It’s all run­ning a bit rough

Canal Boat - - Back Cabin: -

QMy 13-year-old Perkins Perama M30 three-cylin­der diesel starts fine, but has be­gun to sound rough at around 1,600rpm, and very rough at 2,000rpm. Be­tween 1,900 and 2,000 the ex­haust takes a very harsh note and makes a ‘pop pop’ sound, with black smoke emit­ted. At 2,200rpm and above it runs fine. At no load the vi­bra­tion is sub­dued to some de­gree.

It seems to be get­ting worse. The fit­ter at our lo­cal boat­yard sug­gested that un­less the prob­lem was fixed, the en­gine mount­ings had a lim­ited life. Any ideas? SI­MON BILLIS, via email

ATONY REPLIES: This sounds very much like a mis­fire, and I sus­pect the in­jec­tors need a good ser­vice. If you feel con­fi­dent to take them out, find a lo­cal com­pany that ser­vices them for the trans­port trade – look in the Yel­low Pages, go on­line, or ask a garage. I rather sus­pect that a nee­dle is stick­ing. At the same time, check the valve clear­ances.

If that doesn’t cure it, get the in­jec­tor pump checked in the same way, but that will re­quire tim­ing and it is not for the in­ex­pe­ri­enced.

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