The venerable Perkins 4.108
|Aveling & Porter Steamroller|
After World War II, Perkins found they needed to make smaller engines to fit the smaller post-war cars of Great Britain. They successfully began a period of development and technical advancements in the 1950s that led to their engines running a variety of cars and delivery vans; even an Alfa Romeo. The venerable 4.108 engine came along in the latter part of that decade and found success in the agricultural equipment sector. At one point, a 4.108 was installed in a VW Transporter leading to a three year contract for a slightly larger engine while VW developed their own.
In the 1960s the marine business discovered the 4.108 and the engine’s real legacy was established. Between 1958 & 1992, 500,000 4.108s were made; many tens of thousands found in medium sized sailboats of the era. One Perkins powered Francis Chichester’s round the world Gipsy Moth IV; the first solo
|Chichester & Gipsy Moth IV|
Used everywhere from tractors and agricultural pumps to British tanks and sailboats, the Perkins was known for its rugged durability and reliability. I crewed on a boat where the owner had spent nearly half again as much as he had paid for the boat to resurrect the boat's Perkins engine rather than replace it with a newer one. We pushed that engine hard all the way down the East Coast and it never even hiccuped. I kind of joined a cult on that trip. I now own the same brand sailboat and I found a Perkins 4.108 to power her.
When I found the Perkins it was too early for my project, but it had been lovingly rebuilt as a hobby project. It was torn down, cleaned up, individual parts painted or replaced, and rebuilt with new gaskets and seals. All that and it was only $1500 more than the rusty, dusty Perkins I’d have had to rebuild myself. And I suck as a diesel mechanic. I jumped on the deal and arranged for the engine to be stored here at the marina. At the time, I thought it would only be several weeks before I could get at the installation.
Part of the delay was that Emma’s engine space had been stripped and used for storage. I had to purchase, install and plumb two fuel tanks; purchase and install thruhulls; buy a sea-strainer and all the
The best possible news has come!! This last week, Walton, the engine guru, started my 4.108 just fine and ran it for half an hour. He replaced a couple minor parts and has a plan which I have approved. The projects that were giving me the most nightmares all relate to installing the engine. Walton is going to
My #svEmma project has felt like it was caught it in the doldrums, not moving forward, but now with some positive news and proper forward motion I am super excited and just feel much better about everything. Life is frikkin good.