Like other Perkins owners, I think you'll be satisfied with "Old Blue." It's a pretty reliable engine, based on simple engineering, and was widely used in industrial and agricultural applications -- which makes getting repair parts a little easier (and usually cheaper) than some of the other marinized engines out there.
Do a Google search for Perkins 4.108 manuals. There are several places that sell the manuals on CD, but they are also easy to find in free downloadable PDF format from owners' group sites (you can get started here
). A couple of things to know about manuals:
- There are at least three versions of Workshop Manual (1972, 1978 and 1983). They are almost identical, but there are a few differences. I've found all to be useful.
- The Parts Book that's out there at lots of places all seem to have originated from one person's scan/upload effort. You can tell this is the one because it's got "overhaul" hand written on the cover page. The originator made one error -- he/she copied the diagram page for the alternator bracket & hardware twice, and failed to copy the corresponding part number & nomenclature page.
- Take the time to read the pages in the Workshop Manual that will help you decode your engine serial number. Anytime you go to buy parts, they will ask you for your "build list" and perhaps year of manufacture. That's info you can get from the engine serial number.
1. One of the best sources for parts and info is TransAtlantic Diesels
(TAD). They have a great reputation for customer service, and know their stuff. If I can't find parts locally, they are usually my first "go-to" vendor for stuff I'm going to need to have shipped.
2. I just found another vendor in the UK -- ASAP Marine Supplies
. For a few parts (like the rubber end caps for the Bowman exhaust manifold/heat exhanger), they may be less expensive than US vendors, even when shipping is factored in. If you contact them, they will set up your account to automatically remove the UK VAT (assuming that you aren't in the UK.)
3. Deal with Foley Engines
at your own peril. I've found some decent info on their websites, but I would never buy anything from them. Unlike TAD, they've got a terrible reputation for customer service. No personal experience, but I've heard enough horror stories on numerous forums to know I don't want to take a chance.
Oh, almost forgot: Yes, there should be a gasket between your exhaust manifold and your engine block (two in fact). You can use carb cleaner to scrub the oil/soot off of your flange.