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Old 19-08-2022, 21:01   #1
PNM
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Unreliable Perkins Range 4 starting

Both engines require 3-4 tries of the starter button to turn the engines. The engines start immediately once the starter is engaged and turning.

I have installed 2 new battery banks. #1 is 2 group 24 starting batteries in parallel with a combined 1600CCA. #2 is 2 golf cart deep discharge batteries in serial.

I have cleaned or replaced all ground and positive battery cables and cleaned all starter, solenoid and alternator connections. I have also cleaned all of the wiring connections on the starboard engine to include the starter button connections at the upper helm.

I have not cleaned up the starter buttons at the lower helm or for the port engine at the upper helm.

I shorted across the input and output connections on the solenoid on the port engine and got a very strong starter turning response.

I can hear a strong audible solenoid "click" when I press the starter buttons at the lower helm.

I did a min/max test while trying to start the port engine and got a minimum voltage of 12.72 volts.

So, I am about ready to rebuild both AC Delco Starters. I suspect the internal solenoid electrical contacts are bad or the brushes are gone on the starter.

But I am having a hard time believing both starters failed at the same time.

I will clean up all of the remaining wiring connections at the helms and try again, before rebuilding the starters.

You thoughts are appreciated.
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Old 19-08-2022, 21:40   #2
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Unreliable Perkins Range 4 starting

You merely need to install relays to activate the solenoids although after 8 years on the bricks itís probably worth getting the starters checked as well. ACDelcoís on a perkins 6-354? Can you post a photo of the solenoid.
Did you ever manage to repair the gearbox oil leak
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Old 19-08-2022, 21:59   #3
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Re: Unreliable Perkins Range 4 starting

Have you seen this thread? (Sounds like you are not Robinson Crusoe)

https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...lem-30491.html
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Old 19-08-2022, 22:13   #4
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Re: Unreliable Perkins Range 4 starting

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipperpete View Post
You merely need to install relays to activate the solenoids although after 8 years on the bricks it’s probably worth getting the starters checked as well. ACDelco’s on a perkins 6-354? Can you post a photo of the solenoid.
Did you ever manage to repair the gearbox oil leak

You are no doubt more expert than me on these matters but when I installed the "ignition switch" in the cockpit of my yacht I had to put a relay down below near the starter solenoid otherwise I would have had to take heavy duty battery cable up to the ignition switch.

Surely he would have a relay installed near the solenoids? (Maybe not if the "starter button" was near the solenoids)
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Old 19-08-2022, 23:18   #5
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Unreliable Perkins Range 4 starting

Iím very far from being a reliable advisor on things electrical but thatís exactly what I meant however there are several different types of starter fitted to Perkins 6-354 engines and on the most common one there is no external solenoid but later ones had a geared reduction starter with a solenoid so the advice is a bit flexible.
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Old 20-08-2022, 22:04   #6
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Re: Unreliable Perkins Range 4 starting

On my 6.3544s, the solenoids are an integral part of the starters.

There is a small lug on the side of the solenoid where the solenoid's magnetic actuators get power from the start buttons. The wire from the starter button goes to the lock-out switch on the transmissions, which ensure the engines are not started in gear. A red striped-yellow wire goes from the lock-out switch to the small lug on side of the solenoid that activates the solenoids.

By the way, I think these switches are good. If the shift lever is not in the proper position, no power will go to the solenoid actuation lug and the actuator will not move. I can hear the actuator move, so the lock-out switches must be good and I must have the shift lever in the correct position.

Question??? Is it possible these lock-out switches could be "worn" such that pushing the start button 3-4 times builds up enough heat in the switch that they let the power through to the solenoid? I could try bypassing these lock-out switches if I determine the problem is in the start button circuitry.

When I push the start button the solenoids magnetic actuator accomplishes two tasks. 1) it moves the bendix gear such that it meshes with the gears on the fly wheel. 2) It engages internal contacts that connect the power from the solenoid's battery terminal to a large metal strap, also connected to the end of the solenoid, that goes through the starter housing and provides power to the starter motor, causing it to turn.

By shorting between the solenoid's battery connector to the large strap going into the starter motor, I am only bypassing the solenoid's internal contacts that connect the battery to the starter motor, thus, I only get a spinning motor, without the bendix gear engaged, because the magnetic solenoid is not actuated.

I have done this test and the starter turns enthusiastically, without actuating the magnet and engaging the bendix gear.

By shorting from the battery power post to the smaller solenoid lug where the wire from the starter/transmission lock-out is connected, I bypass the starter button and transmission lock-out. In this case the bendix should be engaged and the solenoid should "make" the connection from the solenoid's battery terminal to the strap powering the starter. The engine should turn.

I have not done this!

It is very hard to short from the battery input post to the solenoid "actuation" lug because of a housing barrier designed into the starter to ensure such a short never happens by accident.

After I clean a couple of remaining starter button connections, and try one more time using the starter buttons, I will build a jumper cable to accomplish the "button bypass" application of power to the solenoid actuation lug.

If the engines start every time when I bypass the starter button circuits, I will know the problem is in the wiring and/or the buttons, not the starter.

If the response is the same, I suppose its time to rebuild the starters.

Please let me know if I got the process wrong. It is more than possible

And, thanks for all of your help.
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Old 20-08-2022, 22:45   #7
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Re: Unreliable Perkins Range 4 starting

That sounds like an excellent plan. Yes , your starter motor is fairly unique in not having an external pull in solenoid and there is still a lot to be gained by fitting that relay near the starter motor if your tests establish that the voltage drop between keyswitch and starter is the issue. Perhaps avoid the little square bosch relay and go for a cole Hersee solenoid that were fitted to all the ford Lehmans.
I would be very surprised if your starter motors need to be rebuilt, I think your wiring bypass will yield a positive outcome
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Old 21-08-2022, 09:45   #8
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Re: Unreliable Perkins Range 4 starting

Thanks for your wisdom
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