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Old 02-09-2011, 15:42   #1
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Perkins Nightmare

Two years ago I purchased a Perkins 4.108 from a CF member to replace the 4.108 that was origionally in the boat. Even though the motor was running at the time of purchase, due to the fact that it had 5000 hrs on it it was given to a so called diesel engine expert for a tear down and inspection. The mechanic's report indicated that the motor appeared to be in excellent condition. As I had a Perkins parts kit all the gaskets where replaced as well as $2000.00 in new parts thrown in for good measure. Total cost including labor $4000.00. Considering the reputation of the 4.108 I was looking forward to many years of trouble free service.

After 100's of hours spent modifying and redoing the engine space to accept the new motor I finally started it today. After running the motor for a while at idle I slowly started to apply some throttle, at this point I hear a loud bang and imediately shut the motor down to inspect. To my horror on the intake manifold there is a grey oily substance that shot out of the intake manifild air inlet chamber, the chamber itself is coated with the same substance. I pulled the dipstick to inspect the motor oil and it is all grey as well. The strange thing is that the grey substance is very thick and viscous. I was thinking blown head gasket, but always thought the oil would be thinner being mixed with water not thickened.

I have tried to call the mechanic but he is not answering his phone, (Good sign). I am livid over this considering 1/2 hour run time and thousands of dollars invested.

Would appreciate some insights into what the problem may be and what recourse I may have.
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Old 02-09-2011, 16:00   #2
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Re: Perkins Nightmare

=(

Sorry to hear that! Sounds like its def water in the oil to me. Best case is a blown head gasket. Hope the block is alright.
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Old 02-09-2011, 16:07   #3
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Re: Perkins Nightmare

Sorry to hear of your problems.
I am no engine expert, but can you turn the motor over by hand? Any noises when you do?
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Old 02-09-2011, 16:11   #4
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Re: Perkins Nightmare

Also, did the oil level itself rise?
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Old 02-09-2011, 16:11   #5
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Re: Perkins Nightmare

yipes.i am a lucky woman. i got used 4-108 and ran it to ensenada untested after install. this one replaces a 4-107 i watched spectacularly detonate with black cloud size of teejass out its tailpipe.
check behind the starter with a mirror and a flashlite for any holes. most common place to find em if they are there.
is your heat exchanger in the fresh water tank on top of engine? or is it separate as in 4-107s.?

was the air cleaner element still inside the holder? or did it melt? could that be the grey mass or is oil tank filled with same color goo. what color is the water in the water tank now??(the one called a radiator in a car.)

good luck. mebbe is bad luck to inspect and overhaul a 4-108 before shakedown cruise.
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Old 02-09-2011, 17:15   #6
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Re: Perkins Nightmare

Your very quick and smart reaction by shutting down the engine will probably save you a lot of expense. Grey oil usually means a little engine coolant is getting into the oil. It only turns white when a lot of coolant water gets into the oil.
- - So the suggestions of a blown head gasket is probably the first and least expensive possible cause. Remove the cylinder head and look. While removing the head bolts be careful and see if any head bolts are loose or broken. Once the head if off then whatever is the problem will be evident.
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Old 03-09-2011, 15:26   #7
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Re: Perkins Nightmare

Well it turns out that I didn't have a problem with the head gasket after all. I had flooded the motor by running a garden hose to the raw water pump and turning up the pressure which in turn introduced more water into the exhaust than the motor could push out and backed up into the motor. After pumping out over two gallons of water and oil from the sump today and changing out the filter, then fresh oil and filter the motor fired right up and ran sweet, "Of course draft fed the raw water pump from a pail ". Considering the crap that came out of the motor I am amazed it ever ran again. The game plan is to perform mutiple oil changes over the next couple of days until all traces of contamination are removed. Perkins takes a licken and keeps on tickin!
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Old 03-09-2011, 15:33   #8
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Re: Perkins Nightmare

Good to hear and good idea on the oil changes
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Old 03-09-2011, 15:46   #9
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Re: Perkins Nightmare

I would like to take credit for this however I have had a great engine guru by the name of Ron Elder from Las Vegas, Nevada who has held my hand every step of the way with the engine room makeover. Yesterday when I thought that I ruined two years of work Ron was the one who suggested that I had washed the inside of the motor by over pressurizing the exhaust circuit, once again he was spot on.

I would also like to apologize to the engine mechanic, who did such a beautiful job rebuilding this motor, boy did I mutter a few choice words about him yesterday!
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Old 03-09-2011, 15:47   #10
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Re: Perkins Nightmare

Great news
The engine is fundamentally OK and fresh water should not be much of a problem. I would buy lots of cheap oil and keep changing it frequently. When things settle down go back to some decent oil.
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Old 03-09-2011, 15:50   #11
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Re: Perkins Nightmare

Yes that is the plan. Not having purchased oil for awhile I was supprised to found out that the cheap oil is not so cheap.
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Old 03-09-2011, 15:52   #12
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Re: Perkins Nightmare

I'm glad it is running okay and also glad it was fresh water. It shouldn't cause you any long term problems after changing the oil a few times.
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Old 03-09-2011, 16:24   #13
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Re: Perkins Nightmare

good. now i can say i toldja it was something dumb-- i have one too---they rock.
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Old 03-09-2011, 16:31   #14
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Re: Perkins Nightmare

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
good. now i can say i toldja it was something dumb-- i have one too---they rock.
Hey zeehag just called you dumb! but serious run until it has fully warmed It will help evaporate the moisture from where you do not want it, probably need to change it only once more
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Old 03-09-2011, 16:54   #15
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Re: Perkins Nightmare

Quote:
Originally Posted by cburger View Post
I would like to take credit for this however I have had a great engine guru by the name of Ron Elder from Las Vegas, Nevada who has held my hand every step of the way with the engine room makeover. Yesterday when I thought that I ruined two years of work Ron was the one who suggested that I had washed the inside of the motor by over pressurizing the exhaust circuit, once again he was spot on.

I would also like to apologize to the engine mechanic, who did such a beautiful job rebuilding this motor, boy did I mutter a few choice words about him yesterday!

You may wish to do a "kerosene flush" to pick up some of the water that's gone where it shouldn't be.

Glad to hear it's "operator error" and not something requiring a rebuild.
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