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Old 29-12-2019, 22:17   #1
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Question Hydraulic Starters any experience? Makers? Ex Landing craft ww2

Most of the smaller WW2 Landing craft had Hydraulic starters -- some of the RNL life boats they work well when wet Has anyone sailed with them ? Mike Pope
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Old 30-12-2019, 00:09   #2
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Re: Hydraulic Starters any experience? Makers? Ex Landing craft ww2

The ones I've used on boats and ships have both a diesel powered and hand powered pump. The hand pump is good for times when the accumulators are empty. Otherwise once the diesel is running the powered pump refills the accumulators. Hyd starters are nice where power isn't always available. A new starter, pump, valves, isn't cheap. Sometimes starters and parts are on eBay. A new starter is about a grand. None of it needs to be stainless, but the outsides need to be painted like any steel used on the ocean. Plumbing need to be able to handle the pressure.

Another option is an air starter. Less pressure, less money.
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Old 30-12-2019, 10:29   #3
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Re: Hydraulic Starters any experience? Makers? Ex Landing craft ww2

Thanks I have served in my youth on Motor Vessel Freighters with air start . One question is does this necessarily require a modification to the engine providing a port for admission of the air to the cylinder.?
Can you give me a name of a supplier I am planning a second long distance cruiser with a two to three litre engine. and would like to make it able to start after partial flooding. Michael Pope
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Old 30-12-2019, 15:30   #4
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Re: Hydraulic Starters any experience? Makers? Ex Landing craft ww2

A small engine would need at least 40 cubic feet of air under about 125psi. The starter goes where the current starter is mounted and is about the same size. Plumbing consists of the tank, lines and a valve to allow air to the starter. You need an air compressor or a device that uses engine compression. Big diesels that air start usually have an additional rocker, valve and cam lobe to send air directly into the cylinder. Modifying a small engine would be more than the cost of the engine.

If you search "diesel air starters" you'll find manufacturers and dealers. Most are involved in mining and oil field equipment or generators at remote sites.
For a starting method not needing any power ever, probably a hydraulic starter would be better. Again the starter is about the size of the standard starter, you have a hand hydraulic pump, one or more accumulators, and a valve to control the starter.
Search for "diesel hydraulic starters". Pic is a hand hydraulic pack for a starter. You still need lines to and from the starter and a control valve. The pack can be smaller, components don't have to be together. Hand ones I have used take about a minute of hand pumping to get 1 or more starts.
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Old 30-12-2019, 18:20   #5
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Re: Hydraulic Starters any experience? Makers? Ex Landing craft ww2

Hydraulic starters are common on emergency generators on ships and offshore oil rigs. They usually have both a manual and an engine driven recharge pump connected to an accumulator. Bit weighty and complex for a smallish boat though.

When I marinized a Kubuto to re-engine my last boat I built the bell housing myself and exploited the opportunity to fit two starters. Since I needed to carry a spare I thought that the best place to store it was on the engine ready to go.
Dunno why all marine diesels aren't built that way.
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Old 30-12-2019, 18:36   #6
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Re: Hydraulic Starters any experience? Makers? Ex Landing craft

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Pope View Post
Thanks I have served in my youth on Motor Vessel Freighters with air start . One question is does this necessarily require a modification to the engine providing a port for admission of the air to the cylinder.?
Can you give me a name of a supplier I am planning a second long distance cruiser with a two to three litre engine. and would like to make it able to start after partial flooding. Michael Pope
That is a ďrealĒ air starter, like the big boy motors that actually actuate the engine directly.
That would be a real significant modification, be interesting to implement it as you could leave the standard starter alone. Iím sure you would have to remove the head and have a HP air port drilled in it, and then figure out some kind of timing system to give the shot of air at the right time, run it off a a SCUBA tank Iíd assume.
Itís I believe an interesting concept, but way more work and money than itís worth.

I believe they are talking about units to replace the existing electric starter.

There are or have been wind up spring starters too. Hydraulic and or air starter would in my opinion be a lot more work and money than you need.

Carrying a spare electric starter would I think make more sense.

The APU on the Apache helicopter was hydraulically started. It was started from the emergency hydraulic accumulator, you had one shot, if it didnít start, you had to pump on a one meter long handle until the accumulator was 3000 PSI again and you were about worn out.

Of course you have to have an accumulator, a nitrogen tank that acts like a spring for the accumulator, and a hydraulic pump to recharge the accumulator, and a manual back up pump in case the engine didnít start.
Real complex system.


I believe there are emergency wind up starters in existence, never seen one though.
I just carry a spare Chinese starter, maybe $100 or so?
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Old 31-12-2019, 11:12   #7
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Re: Hydraulic Starters any experience? Makers? Ex Landing craft ww2

The Hydraulic starters you are talking about or most likely technically a hydraulic over gas, In most cases either or air. but most likely Nitrogen. the problem generally is with the accumulator tank. the gas leaks out so you really don't get any compression, since you can't compress a liquid. If we ( as the us army, where I was a mechanic on a mike 8 landing craft) could get parts back then 40 years ago , repairing the accumulator is almost impossible with out sending it to the factory. If you have an option, go to electric. much more reliable and probably cheaper to buy and repair. The larger ships still will use the hydraulic starters, due to the fact that they when working properly they will really crank over a large diesel engine.
specialist 4th class (marine diesel)Glen

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Old 31-12-2019, 12:36   #8
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Re: Hydraulic Starters any experience? Makers? Ex Landing craft ww2

I do not .know why I did not get this info the first time I searched I am getting lots of help now. Thanks Yes the Hydraulic with accumulator systems seem the way to go and not impossibly expensive. I plan on keeping the original electric as well! I went through "the lots a water in the boat and no more rig and all the wiring trashed "once . Had a good dry diesel engine but 23 to one compression ratio ------- No way you could get it past top center with Two hands let alone one. I pinned a $100.0 note over the engine for the first person to start the engine (a Mitsubishi with decompression levers ) re branded as "Volvo") Quite a few young Army guys from Kwadjelan gave it a try "nothing but sore shoulders" I wrote to Volvo saying it was a ripoff but they never replied. I rebuilt a Hong kong boat that had a "spring starter" as backup but it had been wet too often and was a ball of rust inside.
Volvo wanted $550.00 for a new starter ! The Marshall island kid who was helping me said that looks like the one on my Uncle's Pickup. I handed him the starter and he was back from the auto parts store in 20 minutes with a new one $104.00 . Paint was a different colour. Have never bought a Volvo since!
My thanks to all -- on to the next step!
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Old 31-12-2019, 15:15   #9
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Re: Hydraulic Starters any experience? Makers? Ex Landing craft ww2

I doubt you should even consider an air starter on a small engine. Between the accumulator tank and a compressor you are adding a lot of space consuming hardware.
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Old 31-12-2019, 16:11   #10
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Re: Hydraulic Starters any experience? Makers? Ex Landing craft ww2

Caterpillar earth moving machines used to have a gas engine starter option. They were horrible things which usually required an exact amount of throttle and choke adjustment which was different for each motor. It was in pre recoil starter days and a rope had to be wound around a large pulley for each start attempt.

Don't know whether anyone builds one but a largish, gas powered, brush cutter engine with a reduction gear and a Bendix arrangement would make a good emergency starting system.
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Old 31-12-2019, 17:07   #11
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Re: Hydraulic Starters any experience? Makers? Ex Landing craft ww2

I seem to recall a diesel that could be started with a modified shotgun charge.
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Old 31-12-2019, 18:18   #12
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Re: Hydraulic Starters any experience? Makers? Ex Landing craft ww2

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Caterpillar earth moving machines used to have a gas engine starter option. They were horrible things which usually required an exact amount of throttle and choke adjustment which was different for each motor. It was in pre recoil starter days and a rope had to be wound around a large pulley for each start attempt.

Don't know whether anyone builds one but a largish, gas powered, brush cutter engine with a reduction gear and a Bendix arrangement would make a good emergency starting system.
Called a pony motor, larger old Bulldozers had them too, little motor pretty much ran wide open if memory serves

This isnít that old a machine as itís a hydraulic dozer. Old ones were cable operated and the pony motor was hand cranked, little two cyl gas motor.
https://youtu.be/AGLUib62yys
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Old 31-12-2019, 18:22   #13
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Re: Hydraulic Starters any experience? Makers? Ex Landing craft ww2

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I seem to recall a diesel that could be started with a modified shotgun charge.
Many aircraft too, remember the original Flight of the Phoenix movie?

https://youtu.be/65qrzgbTTcQ
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Old 31-12-2019, 20:39   #14
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Re: Hydraulic Starters any experience? Makers? Ex Landing craft ww2

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I seem to recall a diesel that could be started with a modified shotgun charge.
I think they were called Kaufmen or Koffman starters.
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Old 31-12-2019, 23:42   #15
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Re: Hydraulic Starters any experience? Makers? Ex Landing craft ww2

The oilfield supply boats I worked on as a young drilling engineer had air starters. We had an engine room fire one night drilling in the Taiwan Strait, none of the fire suppression system was charged, so the boat crew closed all the engine room hatches and released all the pressurized air from the accumulators on the theory that lack of oxygen would stop the smoldering gear box fire. The boat crew and my drilling crew huddled at the bow all night waiting for the stern to blow off or the fire to go out. Oddly enough the boat crew lost all its English language capabilities during the emergency and refused to call for help (not having any fire fighting capacity might have had something to do with this).
In the morning (the fire went out) there was no air pressure to start the boat engines.
I jury rigged a Tinkers to Evans to Chance compressor system that relied on my leather pants belt and a hand cranked drilling mud mixing engine to charge the air accumulators.
Where there is a will (and imagination) there is a way.
I’d go air starter over hydraulic any day.
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