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Old 08-12-2022, 11:29   #31
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Re: Perkins 4-108 starting in cold vs warm state

thanks Baby tug, no dillema. Im aspiring to totally off grid use (also a long term live-aboard,) and the fear is losing the engine and being unable to start and make more voltage. (I should actually keep a spare starter on hand, on reflection) Its a matter of options. and I find the above discussion with the very, very, knowledgeable rbk contentious, why would I want to remove the engine cover and use a torch when I can simply divert the diesel heater output into the engine box with a deflector. And if it worked great, then why keep seeking solutions?
Im on solar but after a string of rainy days the voltage can get low. And I have a powerful, isolated start battery as needed, but just wanted to learn the limits of voltage that will successfully start the engine. And today I deliberately let the charge drop to 11.8 and after 15/20 minutes of running the diesel heater on low as I had AM coffee, it started in a few seconds after the first brief attempt even with a low battery.
That's what I want!
In the past I have had to run the gen-set and pump the batteries up to 13 V and of course it starts then.
I also find Rotella T6 was a really bad fit with Perkins and it leaked and/or consumed oil where normally consumption is VERY low, if any. There are stories about the synthetics screwing up the ring seating in a volvo with very similar cool running, low rpm, marine use, and then the engine was unrepairable. And learning this sort of information is a lifesaver and the great value of the forum IMO. I had no idea and this info is commonly known but not written anywhere except for various advice forums.
Yes I've looked at the various heaters and something not unlike the pilot lite in a gas stove would be perfect if it offered all the safety measures, and of course there are plug-ins but then you have the dependence on 124 volt AC or other electrical, and now cordless as well.
To me the idea of a 'space heater?' This is a boat and not in your garage or boathouse; A global vehicle of self-sufficient travel! Its design is to go somewhere and then back, under its own power in comfort and safety.
Anyway this AM I feel I tested and proved my solution with fully successful results and Im doing a permanent engine pre-heat diversion for the heating ducts, and if the diesel heater fails, there is always the torch if needed.
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Old 08-12-2022, 15:40   #32
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Re: Perkins 4-108 starting in cold vs warm state

Have you actually tried the famous 4-108 intake heater, they really do work but be prepared for smoke and flames as the fuel oil drips onto the red hot coil. Mostly I see them disconnected so check yours for power and fuel first.
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Old 08-12-2022, 17:21   #33
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Re: Perkins 4-108 starting in cold vs warm state

Thanks for asking no. I have not tried that little devil although my engine is fitted with it it's never been used. I would want to research the timing and how to be sure it's turned off so the engine doesn't combust! The fuel line is connected but this would all be going on inside of an air cleaner and I'd really like to install an air filter element which would add to the fire hazard:-). It's an old school system that I'm sure had a great functionality in its day. my goal is to start the engine quickly and easily without opening the engine compartment. And yes for now mine will remain disconnected.
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Old 08-12-2022, 20:13   #34
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Re: Perkins 4-108 starting in cold vs warm state

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Originally Posted by doog View Post
thanks Baby tug, no dillema. Im aspiring to totally off grid use (also a long term live-aboard,) and the fear is losing the engine and being unable to start and make more voltage. (I should actually keep a spare starter on hand, on reflection) Its a matter of options. and I find the above discussion with the very, very, knowledgeable rbk contentious, why would I want to remove the engine cover and use a torch when I can simply divert the diesel heater output into the engine box with a deflector. And if it worked great, then why keep seeking solutions?
Im on solar but after a string of rainy days the voltage can get low. And I have a powerful, isolated start battery as needed, but just wanted to learn the limits of voltage that will successfully start the engine. And today I deliberately let the charge drop to 11.8 and after 15/20 minutes of running the diesel heater on low as I had AM coffee, it started in a few seconds after the first brief attempt even with a low battery.
That's what I want!
In the past I have had to run the gen-set and pump the batteries up to 13 V and of course it starts then.
I also find Rotella T6 was a really bad fit with Perkins and it leaked and/or consumed oil where normally consumption is VERY low, if any. There are stories about the synthetics screwing up the ring seating in a volvo with very similar cool running, low rpm, marine use, and then the engine was unrepairable. And learning this sort of information is a lifesaver and the great value of the forum IMO. I had no idea and this info is commonly known but not written anywhere except for various advice forums.
Yes I've looked at the various heaters and something not unlike the pilot lite in a gas stove would be perfect if it offered all the safety measures, and of course there are plug-ins but then you have the dependence on 124 volt AC or other electrical, and now cordless as well.
To me the idea of a 'space heater?' This is a boat and not in your garage or boathouse; A global vehicle of self-sufficient travel! Its design is to go somewhere and then back, under its own power in comfort and safety.
Anyway this AM I feel I tested and proved my solution with fully successful results and Im doing a permanent engine pre-heat diversion for the heating ducts, and if the diesel heater fails, there is always the torch if needed.
So you do have a dedicated start battery but have been choosing to put undue wear on your starter by using your low (11.8) assume house bank to start your engine hmmmÖAlso you thoughts on the timing of the gears and the Hp pump are dead wrong.

Use of shore power when available does not make someone less self sufficient, it just makes them more efficient with the tools at hand and having a 1500w space heater the size of a loaf of bread onboard for when 120v is available is common sense, rather than stressing your batteries draining your fuel and other systems. Would be pretty funny to watch someone use their bank to heat while at dock only to have to wait for their batteries to charge in the am then swing by the fuel dock to top up diesel or propane before disembarking. Thereís a right tool for ever situation, donít use a drill to drive a nail in.

As for the type and grade of oil being some secret kept only by online forums the answer is literally in the first few pages of your engine owner manual with weight and grades well spelled out. If you go outside those recommendations, thatís on you. Best of luck
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Old 09-12-2022, 08:11   #35
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Re: Pwekins 4-108 starting in cold vs warm state

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Originally Posted by rbk View Post
I would check that all lines in and out along with bleed ports are tight and closed. Mine has trouble cold starting as well at those temps and having not been started for weeks. Cold, ours will take a few extra rotations to catch but then goes with no issue. During the summer months it generally starts right away. I would also adjust the Hp pump timing. May need to be adjusted if it hasnít been in a long time.
I had same problem with the same engine. Problem was not enough compression. You can try it by taking out injector and stick some oil in cylinder then crank, if it starts then that is the problem.
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Old 09-12-2022, 09:45   #36
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Re: Pwekins 4-108 starting in cold vs warm state

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I had same problem with the same engine. Problem was not enough compression. You can try it by taking out injector and stick some oil in cylinder then crank, if it starts then that is the problem.
Compressions fine for me. This is only when the entire block is in the 0-5íc (32-35f) range, common in the shoulder seasons up here.
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Old 09-12-2022, 09:48   #37
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Re: Perkins 4-108 starting in cold vs warm state

So you do have a dedicated start battery but have been choosing to put undue wear on your starter by using your low (11.8) assume house bank to start your engine hmmm…Also you thoughts on the timing of the gears and the Hp pump are dead wrong.

?, obligatory contrarian. This is not sharing but argumentation. A battery/starter is very capable of operation to 11.5 and its a trial, an experiment and test. The real wear comes from crank-cranking a cold engine and thats why I began this engine work replacing the massive old delco starter that can melt a cable, to review. Not worthy of reading let alone reply.

Use of shore power when available does not make someone less self sufficient, it just makes them more efficient with the tools at hand and having a 1500w space heater the size of a loaf of bread onboard for when 120v is available is common sense, rather than stressing your batteries draining your fuel and other systems. Would be pretty funny to watch someone use their bank to heat while at dock only to have to wait for their batteries to charge in the am then swing by the fuel dock to top up diesel or propane before disembarking. There’s a right tool for ever situation, don’t use a drill to drive a nail in.??

2) the use of shore power is impossible at anchor or in parks or public docks or undeveloped marina facilities. It not only makes you less self-reliant, it makes you a servant of the meter man who will often overcharge or add crazy numbers and its the oldest scam in the crooked marina master's book. Plus the rates are often ridiculously inappropriate and three times what a reasonable public system will charge. Again, phhht.

As for the type and grade of oil being some secret kept only by online forums the answer is literally in the first few pages of your engine owner manual with weight and grades well spelled out. If you go outside those recommendations, that’s on you. Best of luck

3) I didnt say it was a secret and its well known, but not to me until I found this clear article on it. Synthetics are approved for all engines and sold as the best by the makers, they are Also well proven as superior in various wear, friction, and acidity issues. The Perkins manual is an old-school book and written before there WERE synthetics and so its a matter of industry knowledge that synthetics can damage engines in marine use, no secret but the Rotella people are certainly not sharing this detail!

Im sorry, I cant interact with obligatory contrarianism which disrespects the intent of every comment only to argue with no contribution of new information, and hesitate to characterize but its a familiar behavior and unwelcome. And if this were the general nature Id put the forum behind me instantly. But Ive both learned and contributed a lot here. So...No Im absolutely NOT going to beat my head against the brick wall and address any more of this sort of comment. Im here to learn and share experience and not to butt heads.
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Old 09-12-2022, 10:01   #38
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Re: Perkins 4-108 starting in cold vs warm state

I never had trouble starting my 4-108 in winter. Even when fairly cold out. (Seattle)
My 4-108 had a little heater in the engine intake. Just one, no heaters on the cylinders IIRC. But I never used it, in fact I'm not sure it was even wired up.

For really cold starting many used to leave a light bulb on in the engine room. A Dry Z Air engine room heater (under the engine or etc) is small and they are great as they draw less than a 100 watt bulb and never burn out.

But your 4-108 should start right up down to temps in the low 30's.
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Old 09-12-2022, 10:01   #39
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Re: Perkins 4-108 starting in cold vs warm state

And a final note about synthetic oil/compression which our self-appointed authority assured me would not affect starting, well the article summarizing what happened to the volvo engine after 30 hours of operation with synth is that it lost compression and the cylinders were glazed/polished like a mirror, so the rings didnt seal. It couldnt be restored and yeah, it lost compression. Im not here to argue but to connect the dots, and if you disagree do it with the people who shared what happened to this volvo. Im just a guy who can read and working through my own engine issues with what I know and can learn, and let the obvious speak for itself.
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Old 09-12-2022, 10:28   #40
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Re: Perkins 4-108 starting in cold vs warm state

Quote:
Originally Posted by doog View Post
So you do have a dedicated start battery but have been choosing to put undue wear on your starter by using your low (11.8) assume house bank to start your engine hmmm…Also you thoughts on the timing of the gears and the Hp pump are dead wrong.

?, obligatory contrarian. This is not sharing but argumentation. A battery/starter is very capable of operation to 11.5 and its a trial, an experiment and test. The real wear comes from crank-cranking a cold engine and thats why I began this engine work replacing the massive old delco starter that can melt a cable, to review. Not worthy of reading let alone reply.
No and no as pointed out by other posters as well. Cranking a cold engine increases oil pressure and puts diesel into the cylinders reducing dry starts.
Use of shore power when available does not make someone less self sufficient, it just makes them more efficient with the tools at hand and having a 1500w space heater the size of a loaf of bread onboard for when 120v is available is common sense, rather than stressing your batteries draining your fuel and other systems. Would be pretty funny to watch someone use their bank to heat while at dock only to have to wait for their batteries to charge in the am then swing by the fuel dock to top up diesel or propane before disembarking. There’s a right tool for ever situation, don’t use a drill to drive a nail in.??

2) the use of shore power is impossible at anchor or in parks or public docks or undeveloped marina facilities. It not only makes you less self-reliant, it makes you a servant of the meter man who will often overcharge or add crazy numbers and its the oldest scam in the crooked marina master's book. Plus the rates are often ridiculously inappropriate and three times what a reasonable public system will charge. Again, phhht.
You're experience is showing, get out more

As for the type and grade of oil being some secret kept only by online forums the answer is literally in the first few pages of your engine owner manual with weight and grades well spelled out. If you go outside those recommendations, that’s on you. Best of luck

3) I didnt say it was a secret and its well known, but not to me until I found this clear article on it. Synthetics are approved for all engines and sold as the best by the makers, they are Also well proven as superior in various wear, friction, and acidity issues. The Perkins manual is an old-school book and written before there WERE synthetics and so its a matter of industry knowledge that synthetics can damage engines in marine use, no secret but the Rotella people are certainly not sharing this detail!
Synthetics were first invented in the 1930's. Don't believe all the marketing you read. Just because the company trying to sell a product says theirs is the best doesn't mean its the best, marketing claims are borderline lies in most cases.

Im sorry, I cant interact with obligatory contrarianism which disrespects the intent of every comment only to argue with no contribution of new information, and hesitate to characterize but its a familiar behavior and unwelcome. And if this were the general nature Id put the forum behind me instantly. But Ive both learned and contributed a lot here. So...No Im absolutely NOT going to beat my head against the brick wall and address any more of this sort of comment. Im here to learn and share experience and not to butt heads.
You came here with a question and people have provided answers for free and you start shitting on them (not just me). You've become combative, condescending and pretentious to people who have only offered free advice but absolutely right that its not you're worth the time I've already given you. Again best of luck.
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Old 10-12-2022, 00:18   #41
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Re: Perkins 4-108 starting in cold vs warm state

I had exactly that problem with my 4-108. Those old engines have low compression compared to the more modern designs like Yanmar's and Kubotas. That is why Perkins provides a threaded port on the air intake to install the cold start device. It is not a glow plug. Rather you activate a heater with a push button and after about 15 seconds that heater is red hot. When you then hit the starter switch, some diesel fuel is dripped onto the heater, it ignites and the flame is sucked into the engine. We called it the dragon's breadth or flame thrower. They work great for the first start on a chilly morning.


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Old 10-12-2022, 10:12   #42
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Re: Perkins 4-108 starting in cold vs warm state

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I had exactly that problem with my 4-108. Those old engines have low compression compared to the more modern designs like Yanmar's and Kubotas. That is why Perkins provides a threaded port on the air intake to install the cold start device. It is not a glow plug. Rather you activate a heater with a push button and after about 15 seconds that heater is red hot. When you then hit the starter switch, some diesel fuel is dripped onto the heater, it ignites and the flame is sucked into the engine. We called it the dragon's breadth or flame thrower. They work great for the first start on a chilly morning.


Richard P
Yes, my engine has that equipment and I've seen them used. This is the first comment that detailed how the system works and it would some wiring work connecting to the starter and the timer switch but it looks like a very clever old-school system, if a bit scary in terms of fire hazard. I also pursued the air filter suggestion and I find that industry standard in marine engine installations is no air filter, so I've scrapped that idea, just an intake screen is standard. So my fear of an air filter fire is avoided. Interesting to hear this is a relatively low compression engine, compared to others.
Thanks!
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Old 10-12-2022, 15:05   #43
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Re: Perkins 4-108 starting in cold vs warm state

A Perkins 4-108 with a compression ratio of 22:1 is NOT a low compression engine. The highest compression ratio Iíve encountered is 24:1 and the average for direct injection engines is about 16:1.
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Old 10-12-2022, 18:04   #44
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Re: Perkins 4-108 starting in cold vs warm state

A lot of yanmars have for years ran at 27/1 plus hence no hand start ,Gardners,listers,Kelvins etc about 13/1.direct injection ,the 40 yr old 4108 in my sons 40 ft IOR 1 ton yacht ,compression measures about 18.5 /1 starts fine ,a bit Smokey until warmed up.
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Old 10-12-2022, 18:35   #45
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Re: Perkins 4-108 starting in cold vs warm state

Question re the use of the heated air for 15 minutes: Have you tried simply blowing the heated air in as you crank the engine? I suspect that this would work just as well and without the need for the 15 minute delay.

Seems worth a try...

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