Both starting batteries have been removed, thoroughly cleaned, volt meter checked and reinstalled with fresh terminal grease. New relay switches have been installed as well. Both port and starboard engines will start, but unreliably. Last weekend I started each engine a dozen or so times over the day, letting them run for 10 minutes or more each time before shutting them down. The last attempts that afternoon were unsuccessful and I waited until the next morning to try again.
The starboard engine starts more reliably than the port. When it does not start, a loud clicking sound from the starter motor
is observed with very slow rotation of the pulleys and belt. I waited until the next morning and it started fine. I restarted it several times and then the starter clicked and it would not start the rest of the day.
The port engine started without hesitation after the battery reinstall. Restarting throughout the day was fine, until late afternoon when it cranked but would not fire. When the port engine does start, a fair volume of smoke is emitted from the exhaust
While my wife turned the key to the glow plug position, I listened for the relay switches in the engine rooms and tested the glow plug bus for voltage. All seemed fine.
Observations at the helm –
The starboard “dummy” lights and tach seem to be in error. After turning the key to warm up the glow plugs, the tach goes to 4K and then back to 0, which I think is fine. But then it quickly decreases to 2K and oscillates between 4K and 2K – the engine is in glow plug mode at this point. The glow plug lamp does not illuminate (I checked voltages on the glow plug bus on the engine and they are receiving power), then the oil lamp
comes on with the audible alarm
. The helm instruments go through this routine whether the engine starts or not. If the engine starts, the tach settles on 850rpm after a minute or so of running.
The port glow plug “dummy light” lamp does not illuminate either, except once the engine has started and then it remains illuminated until shutting the engine down. The tach is unstable the entire time the engine is running, yet the sound of the engine is stable.
Each engine compartment has a HEHR Power System box. The starboard unit flashes a green LED on/off every second with a low volume audible alarm. The port unit is not illuminated except when the glow plugs are on. No audible alarm is noted.
We want to go sailing, but not until we determine the source of these problems and have reliable engines. Any assistance is very much appreciated.