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Thread: Just saved a SA-250 D3 152 from the scrapyard, need some help with it

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    Question Just saved a SA-250 D3 152 from the scrapyard, need some help with it

    Howdy guys, been a while since I stopped by. I've sent a few folks over this way though. As the title states, I just picked up a SA250 D3 152, code 9599 from the scrapper for $400. It appears to be 99% complete. I have a few pieces of sheetmetal not pictured, and a part of the rotor that was removed which is also not pictured. I will get pics of the other pieces and add them in a little bit. It looks like the brushes have been pulled out of the holders, so I'm guessing they were trying to troubleshoot. Can I tie the brushes back out of the way and see about getting the engine running, or do these require output on the welding alternator to start/run? Anything I should check or look for before trying to spin it over by hand? I did check the oil, no coolant or water contamination. The radiator didn't appear to have much coolant in it. Haven't checked the fuel tank or filter yet.

    Here's the pics I have. https://imgur.com/gallery/7tkiolb I'll go lay out the sheetmetal and the rotor piece, snap pics, and add those to the gallery. TIA for any help.

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    Re: Just saved a SA-250 D3 152 from the scrapyard, need some help with it

    New gallery link. https://imgur.com/gallery/LztmwEW


    Found a couple of wires that had been cut/severed. Also looks like the wires to the oil pressure sending unit need at least a section replaced. Radiator is indeed full of clean coolant. Tank is full of old diesel. I'm going to drain the oil and fuel. Nothing in IM407 is telling me what weight of oil to use. Nothing about the air filter either. I know this is a perkins engine, but no idea where to look on the casting for ID. Just found info on where to look for the serial number, so maybe I can find a manual. The coarse current rheostat is stuck, so I'm going to have to pull the hood for a good look at it.
    Last edited by machinisttx; 08-29-2020 at 04:16 PM.

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    Re: Just saved a SA-250 D3 152 from the scrapyard, need some help with it

    Got the cut/severed wires and the ones with missing insulation replaced or spliced. Fixed the coarse rheostat. Turned out that the spring was bent/misaligned. Replaced the fuel return line and siphoned ten gallons of stinky old red diesel out. Still another 3 gallons or so in the tank. Was going to pull the tank, until I realized it was banded like a pallet. I'd still pull it, but we don't use steel banding at work, so I can't put it back on the same way. Going to have to replace the sediment bowl/fuel valve....tried cleaning it out. Can't get it to flow more than a tiny trickle, then it plugs back up with gummy crap. It was terrible when I first took it apart. Finally found the serial number on the block, this one's a 1993. Figured it used 15w-40, found info to confirm. Convenient for me since I buy Rotella by the 5 gallon pail. Found oil/fuel filter numbers. It has the wrong oil filter on it. Planning on picking that stuff up and a new fan belt tomorrow after work.

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    Re: Just saved a SA-250 D3 152 from the scrapyard, need some help with it

    Perkins AD3-152 is one of the best engines ever made and sips fuel. I have one in an MF135 tractor. Biggest problem on SA250's was they vibrated a bit much at idle. 15W-40 would be a good oil to use.

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    Re: Just saved a SA-250 D3 152 from the scrapyard, need some help with it

    Quote Originally Posted by Welder Dave View Post
    Perkins AD3-152 is one of the best engines ever made and sips fuel. I have one in an MF135 tractor. Biggest problem on SA250's was they vibrated a bit much at idle. 15W-40 would be a good oil to use.
    Got the oil/fuel filters, fan belt, and a new 120v duplex outlet today. Going to replace all the breakers too. Found that one of them was broken, figure the others won't be far behind.

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    Re: Just saved a SA-250 D3 152 from the scrapyard, need some help with it

    Quote Originally Posted by machinisttx View Post
    Here's the pics I have.
    Can you post pictures directly here? I can't see the pictures on the links you provided - the site requires registering, of which I am not going to do. I presume there are a lot of others in the same boat.

    As to the project - it sounds really cool. It might be a ton of work, but the end result will be worth it. I suppose it depends on how deep of a restoration you want to do - just a "fix up and get running" or "restoration". They are two different things.

    Best of luck with it!

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    Re: Just saved a SA-250 D3 152 from the scrapyard, need some help with it

    Quote Originally Posted by FlyFishn View Post
    Can you post pictures directly here? I can't see the pictures on the links you provided - the site requires registering, of which I am not going to do. I presume there are a lot of others in the same boat.
    This ^
    Lincoln, ESAB, Thermal Dynamics, Victor, Miller, Dewalt, Makita, Kalamzoo. Hand tools, power tools, welding and cutting tools.

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    Re: Just saved a SA-250 D3 152 from the scrapyard, need some help with it

    Sorry guys, I didn't realize imgur required you to register just to view. I just uploaded them here to weldingweb. Maybe this will work? https://weldingweb.com/vbb/album.php?albumid=5016

    Picked up new breakers a little while ago, along with some hardware and a new flapper for the exhaust. I never thought I would be disappointed by rain in September here in TX, but at least it held off long enough for us to get our dove hunt on this morning.
    Last edited by machinisttx; 09-01-2020 at 03:17 PM.

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    Re: Just saved a SA-250 D3 152 from the scrapyard, need some help with it

    Happy birthday daddy. Fwt ready to est this cake like you eat ??? Wow!
    Lincoln, ESAB, Thermal Dynamics, Victor, Miller, Dewalt, Makita, Kalamzoo. Hand tools, power tools, welding and cutting tools.

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    Re: Just saved a SA-250 D3 152 from the scrapyard, need some help with it

    Quote Originally Posted by N2 Welding View Post
    Happy birthday daddy. Fwt ready to est this cake like you eat ??? Wow!
    Name:  db4bxu4-9acd190e-21c1-4624-9bad-4dd63f0e3fda.jpg
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    We got a little break(I thought) from the rain, so I went out to start swapping on new parts. Got the new breakers in, new fan belt on, and the exhaust flapper on. Then it went from a light sprinkle to a pretty steady slow rain....lightning included. I'm not the brightest crayon in the box, but I'm still not gonna play with a big heavy chunk of steel/iron/copper out in the rain and lightning. Maybe it will slack off again and I can get the rest of the fuel drained/tank cleaned out/sediment bowl replaced/fuel filter replaced/oil changed and the other miscellaneous things done.
    Last edited by machinisttx; 09-01-2020 at 06:12 PM.

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    Re: Just saved a SA-250 D3 152 from the scrapyard, need some help with it

    Quote Originally Posted by machinisttx View Post
    Sorry guys, I didn't realize imgur required you to register just to view. I just uploaded them here to weldingweb. Maybe this will work? https://weldingweb.com/vbb/album.php?albumid=5016

    Picked up new breakers a little while ago, along with some hardware and a new flapper for the exhaust. I never thought I would be disappointed by rain in September here in TX, but at least it held off long enough for us to get our dove hunt on this morning.
    Thanks for the pictures. You can load them directly to the thread also. They don't have to be in an "album". To each their own. What I like about the in-thread pictures is you can describe them in the thread right along side the pictures. That and people replying can comment on the individual pictures by quoting them. So that adds some consistency to the conversation, I think.

    In any event, that machine looks like a lot of work. Pace yourself and tackle it in segments. Don't expect to throw in some new parts and have it work in a week. Enjoy the journey, don't get impatient for the destination and end up resenting the journey. Likewise, if something is going to need time to do it "right" - now is the time to do it "right". You hopefully won't ever have things torn apart or ground down to bare metal again in the future, so while you're there you should make sure things are done "right" (what ever you determine is "right" - either by your own judgement based on what you know or research, or what guidance you're offered here on the forum or elsewhere). Some times "just getting it running" isn't good enough. Making it "right" and making it "run" are two different things.

    Its kinda like a beater pickup truck. Do you want to get it running long enough to make it to the junk yard under its own power? Or do you want it to run well enough you can use it on the farm to haul stuff between fields the rest of the season and next several seasons?

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    Re: Just saved a SA-250 D3 152 from the scrapyard, need some help with it

    Quote Originally Posted by FlyFishn View Post
    Thanks for the pictures. You can load them directly to the thread also. They don't have to be in an "album". To each their own. What I like about the in-thread pictures is you can describe them in the thread right along side the pictures. That and people replying can comment on the individual pictures by quoting them. So that adds some consistency to the conversation, I think.

    In any event, that machine looks like a lot of work. Pace yourself and tackle it in segments. Don't expect to throw in some new parts and have it work in a week. Enjoy the journey, don't get impatient for the destination and end up resenting the journey. Likewise, if something is going to need time to do it "right" - now is the time to do it "right". You hopefully won't ever have things torn apart or ground down to bare metal again in the future, so while you're there you should make sure things are done "right" (what ever you determine is "right" - either by your own judgement based on what you know or research, or what guidance you're offered here on the forum or elsewhere). Some times "just getting it running" isn't good enough. Making it "right" and making it "run" are two different things.

    Its kinda like a beater pickup truck. Do you want to get it running long enough to make it to the junk yard under its own power? Or do you want it to run well enough you can use it on the farm to haul stuff between fields the rest of the season and next several seasons?
    I'm trying to do it right. I've already fixed the bad wiring I found. Battery was dead in my DMM, and I didn't have my VOM, so I couldn't start checking electrical parts. If it isn't raining this afternoon I will be back to swapping new parts on and testing stuff this afternoon. Only real worry right now is that the field shunt coils might be shorted, based on everything that was disconnected. Hope that isn't the case.

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    Re: Just saved a SA-250 D3 152 from the scrapyard, need some help with it

    Those are damn good welders, even today they will do a nicer job stick welding than anything else, good find there. Who in their right mind would toss something like that in a junkyard?

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    Re: Just saved a SA-250 D3 152 from the scrapyard, need some help with it

    Quote Originally Posted by Popeye an old miner View Post
    Those are damn good welders, even today they will do a nicer job stick welding than anything else, good find there. Who in their right mind would toss something like that in a junkyard?
    Trust me when I say people are stupid. Not much surprises me anymore. I've pulled all sorts of engine powered stuff out of the local yards. Clean the carb, maybe an air filter, runs like a top. Found lots of old Craftsman and Snap On tools in junked cars. Same day I got the welder, I also found a MEC 650 shotshell reloading press at a different scrapyard. Also have a round top IdealArc 250 AC/DC that came from the same place. $60 with roughly 110-120' of good lead. Lays fine beads.......after I wired the plug correctly. Whoever wired it last had one hot lead going to the machine enclosure, the neutral going to one side of the transformer, and the other hot leg on the other wise of the transformer. They said it "had a weak arc". LOL.

    Checked a few more things off the list today, found a few more things to fix too. I checked the diode that's down at the commutator brushes, it's good. Checked the bridge rectifier, it's good. Checked the fine adjust rheostat, it's good. The wire that comes from the welding generator and goes up to the bridge rectifier had a bad connector on it. It was nearly broken off. Cut that off and crimped a new one on. One of the wires on the back of the starter button had a badly corroded ring terminal...bad enough that it broke when I touched it. One on the thermostart button had already corroded in two. Those got cut off and new ring terminals crimped on. Got continuity across the terminals of each button when they were pushed, so they're good enough for now. I'll probably replace them eventually. Checked the fuse, it was good. Cleaned the fuse holder. Replaced the fuel filter too. Re-installed the AC rotor too.

    Replaced the sediment bowl on the fuel tank. Then realized I was an idiot for assuming I needed to pop the bands holding the fuel tank on. I unbolted the cross bars it is banded to, pulled it out, and dumped out what was left in the tank. Looks like there is some slime in the bottom. Don't know what to do about that. Should I just put some algae killer in the fuel when I fill it back up? Dump in some acetone and scrub it as best I can with a brush? Both?

    I polished the slip rings on the AC rotor and checked the resistance. Good, bad? I don't know, so here I is.


    Checked the resistance between the two wires coming out of the welding generator portion that had been cut/severed. One goes to the fine adjust rheostat, the other goes to the bridge rectifier. Good, bad?


    I bolted the other diode on at the bottom brush holder. The bolt was missing and the two larger leads were also loose. Seemed like the right place for all of it. Can someone confirm?


    This was the bad connector at the bridge rectifier. I'm surprised it didn't break when I pulled it off.


    As soon as I tried to straighten it.


    This is what the bowl on the fuel filter looked like when I pulled it off. This should give you an idea of how long the fuel has been sitting in this machine and how nasty the fuel system has been so far. Should I purge the hard lines when I try to fire it up?


    What else should I check while I have easy access? Still need to replace the 120v outlet. Thinking maybe I should replace the gauges and the oil pressure sending unit. Also, this machine doesn't have an hour meter. I don't know if it was removed or if it never had one. Definitely want to put one on. Haven't looked at the schematic in IM407 very close yet, so I don't know if the wiring for an hour meter is shown or not.

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    Re: Just saved a SA-250 D3 152 from the scrapyard, need some help with it

    Coils and rotors should not have any cross-continuity/shorts between legs, but should between poles of each phase (coils in series - in some designs there are several coils per phase, for example, not the same reference as "3 phase power" - as in a 3 phase alternator where each phase has coils is in series to boost the voltage - hence the continuity between the poles of the phases). Without seeing a schematic its hard to guess at it. However, the two legs, say, of the rotor you were checking should show some resistance, but not a short. That appears to be what you show. As to how much resistance - that I have no idea.

    When I got my Round Top home I did the same thing you're doing - checked over the transformer and electrical side doing continuity checks. What I was after was exactly what I typed above - to see if there were any shorts (namely in the transformer between the primary and secondary windings). Finding none - the next step was to plug it in and fire it up. If there were shorts between turns of the primary or the secondary the resistance check of each (primary or secondary) would test lower (shorted windings meaning that current has a shorter distance through the windings = less conductor to pass through = less resistance) and the operational affect of that would be the machine voltage operating out of spec, if it ran at all and didn't throw the breaker.

    So again - giving a numerical value to what resistance you should see is incredibly difficult to nail down. What is most important, though, is that you don't show a short. So with what you have found so far I say don't worry about it and set it aside until you need to put it back together. Or, if someone else pipes in here with more detailed information that can give you a spec range of resistances for what you're testing that would be great information to have and work with. For now, though, I'd roll with it then get to where the machine runs and check the voltage spec.
    Last edited by FlyFishn; 09-03-2020 at 12:05 AM.

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    Re: Just saved a SA-250 D3 152 from the scrapyard, need some help with it

    machinisttx PM sent

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    Re: Just saved a SA-250 D3 152 from the scrapyard, need some help with it

    WOW! Nice Find! I have the DC only version SA 250. That 3-152D Perkins engine is hard to beat. I have the same Engine in my Massey 135 tractor, sips fuel. That will be a nice fixer upper.
    SA 200s : 1944 1945 1963 1965 1969 1980
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    Re: Just saved a SA-250 D3 152 from the scrapyard, need some help with it

    Just came in from checking out a few more things on the electrical end and replacing the 120v duplex. As far as I can tell, the magic smoke end is all good. I'm going to clean the tank out as best I can, get everything bolted back on, bleed the fuel system, and see if she'll chooch. I'm going to be through the roof if it runs, makes power, and welds.

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    Re: Just saved a SA-250 D3 152 from the scrapyard, need some help with it

    Tried to start it this evening. No luck. Could hear it trying, but just wouldn't go.

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    Re: Just saved a SA-250 D3 152 from the scrapyard, need some help with it

    Quote Originally Posted by machinisttx View Post
    Tried to start it this evening. No luck. Could hear it trying, but just wouldn't go.
    Make sure the fuel system is well primed and no air!!! even the tiniest bit of air in the injector lines will hinder it starting... so they must be bled!!!

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    Re: Just saved a SA-250 D3 152 from the scrapyard, need some help with it

    If you have bubble free fuel at both bleeder holes on the injection pump, usually a tiny shot (1 second) of ether will get it to fire. If it doesn't, pump the hand primer more and try again. In a welder it might not be too bad to loosen the fuel lines at the injectors. In my tractor they're very hard to get at. Do not use the Thermo-Start if using ether.

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    Re: Just saved a SA-250 D3 152 from the scrapyard, need some help with it

    Quote Originally Posted by Welder Dave View Post
    If you have bubble free fuel at both bleeder holes on the injection pump, usually a tiny shot (1 second) of ether will get it to fire. If it doesn't, pump the hand primer more and try again. In a welder it might not be too bad to loosen the fuel lines at the injectors. In my tractor they're very hard to get at. Do not use the Thermo-Start if using ether.
    It was bubble free the second time I bled it. Going to try bleeding at the injectors. Forgot to mention it before, but the gauge was showing 60psi oil pressure when cranking, so I'm assuming the engine is in pretty decent shape internally.

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    Re: Just saved a SA-250 D3 152 from the scrapyard, need some help with it

    Quote Originally Posted by machinisttx View Post
    It was bubble free the second time I bled it. Going to try bleeding at the injectors. Forgot to mention it before, but the gauge was showing 60psi oil pressure when cranking, so I'm assuming the engine is in pretty decent shape internally.
    I rarely bleed at the pump because any air up there will get into the injector lines anyway and you'll have to do the process all over again at the injectors. Just crack all the lines loose at every injector and go for it

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    Re: Just saved a SA-250 D3 152 from the scrapyard, need some help with it

    Quote Originally Posted by ronsii View Post
    I rarely bleed at the pump because any air up there will get into the injector lines anyway and you'll have to do the process all over again at the injectors. Just crack all the lines loose at every injector and go for it
    Yep, at cranking speed all that happens is compressing the air in the lines, more than once on an older Cat 3406 that ran out of fuel on the road I've had to pull a rocker cover to bleed at the injectors on a couple holes to get it to fire. Once it started on 2 or 3 cylinders it would force the air through the rest of them. That's why the touch of ether works at times too, gets it spinning fast enough and long enough to push the air through the injector.

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    Re: Just saved a SA-250 D3 152 from the scrapyard, need some help with it

    Quote Originally Posted by 12V71 View Post
    Yep, at cranking speed all that happens is compressing the air in the lines, more than once on an older Cat 3406 that ran out of fuel on the road I've had to pull a rocker cover to bleed at the injectors on a couple holes to get it to fire. Once it started on 2 or 3 cylinders it would force the air through the rest of them. That's why the touch of ether works at times too, gets it spinning fast enough and long enough to push the air through the injector.
    LOL!!!! 'A touch' yeah, I've told people just a tiny bit of ether will help... they call up a few hours later telling me how it's almost running and it'll 'run on ether' -- so I show up and there's 3-4 empty cans of ether on the ground and two sets of jumpers running to the batteries...

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