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Old 07-10-2007, 08:24 PM   #1
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Help!

After being away from Pomaika'i for a couple of months, I've returned to find the injectors on my Perkins 6.354 engine covered in rust due to a freshwater leak originating from the steering pedestal. (...holes from where instruments were stolen while I was away)

I need to replace the injectors, but am afraid to proceed for fear of getting rust in the cylinders, or creating other problems I haven't even considered. I checked Nigel Calder's "Marine Diesel Engines" without success, except for the admonition that tinkering with injectors isn't a job for a rookie, and the local diesel mechanics don't exactly have sterling reputations.

Any advice from the experts out there? All thots or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

John
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Old 07-10-2007, 08:48 PM   #2
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Could you post photos of the problem so we can better assist you?

Does the engine start?

Rust on the exterior of the injector shouldn't cause any serious problem with the internal function. Sometimes the rust problem looks much worse than it really is and a little WD-40 or penetrating rust remover will help.
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Old 07-10-2007, 09:20 PM   #3
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runst on the out side of injectors is not a problem. I would just clean them off and prime them then repaint
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Old 07-10-2007, 11:38 PM   #4
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John,

I am sorry to hear of your compounded misfortune.

I am a school trained and educated mechanic, with a diploma on the wall, and grease under the fingernails.

First you do not have to replace the injectors because of what is on the outside of the engine. If you know you have a problem on the inside, or are doing it as a preventive measure, or the engine hour meter says it is time, those are good reasons to replace the injectors.

Replacing fuel injectors is only slightly more complicated than changing a spark plug. The added complication is that you will remove the fuel lines from the injectors, which allows air in the fuel lines. Removing the air (purging) is the last step. You should have a torque wrench, and know the engine torque specs.

In any case, you never want to introduce any foreign substance or matter into the combustion cylinder. It does not belong there, and could cause several other problems, premature wear on any of the moving parts, valves, cylinder walls, piston rings, pistons, all machined surfaces to Perkins specs.

Just be careful. Use what ever methods you have to remove any particles, debris, caked on oil, grease, rust, paint flakes, metal particles; maybe a brush, a wire brush, cleaner/degreaser, a vacuum, compressed air, steam cleaner, high pressure washer or a combination of those. I know you will not have all of those available or want to use some of them in the engine compartment. Use what is available and works for you to remove the debris. Any good mechanic should and would do that.

When the pre-cleaning is done, replace the injectors methodically. The engine should be at ambient temperature (not having been operated lately). The reasons are two fold. First it is uncomfortable, difficult, and with the risk of getting burned. Second metal expands and contracts as is heats and cools. The torque specs are for a cold engine; cold meaning ambient air temperature. A hot engine will provide a false torque result, potentially causing severe damage.

The next steps are where you risk getting debris into the combustion cylinders or fuel lines. Use precaution.

Remove the fuel line. Cover the end with a piece of plastic or tin foil.

Remove the injector using the correct size socket. Lefty Loosey - Righty Tighty - Turn counter-clockwise.

Install the new injector, with the supplied compression washer, just finger tight at this point. Do not reuse the old compression washers; use the new ones. You can save the old injectors and compression washers as spare emergency parts if you desire.

Replace each injector in this manner.

Technical Step #1 (important)

Torque the injectors to the proper specifications (tightness). You need a torque wrench and you need to know what the specs are. If you do not know the torque specs, I maybe able to help, given the engine description, make and model. In an emergency I (me) would fore go the torque specs. In this post that is not the best advice I can provide.

Technical Step #2

Re-install the fuel line, but only finger tight at this point.

We will come back to this step.

Technical Step #3

Prime your fuel system. Purge the air from it.

There is (should be) a manual primer pump some place in the system, often on the main fuel pump. If you have the owners’ manual, it will tell you where it is and how to do it. If not, ask here.

As the air comes out of the fuel lines, and you have fuel running down the side of the engine, tighten the lines in Tech Step #2, snug, until they no longer leak.

Sometimes leaving a line or two loose, and cranking the engine, the main injector pump will pump the fuel and air out of the lines.

If the engine does not start, you most likely have remaining air in the lines; excessive; not acceptable. If it starts and coughs and sputters you have some remaining air in the fuel lines. Fuel throttle may help purge that. If it does not, crack one line open (slightly) at a time until fuel dribbles out, and retighten it. Move down the line, repeating the procedure.

If you have questions ask.

Best Wishes,

Jeff
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Old 07-11-2007, 12:56 AM   #5
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It had been by experiance that any time you replace one injector. Replace them all. They tend to fail close to each other.

I can not count the times that I only had 1 or 2 replaced to be right back in a shopa few weeks latter replacing more.

I also do not recommend rebuild injectors. I have never had any luck with them.

Running the deisal engine you may want to look into a bypass oil filter. They are not expensive and extend you drain intervals. In our truck we change the oil at 100k miles. Even then it tests fine and the TBN is still high. Just I feel 100k is more then fine.

I have friends that run them to 300k till the oil test says it need replacing.
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Old 07-11-2007, 03:13 AM   #6
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I agree with replacing the injectors as a set. That is what I understood Kuapaa was going to do.

I have never used rebuilt injectors.

Jeff
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Old 07-11-2007, 03:53 AM   #7
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As an ordinary 'grottie yottie', (providing the iron genny was working prior to the lay-up) I would probably dig out first the soft, then the stiff nylon brush and the vacuum cleaner and suck the rust away. I can't imagine it is flaking rust and, while I appreciate, even worship, the technical expertise of Jeff and DT, I would just give it a clean, crack a coldie, liberally spray with inox, and go for a squirt around the harbour. Just be a little careful to cover the air intake before you start. If there is flaking rust, make sure to dredge the bilge with a plumber's magnet after you have done the engine clean. Flaking rust and bilge pump float switches can flatten a battery in the twinkling ovaneye!

Cheese

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Old 07-11-2007, 05:09 PM   #8
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My genuine thanks for the excellent advice.

Guess I wasn't very clear. I need to change the injectors as part of scheduled repair or replacement. The rust simply complicates things. The engine has sufficient hours on it to need both scheduled and preventive maintenance, especially since the boat is in for major re-fit prior to another very extensive cruise in the Pacific.

Again, thanks to everyone for your time, thots and advice.

John K.
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Old 07-11-2007, 07:15 PM   #9
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John,

The rust is not an unmanageable problem; it just adds an element of caution, taking care to not get foreign matter inside the cylinders. The normal procedure when changing fuel injectors or spark plugs is to take precautionary measures and clean the area around and above them.

Last night I gave your situation more thought and did research. I do not have the torque spec answer for the injectors, but learned a lot about a Perkins 6.354 engine. Perkins made and makes a lot of engines for many applications. Today Perkins is Perkins-Saber, in England, with more than 4,000 service centers around the world. I think I have your engine narrowed down to two possibilities. What I understand is there were two models, with different horsepower (hp) ratings (or Kw), and the engine is no longer manufactured, but parts and service are readily available; but I am not certain of that. That is my perception after a few hours of searching and not knowing the specifics of what you have.

Diesel.com seems to be a good marine engine website; but it is a fee based web site. I most enjoyed the research, and will do more, but I stopped looking there, when I learned I would have to pay a membership fee to maybe find the answer there.

For clarification, when I mention torque spec, I am referring to how tight one installs the injectors, not the torque the engine is capable of producing.

The reason I dwell on the topic of torque specifications of threaded components on engines, is that I have seen many engines with minor damage to completely destroyed, caused by improper torque techniques. That is why there are engineered torque specifications with each and every engine. Further it varies from one to the next, and with each component on each engine. A simple torque spec is changing an oil filter. The specifications are usually on the side of the filter or on the box, to the effect of: "Lube the gasket, spin it until the gasket makes contact, than hand tighten 1/4 or maybe 1/2 turn more. That is a spec. and with a purpose. To loose and it will leak, make a mess, and maybe destroy the engine due to lack of crankcase lubrication. To tight, or lacking a lubed gasket, it well, it will take a good mechanic with an Oxen team, a cheater pipe and maybe a cutting torch to remove it later.

I do not want to scare you away from this simple project. I do want to provide the best technical advice I can and know. If I was as sea, and I had to have my engine, and it needed injectors, and I did not have a torque wrench, or the torque spec, I would change them, with 90-some% confidence, from knowledge, best guess, and the feel of the wrench. I cannot tell you what 75 or 100 foot pounds feel like on a ratchet handle, any more than I can tell a child how to ride a bike. My best guess is the torque spec is in or near that range. I also can pull that fairly close just by feel from experience. The simple explanation of a "foot-pound", is apply 1 pound of force to a 1 foot long wrench, in the US Measurement System.

I am curious about what you would like to do, and if you need more help. I am willing.

Jeff
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Old 07-11-2007, 11:12 PM   #10
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Jeff,

I guess God really does watch out for fools, sailors, and drunks. I've certainly qualified for all 3 at one time or another... All these years of simply applying the 'oil filter tightness' philosophy to the injectors whenever I bled them! I think I'd better buy a torque wrench tomorrow. Meanwhile, I've been going quietly insane trying to find the right manuals for this engine ( 135hp, low-hours, pre-1974 Perkins 6.354 ). I've seen 'Technical Manuals', 'Workshop Manuals' , 'Operator Manuals', and 'Service Manuals' referenced, but trying to understand the difference between them, and then locate and order the correct one(s), - plus a Parts Manual, is really frustrating.

I located the Perkins distributor for my area, and fortunately, parts for this engine are readily available. I will however do some price shopping for new (not rebuilt) injectors. Then after a read-thru of the manual, time to get to work.

Thanks. I sure do appreciate all the help.

John

John
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Old 07-11-2007, 11:39 PM   #11
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John,

Take a look here:

http://boatdiesel.com/Forums/index.cfm

You should be able to find anything you need for your engine.

Cheers,

Ken
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Old 07-13-2007, 01:20 PM   #12
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I'm suprized that others are against having your injectors overhauled by a competent diesel pump and injector workshop. I have been in the motor repair trade for near 50 years and used to sublet that type of work out to a specialist with excellent and economical results. I have had my own diesel engines maintained the same way and next week having my Yanmar injectors overhauled having done 8 years since the last service. It is a huge cost saving over new injectors and overhauled properly will give trouble free service for as long as a new set. Other than that I agree with previous comments. The manual you want is called a 'workshop manual' and explains step by step procedures for anything needing to be done on the motor from simple servicing to major work. It will give torque wrench settings and wear limits on anything to do with the motor. If you have found a perkins dealer then he can supply the right manual if you provide him with the engine number which is stamped into the engine block.
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Old 07-14-2007, 06:14 PM   #13
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Bedouin,

Maybe the reason why rebulit injectors have such a bad name is that the quality of work and subsequent dependability is about the same quality of work as that provided by diesel mechanics, at least in the region where I'm located. I would never say that all marine diesel mechanics around here are either stupid and/or thieves, but there is a reason why their reputation on the whole places them below lawyers and used car salesmen. Even the yard where I'm located has lost their *** recently on several rebuilds from a so-called reputable diesel shop.

A workman is worth his wages, and I don't mind paying for good quality service, but it pisses me off to no end to be lied to and cheated. I have even considered starting a thread on this forum asking for recommendations for top notch diesel mechanics and then 'PAYING THEIR EXPENSES TO FLY THEM DOWN HERE TO WORK ON POMAIKA'I'.

As someone placed beneath their signature, "Don't sell me poor quality gear, or provide lousy service because I hate it and will tell everyone I know."

Sorry to get on a rant about diesel mechanics... maybe it's one of the first signs of advancing age, but I'm really frustrated and disappointed with the general lack of integrity and quality of workmanship I seem to encounter lately.

My genuine thanks to everyone who replied to my 'rusted injectors' problem. I sincerely appreciate your time and help.

John K.
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Old 07-15-2007, 08:08 AM   #14
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For clarification -

The web site Trim50 posted is the one I was refering to in Post # 9; I shortened it and failed to add BOAT in front of it, a hasty typo. I think it is a very good site, expect it is a fee based web site; one must buy a membership to view anything of value.

Quote:
I'm suprized that others are against having your injectors overhauled by a competent diesel pump and injector workshop.
Per Bedouin's post.

I stated that I have never used rebuilt injectors. I simply always used new factory parts concerning injectors. I did not say I was opposed to using them. Not having experiance with rebuilt in injectors, I have no basis for recommendations, pro or con; so I reserved comment.

This post is not about a rust problem; yes it is a concern and most valid; it seems the real problem is trust and reputation of the available mechanics, and getting professional service; or attempting to do-it-yourself, and if so needing good advice in doing so.

John, Best wishes, hope it all comes right for you.

Jeff
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