Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Perkins M 4.154 repairs

christian alby <calbyy@...>

Good afternoon James
the injection pump seal was our 2nd guess as a reason for Diesel ingress in lube oïl circuit; part of reason to take out engine as unable to remove from engine in position. 
Was found clean & untouched.
I will keep you posted on outcome of repairs.
fair winds

christian alby - Désirade VIII - Maramu 116 - Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Le ‎dimanche‎ ‎5‎ ‎novembre‎ ‎2017‎ ‎00‎:‎20‎:‎21‎ ‎CET, James Alton lokiyawl2@... [amelyachtowners] a écrit :


Christian Alby,

   Thank you for the details of what happened to your engine, perhaps it will help me avoid the same fate with my engine in the future.  

   I hope that you can find the rest of the parts that you need to rebuild your engine.    To me the 4-154 seems to be a really good match for my Maramu in all respects.

   It might be worth considering some of the other possible sources of diesel fuel in the oil other than just the diesel lift pump.  Does your original diesel fuel lift pump have a small vent hole on the bottom?  I have replaced a number of diesel fuel lift pumps on various engines that were leaking fuel out through the aforementioned vent hole that did not seem to have a problem with diesel getting into the oil.  Other sources of diesel in the oil to consider might be dribbling injectors or a leaking shaft seal on your injection pump.  I have experienced the former problem with a rise in oil level but this was with engines that were sitting idle.  The latter problem with the injection pump shaft seal leaking seems to be a fairly common issue on Perkins based on Web searches rather than on personal experience.  Apparently the problem can arise if conditions allow the injection pump input shaft to develop corrosion in the area of the shaft seal.  My engine sat for perhaps 4 years without being run before I purchase the boat so this might be a concern for me to look into as well.

    I thank you for sharing your details since I will now know to keep a careful eye out for any indication of oil thinning or other signs of diesel in the oil.  I think that your advice to install the mechanical oil pressure gauge is a good one and I will bring the needed parts back to Sueno on the next trip.  I am also wondering about carrying a viscosity tester (perhaps a viscosity cup) to check the oil.

Best of luck and let me know how the rebuild works out for you.

James Alton
SV Sueno,  Maramu #220



On Nov 4, 2017, at 4:26 PM, christian alby calbyy@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

Good evening to you
thanks for the tip on oïl pumps; will inquire to keep my adress book updated.
I just found one pump with a Perkins dealer in France who keeps parts for engines on tractors & earth moving eqpt.

Like most failures this one forewarned well in advance but was misinterpreted for real cause.
my engine dates back to 1982; about 6500 Hrs run, with good records of maintenance unrtil 2004, then 10 years without records whilst in the mediterranean.
the engine was running perfectly when I bought the boat April 2016; oïl pressure at 3.2 bar (46 psi) cold started, & 2.5 bars (36 psi) running at 1600 rpm, down to 1.8 bar (26 psi) idling at 600 rpm.
Engine oïl (15W40) changed about 100 hrs ago. No loss neither darkening on oïl gauge. Temperature at 70°C running. No fumes on exhaust.

Trouble started late sep-2017 running down the Mediterranean, on our way to Gibraltar; one low pressure at 1.1 bar (16 psi) when idling during docking maneuvers in port. Checked oïl, added 1/2 liter to build up level; thought about faulty bearing ...
Worsened when we landed in Lanzarote, after a long spell (20 hrs) running the engine.
Until departure from Santa Cruz Tenerife, when I found an abnormal level of oïl, with light viscosity, & left on our way to Cabo Verde, just to have the engine 'self-ignited' accelerating wildly with cloud of white smoke - I had to engage clutch to stop it.
Sailed back to port & checked engine - emptied oïl from engine & pumped out 12 liters of Diesel & oïl mixture. 
Diesel had been sipping into the lube oïl, stopping lubrification of engine parts.
As we did not have a conclusive reason for teh failure took advantage of a good workshop (rectificadora) in Santa Cruz to take the engine apart & check components for damage.
found piston rings gone as a direct result of failure.
Then found damage due to poor maintenance in the past of the past of the boat with wear on camshaft & tappets, bottom of pistons scored lightly as well as liners, oïl pump scored on rotor & housing, but still no real cause for Diesel oïl to mix with lube oïl. Apart from the diaphram on the Diesel oïl lift pump being slightly (?) worn. 
Nothing conclusive yet but I will rebuild the engine with new pistons, liners, bearings & seals; Replace the oïl pump, camshaft & tappets if I find parts in better condition. 
And replace the Diesel oïl lift pump or replace diaphragm & inner parts, as this seems to be the way the DO could enter the lube oïl circuit.

Free advice : a pressure gauge in addition to the buzzer will give you clear indication of fault in progress. then check oïl for density & cleanliness & follow the fault finding clues by Perkins, they are the result of long term experience.
Our engines are Worth it as they can run as long as we feed them well.

Fair winds, clean diesel & heavy oïl

Christian Alby - Désirade VIII - Maramu 116 - Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Christian Alby - France home fixe +33 (0)5 34 39 06 02 home Internet +33 (0)9 60 37 22 72 mobile +33 (0)6 42 69 07 80

Le ‎samedi‎ ‎4‎ ‎novembre‎ ‎2017‎ ‎19‎:‎46‎:‎14‎ ‎CET, James Alton lokiyawl2@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> a écrit :


Christina Alby,

   Sorry to hear about the damage to your Perkins 154.  There are currently oil pumps listed on Ebay that are supposed to fit the 4-154 but they do not look like the same pump as in the manual to me.  I will attempt to post the link here:

   May I ask you if there were any warning signs of the impending failure of your oil pump?  How many hours were on your engine when the meltdown happened?  I have the same engine in my Maramu and it now has a little over 4,100 hours.  It seems to be running perfectly, doesn’t smoke, doesn’t consume oil but I am noticing that the oil pressure warning buzzer sounds almost as soon as the engine is stopped.  I don’t know if this is normal on this engine or not.  I am planning to hook up a mechanical gauge to find out what the actual pressure is, I think that the relief valve is set at 30 psi.?  I would like to keep this engine healthy for as long as possible.  If any other Perkins 154 owners can provide any advice on what to look out for or how to care for an aging Perkins 154  it would be very much  appreciated.


James Alton
SV Sueno,  Maramu #220
Arbatax,  Italy

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Am Dienstag, Oktober 31, 2017, 07:10 schrieb calbyy@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...>:


I am looking for repair parts to rebuild the Perkins 60 HP diesel engine on Désirade VIII - Maramu N° 116 built 1982.

The engine gave up on me in Tenerife, went in a cloud of smoke as DO went down & mixed with lube oïl, due to faulty oïl pump (worn out - loss of oïl pressure) . 

I sourced suppliers to rebuild cylinder head & blocks, but have difficulty finding a replacement camshaft & tappets, as well as a lube oïl pump. 

I am now looking for one old Perkins M 4.154, laid up somewhere in the world (as close as possible to Europe would be best) to purchase & use for parts, then refit as spare, as I feel more confident to rebuild & run an old engine than to go for the new generation, driven by computers, to sail in out of the main sea-routes.

Interested to hear from you all who did replace your engines.

Fair winds (as I hope to return to the same)

christian Alby - Désirade VIII - Maramu # 116 - now in Marina Atlantico Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

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