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Old 10-26-2011, 06:47 PM   #21
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RE: How do you start you boat?

I'm just following the instructions from THE MANUFACTURER! What should I do? Ignore it?
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Old 10-26-2011, 06:54 PM   #22
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How do you start you boat?

Quote:
nomadwilly wrote:I can't believe you guys are starting your engines w so much throttle.*
In our case, it's the power lever setting spelled out in the manual for normal starts (as opposed to cold starts).* Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that the FL120 has no glow-plugs or intake air pre-heaters.

Our Onan MDJE does have glow plugs and an intake air pre-heater.* The start procedure for that is to close the spring-loaded*pre-heat switch for 45 seconds to a minute (but not to exceed a minute), and then close the spring-loaded start switch, releasing both of them when the engine starts.

When we bought the boat we were told to apply pre-heat for "about ten seconds or so" and then engage the starter.* We did this for the first year or so and while the two-cylinder*engine always started* it always started hesitantly and*ran rough for a few seconds before smoothing out.

The Onan was the one thing on the boat that did not have an operators manual.* After I joined the Grand Banks owners forum I mentioned this and another member sent me a copy.* When I read it, I saw the* "45 seconds to one minute" instruction for pre-heat.* As soon as I started doing that, the Onan fired right up and ran smoothly from the get-go, as it does to this day.


-- Edited by Marin on Wednesday 26th of October 2011 06:55:38 PM
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Old 10-26-2011, 07:01 PM   #23
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RE: How do you start you boat?

Quote:
nomadwilly wrote:
I can't believe you guys are starting your engines w so much throttle.*

I agree.* There's no chance I'll ever start any diesel anywhere past idle throttle.* On our Lehman 120's if they are cold I'll push the start pin on the Mimetec pumps while I'm below doing my pre-start inspection.* With it pushed they will light up immediately even at dead slow throttle.* Then its out the back door to make sure there's water running in the exhaust and to watch for unusual smoke or oil sheens.
*
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Old 10-26-2011, 07:04 PM   #24
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RE: How do you start you boat?

Key on, idle speed on throttle, push start button. Lehman 135.
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Old 10-26-2011, 07:18 PM   #25
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RE: How do you start you boat?

While the cold start lever on the FL120's injection pump is needed for starting in truly cold weather, we were told by people in a position to know that using the FL120's cold start button or lever--- which simply increases the travel of the fuel control rod-- is not a good practice to follow on a regular basis. We were told this not long after aquiring our boat, and unfortunately I have forgotten the reason behind this warning. Some vague thing tells me it results in excess fuel washing the cylinder walls of lube oil but that could be absolute crap. In fact the warning itself could be absolute crap.

But in asking our diesel shop and others in the marine engine industry about the cold start feature on our engines and should we use it and when, we were told that it really doesn't get cold enough in the PNW (outside of the occasional short cold snap) to use the cold start feature. So we never have in the 13 years we've owned the boat and the engines always start right now year round.

I am curious, however, about the reasoning expressed in this discussion behind never using the startup power lever setting called out in the FL120's operating manual but keeping the throttle at idle only during startup.
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Old 10-26-2011, 07:33 PM   #26
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RE: How do you start you boat?

Warning: what follows is purely my personal opinion.* It is backed up by owning a variety of diesel engines for business and pleasure and some amateur wrenching but it is nevertheless personal opinion and speculation.

I think most engine wear occurs on startup for 2 reasons: 1) the surfaces tend to be dry because the lube has drained down 2) the tolerances are larger than they were designed for because the engine is cold.* Running a cold engine at high RPM seems to me to be a recipe for greatly increased wear.* I support that with my perception that a cold engine running fast just sounds wrong - like I said, its personal opinion.*

On the Mimetec pump it appears to me that the idle position doesn't supply adequate fuel for starting.* The engine will eventually start cold at full idle but it takes a lot of cranking.* With the start pin pushed as I posted earlier, it lights up immediately.* I was unaware that the start pin even existed until a Lehman mechanic in Seattle pointed it out to me.* His advice was to use it every time.* Since my engines start at idle without it when they are warm I don't bother but I do use it every time on cold starts and will continue to do so.* I haven't done an oil analysis yet - too lazy to pull the samples - but if an oil sample showed fuel dilution I would consider changing my procedure but I still wouldn't start with an advanced throttle.*

I've heard people argue that extended cranking is a good thing because it allows the oil pump to build pressure.* I'm not sure I 100% agree with that assessment but I'd prefer extended cranking to a high speed start.* Many newer electronic engines require extended cranking because the common rail injectors rely on oil pressure to fire so evidently in those applications the design calls for longer crank times but our old Lehmans are about 50 years behind that technology so I'm not sure it transfers well.

*
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Old 10-26-2011, 08:02 PM   #27
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RE: How do you start you boat?

All extended cranking to build oil pressure accomplishes is to put more wear on the starter.

The telling argument to me that supports simply starting an engine in the manner prescribed by the manufacturer is that engines don't die because people didn't crank them to build oil pressure, or use the manufacturer's starting instructions including partial throttle at startup. Nor are their lives extended by cranking to build oil pressure before starting, or by using the cold start to push more fuel into the engine so it can be started at idle instead of the called-for partial throttle setting.

From what I have read and been told by people in the engine manufacturing industry, an engine will die of some other cause long before the "excess" wear at startup caused by a momentary lack of lubrication will have any effect at all.

Not sure with this notion of "high speed" start with partial throttle setting comes from. Maybe some engines will do this, but it doesn't happen with our FL120s, at least not the way we start them. As I said, with the power lever set per the manufacturer's start instructions, the engines fire almost immediately. And the instant they do, I retard the power levers. I watch the tachs when I do this and they never exceed 1,000 rpm. In fact I have to add throttle back in to get to their warm-up rpm of 1,000 rpm.

And even if the engine did "vroom" up to a higher rpm at startup, ever listen to a car start? I've got a 24-year-old BMW with almost 250,000 miles on the clock that I drive every weekday to work. The head has never needed to come off, compression is right where it should be, and so on. Every morning when I start it, it "vrooms" into life and then the rpm settles back to about 1200 or so until it starts warming up. This engine isn't going to last forever, obviously, but when it does need an overhaul or replacement, it won't be because of the way it starts.
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Old 10-26-2011, 08:06 PM   #28
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RE: How do you start you boat?

Contact + Load + Motion= Wear
When you start cold the oil has drained away allowing some contact between your crank journal/ main bearing, camshaft lobe/ lifter, etc. Contact has increased, so by starting at an idle you have the least load and motion possible until an oil film separates the things that wear:smile:.
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Old 10-26-2011, 08:19 PM   #29
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RE: How do you start you boat?

Quote:
Forkliftt wrote:
Contact + Load + Motion= Wear When you start cold the oil has drained away allowing some contact between your crank journal/ main bearing, camshaft lobe/ lifter, etc. Contact has increased, so by starting at an idle you have the least load and motion possible until an oil film separates the things that wear:smile:.
No argument at all with what you're saying.* But this brief moment of wear apparently makes zero difference to the service life of an engine since they all seem to*crap out to the point of needing an overhaul*for reasons other than startup wear on the moving parts.* They blow gaskets, overheat and warp, swallow valves, burn pistons, wear out valve seats,*burn valves,*the fuel system finally dies, etc.
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Old 10-26-2011, 08:19 PM   #30
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RE: How do you start you boat?

Quote:
Marin wrote:
........ argumentative verbiage snipped .........


And even if the engine did "vroom" up to a higher rpm at startup, ever listen to a car start?
We're not talking about your gas engine car.*

You asked - I answered.

Bottom line - they're your engines - you start them however you want to - you won't get any argument from me.
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Old 10-26-2011, 08:34 PM   #31
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RE: How do you start you boat?

Key on starboard engine

throttle in idle position push start button

turn key off and wait a few seconds to kill buzzing

turn key on

same procedure for port engine

down steps to forward area and enter port cabin

enter engine room from port cabin

check engines

get underway
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Old 10-26-2011, 08:41 PM   #32
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RE: How do you start you boat?

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Bottom line - they're your engines - you start them however you want to - you won't get any argument from me.
*Absolutely.* Everyone will do what they think works best.*

What I find curious, however, is how many people--- and not just with engines--- adapt operating procedures that are totally different, and sometimes even the exact opposite, of what the product manufacturer recommends.

I figure the people who designed an engine knew what they're doing and why.* And they wrote the operator's manual accordingly.* Particularly an engine with a long track record of success and reliability.* So I find it interesting that so*many people, particularly in the realm of consumer products like boat engines and cars for example, either ignore the manufacturer's operating instructions or think their operating theory is better.* "Cummins says to use such-and-such micron filter as*the *secondary on my engine, but I think it should be (your number here) micron filter instead.* So that's what I'm going to use."

Are engine manufacturers (or car manufacturers or windlass manufacturers or whatever) that wrong that often about so many things?* What do people see as the risk of following the manufacturer's instructions or procedures?

Not suggesting peope change--- people never change unless they think of doing so themselves.* But I find it an interesting phenomenon.* Perhaps because I work in an industry where not following the manufadturer's operating procedures can get you dead in a big hurry.
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Old 10-26-2011, 11:15 PM   #33
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How do you start you boat?

When the key is turned,*the alarm goes on.* That disinclineds me from postponing pushing the starter button.


-- Edited by markpierce on Wednesday 26th of October 2011 11:39:27 PM
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Old 10-26-2011, 11:38 PM   #34
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RE: How do you start you boat?

Quote:
psneeld wrote:
Don't forget to keep the blower running on warm/hot days...it's not for explosive gasses on a diesel boat (often they are mounted high with no hose going low)...it's to keep fresh cool air coming to the diesel for better performance. A blower to get rid of explosive gasses is still a good idea especially if you carry gasoline or propane, etc...onboard...
*I turn on the ER exhaust fan*at the beginning because I want fresh air when entering the ER to check fluid levels and fuel-tank selection.* Who knows what gasses have accumulated since the last time the engine was operated.* I also turn on the fan at the end of operation to exhaust possible "bad air" when I check the engine room for possible problems such as an oil leak.
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Old 10-26-2011, 11:44 PM   #35
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RE: How do you start you boat?

Starboard engine-hatch opening:
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Old 10-27-2011, 12:47 AM   #36
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RE: How do you start you boat?

Quote:
jleonard wrote:
Power "on" with the key. Push the start button to fire up. Stand by the helm until the low oil P buzzer stops and I see pressure, then I raise the rpm a tad (to*700 ish) to smooth her out while she's cold. Then I go look over the transom to make sure*she's pumping water.

*
*Exactly ditto.
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Old 10-27-2011, 12:59 AM   #37
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RE: How do you start you boat?

Quote:
Peter B wrote:jleonard wrote:
...*Then I go look over the transom to make sure*she's pumping water.

*
*Exactly ditto.

*My ears tell me that.
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Old 10-27-2011, 01:05 AM   #38
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RE: How do you start you boat?

Quote:
Marin wrote:
No argument at all with what you're saying.* But this brief moment of wear apparently makes zero difference to the service life of an engine since they all seem to*crap out to the point of needing an overhaul*for reasons other than startup wear on the moving parts.* They blow gaskets, overheat and warp, swallow valves, burn pistons, wear out valve seats,*burn valves,*the fuel system finally dies, etc.

*You hush up now Marin..My boat might hear you, and I can't afford any more expense or delay or I'll never get out on her. *It looks like I'm faced with an anchor winch overhaul now - after just*forking out for new canvas,*a re-paint, new heat exchanger, exhaust knuckle and whatever...

On this starting cold issue tho it has always intrigued me how my old L120 starts in idle position, 1st press of the starter, every time, yet has no pre-heat mode or anything, yet other types of diesel engines - even some quite modern ones still seem to use glow-plugs or some other pre-heat - why is that...?
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Old 10-27-2011, 04:10 AM   #39
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RE: How do you start you boat?

Mostly depends on the design of the combustio chamber and the compression ratio.

When I start my engine I first check the LO and CW levels FO I normally know but still check.
back to W house turn key to on and then to start.
Engine starts first hit and at idle RPM.
Leave her there until cooling water outlet is checked.
Quick hit astern and ahead to check gearbox control..
Engine warms up whilst I let go the lines etc to move out of my berth.

Same as on the big CATs on my Rig Tender, check the LO and CW turn key and start let idle at 600 RPM until engine is warm then engage props for departure.
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Old 10-27-2011, 04:24 AM   #40
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RE: How do you start you boat?

In in a dock we single up to one line, at anchor we hand pull to straight up, if its easy.

The engine is cranked and when started run at 600rpm and checked it really is neutral, no motion (Twin Disc mechanical).

On the hook the windlass is used to retrieve the anchor , and at 1000RPM away we go.

In a slip in about 1 min the idle speed will rise to 800, where it is slowed to min and away we go.

Only the use of a pre-luber could help the cold start problem, but NO IDELING is under my control, and she will not warm at idle ,but reaches operating temperature with little delay at 1000.
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