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Discussion Starter #1
I am refurbishing a 1976 Irwin CC that has been on the hard for 15 years. It has an old rusty perkins (4108 or 4236) engine sitting in it. My question is not so much around the financial perspective of rebuilding or replacing, but more in terms of how clean will an old perkins diesel run.

I've sailed many boats that have that nasty diesel smell that actually just makes me sick. I know these engines are noisey, but does any one have experience eliminating the smell associated with these engines?

I'm thinking of replacing with a Yanmar, because I understand they run a lot cleaner. Thanks in advance for everyones insight.
 

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Are you talking about 'exhaust' smell? or engine smell below?

Generally the latter is due to fuel and oil leaks or leaks in below-deck portions of the exhaust system - these can be pretty easily eliminated. Excessive 'blow-by' can lead to engine/hot oil smell below too - that's not so easily 'fixed' other than by rebuilding.

I do think a well timed and maintained engine is likely to 'smell' less at the exhaust outlet, and that newer engines probably do burn 'cleaner' (sort of like comparing following an older F-250 Ford diesel pickup down the road to following a new Dodge diesel) but odds are an older Perkins is indeed likely to smell a bit when a tailwind blows the exhaust back onto you.

FWIW the Perkins engines I've been near are relatively quiet...
 
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Biodiesel will make the exhaust of just about any diesel engine smell much better. Even B20 helps. At least that has been my experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies....... I'm concerned mostly about the engine smell in the Cabin...... not so much exhaust. If I keep my Perkins, I plan to have it rebuilt. If that is the case, I would suspect that would eliminate any exhaust, oil or diesel leaks below? Sounds like if the engine is maintained adequately, I could keep my cabin smelling good.......
 

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My heart goes out to you. You should not be smelling diesel. My boat had the same conditon. the fuel tank was the cuplrit. the seepage was enough to saturate the plywood supporting it.. but not enough to show a "Leak" One day (before a trip) there was fuel in the bilge. just a very little bit but it smelled.

we replaced the tank with plastic, new lines filters, pump. only time you smell diesel now is when a filter is changed .

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Denise....... Replacing the fuel tank is on my list to do..... I don't know if it leaks or not..... but after 38 years, I'm not taking any chances...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the feedback. I the old engine pulled this weekend. Now just need to decide what to do with it.......
 

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SWF :

If I had a 1976 boat, and the motor ran OK and started reliably, there is no way on earth I would disturb it because I did not like the odour from it. If the exhaust is not leaking, then leave it alone. Sure, cure the fuel leaks, but leave it alone otherwise.
Perkins build a good motor, too.
 
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