Mr. Perkins’ transformation

Mr. Perkins is getting old. He still works, but waking up in the morning is getting harder and harder every morning – especially on cold days. The heavy drinking is also becoming an issue. Not to mention the embarrassing leaks and the odors that come with it. The crew was getting tired of changing his diapers every day… something had to be done.

There was two options:

Replacing with a newer engine model or refurbishing the Perkins. It is a difficult decision to make, with pros and cons that need to be weighted carefully. In Sage’s case, we decided to refurbish the old 4.108. We have good friends who happen to know quite a bit about diesel mechanics. Also, I like the fact that old engine are easy to understand and repair (no electronics that can break).

In any case, we went ahead this winter and pulled the engine out of the boat. This involved understanding and disconnecting every electrical connection and every hose going to and from the engine.

We then ordered the “overhaul kits” and the “valve overhaul” kit. This means every valve, piston, gasket, bushing, cylinder liner, etc. will be replaced.

We proceeded with the disassembly. Dave – our diesel mechanics friend, helped us quite a bit with the work!

Some tasks had to be left to the experts: machining the interior of the cylinder liners for example, requires equipment that we did not have.

This was a good opportunity to learn about all the systems surrounding the engine; the cooling and lubrication systems, the timing, the fuel injection pumps, , etc. It also became evident that all the electrical circuit had to be redone – including every sensor on the engine. Fortunately, this is an old engine, using old technologies and therefore is much easier to both understand, repair and troubleshoot.

Not only will the engine run better, but with all that knowledge, troubleshooting or repairing underway should be easier if the necessity arise.

Last but not least, we painted the whole engine in a beautiful cadmium yellow. It’s a very joyful color, and from now on – if the engine has a happy accident, we’ll be fixing it with a smile!

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