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Old 06-06-2019, 04:53 PM   #1
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Spring Starter + Yanmar 4JH2

Hi there,

So...I've tipped pretty seriously into rationalizing the purchase of a spring starter for our boat and having just one bank of batteries for house needs.

When starting the engine, it would just be a matter of turning the ignition key to the "ON" position, then tripping the spring starter, right? (There would be no need to turn the key to "START" because that wire wouldn't be connected to the starter). Once the spring starter starts the engine, wouldn't it be situation normal?

Could it be that simple?
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Old 06-06-2019, 05:54 PM   #2
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Should be that simple. The older JH had a solenoid that energized to stop the engine, if you spin it it should start.
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Old 06-06-2019, 06:48 PM   #3
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Should be that simple. The older JH had a solenoid that energized to stop the engine, if you spin it it should start.
Cool. Thanks
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Old 06-07-2019, 08:36 AM   #4
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Yup. Key on and turn motor with spring.
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Old 06-07-2019, 09:28 AM   #5
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So, you are installing an expensive (presumably) mechanical device to avoid installing a $100 battery and a $65 combiner. Then instead of hitting a switch you have to open the engine compartment, wind up a spring and let it go. If you have to bleed the fuel system by cracking the injectors and rotating the engine if you run out, what do you do?


Doesn't make sense to me.


David
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Old 06-07-2019, 10:01 AM   #6
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So, you are installing an expensive (presumably) mechanical device to avoid installing a $100 battery and a $65 combiner. Then instead of hitting a switch you have to open the engine compartment, wind up a spring and let it go. If you have to bleed the fuel system by cracking the injectors and rotating the engine if you run out, what do you do?


Doesn't make sense to me.


David
He would (could) use the house battery for everything, the spring starter would serve as his back up should the house battery be depleted somehow. Using a single battery bank would simplify the charging system, lower maintenance costs and free up space in the engine room. It may not be everyone's ideal set up but it would work fine.
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Old 06-07-2019, 01:24 PM   #7
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He would (could) use the house battery for everything, the spring starter would serve as his back up should the house battery be depleted somehow. Using a single battery bank would simplify the charging system, lower maintenance costs and free up space in the engine room. It may not be everyone's ideal set up but it would work fine.
...and would keep the current starter as a spare. It's a replacement and was no trouble to install.

We're also getting rid of the holding tank and going with a desiccating toilet. What to do with 1/2 the engine room being free space? How about a small diesel 12 volt generator for weeks long stays in remote anchorages? Burly heater for 12 month comfort? So many choices...
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Old 06-08-2019, 05:42 AM   #8
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"about a small diesel 12 volt generator for weeks long stays in remote anchorages?"

The trick here is to NOT copy the AC style power plants with their constant speed engines.

A simple voltage operated throttle will allow the engine RPM to be just what is required to maintain the DC voltage.

The off grid folks do this .
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Old 06-08-2019, 07:47 AM   #9
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When starting the engine, it would just be a matter of turning the ignition key to the "ON" position, then tripping the spring starter

Spring starters are a bit pricey but are the ultimate in reliability if your plans are for remote cruising. However donít leave the job half-done... remove the fuel shutoff solenoid and instead run a push pull cable.

You can maintain any alarms for low pressure/high temp/etc., but they just wonít auto-shutdown the engine.

Now your engine will be 100% mechanical and will operate even after a nuclear EMP or when the zombies are ruling the lands!
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Old 06-08-2019, 09:39 AM   #10
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Spring starters are a bit pricey but are the ultimate in reliability if your plans are for remote cruising. However donít leave the job half-done... remove the fuel shutoff solenoid and instead run a push pull cable.

You can maintain any alarms for low pressure/high temp/etc., but they just wonít auto-shutdown the engine.

Now your engine will be 100% mechanical and will operate even after a nuclear EMP or when the zombies are ruling the lands!
Interesting thought. Will investigate further.

Remote cruising is exactly what we want to do.

We were 1/2 way up the narrow, twisting, mountain lined Gardner Canal last year and got a rope around our prop *just* before grabbing a mooring buoy. When we called Pan Pan the Coast Guard could barely understand what I was saying, having to repeat often on my end. If we were all the way up, or up one of the side channels, there's no way the radio would have worked at all.
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Old 06-08-2019, 10:26 AM   #11
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More on the ‘remote’ aspect...

We used to sea kayak, even in winter, for up to two months at a time. Looking forward to anchoring in areas with zero radio reception for several weeks at a time, where seeing another boat is unlikely. Once retirement comes along, we foresee anchoring for up to two months in such places to photograph.

(We carry a Spot Messenger)

The less to go wrong, the better.
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Old 06-08-2019, 10:40 AM   #12
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"You can maintain any alarms for low pressure/high temp/etc., but they just won’t auto-shutdown the engine. "

The Murphy switch gauge system comes close.

A spring powered shut down is armed by hand and if enabled ( preset limit is reached) a dedicated dry battery will pull the pin for a shut down.

The dry batt will also illuminate what (hi temp, low oil pressure) sensor caused the shutdown.

Their system is perfect for a crew that knows nothing about diesels, as long as someone on board does.
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Old 06-08-2019, 10:51 AM   #13
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Now your engine will be 100% mechanical and will operate even after a nuclear EMP or when the zombies are ruling the lands!
Nothing wrong with going all mechanical. Just curious how you think the diesel will get delivered after the nuclear EMP or when the zombies are ruling the lands!

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Old 06-08-2019, 11:18 AM   #14
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I got called out to fix a no-start on a 14liter diesel with air start. Turned out it was air in the fuel. Got that sorted and reprimed the injection system. No big deal. Only problem was the air start tank (guess about 50gal) would only give it about 5sec of cranking. Then take about 15min to recharge. Took all afternoon to get that thing running.

Figure a spring starter would be the same. Great until you need to crank for more than a few turns, then it will suck.
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Old 06-08-2019, 12:09 PM   #15
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I got called out to fix a no-start on a 14liter diesel with air start. Turned out it was air in the fuel. Got that sorted and reprimed the injection system. No big deal. Only problem was the air start tank (guess about 50gal) would only give it about 5sec of cranking. Then take about 15min to recharge. Took all afternoon to get that thing running.

Figure a spring starter would be the same. Great until you need to crank for more than a few turns, then it will suck.
It sure would suck hoping an engine fires as the last of the battery banks are drained. (Hard to imagine, but possible with no generator and even if we had solar panels it could rain/drizzle for weeks at a time).

I'd rather have the hassle of winding it up again than firing off a "HELP" signal on the Spot Messenger because we're out of radio contact and haven't seen another boat for more than a week.
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Old 06-08-2019, 04:12 PM   #16
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I'd keep the engine electric start, and keep the spring starter as a spare. Electric is way more convenient. Do install the spring starter and make sure it works.
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Old 06-09-2019, 12:58 AM   #17
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I'd keep the engine electric start, and keep the spring starter as a spare. Electric is way more convenient. Do install the spring starter and make sure it works.
There's wisdom there. Will ponder before leaping...
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Old 06-09-2019, 05:20 AM   #18
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If the cruiser is not complete , you might contemplate going to a hyd starter.

The cost will be higher than the lifeboat style spring starter but at least you get the makings of a hyd system.

Boat hoist or windlass that wont burn out, easy/cheap cruising 120 or 240v and all the other usual hyd delights.

Just a thought.
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Old 06-21-2019, 06:10 AM   #19
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"If you have to bleed the fuel system by cracking the injectors and rotating the engine if you run out, what do you do?"

The simplest answer would be to install a gravity day tank.

This should assure clean fuel with no need to crank to bleed most diesel fuel systems.

The problem is to get a GREAT practical low maint offshore cruiser it would probably be easier to get a boat built than convert a cookie to offshore voyaging few were built for.
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Old 06-21-2019, 10:06 AM   #20
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The problem is to get a GREAT practical low maint offshore cruiser it would probably be easier to get a boat built than convert a cookie to offshore voyaging few were built for.
Agreed - good statement.

Pretty much impossible to convert IMO. We all know that a SD cruiser cannot be "converted" into a FD bluewater cruiser. Hulls cannot practically be changed. Example: to take a typical GB42 and add another 500-1000 gallons of diesel tankage to think it can cross oceans like a KK or NH is silly. Then you also have to remove all the glazing and replace with nice heavy 10mm tempered or such. Then perhaps add a ton or two of lead ballast. You'd be sitting 12" low on your WL and would likely flounder and sink in the next storm.

To convert a commercial bluewater fish boat (like a an old shrimp trawler) is more practical but would still cost serious money and effort.

I've visited shipyards all over the world in my travels and work and honestly it would cost similar to have a strong, bluewater boat built from scratch (but commercial quality, not yacht quality) as it would to buy a (young) used KK or NH or to convert that fishing trawler.

I think that we're all looking for our own solutions to the same goal of enjoying time on the water and traveling to far off galaxies
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