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Old 11-21-2011, 01:30 AM   #1
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Perkins t6.354m NEED HELP! Greenhorn Captain

okay, so i bought a 1963 Royal Craft Commercial Crab Boat and its located 2 1/2 hours away from me so its a little hard to get work done right now. When I went to look at it before i bought it, the owner showed me how to start it and took me out in it to show me that is was able to run. NOW that was in July. I work on a boat in alaska and i was gone for 3 months and was not able to start and run the boat in that time frame. So I made some trips up to the boat, first time i went up i tried to turn over the Perkins and it clicked as if the batteries were dead, Stupid me didnt bring the batteries home instead the next trip up i took a battery charger that i thought was heavy duty enough...however, i broke the battery charger as soon as i went to turn it on and continued to try and use it however it started smoking while i tried to turn over the engine. So took the batteries with me that time, got them both charged 1 8D commercial battery and 1 regular marine battery. took them up today and of course i didnt get all the connections back on. I thought i did and spent about an hour or so tearing apart the ignition to figure out why i wasnt getting any power to the starter when i discovered one last negative cable that i didnt hook up. Okay, now i got everything connected and i go to crank. I crank a couple times, then stop and go to crank again however i see smoke start to rise from the starter so i stopped and looked to see another smaller ground wire melt before my eyes. it fell off and at that point the engine wouldnt crank again, as if there was no power to the ignition so i take it that wire that melted off needs to be there grounded.

So I dont know much about diesels. this is my first boat and im trying to get it able to go commercially crabbing in the not to distant future. I would very much apprieciate any info or help anyone can give as there is not much free help online for diesels especially the perkins engine.

*

thanks!
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Old 11-21-2011, 01:32 AM   #2
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RE: Perkins t6.354m NEED HELP! Greenhorn Captain

to add to this, after the wire melted i went to replace it however i didnt have the right size wrench ouch!!
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Old 11-21-2011, 06:29 AM   #3
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RE: Perkins t6.354m NEED HELP! Greenhorn Captain

Not sure I understand the question, but it sounds like the starter is toast. It happens. Those things aren't designed for long periods of time with that much load on them. Is there an engine preheat button you missed that caused it not to start right away? Is it spinning up strong?
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Old 11-21-2011, 11:02 AM   #4
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RE: Perkins t6.354m NEED HELP! Greenhorn Captain

my question is, the wire that melted away, why would it melt away and will it be possible to crank the engine after it is replaced. when i finally was able to get the power to the engine to crank over i only got a couple turns out of it if that

Before, the owner showed me that all i had to do to start her up was flick the battery switch and turn it over. I turn the key to Acc and wait a minute first however its not wired up to any kind of heater so it wouldnt make a difference.

I read someones post on here and this was my plan to get it going next time im up there..

Replace the wire that melted away then,

Go to crank again but crank for 20 seconds and let it rest for 60 seconds and repeat two more times to get it to crank. it was also freezing outside.

anyways the engine was running great when i bought the darn thing, now since ive paid it off ive wanted to move it closer to me and cant even get the thing to start.
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Old 11-21-2011, 12:59 PM   #5
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RE: Perkins t6.354m NEED HELP! Greenhorn Captain

I ran a circa 1978 T6.354 for many years in my old Mainship and it always started in about 3 seconds or so unless the battery was low. As long as the starter spun fast I never had a problem. The engine did not have any cold start aids. There were several times when I started it when temps were in the 40s F and still no problems.

Make sure the battery is good...maybe I should say very good.

*
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Old 11-21-2011, 01:30 PM   #6
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RE: Perkins t6.354m NEED HELP! Greenhorn Captain

So i should replace the ground wire that melted off. Im pretty sure i reconnected the batteries correctly. I should try and start the engine again?? and if no crank then the starter is gone? How can i check the starter?
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Old 11-21-2011, 01:43 PM   #7
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RE: Perkins t6.354m NEED HELP! Greenhorn Captain

alright I will go through and double check things again. It's been very difficult for me to get things done i have to drive so long to get to my boat and ive built up so much excitement for it and then i start making mistakes.
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Old 11-21-2011, 01:51 PM   #8
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RE: Perkins t6.354m NEED HELP! Greenhorn Captain

Quote:
CaptSoterio wrote:alright I will go through and double check things again.
Unless you have a good schematic and know how to read it you will be much better off hiring someone to take a look at the starting system.

It really does sound like you are about one more attempt short of a fire.
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Old 11-21-2011, 02:22 PM   #9
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Perkins t6.354m NEED HELP! Greenhorn Captain

I have a Perkins wiring drawing from 1972 and revised in 1976. Let's see if it uploads.

By golly it did. Hope this helps. Bring a nice new charged up group 31 battery with you to make sure she spins fast.

*


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Old 11-21-2011, 08:25 PM   #10
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RE: Perkins t6.354m NEED HELP! Greenhorn Captain

I just talked with my mechanic about it and he is going to come up with me the next time i head up. I feel like Tim Allen from Home Improvement when everything blows up when he touches it.

Thanks everyone.. Thanks Jleonard for the wire diagram, im going to be printing that out to use. Hopefully I can get my rig running and start the other problems i have with it so i can get it fishing.
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Old 11-21-2011, 09:11 PM   #11
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RE: Perkins t6.354m NEED HELP! Greenhorn Captain

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CaptSoterio wrote:
*it was also freezing outside.

If you don't have any heat on your boat this could well be the reason the engine didn't fire.* Trying to start a diesel, particuarly an older generation diesel can be dicey if it's really cold.

You may well have a starter issue, too, and as Rick said this is not somehting you should screw around with yourself if you don't have the knowledge, experience, and tools to do the job.* Hire a competent marine elecgrician or engine guy or both and let them figure out the problem.* Otherwise your commercial crabber could become a nice habitat for fish.

But while the pros are sorting out whatever's making your starter smoke and wiring melt, you also need to find out some more info than what the previous owner gave you.* Does the engine have a cold start control?* I don't mean pre-heaters but a lever or some mechanical means of letting the injection pump feed more fuel to the injectors when it's very cold out.* This is an owner's manual sort of thing, and if you don't have one you should get one.* They're usually available on the web somewhere in PDF form.

Second, it might behoove you to keep some heat in the engine room.* Not a campfire, however.* We keep an electric oil heater in the engine room during the winter, one of those heaters you can get at hardware stores that looks like a small steam radiator.* We leave ours on the lowest setting with the thermostat about halfway up.* This keeps the engine space about 50-55 degrees so even on the coldest Fraser River winter blast day in*Bellingham the Lehmans start right now with no hesitation at all.

*

*
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Old 11-22-2011, 12:36 AM   #12
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RE: Perkins t6.354m NEED HELP! Greenhorn Captain

ok so i found a manual online and it had some helpful info.. although i looked through the pictures of the bateries that i do have and they confirmed that i DID in fact connect the batteries correctly. The wire that melted... still doesnt make too much sense besides the fact that the wire is old. I think i've discovered a fuel primer but i dont think the problem was that the engine couldnt start, i think the main issue was the voltage going to the electrical starting system wasnt sufficient.

I will take the advice of having someone who knows what they are doing go up and take care of it for me..

all the help is apprieciated. seeing has i am very green.
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Old 11-22-2011, 04:31 AM   #13
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Perkins t6.354m NEED HELP! Greenhorn Captain

How is the engine SHUT DOWN?

Are you sure the stop cable is not pulled?

Or the stop solenoid energised?

Some private boats copy the USCG commercial requirement and have a fuel line cut off , sometimes outside the boat.


-- Edited by FF on Tuesday 22nd of November 2011 05:33:20 AM
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Old 11-22-2011, 07:41 AM   #14
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Perkins t6.354m NEED HELP! Greenhorn Captain

Quote:
CaptSoterio wrote:
I just talked with my mechanic about it and he is going to come up with me the next time i head up. I feel like Tim Allen from Home Improvement when everything blows up when he touches it.

*
Having a mechanic check it out*is a wise choice,*if you are not familiar with the system. *I suspect you are right about the low voltage problem.*

The older 6.354 used a beafy Delco starter but the solenoid mounted on top was wimpy.* The voltage drop between* the dash key/switch and the solenoid is significant and caused the contacts in the solenoid to chatter and burn up.* I rebuilt mine several times before I discovered the cause and added a second relay at the solenoid.

These engines have a compression ratio of 17:1 and any loss of compression through wear makes them hard to start in cold weather.* Perkins*markets a hot start cold weather starting device that is very inexpensive, installed through a drilled and tapped hole in the intake manifold your engine will start first time everytime, even in cold weather.

Good luck

Larry B


-- Edited by Edelweiss on Tuesday 22nd of November 2011 08:42:33 AM
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Old 11-22-2011, 05:02 PM   #15
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RE: Perkins t6.354m NEED HELP! Greenhorn Captain

One other think to consider....if it has not been mentioned before..... I have 2 6.354's in my boat. One of them cranks very quickly and the other takes its time. Both engines are 1977.

I found why the one slow starts.... It seems to have a phantom leak somewhere in the fuel system...no exterior leakage...but it seems there is an air leak that allows the engine to lose its prime...just enough to create a delay in starting.... The answer was to pump the priming pump on the engine a few times. I haven't gotten into yet, but I have a feeling its going to be an interesting search to find it...
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Old 11-22-2011, 05:24 PM   #16
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RE: Perkins t6.354m NEED HELP! Greenhorn Captain

Quote:
superdiver wrote:
The pump is easy to spot and easy to get to in my boat, its mounted on the side of the engine and has a little handle to pump ....
*

*

That's the one!!
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Old 11-23-2011, 09:43 AM   #17
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RE: Perkins t6.354m NEED HELP! Greenhorn Captain

I was never told about the primer pump and found it on mine from looking at pictures that i took of my engine and looking at engine diagrams online. it looks like my engine does not have a cold start aid only the primer pump. It also states to put my throttle all the way open when starting it in the cold.
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Old 11-24-2011, 11:23 AM   #18
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RE: Perkins t6.354m NEED HELP! Greenhorn Captain

Quote:
CaptSoterio wrote:
I was never told about the primer pump and found it on mine from looking at pictures that i took of my engine and looking at engine diagrams online. it looks like my engine does not have a cold start aid only the primer pump. It also states to put my throttle all the way open when starting it in the cold.
*

When using WOT when you start the engine....have one hand on the throttle ready to pull it back fast!! *A stone cold diesel doesn't like high rev's ......ouch!
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Old 03-17-2012, 03:39 PM   #19
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RE: Perkins t6.354m NEED HELP! Greenhorn Captain

update, im back from my fishing contract in alaska and still havent gotten the engine to start but it has turned over. I replaced the wire and believe that i was sending too much power to it. Ive got it to crank 3 full cranks however its still very cold out and this whole week has nothing but bad weather for us. Next step is to take some space heaters to heat up my engine room and fuel tank. Right now im learning how to bleed the fuel system I might as well do that too but i havent disconnected any fuel lines so i technically shouldnt have to.

I would like to buy an aftermarket cold start to add to the engine but im not having good luck finding one for a decent price if you know where i can get one that would be helpful. also any feedback on using space heaters to heat the engine room? I was curious if anyone knew what temperature the engine would start best at?
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Old 03-17-2012, 11:31 PM   #20
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RE: Perkins t6.354m NEED HELP! Greenhorn Captain

I bought mine from North Harbor diesel in Anacortes. I would think they would be available from any Perkins dealer though. They were less than 20.00 dollars last time I bought one. Probably a little more now.
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