Help with a Repower,maybe with a Hand Crank Diesel?

Discussion in 'Propulsion' started by UNCIVILIZED, Aug 26, 2014.

  1. UNCIVILIZED
    Joined: Jun 2014
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    Location: Land O' the Great Lakes

    UNCIVILIZED DIY Junkyard MadScientist

    Hi gents,
    I may be doing a repower not too far down the road, & was hoping to get some tips & links on the subject.
    First off, skill level wise, things glass & or wood aren't much of an obstacle for me, up to & including building engine beds, or cutting the sole out of the cockpit to remove, or install things. Nor is creating & running a simple to mid-level wiring harness for an engine. But as to line boring for shafts, & custom fabricating P-brackets, etc. I know that's where I'd be hiring some help. But no worries on that, knock on wood.

    What I'm wondering is, who out there has installed & or lived with a diesel which could be started by means other than it's battery operated starter? Anywhere from 20-60hp is enough propulsive power, & there's plenty of room on the boat for (almost) any iron jenny. I'm just not sure what to look for & where. And whether or not it's possible/reasonable to start a 50hp diesel, even if it has a compression release.

    Part of me toying with the idea of a hand or via other unique means, crankable engine, is that it's a nice feature when your batteries have gone flat. Plus it's good to know mentally, that you have an ace up your sleeve. I LOVED being able to do this when I had an Atomic-4 on my 1st boat, ages ago. Not that I did it a lot, but it was handy as heck.

    Knock on wood, I've been sailing long enough, that I FAR prefer a vessel which sails well. And thus, primarily, the engine is a crowded harbor maneuvering tool. And the wind & sun primarily provide the "trons" to run my toys, lights, & radios etc.
    As they say, if you're in a hurry, hop onto a plane.

    Although I did read about a gent who built the family's 40' or so, boat, with a 27hp'ish SAAB, an exhaust pyrometer, & a controllable pitch propeller. And said setup did the trick for them. The pyrometer letting them know when & how much pitch to dial into the prop so as to maximize power transmission to the H2O, without overloading/overheating the engine.
    Which sounds like a reasonable setup, at least to me, in my "under-educated bliss".

    So... I know that some of that's kinda' vague, but it's because I'm looking for any & all of the info which I can get on the topic. Books, links, & skinned knuckles (within reason), included. PLUS, of course, I'm on a budget ;-)

    Thanks in advance.

    PS: I've also heard of emergency starters which operate on power stored in a large spring. As well as systems where as a SCUBA bottle is plumbed into the engine's systems, & used to get things spinning up to speed, prior to hitting the ignition switch. Albeit I've ZERO experience or real knowledge of either.
     
  2. CDK
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: Adriatic sea

    CDK retired engineer

    There are two fishermen in this bay using hand cranked diesels made by Torpedo.
    The engines have an immense flywheel that must be cranked with the decompression valve open. A simple mechanism closes the valve when enough energy is stored to start the engine; a strong guy needs about 10 seconds to do that.

    I have a 10 hp Chinese diesel with a starter motor and a rope starter. It also has a decompression valve, but the energy must be stored in one pull. At my age and condition that is completely impossible.
     
  3. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    If you are young and strong it may be possible to start a 20HP diesel. A 60HP would require one of those "Strong man" competition guys to get going.
     
  4. rustybarge
    Joined: Oct 2013
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    Location: Ireland

    rustybarge Cheetah 25' Powercat.

    +1

    We used to have a 22kva lister 3 cylinder diesel genny of about 25hp, and to hand start it took lots and lots and lots of strength! It had a huge flywheel which had to be spun up to speed while pressing the decompression lever, but you really needed two hands on the crank to get enough power to spin it up to get the engine to kick over just one compression stroke!

    60hp......good luck!

    This brings up a very interesting subject: what happens if you're offshore and you battery fails to restart your engine?
    Answer: you get swept onto a lee shore and drown!

    How about a tiny little 25cc weed eater strimmer engine geared down to the same revs as a starter motor, which could engage in a slot machined into the end of the starter motor shaft.....

    ....battery fails, engage by hand your little 25cc 2str petrol/gas motor into the starter motor slot.....hey presto!

    I believe the main engines are started on big ships with this method.
     
  5. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    I use to operate an old crane that started like that. It had a small lawnmower type engine with a pull start and a clutch to get the main engine going.
     
  6. UNCIVILIZED
    Joined: Jun 2014
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    Location: Land O' the Great Lakes

    UNCIVILIZED DIY Junkyard MadScientist

    Thanks for the ideas & help guys. Maybe it's time to pull McGuyver out of my back pocket, "borrow" a leaf blower", and put some of it's bits to good use, configuring a last ditch starter assist device :)
     
  7. FAST FRED
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    Location: Conn in summers , Ortona FL in winter , with big d

    FAST FRED Senior Member

    The usual system is to simply purchase either a spring starter , you wind up a big spring , pull a lever and the starter engages,

    OR you purchase a Hydraulic starter with a hand pump and accumulator tank.

    Either way no electric is required. Lifeboat style.

    I have a Volvo MD3B , with big flywheel and decomprssion levers and it tales 2 folks cranking to get the speed required to self ignite the fuel.

    A gasoline engine might be easier for your service as the compression is lower and rotation but not speed is needed to start.
     
  8. SamSam
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Location: Coastal Georgia

    SamSam Senior Member

    I used to have a Farmall F-20 tractor with a 20-30 hp gas engine that had to be hand cranked to start.

    It was a serious affair with a potential for major physical injury to your arm or hand or leg or anything that might be in the way of the crank if the engine backfired while starting. I don't know if a diesel can backfire or not.

    Even with that old, long stroke, low compression engine it took some physical effort and enough room to where you could be in proper position to use your legs and back and arms to give that last crank that would start it. It was a process of slowly going through a few compression strokes until you got to the one that had the most resistance, easing up to top dead center and then a big heave on the crank while jumping back out of the way.

    It is somewhat akin to hand turning a propeller to start an airplane engine. Although not quite as risky as that, it's something that is not enjoyable.
     
  9. FAST FRED
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    Location: Conn in summers , Ortona FL in winter , with big d

    FAST FRED Senior Member

    Spring starters Simms, Lucas, CAV mechanical starter ...
    www.springstarter.com/
    Mechanical, hand-wound spring starters for diesel and marine engines from Kineteco.

    This just bolts on where the electric starter would go.
     
  10. Springfield
    Joined: Jun 2020
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    Location: Chongqing, China

    Springfield New Member

    Agree on that, once upon a time, the battery of the boat engine faded off, emergency staters saved my boat.
     
  11. jehardiman
    Joined: Aug 2004
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    Location: Port Orchard, Washington, USA

    jehardiman Senior Member

    Since this seem to have diverged into a starter thread, why not use what they use for 6-71 emergency generators and big main systems...compressed air. Unlike battery systems, compressed air can sit around for months with no loss to stored energy. Once the engine starts, the compressor tops off the bank, check the drain and you are ready to go again.
     
  12. Blueknarr
    Joined: Aug 2017
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    Location: Colorado

    Blueknarr Senior Member

    Unless there is a leak in the system.

    Best backup I've seen is a small generator with a yank starter.
     
  13. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    You can use a hand pump to refill the tank.
     

  14. brendan gardam
    Joined: Feb 2020
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    Location: east gippsland australia

    brendan gardam Junior Member

    I have had a fair bit to do with air start trucks I have never seen hold air for a long time, it always finds its way out somewhere. 1 of the best starters i have used was an old aircraft inertia starter adapted to a lister marine diesel. that was electric or hand start.
     
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