Starter Motors: Alternative Systems

Discussion in 'Diesel Engines' started by makobuilders, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. makobuilders
    Joined: Feb 2009
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    makobuilders Member

    What are others' experience with the alternatives for standard electric starters: hydraulic, pneumatic and spring start? How practical and are they worth the additional pumps, tanks, etc needed to operate. This is for a cruising trawler.
     
  2. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Complex and expensive for a small craft. A normal starter motor is very robust. carry a spare , service the old starter and you will never have problems. Typical starter problems with a diesel engine is ring gear wear not the electric starter.
     
  3. makobuilders
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    makobuilders Member

    Spring starter

    True, what you say. I never had big problems with my past boat regarding the starters.

    But now I'm starting from scratch. So there will be the cost of rebuilding two electric starters (one for the prime mover and another as a spare), plus adding a couple of 8D batteries plus cables and switches, etc.

    Versus, I have a quotation for a spring starter for $1500. Nothing else is needed. Self contained. No alternator is needed either on the motor, if one can rely on just solar panels for electric needs.

    The only real compromise that I see is that I will have to rely on a manual anchor windlass, so that means a rope rode, not all chain.

    All this just requires a lifestyle change, but being that this boat is extremely spartan and simple in systems, it might work out.
     
  4. FAST FRED
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    FAST FRED Senior Member

    Spring starters work , but they are limited to the displacement they can start.

    Air is OK but the size of tanks required is HUGE , as most do not use air at a very high pressure.

    IF the boat is being built/rebuilt I would opt for HYD.

    Advantage is that so many other items can be hud powered , cruise generator , refrigeration , windlass , thrusters and small winches .

    Additionally a lightning strike will not take the system down. Loose the pressure in the start system? A hand pump works fine , tho its not rapid.

    Murphy gauges (mechanical) or the better Murphy Switch gauges are very reliable and will monitor your engine or noisemaker and secure it in the event of a problem.

    Electric of some sort will probably be required for GPS and auto pilot .

    Kerosene Primus for cooking or a diesel range , acetylene gas for lights and you are all set.
     
  5. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Spring starters are OK until they rust.
     
  6. whitepointer23

    whitepointer23 Previous Member

    the kinetco spring starter instructions say it can be oiled so why would rust be a problem. i think it would be a terrific idea to have an electric free starter. i like the old inertia type starters because they are electric or manual.
     
  7. makobuilders
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    makobuilders Member

    I agree with Whitey. These units are designed for industrial and marine applications. Corrosion control shouldn't be much of an issue. Certainly anything electrical is more susceptible.
     
  8. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Maintenence, service shedule, is the problem. Boat owners NEVER maintain their gear. My MTU service manuel instructs me to lubricate the flywheel ring gear with grease and a paint brush at each injector service interval. I never see yacht owners , nor service technicians, grease lubricate the ring gear teeth...NEVER. Be careful with hybrid equipment that requires a service cycle to keep viable,
     
  9. Squidly-Diddly
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    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    I think a clock-spring starter would be ideal for outboards.

    I hear alot of drowning accidents start with a drunk or elderly person falling overboard when trying to yank an outboard into life.

    Have a clock-spring that can both:

    1)rewind itself from engine power as soon as the motor gets past initial "ice cold", so stopping and restarting often isn't a problem.

    2)Can be manually(or with foot "pump" from seated recombent bike position) rewound, with a nice safe ratcheting system where the energy can be SLOWLY added to the spring, then released.

    This would mean a much larger engine could be started, and started from a safe stable seated position.

    Springs and ratchet parts are dirt cheap and all the engineering has been long since worked out.


    Did I ever tell you guys about my idea for wind-up Clock-Spring ROTISSERIE BBQ device!?!?!?!?

    instead of this electrical that needs a cord
    [​IMG]

    just use a clock spring, and include two support towers so you can put it in or on any grill, or put it in any household oven.

    You don't need to turn any meat even 1/10 as fast as the electric version does, it just does that because it has 1500WATTS on tap.

    An all steel unit wouldn't be bothered by even a 500+deg F. broiler, and could even be "dishwasher safe".

    Biggest 'design challenge' would be slowing down the rotation with a clock works that wont get gummed up in a meat roasting environment, and rotates SMOOTHLY without harsh 'clicks' that would tear up the meat.
     
  10. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    As a side note, I have been using manual windlasses for many years with rode that is mostly chain with some rope for when I have to deploy more than 200' of chain. Here is the model:

    [​IMG]
    http://www.imtra.com/product/anchoring_systems/lofrans/lofrans_horizontal_manual_windlass/royal.htm

    They are more like $1000 retail in the States, not $1500. Not sure what the cost would be on your area.

    The gypsy on the starboard side of the windlass accepts 3/8" BBB chain or other types, as different gypsies can be bought for this model.
     
  11. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    If the engine is big enough, then a heavy flywheel, some compression releases and a handle is all you need, screw the springs, electrics and hydraulics. Get it spinning, flip closed the compression releases and away you go.
     
  12. makobuilders
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    makobuilders Member

    Interesting idea, but what max engine size in liters would be recommended for this approach? Plus how would you modify an engine with a decompression release?
     
  13. pistnbroke
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    pistnbroke I try

    If you get a spring starter just dont try to dismantle it ..they recomend putting in a bucket of concrete for disposal .....
     
  14. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I know a guy that lost three fingers taking one apart. He considers himself lucky when he relates to the violence of the "coming apart" bit.

    I used to have a 75 HP diesel that was hand start, but I don't know the maximum size that would be practical. I would think with good balancing and a heavy enough flywheel, you should be able to hand start just about anything.
     

  15. pistnbroke
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    Location: Noosa.Australia where god kissed the earth.

    pistnbroke I try

    nice one PAR I think peple who have not seen these think a coil spring but its compressed bevel washers in spring steel ..pushed flat when you wind it up ....loads of energy ..be warned
     
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