm replacing it with a 50 horsepower Diesel workhorse.

My goal is to take the boat no faster than 8 knots, which is my typical cruising speed. All the calculations have been completed, and the speed I'm seeking is easily attainable on this boat with this engine.

The repower is going well but slow. I'm now at the point where a machine shop is mating the primary drive shaft coupler to my engine's flywheel. This weekend, we will be fitting the engine and determine the size of the new stringers, motor mounts, etc.

I do have a few questions about this engine...

1. This engine is an unused British military surplus engine taken from a Naval lifeboat. It has never been installed or operated other than being run to demonstrate its functionality. The engine is immaculate and has no mechanical defects. However, I'm aware the rear main seal is very prone to developing leaks. Considering the engine has been sitting in storage for years, is it necessary to replace the rear main seal prior to putting it in to use?

2. Can anyone offer any insight regarding the break-in procedures for this engine. Most Perkins mechanics I have consulted recommend 10 hours of WOT under load and 20-30 hours of 75 percent throttle. Any insight?

3. Does anyone have any experience using synthetic oils in this engine? Any experience using Amsoil?

Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:37   #2
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Re: Repowering with Perkins 4.108 -- Have some questions...

Quote:
... 10 hours of WOT under load and 20-30 hours of 75 percent throttle ...
Doesn’t sound right, to me.

According to the manual, no gradual break-in is required. Bring her up to temperature, and run normal.

See page C2, “Running in” ➥ http://www.fujiyachts.net/manuals/Pe...p%20Manual.pdf
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:52   #3
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Re: Repowering with Perkins 4.108 -- Have some questions...

I've had to replace the rear seal a couple of times, but don't know whether that was a function of engine hours or age. I do know that the cork oil sump gasket will leak with age, and its far easier to replace with the engine out.

You will be a lot happier with the engine if you run it below 3000 rpm. It will last a lot longer, lose less oil, and be quieter.
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Old 13-04-2012, 21:30   #4
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Re: Repowering with Perkins 4.108 -- Have some questions...

Foley Diesel claims to have a replacement rear main seal that doesn't leak. Forget their price.
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Old 13-04-2012, 22:28   #5
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Re: Repowering with Perkins 4.108 -- Have some questions...

Im with Gord on this one !never heard of a brake in like that before !! Well with 10 hrs of WOT you might just save that chevy motor you may need it ! just a thought
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Old 13-04-2012, 23:11   #6
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Re: Repowering with Perkins 4.108 -- Have some questions...

Thanks everyone for the helpful insight. I read through the Perkins 4.108 manual and must have seen the "Running in the engine" section a million times but paid no attention to it because I was busy looking for the words "breaking in" the engine.

What is suggested in the manual and the insight offered here makes total and complete sense. The engine is mostly going to be run at 2500 RPM, which is enough to set the rings, etc. during the initial hours of operation. So running it at cruising speed is all that is essentially needed.

This is completely different from high performance Diesel engines, which require break-in periods of several hours under wide open throttle. I was assuming the same principle applied to the Perkins 4.108, but I was wrong.

On another note, does anyone have experience with using Amsoil or synthetic oils with this engine?
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Old 14-04-2012, 00:32   #7
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Re: Repowering with Perkins 4.108 -- Have some questions...

Ive never used any other Oil but Diesel Lube Oil. most all of the older style of diesel engines of which your Perkins is one, require at least a 15/40 Diesel Lube Oil I have always used Delo Oil by Standard Oil in the suggested Factory Weights. mostly these days it's a 15/40 wt Ive heard nothing good about synthetic oils in diesels but have no first hand knowage. But do have 50+ years working with marine diesels engines.
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Old 14-04-2012, 08:48   #8
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I have a 19-year-old Perkins 103-10, and I've been running Royal Purple synthetic 20-50 for the past 3 years. No leaks, no smoke, and it seems to run better than ever. I've been using Mobile One filters.

I have some Amsoil and an Amsoil filter for the next change, which will probably come in August. I haven't tried that yet.

By the way, my Hurth transmission works far better with synthetic ATF (Mobile One or Royal Purple) than it did with regular ATF (it slipped with the old school). But I keep hearing from mechanics that these typically hate synthetics.

My boat has made me a believer in synthetics.
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Old 14-04-2012, 09:09   #9
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Re: Repowering with Perkins 4.108 -- Have some questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jbaffoh View Post
I have a 19-year-old Perkins 103-10, and I've been running Royal Purple synthetic 20-50 for the past 3 years. No leaks, no smoke, and it seems to run better than ever. I've been using Mobile One filters.

I have some Amsoil and an Amsoil filter for the next change, which will probably come in August. I haven't tried that yet.

By the way, my Hurth transmission works far better with synthetic ATF (Mobile One or Royal Purple) than it did with regular ATF (it slipped with the old school). But I keep hearing from mechanics that these typically hate synthetics.

My boat has made me a believer in synthetics.
I've heard great things about Royal Purple being used in newer Diesel engines, but haven't come across much with respect to older ones. Thanks for sharing your experience. My goal is to do what I can to ensure the engine performs well and lasts as long as or longer than expected. The 4.108 has been known to go up to 10,000 prior to being rebuilt...and I'd like to preserve that longevity if possible. I know synthetics can play a big role in this.
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Old 14-04-2012, 09:28   #10
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I had read stories of synthetics making older seals leak, but that hasn't happened yet. I use 20-50 because it fits squarely within Perkins recommendations for my operating environment, and also to hedge my bet against leaks. I haven't tried 15-40 or thinner.

I hope the Amsoil works as well as the RP--it's much cheaper if you join their preferred customer program. But I'm skeptical of their self-generated reviews, self testing, lack of certification, and cult-like marketing system. On the other hand, I haven't read any reports claiming the oil doesn't live up to their claims. Anybody?
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Old 14-04-2012, 09:32   #11
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The oil thing gets contentious synthetics are modified refined for optimum performance. There is a great article in one of the cf debates about oil. I have used amsoil 15w 40 hd marine. I am a member so I get good pricing. I do not use it as an extended oil change. A very good non synthetic is probably fine. I choose to pay a little more for synthetic. The use of synthetics is mandatory on mist airlines. That says something I guess.
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Old 14-04-2012, 10:56   #12
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Re: Repowering with Perkins 4.108 -- Have some questions...

my 4-108 is now 33 years old, i've owned it for the past 8. i've done no major work on it and i put on a few hundred hours a year.

i've been using rotella 15w40 oil as long as i've owned it, but i change it every 100 hours instead of the 150 hours the manual specifies. i also buy filters at the napa auto store. they're made by wix - widely regarded as the best filter - and although they're a few bucks more i feel better about it.

as for rpm, i normally cruise at 1700 rpm. don't think i've ever been over 2000 rpm. this is a 10 ton 37 foot sailboat.

like the guy who jumped off the empire state building said as he passed
the 80th floor, 'so far so good'.
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Old 14-04-2012, 11:33   #13
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Re: Repowering with Perkins 4.108 -- Have some questions...

My 4-108 is 33 years old and I have operated it since 1998.
No major stuff, slight oil leak when not used for a while, no oil use, perhaps 1/2 quart per 100 hrs.
Oil and filter change every 100 hrs, Shell Rotella. 15-40
Servicing the injectors every 400 to 500 hours as recommneded in the book.
Some guys go 1000 hrs, but....
I cruise at 2100 RPM, previous owner used 1800, but the transom soothed up and developed a mustache at 1800, cleaner running @ 2100.
Cruising over 2400 RPM and it will slowly but surely over heat. Tried various combos with prop pitch and clean heat exchanger, etc but the result is always the same: Temp creeping up from 180 to 200 and above.
Perhaps a bigger heat exchanger will solve it, but no need for contiuous higher RPM, the hull speed is still there...

Great engine, no issues and like the energizer bunny, it just keeps running.
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Old 14-04-2012, 11:45   #14
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Re: Repowering with Perkins 4.108 -- Have some questions...

It sounds like you are continuing to use your Outdrive...? My 4-108 liked 2400-2600 max cruising rpm and purred like a kitten there. In that little boat she wont even be breathing hard. One thought: if the engine was unused for that long... have you considered spraying somehting into the cylinders and carefully breeaking things free to make sure they arent completely dry, rusting, rings seized? Alot of damage could occur in the first 5 minutes of running. The worst problems I've had with boat drivetrains were the ones with very low hours!
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Old 19-04-2012, 10:57   #15
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Re: Repowering with Perkins 4.108 -- Have some questions...

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
It sounds like you are continuing to use your Outdrive...? My 4-108 liked 2400-2600 max cruising rpm and purred like a kitten there. In that little boat she wont even be breathing hard. One thought: if the engine was unused for that long... have you considered spraying somehting into the cylinders and carefully breeaking things free to make sure they arent completely dry, rusting, rings seized? Alot of damage could occur in the first 5 minutes of running. The worst problems I've had with boat drivetrains were the ones with very low hours!
Yes. I'm using the outdrive, which is a Volvo Penta 280. I had toyed with the prospect of moving the engine fore and installing a prop shaft, rudder, and transmission, but I didn't want to complicate an already complicated process.

One blessing is that a PDS adapter with the Borg Warner bolt pattern exists for the outdrive I'm using. I was able to mate it to the bell housing of the Perkins 4.108 with no problem. The coupler on the other hand, was a different story.

While the bell housing of the Perkins 4.108 engine has the standard Borg Warner bolt pattern, the particular build of my engine had a different flywheel. The coupler I had from my old GM 350 was not compatible with the flywheel attached to my engine. This left me with several options:

1. Purchase a flywheel for the Perkins 4.108 that has the Borg Warner bolt pattern ($400) and purchase a coupler with the Borg Warner bolt pattern ($200-$300) and cross my fingers hoping they would be compatible.

2. Have the existing flywheel machined to accommodate the coupler.

Option #2 seemed to be most viable. Once the machine shop was done with my flywheel, there would be no concerns whatsoever about compatibility. It would be ready to go. The machine shop my mechanic trusted and was most comfortable with happened to go out of business a few days before we needed their services. My mechanic is beyond picky about the machine shop he uses, so plan B consisted of taking it to A1 Fabrication in Sacramento. They were completely backed up with tons of projects ahead of mine, so they took several weeks to complete it. My flywheel was on the back burner. It is now complete; and the coupler fits beautifully on it.

The machine shop did not make any modification to the coupler itself. All of the modifications were done only to the flywheel. So if my coupler fails in the future, I could purchase a standard GM 350 coupler and swap it out.

The rest of the project should be smooth sailing from here. If all goes well, we are looking at splashing during the first week of May.

Regarding the damage from sitting too long.... The engine was bench tested before I purchased it. The rod bearings needed to be replaced. Other than that, it was fine. It ran beautifully for over an hour.
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