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Can anyone ID this Detroit Diesel? - Page 3

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Posted by Steve Lusardi on December 22, 2010, 5:09 pm
I am VERY familiar with this motor. I have built several and have many spare
parts in storage. I run a 3-53 as my auxiliary in the
sailboat I have been building .  These DDA Detroits are very customizable. Not
only do they come both left hand and right hand,
the governor and supercharger (airbox blower) can be on the left or right side.
The head can be swapped around as well, along with
the cam and countershaft. You can take accessory power off both the cam and
countershaft front and back. The fuel feed pump can be
driven off the left or right side of the flywheel housing, as well as the
governor.  You can get an aortic start kit that mounts
in the airbox access port opposite the blower. You have a choice of 4 different
governors for the motor and the list goes on and
on. They are built like a Swiss watch. They hate exhaust back pressure. There
are a myriad of fuel injectors that work on this.
You will probably find it has S45s or S50s, but I use the newer N type injector

The most common failure is head cracking across the exhaust valve seats and it
is almost always caused by loss of coolant and the
operator sleeping at the switch. The early versions of this motor had a two
exhaust valve head. Most of those were stationary
units (Pumps & Generators). In the late sixties the US Army used an aluminum
version of this motor with an Iron 4 valve head in
their Gamma Goat rough terrain articulated field truck. These were phased out in
the eighties, but these units can still be found.
Good luck with the project. If you take some more pictures, I will be able to
tell you more. As far as weight, they can vary quite
a bit based on its configuration, but that engine, assuming it's iron, with
gearbox and radiator around 900 lbs. As it has the old
type valve cover, you will find a build plate along one side. On that plate will
be the entire build specs....don't lose it.

1970's. It is a bit odd, as very few were

The standard engine is rated at 85 hp continuous at

assume about 110 hp with the turbo.  Core value is

Posted by Ignoramus29073 on December 22, 2010, 7:38 pm

Steve, this is great. The engine is in my enclosed trailer:


Since the trailer is enclosed, I will try to unfreeze it tonight with
a space heater. I can put a big light in the trailer and work on it in
relative comfort.

Do you know if I can find manuals for this engine online?

Also, while I am dreaming, let's say I get it started,
hypothetically. All it needs is fuel and cranking, after all.

How do I shut it down?


Posted by Morris Dovey on December 22, 2010, 7:56 pm
 On 12/22/2010 1:38 PM, Ignoramus29073 wrote:

Shut off the fuel supply (and/or stop cranking)? ;)

Morris Dovey

Posted by Ignoramus29073 on December 22, 2010, 8:39 pm
A working engine would not stop if I discontinue cranking:)

I like the first suggestion however, so: how do I shut off fuel
supply on this one?

Don't those Detroits have a special air baffle (slam door) to stop
runaway engine operation? Steve Lusardi must know what I am talking

That's why I am worried about shutting this DD down:



Posted by clare on December 22, 2010, 8:58 pm
 On Wed, 22 Dec 2010 14:39:52 -0600, Ignoramus29073

 A piece of 5/8 or 4/4" plywood slapped over the inlet will do it.
Don't try anything less substantial. I saw a set of coveralls go right
through one. If the turbo oil seal lets go, shutting them down can be

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