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Perkins compression tester?

Started out the Spring with a seized injector pump. Finally got that rebuilt, reinstalled, fuel now getting to the injectors, but engine still won't start.

Pulled out the injectors, had them tested - injectors are fine. So now the mechanic wants to test compression but can't find his tester for our 40 year old engine.

Anybody got one or know someone who does in the mid-Chesapeake region?

Incidentally, the engine ran great before any of this. The primary (Racor) filter was absolutely filthy when replaced. Previous owner apparently had neglected it. Haven't noticed any water in the fuel but there is a fair amount of sludge in bottom of the water separator cup, and some more evident in the cylinders when I pulled the injectors.

Here we are with half the season gone, staring down a lost year. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated!

-Keefer
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Keefer

Do you have the Perkins or the Yanmar? I only know the Yanmar. When you reinstall the injector pump, there is a connection to make inside the block that is very difficult to reach with the engine in place. That connection links up the governor control. Maybe that connection was not correctly made and it is preventing the engine from starting? This is just a guess on my part.

Jim Cleary
 
Hi Jim,

It's the Perkins. I was not present for the injector pump re-installation, but I trust the guy who did it - he has long experience with Perkins engines. I will ask him about the governor though, as much for my own education as anything else!
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Keefer

Again I only know the Yanmar. When I had the injector pump seals replaced, the reinstall, which should have taken 30 minutes ended up being 3 hours because I couldn't get my fingers into the engine to make the connection and I had to do the job via a mirror to see. Very frustrating. Other then that I don't have a clue that can help you. Sorry to hear your summer is in jeopardy.

Jim
 

bwilliams

Marvin (Bill) Williams
When you crack the fuel lineconnections at the injectors and then crank the engine, do you get fuel dripping at the connection ? Also, are you getting solid fuel strean on the injector pump bleed connection when cranking the engine ?
 
Yes to both. Prior to the injector pump rebuild, there was fuel at the pump bleed point, but not the injectors. Now plenty of fuel getting to the injectors, and presumably through them as well since they tested OK.
 

schlepper

John m. Harrison
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say it's your timing on the IP... if it was running fine before but quit with a faulty IP, a seized one at that, then I cannot imagine you are all of a sudden lacking compression to even start it. Unless you were burning oil wholesale when it was running before the IP fail, then I'd say it's a timing mark issue. If clean fuel is getting to the injectors, it should start. My Perkins has about 5,500 hours on it and it starts up on first crank every time... and like yours it has no glow plugs.... My current issue with my engine is I have what I think is a bad seal on the front of the injector pump or the diaphragm is perforated on the lift pump as I am getting diesel down in my oil... hence my 'runaway Perkins' post from last week. Once I get that resolved, I'll post up the final fix... I love my Perkins otherwise....
 

schlepper

John m. Harrison
and by the way, the IP probably seized from the dirty fuel. From what my mechanic told me when mine started to go out on me (but it was still running, just very rough and smoking like crazy), the tolerances on the pumps are very fine. If you had a flood of debris get to the pump from the fouled filters, that could have been what caused it to seize. I just had my fuel polished and the tank cleaned. I was stunned at the fine dirt and particulate that the filtration caught from my fuel tank and the fuel. I had been told to do that but just didn't get around to it. All my guy had to do was pull of the manual fuel gauge (6 phillips screws) and he was able to drop his hoses down in there and do his thing... I highly recommend having that done.... it will save you engine problems down the road.
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Keefer
John might have the right idea. On the Yanmar injector pump the timing was set by the number of shims placed between the pump and the block. Maybe (if the Perkins is the same) the proper number of shims were not put in place. As John says, if the injectors are getting clean fuel, it should start.

Jim
 

rickdowe2

Richard Dowe
Keeper, I have to agree with John. It ran fine before should run fine now. I rebuilt my Perkins and had the pump and injectors rebuilt. It started up and had other issues but while it was out on my garage floor I went over the whole timing system by the book including removing valve cover and rocker so I could find top dead center on the piston than I believe rolling it back so many degrees. At that point on the I.p. window it will be aligned with a mark, which it was. If the unit was set correctly on the bench it should be good but the engine has to be set correctly before installing.
Mine has a manual fuel shutoff. Did the springs get reattached? Sounds so because you have fuel? But?...
Rick
 
John, turns out you were on exactly the right track. It is 100% a dirty fuel issue. Spent another whole day with mechanic #3 getting everything back together, bleeding, cranking, etc. Still no start. He and I are both convinced the Perkins is fine. It ran great before so compression is fine. The injectors are working. The IP is rebuilt so it is fine - it was installed correctly so timing shouldn't be an issue.

So we decided to work backwards and check the fuel tank. Pulled out the supply line stand pipe and you would not believe how black and crusted with algae it is (OK, you probably would believe it!). I have a fuel polisher coming on Monday to flush the fuel and check the tank to the extent possible. Is it likely to be possible to clean the tank from the access port? Or are there baffles in there that will prevent this?

The mechanic is advising to just abandon the tank and install a new one somewhere in the engine room, but I am loathe to do this if the current one can be cleaned - even if it is just cleaned enough that the Racor can keep up.
 

mpearson

Mark Pearson
Staff member
Keefer (or is it Douglas?) not sure which is your 1st name ;):

I just did an extensive tank cleaning thru the access port. There was lots and lots of crud, debris, grit, and petrified dog poop in there. I don’t think that “fuel polishing” alone will really get it clean. I used rags attached to the end of a copper tube. The good news is you can get it quite clean with some work.

I posted how I did it here:
https://www.morgan38.org/morgan38/i...aning-fuel-polishing-recent-experience.15602/

Good luck and let us know how it goes ...
-Mark
 
Hi Mark,

Keefer is my first name (no worries, I understand the confusion!). Thanks for the link, really good to know that cleaning via the access port is possible! I think I will likely just have the fuel cleaning company pump out and haul away the dirty fuel. It is almost the same price as polishing, but at least then I have a nice empty tank to work with. Then I can follow your lead on the cleaning process.
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Keefer
The fiberglass tank on the Morgans is a rather good construct. Don't let anyone talk you into abandoning it. A good cleaning is probably what it needs and it will be good as new (well almost). Have your fuel filters been showing up dirty?

Jim
 
Yes, the primary Racor filter was filthy when changed way back at the start of this saga in April, and in retrospect I was not nearly careful enough about preventing gunk getting past it while changing the filter element. It should have been a sign of what was to come, but I just chalked it up to the previous owner neglecting to change it for too long. LIve and learn!

I got an endoscope off of Amazon, looking forward to uncovering my own "petrified dog poop" or whatever other mysteries lie within. Pretty amazing how cheap/high quality things like that have gotten.
 
Got the tank empty, and it is indeed pretty nasty. Salvageable with some cleaning work and subsequent diligence on biocide and filter changes I think, but that will be a winter project. Going to set up a temporary auxiliary tank to try to save what's left of this year's sailing season.

First pic is the tank after the fuel cleaner pumped out the diesel. Second is some of the solid masses that had been clinging to the bottom of the tank. Consistency like a hard plastic - best guess is that is it is polymerized diesel mixed with dirt, algae, etc.

20190729_diesel tank pic.jpg 20190729_diesel tank stuff.jpg
 

schlepper

John m. Harrison
Algae and microbes will grow in your tank. I had not put biocide in it since I bought the boat 7 years ago. Now that I've polished, I will be putting it in regularly now to cut down the growth. I had dirty fuel getting thru my 10 micron primary and the Wix spin on at the secondary.... now that should be over and done with. Clean fuel is crucial, if you've ever taken apart a Perkins 4-108 injector, the pintles tolerances in the injector tips are extremely tight. It wouldn't take much dirt to cause issues with the injector pintles not opening and spray pattern integrity being maintained...
 
Update: the Perkins is still sucking air into the fuel system somehow even connected directly to a can of clean diesel. Air and fuel comes out the bleed screw on injector pump no matter how much we pump, and even after cranking to the point where I started fearing for the starter motor. Mechanic #3 is stumped, wants to start pulling stuff apart and start over. Lift pump, secondary filter, pipes, injector pump (again), injectors (again)... Nope. I am done, and have some boat bucks burning a hole in the old bank account, so I think we are going to pull the plug and swap in a Beta 43. I read with interest the Beta vs. Yanmar thread, and I must say I am sold on relative simplicity.

My instinct is that this Perkins is a good candidate for a rebuild, but even rebuilt it will remain a noisy, leaky, 40 year old beast.

As for the fuel tank, I found a minimally invasive way to get the access panel off, so I remain hopeful that some elbow grease will get it back to an acceptable state. Of course it means a couple of holes in the cabin sole to plug up, but then it remains accessible in future.
 

jnoble

John Noble
Keefer,

I had similar problems. Six months after having my injector pump rebuilt, my Perkins started dying while motoring across the Gulf Stream on one of my annual Bahama trips. I would charge the Racor element and continued. The third time, I could not start the engine. I was 48 miles from Ft. Pierce Inlet and 14 miles from the Bahama bank. I change to my big genoa, and sailed home with very light wind. It took 24 hrs. to get back to the inlet. Made it home, docking under sailing. A mechanic I know told me to bleed the pump, crack all 4 high pressure pipes at the injectors, and crank the engine. Sequential quirts of fuel should come out of the lines. Mine had bubbles so I knew I had an air leak, and it had to be on the suction side of the pump in the low pressure piping. Sure enough, the line exiting the CAV filter was loose.

Water, dirt, or air in your fuel will shut down a diesel. My prior problems had alway been dirt plugging the Racor. I check my tank with an outboard hose, and never find water. So an air leak had to be the problem especially seeing the bubbles. I think you have an air leak on the suction side of the injector pump. But if you cannot clear the air when bleeding the pump, it may be at the lift pump or upstream of it. Did you change the olives?

I then had my tank polished, and the fuel was dirty. I was down to 20 or 25 gallons so I had the guy pump it through his polishing equipment into a drum. We then polished it again back into the tank. This is technically much more efficient than recirculating the fuel through the polisher. I did not mess with cleaning the insides of the tank, and have never noticed the deposits on the walls flaking off. I check the fuel by pumping some out with my outboard hose into a clear jar. It has been 6 years and no dirt or water in my sample from aft end of the tank. I got a vacuum gauge for my Racor, and it has not registered any vacuum which would indicate the filter element is plugging. And I still have not changed the Racor element something I used to do annually.

I would be happy to talk about this if you would like to send me your phone number.
 
Hi John,

Always happy to talk, you can reach me at 201 264 0744. I share your suspicion that the air leak is likely on the low pressure side, upstream of the injector pump. Olives were replaced along with the injector pump, so I don't think that's it. I have traced the fuel lines back to the CAV filter and checked all connections. No evidence of a breach that I can see, so maybe problem is at the lift pump?
 

schlepper

John m. Harrison
Keefer,
I just went thru something similar where my engine would sound like it was accelerating, as if about to runaway, when in reality, it was air in the fuel lines and it would start after bleeding but then would jump around with the RPMs, then when I would shut it down, and try to restart, it would not start (air in fuel). It turns out that the black rubber 'olives' that are in the lift pump and in the secondary filter 'in' fuel line, were not sealing properly. I would recommend before you go to the trouble and expense of repower (unless the engine is shot otherwise than just the fuel air issue), take a look at those items if you have not already. I also have a spin on filter conversion that has a nut and bolt holding it on to the original filter housing. Turns out, it too was somewhat lose, at least not as tight as it should've been; after getting those two items replaces/secured, the air in fuel problem was eliminated.
 
Update 2: After some more soul (and bank account) searching, we decided to re-power with a Beta. With the Perkins out, and after scraping a few decades worth of oil and belt dust out of the engine room, we used the opportunity to install some snazzy new sound insulation. Not sure how effective this will be at its primary purpose, but darn if doesn't feel worth it on aesthetics alone! Will follow up with some more pics once the shiny new red beast is in place.
Engine room insulation_1.jpg
 

mpearson

Mark Pearson
Staff member
Hey, Keefer - while you have the engine out, check your steering system Idler. Mine was totally corroded and kind of exploded a couple of months ago. I dearly wish I had replaced it when we had the engine out. It would have been a piece of cake to replace at that time. And in the spectrum of boat costs, it didn’t really cost that much ;-). And it’s a pretty darned important piece of gear.

https://www.morgan38.org/morgan38/i...l-idler-chain-cable-safety.15631/#post-131623

Congrats on the shiny new Beta! Looking forward to seeing some pictures!
 
Hi Mark,

I took a good close look at the idler when I was crawling around in there the other day, remembering that thread of yours. There is a little rust here and there but it is still pretty solid. For now we will make note and keep a watch on it!


Hey, Keefer - while you have the engine out, check your steering system Idler. Mine was totally corroded and kind of exploded a couple of months ago. I dearly wish I had replaced it when we had the engine out. It would have been a piece of cake to replace at that time. And in the spectrum of boat costs, it didn’t really cost that much ;-). And it’s a pretty darned important piece of gear.

https://www.morgan38.org/morgan38/i...l-idler-chain-cable-safety.15631/#post-131623

Congrats on the shiny new Beta! Looking forward to seeing some pictures!
 

dave_a

Dave Ahlers
Keefer, my 2cents. Make sure you take care of your fuel cleanliness issue. Modern diesels are LESS tolerant of bad fuel than the old Perkins.
What are you doing with your old diesel?
If you decide to give the Perk another try, you're in Md. and so is Transatlantic Diesel. The are the 4-108 gurus. They might even buy your old motor. Somebody will for sure.
 

terry_thatcher

Terence Thatcher
John Harrison says he replaced the miserable CAV secondary filter on his Perkins, which I have always wanted to do, but I didn't think there was a way to do so. John, where did you get the replacement spin-on and does it still attach to the engine or is it mounted on a bulkhead? Thanks
 

struell

Stephen Ruell
Hi Keefer
I think you will be very satisfied with the new Beta. The vibration that we had with the Yanmar is completely gone, which is the most important improvement. I wanted to ask what brand and material you used for the soundproofing in your photo, as it looks very nice. Our Beta 38 noise level is still a little loud since there is virtually no sound proofing material lining the engine compartment, and we would like to do something to make it quieter.
You might also consider moving the cooling water intake into the engine room. Ours was under the floor of the cockpit locker and was a small diameter plus had a right angle elbow under the locker floor that clogged on us. The new through hull is larger diameter and the location is in the engine compartment aft of the engine which allows room and accessibility to the hose if it should clog again, but since there is no longer any elbow it should be more trouble free.
Steve
 

terry_thatcher

Terence Thatcher
on sound proofing, I have used something that has "mass loaded vinyl"sandwiched between two layers of foam. Soundown makes it, I believe. Practical Sailor did tests years ago. The Perkins is still loud, but the barrier helps quite a bit. Were I in the need of a repower, the Beta 43 looks just right, altho heavier than I would have anticipated.
 
On soundproofing: We used the Soundown stuff, purchased from Defender: https://www.defender.com/product.jsp?path=-1|311|2349105&id=3018333
Four sheets was just enough for our engine room configuration, though it required a bit of jig-saw puzzling of smaller pieces to get that to cover everything. It has that "mass loaded vinyl" core, and so was surprisingly heavy and solid feeling for what is otherwise just some foam with a layer of mylar on top. Very easy to work with. Foam plus fasteners, spray adhesive and tape came out to a little less than $400. Required about 2 days of work though could probably be done in 1 if you are not also dealing with a lot of electrical wiring (which we were).

As for the old Perkins: still have not come up with a plan for it. Most likely I will list it first as-is. It really should undergo a re-build before anyone sticks it back in a boat, and these things are rather common these days in the Annapolis area. Our Beta guy alone had two other re-powers going (since finished) at least one of which was replacing a 4-108. Which leads me to believe that I might get a little cash out of it selling to Transatlantic or someone like that, but perhaps more realistic will be parting it out. The injector pump is already rebuilt, the Hurth transmission is in good shape, and I just cleaned out the heat exchanger/exhaust manifold myself...
 

terry_thatcher

Terence Thatcher
Keefer: Who rebuilt the injector pump and which model pump is it? If you decide to part the engine out I might be interested in purchasing the pump a a spare. It is one of the few significant items for which I don't carry a spare. My Perkins is so reliable, I can't justify replacing it.
 
Keefer: Who rebuilt the injector pump and which model pump is it? If you decide to part the engine out I might be interested in purchasing the pump a a spare. It is one of the few significant items for which I don't carry a spare. My Perkins is so reliable, I can't justify replacing it.
The injector pump was rebuilt by J.G. Parks http://www.jgparks.com/

I have been away on work travel, haven't yet made much progress on plans for the Perkins. But the Beta is now in and ready, going to sea trial soon...
 
Did our sea trial with the new Beta 43 today, went well though still some kinks to be worked out. With empty water tanks, clean hull and no sails or other gear aboard, on a calm flat water day, she topped out at about 7.4 kts at 2200 rpm, which is 75-80% of max and where Beta recommends running it. Felt like it was pushing a little beyond hull speed at this RPM, stern starting to sit down low and push up a wake. Felt better at about 2000 RPM (and 7 kts in these conditions, likely to be slower under more normal circumstances). Engine is rated to max out at 2800, but we could only get it to about 2700. Suspicion is that the new 3-blade fixed prop is a bit oversized, need to take some pitch out of the blades and/or shave them down a bit. That should help get it just to hull speed at a slightly higher RPM.

However, we also noticed a lot of noise from the prop at cruising speed. Sounded like it was throwing water up against the hull ? Honestly not sure what would cause that, or if adjusting the prop might mitigate it? Shaft and cutlass bearing are also new, and no misalignment or excessive vibration noticed. Would appreciate hearing if anyone has experienced anything similar.
20191109_142916.jpg20191109_142657.jpg
 

mpearson

Mark Pearson
Staff member
When we had our old fixed blade propeller, as we approached hull speed it made quite a racket (lots of noise). It almost sounded like you were driving down a gravel road. My speculation was that it was cavitating because it sounded like large water pumps (for city water supplies I had worked on before) when there is cavitation.

I would guess if you repitch the prop it might fix that.

When we switched to our lovely new Max Prop, that noise went away.

Good luck & keep us posted. The engine looks great!
Cheers,
-Mark
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Keefer
What is the diameter and pitch of the new prop? We run a 16x11 RH fixed three blade and never experienced the noise you describe.

By the way, your engine room puts Dana's to shame.

Jim
 

struell

Stephen Ruell
Hi Keefer:
A beautiful engine! How is the noise level? Vibration?Destiny propeller - 1.jpg
In your photo it appears that the propeller is pretty close to the bottom of the aperture in the skeg at the bottom. It is hard to tell but it looks close from the bottom of the aperture. It could be just the angle that the photo is taken, but looks closes compared to ours which is the original 16 inch propeller. If you enlarged your propeller, could it that the propeller tip clearance is not enough?
Steve
 

Attachments

Thanks all, appreciate the advice and kind words - lord knows we've put enough time and money in now that it darn sure should look good, but it still feels good to show the results off to people who can appreciate them acutely!

Prop specs:
Jim, I don't know what the size and pitch are. It is a new prop as suggested by Beta, larger than the original 16" (also 3 blade fixed RH) which was on there before with the Perkins, so perhaps it is 17"? I will find out.
Steve, I agree that the prop looks much closer to the bottom of the aperture than I would expect - it is something I noticed too though I agree the angle of the photo makes it impossible to judge. Will take a closer look when the boat comes out of the water. But it does seem as though that could be causing or contributing to the prop noise.

Engine noise:
We mostly ran it with the engine room open to facilitate temperature and vibration tests, so it was quite loud. Even after closing up the companionway steps and quarter berth panel, we still have not reinstalled the shelf and wall in the port lazarette, so that was open to the engine room. Won't get a true test of sound until that is put back together. That said, it is already noticeably quieter and less vibration than the old setup (Perkins with no insulation). I suspect we might even be able to carry on a near-normal volume conversation in the cockpit while underway!
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Keefer

At the boat today I measured the distance from the tip of one of the prop blades to the top and bottom of the prop aperture. With the 16" prop the distances were 3 1/4". I'm not sure if that may be the problem but we do not get the noise that you are experiencing. If you talk to the Beta people, let them know your prop lives in an aperture. Maybe if you went to a 16" wheel with a higher pitch that could solve the noise issue?

Jim
 

royaltern

Bert Willett
I had cavitation on Royal Tern above 2200 rpms with the orriginal 16 inch 11 pitch prop. I wil have to admit I just ran it at the 2200 rpms. This was with the orginal Perkins 4108 engin and transmission.
 

jose santin

Member
I also replaced the 4108, but used a Volvo D2-40 engine. Using a Michigan Wheel 3 bladed prop. The prop is a 17 - 10 . The Volvo instructions to size prop such that wide open throttle RPM would reach between 2800 RPM and 3000 RPM, The engine is rated at 3000 rpm max. I also hit about 7.4 knts at wide open throttle, this is at 2750 RPM.
 

dave_a

Dave Ahlers
I found this extreme example but from all clues, tip clearance might be an issue. good reading material. This assumes the shaft/engine alignment is proper.
But a 17" wheel might need 3.4 inch tip clearance.
upload_2019-11-30_18-21-34.png
 
Boat is now out of the water, and I took a closer look at the prop. Turns out they put an 18/12 on there. Clearance at the bottom is only 1.5" at present. Seems we have found the culprit! Will work with the Beta guy and prop shop to get it resolved.
20191208_162306_009.jpg 20191208_162458.jpg
 
After some more back and forth with Beta and the mechanic, we have decided to cut the 18X12 down to a 17X12 and see how that works. By my calculations that gives us a little over 18% clearance. Not quite the recommended 20% but perhaps close enough to eliminate most of the cavitation noise. We shall see...
 
Jose, the Beta 43 is rated to max out at 2800, and we got it to about 2700 at wide open throttle with the 18X12. Will let you know what we get with the adjusted setup once the boat is back in the water.
 

Lukas Svrcek

New Member
Update: the Perkins is still sucking air into the fuel system somehow even connected directly to a can of clean diesel. Air and fuel comes out the bleed screw on injector pump no matter how much we pump, and even after cranking to the point where I started fearing for the starter motor. Mechanic #3 is stumped, wants to start pulling stuff apart and start over. Lift pump, secondary filter, pipes, injector pump (again), injectors (again)... Nope. I am done, and have some boat bucks burning a hole in the old bank account, so I think we are going to pull the plug and swap in a Beta 43. I read with interest the Beta vs. Yanmar thread, and I must say I am sold on relative simplicity.

My instinct is that this Perkins is a good candidate for a rebuild, but even rebuilt it will remain a noisy, leaky, 40 year old beast.

As for the fuel tank, I found a minimally invasive way to get the access panel off, so I remain hopeful that some elbow grease will get it back to an acceptable state. Of course it means a couple of holes in the cabin sole to plug up, but then it remains accessible in future.
@Keefer Douglas do you have any pictures of how you drilled the holes for the access panel?

Thanks in advance.
 
@Keefer Douglas do you have any pictures of how you drilled the holes for the access panel?

Thanks in advance.
Hi Lukas,

The attached pic was taken before the holes were drilled, but you can see from the position of the panel approximately where they needed to go. The last two screws are located under the corner of floorboard that is covering the bottom-right part of the panel. When I'm down at the boat this weekend I will try to remember to take another pic of the holes (now plugged).

20190807_135247.jpg
 
Jose, the Beta 43 is rated to max out at 2800, and we got it to about 2700 at wide open throttle with the 18X12. Will let you know what we get with the adjusted setup once the boat is back in the water.
Update: I have noticed basically no difference after cutting the 18X12 down to a 17X12. Still getting cavitation, still topping out at just over 2700 rpm. I think going back to a 16X12 or 16X13 is probably warranted. Or maybe we'll switch to a fancy Max Prop or other. Regardless, we've decided to just live with it for this season.

We did our first weekend cruise in almost two years last weekend, and planning to go out again for Memorial Day. Actually sailing is worth quite a bit of extra noise (for now anyway)!
 

terry_thatcher

Terence Thatcher
Keefer, I would suggest that you will get cavitation at 2200-2700. Just going to happen, no matter what your prop. And if you are getting over 2700 rpm on a 2800 rpm engine, then your pitch is correct. Diameter doesn't have so much effect on rpm as pitch. My Perkins with the standard 16x11 prop cavitates some over 2100 rpm. I get 6 knots at 2000 rpm and cruise there. I would love to get a Beta 43, but my Perkins just runs so well I can't justify it.
 
Right now I get cavitation even at 2000, but that gets us to about 6.5 kts and feels pretty comfortable. It gets quite a bit louder at 2200-2700, but at that point it is pushing past hull speed anyway so I am hesitant to go any higher than 2000 and burn more fuel for no reason.

It is quite possible we'll simply learn to live with the noise and run at 2000. I guess I would prefer to get it to the point where cruising speed matches the ideal RPM for engine longevity, with minimal cavitation. It gets up to about 170 degrees at 2000, and maybe pushes a little higher at 2200 - not enough data to say with any confidence. Maybe that's enough to meet the old adage that diesels like to run hard? Not sure.

I wonder if it would have been better to go with the Beta 38? One other thing I've noticed about the 43 is that it will get us over 5 kts even at very low RPM - I have to pull the throttle all the way back to idle to go any slower. Already several times I've found myself struggling not to overtake a slower boat in the narrow channel from our marina out to the Bay. A rather strange feeling in an old sailboat, to say the least!

I would guess that the 38 is actually closer to matching the output of the Perkins in most conditions. If I could do it over with hindsight I might think harder about that choice.
 

schlepper

John m. Harrison
I never did. But, even better! I ended up selling that engine to John Harrison (@schlepper), who was able to get it running again. I have even seen the video evidence. Very likely he has some more insight.
Jim, after working over it, I determined that the injector return lines had the incorrect size crush washers, and because the return side goes to the top of the filter on the 4-108, it was rapidly filling the filter head with air. Oddly enough, I have had off and on air in the fuel on the Perkins in my Morgan which seems to occur only after it's sat for a week or more. After bleeding it for the 29th time earlier this week, I started tracking back on the return side and sure enough, the spin on filter conversion, installed by a mechanic who handled my IP rebuild.... well, guess what, he (or one of his crew) left out a crush washer on the banjo fitting on top of the filter housing and I'm pretty sure that is the culprit on my air in fuel issue.
 

terry_thatcher

Terence Thatcher
Keefer, I would suggest you talk to a propeller expert and/or read Dave Gerr's book. I am no expert but think you may need to drop back down to 16 inch diameter prop to reduce cavitation and drop the pitch to 11 to reduce your speed a bit. The 43 seems like the perfect engine for our boats, particularly since it gets more torque and hp at a lower speed which I like. Usually means less noise. The 38 is a tuned up 35 and requires a pretty high rpm to get the hp needed to run our boats at 6 knots. Someone else on the site installed a 38; check the archives I think he didn't like having to run those high revs. But the original Yanmar 33 was sufficient, so there is that, as well. It is nice to have extra hp punch in certain circumstances, which is why I thought the 43 looked good. I know everyone says that diesels like to be run hard, but 60% to 70% of top throttle seems fine. My Perkins has run at 2000 for 40 years, tops out at 3300 to 3400, and keeps on ticking. Keep us informed.
 

terry_thatcher

Terence Thatcher
Sorry, I think I was wrong. Diameter probably has nothing to do with cavitation. Quite the opposite. Cavitation, evidently, simply relates to speed of the prop and perhaps pitch. I get some cavitation at higher prop speeds, as you do. But not enough to damage the prop. I recently had it inspected after decades in the water. It can also be caused by an imperfectly built or balanced prop, I believe. What kind of reduction gear are you running? Perhaps you need to have a bigger reduction? That would reduce the prop speed at each engine rpm, which would reduce boat speed and prop cavitation. But I better quit, because I am way past my true level of knowledge.
 
Terry, thanks for the insight. I too have reached well past the level of my expertise, and will likely seek out and talk to an expert this winter. Would be a perfect quest to take to the Annapolis Boat Show in the fall, but who knows whether mass gatherings will be allowed by then? That seems like it will be the last thing to return to normal from these strange times.

After another long weekend with very little wind and thus a lot of motoring, I must say that the instant power at low rpm of the 43 really is quite appealing. So the 43 probably is the correct choice and still just needs some tweaking to get everything right.

I'd still very much prefer to cut down on the noise if possible, but even with the cavitation I find it quieter than the Perkins. Not a scientific test of course and I'm sure I am biased by all the boat bucks spent, but I do find it quite a bit easier to hold a conversation while motoring now.
 
Hi Lukas,

The attached pic was taken before the holes were drilled, but you can see from the position of the panel approximately where they needed to go. The last two screws are located under the corner of floorboard that is covering the bottom-right part of the panel. When I'm down at the boat this weekend I will try to remember to take another pic of the holes (now plugged).
Here's the second pic showing the location of the holes with everything reassembled.
20200522_210104.jpg
 

rickdowe2

Richard Dowe
Keefer, I was looking at the picture of the access to the fuel tank, what is the small access at the bottom of the sink cabinet by the walkway? Rick
 
Hi Rick,
I think you mean the panel on the sink cabinet itself, right? In the floor are the two bilge access points, the forward of which has slots and a dust tray. On the cabinet itself is a slatted vent, with a (non-functional) Radio Shack fan of the sort you would have seen in an old computer on the inside. Seems to have been meant to vent the hot air coming off the fridge compressor, which is also located under the sink.

Not sure how necessary this is or whether I should take the time to rewire or replace the fan. The compressor has its own fan, and while I was working on plumbing I moved the whole unit over close to the vent. Perhaps this is enough to keep it cool enough to function properly?
 
Yes definitely air cooled. Came with the boat and appears to be of 80s or 90s vintage. Works fine at least in the current relatively cool temperatures (turned beers sitting in the cold box to slush after a couple hours). We'll see what high summer brings.
 

schlepper

John m. Harrison
My frig is on the Fritz right now and I am reviewing options. I have not gotten in the sail locker to see if it is a simple wire ajar or if it's going to be more involved. I've never been happy with the unit I have now, it's one of those Frigoboat units that mounts the evaporator in the icebox with a white plastic cover over it, and a computer fan pulling air in from the op and pushing cold air out the bottom. The compressor and condenser, etc. is all in the sail locker and the guy that installed it mounted it on the floor with flimsy poly board panels around it that really don't protect it. I will be making a shelf to mount where the original battery chargers were mounted and either moving this compressor (if I can get it to work again) or I am going to pull it all out and start over again. I got my lids redone with 3" of aluminum foil encapsulated closed cell foam in them and am in the process of making 1" closed cell panels with glass and resin skin to mounted on the underside of the counter that is over the icebox. I found that while the insulation around the fiberglass tub of the icebox might not be the greatest, the top is absolutely poor and acts along with the lids as a heat 'cold air sink' that draws cold air out of the box.... I'll attach pics of my lids. They aren't perfect, but they should do the job once my refrigeration is fixed. 1590664288762.jpeg1590664327249.jpeg1590664369241.jpeg1590664440839.jpeg
 

schlepper

John m. Harrison
and if I were to redo this, I would take off those wood pieces that are screwed into the Formica lid panels.... that wood may work to defeat what I'm trying to accomplish, however, at least what goes up thru the center of the lids, it's got 3" of foam to counter the loss of cold air now.
 
Hi John,
I remember you telling me about this plan when you were up this way. Finished product looks like it will be a big improvement on insulation. I have been thinking I might just replace the lids completely. The smaller section currently opens right over the cold box, which is fine if what I want to grab is in there. If not, I need to pull the whole thing out. Would much prefer either a more even split between the two sections, or a single lid that could be propped up while rooting around in that cavernous (and frankly way too deep) cooler space.
 

terry_thatcher

Terence Thatcher
Frigiboat with the thru-hull have a good reputation. But in 2016, before I sailed to the tropics, I installed an OzeFridge from Australia. Holding plate system with air and water cooled compressor( have to plumb into the water tank inlet and outlet lines, but that was not hard). I have been very happy with the unit.
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Years ago when we were ready to install a refrigeration system, I met Nigel Calder at the Annapolis Boat show. He instantly recommended the Frigaboat system with the keel cooler. This was in 2008 and the system has been working well ever since. The beauty of the Frigaboat is that the keel cooler keeps the refrigerant cool without the need for a fan to blow air or a pump to move water. The compressor itself keeps the gas moving and the water temp outside the hull keeps the gas cool. All without using amps to run a fan or pump. It is so efficient that our solar panels run it all the time. Last season we had to replace the evaporator in the box which had developed a clog. All done without having to update the charge. Truly plug and play.

Jim
 
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