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Old 25-06-2010, 10:52   #1
rja
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54hp Yanmar Starts on 3rd or 4th Try

Hello everyone,

We recently moved up to a Leopard 46 catamaran and we're having an odd problem with our stb engine (~800hr). The Yanmar seems to only start after 3 or 4 times of "trying". Trying being cranking, stop.. wait a few seconds, try again, etc.. once it gets going it seems to be fine. If I stop the engine and try to start again soon it will usually start on the first try. If I wait an hour or so it will require 3-4 tries again. The port engine fires up first try every time.

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Old 25-06-2010, 10:58   #2
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That's a self-bleeding Yanmar, right? One possibility is that it's having to bleed itself before starting. Could air be getting into the fuel line when it sits?
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Old 25-06-2010, 11:00   #3
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compression?
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Old 25-06-2010, 11:25   #4
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Sounds to me like you have a fuel leak between the pump and engine allowing the line to run dry in an hour or so. Any signs of diesel in the bilge or water?
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Old 25-06-2010, 11:58   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Intoxicat View Post
Sounds to me like you have a fuel leak between the pump and engine allowing the line to run dry in an hour or so. Any signs of diesel in the bilge or water?
The area around the engine looks clean. I did find the following thread with a few people having the exact same problem:

Yanmar Starting

I'll start trying some of the suggestions in there. The odd part is how one engine is fine and the other exhibits the problem.

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Old 25-06-2010, 12:44   #6
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I am having the same problems. This seems to be effecting a small percentage of the 54 HP Yanmar engines. See the posts below from SSCA forum for the same problem and solution. The annoying thing is I have repeated emailed Yanmar about this problem and received no reply. I have previously recommended Yanmar engines, but their failure to even have the courtesy to reply is very poor. To avoid hijacking this thread I have started a new one in the hope someone can give me the address of someone who will at least reply to my enquiries.

Answer
osprey
I thank everyone for their input. We seem to have found the answer to our own question. Turns out that this is indeed a recognized problem with this model Yanmar. Yanmar issued a Service Bulletin in March but are not providing this vital information with their engines when they ship them out. We got ours from Mack Boring. We did finally speak with their technical guy and he e-mailed us the Bulletin. The problem is with the on-engine filter which has a manual priming pump as I mentioned. The fix is to replace that with a new filter with no manual pump and put in an extra fuel return to allow bleeding. Obviously this will get done under warranty - but we are not impressed that we paid top dollar for an engine with a known problem which was not corrected before being shipped. I suppose we have no recourse but to be frustrated. I guess we should be glad this happened at install and not some months down the road when we are out cruising - which is what happened to some poor souls - there all kinds of horror stories about attempts to fix this issue - it's been going on for a year! Our other frustrastion with Yanmar / Mack Boring is that we cannot get our hands on a parts manual. How can they manufacture and distribute these engines without a parts manual in print?
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Old 25-06-2010, 13:02   #7
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I must say that this forum is great! We also have a leopard 46, the 2007 model yr and have just started to experience problems with starting our port engine. we have to throttle way up in neutral to get it to start. Once going it is fine. we are away from the boat now but I don"t believe that we have a priming pump on the engine filter but I will definitely check that out when we get back. Thanks
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Old 25-06-2010, 14:44   #8
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check clamps in any rubber fuel hose and make sure it has no cracks or leaks. if air gets in then you have tough starts.
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Old 25-06-2010, 15:26   #9
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check clamps in any rubber fuel hose and make sure it has no cracks or leaks. if air gets in then you have tough starts.
Thanks, as you point out, most diesel air leak problems are due to poor connections I have completely replaced all hoses shut off valves and primary filter with no resolution. I have even tried the generator fuel supply which is completely independent with a separate pick up, (and runs the generator perfectly) with no improvement.
A straight hose from a temporary day tank via a new Racor filter (I have tried 2 New filters as I purchased one for polishing) still results in the same problem.
In short 3 primary filters 3 pickups and 2 sets of new hoses have all given the same problem. I have eliminated everything other than an air leak in the engine components.
These extensive steps were taken before I discovered there was a service bulletin covering this known problem.
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Old 25-06-2010, 16:28   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stacy View Post
I must say that this forum is great! We also have a leopard 46, the 2007 model yr and have just started to experience problems with starting our port engine. we have to throttle way up in neutral to get it to start. Once going it is fine. we are away from the boat now but I don"t believe that we have a priming pump on the engine filter but I will definitely check that out when we get back. Thanks
If this is a manufacturing or design defect type of problem why would it not be there from day 1?
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Old 25-06-2010, 16:36   #11
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Sounds to me that the pump is leaking air into the system and so requiring the engine to re-prime after it sits for a while. Was there a description of the problem in the service bulletin?

Vasco, I have seen many manufacturing problems that didn't show up on day one, and not every unit was affected. I'm not specifically talking about diesel engines, but...
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Old 25-06-2010, 17:37   #12
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Parts manuals in paper form are going the way of the buggy whip......

Go to any auto/marine parts store and try to get those guys to cross reference a part from a book....it is usually a lost cause.

I was looking for a part once from a Parts Dealer that Begins with the letter between S and U.......they Identified the part....didn't have it and told me flat out they couldn't give me the part # because I might buy it somewhere else......

This is the same company that charges $400.00 for a spares kit that has
1 Oil, 2 Fuel Filter. one impeller. one belt and a Fancy Box
There "advanced cruising kit is over a grand and includes, zincs, lift pump, ONE injector and asst gaskets.....

I'm getting into that bidness.
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Old 26-06-2010, 05:23   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
If this is a manufacturing or design defect type of problem why would it not be there from day 1?
My problem was present from day 1 but I have wasted a lot of time replacing the primary fuel filter, lines etc assuming the problem was with these components.
The problem does come and go a bit, but at the moment it is particularly bad requiring a bleed for ever start.
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Old 23-07-2010, 09:44   #14
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Hello everyone,

Just a follow-up on this. I contacted Yanmar and was pleased to find out we had a few days left on our warranty (literally). Lucky I called when I did. The dealer was able to locate a service bulletin, ordered the parts, and came out to fix the problem. They swapped the fuel filter bracket with P/N 129004-55612 and a new hose. So far it looks like the problem is solved. I'll update the thread if it returns.

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rja
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Old 23-07-2010, 14:49   #15
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Thanks for the update Rja
I am hoping for the same fix on my engine. Yanmar have now responded and hopefully I am on my way to a similar resolution.
Have you any photos of the new fuel filter?
I would like to do the changeover myself if possible as it will be much easier getting the parts than trying to get into a marina to arrange the work.
Any idea what is involved in the changeover?
Thanks
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