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Old 11-06-2017, 19:15   #1
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Ooops sucked paper towel (Bounty) into Perkins 6.354 air intake

Having just completed a total cleaning of my Bowman Heat Exchanger and tube core on my bullet proof non Turbo Perkins 6.354, I had taken off my K&N Air filter to clean that as well.......
So, I thought I'd just run up the 'ol Perkins to check for any Coolant / Raw water leaks etc etc.
While I was bending over in the close confines of my Engine Bay a small section of Paper Towel fell out of my pocket and was immediately sucked into the air intake ....I shut the Perkins down within a matter of seconds, but, hopefully, have not done any damage.
Question is....should I try to restart the Perkins and attempt to Blow the paper towel particles out of the exhaust or remove the head and clean it all out first..... as you all know 'tis a lot of work to do this, but, she's a good girl and I really don't want to force her to blow the towel out of the exhaust.
I had removed the air intake assembly again to see if I could locate any sign of the errant paper towel....but, couldn't see anything.
The Valve clearances are only .008" on the intake and 018" on the exhaust...hard to believe that the paper towel could get through this small space.
I've never run into this situation before....just hoping some of you out there may have experienced this issue and can advise me on if you think it's safe to try and run her without the chance of bending a Valve stem or should I take the safe route and take her all apart again....I can always decarbonize the valves, reseat them and inspect the tops of the pistons etc. if I did that.....but there goes my 2017 season.
Look forward to the suggestions....and I know I'll get the "funnies" as well..
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Old 11-06-2017, 19:22   #2
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Re: Ooops sucked paper towel (Bounty) into Perkins 6.354 air intake

I am not an engine guy, in the sense of being a mechanic with lots of wrench time. But the clearances you quoted surely would have me spooked about forcing the engine to chew up the towel, & eventually spit it out.
Then again, if at worst the towel forces you to tear things down if you run the engine, vs. tearing it down to pull out the towel bits prior to running it, then where's the extra work? Putting new valves into the heads I suppose if the towel bends them?
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Old 11-06-2017, 19:25   #3
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Ooops sucked paper towel (Bounty) into Perkins 6.354 air intake

Paper towel, I'd run it.
Valve clearances are slop, valve lift ought to be around make a half inch or so. But I doubt a paper towel will do any real damage.
Friend of mine many years ago was trimming the fuel control on a turbine, sucked the mechanics cloth towel out of his pocket, and blew the guts of the engine out the back he said, one big pop,and it was over.
Of course most conservative response is tear it down, but I wouldn't.
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Old 11-06-2017, 19:32   #4
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Re: Ooops sucked paper towel (Bounty) into Perkins 6.354 air intake

Would it be worth flooding the intake with some atomized fuel, or other engine neutral solvent, in order to soften up the paper towel a bit? I wouldn't want to use anything real volatile, as you could wind up with a situation akin to running gasoline in a diesel. With catestrophic results.
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Old 11-06-2017, 19:44   #5
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Re: Ooops sucked paper towel (Bounty) into Perkins 6.354 air intake

If you removed the head you'd find nothing at all, the paper towel was ingested, incinerated and exhausted essentially before you could reach to turn the engine off...
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Old 11-06-2017, 19:50   #6
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Re: Ooops sucked paper towel (Bounty) into Perkins 6.354 air intake

If truly a small piece it likely ended up in the combustion chamber and combusted.

A bigger towel might be still in the inlet tract. Got a boroscope?
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Old 11-06-2017, 20:19   #7
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Re: Ooops sucked paper towel (Bounty) into Perkins 6.354 air intake

Thanks for all of the responses in such a short period of time....certainly all of you have have given me a range of ideas to consider
In the seconds it took me to shut the engine down, there was a distinct difference in noise...not a "clunky" mechanical knock or grinding type noise ...more of a "Paper towel flapping" in the intake noise.
With the minimal clearances on the valves and fully realizing that diesels have very little clearance between the Pistons at TDC and the valves. I was just hoping that Paper towel pieces wouldn't hold a valve open by preventing it from closing all the way and thereby causing the valve body to impact the top of the piston(s).
Flooding the chambers with some type of fluid as Uncivilized has suggested might be something to try...however, getting that fluid in there means removing Injectors or taking that bloody air intake manifold off again...which is a pain in the you know what.
Don't have a boroscope...but, would be another good idea.
But, Jimbunyard reckons there won't be anything there as it'll have been burnt and exhaust will have taken care of it.
OK, first thing in the morning I'll try to start her up again, if she doesn't then I'll know there's particles of paper holding certain valves open which in turn will eliminate any chance of the compression needed to start her.
BTW, she always started first time, every time.
There was only one sheet of "Bounty" paper towel....a little sweaty with a drop or two of oil/coolant
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Old 11-06-2017, 20:57   #8
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Re: Ooops sucked paper towel (Bounty) into Perkins 6.354 air intake

If you have a facebook account you might want to post on the "Recreational Marine Diesel Engine Maintenance & Repair Discussion Group". I left a link to this article there but if someone doesn't has a Cruisers Forum account they may not take the time to create one just to comment on your dilemma.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/4843...00924/?fref=nf
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Old 11-06-2017, 21:22   #9
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Re: Ooops sucked paper towel (Bounty) into Perkins 6.354 air intake

It's just paper, and probably already mostly ash if not completely gone.
I'd start the engine and be ready to shut it down if in the unlikely case it sounds funny or does something unexpected.
The chances of even minimal damage imho are 1% or less.
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Old 12-06-2017, 09:24   #10
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Re: Ooops sucked paper towel (Bounty) into Perkins 6.354 air intake

On my previous boat I was removing a plastic garbage bag from the engine compartment and passed too near the air intake (universal5424). The engine digested about one third of the bag before I could wrestle it away. It coughed a little and made some black smoke but just kept on running for many hours. If you think about the combustion temperatures in the cylinders anything flammable is going to be instant ash or will stop the engine. I would try to run the engine and if it runs, forget that anything happened.
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Old 12-06-2017, 09:58   #11
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Re: Ooops sucked paper towel (Bounty) into Perkins 6.354 air intake

Some facebook replies from Recreational Marine Diesel Engine Maintenance & Repair Discussion Group:

Dave Friedrich Well, I rebuilt my Perkins, and left a paper shop towel in the #4 cylinder. Upon startup everything sounded great at idle. I started it and shut it down several times before I got bold enough to rev it up. The increasing rpms sucked what was left of the towel into the exhaust valve whereupon all Hell broke loose! Not having a clue what it was, I removed the head and found it. I'm pretty sure that if I had just let the engine idle for a few more minutes I would never have known anything about it. As it was, I removed the wad of blue rag from the valve and framed it!

Ed Siegmann Happened to me when rebuild of 4-107 westerbeke/perkins completed. Noticed nothing until burned crap exited exhaust. Then nothing; running fine for a 1975 piece of cast iron. my advice is don't go looking for trouble..
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Old 12-06-2017, 10:14   #12
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Re: Ooops sucked paper towel (Bounty) into Perkins 6.354 air intake

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfy View Post
Thanks for all of the responses in such a short period of time....certainly all of you have have given me a range of ideas to consider
In the seconds it took me to shut the engine down, there was a distinct difference in noise...not a "clunky" mechanical knock or grinding type noise ...more of a "Paper towel flapping" in the intake noise.
With the minimal clearances on the valves and fully realizing that diesels have very little clearance between the Pistons at TDC and the valves. I was just hoping that Paper towel pieces wouldn't hold a valve open by preventing it from closing all the way and thereby causing the valve body to impact the top of the piston(s).
Flooding the chambers with some type of fluid as Uncivilized has suggested might be something to try...however, getting that fluid in there means removing Injectors or taking that bloody air intake manifold off again...which is a pain in the you know what.
Don't have a boroscope...but, would be another good idea.
But, Jimbunyard reckons there won't be anything there as it'll have been burnt and exhaust will have taken care of it.
OK, first thing in the morning I'll try to start her up again, if she doesn't then I'll know there's particles of paper holding certain valves open which in turn will eliminate any chance of the compression needed to start her.
BTW, she always started first time, every time.
There was only one sheet of "Bounty" paper towel....a little sweaty with a drop or two of oil/coolant

A64 told you that the size of the opening when the valve is open has nothing to do with the valve clearances -- that's just slop, as he said. It's the valve LIFT (minus clearance) which determines how wide the valve is open.

First thing to do is take a deep breath -- this isn't all that big a deal.

The conservative approach to solving it would be to take off the head and check that, the cylinders, and the intake manifold. That would be guaranteed solution to the problem. If you burned a valve, it will be simple to fix it, once you've done this. I don't know how hard it is to get the head off your engine, how accessible it is, etc. I used to yank the head off the old Morris Minor I drove in high school (done regularly because of carpy non-Stellite valves which burned all the time) in about 15 minutes. If it's an hour or so or less, then I'd probably just go straight to that solution.

The more adventurous approach might the following.

1. Put a borescope down each intake tract and see if you can see any paper anywhere. If you find the paper in an intake tract, then you might be able to get it out with the hook which comes with most borescopes.

2. If you don't find anything that way, then start it up and do a quick cylinder balance test, by cracking each injector pipe in turn. If the engine passes, then you are probably ok. Run it and enjoy. If not, then you need to quickly shut it down and tear it down.


The main risk is that a bit of paper gets in a valve and prevents it from closing, which will burn it eventually if you don't solve it. I think it is very unlikely that you could burn a valve in a few minutes of idling. Actually I am sure about that since we're talking about a diesel with very low combustion chamber temperatures (unlike a petrol engine) when not loaded. The cylinder balance test should reveal whether this has happened or not.

As to whether you might get valve interference with a piston -- it depends on the configuration of the engine, but I doubt it. All the diesels I've ever seen are non-interference. But again -- if God forbid something like that happened, and you bent a valve, the cylinder balance test will reveal the necessity of tearing it down and the tear-down will reveal the exact nature of the damage.

Good luck and let us know how you get on.
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Old 12-06-2017, 10:19   #13
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Re: Ooops sucked paper towel (Bounty) into Perkins 6.354 air intake

A friend ended up with a $4k rebuild of his Yanmar after trying to run the engine to burn a paper towel that got sucked into the intake.

YMMV
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Old 12-06-2017, 10:21   #14
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Re: Ooops sucked paper towel (Bounty) into Perkins 6.354 air intake

Why not take a look with a scope - borrow one or get a cheapie online - or just take off the intake manifold and do a visual. If any pieces are still there fish them out and put the manifold back on. Most engines don't require removing the heads or injectors to remove the intake manifold but I'm not familiar with the exact design of the Perkins.
I was told to never run a engine without the filter or at least a screen over the air intake - especially if is one with a turbo. Those turbo blades are like a vegetable choppers and easily broken or bent. I now that yours is not a turbo model but another reader might have one.
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Old 12-06-2017, 11:54   #15
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Re: Ooops sucked paper towel (Bounty) into Perkins 6.354 air intake

Did the same thing with my Vettus but left it running and listened for bad noises. Hearing none I continued to warm it up. No harm, no foul.
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