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Old 18-04-2011, 13:48   #1
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Whirrrrr but no Vrooom

For roughly three years, my Perkins 4.108 diesel engine and I have had a very pleasant relationship. I have tried to take care of her and give her appropriate attention, and in return, she has always given me dependable service. Today, however, things changed. When I tried to crank her up, I got a click, a whirring, but no vrooom. It sounds like the starter may be spinning, but the engine is not turning. The first couple attempts to start it also produced a small amount of wispy smoke, which I think came from breather cap.

Any idea what's going on? I have little (i.e., no) experience working on diesel engines, so any insights would be greatly appreciated. Also, if you happen to know the name of a good diesel mechanic in the New Orleans area, please pass on his name.
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Old 18-04-2011, 13:54   #2
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Re: Whirrrrr but no Vrooom

Check the starter. Sounds like the solenoid is not kicking in the starter drive gear.
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Old 18-04-2011, 14:00   #3
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Re: Whirrrrr but no Vrooom

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Originally Posted by Mike Sibley View Post
For roughly three years, my Perkins 4.108 diesel engine and I have had a very pleasant relationship. I have tried to take care of her and give her appropriate attention, and in return, she has always given me dependable service. Today, however, things changed. When I tried to crank her up, I got a click, a whirring, but no vrooom. It sounds like the starter may be spinning, but the engine is not turning. The first couple attempts to start it also produced a small amount of wispy smoke, which I think came from breather cap.

Any idea what's going on? I have little (i.e., no) experience working on diesel engines, so any insights would be greatly appreciated. Also, if you happen to know the name of a good diesel mechanic in the New Orleans area, please pass on his name.
Check connections, check battery, low voltage can cause the starter to spin but not engage the ring gear.
Could also be the starter.
If the engine didn't turn smoke did not come out of it. Could be overheated electrical, from bad connections or bad starter.

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Old 18-04-2011, 14:41   #4
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Re: Whirrrrr but no Vrooom

Starter bendix shot

Broken tooth on flywheel

Bad solenoid, but probably not

Low voltage
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Old 18-04-2011, 15:11   #5
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Re: Whirrrrr but no Vrooom

Yep, my vote go's towards starter drive (gear) remove stater and see if gear turns in both drection . Or take to starter shop.
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Old 18-04-2011, 20:17   #6
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Re: Whirrrrr but no Vrooom

The batteries are fully charged, so I know that is not the problem. I guess I will start by checking all the electrical connections. If that doesn't work, Ill try to remove the starter and take it to a shop. Unfortunately, it is on a side of the engine that is hard to reach.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 19-04-2011, 16:14   #7
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Re: Whirrrrr but no Vrooom

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Originally Posted by Mike Sibley View Post
The batteries are fully charged, so I know that is not the problem. I guess I will start by checking all the electrical connections. If that doesn't work, Ill try to remove the starter and take it to a shop. Unfortunately, it is on a side of the engine that is hard to reach.

Thanks for the help.
The only things that ever break are on the hard side. A beer says it's in the starter.
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Old 19-04-2011, 16:27   #8
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Re: Whirrrrr but no Vrooom

had a RECENT LIKE THAT HAPPEN 2 TIMES WITH MY 4-108--- STARTER WOULDNT DISENGAGE-- HAD TO SHUT DOWN BATT BANK AND RESTART.
IT IS FINE--ONLY DID IT TWICE-- DONOT DO ANYHTING RASH AS YET-- COULD POSSIBLY BE A FLAT SPOT??IS THAT THE CORRECT DESCRIPTION??? IT PROLLY WONT DO THAT AGAIN NEXT TIME -- TRY IT AGAIN. IF IT CONTINUES TO DO THAT, THEN REMOVE AND REPAIR--- MINE IS FINE.. DID IT 2 TIMES IN A MONTH. MEBBE OUR FRIEND IN SLIDELL KNOWS THE REASON?? HE IS SMART THAT WAY....
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Old 19-04-2011, 21:18   #9
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Re: Whirrrrr but no Vrooom

Most likely a Bendix problem although it could be a flat spot on the flywheel also. If it's still doing it try to crank the engine just a little by hand. Just a few degrees to get to a new tooth (teeth) on the flywheel. If it still does it, it's probably a Bendix and the starter will need to be removed and repaired.
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Old 22-04-2011, 17:47   #10
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Re: Whirrrrr but no Vrooom

izzat low voltage like in BAD BATTERY??????? IF IS, THEN I GOT THAT...UHOH... THANKYOU!!!!!!!
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Old 22-04-2011, 18:02   #11
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Re: Whirrrrr but no Vrooom

If the starter spins but won't engage it is either the clutch or the bendix.
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Old 22-04-2011, 18:06   #12
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Re: Whirrrrr but no Vrooom

was splained tome that the lack of juice in battery will cause th sticking of the bendix and that causes the noise. iam on this --i do need a new battery-- this confirmed to me that th batt is deaad. whew i thought i had a rel problem---LOL....i hope yours is also a battery , mike-- goood luck!!!!
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Old 22-04-2011, 18:23   #13
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Re: Whirrrrr but no Vrooom

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izzat low voltage like in BAD BATTERY??????? IF IS, THEN I GOT THAT...UHOH... THANKYOU!!!!!!!
Do you have a dedicated start battery?
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Old 22-04-2011, 18:44   #14
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Re: Whirrrrr but no Vrooom

Low battery is usually a clicking sound, not a whirrrr. Sounds like the Bendix is stuck (motor is turning just fine but not engaging the gear). If you think you lost teeth on the flywheel (not likely), just turn over a little by hand and try again. If still whirring, give the solenoid a sharp tap while whirring and maybe the gear will kick in. You probably just need to take the solenoid off and clean the corrosion off the cylinder.
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Old 22-04-2011, 18:54   #15
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Re: Whirrrrr but no Vrooom

I like Bill's advice in post #9. 'always a good idea to see if the engine does turn a little by hand and no block in the cylinders.......though I trust it's a simpler and easier fix.
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