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Diesel that has been sitting 4 years - what could go wrong?

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  • 3 Phase Lightbulb
    Guest replied
    Back in 2006 when I was in the market for a large sportfish yacht, I passed on a really nice 57 footer that had twin Detroit DD12-71's because they smoked for a good 5-10 minutes until they came up to temperature and the boat was located in Florida and I'm near Boston so I would have taken a week+ off to cruise her up the ICW which is only fun when you don't have time constraints. Anyway, I only found out later that it's very typical for the DD12-71's and DD6-71's to smoke when cold. And I didn't know they were also equipped with block heaters that when used prevent the startup smoke. I ended up getting one from the Boston area but had I known more about the DD's I would have probably bought the one in Florida.

    She was a beaut! Enclosed flybridge with A/C, fridge, etc.

    Last edited by ; 03-11-2018, 11:52 AM.

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  • boslab
    replied
    The engines of all the ones I've encountered have been ok, I usually find the air end worn out, so far at least but I've only looked at rotary like hydro vane (the old jackhammer compressors)
    Mark

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  • tom_d
    replied
    Originally posted by Richard P Wilson View Post
    Are you suggesting the OP runs it on kerosene?
    Yes, kerosene, sometimes referred to as #1 fuel oil, will fire easier than #2 diesel fuel. Where the engine has been sitting for a while there may be a little rust on open valve seats, or some stickiness to some of the rings so the compression could be temporarily less that when the engine was in regular service. Also, the OP is in a colder climate, so it's best to have things optimized. When the compressor goes back into regular service it should be run on the #2, which has a higher heat content per volume for better efficiency.

    As for pump lubrication, the higher horsepower JD engines had Bosch P series pumps. The governors on these pumps are splash lubed with engine oil from the main pump housing reservoir. The plungers on these inline pumps are the only part that see the fuel being used, and are adequately lubed with the fuel. On the lower horsepower engines it was common to see rotary pumps similar to the CAV models found in the UK. These rotary pumps are more susceptible to lubrication issues, especially with the tight clearances needed at the rotating fuel distribution head.

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  • A.K. Boomer
    replied
    Years ago I was working at a shop - customer just changed his own oil but had a bad fuel pump (mechanical) and had some fuel in his new oil (gas), we changed out both the pump and his oil and Iv never been afraid to run fuel with a little gas in it before in any of my personal beaters because after you get it good and hot for awhile it just evaporates into the breather and runs it through the engine in vapor form.
    only difference this time is i had a rabbit diesel lol I did think it an interesting experiment and the siwy wabbit was due for a change,,,
    did the change and parked the car ready for the drive home when i got off work, fire it up - no real change - start driving home hmmm everything is pretty normal get a couple miles and notice when approaching other vehicles and backing off the throttle the wabbit does not want to slow down like it used too - push in the clutch and its rapping out on it's own at something like 2500 lol
    few more miles and now it's up to 3500 with the key off, drove approximately 10 miles for free till it started to slow down and i had to get back on the diesel again lol really did not hear anymore diesel knock then normal as long as i kept the gearing right and let it rap out some... not a good thing to do but cut through the boredom of the day...

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  • Captain K
    replied
    Stuck racks are NOT just a Detroit thing. Any inline injection pump uses the a fuel rack to meter fuel to the injectors. Any pump left in the run position will be at full fuel until the governor speeds up enough to cut it back. Been lucky, I had one of mine in stop position when is got stuck so just no start, had it been left in run position it would no longer be with us. Again, Be Careful. Have fun.

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  • Mcgyver
    replied
    taking it all in, thanks again for all the help. As part of buying it we want to know the total cost so have worked out a budget to do everything you'd want to do prior to running it - oil, coolant, filters, bleed, fuel etc. Its not an inexpensive proposition, but its a big piece of equipment and will be done right. I put an offer in, will know next week

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  • flylo
    replied
    Bought an Army Duece 21/2 ton 10wd from a local university that I bet set for well over 10 years. Fuel was jello so I brought a 10 gal plastic tank, cut the line, hose clamped the rubber line up stem of the pump, put a 12v fuel pump in the rubber line & 2 12v batteries, cracked the injectors, turned everything on & she started, smoked like crazy, closed the injectors & drove her home. Under 7000 miles & was a radio repair truck with the tool boxes & work benches in the back. The tires & spare were orig, all matched, no weather checks, was a 1966.

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  • MrFluffy
    replied
    I should add good luck, there's a dead ford transit in my yard that sat for 10+ years, and the fuel has gelified in the DPA injector pump when we dragged it out the shed it had been left to rot in. Economic write off straight away. 4+ years your probably ok with.

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  • MrFluffy
    replied
    Ditto, the turbo too. My landrover ran away when the turbo core failed and it threw the impeller shaft bearings and the turbo oil pumped into the intake manifold.
    I would run it only on diesel because the injection pump needs its lubricity as mentioned, make sure 1000% the fuel filters are good (in fact, I'd change them before starting it personally) and know the bleeding proceedure before going anywhere near trying to start it.

    Experience taught me this the hard way to be super sensitive about this, I bought a digger that had "just been serviced", and started using it on arrival. It went onto a angled bank which caused the fuel to dip one side in the tank and pick crud up, and the fresh shiny filters in the diesel system turned out to be empty with holes punched through the mesh filters to stop them clogging just long enough to get it sold, all of which to hide the dirty tank (which couldn't be removed for cleaning as it WAS the frame of the machine). It sucked the dirt through the lift pump, and into the injection pump destroying both inside.
    Oil, yeah, its black and somewhere near the level, I'm good, water well it has some indescriminate liquid in it cool or run dry for a short duration just to see if something runs, but diesel system, I'm much less laissez faire about. Wrong will damage things.

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  • vpt
    replied
    Many of the run away diesels happen because they are worn out and oil from blowby is what makes them "run away".

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  • big job
    replied
    No on kerosene. Its a John Deere 4 cycle with a injection pump that needs lube from diesel
    fuel. I wouldn't worry about a run a way= thats a Detroit 2cycle thing because they have no
    injector pump. Injection is created soley by the injectors. Only pump they have is a transfer
    low pressure pump just to push fuel into the head and to injectors. I'm talking about Detroits
    from my time. At shut down the injector rack goes to full fuel for the next start. Any long time storage or non use beware - pull the valve cover and check free movement of the rack,
    and if stuck and try to start-Run like hell. Enough said. back to the post. Most compressors
    I been around & seen some kind of air or mechanical disconnect to start. As all have
    said air cleaner all filters maybe dump the oil and oil filter. Myselft and someone else said
    a container new diesel full high up on a ladder or something for gravity and crack the fuel
    filters. Note; do not use either if you use glow plugs. It now should turn over with a good
    battery, if not maybe remove injectors squirt oil down there and turn it over. I just went througn all of this with a Dresser dozer rat nest in air cleaner porest fuel lines and fixed that and now runs like a charm. Step by step take ya time sam

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  • Richard P Wilson
    replied
    Originally posted by tom_d View Post
    I can't offer specifics on the compressor, but as for the engine the first thing to do is pull the dipstick. It's a good sign if the oil looks black and is near a normal level. Next is to check the radiator for coolant. If those both check out then this compressor is definitely worth further pursuit. You say it's in an enclosure, which is great, but what about the exhaust outlet? Is there any way that water could have entered the engine through the exhaust? If not then it's time to get that engine running.

    Pull the fuel line from the tank where it connects to the injector pump and run a new hose into a 5gal size container that's half full of kerosene. pu.
    Are you suggesting the OP runs it on kerosene?

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  • tom_d
    replied
    I can't offer specifics on the compressor, but as for the engine the first thing to do is pull the dipstick. It's a good sign if the oil looks black and is near a normal level. Next is to check the radiator for coolant. If those both check out then this compressor is definitely worth further pursuit. You say it's in an enclosure, which is great, but what about the exhaust outlet? Is there any way that water could have entered the engine through the exhaust? If not then it's time to get that engine running.

    Pull the fuel line from the tank where it connects to the injector pump and run a new hose into a 5gal size container that's half full of kerosene. pull and discard the fuel filter(s). Use the hand primer and pump until fuel shows at the filter inlet. Install new filter(s) and hand prime until filter is full. Look for a bleed screw at the top of the filter housing to let air out when priming. Next is to crack all the fuel lines at the injectors. It's best to use a quality tubing wrench for this, as you don't want to damage the nuts when loosening. When all the nuts are loose the fuel system is ready to prime. Close the filter bleed screw and hand prime until there is fuel in the low pressure return line that goes back to the fuel tank.

    Before cranking the engine pull the air filter and check for rodent nests. Note that the engine shut down could be a pull cable or an electrically operated solenoid. If it's electric confirm the on/off switch is operational. If all looks clear then try cranking the engine until fuel appears at the injectors. when all injectors have fuel around the clamp nuts tighten them. At this point the engine is ready to start, so if possible I would have the compressor configured to not build pressure, and maybe even disconnect the compressor's governor linkage to the injector pump so you can control the engine speed, then give the engine a go.

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  • Richard P Wilson
    replied
    Wonder how much longer he was planning to run it with no radiator?

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  • Willy
    replied
    Detroit Diesel two strokes like the one in the video are known to runaway due to the design and operation of their fuel control system. In fact they are equipped from the factory with a manual air shutdown device in order to shut off all air entering the engine. I've had to resort to their use in the past. It doesn't happen often with Detriots but it can, hence the factory installed air shutoff.

    A lot of diesel engine runaways are due to someone adjusting the fuel pump/governor to the limit in order to gain extra power. When you're running on the bleeding edge of fuel control you can sometimes fall over the edge where the governor cannot control the fuel and speed of the engine.

    Another cause is oil seal failure on the cold/compressor side of the turbocharger. A failure here will pump engine oil directly into the intake air. The engine thinks this is fuel and since there is no air throttle it keeps going as fast as the new source of fuel will allow, usually with disastrous results.

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