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Old 05-02-2013, 18:39   #46
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Re: Need some help from the diesel gurus

Good. I've decided to take Cheechako's suggestion in his tag line.
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Old 05-02-2013, 18:45   #47
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Re: Need some help from the diesel gurus

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Good. I've decided to take Cheechako's suggestion in his tag line.
Uncalled for remark! I was just trying to help OP & maybe learn a little myself!
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Old 05-02-2013, 20:14   #48
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Re: Need some help from the diesel gurus

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Looking for some help from the diesel gurus. I've recently started working on my third project boat... Sigh... Opening up the engine well shows a goldish two cylinder diesel with no block casting or ID plate anywhere to be found. That's the easy problem, trying to figure out what model this is so I can get a book and order parts.

Second and more importantly, it won't start at all. Owing partially to the several hundred other posts that have already been asked on this forum I can tell you both fuel filters are clean, fuel bled all the way up to the block with no air bubbles, raw water intake impeller in good shape, oil looks really clean and at the right level, coolant looks fine too.

So here's the symptoms. When I hold the glow plug switch every light in the boat dims, I have zero access to the plug even when I crawl upside down and sideways into the stern so for now I'm taking that as a sign that its getting its 12 volts. When I turn the key to on my fuel, oil, temp, and volt gauges light up, also what looks like the fuel pump, set in between the two fuel filters clicks repeatedly, faster when the glow plug switch is held down. When I turn the key a little more all the lights really dim and the engine (sort of) turns over. I say sort of because it seems really slow to me. At this point I first checked the battery voltage (good), then tried spinning the crank by hand. It spins easily both ways and gradually gets harder (I'm figuring this is compression in the cylinder, hopefully good)

Next I thought that maybe the glow plug isn't working and/or the engine is just too cold (I'm in Massachusetts, its pretty cold here at the moment) without removing the cockpit I just can't get to the plug so I ran a space heater under the block and left it there all day while I tried other stuff.

Following my hunch with the electrical (just a hunch really, I've got no experience whatsoever with diesels, it just seems to me like its turning over way to slow and shouldn't be dimming the lights quite this much) I first swapped the battery out with a newer, larger battery with about 300 more cold cranking amps. No difference. Then I connected both batteries, no difference. Then I hooked up a buzz box to the first battery, no difference. And finally I ran jumper cables from my car to bank no. 1. Despite all of this, the lights still dim when I crank the engine and it cranks very slowly. I traced the wires from the battery, checked the negative connection at the block (good) and followed the positive to a barely visible solenoid and finally to the starter (connections all good). The starter felt unusually warm but at this point I've been cranking on it all day. While I was doing a yoga pose anyway to reach the starter I tried the old mechanics trick of tapping the starter gently with a hammer (no help at all this time).

That's everything I tried with the electrical. I also tried shoving a hair drier down the intake in case it was an air restriction, and finally shooting a bit of WD40 into the intake in a final glow plug be damned attempt to get her to start. After spending most of the brain power I've got rationed for the year on this one day, the motor didn't so much as sputter even once. At this point I'm not expecting good news from anybody, but any ideas at all?
I have read the whole of the thread and I find myself back full circle to the OP. Many have touched on various of the issues, but there is always a path of elimination that must be followed.

Problem Solving 101.

1. Most diesel engines that use a key start sequence use what is known as an energize to run solenoid.

What that means is that as soon as the key is turned on an actuator moves the fuel rack to the run position. Some also use a energize to stop, which means they have a separate momentary switch to kill the engine.

If the fuel rack doesn't move to the run position when the key is turned on the engine will never start.

2. Make sure you have airless fuel at the injectors.

Which means crack the injector lines at the injector and tic over the engine, there must be fuel free from air bubbles.

3. You must have enough cranking amps, to run the energize to run solenoid, the glow plugs and crank the starter.

If in number 1 you confirm the the fuel rack moves to the run position, but as soon as you energize the glow plugs and all the lights dim, then you don't have enough battery power. You said that you are in Mass.. and it's cold, If the batteries are below 40F then you have a voltage loss due to temp.., but you may also have a voltage drop due to wire connections compounding. Most glow plugs on small diesels draw less then 15 amps, so you should not see every light in the boat dim. If you do you either have a bad bat or bad connections at the bat terminals.

4. A diesel engine needs to spin fast enough and with enough torque from the starter to overcome the compression of the engine.

So verify all of the above If all is as should be, turn off the intake water at the through-hull to the sea strainer, drain the water from the lift muffler, there should be a petcock. If no drain at the lift muffler, then disconnect the exhaust input at the muffler, crank the starter motor, and if she fires be prepared to immediately kill the engine.

If she's still slow to turn, then we have to conclude that:

1. We have a cold and or week batteries.
2. We have a voltage drop due to improper cable size or connectors.
3. We have a bad aka high resistance starter.

To measure voltage drop, we need first measure the bat voltage at the posts of the bats, not the terminals bolted to the bats...but the lead post.

We need to measure the voltage at the glow plug energize terminal, and each glow plug. This means a Meter negative first connected with the neg the neg bat post direct, then the meter pos. connected to the glow plug pos., then energize the glow circuit. If we see a large voltage drop, and we have ruled out the battery and it's terminals then we can know it's the neg. circuit.

If all reads as expected, then reverse voltage drop must be tested. The positive of the meter to the pos. of the battery and the negitive of the meter to the neg. of the glow plug circuit, then energize the glow circuit, a large voltage drop will indicate the pos. circuit, as the problem.

If all test well with no voltage drop, then you must move to the starter circuit, and perform the same test, to the starter circuit on both side on the stater solenoid.

Lloyd
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Old 05-02-2013, 22:00   #49
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Re: Need some help from the diesel gurus

Well I finally got my multimeter back. With jumpers running from my car to bank terminal no.1 I was getting 13.5 volts to both the solenoid and the starter. I bled the fuel lines at both the injection pump as well as the injector lines and found no air anywhere. Despite all this when I start the ignition lights still dim down and I get very slow cranking. Covering the intake doesn't seem to speed up the cranking at all. I did also check for an exhaust valve but haven't found one yet (pretty tight back there).

It seems like everything is starting to zero in on the starter being bad. I've popped the alternator and bracket out of the way so I can sort of get to it now although its proving to be a real pita to get a wrench or socket in there. Once the starter is out is it something an armchair tinkerer can test/rebuild or can I add this to the list of various kinds of professional help that I need?

I got my hands on a computer so I'm going to try posting some pictures again

Thanks everyone!
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Old 05-02-2013, 22:15   #50
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Re: Need some help from the diesel gurus

A couple of questions..

I guess the black cable (lower left foreground) is the throttle cable. Where does the brass looking horizontal rod it is attached to go to at the other end?

How do you stop the engine once you get it going? Maybe it is "stopped"?

It loks like there is another lever under the one attached to the black cable, what is that for?
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Old 05-02-2013, 22:43   #51
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Re: Need some help from the diesel gurus

Does anybody recognize the engine from the picture???? Then the OP could get some diagrams on line to make sense out of this.____Grant.
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Old 05-02-2013, 22:48   #52
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Re: Need some help from the diesel gurus

The Brass rod turns into another black cable and runs to what I think is the forward/reverse shifter in the back of the cockpit. The second lever under the throttle is attached to the bronze cable via the linkage with the rubber boots on both ends. Rummaging around this motor for three days I still haven't found an emergency shut off yet. Still riding the learning curve coaster.
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Old 05-02-2013, 22:52   #53
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Re: Need some help from the diesel gurus

That is a Universal/Kubota of some type, circa 1990's.

That black control cable is the STOP control. I don't recall which way was RUN on that lever. I kinda recall that the spring on the STOP lever pulled it to RUN. Is it set to STOP in the pic ???

The fuel test at the injector would confirm RUN as well.

Sounds like it is cranking too slow to ever start. Did you ever check the voltage at the starter when cranking (not solenoid, not battery, not cabin lights, etc.)? This is the first simple diagnostic of the starter motor and electricals. Will be hard to test after removed.

On my Universal of this type, long ago, it would not start at even warm temperatures without 5 seconds of glow plus heat.

I recall 10 seconds is the max for these glow plugs.
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Old 05-02-2013, 23:08   #54
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Re: Need some help from the diesel gurus

yyyyyyy
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Old 05-02-2013, 23:17   #55
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Re: Need some help from the diesel gurus

Apologies for previous test blog of yyy's.
Here are two sites for you to try and identify your engine, fault finding info, free download of all the manuals and spares supply.
www.clrmarine.com the other one is
shop.torreson.com/marine_diesel_direct/universal
If I was closer I'd have you up and running in no time, however I hope these can be of help to you in the meantime.
Good Luck
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Old 05-02-2013, 23:21   #56
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Re: Need some help from the diesel gurus

If you are trying to remove the starter make sure you disconnect the cable from the battery post. I would also suggest you get Nigel Calders book on boat engine and mechanical systems.
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Old 05-02-2013, 23:43   #57
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Re: Need some help from the diesel gurus

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Originally Posted by Ryan H View Post
I was getting 13.5 volts to both the solenoid and the starter. !
You need to measure the voltage with the engine turning over and not connected to shore power.
Measuring the voltage at the glow plugs with the glow plugs on will also demonstrate the same problem.
Do this test before you pull the starter. Your lights dimming when the glow plugs are engaged indicates an electrical problem. The starter will not work satisfactorily without a good electrical supply.
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Old 05-02-2013, 23:53   #58
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Re: Need some help from the diesel gurus

RyanH. Gearbox wouldn't be locked would it? A good battery would find it a struggle turn starter at the right speed if trying to turn a motor + gearbox + prop.
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Old 06-02-2013, 00:16   #59
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Re: Need some help from the diesel gurus

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RyanH. Gearbox wouldn't be locked would it? A good battery would find it a struggle turn starter at the right speed if trying to turn a motor + gearbox + prop.
Frigging brilliant. Seriously. The type of thing we should always check first, but sometimes never think of, especially when it's cold.
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Old 06-02-2013, 00:23   #60
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Re: Need some help from the diesel gurus

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Originally Posted by FlyingCloud1937 View Post
I have read the whole of the thread and I find myself back full circle to the OP. Many have touched on various of the issues, but there is always a path of elimination that must be followed.

Problem Solving 101.

1. Most diesel engines that use a key start sequence use what is known as an energize to run solenoid.

What that means is that as soon as the key is turned on an actuator moves the fuel rack to the run position. Some also use a energize to stop, which means they have a separate momentary switch to kill the engine.

If the fuel rack doesn't move to the run position when the key is turned on the engine will never start.

2. Make sure you have airless fuel at the injectors.

Which means crack the injector lines at the injector and tic over the engine, there must be fuel free from air bubbles.

3. You must have enough cranking amps, to run the energize to run solenoid, the glow plugs and crank the starter.

If in number 1 you confirm the the fuel rack moves to the run position, but as soon as you energize the glow plugs and all the lights dim, then you don't have enough battery power. You said that you are in Mass.. and it's cold, If the batteries are below 40F then you have a voltage loss due to temp.., but you may also have a voltage drop due to wire connections compounding. Most glow plugs on small diesels draw less then 15 amps, so you should not see every light in the boat dim. If you do you either have a bad bat or bad connections at the bat terminals.

4. A diesel engine needs to spin fast enough and with enough torque from the starter to overcome the compression of the engine.

So verify all of the above If all is as should be, turn off the intake water at the through-hull to the sea strainer, drain the water from the lift muffler, there should be a petcock. If no drain at the lift muffler, then disconnect the exhaust input at the muffler, crank the starter motor, and if she fires be prepared to immediately kill the engine.

If she's still slow to turn, then we have to conclude that:

1. We have a cold and or week batteries.
2. We have a voltage drop due to improper cable size or connectors.
3. We have a bad aka high resistance starter.

To measure voltage drop, we need first measure the bat voltage at the posts of the bats, not the terminals bolted to the bats...but the lead post.

We need to measure the voltage at the glow plug energize terminal, and each glow plug. This means a Meter negative first connected with the neg the neg bat post direct, then the meter pos. connected to the glow plug pos., then energize the glow circuit. If we see a large voltage drop, and we have ruled out the battery and it's terminals then we can know it's the neg. circuit.

If all reads as expected, then reverse voltage drop must be tested. The positive of the meter to the pos. of the battery and the negitive of the meter to the neg. of the glow plug circuit, then energize the glow circuit, a large voltage drop will indicate the pos. circuit, as the problem.

If all test well with no voltage drop, then you must move to the starter circuit, and perform the same test, to the starter circuit on both side on the stater solenoid.

Lloyd
Now a little research shows this is either a manual cable for run/stop position, or it's a energize to stop.

If you don't have run/stop cable, then it must be an energize to stop, which means it has a Trombetta solenoid much like the early Westerbekes...connected to the fuel rack, there will be a spring that holds the fuel rack in the run position, and then to shut down the stop button is held until the engine stops then a release of the switch de-energizes the Trombetta Solenoid.

So again crack the fuel lines at the injector, and tic the motor over with the starter. You must have fuel flow free from air when you do this!!

If you have free fuel with this test, then it's battery/or connections, and or maybe a backflow issue in the exhaust. see above for the proper tests.

Lloyd
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