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Old 16-06-2018, 13:17   #1
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Sick of our 4108 Perkins need suggestions

For those of you who have read some of our previous posts you may well under stand. Ever since weve owned Gullsway we have always had the same nagging problem of air getting into the system and making the engine cut out, we have now after quitting work and sailing to the med over a 2 year period had to return to the UK to work and normal life, we now get about 4 weeks sailing a year as she is still in the med so time is precious aboard but the same problem persists during our trip she will run solid for 24 hours with no problem then die we would change filters re bleed and the same would happen then out of the blue it would happen and die often in the worst possible times and to be fair every time we leave port the constant nagging haunts us will it or wont it die today we have listed a few things to eradicate the problem; new lift pump, refurbished injectors, this week had the fuel injection pump refurbished ( this week as we tried to get to Sardinia) all new copper pipe work every nut and bolt copper washer checked and double checked, additive added to fuel and inspection hatch in the tank checked prior to every journey. To be fair were about sick of it....... any recommendations for a re power......sorry for ranting but weve had 2half weeks off work and been launched then re hauled today after having just one night at anchor and decided to just fly home early
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Old 16-06-2018, 13:40   #2
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Re: Sick of our 4108 Perkins need suggestions

If air is getting into the fuel system, its very, very unlikely an engine problem.
Imagine how sick you would be after paying for a repower, to have the problem reoccur
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Old 16-06-2018, 13:49   #3
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Re: Sick of our 4108 Perkins need suggestions

Sorry to read your problems. I am in Sardinia right now and at last the weather is getting good.. ( and I love my Perkins engines!)
I had a similar wierd problem with a diesel truck many years back;it was a break in the fuel pick-up tube inside the fuel tank. If I kept the tank over half full I had no problem, but when the fuel level dropped below what I later found out was the level of the crack I would get lousy performance and sometimes a complete engine failure, air in the system being my only clue.
So maybe worth looking for some joint or crack on the intake side where air is getting in? Good luck!
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Old 16-06-2018, 14:05   #4
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Re: Sick of our 4108 Perkins need suggestions

The air is likely getting in to the fuel system before the engine rather than on it.
Some years ago we had a similar problem and I eventually tracked it down to a faulty water trap, purely by elimination. I took the water trap out of the line and replaced it with a piece of copper tube, and voila no more problems.
I would thoroughly check all the connections between the fuel tank and the lift pump. These are all under negative pressure and that's where air can get sucked in and would cause a problem. After the lift pump everything is positive pressure, if you had an issue there it would be obvious : leaking diesel.
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Old 16-06-2018, 14:06   #5
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Re: Sick of our 4108 Perkins need suggestions

Ive been ordering from parts4engine for the last six months with great success. As mentioned above its proably an air leak vs an engine problem. Id start at the tank and go through the fuel system replacing olives and wrapping couplings throughout. New copper low pressure set of lines from parts4engines is like $40 Canadian and comes with all the tools. The hp lines are harder to source but it can be done.
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Old 16-06-2018, 14:07   #6
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Re: Sick of our 4108 Perkins need suggestions

i had a problem like this once,it turned out to be the bleed screw thread on the body of the primary fuel filter on the engine .threads were worn and bleed screw allowed air in.
replaced the body housing and no more problems
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Old 16-06-2018, 22:26   #7
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Re: Sick of our 4108 Perkins need suggestions

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...all new copper pipe work every nut and bolt copper washer checked and double checked...
It's a little known fact, but when you undo the fuel lines, those copper crush washers are a replacement item. They work harden and will not reseal if you try to reuse them. Accordingly, try replacing every copper crush washer with new (they're not expensive) and see if that solves the problem.

Many professional mechanics don't seem to know this, they blithely break fuel lines and reassemble them using the old crush washers.
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Old 16-06-2018, 23:36   #8
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Re: Sick of our 4108 Perkins need suggestions

I'm in the same camp as those who suggest a re-power will be unlikely to fix your problem.
I suggest you replace all your fuel system before replacing the engine. Replace everything, tank, lines, filters and so on right up the injector pump.

You currently have a long term intermittent air leak and you can either sleuth it down to a single component or shotgun the entire fuel delivery system.
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Old 16-06-2018, 23:52   #9
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Re: Sick of our 4108 Perkins need suggestions

You say it will run fine for 24 hours and then cut out? Is motorsailing involved, is the boat heeled perchance? Maybe a few more clues and it might be easier to target certain probable elements first. I was out with a friend who had that on his MD7A. An hour of wrestling around in contorted cursing we found the culprit, a loose hoseclamp. He too was ready to chuck the engine.
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Old 17-06-2018, 03:28   #10
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Re: Sick of our 4108 Perkins need suggestions

Does your fuel return from the engine go to the tank or to the primary filter?
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Old 17-06-2018, 06:59   #11
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Re: Sick of our 4108 Perkins need suggestions

wotname suggests replacing the whole fuel feed side; good advice tho I query the need to change the tank itself (but certainly the pick-up tube and related fittings on the top of the tank).
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Old 17-06-2018, 07:31   #12
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Re: Sick of our 4108 Perkins need suggestions

Do you have a vacuum gauge in the fuel system ?
An obstruction in the fuel system can cause high enough vacuum to draw air into the fuel system through connections or the fuel filter.

I had a similar problem where a large blob (algae?) was intermittently clogging my fuel tank inlet. The engine would suddenly die and the filter would be full of air.
Bleeding the system would resolve the issue; I think that during the bleeding the vacuum would be released and the blob would fall out of the inlet.

A fuel vacuum gauge with a maximum follower helped me understand this problem.

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Old 17-06-2018, 08:45   #13
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Re: Sick of our 4108 Perkins need suggestions

We had an intermittent engine once, but a Westerbeke.
We never knew when it would quit so we learned to sail it up the dock.
Finally found the problem: The pick up tube in the tank had a small screen to filter out particles, but it easily got clogged with algae. I removed the screen and that fixed the problem.
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Old 17-06-2018, 08:54   #14
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Re: Sick of our 4108 Perkins need suggestions

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We had an intermittent engine once, but a Westerbeke.
We never knew when it would quit so we learned to sail it up the dock.
Finally found the problem: The pick up tube in the tank had a small screen to filter out particles, but it easily got clogged with algae. I removed the screen and that fixed the problem.


That was the issue with my John Deere 997 lawnmower, what was crazy was it was intermittent and often would restart and run after it sat for awhile.
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Old 17-06-2018, 09:11   #15
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Re: Sick of our 4108 Perkins need suggestions

I had a very simular problem with my 4-107. Long painful story, but I figured out that the return lines entered both tanks close to fuel pickup tube, but return lines did not have tubes that went too the tank bottom . They ended at a fitting on top of the tank and returned fuel would free fall back into the tank close to the pick up tube.
I installed return tubes that went to the tank bottom and like magic not more air in fuel system.
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