Perkins Diesel Mechanic
I hoping to find someone to do some maintenance on my Perkins 4108 diesel engine that powers my home generator.
Does anyone know of someone or have experience with a company on STX they might recommend who does this type of work?
I've learned at lot of skills living on STX but fixing diesels is not one of them!
The Perkins 4108 is a very dependable engine and actually not very complicated even in a marine installation - there are excellent manuals available online and parts are almost universally available.
Clean fuel, tight connections and sufficient airflow are the most critical and common problems, they are quite simple otherwise, and I have even rebuilt some parts of them hanging upside down in a boat engine room with little clearance or room to reach some parts.
Routine maintenance is the key factor, no engine likes to be ignored.
Start with this and print it.
Indeed Exit Zero, the Perkins 4108 is an awesome engine! However, mine like most 4108's has suffered from a massive oil leak from the crankshaft rear rope seal. There are kits available and new seals that have been better designed to alleviate this.
That said, I'm not a very confident back yard mechanic so I'd happy to pay someone competent to do the work for me. I can easily source the needed parts, but would feel better if someone else did it.
Like most challenges of island living, I'll do it myself and be a better man for it if I have to.
You can also check the yellow pages for diesel generator distributors that sell and service.
My guy is a backyard mechanic who is great. Used to be an engineer on large yachts. He's been maintaining my various generators (gas and diesel for different properties) for over 20 years. I call him in May for an annual maintenance prior to hurricane season beginning and, of course, whenever there's a problem which luckily has been rare.
I did just call Antilles Power and got the scoop on how they work. They have a guy on St. Croix. Initially, he comes over and does a full inspection of the unit and assesses what needs to be done. That first visit is a flat rate of $385.
Then, he comes back with the estimate for the needed parts and service. Should you proceed with that, you'll pay $95 per hour plus parts for the repairs. This seems fair to me.
I'm sure they're reputable, but, has anyone dealt with Antilles Power and could relate their experience?
Since you are dealing with an engine common in boats - I would try networking with the STX boating sector, I am not familiar enough with STX to recommend where though.
There are more than likely good diesel mechanics working on STX.
The quotes you got for an hourly rate are the high end of normal.
I almost became the Antilles Power "guy on St Croix", when I moved here, but went with a better (for me) opportunity. I met their GM and their St Thomas rep, and eventually the owner. All seemed like good people, and they do know power generation. At the time I interviewed, they were concentrating on commercial accounts, and actively discouraged private/homeowner type business by pricing high.
All that being said, I agree with EZ: the 4108 is the same engine whether on a generator or in a boat; accessibility is the major issue. I would try to find a marine mechanic, they are all about getting into tight spots and getting the job done. I'd help if I could, I just don't have the time. Best of luck!
As you say , yes you could do it yourself so just extend that thought out and really any competent diesel truck or car mechanic could probably do it - probably much quicker too. So maybe asking around at some of the heavy equipment places could uncover a mechanic who would be happy to do your work on their off times, evenings or weekends.
You might try Daves Diesel in STT or Parts and Power in Tortola - both Perkins dealers and ask who is doing work on STX - for sure ordering the parts and having them on hand will give whoever you get to help you a major headstart on the project.
Good Luck - I am quite sure you will find someone and hopefully they will become your go-to person in the future.