Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 20
  1. #1
    Gold Member dieselfuelonly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    299
    Location
    Chapel Hill, North Carolina
    Tractor
    Yanmar YM1401D

    Default Building a diesel generator from a boat engine

    My dad recently purchased a used sailboat. It had a (I'm guessing here) around 16HP, 2 cylinder diesel engine in it. To make a long story short, he ended up pulling that engine and is getting a brand new Vetus (a marinized Mitsubishi diesel) installed.

    Hes gonna bring the old engine to me and I'm gonna tinker with it. I was hoping that some of ya'll could give me some advice on what may be wrong with the engine and where to start troubleshooting. If nothing else it would be cool to tear it down and see whats wrong.

    Here are the symptoms:

    Brand new 1000CCA battery, fully charged. Hook it up and start turning it over. Its turning over very slowly. Acting like its a dead battery.

    220 amp jump starter later, its turning over a bit faster. It has an intake heater, its working. Tried starting fluid as well. It acted like it wanted to fire a couple times but just wouldn't.

    Looked at the oil and its a milky color on the dipstick. Probably not a good sign.

    After having a mechanic come and look at the engine, they finally found the compression release. After tinkering with the engine for a while, they just figured it was best to replace it, so out it came yesterday.

    So it won't start, has milky oil, cranks slow even with a good battery and brand new starter. Since it is a boat engine, it has a hand crank for starting it in an emergency if the battery is dead/starter is shot, etc. It was VERY hard to turn over by hand... it seemed like the compression was still good.

    Also, the water pump isn't working - not sure if there is a clog in the system somewhere, or what. Its raw water cooled, no heat exchanger.

    Anyway, if I get it running, I want to hook it up to something like this:

    - Harbor Freight Tools - Quality Tools at the Lowest Prices

    Anyway, he should be dropping it off here this weekend, so I'll post up some pictures and my progress with getting it running again. If I get it going I'll need to find a small radiator, an electric fan and some tubing to plumb it up - any ideas where to find one? For now I'll see if i can get the water pump to suck water from a tub or a bucket.
    Hi my name is Dennis.
    Yanmar YM1401D, 12k 16+2ft trailer, 1996 Dodge 3500 2WD Cummins 5spd, 1973 M35A2 "Deuce and a Half"




  2. #2
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    17,311
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: Building a diesel generator from a boat engine

    [QUOTE][Also, the water pump isn't working -/QUOTE]

    Not sure on this but will the cranking rpm be to low to allow the water pump to pick up suction?

    Suggestions would be new oil. Check out the fuel system and ensure clean fuel is being delivered at the injection nozzles.

    These are suggestions from a non mechanic and should be taken as such.
    Egon
    50 years behind the times
    Livin in a
    Worn out skin bag filled with rattlin bones

  3. #3
    Veteran Member irvingj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    2,258
    Location
    Etna, NH
    Tractor
    2005 MF GC2310 TLB

    Default Re: Building a diesel generator from a boat engine

    I'd be looking at the "milky" oil very carefully-- that's generally a good sign of water contamination. Possibly connected to water pump issue? Suppose it may have overheated & compromised head gasket? If there's rust on the cylinder walls, that could also explain stiff turn-over.... Had it sat unused for some time? Was it by any chance in --salt-- water?

    I'd be pulling the head for a look-see, providing you can have necessary gaskets & bolts (if they need to be replaced) handy.
    '07 GC2310 TLB, 2360 snowblower, 2325 MMM, Bro-Tek thumb, Woods GTC40-2 tiller, Woods RB-60 back blade, KK TYR-60 landscape rake, DR 60" Power Grader
    '05 VW Jetta Wgn TDI
    Numerous antique Japanese motorcycles

  4. #4
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    314
    Location
    Louisiana
    Tractor
    IH-1086 and a GRAY

    Default Re: Building a diesel generator from a boat engine

    Egon, outstanding suggestions and I believe you are a mechanic because of acurracy.

    dieselfuelonly, I agree with the oil change. milky oil means there is a 99% chance of water contamination. rust is a marine engines #1 enemy. you suggested tearing it down, not a bad idea while changing oil to inspect for rust and/or pitting.

    also I'm currious if you have a Yanmar Saildrive unit, chances are possible. Cummins will be my second guess.

    good luck with the project, i hope parts are available and the unit serves you for a minimum of 30+ years.

  5. #5
    Gold Member dieselfuelonly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    299
    Location
    Chapel Hill, North Carolina
    Tractor
    Yanmar YM1401D

    Default Re: Building a diesel generator from a boat engine

    Not sure on this but will the cranking rpm be to low to allow the water pump to pick up suction?
    My dad and a guy at the marina did manage to get it fired up once when he first went down to see the boat. He said it wasn't sucking in any water (he took the hose off the thru-hull fitting and put it in a bucket since the thing was out of the water). He took the water pump off and said the impeller looked fine.

    If there's rust on the cylinder walls, that could also explain stiff turn-over.... Had it sat unused for some time? Was it by any chance in --salt-- water?
    Once they found the compression release and operated it, my dad said the thing spun over like crazy.

    Had it sat unused for some time? Was it by any chance in --salt-- water?
    I think it had been sitting for a little while - though I'm not sure how long. I'm sure it has at some point been used in salt water.

    The engine is a "Lister Petter" - I don't know anything about the transmission or who it was made by. Are they decent engines? Are parts cheap and easy to find? Unless the new engine bolts up to the old transmission, then it should be on the engine when he brings it home, and I'll take a look and see who made it.

    Thanks for the suggestions. Hopefully I can get it running and make something cool out of it.
    Hi my name is Dennis.
    Yanmar YM1401D, 12k 16+2ft trailer, 1996 Dodge 3500 2WD Cummins 5spd, 1973 M35A2 "Deuce and a Half"




  6. #6
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    314
    Location
    Louisiana
    Tractor
    IH-1086 and a GRAY

    Default Re: Building a diesel generator from a boat engine

    yes, looks like parts will not be much of a problem. "Lister-Petter" = Volks Wagon (VW)

    did a toolbar google for lister petter and some search options were:
    lister petter parts
    lister petter generator
    lister petter diesel generator
    lister petter diesel engines

    they are there, just how pricey??? German stuff

  7. #7
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    4,409
    Location
    Northwest, WA

    Default Re: Building a diesel generator from a boat engine

    Quote Originally Posted by dieselfuelonly View Post
    Tried starting fluid as well.
    To start with, save this stuff for your lawnmower. It has NO business anywhere near a diesel engine.
    Oil and your 'user name' is all thats needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by dieselfuelonly View Post
    It was VERY hard to turn over by hand... it seemed like the compression was still good.
    Maybe, but I'm betting you got some rust build up in the cylinders. When you get it, pop the injectors out and hand turn it over.
    ::Sent from a standard desktop keyboard::

    My Photobucket

  8. #8
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    898
    Location
    Buffalo, New York
    Tractor
    318 John Deere, 4200 John Deere, 1947 John Deere "M"

    Default Re: Building a diesel generator from a boat engine

    I'm with Irving & Willl, Definately has water/oil for that 'milky' look. Since it's in a boat though, it's possible that the boat took on water sufficiently to contaminate it by water running in the crankcase through a vent. If you do pull the head, replace, don't reuse the head bolts. The high-torque, and heat tends to make them stretch, and torquing to spec immpossible. Had a Diesel Rabbit years ago that I couldn't keep a head gasket in! (Seemed like it also put out about 16hp!) ~Scotty

  9. #9
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    17,311
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: Building a diesel generator from a boat engine

    Once they found the compression release and operated it, my dad said the thing spun over like crazy.
    With that in mind it would seem there is compression so maybe concentrate on the fuel supply end?

    Is your engine one with a big flywheel?

    Google Lister Petter and be prepared to spend several days going through information as well as information on how use them for a power plant.

    Try Utter Power for more information.
    Egon
    50 years behind the times
    Livin in a
    Worn out skin bag filled with rattlin bones

  10. #10
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    4,409
    Location
    Northwest, WA

    Default Re: Building a diesel generator from a boat engine

    Once they found the compression release and operated it, my dad said the thing spun over like crazy.
    Missed that completely.
    ::Sent from a standard desktop keyboard::

    My Photobucket

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
© 2013 TractorByNet.com. TractorByNet is a registered trademark of IMC Digital Universe, Inc. Other trademarks on this page are the property of their respective owners.