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Old 03-17-2020, 07:59 AM   #21
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To the admin, if this is in the wrong form, please move it to the proper forum.

** How to start the main engine from a dead start battery. ** "That is the question."

1. Start the generator from its own isolated battery and relax. The output will pass through the battery charger and charge the batteries.

2. Parallel the house batteries to the start batteries and relax.
Start the main engine.
When the start battery is above 11 volts separate the house/start batteries.... I think the Cummins needs at least 11 volt to keep its electronics powered enough to run the engine.
Watch the start battery to see if it will hold a charge. If not, replace at least the start battery. Yes, I know, it is recommended to replace the 4Ds together but.... if it is just the start battery... Replacing the house batteries should be done together.

Now, I have a question. 3 ways of charging the batteries via one battery charger.

Details:
We start with 4X4D batteries..... 3 house, 1 start. The generator battery is on its own.
1. main engine Standard alt..... I think about 150 amp. (Cummins QSB 5.9)
2. generator 6KW
3. solar This would take a very long time..... with 2X130 watt panels. They are to maintain or float on the battery system.

When underway, assuming the main engine alt has an output, the battery charger is unnecessary and should automatically be divorced from the charging system and it can be shut off. (40 amp charger)

As I understand it, the engine alternator directly charges the start and house batteries, bypassing the battery charger. This is standard and correct?

The broad question, am I correct???? Now, tearing the above thesis apart, which individual part is incorrect?
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Old 03-17-2020, 09:32 AM   #22
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It's an interesting concept, and one which would probably work but with my battery redundancy I'll never use it.

However, for whatever reason I have always been intrigued by the "spring starter" idea. Has anyone ever used one? Do they work?

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Old 03-17-2020, 11:34 AM   #23
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A dime is .053" thick. The exhaust valve clearance on my Perkins is around .012". The dime is 4 times too thick to fit in the gap. So you would have to force the gap/valve open with a wedge or back off the adjustment. Am I missing something?
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Old 03-17-2020, 11:56 AM   #24
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I'm not going to promote the tip but there are places on this coast that people visit that they can be stranded in for a week or more if the engine doesn't start. SOmetimes no radio or cell service either depending upon how deep into the valleys they travel.

I would be very reluctant to consider that method but I also won't make fun of or deride it.
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Old 03-20-2020, 06:40 AM   #25
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Spring starting is a reliable, cost-effective way of starting a diesel engine. Spring starters are suitable for engines up to 12 litres. They are suitable for harsh environments such as offshore and marine applications.

Spring Starters - SureStart - IPU Engine Starting

www.ipu-starting.com › Products › Engine Starting › Spring Starters
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Old 03-20-2020, 07:26 AM   #26
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Anyway...
yes, thank you from those of us who appreciate knowledge. I'm pretty handy in the mechanical department but I've not heard of your decompression trick & it never hurts to have another ace up your sleeve should it be needed.
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Old 03-20-2020, 09:05 AM   #27
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Some boats have electric starters on some engines and air starters on other engines, for redundancy, in case one power source fails. A small generator with a pull cord is an option too.

You never know when you might fall into a black hole or something, shit happens.


Good thread, thanks.
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Old 03-20-2020, 09:33 AM   #28
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Thanks FF, what a neat video. If the spring starter were available for a F.L. and I was considering doing some remote cruising I might have one as a spare. Wonder what one would cost, probably not cheap, but then again a 12 volt starter for a F.L. runs about $500.00

I love this website, answers available for just about any question. Here is one for you FF. How did you accumulate 20,000 posts is a little over ten years? Thats like 5 posts a day.

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Old 03-20-2020, 10:39 AM   #29
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Dimes under rocker tips can do very bad things on some engines. On a four stroke at non-firing TDC the valves can be VERY close to the pistons. How close depends on which engine. Some are very close, some not so close.

Put dimes under rocker tips and you can have pistons hit and bend valves.
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Old 03-20-2020, 12:53 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Ski in NC View Post
Dimes under rocker tips can do very bad things on some engines. On a four stroke at non-firing TDC the valves can be VERY close to the pistons. How close depends on which engine. Some are very close, some not so close.

Put dimes under rocker tips and you can have pistons hit and bend valves.
Thanks Ski...I would think on a rebuilt like mine where I have no idea if the head was shaved on the rebuild but definitely when I put a new head gasket on might be pretty critical.
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Old 03-23-2020, 06:38 AM   #31
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"Here is one for you FF. How did you accumulate 20,000 posts is a little over ten years? Thats like 5 posts a day."


Early riser , not much to do before the sun comes up.
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Old 03-23-2020, 12:49 PM   #32
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Start the genny and charge the batteries or use jumper cables from the genny battery
I am a diesel mechanic and I support this way to start a diesel engine. If you suggest a dime between a rocker and a valve stem... you may look for trouble that is greater that waiting to charge batteries. By suggesting using a dime... some will not have a dime and use some other things.... and by doing so you will create damage that will be beyond using you vessel for quite a while until you repair the damage you will have caused. It is not simply starting the engine... valves could be bent, pistons could be damaged, bearings could take a beating, and no one, and I mean no one can assure be that there will be NO damage.
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Old 03-23-2020, 12:57 PM   #33
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Great Idea of starting if your battery is dead.
I use another solution, I just bought 2 the same boats, one towing the other, so if something like this happens I just jump to the other.
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Old 03-23-2020, 01:17 PM   #34
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I was going through a locker on the boat full of "stuff" today, trying to clean out some of that junk we boaters collect as we go through life, and I found four US dimes (a 10 cent piece for those unfamiliar with the term dime), neatly wrapped and shiny new.
For those of you who do not have a compression release on your diesels (propulsion or genset) here is an old engineer's trick that may one day save your bacon.
When you find yourself with "dead" batteries, you should stop cranking immediately. Next, take off the valve cover and insert one thin dime (and only a dime if you do not want the possibility that the pistons will hit the valves) between the rocker arm and the exhaust valve stem. This will essentially release all compression and what power is left in your batteries should be able to turn the engine over fairly easily.
As the engine turns over, pull out one dime (in the proper firing order) using needle nose pliers and she should begin to run on that one cylinder, perhaps still requiring a bit of help from the starter. As you continue to remove dimes in the correct firing order, your engine should run on 2 or 3 cylinders well enough to get all the dimes out and be running on all cylinders.
Without a valve cover there is obviously going to be quite a bit of oil squirting out, but what's a bit of clean up compared to what could happen if you can't get your engine started?
I hope this will help at least one of you out one day.
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GOOD INFO, THANK YOU FOR SHARING. Knowledge can save lives....., and it did not hurt at all, nor did it cost me anything.
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Old 03-23-2020, 01:56 PM   #35
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Wow.

It's folks like you who make me wish I'd never posted this.

Obviously, this site is a waste of my time 'cause you all got all the answers and so much experience you can't even imagine a worst case scenario.

Good luck with your boating.
Well I think it is a great bit of information to have in my mind should I ever be in a pinch and need to crank my diesel with a low battery.

Thanks!
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Old 03-23-2020, 01:59 PM   #36
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I'm with Foreverunderway.

His critics are the ones who stand around in an emergency saying:
I'm not responsible for seeing this coming.
How could there be more that one failure at at time?
The tide and weather are responsible operate at my convenience.
It's not fair that this happened where I can't call for help.
Now it's your job to hurry up and bail me out. I have dinner reservations!

ARRRG that peeves me!
I would like to volunteer those kind of people to become eligible for a Darwin Award.

Better to consider how to deal with possible emergency's. It wouldn't be much of an emergency if timely help was available. Of course you would not rig a compression release if you could start any other engine and charge your batteries from that.

I would only add that I would start with the smallest engine, the genset, first and use that to charge the other batteries.

BTW A lot of the early hydraulic lifters were adjusted with the engine running and the valve covers off. It was not much of a mess.
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Old 03-23-2020, 02:11 PM   #37
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No one has mentioned that after rigging a compression release you should first turn the engine over slowly by hand to check that nothing hits before you crank the starter.
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Old 03-23-2020, 02:23 PM   #38
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Wow.

It's folks like you who make me wish I'd never posted this.

Obviously, this site is a waste of my time 'cause you all got all the answers and so much experience you can't even imagine a worst case scenario.

Good luck with your boating.
Agree,some people !!! Can see why I stay away from this forum mostly.
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Old 03-23-2020, 02:36 PM   #39
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The dime trick is very useful should you be the victim of hydrolock. A fully charged battery and perfect starter cannot overcome this. Insert the dimes under the exhaust valves and you can turn the engine by hand until the water is expelled. Had this happen last year with the Dripless Shaft Seal cooling water backfeeding through the crossover hose to a non operating engine. Took me awhile to figure out where the water came from but there are now shut-off valves.
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Old 03-23-2020, 02:37 PM   #40
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No one has mentioned that after rigging a compression release you should first turn the engine over slowly by hand to check that nothing hits before you crank the starter.
Back on the good intentions jist of this thread, thanks for another good idea Chris. That is the right thing to do to make the OPs idea a good and safe one when all else has failed! I also like this forum for the helpful nature of many posters with a can do attitude! Thanks!
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