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2+2 Guy

Looking For Advice on a Detroit Diesel

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My son is looking at a Speicher auger backfiller for his farm drainage business. A local equipment dealer has an older Speicher with a 453 Detroit Diesel engine in it. They told him to take it out and try it out. Engine starts, runs and sounds good with no major leaks. My question is regarding the oil pressure. It carries around 25 -30 psi. Just wondering if this is common on these engines. It is an older machine so I'm sure it is showing some wear. Also looking for any advice as to what to look for other than the obvious things once we get it in the field. Hour meter and tach are not working so I can't give an accurate idea of the hours on the machine. It appears as though the engine has been changed at some time in the machines life. Dealer bought it at an auction so they don't have any history other than location. It's kind of old and ugly but the price is right for a young man starting out. We checked all fluids and changed the engine oil & filter. Hoping to get it in the field this week if the weather cooperates. Any thoughts and advice appreciated. I have no experience with Detroit Diesels but I do love the way they sound.

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Our "Detroit Diesel"  has the same oil pressure,  I was told,  10 pounds of oil pressure for every 1000 RPM's,  We have a pressure gauge with a switch to hold till the engine oil pressure gets to operating pressure,  The local contractor has one of the "Speicher units"  I think they all look rough after a few years of use.  Good Luck!!

Jim Droscha

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We have a pressure gauge with a switch to hold till the engine oil pressure gets to operating pressure.

That is called a Murphy Switch. It will shut the engine down if oil pressure is lost. A good safety device for engines running unattended.

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never heard of the machine. looks neat. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36U64U42nyU

according to Jim's rule, this one should be running about 8# oil pressure, though it sure doesn't sound like a Detroit.😁

 

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2 minutes ago, Diesel Doctor said:

That is called a Murphy Switch. It will shut the engine down if oil pressure is lost. A good safety device for engines running unattended

Had those on all our irrigation engines. 

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53 series DD were pretty common in the day.  Watch for blow by on the engine, burning oil, and find where it’s leaking, because they all leak or something is up 

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1 hour ago, DroschaFamilyDairy said:

Our "Detroit Diesel"  has the same oil pressure,  I was told,  10 pounds of oil pressure for every 1000 RPM's,  We have a pressure gauge with a switch to hold till the engine oil pressure gets to operating pressure,  The local contractor has one of the "Speicher units"  I think they all look rough after a few years of use.  Good Luck!!

Jim Droscha

Thanks for the info, Jim. Sounds like 25 psi isn’t too bad. I do have a photo-tach that I could check the RPM with. Sounds like we might be able to give it a try tomorrow. 

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Good little engine. Just need to find a Detroit guy to set inj and valves. If anything happens to it I am sure you could find a 4bt Cummins to go in its place cheap enough. That is one place if warm those old Detroit’s wanted straight 30 or 40 wt in them don’t know about cold weather what was recommended 

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53 series were 2800 rpm range engines.

71 series were 1800 rpm range engines.

Old Detroit service men always told me to run straight 40 W oil and keep the rpms up (listen to the music).

****You might want to check the fan bearing for any slack.  We had a 453 on an irrigation unit where the fan bearing went out and fan went through the radiator.  Seems like on the 53 series the fan is an isolated mount from the water pump?

Tough and  very forgiving old engines.👍

 

DD

 

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We have a 671 in a truck and you're always amazed IF the oil pressure climbs faster than the air compressor does ......

Sounds normal in an old two stroke hearing killing machine

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I just sold a 3'53. Oil pressure ran 55 lbs. Make sure the emergency shut off flapper works in case of a runaway.

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28 minutes ago, redneckhippie said:

I just sold a 3'53. Oil pressure ran 55 lbs. Make sure the emergency shut off flapper works in case of a runaway.

I was going to say they run normal oil pressure 25 to 50 usually.,

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Have a Detrot in our old Buckeye wheel machine. Good engine, just noisy. We've had to use emergency shut off few times when we hit a stone and killed it. Ran backwards. Hard day digging I'll add a qt of oil.

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10 hours ago, ny bill o said:

never heard of the machine. looks neat. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36U64U42nyU

according to Jim's rule, this one should be running about 8# oil pressure, though it sure doesn't sound like a Detroit.😁

 

That's a beautiful machine in that video, Bill. A lot newer and a lot bigger than what we are looking at. Maybe someday. 

That ground in Colorado looks like beach sand compared to what we have in NWOH.

Here's a video of a machine similar to what my son is considering and in some ground similar to ours.

Thanks to everyone for the replies.

 

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Just grease the steps so your mad when you get it started, helps in my 4 71 on the payloader, 

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14 hours ago, DroschaFamilyDairy said:

Our "Detroit Diesel"  has the same oil pressure,  I was told,  10 pounds of oil pressure for every 1000 RPM's,  We have a pressure gauge with a switch to hold till the engine oil pressure gets to operating pressure,  The local contractor has one of the "Speicher units"  I think they all look rough after a few years of use.  Good Luck!!

Jim Droscha

Murphy Switch. 

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39 minutes ago, mader656 said:

Just grease the steps so your mad when you get it started, helps in my 4 71 on the payloader, 

I thought you were suppose to slam your hand in the door. Whatever works I guess.

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Awe come on those Detroit’s aren’t that bad. In a pay loader I would think a disaster though. Most payloaders the torque converter is iffy at best than a wide open Detroit would not make easy operation. 

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15 minutes ago, redneckhippie said:

I thought you were suppose to slam your hand in the door. Whatever works I guess.

No doors 

 

9 minutes ago, dale560 said:

Awe come on those Detroit’s aren’t that bad. In a pay loader I would think a disaster though. Most payloaders the torque converter is iffy at best than a wide open Detroit would not make easy operation. 

a Cummins would be preferable...

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Look up "bus grease monkey" on youtube. All he works on is detroits. Hes a traveling antique bus mechanic. Tons of good footage of him working on old detroits. He shows what and how it can go wrong.

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This is obviously huge in comparison but I wonder if they make a smaller version of a power dozer to fit in a D4 size machine.  If there was a quick way to attach it to the blade I would think that would be way more versatile for a small dirt moving company.  

 

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That’s quite an attachment. Never saw one of those before. Pretty neat concept but I’ll bet it comes with a pretty hefty price tag. Like you said a scaled down unit on a small dozer would work. 

Brown Bear makes a nice auger backfiller attachment for the larger skid loaders. 

Another local drainage contractor has one mounted on a Hydro 186. 

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22 hours ago, ny bill o said:

never heard of the machine. looks neat. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36U64U42nyU

according to Jim's rule, this one should be running about 8# oil pressure, though it sure doesn't sound like a Detroit.😁

 

That's a 7.3L POWERSTROKE idling you hear in the video, a '95 to '97 vintage.   A 4-53 Detroit sounds more like a string trimmer, or leaf blower with with a blown out muffler. The 1960 vintage Austin-Western road grader the township had used 4-53 Detroit, it revved to what you thought was full throttle then ran on up another 500 rpm. The '74 Austin-Western had a 4-71,  think it ran around 2000-2100.  Scarifying roads was really hard work on those machines, Austin-Western graders were all wheel drive, 6x6, and they would spin all six tires at times. Those Detroits would really bark.  I ran the Oliver 770 diesel following the grader rototilling the windrows of oiled dirt that came off the scarifyer or grader blade, the smaller pieces made better roads.  But I didn't get too close to those screaming Detroits!

That trench closer is a neat machine. A 4BT Cummins would be a nice engine in them too.

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Actually a well tuned any series of Detroit makes a sweet sound at idle very smooth with slight buzz and their ramp up to wide open is unique. When they synchronize the injectors, set the valves and all the gov gaps they are really a good engine for their time period. Remember it is a design from the 30s that lived until the 90s with great success. Cummins And  Cat didn’t come on until late 70s. Back in the early 70s you had Perkins, continental, Hercules ,Buda and Waukesha that were more popular small industrial engines. I always say it take a Detroit guy to make a Detroit run like a Detroit 

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I especially liked 2-cycle Detroit Diesels that had a turbocharger added to them.  The turbo reduced the harshness of the N/A exhaust note and you tended to hear the sound of the Roots blower a bit more and added the pleasant whistle of a turbo.  I agree with dale560 about their sound at idle and the quick ramp up to full throttle.  I also like the lope that Detroits often have after cold start-up.

I always had to chuckle when people would say, "Detroit Diesel - the most efficient means of turning diesel fuel into smoke and noise known to man."

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