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Perkins Diesels On Seamaster 27.

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Hi all, 

Thanks for the suggestions re my last post/ questions. I spend too much time on fb I think. 

I'm in the process of buying a Seamaster 27, had a survey done last week, and one slightly concerning problem that showed up was that the starboard engine had an incorrect starter motor fitted apparently on the wrong side & held in place with a g clamp. The seller has told the broker he wasn't aware of that, & didn't know anything about it - (owned the boat for about 5/6 years). This is on boat with twin 4108 engines. Don't think the boat has been used (driven) a lot apart from used for staying aboard, but not something I'd not notice if I had boat for that time. There is a st.motor & 2 alternators in storage under front v-berths; which seller did know about. 

Any advice, very grateful. Thanks. 

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The 4108 starter motor bolts onto a faceplate, which itself bolts onto the rear of the block and the flywheel bell housing then bolts onto this assembly. There is no reason why the starter motor should not be mounted on the other side of the bell housing but it would need a faceplate which was also "other handed". This may have been done in order to provide more room for a twin engine installation in a fairly small boat. It may also have something to do with the "handing" of the propellors and would depend what gearboxes are installed. Or is it driven through transom mounted outdrives?

Some photos would help a lot.

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Hi Vaughan, 

Thanks for your reply. By the looks of it the current owner or owner previous to him has fitted a cheaper starter motor & a g clamp has been used to hold the starter motor in place as obviously the incorrect motor's mountings don't line up. Glenn Lowman the surveyor said it was not the proper st.motor for the engine. I originally thought the exterior of the boat had been neglected - woodwork etc & engines looked decent, but think the current owners have not bothered with the engines really. 

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I have just thought of something I had forgotten, after 40 years!

If you buy a Perkins from a scrap dealer, out of a vehicle and then rebuild it, as I and other yards did several times in the old days, the starter motor is on the other side. The marine faceplate is a special part, that you have to buy separately. So is the flywheel and so is the marine starter. this is partly because the sump and oil pump are also different.

So it is possible one of the engines has been rebuilt with vehicle, not marine, parts. Again, photos would help a lot.

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5 hours ago, RSS said:

Hi all, 

Thanks for the suggestions re my last post/ questions. I spend too much time on fb I think. 

I'm in the process of buying a Seamaster 27, had a survey done last week, and one slightly concerning problem that showed up was that the starboard engine had an incorrect starter motor fitted apparently on the wrong side & held in place with a g clamp. The seller has told the broker he wasn't aware of that, & didn't know anything about it - (owned the boat for about 5/6 years). This is on boat with twin 4108 engines. Don't think the boat has been used (driven) a lot apart from used for staying aboard, but not something I'd not notice if I had boat for that time. There is a st.motor & 2 alternators in storage under front v-berths; which seller did know about. 

Any advice, very grateful. Thanks. 

Why not give Graham at Maffett Marine a call?.  He can come out and do an inspection and advise you, or do the job for you. He was raised on 4108s when as a boy he would help and learn from John Cressy who could build them with his eyes closed, he did hundreds of them.

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No, I think both engines are proper marinised 4108s. I've asked Glenn to send pics to me. Think the owner or previous owner has not wanted to spend money for the proper part. 

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2 minutes ago, SPEEDTRIPLE said:

Why not give Graham at Maffett Marine a call?.  He can come out and do an inspection and advise you, or do the job for you. He was raised on 4108s when as a boy he would help and learn from John Cressy who could build them with his eyes closed, he did hundreds of them.

Thanks Speedtriple, I offered less than the asking price for the boat - as a Seamaster 27 nearer to my home with 4107s I could have bought was a nice boat but I wasn't sure about a boat with 4107s & interior had been changed to new teak finish. Boat with 4107s was better exterior wise - engines looked older but guy had looked after it. This boat I thought engines looked cleaner. Seller has come down more in price re st/motor, so I'll have to speak to someone who can look at it. 

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If the owner didn't know it was there after having it that long I think your safe to suspect its probably not been very well looked after! 

My first thought was as Vaughan has already explained that it may be in a different position for installation reasons but I wouldn't have thought a G Clamp would be a suitable way to fasten it long term.  A lot of diy can take place on boats! 

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3 minutes ago, RSS said:

Boat with 4107s was better exterior wise - engines looked older but guy had looked after it.

Don't hesitate to buy a boat with 4107 engines, especially if it is in a Seamaster which is designed to do high revs, when offshore.

The only reason they were modified was because they had a tendency to bend the cylinder head if they were overheated, so they were not so good in a hire boat. The 4108 was built with a stronger head which also, by chance, gave it an extra cubic inch of capacity. The only way to tell the difference from the outside is by the size of the head nuts and the 4 small witness holes on one side of the block. They will also accept the high angle that most semi-displacement engines are mounted at. I seem to remember the maximum is 17 degrees.

They are a bit old nowadays but they are very good engines and very economical.

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36 minutes ago, Vaughan said:

Don't hesitate to buy a boat with 4107 engines, especially if it is in a Seamaster which is designed to do high revs, when offshore.

The only reason they were modified was because they had a tendency to bend the cylinder head if they were overheated, so they were not so good in a hire boat. The 4108 was built with a stronger head which also, by chance, gave it an extra cubic inch of capacity. The only way to tell the difference from the outside is by the size of the head nuts and the 4 small witness holes on one side of the block. They will also accept the high angle that most semi-displacement engines are mounted at. I seem to remember the maximum is 17 degrees.

They are a bit old nowadays but they are very good engines and very economical.

Hi Vaughn,

i seem to remember being told the 4107 were wet lined bores, whereas the 4108 were dry lined, is that correct or an urban myth?.

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Quite correct. The 4.99 and 4.107 had wet liners, hence the small witness holes in the side of the block, beside the cylinders.  These holes came between the two o-ring seals, so if the witness hole was leaking oil, the bottom ring had gone or if it leaked rusty water then the top ring had gone!  The advantage was that you never needed to re-bore the engine.  You just changed the liners and, hopefully, kept the same pistons.

As I say, they were very good engines. It was just that the cylinder heads had a habit of turning up at the corners, like a British Railways ham sandwich!

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Thanks for the info guys & suggestions. Here are a few pics I received late on Monday evening from the surveyor. 1st pic is of st. motor on port engine I think & next 3 pics showing starboard eng with "incorrect st.motor" -(surveyor said that - which is facing wrong way secured in place by g clamp & plastic piece placed between main starter cable & stud foot). Sort of job you'd expect by Homer Simpson really! 

P1210326.jpg

P1210319.jpg

P1210323.jpg

P1210324.jpg

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Well, we live and learn! I don't think I have seen anything like that before.

In the first photo the starter has been mounted (if that is the word) not on the "wrong side" but back to front! Surely that would crank the engine the wrong way? Unless they have somehow changed the polarity.

The other one looks like a Perkins starter from what I can see of it but the flywheel faceplate and bell housing are strange. I can't quite see what the gearboxes are, (maybe Parsons?) but the two boxes on the back of them are pinion gears to take the propulsion sideways (inwards) to line up with the prop shafts. You can see that one is longer than the other as it has 3 gears, not two. This is to effect the "handing" of the propellors. Was this why there was no room for one of the starters to be mounted normally?

Again, we can't see all from these photos but it seems that the propshafts are mounted to the engines by a solid flange coupling, and yet the engines are on flexible mounting feet. Not a good combination, especially as this boat probably has very short shafts. In the last photo, the terminal of the main battery lead to the starter solenoid looks to be almost touching the engine mounting foot, which is probably why it has been wrapped with black tape! If that G clamp were to slip, at any time when the engine is running, the terminal would touch the engine and you would have a serious fire on your hands. That battery lead is live at all times and is not normally fused.

It is up to you of course, but if you have another boat to consider buying, I would consider carefully.

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Just the crud in the bottom makes me think walk away, that's the sort of crud that makes a boat stink throughout of oil/diesel and hard to get rid of once it gets into upholstery.

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Why are you even considering a boat with mechanicals held together with G clamps? In my opinion, it's the sign of a major bodge-up, and doesn't bode well for what you might find later!!

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To run like that for a short while to get round a problem is sort of understandable but to present it like that for sale would have to be very cheap to even consider it, makes you wonder what the engines are like inside.

Have you heard it run or had a trip on it underway?

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I don't think many people can say they enjoy cleaning bilges but coupled with that G Clamp not being noticed in 5 or 6 years of ownership It suggests to me the engines have been neglected never mind the rest of the boat. 

I have been known to be sceptical of the value of a survey but unless you are happy to spend whats needed to bring it up to a better standard I would be glad of the survey and think long term its saved me money and see what else is out there. 

If you do decide to take it on I would be doing something with the potentially dangerous wiring Vaughan has pointed out rather sharpish!! 

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For me this would not be a viable proposition for all the reasons previously mentioned. Personally if I was looking for a 27 for use on inland waterways I wouldn't even consider a twin engine version. For estuary use a twin may be better but they were not designed for rough water or anything more than force 5 and they would be very uncomfortable to be in at that.  There are far more single engine boats around so the choice would be greater, running costs less and accessibility to the mechanicals far easier. If you want a boat for sea use buy a 30, believe me the extra length, width and stability makes a lot of difference.

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if the starter is mounted on the wrong side and thus spinning the opposite way to the other engine are you sure the engine is designed to spin in the anti clock wise direction as to the other spinning clockwise twin engines esp shaft drive should spin opposite directions to equalise the vortex caused behind the boat and making it more efficient      pp Maffetts John used to have a boat with twin v8 perkins in it.  that set up worked by one engine working clockwise and the other anticlockwise 

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Contra rotation is virtually always done on the gearbox, I don't believe there was ever an opposite rotation option with a perkins.

Every gearbox has a reverse option anyway and the engine would have to have many different parts to run the other way so not an economical way to do it (unless 2 stroke).

Light aircraft use opposite rotation engines but that is because most have the prop direct to the crankshaft.

More likely a starter that spins the other way.

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I take that back about the rotation, it seems although rare they were made.

perkins.jpg.fff273038782158d76288b5acdd58cf4.jpg

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So if the G clamp  has not been 'noticed' in 5 - 6 years, has the oil and filters been changed in that time?  The general wiring looks like a disaster!  I think there is something in the BSS about suporting cables and insulation.

Check BSS part 3.2.1R    2R & 3R       and  part 3.4.2R   January 2013  

Also BSS  part 3.3.1

Is the lower wire connected and the 'loom' above looks a bit short of insulation.  (Arrows).

But I am a bit picky!

Clive.

wires123.jpg

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13 hours ago, Regulo said:

Why are you even considering a boat with mechanicals held together with G clamps? In my opinion, it's the sign of a major bodge-up, and doesn't bode well for what you might find later!!

Yeh, I guess I rushed looking over it first time, or maybe the g clamp has been more recent than the owner said. Like I said to Graham at Maffett marine think boat has been neglected engine wise & been serviced pre sale & bodge of clamp onto starter been quite recent to get boat going. 

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13 hours ago, Smoggy said:

To run like that for a short while to get round a problem is sort of understandable but to present it like that for sale would have to be very cheap to even consider it, makes you wonder what the engines are like inside.

Have you heard it run or had a trip on it underway?

Had both engines fired up on first look at boat, didn't have a run then. I had to postpone River trial week later due to my work, & was to have a run after the survey last Friday, but I didn't bother after looking at the engine with the surveyor. To be honest the first Seamaster I looked at with 4107s had been better treated engine wise I think. I probably didn't look close enough at this boat's engines 1st time( should 've taken some photos, can't really remember seeing the clamp tho - so? 🤔). 

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13 hours ago, Regulo said:

Why are you even considering a boat with mechanicals held together with G clamps? In my opinion, it's the sign of a major bodge-up, and doesn't bode well for what you might find later!!

If I'd have noticed the clamp I wouldn't have gone back.. I rushed looking it over I suppose as I was going to look at another boat that day.. You're quite right.. Think maybe the owners have just run it into the ground (me thinking originally just the exterior & woodwork)! 

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