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Old 02-17-2015, 07:35 PM   #4
Nomad Willy
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City: Concrete Washington State
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Willy
Vessel Model: Willard Nomad 30'
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 16,245
When I worked for the Forest Service in 1967 we had a diesel generator out behind the big house. We started the Diesel engine by hand .... a crank. We'd engage the compression release and begin the cranking.

The engine was one cylinder. It was horizontal and looked much like a bottle shaped cannon. It probably had a 3" bore and a 5" stroke. The engine was about 30" long and rested on a rectangular cement base.

Back to cranking. I was about 25 years old and frequently needed several attempts the get the thing going fast enough to start. The time it took to stop cranking and reach over to trip the compression release was critical. If you cranked fast enough and managed to engage the compression quick enough ... the old thing started.

Then we had power in the house.

I don't see any reason a wind up starter couldn't be applied to the fwd end of the crankshaft. Some lawn mowers have wind up starters. The starter I envision would have a stout spring and a very low geared crank that may take considerable time to "wind up" the spring. Would be easy to make one commercially and I'm sure all the components could be found off the shelf.

North Western Washington State USA
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