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Old 05-02-2013, 10:20   #16
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Re: Need some help from the diesel gurus

Maybe it's just not cranking over fast enough. Can you put a small heater or a couple light bulbs inthe engine compartment overnight? If the block is warm , you dont need the glow plug which is robbing your electricity. I would buy one of those jump start devices (good to have anyway) I got a real powerful one for like $69 last year. If that doesnt spin it faster, you must have a starter problem.. or the cylinders are rusted enough to make turning the engine hard. You could remove both injectors and see how fast it spins.
Also, check your starter connections for cleanliness and the groud too (usually attached to the engine block and often dirty)
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Old 05-02-2013, 10:29   #17
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Re: Need some help from the diesel gurus

The really definitive test for the battery and wiring, is to place a voltmeter across the starter terminals themselves, and get someone to crank. Some voltage drop is normal but I'd expect 10V approx from a good battery and sound cabling.

I've seen batteries that measure fine with a light load but collapse under starting load, and cabling that had bad connections leading to the same effect.
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Old 05-02-2013, 10:33   #18
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Re: Need some help from the diesel gurus

Everybody is focussing on the electrical and I agree that the dimming lights are a concern but I wonder if you really have fuel to the injectors. A mechanical diesel is the simplest machine known. If you have fuel to the injectors and can turn it over then it WILL run. Are you getting white smoke at the exhaust while cranking? I'm guessing you are not.

If you are not getting white smoke while cranking then you don't have fuel. Even with inadequate compression after the length of time cranking and with all the block warming you have done you should be seeing smoke. I would crack a line loose at an injector and then try to start the engine. You should see fuel spurting out at the injector - spurting, not drooling. If you don't see spurting fuel then your system is not completely bled and it will never start.

Report back and we'll take it from there.
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Old 05-02-2013, 10:54   #19
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Re: Need some help from the diesel gurus

I was also going to say check terminal ends. I had one badly corroded inside but looked fine on outside so I never really had 'both' batteries when starting. Try selecting each battery individually to see if it behaves differently on motor and on any other high draw item on board like a pump.
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Old 05-02-2013, 11:00   #20
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Re: Need some help from the diesel gurus

Perhaps you could post a picture of the engine. I suspect someone on here would be able to identify it. However, let's assume it's a 2 cylinder Universal... 5416...the fuel system should be bled at the hex head screw right on the metering fuel pump body. It's easy with the electric lift pump, just turn on the ignition key and open the screw.

From the first post it sounds like you did this, but it wouldn't hurt to do it again. Last time I changed the filters, the engine ran for 10s then stopped. Had to bleed again at the fuel pump, one air bubble is all it takes to stop the metering pump from pumping.

Also, how long are you giving the glow plugs? Try 40s.
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Old 05-02-2013, 11:14   #21
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Re: Need some help from the diesel gurus

Re: Need some help from the diesel electrical gurus
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Old 05-02-2013, 11:16   #22
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Re: Need some help from the diesel gurus

Twinboats suggestion of turning it over for a while and then checking all connections for heat is the first thing I would do, but be very careful since you can get a real burn from the heat of a bad connection. I learned that the hard way many years ago. Shipboard firefighting courses teach you to test for heat with the back of your hand, not the palm. If you get burned you can still function since your grip is not injured. A better way is to buy or borrow one of those remote thermometers that auto-part stores sell. A side note. Since you said that the oil was very clean that probably means that the last person to work on the engine(oil change+) didnt get it running either. Diesel motor oil turns black in a short matter of time even with the new cleaner fuels. You might want to go to UTUBE and look at older Volvo engines starting. It will give you a realistic idea of the flywheel speed that it takes to start one of these older diesels. There are lots of vidios of people playing with older engines. Good Luck____Grant.
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Old 05-02-2013, 11:21   #23
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Re: Need some help from the diesel gurus

Apparently that's why the aircraft brace position has you hold your left hand over your right, in your lap. The right hand will be protected from burns... left handers should do the reverse of course.
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Old 05-02-2013, 11:21   #24
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Re: Need some help from the diesel gurus

I'm in the voltage drop camp given the symptoms described by the op. A voltage drop test on the start circuit wiring should isolate the problem (look it up online if you are not sure what that is). Failing that it is down to a bad starter or wimpy batteries. If the engine doesn't spin over fast enough it will not develop enough compression heat to ignite the fuel.
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Old 05-02-2013, 14:24   #25
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Re: Need some help from the diesel gurus

Hi everybody, Thanks for coming!

So, to add a little specificity. When I checked the wiring yesterday my multimeter was set for continuity checks and got a solid beep every time. That said, I probably should have checked the actual resistance and when my wife gets home tonight I'll grab my multimeter from the dashboard and give it a go.

As far as the battery itself goes I wasn't able to test it at rest, I did test the second battery at fully charged and because I have trouble quitting I did hook up a buzz box and then cabled battery terminal no 1 directly to my car as a what the hell check to make sure it wasn't both batteries or the buzz box too.

When I noticed the starter was warm to the touch I did feel every connection, there weren't very many, the negative went straight to the block and the positive went to the battery switch and then the starter solenoid. Nothing hot.

As to compression, I can't see any levers anywhere. When I turn the crank by hand it does take some force and after about one full turn it gets progressively harder. With both hands I can turn it till the intake coughs, and a rubber line leading from next to the oil fill to a clip next to the air intake puffs a tiny bit of white smoke. After that it gets pretty hard to turn the crank in either direction. I'm no real mechanic but I was reading this as meaning its getting good compression. Putting a rag up to the puff of smoke smells ver faintly of diesel, although I honestly can't say why the top of the motor would want to be puffing diesel at the cabin I'm not too worried as long as when it does actually start the intake should (ignorant hope?) Suck the atomised diesel in.

The raw water inlet has been disconnected and the hose is in a bucket of water, I'll only plop the hose in if I can get her started.

Last thing, I tried running my jumper cables direst to the starter but I just can't fit them into that tight of a space

That's what I've got so far. Had a space heater and a 200 watt work light on the diesel all night and today and she still won't start. My phon still won't load you pictures, I'll try a little later on a borrowed computer.

Thanks everybody!
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Old 05-02-2013, 14:38   #26
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Re: Need some help from the diesel gurus

Measure the voltage at the glow plugs, with the glow plugs on. Or at the starter with the the starter motor turning over the engine.
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Old 05-02-2013, 14:49   #27
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Re: Need some help from the diesel gurus

The line from the crankcase to the air intake is the crankcase breather. I'm a little surprised that it's puffing smoke - that implies blowby due to poor compression. Maybe a compression test should be high on your list.

The simple fact here, is that a healthy engine with working glow plugs should struggle into life, even if the starter is turning a bit slower than ideal. I don't think the slow starter is the root problem.

So I say again, bleed the fuel at the pump, give the glow plugs a good 40s of heat, hell, give them a whole minute, and with the throttle to 50%, see if it starts.
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Old 05-02-2013, 14:51   #28
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Re: Need some help from the diesel gurus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan H View Post
Hi everybody, Thanks for coming!

So, to add a little specificity. When I checked the wiring yesterday my multimeter was set for continuity checks and got a solid beep every time. That said, I probably should have checked the actual resistance and when my wife gets home tonight I'll grab my multimeter from the dashboard and give it a go.
Continuity tests is not a good test in this case. It is very, very common to get a good continuity test but still have a loose or corroded connection that will pass the amps. You can even get a good voltage reading with no load on a circuit. Especially on boats and especially with a very high power load like a starter.

I first saw this when I had a small light on my boat that wouldn't work.
Checked and had 12.6V at the light but when I turned it on nothing. Finally put the meter on the leads and turned the switch on and off and the voltage would drop to nothing when the light was switched on. Found a corroded connection, cleaned it up and got light.

The only valid test here is to look at the voltage drop on the starter when you try to turn over then engine.
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Old 05-02-2013, 15:11   #29
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Re: Need some help from the diesel gurus

This happened to me last year. I had a Volvo MD IIc. Got up at O dark thirty so that we could make a passage in daylight hours. Went to start the engine. Couldn't get it to start. Sounded like the battery was weak. Finally after messing with it for three or four hours I got it to start. I held a board over the air intake covering up most of it. According to Nigel Caulder this get the engine to spin faster. Engine started. Let it run for an hour. Turned the engine off to see if it would start again. It wouldn't. Took it in to a mechanic. He thought the battery was dead. We charged the battery. Wouldn't start. Changed the battery to another that he had. Wouldn't start. Took the starter out and bench tested it. Bearing on the starter was bad so that the case was out of center. Engine would turn fast for 3/4 of a rotation of the starter then slow down. The magnet in the windings would catch on the case of the starter and then the starter would have to break that connection so the starter never got up enough speed. The mechanic changed the bearing and it worked. If it isn't too hard I would have the starter bench tested.
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Old 05-02-2013, 15:13   #30
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Re: Need some help from the diesel gurus

It does sound like a Universal.

Try this

Marine Diesel Engines and Engine Parts - Universal, Volvo, Westerbeke, Yanmar, MASE

Check the suggested model first. This site has a LOT of information, and can locate the decompression lever for you, usually at the rear of the rocker cover.
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