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post #1 of 38 Old 05-01-2012 Thread Starter
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cordless drill and socket "starter"

Reading Roger Long's adventures on sailboat owners has me wondering about engine starting if the starter quits. I know most of us agree that crank starting a diesel is out of the question. Anyway, I got to thinking Some of the cordless drills are pretty beefy, so if you had access to the crankshaft bolt on the front of your engine. and you use the compression release lever. Would you try that? I know there's broken wrist potential there...
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post #2 of 38 Old 05-01-2012
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Re: cordless drill and socket "starter"

Hey,

There is no way a drill is going to get a diesel going. Maybe an impact wrench or air gun that generated 500 ft lb of torque, but no drill is going to do that.

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post #3 of 38 Old 05-01-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: cordless drill and socket "starter"

there are cordless impact drivers too Barry, some of the new cordless tools are pretty beefy too. Maybe smaller engines ? This is just curiosity on my part.

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post #4 of 38 Old 05-01-2012
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Re: cordless drill and socket "starter"

So the story goes, a broker I know claims to have started the 100hp diesel in a sister ship to my boat by wrapping a spare halyard around the flywheel pulley and pulling it with the hi speed cabin top electric winch.

I wasn't there, but this guy is not known for story telling and seemed fairly surprised it worked himself.
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Re: cordless drill and socket "starter"

As I think about it, all starter motors are cordless.
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post #6 of 38 Old 05-01-2012
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Re: cordless drill and socket "starter"

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
So the story goes, a broker I know claims to have started the 100hp diesel in a sister ship to my boat by wrapping a spare halyard around the flywheel pulley and pulling it with the hi speed cabin top electric winch.

I wasn't there, but this guy is not known for story telling and seemed fairly surprised it worked himself.
Sounds similar to a story I've heard (and only partially remember) - Salty Sailor is off shore, and finds his starter wont go, for whatever reason. SS makes fast a line on the boom and takes a few wraps around an engine pulley. Gybe ho! and problem solved.
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post #7 of 38 Old 05-01-2012
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Re: cordless drill and socket "starter"

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Originally Posted by deniseO30 View Post
Reading Roger Long's adventures on sailboat owners has me wondering about engine starting if the starter quits. I know most of us agree that crank starting a diesel is out of the question. Anyway, I got to thinking Some of the cordless drills are pretty beefy, so if you had access to the crankshaft bolt on the front of your engine. and you use the compression release lever. Would you try that? I know there's broken wrist potential there...
jus thnkn

Actually, it's a pretty creative idea. With the compression released, the Milwaukee drill I have should be able to spin up a fairly sizable engine, although it might take a few minutes to get up to a good speed. If one had a ratchet socket on the drive so the engine could spin freely, just in case it started before one could withdraw the socket/drill, there's no reason why it couldn't work.

There was a case some years ago where one of the Globe competitors lost his starter and was able to get his engine going once a day for charging by wrapping a line around the front pulley and then connecting it to his centered boom. He's turn broad-side to the wind, release his main sheet and the speed of the boom running out spun-up and started his engine.

Denise's idea really has some merit.

FWIW...
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post #8 of 38 Old 05-01-2012
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Re: cordless drill and socket "starter"

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Originally Posted by deniseO30 View Post
there are cordless impact drivers too Barry, some of the new cordless tools are pretty beefy too. Maybe smaller engines ? This is just curiosity on my part.
Those cordless "impact drivers" are pretty wimpy. Look at the specs on one of them. A pneumatic impact wrench will list its torque in foot-pounds; a cordless toy will list its torque in inch-pounds. I doubt that even a good-sized pneumatic impact wrench could start even the smallest diesel. A cordless wouldn't stand a chance. And that isn't taking the damage caused by the impacting action (the engine flywheel just isn't designed for the rat-a-tatta-tatta of an impact device).

A good-sized electric drill might be able to turn a diesel over fast enough to start it. But you would need a 15 or 20 amp/120V power source to feed it.

EDIT:
I suppose you could use a cordless drill to get the engine spinning with the decompression valves open and then start one cylinder. You would probably need a pretty beefy cordless. The starter motor on my 2GM20 isn't all that big, but it draws a lot of amps. I doubt a cordless drill's battery would last very long in such an application. I still wouldn't try to start the engine with an impact tool.

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post #9 of 38 Old 05-01-2012
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Re: cordless drill and socket "starter"

Denise, I've met some engines that had hand crank factory-shipped with the engine, and can only say that grown men wasted their time trying to use any of them.

Ropes on the flywheel? What, cut off the normal alternator belt to fit it in the groove?

I think I'd rather carry a spare starter, or wait for the wind. There's a word for a diesel that isn't perfectly well-behaved and mannered: Scrapyard!
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post #10 of 38 Old 05-01-2012
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Re: cordless drill and socket "starter"

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...There's a word for a diesel that isn't perfectly well-behaved and mannered: Scrapyard!
Now, now. Diesel's should be lovingly tended and pampered. Talked to in a calm, soothing tone; and then only to offer praise and encouragement. However, you should also store the biggest ball-peen hammer you can swing right next to the engine -- it will get the hint.

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