Hand starting a Volvo 2001

kingfisher

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This summer, I took a friend out, her first time sailing. After spending a romantic day on the water: tall ships coming in towards Antwerp for the Cutty Sark, a bottle of chilled white wine, a nice tune on the radio, we decided to head back into port by 2100hrs. Remember the chilled wine and the radio ? Well the battery certainly did. The engine turned over once and then died.
Now here's us, just 4 Nm from our port, but on a dying evening breeze, a tide that starting to foul, in the busiest waterway of Europe. Forget the Dover TSS, never mind the Thames: try the Westerscheld if you dare.

Luckily the nav lights, instruments and VHF held on. With a lot of luck and guidance from traffic control Terneuzen, we managed to berth the boat under sail at 0100hrs without getting killed or run over . But it was damn close a few times. Never been so scared in my life in 2 bft breeze.

So: CAN YOU HAND START A VOLVO 2001, AND HOW?

Obi-Wan
 

VMALLOWS

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Nice story. But surely only you know if you have the equipmet (starting handle, muscle power, adequate swinging room for the handle) to answer the question!

I can easily start my BUKT20 on the handle if its been less than about 12 hours from warm ; and I'm sure I'd manage it from cold if I really had to.

I know its controversial, but do you carry some 'easystart' or other proprietary ether spray. It really does work! Personally I think a small blast is much better than cranking the thing cold for ages.
 

steve

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If you've got any tips on how to handstart the BUKH I'd appreciate it. Me and all my friends (some quite strong) have tried with no luck.

Thanks
 

charles_reed

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So when are you going to fit a second battery

I once ran the two batteries in the boat down and finally managed to hand-start the 2GM20 Yanmar (without a starting handle).

I have to confess to the spur of complete terror being the missing, magic ingredient together with decompressors.

Immediately after that I fitted a third battery and an Adverc smart regulator - now I always keep one battery on standby, unless the engine is running.
I found having a dedicated "engine" battery to be worse than a waste of time - they only last 3-4 years and so make a point of rotating the batteries' usage.
 

dah

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Am I being cynical or is it just new/newer engines where hand starting seems to be a problem. I have a 1978 Centaur, fitted with a Volvo MD11c engine, also 1978. I have had the boat since 1995 ,and have had no problems to date ( touch wood ) starting the engine with the handle. Or am I just lucky?
 

pvb

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Yes, must have a second battery...

...although I disagree that it can't be dedicated to engine starting. The circumstances of a dedicated engine starting battery are no worse (and in some respects better) than the battery in a family car.

Interestingly, even when the engine has provision for a starting handle, the boatbuilder usually surrounds it with non-removable furniture making it impossible to get a starting handle in place. Last boat I had with a starting handle was a Westerly with something like a Volvo MD2. Just after I got it, I tried hand-starting it. Decompress; swing the handle; get it spinning; gently put one decompression lever down; engine stops dead! Maybe, as Charles said, terror is the essential factor.
 

brian_neale

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Re: Yes, must have a second battery...

I have a 1GM, which I regularly start on the handle. However, there is a decided knack to it! Not least is to make sure that the handle is inserted so that you reach compression on the upstroke of the handle, not trying to push downwards.

I believe that there is an "extra" available from at least some Yanmar dealers which is basically a pulley which bolts to the front of the crankshaft pulley. You wind a bit of rope round it, stand above it (maybe in the companionway?) pull to get it just after compression, and then pull like crazy. I am told that you can get the engine spinning fast enough to get it over compression and fire, without needing to use the decompressor. Not actually tried it myself, but with a smallish engine maybe something of the kind could work with other makes.
 

scottie

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in theory yes

but you need to have all your ducks in a row
if you look at the front of the engine there is a plastic cap at the end of the camshaft
take the cap off if the cam shaft has a hole in it youcan get apin to put in the hole
you will need the eng number to get correct pin

then if you have a decompessor lever at the front of the rocker cover you push it over

you then use the cranking handle to turn the the engine

so far so good butb you have to turn it fast enough whilst you dond hit the flour smashing you knuckles and hope that the engine is warm

so in the correct installation with all things ok yes you can start it but !!!

betterto have a second battery as trying all this on a leeshore is not best option
 

VMALLOWS

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The secret really seems to be as much warmth as possible at the air intake. BUKH do (or did) offer 2 versions of cold start devices. One ('thermostart') is a common industrial item that uses diesel and a relatively small electrical element to more or less create a 'fire' in the pre-combustion chamber. It is more complicated to install (though not difficult). A later idea was simply an electric heater element in the air intake.

For years I have achieved the same result by pumping the hot air from the Eberspacher straight into the air intake filter for say 15 minutes.

The real touble is that if you've already exhausted your batteries, you won't have the heater, etc.

Yes, there are some more extreme methods if necessary, but someone else can sugest them.
 

EdEssery

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I have just bought a boat with a Volvo 2001 of 1987 vintage. It came with a starting handle, has a decompression lever and appears to have room to swing it.

Hand starting the engine is definitely on the list of jobs to do but has not got to the top yet!!

I imagine it will be nigh on impossible from cold because the electric starter even takes ages to crank it then - anybody got any ideas on how far forward the throttle should be for a cold start?

From days of yore when I used to hand start the engine in an old sailing club workboat that had no electric starter, the key tips are:
1. Have a second person there to push the compression lever down
2. Make sure the compression lever is fully open - there are often two stages to them
3. Keep cranking as the compression lever goes down
4. Keep your thumb on the same side of the starter handle as your fingers!

Good luck! I'll be trying mine in a few weeks when I've got a few higher priority things sorted.

Ed
 

scottie

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Re: 2001 cold start

the stop cable automatically sets the cold start when you push it back in and allows the fuel rack to open fully
 

kingfisher

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Thanks for the answers, people.
Guess what ? I coughed up 250£ the week after that for two batteries and a decent charger.

Theory in hindsight:
If you have a nearly depleted battery: lift the decompression lever, and get the flywheel spinning with the last amps in the battery. Then slam down the decomp lever. Would this have worked ?

Obi-Wan
 

Juggler7823

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The procedure to handstart a 2001 really needs 2 people, one to turn engine over, one to drop decompression lever:
1) Push the button in to take it out of gear and move the throttle to at least halfway
2) PUll the start/stop handle up, then push down
3)Lift the decompression handle
4) Turn over as fast as possible, then drop decompression lever, continue turning if possible.
You need good compression to start with. If you need to turn over with the starter for some time the compression is probably down. Check valves/rings etc

Roy
 

ChrisJ

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This guy is single handed around the world, and couldn't get his engine started in order to re-charge the batteries....


Michel Desjoyeaux.....

With a system of blocks and ropes he has managed to transfer the boom power to the alternator's block. He rolls a rope around this block (like on an outboard engine). As he hasn't got enough power to pull with just his own human strength, he has attached it to another rope at the end of the boom. When everything is ready to start (injector slightly unscrewed to minimize the compression, pre-heating done etc.) he trims the boom into the middle of the boat, then bears away to sail on a beam wind. When all the system is stiff enough, he eases the main sheet. The wind force on the sail drag the rope along which transform on the engine to a rotating movement and starts the diesel. "I have never been so happy to hear an engine. I kept the batteries being charged during three hours. The system has worked once, so it should work again. I am really relieved as things were not so simple in the last few days. I need 5 minutes to install the system, it's not as handy as a normal key, but at least I can start my engine."
 

Juggler7823

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Its not luck, just the design of the engine. To start an engine over 10hp requires a big heavy flywheel to have enough momemtum to push the engine over the compression stroke.

The Volvo 2001 10 hp has the same flywheel as the 28hp 2003. Its probably not possible to handstart the 2003. They even stopped fitting the pin to the handle shaft


Roy
 

kingfisher

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What decompression lever

I thought the cutoff cable operated the decompression lever ? Or should I be looking for something else ?
Where is the decompression lever on a VOLVO PENTA 2001 ?

Obi-Wan
 

scottie

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Re: What decompression lever

stop cable stops engine by staving it of fuel
1 duck down
decompession lever not always fitted but if fitted at front of rocker cover
 

Juggler7823

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Re: What decompression lever

You are obviously confused about starting a Volvo 2001. There should be a black pull handle somewhere in the cockpit or locker. This does 2 things. If the engine is NOT running, it advances the fuel rack past its normal position to give excess fuel for starting. When the engine is running, pulling the handle stops the engine. Remember to push it back in or the engine will struggle to start.

The decompression lever is a small traiangular shaped lever located on the front of the engine rocker cover. This should normally be down. Lifting it vertical pushes a valve down slightly reducing the compression.

For the full details of how to use the decompression lever and the cold start see my instructions in a previous post yesterday.


Roy
 

EdEssery

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Re: What decompression lever

The Marine Engineer who serviced my engine told me the decompression lever should be moved against small resistance past the vertical until it is lying approximately 180 degrees to its normal postion when the engine is running if you want to fully decompress the engine....

Ed
 
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