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Old 19-08-2011, 09:03   #1
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Why Two Oil Dipsticks on Perkins 4-108 ?

I have two oil dipsticks on my Perkins 4-108. At first I was using the shorter one on the starboard side that doesn't really reach down to the bottom of the oil pan. But I think that one gave false references, considering it is much shorter than the longer one sitting on the port side which reaches all the way down to the bottom of the oil pan and has a max/min reading.
I can have a max reading on the longer port side one, while showing no oil (when engine is shut off) on the shorter starboard side dipstick. Of course, while running, the shorter starboard side stick is full of oil.
I can't find mention of both these in any of my Perkins manuals (I have two of them). I'm having trouble figuring out how much oil is actually in the engine and after getting lots of blue smoke out the exhaust after an oil change, I drained 2 quarts of oil out of the engine (10-30w). I still have 60 LBS of oil pressure, so I guess I hadn't drained all the oil out before adding more. Hopefully, this excess oil didn't hurt the motor???
When changing the oil, I once read (though I can't find that advise any more), about how you also have to drain another oil plug that sits in a very hard to reach location on the starboard side half way up the block. Does anybody know anything about this drain plug too?
Also, what is a good manual pump I could use to pump out the oil in this motor? I was thinking of using one of those gasoline hand pumps they use on separate gas tanks.
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Old 19-08-2011, 09:14   #2
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Re: why two oil dipsticks on Perkins 4-108

Don't know about Perkins engines, but my old Isuzu had a separate dip stick to monitor oil in the fuel injection pump...

Michael
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Old 19-08-2011, 09:18   #3
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Re: Why Two Oil Dipsticks on Perkins 4-108 ?

the fuel injection pump on this Perkins is on the port side, the side with the oil dipstick that goes all the way down to the bottom of the oil pan. And by the way, I do have a slight tip backwards/downwards for this motor, so I wonder if I can even trust that reading. Maybe I should use that longer one and go a little light on oil level considering it goes to the front of the oil pan while the motor slants backwards.
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Old 19-08-2011, 10:29   #4
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Re: Why Two Oil Dipsticks on Perkins 4-108 ?

The Perkins 4-108 marine version has a dipstick-like "opening" in the side that the fuel injection pump is on. On our 4108 this is capped with a tall hex nut. Underneath that is a removable tube that reaches down to the bottom of the sump. This was designed to be used to pump oil from the sump as Perkins knew access to the oil drain plug underneath was often problematic on a boat.

A previous owner might have replaced that with a dip stick. I can't believe it is a good idea - like you say, can you trust the reading if you don't know what the levels are supposed to be? Perhaps they just lost the hex head cap and stuffed an old dop stick in it. Try unscrewing the part you are sticking the dip stick into.

It works very well for draining the oil, much easier access than the dip stick. This feature is mentioned briefly in one of the manuals.

Van
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Old 19-08-2011, 11:14   #5
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Re: Why Two Oil Dipsticks on Perkins 4-108 ?

Thank you so much for that info. Then I will assume that the other dipstick (the short one on the starboard side that doesn't reach all the way down to the sump) is the one I'm suppose to be using.
If this is the case, then I am running dry. Which would not explain why oil is still dripping out the rear seal like I've never had problems with before. My motor is not tipped back that much (maybe an inch drop max).

What about having to drain that extra drain plug somewhere half way up the block next to that short dipstick on the starboard side? Have you heard of that drain plug?

I don't think I drained a full gallon out the engine via the sump drain hole in front of oil pan last time I changed oil (even though I used a dc pump that quit working after a quart). This would account for the extreme excess blue/white oil burn I was experiencing at idle until I drained out two quarts. But this would not explain why I'm still getting back seal leakage, which I've never gotten before and excess blue/white smoke while running at 1800-2200 rpms. I'm hoping the valve guides are just pushing out excess oil, which I'm hoping I still have a problem with. But now, after learning that I should be using that short dip stick, that hope is hopeless.
If I add enough oil to just bring the short dipstick up to 1/8" at the very bottom tip, then I'll be back to serious blue/white smoke at idle. . . Whats weird is that even though that short dip stick shows NO OIL at all - totally dry - , while running it shows oil about 10" or so up the stick.
Again, thanks for the help.
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Old 19-08-2011, 11:24   #6
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Re: Why Two Oil Dipsticks on Perkins 4-108 ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dancamp009 View Post
And by the way, I do have a slight tip backwards/downwards for this motor, so I wonder if I can even trust that reading. Maybe I should use that longer one and go a little light on oil level considering it goes to the front of the oil pan while the motor slants backwards.
No, I would not trust that reading. I would totally drain the motor making certain that the oil pan was totally empty and replace the filter. You should be able to obtain the oil capacity of the engine including the filter from the manual. I would add exactly that much oil and then run the motor to fill the filter. Where the oil settles on whatever dipstick should be your full level and I would be marking that as the reference point before I relied on the mark scribed on either stick which may be innacurate due to the tilting of the engine.

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Old 19-08-2011, 11:37   #7
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Re: Why Two Oil Dipsticks on Perkins 4-108 ?

You probably have a failed rear seal. The 4-108 is notorious for rear seal problems. It should not be leaking, even if you have too much oil in the pan. Try draining completely and then put in the stated sump capacity in the manual. I beleive the shop manual makes mention of installation angle and it's effect on oil level. Your installation should not exceed a stated maximum angle anyway.
When I owned a 4-108M I installed an elbow on the sump drain with a petcock on it. All I had to do was reach down and screw the end fitting of my manual pump hose onto it and open the petcock to pump it out. Less messy and that way you get all the old dirty oil out every time. My present system has all of that permanently installed, and I only have to open a valve and flip a switch to pump out my oil. Good luck, those rear seals are a PITA. Often need to remove the engine from the boat...
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Old 19-08-2011, 11:38   #8
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Re: Why Two Oil Dipsticks on Perkins 4-108 ?

Now that I've got a diagram I will include here, I'm thinking we are talking about different animals.
The long oil dipstick I was referring to that goes down to the bottom of the oil pan, the one on the port side and the one I've finally decided to use as a reference, and the one you said is only used for sucking oil out, looks like is the one that Perkins recommends we use as the REAL dipstick. Yeah, it has a screw on deal there too, that one could use to suck oil out with, but it still goes to the bottom of the pan, which I can only imagine is the one with the oil info we need. Right???
So the maybe you were talking about the short one on the starboard (right side looking at engine from back) side. Which is the one that remains dry while motor is resting.
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Old 19-08-2011, 11:40   #9
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Re: Why Two Oil Dipsticks on Perkins 4-108 ?

I'll try adding that photo again here:
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Old 19-08-2011, 11:57   #10
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Re: Why Two Oil Dipsticks on Perkins 4-108 ?

Eleebana: Thanks for the advice. Unfortunately, I don't know if I'm getting all the oil out even if I drain the very bottom of the oil pan, considering there is another place on the other side (the starboard side) where I do remember once having to remove to drain the oil, but I didn't do it this time cuz I couldn't find it and didn't want to bother anyway. So what in the heck is that other dipstick there for? And am I the only 4-108 with a second dipstick?
I will now use the longer port side dipstick goes to the bottom, and see where it all registers after I change the oil again.
As far as how much to add. I believe the manual states to add 4 quarts. But it does not mention the oil filter, which I would imagine is an extra amount as they do recommend filling that filter with oil prior to installation. Hope I'm right here as that extra quart of oil could be disasterous and why I'm getting so much blue/white smoke all of a sudden.
Minaret: I don't really have enough room under the pan to add a pet-cock valve to drain it. But I did notice on the picture I'm still trying to get to display that there is also a drain plug way back under neath the pan in the back that I will try to drain next time (today I guess) I change the oil. I would love to have hose attached to that drain plug with a pet-cock on it though. . .
thanks both for the suggestions
try this for the link, since the actual image or even the image link doesn't work here:
perkins4-108oilpanassembly.png picture by dancamp009 - Photobucket
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Old 19-08-2011, 12:16   #11
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Re: Why Two Oil Dipsticks on Perkins 4-108 ?

Just to be clear - refering to the engine sides as "right" and "left" as viewed from standing at the transmission end, the normal position for the dip stick is the right side. Per the manual:
"The oil level dipstick is located on the right hand side of the engine, but provision is made for fitting on the left hand side of the engine if required". This is how our 4108 is, and we drain the oil out of the left side because it has easier access. I presume the length of the dip sticks may or may not be the same! Let us know if you figure it out.

Also, in the Fault Finding Chart in the manual, the entry for High Oil Pressure lists possible causes:
Incorrect grade of lubricating oil;
Inaccurate gauge;
Pressure relief valve sticking closed.

Good luck.
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Old 19-08-2011, 14:51   #12
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Re: Why Two Oil Dipsticks on Perkins 4-108 ?

thank you afmstm.
Boy, just when I thought I had it all figured out, you come along.
Okay, as displayed in the photo I've included a link above (two replies earlier), on the left side (looking from the transmission) is the dipstick that extends to the bottom of the oil pan (oil sump some like to call it) that has a convex protrussion onto the block below the fuel injection pump that shows exactly where that dipstick is going. Contrary to what you are suggesting, I'm finding this stick is the only reliable dipstick I've got.
The dipstick on the right (other) side is too short to reach to the bottom of the oil pan and disappears inside the block somewhere, which means it must show another oil level that I should be aware of unless the original dipstick on this engine has mysteriously been replaced by another (shorter) one, which seems very odd. I will try extending a wire (or the other longer dipstick) down into that tube to see how far down I can go. I will get back with this info.
If I can't get a longer dipstick to extend down on the right side, then the dipstick I'm using is the correct one, and I'm back to square one, trying to figure out what the heck that short dipstick is even doing there.
By listing the high oil pressure causes, I'm assuming you may think I have a too much oil pressure, just when I was thinking that I had the right amount. I now have 60 LBS in gear, 50 LBS at idle and this is after draining two excess quarts of oil out. With those extra two quarts in the engine, I got 65 LBS in gear and lots of smoke, which told me to try draining the oil enough to stop the smoke. Draining 2 quarts helped greatly with the blue/white smoke, but I still get more than before. So I think I'll try draining even more as now I'm at the MAX level according to the long dipstick on the left side.
Thanks again
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Old 19-08-2011, 15:36   #13
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Re: Why Two Oil Dipsticks on Perkins 4-108 ?

Okay, upon rereading your posts, I think you are all correct in your responses. I'm beginning to believe the reason I have an extra long dipstick on the left side is because that dipstick has been fabricated afterwards so that it reached from way behind the engine. Perhaps the shorter dipstick on the right side originally went into that left side tube, but has been switched to add the longer dipstick.
I like Eleebana suggestion of just changing the oil and making sure i get all the old oil out and then refill and then take a reading and mark that reading.
I'll do that next.
thanks again guys,
think we're done here, unless of course you want to add something. . .
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Old 19-08-2011, 17:24   #14
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Re: Why Two Oil Dipsticks on Perkins 4-108 ?

the dipstick i have in the bore on the right (ie not below the exhaust manifold) has this number stamped on it:
31786409
next to the max min lines.
It is 6.25 inches long measuring from the tip to the lid that limits how far it goes in.
Good luck
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Old 19-08-2011, 23:51   #15
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Re: Why Two Oil Dipsticks on Perkins 4-108 ?

well thank you. I'll check those numbers out tomorrow but I doubt six inches is long enough to reach down to the bottom of my oil pan from where that dipstick on the right side next to the lift pump inserts. I'll know for sure tomorrow and let you know what I find.
Today I had trouble draining the remainder oil out of the pan so tomorrow I'll go look for some sort of oil pump I can insert into the little tiny allen head bolt that sits at the front of the oil pan. Oh yeah, and I didn't find that drain plug I was expecting to find at the back of the oil pan where it is the lowest position.
The good news is I was able to drain out and suck out (with mouth and a clear hose) almost a gallon of oil today. Which means I don't have much more to go to prove I had more than four quarts or too much oil in my motor (even after draining two quarts before my last three hour smoky motor ride).
My buddy told me to find a motorcycle oil pump to get the rest of the oil out. He says they use them all the time to drain oil out of Harleys. I can't use the dipstick sucking technique you guys are using because my dipstick on the left (IP side) that does reach to the bottom of the pan is already dry after draining what I could so far (which is not even the total amount left). Both these dipsticks only go the middle of the oil pan, if that. Which leaves a lot of oil still sitting behind it on the slant. I guess this means I'm not the only one who doesn't drain all the oil out of the motor before adding more.
Either Perkins messed up or I'm messed. But I just think they could have made it a lot easier for us to change our oil.
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