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Old 03-11-2014, 13:26   #31
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Re: Next Step to Get Diesel Started

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Don't forget this, close your seacock while testing, but open it of course when she starts
I closed it up yesterday. Hopefully didn't pull too much water in. Will attempt to drain exhaust muffler this evening.
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Old 04-11-2014, 12:25   #32
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Re: Next Step to Get Diesel Started

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You sure your not looking at the tip of a glow plug?
NOLA - Some engines have a heating element in the intake manifold that is meant to heat up the air as it is taken in. That could be what he was looking at. It wouldn't be called a glow plug but maybe a preheater?

Anyway I hope you get it sorted out. One step at a time.
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Old 04-11-2014, 12:31   #33
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Re: Next Step to Get Diesel Started

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NOLA - Some engines have a heating element in the intake manifold that is meant to heat up the air as it is taken in. That could be what he was looking at. It wouldn't be called a glow plug but maybe a preheater?

Anyway I hope you get it sorted out. One step at a time.
I pulled the three glow plugs last night and tested each one individually by connecting to lead from switch and grounding to engine block. All three lit up without issue. Because of limited time (I recently moved to Baton Rouge, 70 miles from my boat) and limited experience, I called the nearby yard and asked if they would send someone out. The process was not a total loss as I learned a lot about my diesel as I searched for the problem.

I'll update when I hear back from the yard (and recover from the sticker shock).
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Old 05-11-2014, 11:46   #34
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Re: Next Step to Get Diesel Started

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Originally Posted by NOLA_sailing View Post
I pulled the three glow plugs last night and tested each one individually by connecting to lead from switch and grounding to engine block. All three lit up without issue. Because of limited time (I recently moved to Baton Rouge, 70 miles from my boat) and limited experience, I called the nearby yard and asked if they would send someone out. The process was not a total loss as I learned a lot about my diesel as I searched for the problem.

I'll update when I hear back from the yard (and recover from the sticker shock).
The sticker shock is what forced me to start really trying to learn my engine. Did the mechanic start the engine?
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Old 05-11-2014, 11:51   #35
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Re: Next Step to Get Diesel Started

The sticker shock is what makes me want to quit my job and become a diesel mechanic!
Good luck


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Old 05-11-2014, 13:11   #36
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Re: Next Step to Get Diesel Started

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The sticker shock is what forced me to start really trying to learn my engine. Did the mechanic start the engine?
The mechanic won't be able to go out there until next Wednesday; which is fine since I'll be out of town this weekend.

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The sticker shock is what makes me want to quit my job and become a diesel mechanic!
Good luck
Thank you. I have the same sentiment on DIY and will be trying to absorb everything I can from the mechanic.
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Old 05-11-2014, 19:04   #37
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Re: Next Step to Get Diesel Started

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The mechanic won't be able to go out there until next Wednesday; which is fine since I'll be out of town this weekend.



Thank you. I have the same sentiment on DIY and will be trying to absorb everything I can from the mechanic.
You are entitled to ask as many questions as you can think of since you are paying for it. Let us know how it goes. I'm always intrigued by what prevents an engine from starting.

kindest regards,
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Old 14-11-2014, 07:38   #38
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Re: Next Step to Get Diesel Started

As I'm sure everyone has been waiting diligently on the edge of their seats for the diagnosis, I finally got a call from the mechanic who said the electric fuel pump (lift pump) had gone bad. Much better than the injector pump (or worse)! As it was making noise during and after cranking and that some fuel would come out while injectors were of opened, I assumed it was operational. Thanks again for everybody's help.
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Old 14-11-2014, 10:02   #39
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Re: Next Step to Get Diesel Started

As a follow-up question, how can I confirm sure that no raw water flowed into the engine block during the failed starts? It wasn't until advised on this board that I closed the raw water sea-cock. That was after several cranking attempts spread over a few days. I did not crank for more than 5-10 seconds at a time and no more than two or three tries in a row but I'm concerned that the attempts probably aggregate to a significant amount of cranking without the benefit of starting. A huge paranoia is brooding in my mind that I have done some serious damage out of ignorance. An assuagement or confirmation of my concerns would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 14-11-2014, 10:19   #40
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Re: Next Step to Get Diesel Started

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As a follow-up question, how can I confirm sure that no raw water flowed into the engine block during the failed starts? It wasn't until advised on this board that I closed the raw water sea-cock. That was after several cranking attempts spread over a few days. I did not crank for more than 5-10 seconds at a time and no more than two or three tries in a row but I'm concerned that the attempts probably aggregate to a significant amount of cranking without the benefit of starting. A huge paranoia is brooding in my mind that I have done some serious damage out of ignorance. An assuagement or confirmation of my concerns would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Usually 30 seconds is the "allowable" max. Of course, this depends on the size of your muffler. If the engine turns over, you'll be OK. You should also have an anti-siphon on the hose between the engine and the injector nipple to avoid backflooding the engine. Do you?
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Old 14-11-2014, 10:39   #41
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Re: Next Step to Get Diesel Started

I tried to start a Catalina 30 once with no success until someone who knew the boat told me the proper procedure. First hold the glow plug button down for 20 seconds, and CONTINUE TO HOLD THE GLOW PLUG BUTTON DOWN WHILE PRESSING THE START BUTTON. This worked every time, but releasing the glow plug button and immediately hitting the start button never worked. It doesn't make a lot of sense, but who am I to argue with what works.
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Old 14-11-2014, 10:51   #42
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Re: Next Step to Get Diesel Started

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Usually 30 seconds is the "allowable" max. Of course, this depends on the size of your muffler. If the engine turns over, you'll be OK. You should also have an anti-siphon on the hose between the engine and the injector nipple to avoid backflooding the engine. Do you?
The muffler (or a t least the white casing seems fairly large but I don't have much of reference point. One of the hoses (can't remember which) to/from the muffler runs vertically up about 2 feet or so under the galley sink to a Vetus U-shaped valve or vent. I am assuming this is or acts as the anti-siphon. whether it's an anti-siphon for the transom or engine I'm not sure. I'm going out there tomorrow and can take pictures.

The replacement fuel pump was ordered today and won't be installed until next week so I'll be nice and stressed until then!
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Old 14-11-2014, 10:56   #43
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Re: Next Step to Get Diesel Started

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I tried to start a Catalina 30 once with no success until someone who knew the boat told me the proper procedure. First hold the glow plug button down for 20 seconds, and CONTINUE TO HOLD THE GLOW PLUG BUTTON DOWN WHILE PRESSING THE START BUTTON. This worked every time, but releasing the glow plug button and immediately hitting the start button never worked. It doesn't make a lot of sense, but who am I to argue with what works.
Don, I appreciate the input but my panel is different than most Catalina's. My starter is engaged by turning the key instead of a push button. The glow plug is a toggle switch instead of button. During my troubleshooting I did learn that the glow switch is wired opposite of the adjacent blower switch (switch down is ON instead of OFF).
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Old 14-11-2014, 11:11   #44
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Re: Next Step to Get Diesel Started

If you pump enough raw water into the engine(accidentally),the eng. will "fetch up" hard,& won't turn over.Just release your decompression lever,roll eng. a few turns by hand(hand crank or socket wrench on crank pulley bolt) to clear water out thru exhaust valves.Then,start as usual with starter motor.No harm done,as long as you didn't let it sit for days in water locked condition(Corrosion,rust,etc).There is a SLIGHT chance of bending/breaking a valve,pushrod,etc,by waterlocking,so listen carefully for odd sounds.
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Old 14-11-2014, 13:30   #45
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Re: Next Step to Get Diesel Started

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most I think are in series, which means if one in a four cyl engine burns out the three remaining ones get all the juice meant for four, which means they can fail fast.
Hmmmm. Not sure about this.

If wired in series, and it failed in such a way where it became a short circuit (somehow achieving significantly LESS resistance across its terminals then the already very-low-resistance, functional glow plugs) then I suppose you'd see this. But that seems (almost impossibly?) unlikely based on how heating elements work. The way they fail is typically to burn out and become an OPEN circuit. In which case, if wired in series, when one light goes out they all go out. No damage to the good ones, the circuit is open and no juice is flowing.

Also, if wired in parallel, an open circuit failure mode should still largely leave the other plugs unaffected (ignoring voltage-drop effects from bad wiring or bad batteries, but even in that case the plugs would never see _higher_ than the intended voltage.)


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