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Vintage Diesel and Oil Engines

How do you Identify Detroit Diesels?


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  #1  
Old 04-27-2018, 11:10:56 PM
Tracy T Tracy T is offline
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Question How do you Identify Detroit Diesels?

hello folks, dumb question but the title says it all! all i can tell you all is its a detroit its a 4 cylinder and iy has a blower. i have many many questions but i need to id what i have before i ask any and i dont have a clue what i am working with! it is in a older michigan loader and has the older external regulated gm alernatoer if that helps date the thing, where to look for numbers to help you all help me id the thing would be a great start.
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Old 04-27-2018, 11:53:59 PM
ronm ronm is offline
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Default Re: how do you identify detroit diesels?

The serial number is coded as to the model. Easiest way to tell a 71 from a 53 is the valve cover-71 has hand-grip knobs in the center, 53 has stove bolts around the outside.
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Old 04-28-2018, 12:02:20 AM
slip knot slip knot is offline
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Default Re: how do you identify detroit diesels?

Well in the shrimping fleet, they are in the boats that billow out tons of smoke on start up and run really rough until they warm up. They also have a bunch of oil diapers laying in the bilge......
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Old 04-28-2018, 12:05:18 AM
The Diesel Doctor The Diesel Doctor is offline
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Default Re: how do you identify detroit diesels?

The model and serial # of a 4-53 and a 4-71 are stamped on the upper side of the block. Serial numbers beginning with 4D are 53s and those with 4A are 71s. AL
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Old 04-28-2018, 09:03:55 AM
Heins Heins is offline
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Default Re: How do you Identify Detroit Diesels?

I'm not sure but I think the 71's have inspection covers on the opposite side of the block from the blower and the 53's don't.

Last edited by Heins; 04-28-2018 at 09:04:52 AM. Reason: add a line
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Old 04-28-2018, 10:19:30 AM
Tracy T Tracy T is offline
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Default Re: How do you Identify Detroit Diesels?

ok i know there are some numbers stamped into the block just below the head , i will get it cleaned up and post them. this motor was a real bear to get started but once started it runs really well. not much smoke once running.
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Old 04-28-2018, 01:52:12 PM
Vanman Vanman is offline
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Default Re: How do you Identify Detroit Diesels?

Assuming there are no fuel delivery problems, and it isn't super cold, she must be WAY down on compression. Normally Detroits start as soon as the first injector fires.
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Old 04-28-2018, 02:14:44 PM
Tracy T Tracy T is offline
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Default Re: How do you Identify Detroit Diesels?

i assume there is fuel delivery problems, both the primary and secondary filter had water in them. i was the last one that had it running and it had water in the system then and the primary filter cartrage was taken out at some point before i worked on it. i replaced both filters a year and a half ago and it may have seen 2 hours of run time since then. i am pretty sure after reading and looking at pictures it is a 4-53.question, what regulates fuel pressure?
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Old 04-28-2018, 04:15:57 PM
Norm W Norm W is offline
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Default Re: How do you Identify Detroit Diesels?

The fuel is restricted leaving the head. The pump has a built in relief valve. Between the restriction and a high flow you should get minimum 20psi of fuel pressure at 2100rpm.
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Old 04-28-2018, 05:19:47 PM
Tracy T Tracy T is offline
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Default Re: How do you Identify Detroit Diesels?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Norm W View Post
The fuel is restricted leaving the head.
under the valve cover or outside the engine on the return side? if it is outside this may be the problem, whats there for a return line is NOT factory by any means!
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Old 04-28-2018, 07:26:01 PM
pegasuspinto pegasuspinto is offline
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Default Re: How do you Identify Detroit Diesels?

My first thought, was on a quiet night after the storms or hurricane or earthquake or nuclear holocaust has knocked out all the power, listen for the roar that sounds like someone tied a semi truck wide open and it's ready to spit out it's crankshaft, and you will likely find a Detroit at the source. Or listen for the last running engine on the planet

As for the smoke, at least in power generation, I've found Detroits to make a lot less smoke then most other engines of their time period.
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Old 04-28-2018, 07:28:50 PM
John Schwiebert John Schwiebert is offline
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Default Re: How do you Identify Detroit Diesels?

The restriction is a fitting that screws into the head. The return line is not the restriction
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Old 04-28-2018, 11:18:25 PM
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FWurth FWurth is offline
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Default Re: How do you Identify Detroit Diesels?

We was always told how to ID one in a truck was to look under the front, if there was a oil puddle under it, You had a Detroit! "If there ain't any oil under it, there ain't any oil in it!"
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Old 04-29-2018, 08:48:22 AM
Tracy T Tracy T is offline
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Default Re: How do you Identify Detroit Diesels?

ok we will see if its a bear to start next time which should be some time this week, if it fires right off i am not going any deeper. i personally think it runs out of fuel @ 1/4 tank of fuel and we spent the first day fighting air in the system and ran down the battery. the poor thing need worked from time to time, when they get done with it they will park it and forget all about it until they need it again which may be years down the road. this is my first dealing with a older detroit, and to be honest i am starting to like them!
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Old 04-29-2018, 09:19:10 AM
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Default Re: How do you Identify Detroit Diesels?

You do realize the GM Co. came up with the design shortly after the Roswell UFO incident, right? Proof of alien technology? You be the judge. . .
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Old 04-29-2018, 10:32:15 AM
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Default Re: How do you Identify Detroit Diesels?

alien technology..... well if so they are some pretty cool aliens!
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