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Yanmar 3GM30F Cold Starting


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#1 blackjenner

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 07:55 PM

This is a new engine and boat (Baba35 PH) to me.

I have a 3000 hr 3GM30F Yanmar in it.

The fuel is what was in the boat when I got it, but it looks clean in the filter and when I pull it for the day tank for the Dickenson heater.

I've noticed some cold starting symptoms on this boat. It takes a bit of cranking more than I'd like. I usually have to give it four or five tries, while playing with the throttle, to fire it off. I know I have to get more experience with it but, this seems to be a problem.

When it's warm (as in above 40 degrees outside, or if it's run within the last two hours), it fires right up.

In reading the manual, they mention using the decompression lever (there are three on my engine) to ease starting in cold weather. However, they don't address the best method and how to deal with three levers.

Anyone have any general suggestions on cold starting one of these?

Thanks.

#2 SamLowry

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 08:25 PM

Have you got a glow plug in that Yanmar?

I wouldn't recommend playing with the decompression levers. That's just inviting more trouble.

#3 longy

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 08:28 PM

Speed of rotation is crucial - if your battery/starter won't spin the engine fast enuff, diesels get very hard to start. It is the speed of the compression stroke that governs the amount of heat generated. Start by checking those two areas out. Sorry, I don't have any RPM numbers for start speed. Compression releases can increase starting RPM by removing load from the starter/batt system. Use 1, 2, or all 3 as necessary to get RPM's up. Throw levers back on in succession (not all at once).
Try starting engine while batt charger is on - if this works it points to batts and or wiring issues.

#4 kevlar®

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 08:31 PM

Have you got a glow plug in that Yanmar?

I wouldn't recommend playing with the decompression levers. That's just inviting more trouble.


No glow plug.. what's so bad about the decomp levers? The manual of my 2GM describes it with no warnings.

How many hours on the engine? Ours has some high hours and puts up a fight in the cold sometimes. I'm due for some through maintenance though.

#5 kevlar®

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 08:34 PM

Speed of rotation is crucial - if your battery/starter won't spin the engine fast enuff, diesels get very hard to start. It is the speed of the compression stroke that governs the amount of heat generated. Start by checking those two areas out. Sorry, I don't have any RPM numbers for start speed. Compression releases can increase starting RPM by removing load from the starter/batt system. Use 1, 2, or all 3 as necessary to get RPM's up. Throw levers back on in succession (not all at once).
Try starting engine while batt charger is on - if this works it points to batts and or wiring issues.


Right on..

#6 longy

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 08:43 PM

Another caution for hard starting engines - you are pumping water thru the system. This can fill up the aqua lift and back flood the engine via the exhuast valves. Will also increase exhaust back pressure. So if it really takes a lot of cranking, shut off the raw water intake until the engine is running.

#7 Gatekeeper

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 09:59 PM

My Yanmar guy recommends this...fully open and latch the decompression levers. Turn the engine for 15 seconds at zero throttle. Close the decompression levers, set throttle at 75%, and start it. Back the throttle down once you are sure the engine is firing on all cylinders.

Spinning the engine with the levers open brings lube up and helps increase compression = ignition.

AND have good batteries as previously stated.

#8 blackjenner

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 10:21 PM

My Yanmar guy recommends this...fully open and latch the decompression levers. Turn the engine for 15 seconds at zero throttle. Close the decompression levers, set throttle at 75%, and start it. Back the throttle down once you are sure the engine is firing on all cylinders.

Spinning the engine with the levers open brings lube up and helps increase compression = ignition.

AND have good batteries as previously stated.


That's awesome. Thank you. I was looking for a procedure that went beyond "use compression lever for cold starting".

#9 blackjenner

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 10:23 PM


Speed of rotation is crucial - if your battery/starter won't spin the engine fast enuff, diesels get very hard to start. It is the speed of the compression stroke that governs the amount of heat generated. Start by checking those two areas out. Sorry, I don't have any RPM numbers for start speed. Compression releases can increase starting RPM by removing load from the starter/batt system. Use 1, 2, or all 3 as necessary to get RPM's up. Throw levers back on in succession (not all at once).
Try starting engine while batt charger is on - if this works it points to batts and or wiring issues.


Right on..


One question...where did you get that animation?

It cost me a cup of coffee and a keyboard.

#10 kevlar®

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 10:45 PM

Dark corner of the internets.. dark, dark corner of the internets my friend. It's Mui Thai fighter Gina Carano. (Hi Gina :wub:)

That's an interesting comment about filling up the lift.. mine pumps through while cranking, so I didn't even come close to thinking about it. (I am very due for an overhaul though)

#11 Hiracer

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 11:00 PM

One question...where did you get that animation?

It cost me a cup of coffee and a keyboard.


http://i53.tinypic.com/16kywd3.gif

About her: http://en.wikipedia....iki/Gina_Carano

#12 mayday1234

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 11:46 PM

Our little 2gm has over 7500hrs and sounds like it starts the same as yours.
We've tried various methods over the years - if it's marginally cold (~5-10C) we just put the throttle to full (like the manual says) and start cranking. After ~20s or so she'll start up (I continue to use the starter to make sure it really is firing), then pull the throttle back to a fast idle.
If it is really cold (<5C) it becomes a two person effort - pull the decompression lever (levers in your case) open, full throttle, the wife stands by with her hand on the lever (and hair out of the way of the belts) ,key the starter for approx. 10s or so, yell for her to put the decomp lever back to normal, and continue with the key until it starts. I've found by using the decomp lever it cuts the start time from ~25s of cranking, to ~15s or so.

#13 blackjenner

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 03:04 AM

great answers so far, folks. thanks. I have been opening the throttle but not enough, it seems.

I really appreciate the responses.

#14 Ishmael

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 03:15 AM

great answers so far, folks. thanks. I have been opening the throttle but not enough, it seems.

I really appreciate the responses.


Yep, in this kind of temperature range (unpleasant to hominids) I crack the throttle 3/4 up, use all batteries plus shore power, and it kicks in less than10 seconds of cranking. Same engine.
Lots of smoke, so be prepared with a spliff. :rolleyes:

#15 sailSAK

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 06:57 AM

Our little 2gm has over 7500hrs and sounds like it starts the same as yours.
We've tried various methods over the years - if it's marginally cold (~5-10C) we just put the throttle to full (like the manual says) and start cranking. After ~20s or so she'll start up (I continue to use the starter to make sure it really is firing), then pull the throttle back to a fast idle.
If it is really cold (<5C) it becomes a two person effort - pull the decompression lever (levers in your case) open, full throttle, the wife stands by with her hand on the lever (and hair out of the way of the belts) ,key the starter for approx. 10s or so, yell for her to put the decomp lever back to normal, and continue with the key until it starts. I've found by using the decomp lever it cuts the start time from ~25s of cranking, to ~15s or so.


Old fisherman trick up here is to crank for 10 seconds and then let it sit for a full minute before cranking again. This seems to let the "heat" soak into the head and combustion chamber enough for it to fire right off the next crank.
Of course if you have shore power nothing beats block heat. I just added a 50watt stick on pad to the head right below the intake manifold and wow.. hell of a difference. Started like it was back in Hawaii. I have had a 25 watt pad on the oil for a while, but couldn't really tell if it helped, but no doubt the block one did. Get them on Amazon.com for less than $20.

#16 floating dutchman

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 07:16 AM


Our little 2gm has over 7500hrs and sounds like it starts the same as yours.
We've tried various methods over the years - if it's marginally cold (~5-10C) we just put the throttle to full (like the manual says) and start cranking. After ~20s or so she'll start up (I continue to use the starter to make sure it really is firing), then pull the throttle back to a fast idle.
If it is really cold (<5C) it becomes a two person effort - pull the decompression lever (levers in your case) open, full throttle, the wife stands by with her hand on the lever (and hair out of the way of the belts) ,key the starter for approx. 10s or so, yell for her to put the decomp lever back to normal, and continue with the key until it starts. I've found by using the decomp lever it cuts the start time from ~25s of cranking, to ~15s or so.


Old fisherman trick up here is to crank for 10 seconds and then let it sit for a full minute before cranking again. This seems to let the "heat" soak into the head and combustion chamber enough for it to fire right off the next crank.
Of course if you have shore power nothing beats block heat. I just added a 50watt stick on pad to the head right below the intake manifold and wow.. hell of a difference. Started like it was back in Hawaii. I have had a 25 watt pad on the oil for a while, but couldn't really tell if it helped, but no doubt the block one did. Get them on Amazon.com for less than $20.

I remember you had this problem a while back. Was waiting for you to chime in.

#17 Gatekeeper

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 12:31 PM

great answers so far, folks. thanks. I have been opening the throttle but not enough, it seems.


That is the single biggest mistake people make with Yanmar engines...they need to be started on a very high throttle setting.

As far as battery power. In cool weather batteries deliver far less cranking ability. Check out a battery blanket at your automotive supplier. Only 50w (110V) and they make a huge difference.




#18 floating dutchman

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 01:23 PM


great answers so far, folks. thanks. I have been opening the throttle but not enough, it seems.


That is the single biggest mistake people make with Yanmar engines...they need to be started on a very high throttle setting.

That's what I thought, does the governor do this for us? But during winter months more throttle leads to easier starting, I'm confused.

As far as battery power. In cool weather batteries deliver far less cranking ability. Check out a battery blanket at your automotive supplier. Only 50w (110V) and they make a huge difference.

I wander If this has a part to play in what Slow Cruiser call's a fisherman trick, Put a heavy discharge (like starting an engine) on a battery and they tend to heat up, Warmer batteries work better, shit I've even seen a (not to be trusted) vidio clip of people starting a car with a dead battery by placing the battery in a fire to heat it up to start the car!

#19 Gatekeeper

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 02:22 PM

Nope...killing a battery to warm it makes no sense...but warming a battery with some external source makes a huge difference.

In the "old" days when -40f was not unusual here, many people would have a second battery in the house, or remove the battery and store it in the house. On a brutally cold morning a warm battery was a HUGE advantage..(.as well as a block heater and a screwdriver to hold the choke open)...we were a simple folk.

Diesels have to be spun fast. It's tough to get around that fact...you need the CCA

#20 memopad

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 03:42 PM

Not a boat motor, but a guy i worked for in highschool had an old lawn tractor with a small yanmar diesel in it. Was probably a two cylinder, maybe 20hp or so. Even in the summer, the best way to start it was with the throttle wide open. Crank the engine until it starts to catch, then slowly back the throttle down as the engine comes to life until you meet in the high idle range. Worked like a charm, every time. I would imagine a marine diesel would enjoy the same treatment, though with modern electronics this may have changed...

My all time favorite diesel starting technique was used on a 1940 cat dozer i drove for that same guy i worked for. Had a gasoline pony motor that you fired up. Once that "small" gas engine was running, you engaged a clutch that used that motor to turn over the diesel. Once the diesel was turning over you started adding fuel to the beast. Eventually it would roar to life in a HUUUUGE cloud of smoke, it was awesome. Not sure if this would work in a marine application... maybe an oar boat??? :D. Oh and that dozer had a winch on the back that had 1inch steel cable on it. You could run it back into the woods, latch onto 5 or 6 trees, and rip them out of the ground all at once. God i loved that dozer.

#21 sailSAK

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 04:01 PM

I remember you had this problem a while back. Was waiting for you to chime in.


Little different. I don't have any decomp levers to play with and my engine is green :lol:

For no shit all year round easy starting I would really like a freeze plug style block heater, but unfortunately I can't see it possible to fit one anywhere on my engine. I just put one in on a Cat TH220 (Perkins 110hp turbocharged 4 cylinder) we got from Florida and it made all the difference in the world. Engine is sitting at 105 when it's 21 outside. Going to make it last a lot longer too me thinks.

#22 Gatekeeper

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 04:09 PM

SC

How about a magnetic conduction style heater positioned low on the block, on the oil pan if possible to warm the oil...heat rises, and I believe these have been used for years on farm equipment.

I think if you read the Yanmar manual for your engine it will instruct you to start it at high throttle...these are NOT gas engines, and have to treated different.

Oh ya....and keep a $10,000 can of ether handy. Use it wrong, or have some bad luck... and that's what it'll cost you Posted Image

#23 sailSAK

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 04:18 PM

Forgot to add: about the fisherman method I don't think the battery warms, but certainly recovers from the first attempt a little. By waiting you crank twice at basically full charger whereas when you just crank away your volts will be continuously dropping off and it cranks slower and slower...

GK: We have used oil pan heaters on some of our larger diesels. It helps with cranking, but the heat doesn't really get to the block that well. Iron is a lot more heat conductive than the sheet metal of the pan and the air between the oil and the bottom end... Another thing seems to be all the factory installed block heaters we have are in the upper part of the cooling jacket. This would concentrate the heat around the combustion chamber which is really what matters for diesel combustion. Heat will travel by conduction down to the bottom end better than by convection from oil what isn't even touching any engine internals. I did think about magnetic style heaters but no flat place anywhere large enough to stick one.

#24 Gatekeeper

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 04:33 PM


SC...any thoughts??



Inline circulation type block heater...

Posted Image

Item#: BK 6053344

Attributes:
Additional Contents:External Heater & Accessory Kit
Cord Length:54"
Fluid Capacity:25 - 40 qt
Height:8"
Hose Size:5/8"
Length:2-1/2"
Manufacturer:Five Star
Model #:12150
Recommended Application:See Catalog For Application
Voltage:120 V
Wattage:1
500 W


#25 mrgnstrn

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 05:16 PM

I will start by affirming that block heaters and the like are great for easing starting.

however.....

those are of little value away from the dock.

So I have been thinking of an approach that might help away from the dock (and shorepower) and would be interested in all y'all's views/critiques of it.

I view the blockheater as the "brute force" method, effective, but brute force nonetheless.
What about a "Surgical Scalpel" approach?

The whole point in the block heater is to make sure that the fuel and air are slightly warmer, so that they are (slightly) closer to the ignition point before being compressed, and compression puts it over the edge and you get ignition.

So, why not just warm the fuel and air directly instead of the whole block?

What I am thinking is a few small strip heaters on the fuel lines, and a air-heater/glow-plug arrangement on the air intake.
For strip heaters, the bio-diesel folks have conquered this since they need to raise fuel temp for starting on pure bio/veggie oil. Check ebay for "injector line heater" or check this out:
http://cgi.ebay.com/...sQ5fAccessories

For air-heating, either a glow plug in the air-intake-manifold (some boat diesels already have this), or a simple 12V plug in sir heater you can pick up at a well-stocked truckstop. Just direct the flow to the intake. like this for example:
http://cgi.ebay.com/...=item2c59d75f99

Advantages: useful away from shore power
-does not use HUGE amounts of power/current

Disadvantages: drains your batter at least a little bit before cranking. but may have bigger gains on heat input that losses in cranking (i.e., a net benefit) but I don't know this for fact.

Ok, I got my asbestos coat on....fire away.

-M

#26 Hiracer

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 05:21 PM

Old fisherman trick up here is to crank for 10 seconds and then let it sit for a full minute before cranking again. This seems to let the "heat" soak into the head and combustion chamber enough for it to fire right off the next crank.



I use that method with great success.

#27 Gatekeeper

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 05:28 PM

Racer

I doubt this has anything to do with heat...it does however draw oil up top, and increase compression at the piston rings. A diesel engine has so much mass, that 10 seconds wouldn't raise the temperature 0.1 f degree.






#28 Hiracer

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 08:38 PM

Racer

I doubt this has anything to do with heat...it does however draw oil up top, and increase compression at the piston rings. A diesel engine has so much mass, that 10 seconds wouldn't raise the temperature 0.1 f degree.

You're probably right about that, but it seems to work well for me. I learned this through trial and error. Just last week I was starting the boat in subfreezing temperatures. Second crank always seems to work when it's cold out.

Perkins 3 banger. M35 I think is the model. Less than 600 hours on it, nine years old.

Starter battery is nine years old too. Gonna get replaced before next winter. Just to be safe. House batteries are completely shot. Running them down into the oblivion at this point.

#29 memopad

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 09:20 PM

My parents diesel tractor (70hp turbo 4cyl) has a function that heats a teaspoon of gas for a few seconds before you crank the engine over. Helps when you don't have access to the block heater (works the best for the tractor). Maybe a small strip of heat tape on the fuel line would help.



#30 sailSAK

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 09:21 PM

Racer

I doubt this has anything to do with heat...it does however draw oil up top, and increase compression at the piston rings. A diesel engine has so much mass, that 10 seconds wouldn't raise the temperature 0.1 f degree.


The whole point of a diesel is to get combustion air temp up to 800F or so. Thats true for cranking too. So say for the first 10 seconds you get her up to 600 or so... some of thats got to stay! Next time around you hit 800 and bang!

I did actually look at an air intake heater from a Dodge truck. Those things draw a crazy amount of amps! Something like 80, and you have to do that while cranking. If not the heated air will just get pumped through the engine on the first stroke.
DON'T try a DIY method here. Reason being is there will be some oil mist deposited on the elements. I could easily see one of those truck stop heaters turning to a fireball fast. And I have given that some thought.. 12volt hair dryers, heaters etc.

Re: circulating coolant heaters. Good idea and they work. Reasons I didn't get one: No space for it, would interfere with my hydronic heater, and 500 watts plus the other 1200watts going into the cabin heater, battery charger, and various golden rods is getting towards the upper limit of what I can draw on shorepower. I only have 20 amps and due to the size of the transformer I am on just turning on the cabin heater drops AC line 15 volts :(

#31 SemiSalt

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 09:37 PM

I have read this thread, and I have learned some things.

My 2-cyl Yanmar, like others mentioned, starts instantly with temp over 60F, but with much more difficulty when colder.

#32 mayday1234

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 12:47 AM

Speaking of block heaters - one other trick we use (I looked into "proper" block/air heaters but they were either quite expensive or a pain to retro-fit) - when starting from the dock (i.e shore power available) - first thing we do is spark up one of my wife's old hair dryers and set it so the air is directed to the air filter housing area. Proceed to remove the tarp, extra dock lines etc - this takes about 10min - THEN do the above noted start procedures. Helps quite a bit.
For Sunday morning, siting on the anchor and about to head back, I've tried a couple of 12V car type heaters, but they don't really produce enough heat to make it worth while.

#33 sailSAK

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 03:50 AM

For what its worth I found the specs for the cummins air intake heater. It would be fairly easy to fit onto any other engine because it is basically just a square block. DC current is 110amps at 12 volts for about 10 second cycles. The alternator is automatically shut off during it's use, and owners report seeing DC volts as low as 8! NOW THATS A HEATER!

#34 Paps

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 08:55 AM

I've got an idea, move somewhere warmer!!!!!:rolleyes:

Failing that how about fitting a couple of regular diesel engine glow plugs into either your air intake or into a heat manifold on the fuel line?

#35 Alpha FB

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 12:03 PM

Way to get my single cylinder MD5 running after several months inactivity and COLD temperatures - with shore power available :

start by ensuring the batteries are fully charged !
- I have a 1200W electric mains heater blower on board, which I aim into the engine compartment, trying to get some heat into the block, but primarily to heat up the air going into the intake
- give the engine a few cranks on closed throttle (idle position) - who knows, sometimes she catches on that.
- then wait a minute or so for the heater to add some calories, and open the throttle to 75% and crank away - she will catch after 15 secs or so...

Once had the misfortune of being on a mooring with dead batteries, on a not very warm morning - but not winter either... Fortunately the MD5 has a hand crank as well, but it was backbreaking work, and I only got the thing started after getting some heat in the block by the simple expedient of pouring boiling water over it !

Even so, I'm always pleasantly surprised when she fires up, considering the lack of use and maintenance... I don't get out on the water nearly enough....

#36 memopad

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 12:27 PM

I may be completely off, but wouldn't there be concern about cracking the block when pooring boiling water over a cold block?

#37 Alpha FB

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 01:13 PM

I may be completely off, but wouldn't there be concern about cracking the block when pooring boiling water over a cold block?


Considering the temparature of the block was probably between 5 and 10 Celsius, and the water maybe 80 by the time it hit the block, I don't think the difference in temperature was enough to stress the metal... And I'm only pouring a few ounces at a time, not dunking the block in a vat full of boiling water !

Mind you, I would be more worried if the block was a lot colder than that, particularly in sub zero (freezing) conditions...

#38 blackjenner

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 05:12 PM

I've got an idea, move somewhere warmer!!!!!:rolleyes:

Failing that how about fitting a couple of regular diesel engine glow plugs into either your air intake or into a heat manifold on the fuel line?


That's the plan. Why do you think I found a blue water capable boat? In the coming zombie apocalypse, or when my bills are paid off, we are headed for the south pacific.

For now, we are here, on Lake Union, in the great Pacific NorthWet.

#39 Gatekeeper

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 05:35 PM

ok...how about this...an intake air heater mounted in line on the air intake system.

Now for power, bring aboard a good size ( and warm!!) booster box that you bring fully charged from home. Let it take the voltage hit and your house/starting bank won't have to deal with the load. You can be pumping in hot air while the engine is getting to use all boat (yacht?) battery power for cranking speed. You win twice.

You could probably wire in permanent connection points, and a storage place, within a lazerette...if you are cruising the box can regain some of it's charge through the built in trickle charger while you are motoring.

It ain't perfect...but it's not a bad solution.



#40 blackjenner

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 03:29 AM

I had good success today with this procedure, which was suggested by one or two folk.

Temperatures near 50 today.

1) no throttle.
2) crank for 15 seconds.
3) Shut down.
4) Wait about 20-30 seconds.
5) full throttle (or really close).
6) crank

*Start right off the bat!*

7) pull throttle down to fast idle speed.

It worked like a charm.

Thanks for all the earlier advice.

Now, let's see how that works when it's around freezing.

#41 jrw2007

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 08:54 AM

For dire, dire emergencies only - and this will have everyone raising their hands in horror.

On the farm - hand cranked single cylinder sludge pump - take oily rag, light, hold at air intake on the end of a stick, crank.

#42 ozzy58

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 09:35 AM

many non - glow plug engines have a button on the injector pump to flood the first few turns with excess fuel for cold starting

#43 Ajax

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 11:47 AM


I've got an idea, move somewhere warmer!!!!!:rolleyes:

Failing that how about fitting a couple of regular diesel engine glow plugs into either your air intake or into a heat manifold on the fuel line?


That's the plan. Why do you think I found a blue water capable boat? In the coming zombie apocalypse, or when my bills are paid off, we are headed for the south pacific.

For now, we are here, on Lake Union, in the great Pacific NorthWet.


Love it!

#44 Innocent Bystander

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 12:47 PM

Perkins still sells a kit for my ancient 4-108 ($275@TAD) that adds a small amount of fuel and ignites it in the intake tract to aid cold starting. Hail Brittania!
It might be worth contacting a good Yanmar dealer to see what the OEM solution is. Often our boat diesel engines wind up being used in an industrial application where a cold start system is necessary. A woodchipper has to start in the cold you know!



Yanmar tractor engines can be equipped with this kit that does the same thing Yanmar Thermostart. Might be worth calling Mack Boring (US East Coast Yanmar experts) and asking it it can be fitted to a 3GM30.

#45 Avocet

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 07:15 PM

Just for something to think about, here is my (worst case) cold starting issue experience:

I have a 35 year old perkins 4-107 (not a yanmar so not a direct comparison) with 4000 hours. A few years ago, I started having some cold weather issues. Started using some of the "tricks" and always managed to get her going. Then summer rolled around and all was good. Next winter came and the engine was harder to start. Out came the heaters and installed a thermostart. Still managed to get the old girl running but it was really taking a lot. By the time spring came I had convinced myself that keeping the engine room at 80 degrees, using the thermostart, a shot of wd40 in the intake, finding the magic throttle position, dancing the funky chicken, praying to zeus, and smooth talking the engine while cranking for ever was an acceptable method of starting an old diesel. After all, once running, she ran great.

Then I remembered that I was going to be sailing from seattle to sf in a few months. I was going to pull the tranny for a rebuild anyway, why not do a top end rebuild on the engine too. I pulled the head and my heart sank. The valves were completely toast.

So here's the chain of events: when i got the boat it had barely been used for many years. Either through lack of use, poor fuel, poor maintenance, or because god hates me, the injectors were crapping out and dumping poorly timed raw fuel. Not much to notice but over the course of a couple years, there was enough detonation to burn away the valves and pit the pistons.

First sign was cold starting issues that came on just slowly enough to let me rationalize them away. After being yelled at by my diesel mechanic (who I think sees every perkins engine as one of his children) I learned some important lessons: diesel engines are incredibly logical machines. If they are not working as they once did, something is wrong. The sooner you deal with the root cause the less money you will spend in the end.

So, does a new yanmar with a good battery and strong starter using the factory recomended starting procedure start fine in 40F? If it does and yours does not, then something is wrong. It may be minor but it is not going to get any better. Heaters, tricks, and ritualistic sacrifice will only mask the problem for so long...

That's my experience, two cents and advice. And probably worth as much as you paid for it.

-Avocet

Just for something to think about, here is my (worst case) cold starting issue experience:

I have a 35 year old perkins 4-107 (not a yanmar so not a direct comparison) with 4000 hours. A few years ago, I started having some cold weather issues. Started using some of the "tricks" and always managed to get her going. Then summer rolled around and all was good. Next winter came and the engine was harder to start. Out came the heaters and installed a thermostart. Still managed to get the old girl running but it was really taking a lot. By the time spring came I had convinced myself that keeping the engine room at 80 degrees, using the thermostart, a shot of wd40 in the intake, finding the magic throttle position, dancing the funky chicken, praying to zeus, and smooth talking the engine while cranking for ever was an acceptable method of starting an old diesel. After all, once running, she ran great.

Then I remembered that I was going to be sailing from seattle to sf in a few months. I was going to pull the tranny for a rebuild anyway, why not do a top end rebuild on the engine too. I pulled the head and my heart sank. The valves were completely toast.

So here's the chain of events: when i got the boat it had barely been used for many years. Either through lack of use, poor fuel, poor maintenance, or because god hates me, the injectors were crapping out and dumping poorly timed raw fuel. Not much to notice but over the course of a couple years, there was enough detonation to burn away the valves and pit the pistons.

First sign was cold starting issues that came on just slowly enough to let me rationalize them away. After being yelled at by my diesel mechanic (who I think sees every perkins engine as one of his children) I learned some important lessons: diesel engines are incredibly logical machines. If they are not working as they once did, something is wrong. The sooner you deal with the root cause the less money you will spend in the end.

So, does a new yanmar with a good battery and strong starter using the factory recomended starting procedure start fine in 40F? If it does and yours does not, then something is wrong. It may be minor but it is not going to get any better. Heaters, tricks, and ritualistic sacrifice will only mask the problem for so long...

That's my experience, two cents and advice. And probably worth as much as you paid for it.

-Avocet

#46 doora

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 10:42 PM

FWIW

Many years ago we used to own a Fordson Supermajor tractor, Approx 60HP and it didnt have any decompression levers or glow plugs and the dynamo didnt work too good either. It did have a hank crank and I did manage to start it by hand when it was warm.

Anyway, when it was cold and the battery wasnt always at full charge, we would place the empty Easystart (Ether) can on top of the air intake manifold, it was a perfect fit. As the engine turned over a vacuum was created because it wasnt taking in air so it was easier to spin, when it was turning over fast enough, you got someone to knock the can off the intake and you wouldnt believe how quick it fired. If we didnt have a can we would use our hand, boy did it suck.

It isnt always easy to get at the inlet manifold, but if you can and you get a good enough seal, you wont believe how fast your engine will rotate. Then quickly remove the seal and HEY PRESTO.

#47 ozzy58

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 04:33 AM

perkins used to say that using ether strips residual carbon from top of cylinder, and not to use it

this carbon apparently acts as a catalyst in helping the burn

refer back to post 47

#48 Paps

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 06:05 AM

perkins used to say that using ether strips residual carbon from top of cylinder, and not to use it

this carbon apparently acts as a catalyst in helping the burn

refer back to post 47


What do they say about using the empty can?

#49 ozzy58

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 06:36 AM

maybe you should ask them ?

#50 reelife

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 07:16 PM

Fwiw- in the winter here in B.C. I use a rv type heater on a timer.Keeps the cabin dry and comfortable when I go down to the Marina in colder temps.
I remove the stairs so my engine is closer to room temperature. The timer keeps my hydro rate down as when it is checked, sometimes its off. :)
I have separate line to the marine shore power, not thru my house system and inverter as there are the occasional power outages and my heater would suck me dry in a matter of minutes.

This works for my 3GM30F and then
1) no throttle- crank 15 secs
2)shut down -wait 30 secs
3)50-75% throttle-crank, back off immediately when firing.
Reelife

#51 blackjenner

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 07:20 PM

Fwiw- in the winter here in B.C. I use a rv type heater on a timer.Keeps the cabin dry and comfortable when I go down to the Marina in colder temps.
I remove the stairs so my engine is closer to room temperature. The timer keeps my hydro rate down as when it is checked, sometimes its off. :)
I have separate line to the marine shore power, not thru my house system and inverter as there are the occasional power outages and my heater would suck me dry in a matter of minutes.

This works for my 3GM30F and then
1) no throttle- crank 15 secs
2)shut down -wait 30 secs
3)50-75% throttle-crank, back off immediately when firing.
Reelife


Yes, this procedure has, so far, been working great for me too.




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