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Old 14-01-2018, 12:29   #1
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Location: La Conner, WA USA
Boat: Mahe 36
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Diesel smell

Greetings,
Frustrating problem that is new for me but hopefully will ring a bell for someone.
Iíve recently developed a strong diesel smell in starboard engine bay, aft cockpit locker and stbd suite. Boat is a Duo, owners version, 2007 with D1-30ís.
I checked the primary filters on stbd side of aft locker and they appear intact, although I have trouble physically inspecting them.
There is nothing obvious on the stbd engine, no drips or oily areas around the injector plumbing. The sump under the engine has some water but when I dipped it with a stick, it didnít smell like diesel.
A friend suggested that it might be the vent line from the tank and Iíll check it when I find it. It is suspect anyway because the tank likes to burp as it fills.
I also have a D4 Espar diesel heater that seems to operate as it should. Will try to access itís fuel pump and delivery line. I hesitate disturbing it as the hot air hose is becoming brittle at the bends and replacing the hose will be a nightmare.

If anyone has any further ideas they will be much appreciated.

Cheers,
Martyn
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Old 14-01-2018, 14:45   #2
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Re: Diesel smell

Ah ha...found it.
Excess Fuel return line from injection manifold. Where the rubber hose clamps to the metal nipple is wet.
It is too short to clip and reconnect to the nipple without a strain. Will add a short extension via a brass splice.
Anyone know the diameter of the rubber hose?

Cheers
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Old 14-01-2018, 14:54   #3
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Re: Diesel smell

The smell of diesel in an older engine and assembly, is the singular reason I considered outboards on a catamaran.

Not my favourite eau de odour...
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Old 14-01-2018, 15:49   #4
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Re: Diesel smell

We looked at a number of cats before deciding on the Mahe. Outboards have their place and now the fuel injected versions give increased fuel efficiency, though none we looked at had them.
I did an engine remove and replace on my trimaran for under $2000 and prefer not to think about what it will cost on the Mahe but I do like 7-8 miles per gallon bucking headwinds and currents vs half that at best, and the fire issue, and 105amp alternators, and hot water and...;-)

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Old 14-01-2018, 15:55   #5
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Re: Diesel smell

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rufduck View Post
We looked at a number of cats before deciding on the Mahe. Outboards have their place and now the fuel injected versions give increased fuel efficiency, though none we looked at had them.
I did an engine remove and replace on my trimaran for under $2000 and prefer not to think about what it will cost on the Mahe but I do like 7-8 miles per gallon bucking headwinds and currents vs half that at best, and the fire issue, and 105amp alternators, and hot water and...;-)

Cheers
The MAhe is an excellent model.
When I was in the States and had offshore boats, they were all petrol. I went on one diesel stinkpot, the engines were not tight and lacked love and care, and the diesel made it singularly unpleasant for the few days we were fishing..

Now with cats, I just do not want to smell diesel EVER... so Id be spending a lot of time and money keeping everything contained...

Yeah I know... Im a sensitive soul..
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10% of conflicts are due to different opinions. 90% by the tone of voice.
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Old 18-03-2018, 18:00   #6
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Re: Diesel smell

Well, shucks. After fixing the return diesel line, we had a fun day motoring and sailing with several friends. All went well until I shut down both engines and we began sailing. The strong diesel smell was back.

Mirrors and flashlight to no avail. Looks like the stbd stateroom inboard bulkhead is going to be removed to access the fuel tank fittings.

Will post what I find.

Martyn
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Old 18-03-2018, 18:07   #7
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Re: Diesel smell

Clean suspected areas with laundry softener. It was mentioned somewhere on CF. I have not tried it yet.
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Old 24-03-2018, 17:21   #8
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Re: Diesel smell

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rufduck View Post
Well, shucks. After fixing the return diesel line, we had a fun day motoring and sailing with several friends. All went well until I shut down both engines and we began sailing. The strong diesel smell was back.

Mirrors and flashlight to no avail. Looks like the stbd stateroom inboard bulkhead is going to be removed to access the fuel tank fittings.

Will post what I find.

Martyn
Just remove the panel. I have done that several ties and one gets used to it. Takes just a few minutes and you know whats going on.

Maybe the hose clamp of the diesel intake is loose. Or one connector at the pickup / return lines. We had a manual dipstick for the tank, in case you have an electrical gauge then maybe there could be another point of failure.
Not much else I can think of
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