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Generators & Motors General Discussion Antique Generators, Light Plants and Old Electric Motors: Questions and answers about restoring and showing old power generation systems.

Generators & Motors General Discussion

VH4D Wisconsin Engine


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  #1  
Old 05-11-2008, 05:17 PM
Richard F Richard F is offline
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Default VH4D Wisconsin Engine

This VH4D Wisconsin was made in 1985. This engine is all original. After using it for about 4 hrs recently with no problem or indication of anything going wrong, i was finished my work and turned it off. The next day I started it and it sounded like an old steam jenny. It was huffing, puffing and blowing air pressure out of several places of the head gasket. So I knew instantly that the head gasket had blown. I went ahead and pulled the head off and guess what I find? A hole about the size of a quarter in the top of one of the pistons. In fact, it looked like the piston came up, hit a rock, and busted a hole in the top. These are not light weight components. I am going on replacing the piston and head gasket and whatever else I need to do for repair. And double and triple check everything in that engine. My question is simple, does anyone have any idea what would have caused this??
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Old 05-13-2008, 01:50 AM
Gary in Ohio Gary in Ohio is offline
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Default Re: VH4D Wisconsin Engine

Hello Richard - - -

Just a wild guess here - - -Air cooled engine? running at heavy load for four hours? - -Shut down with out a cool down period? - - Detonation at shut down severe enough to blow a hole in a hot aluminum piston. Thats my guess.
Best Regards: - - Gary.
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Old 05-14-2008, 10:25 AM
Richard F Richard F is offline
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Default Re: VH4D Wisconsin Engine

How long should cool down period be?
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Old 05-15-2008, 01:35 AM
Gary in Ohio Gary in Ohio is offline
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Default Re: VH4D Wisconsin Engine

Richard - - I would pull back on the throttle until the engine is close to a "Dead" idle if possible. Allow it to idle for a few minutes, until the pistons and cylinders cool down a bit, then try to shut it down. - - the very hot engine creates a condition where the engine tries to continue running after the ignition is shut off. by fuel that is still being fed to the combustion chambers. - -actually trying to run as a diesel - -only the fireing is violent, and uncontrolled - -sometimes trying to run itself backwards, knocking and running on until it finally shuts itself down. This knocking, is the fuel igniting permature - -trying to push the piston down while it is coming up for the next power stroke. - - -this action is known to blow holes in pistons, and sometimes bending connecting rods. - - a cooled down engine will usually shut down without the "Dieseling" effect. - -thus no damage. If the engine tries to "Diesel" at shut down - -turn on the ignition to restore controlled fuel ignition, and smooth idle until it is cool enough to shut off. Running it out of fuel while idling will also make a safe shut down. Best regards: Gary.
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Old 06-09-2008, 09:31 AM
Richard F Richard F is offline
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Default Re: VH4D Wisconsin Engine

Ok thanks guys now I have some ideas on what may have happened. Now I need to find the left and right cylinders and pistons unbored and standard size. Any ideas?
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Old 06-09-2008, 09:12 PM
Gunny Gunny is offline
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Default Re: VH4D Wisconsin Engine

An engine will burn a hole in a piston in short order of the mixture is too lean and the timing a little off. Check both when you get it back together.
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Old 05-30-2009, 11:55 PM
james0870 james0870 is offline
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Default Re: VH4D Wisconsin Engine

anyone know were I can get a repair manual.

thought I could down;oad one here
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Old 05-31-2009, 12:27 AM
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Talking Re: VH4D Wisconsin Engine

Did you try Wisconsin Motors? They are still making engines.....
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Bruce in alaska
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Old 05-31-2009, 12:54 AM
Richard W. Richard W. is offline
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Default Re: VH4D Wisconsin Engine

Ebay often has manuals and sometimes new pistons.

Richard W.
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Old 05-31-2009, 09:06 PM
jdunmyer jdunmyer is offline
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Default Re: VH4D Wisconsin Engine

Gary has the right idea about cooling the engine down before shutdown, but in my experience, the engine will cool much quicker if it's running well above low idle. About 1000 -> 1200 RPM will give much better flow of cooling air. Let it run at that speed for at least 5 minutes if it's been working hard and/or ambient temperature is high, then pull throttle to dead idle and shut 'er down.
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Old 06-01-2009, 11:28 AM
Raymond Raymond is offline
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Default Re: VH4D Wisconsin Engine

You didn't say if you were near it when it shut down. Does it have remote stop or were you standing beside it. Magneto or battery ignition? If in fact the damage was done as hypothesized above surely you would have heard the ruckus they create with the after-running which as stated above always occurs with the engine reversing repeatedly blowing exhaust out the intake (if an oil bath air cleaner is installed, filled, it will blow some oil out) with a distinct Knocking noise. The problem I have is that I have worked with these engines over 40 years and have yet to see one detonate or after-run. The compression ratio is only 6.5:1 or so and unless you had some real low octane fuel itisn't likely. You didn't say Gasoline or LP fuel? Enough detonation to cause this much damage should leave signs of heat damage like melted top ring land. It wasn't an LP engine converted to gasoline was it? That makes the compression ratio around 10:1. I believe the damage occured while running under load.
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