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Old 22-07-2011, 20:34   #1
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Diesel Engine Not Started in Five Years - Pre-Start Procedure ?

I have recently purchased a Westsail 32 that is equipped with a Universal MB50 diesel engine. The boat has been on the hard for the past 5 years and has not been started. Are there any precautions and/or procedures that should be taken previous to starting the engine. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
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Old 22-07-2011, 22:28   #2
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Re: diesel engine not started in five years, prestart procedure?

Assuming oils, Oil filters and other fluids have been changed. Make sure all the valves are open. Pull the ENGINE STOP (assuming you have one) and crank the engine for 5-10 seconds to get oil circulated, etc. Push in the Engine stop and then try cranking that puppy up.

If it does not start, do an injector bleed.
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Old 22-07-2011, 22:36   #3
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Re: diesel engine not started in five years, prestart procedure?

I know people hate the idea of using starting ether, but it's a great cheat to get that initial kick without cranking over and over. Just don't rely on it.

Oh, and check the manual for the procedure to bleed the fuel system. You might need to. As noted above one would assume you wiped the tank clean and changed all the fuel.
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Old 23-07-2011, 00:03   #4
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Re: diesel engine not started in five years, prestart procedure?

Might want to empty the tanks and get new fuel. Diesel doesn't degrade as quickly as gas but 5 years is a long time.
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Old 23-07-2011, 07:03   #5
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Re: diesel engine not started in five years, prestart procedure?

+1 on fresh fuel. Clean the tanks and filters as well.
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Old 23-07-2011, 07:12   #6
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Re: diesel engine not started in five years, prestart procedure?

Can you find out if the fuel had a biocide added?? If so, the engine should run on the fuel thats in the tank.
+1 to the other suggestions.........
Also, CHANGE the impeller!!!!!!!!!!

Let us know your results.
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Old 23-07-2011, 07:24   #7
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Re: diesel engine not started in five years, prestart procedure?

Rather than use ether which dry's the cylinders out. use WD40 works the same and can be used for other stuff as well! Also if you can turn over by hand or a wrench on the fly wheel you will no if it's seized before you try and start and could save a busted crank or other internals. All of the above to. Have fun.
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Old 23-07-2011, 07:47   #8
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Re: diesel engine not started in five years, prestart procedure?

Keep an close eye on the oil levels constantly for a couple of months after starting the first time.

I had the same situation when I purchased Sabre Dance. A Volvo MD-17C is installed, and having the same concerns I hired the local mechanic to preside of the starting rituals. We had no idea of the state of the engine, if it had be prepped for long term storage or anything so he was quite careful in getting it going.

The engine started great, no smoke, nothing. Found a drip at the water pump, so he pulled the pump and found it needed a complete rebuild. One impeller blade gone, one folded over, and the internal parts badly worn. That was done.

On the second start, the engine fired immediately and the entire marina disappeared in a huge cloud of thick black smoke for about 30 seconds, then it settled down to clear exhaust, no smoke.

The problem came after running some 30 hours. All the oil in the pan ended up in the bilge. I do mean all. I checked the dipstick right away and it was dry as a bone. I figure there was just enough left to keep it lubed before I shut it down.

I haven't pulled it apart as I am planning on replacing it with a new engine, but we figure the rear seal got dried out and wouldn't hold. Pretty sure that's where the oil all came out. Kinda hard to see under there but that's what it looks like.

Between that oil leak, the slow development of continuous smoking from the engine and a possible cracked block because I didn't winterize it correctly, the engine is coming out and a new Beta will go in its place.
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Old 23-07-2011, 13:26   #9
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Re: Diesel Engine Not Started in Five Years - Pre-Start Procedure ?

I'm not familiar with your engine but mine has a place to add oil to the fuel injector pump. Yours might be self tending but its good to make certain your injector pump has the proper level of lubricating oil before trying to start.
Yes, on making certain your fuel is clean. If it doesn't fire do not use ether. Use WD40. If it still doesn't fire then bleed at the injectors. Make certain your batteries are up to the task because you want the engine to be spinning pretty fast.
kind regards,
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