Come on! I mean really?? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 46 Old 12-13-2007 Thread Starter
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Come on! I mean really??

I've seen it said a few times now! "you could start a diesel with a crank" OK.. so who has? is it possible? I mean really? Then as I think about it, most still have electric lift pumps. and alternators. How is that dealt with?

OK, all you Samsons that have done this brawny feat it's time to tell us how you did it! (and what hosptial you went to for back pain )

Denise, Bristol PA, Oday 30. On Tidal Delaware River, Anchor Yacht Club.
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My last project!
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My boat is sold!
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post #2 of 46 Old 12-13-2007
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I used to have an old diesel track laying tractor with a hand crank. You were supposed to crank it, start it on gas and then after it warmed up, cut over to diesel. I never could. There was also a 24-volt starter motor, and that's the only way I could get it running.
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post #3 of 46 Old 12-13-2007
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I found the crank for my almost 30 year old boat still wrapped in wax paper. It was mounted to the under side of the seat on the port side settee.

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I had a dream, I was sailing, I was happy, I was even smiling. Then I looked down and saw that I was on a multi-hull and woke up suddenly in a cold sweat.
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post #4 of 46 Old 12-13-2007
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Do you need an alternator to start a diesel?
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post #5 of 46 Old 12-13-2007
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I've hand cranked a 10 HP diesel tractor on my friend's farm... haven't started a marine diesel yet though.

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her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

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post #6 of 46 Old 12-13-2007
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Without decompression valves and a crank handle (plus a place to stand), it would be difficult to start a modern marine diesel.

But I have started small diesels on dock tractors on Jersey (C.I.) docks using those two devices. They had big flywheels, so with the decompression valve open, the trick was to wind the speed up then drop the decompression valve closed. It usually fired first time. There was no electric starter.
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post #7 of 46 Old 12-13-2007
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I've hot-wired a marine diesel though...does that count????

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post #8 of 46 Old 12-13-2007
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Whatever works for you SD
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post #9 of 46 Old 12-13-2007
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I have successfully started my old Buhk 10 hp with a pull rope. I used to routinely hand crank my 1939 Universal Bluejacket (half of an Atomic 4). I have also started a 2 cyl Volvo with a crank on a couple occasions. The key is to have two people. You first close the intake valve on the raw water intake and then open the decompression valves. One person cranks and the other closes the decompression valves one at a time as soon as the engine is up to speed, as the engine begins to kick over, you quickly open the raw water intake.

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post #10 of 46 Old 12-13-2007
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I've started my 25 hp Volvo with the hand crank several times (just to see if it would work and get the process down).

A few things to note:

It's a low compression engine, unlike modern marine diesels
It's a two cylinder and has separate decompression valves for each cylinder (key factor)
It will run on one cylinder with the second cylinder decompressed
The previous owner extended the crank so you can get a full swing going
It has a gigantic flywheel, really the thing is huge
No electric lift pump (pump installed for bleeding purposes only)

The process is to decompress both cylinders, crank to your best speed, and flip one of the compression levers, repeat until the one cylinder catches (usually 4-5 times with a physical break after the 3rd try), let it run for 1-2 minutes on the one hole before flipping the other decompression lever.

A friend had a sabb diesel years ago and we could never get it to start under hand crank. It had one decompression lever for both cylinders and I think this is what made it so hard (too hard) to do.

Last edited by Lion35; 12-13-2007 at 04:07 PM. Reason: typo
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