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Old 11-01-2020, 09:57   #1
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Overheating Perkins 85hp engine

I own a 47' vegabound ketch, it has a perkins 85hp motor, not sure of the model number of said engine, I've owned the boat for close to 18 months, but only recently got splashed and finally was able to fire up the engine, at an idle, she doesn't pump much water, and the one time I put the motor under a load, it over heated, filled my cabin with steam... but motor still seems ok... I'm a single woman who just turned 60, so I'm no mechanic, lol not even close... this is my first sailboat I've ever owned, so the learning curve is steep... but I have tools and I'm not afraid to learn, I'm surviving on a limited budget, SSI disability doesn't pay much... I'm currently in the bay in Hampton Virginia off the end of Langley AFB... any help would be greatly appreciated... I don't know crap about a diesel engine... again I'm not afraid to get dirty or learn...

Thank you for your help ahead of time...

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Old 11-01-2020, 10:26   #2
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Re: Overheating Perkins 85hp engine

It is likely a 4-236 Perkins. There is a newer model in that HP range though, I forget what it is. But if it's an older engine it's the 4-236. Great engine.
BTW, that engine was used in Forklifts a lot, so keep that in mind regarding some of the parts.
There are so many things it could be, but one thing, especially since it sat unused for a while is the rubber water pump impellor. It's a rubber paddle wheel like thing inside the pump housing. It pushes water through the cooling system. These get brittle or stuck or deformed if they sit a long time. When you start the engine sometimes a paddle wheel or two will break off.
One problem is this little rubber part can flow into the system and get stuck in a transmission cooler etc if you boat has one.
I would advise getting a mechanic to check this for you and you can learn by watching.
Always carry a spare impellor (paddle wheel)
BUT: if your cabin filled with steam, one wonders if you don't have another issue. That would indicate a leak.
Are you sure your seacock was open when you started the engine?
Also, you may have had an air lock in your cooling engine from the system being open or out of water at some point.

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Old 11-01-2020, 10:28   #3
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Re: Overheating Perkins 85hp engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by BonBon5969 View Post
I own a 47' vegabound ketch, it has a perkins 85hp motor, not sure of the model number of said engine, I've owned the boat for close to 18 months, but only recently got splashed and finally was able to fire up the engine, at an idle, she doesn't pump much water, and the one time I put the motor under a load, it over heated, filled my cabin with steam... but motor still seems ok... I'm a single woman who just turned 60, so I'm no mechanic, lol not even close... this is my first sailboat I've ever owned, so the learning curve is steep... but I have tools and I'm not afraid to learn, I'm surviving on a limited budget, SSI disability doesn't pay much... I'm currently in the bay in Hampton Virginia off the end of Langley AFB... any help would be greatly appreciated... I don't know crap about a diesel engine... again I'm not afraid to get dirty or learn...

Thank you for your help ahead of time...

BonBon5969
I don't mean to sound condescending but do you know what an impeller is? Have you checked it? First thing to check when it overheats.
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Old 11-01-2020, 12:09   #4
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Re: Overheating Perkins 85hp engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by BonBon5969 View Post
I own a 47' vegabound ketch, it has a perkins 85hp motor, not sure of the model number of said engine, I've owned the boat for close to 18 months, but only recently got splashed and finally was able to fire up the engine, at an idle, she doesn't pump much water, and the one time I put the motor under a load, it over heated, filled my cabin with steam... but motor still seems ok... I'm a single woman who just turned 60, so I'm no mechanic, lol not even close... this is my first sailboat I've ever owned, so the learning curve is steep... but I have tools and I'm not afraid to learn, I'm surviving on a limited budget, SSI disability doesn't pay much... I'm currently in the bay in Hampton Virginia off the end of Langley AFB... any help would be greatly appreciated... I don't know crap about a diesel engine... again I'm not afraid to get dirty or learn...

Thank you for your help ahead of time...

BonBon5969

BonBon,
We have a 4.236 in our boat and the manuals in electronic format. If you want to read/learn about your motor, send me a PM with your email and I'd be happy to send you manuals in pdf format.

As mentioned, checking the impeller would be a good start, possibly replace the coolant pressure cap and add an overflow tank.

If you can find a friendly sole locally that can show you how to do general maintenance that would helpful, its not all that hard.


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Old 11-01-2020, 13:28   #5
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Re: Overheating Perkins 85hp engine

Attached are a couple Perkins documents on finding the engine serial number and id'ing the engine by those numbers. You can find manuals on most Perkins online, some free.

You should remove your impeller yearly an inspect for cracks, or hard ends on the vanes. You don't want to wait until the vanes break apart and become clogged in your heat exchanger. Also there should be a strainer on the incoming raw water that can become clogged with debris.

Heat exchangers need to be regularly cleaned with a solution of Rydlyme, Barnacle Buster. or similar. Less often the coolant side needs to be flushed, too.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Engine_Number_Guide.pdf (202.4 KB, 21 views)
File Type: pdf engine number guide2.pdf (38.7 KB, 16 views)
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Old 11-01-2020, 14:21   #6
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Re: Overheating Perkins 85hp engine

In addition to the previous comments on checking the impeller, I urge you to go thru all the components of the raw water cooling system. I had a major overheat with my Perkins 4108 that resulted from partially blocked heat exchangers and the inlet and outlet of the raw water pump. Rather than 1” diameter clear openings, I couldn’t even push a pencil thru the granular accumulations. The heat exchangers can go to a radiator shop to get ‘boiled’, and you can scrape away at the rest.
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Old 12-01-2020, 10:54   #7
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Re: Overheating Perkins 85hp engine

1. check water flow on raw water side. You may need to descale heat exchanger and or replace raw pump impeller (a good thing to do on an annual maintenance schedule) 2. check through hull, raw water strainer and hoses for obstructions 3. Flush the engine coolant on the fresh water side. good idea every 4-5years or if you find the coolant becomes thick or slugged. 4. Check exhaust elbow for obstruction. All must be in good working order. Running the engine under load at full throttle for 15 minutes occasionally will let you know if you are developing a maintenance issue.
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Old 12-01-2020, 10:58   #8
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Re: Overheating Perkins 85hp engine

If it is a 4.236, it is essential that all the connecting pipework is clean and the impella is NEW, and the heat exchanges (gearbox, oil and engine) are serviced and absolutely clean. This must includes replacing all 'O' ring seals.
Check for corrosion in castings at 'O' ring locations.
You should also check alternator/circulation pump belt for ware/adjustment.
Also thermostat, while you're at it.
Don't forget exhaust mixing elbow for possible corrosion/blockage. How much water is coming out of exhaust?
If raw water pump seals are leaking, do a complete pump rebuild, including shaft.
There's a few things for you to go on with...they are ALL very important, and cheaper(and easier) than a new engine.
Good luck.
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Old 12-01-2020, 11:23   #9
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Re: Overheating Perkins 85hp engine

My recommendation is go on Craigslist under “ services” and see if you can find an independent diesel mechanic. Call him up, find out his hourly rate and if he is reasonable use him to at least identify your problem and give you tips to fix. Explain your situation to him and explain up front that you are using him for a coach. Maybe he will be reasonable enough that he will fix the problem.
Also YouTube is your friend, there is tons of videos on auto and boat repairs. Books are also available on all sorts of repairs on Amazon. The seacock was open wasn’t it ?
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Old 12-01-2020, 11:33   #10
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Re: Overheating Perkins 85hp engine

BonBon.
I am afraid you are in over your head. Hire someone and watch. Knowing nothing you may cause more damage than you fix.
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Old 12-01-2020, 11:51   #11
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Re: Overheating Perkins 85hp engine

BonBon
This could be really simple or REALLY HARD. Do as Cadence & captlloyd suggest. Get a mechanic! You will be sailing quicker.
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Old 12-01-2020, 14:55   #12
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Re: Overheating Perkins 85hp engine

All good advice!
If you are not sure what model engine you have (there are at least 3),
check the info plate on the HP injector pump and do a Google search.
Engine # is not sufficient.
It will tell you, HP and Revs. (although, some adjustment is reqd. to revs), all this effects prop sizing.
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Old 12-01-2020, 15:44   #13
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Re: Overheating Perkins 85hp engine

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Originally Posted by Ben51 View Post
BonBon
This could be really simple or REALLY HARD. Do as Cadence & captlloyd suggest. Get a mechanic! You will be sailing quicker.
This .....and do not be afraid to watch and ask questions and ask on here good luck
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Old 12-01-2020, 17:39   #14
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Re: Overheating Perkins 85hp engine

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Originally Posted by BonBon5969 View Post
... I have tools and I'm not afraid to learn, I'm surviving on a limited budget, SSI disability doesn't pay much...
Agree that hiring someone would be most ideal, but otherwise consider contacting some mobile mechanic types and offering to assist on engine jobs (other than your boat) for free. Fetching tools, holding a lamp, etc.

Modern politics, insurance, etc makes this more difficult, but if you've got more time than money, you might find an opportunity to learn a lot at someone else's expense (in exchange for your time and knuckle skin). Probably could barter some work for advice and assistance on your own job.
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Old 13-01-2020, 08:39   #15
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Re: Overheating Perkins 85hp engine

Don't forget about Utube if you are not familiar with something, usually someone has made a video of how to do just about everything. It has saved me many times on various mechanical projects in the past. I would come help I am in basically the same situation financially. I am a 64 year old water rat and have been working on boats and just about everything else all my life but am in Tx. curently restoring a formosa 41 for live aboard crusing It it has an old Perkins 4107 50 hp in it. Water pump impellers are relatively easy to do and I agree most likely culprit. first thing to check that the sea cock works and is open, also check sea strainer . If you check the sea strainer be sure and close the sea cock first!! I will be happy to help walk you through it, you can email me at capt.plroberts @ yahoo.com Good luck!
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