Starter motor problems

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by Mick Folan, Feb 9, 2005.

  1. Mick Folan
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Location: Ireland

    Mick Folan New Member

    Can anyone help me before I lose the little bit of sense I have left. I have a Perkins 4-108 diesel installed in my 23ft Leefisher. Both are approx 15 yrs old.The last 3 consecutive seasons has seen me getting cruel hardship with starter problems. For example if I leave the boat in water for 2 weeks without starting it i will undoubtly have to take to take off the starter to free up the bendix as it will have seized. These last 2 starters have been supplied as marine starters by a reputable perkins dealer. What can I do?

    Thanks in advance
  2. Change dealers. That type of seizing is not normal even with water sloshing in a bilge.-----------------------------------------If he is the only one in a large area. Pull the Bendix apart and put a THIN film of front wheel bearing grease on all the sliding surfaces. If that does not correct the problem, change dealers.
  3. Mick Folan
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Location: Ireland

    Mick Folan New Member

    Thanks Richard!
    Even though the starter is quite low bilge water would never touch it. I suspect it is salty vapour from the bilge and your tip with the grease should work. In Ireland there is only one Perkins supplier so I might have to source spare parts elsewhere.
  4. The starters you get, do have FULL cover plates over any openings. Or a marine metal mesh over the openings?
  5. Mick Folan
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Mick Folan New Member

    Not full covers just an inadequate plastic looking washer on the shaft that stops you looking into the motor
  6. Help! I have no knowledge of the appearence of a PERKINS diesel starter motor. I do not like the plastic? Or the no covers. HELP HELP. We need a Perkins man, Mick.
  7. Steve H
    Joined: Aug 2004
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    Steve H Senior Member

    what brand of starter is it? There are many after market brand starters that are manufactured for perkins engines, many from china and eastern europe. Many of them are made of poor grade metal that wil rust overnight. Robert Bosch or Delco would my choice. If you have to live with what you got. I would remove the armature and paint the splines and exposed portion of shaft with some good paint, then lube it lightly with neverseize. If you put any thick type grease it will attract dirt and it gets too thick in low temps.

    Steve H
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    D'ARTOIS Senior Member

    This particular engine of Perkins: the 4.108 is a p. i. t. a. - being a converted car engine, I believe a marinisation of the London Taxi engine, I have met this device in two boats that have crossed my path. The startermotor is mounted at a low point on the starboard side of the engine. Not to say very low.
    On a nightmarish voyage to Falmouth this particular plant had to be overhauled and after that the problems with the stater-motor began. New Bendix at Falmouth, not to get anywhere else and starting was done by removing the table from the main cabin (the engine was mounted midship) and making contact by using the wellknown screwdriver. As the engine was mounted midship, it came often awash in the bilge water, that could rise high due to leaks from mast, gland, douche and other holes in the hull. In the med, after the adventure falling of a wave in plain Biscaya, some gasoil rest was left in the bilges.

    In a gale opposite Cabo de Gata, sparks from the startmotor ignited this gasoil that was floating on the bilgewater and the boat caught fire.

    Even overhauled and honesty abides: good working - the engine was removed and sold for parts.

    N O M O R E P E R K I N S E V E R!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    FAST FRED Senior Member

    If you wish to dip the starter in seawater , an air or hydraulic unit would be a better choice.

    I believe there is even a manual spring starter , you wind up and engage , usually done on life boats.

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