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Old 11-11-2011, 05:34   #1
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Universal M-18 Two-Cylinder Diesel Won't Start

Marina put my boat back into the water after a bottom job late yesterday. I could not get the engine to start or even fire. Never failed to start in 14 years and ran perfect for the 1 hour trip over to the marina on Monday. I shut it down, turned off the power, locked it up and kept the keys, before it was lifted out and did the reverse when they splashed it. They had no access to engine, etc., so I don't think they did anything to it.

I confirmed that there is power to the ignition switch, preheat switch and glow plugs (and they get hot). Ignition will provide power to gauges in the "on" position, but not crank the engine when turned to the "start" position. I can crank the engine by using a screwdriver on the ignition switch and engine turns over fine, but will not fire or even try to fire.

Tried using compression release and dropping it back when engine hit max rpm, no luck. Bled the lines, no air bubbles and electric fuel pump is pumping plenty of fuel. It has never needed bleeding unless changing filters, but wanted to eliminate this.

I will replace the ignition switch and preheat switch and try again this morning. I did remember to close the raw water intake during all this cranking. Is it possible to "Flood" a diesel engine with too much fuel with so much cranking or does it the unburned fuel just make it's way out of the exhaust?

Since I confirmed it is getting fuel, air, preheat works and cranks at normal speed, I can't understand why it won't fire with the ignition in the "on" position.

Any ideas? I'll read your replies on my Blackberry while at the boat today.

Thanks and sorry so long.

Steve
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Old 11-11-2011, 06:01   #2
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I had that motor on my Ericson 30 ... And that issue. Check the wire on the solenoid on the starter. Make sure it has a clean connection and the crimp is good.
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Old 11-11-2011, 06:06   #3
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It was a small, I believe 10-12 gauge or so wire, blue on mine. I don't have the boat anymore so purely from memory. Hope that helps.
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Old 11-11-2011, 06:19   #4
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Re: No start Universal M-18 2 cyl diesel

OP says he jumped starter switch with s/driver, engine spun, but no start, ergo, my solenoid comment.
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Old 11-11-2011, 06:21   #5
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Re: No start Universal M-18 2 cyl diesel

Hello Steve,

As your engine turns over on the starter I suspect that the issue is not electrical. Years ago we had some issues with these engines relating to the stop cable hanging up on the later ones and also with carbon build up in the exhaust manifold.

If you have gone through everything and it still wont start I suggest that you loosen the nuts on the manifold studs and just give the manifold a bit of room to move. This will make an awful racket in the boat but if the engine starts it will prove that your exhaust manifold ports are blocked. If so, remove the manifold and get to work scraping out the carbon crud.

Stanley
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Old 11-11-2011, 06:35   #6
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Ah. True Blue Stocking. Scanned over that part. Oh well. If only it was that easy.
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Old 11-11-2011, 06:57   #7
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Re: No start Universal M-18 2 cyl diesel

Is your stop solenoid activating or stuck in the stop position?
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Old 11-11-2011, 07:27   #8
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Re: No start Universal M-18 2 cyl diesel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve W View Post
Marina put my boat back into the water after a bottom job late yesterday. I could not get the engine to start or even fire. Never failed to start in 14 years and ran perfect for the 1 hour trip over to the marina on Monday. I shut it down, turned off the power, locked it up and kept the keys, before it was lifted out and did the reverse when they splashed it. They had no access to engine, etc., so I don't think they did anything to it.

I confirmed that there is power to the ignition switch, preheat switch and glow plugs (and they get hot). Ignition will provide power to gauges in the "on" position, but not crank the engine when turned to the "start" position. I can crank the engine by using a screwdriver on the ignition switch and engine turns over fine, but will not fire or even try to fire.

Tried using compression release and dropping it back when engine hit max rpm, no luck. Bled the lines, no air bubbles and electric fuel pump is pumping plenty of fuel. It has never needed bleeding unless changing filters, but wanted to eliminate this.

I will replace the ignition switch and preheat switch and try again this morning. I did remember to close the raw water intake during all this cranking. Is it possible to "Flood" a diesel engine with too much fuel with so much cranking or does it the unburned fuel just make it's way out of the exhaust?

Since I confirmed it is getting fuel, air, preheat works and cranks at normal speed, I can't understand why it won't fire with the ignition in the "on" position.

Any ideas? I'll read your replies on my Blackberry while at the boat today.

Thanks and sorry so long.

Steve
Pretty common on these older Universal motors. Check the fuse in the yellow solenoid line as the holders often corrode and disintegrate or the fuse pops. The fuse is close to the solenoid and is a common failure point.

Also check & clean all connections and re-terminate if necessary. The "trailer plugs" used on these early motors wiring harnesses are also notorious for corroding, oxidizing and failing to pass current. The linked article below goes into more detail.

Feel free to read the article below on critical upgrades that should be done to any early Universal engine wiring harness.

Universal Diesel Wiring Harness Upgrade
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Old 11-11-2011, 07:38   #9
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Re: No start Universal M-18 2 cyl diesel

The only part that is unclear to me is Steve writes:

"I can't understand why it won't fire with the ignition in the "on" position."

Is the issue that is simply won't turn over under normal operating procedure (not jumped)?

When it was "jumped" with the screwdriver you said it turned over.
Would it not start or was that simply done as a quick test and not allowed to have enough time to actually start?

He also said it was all working fine prior to the haul for years. It still could be a slipped or poorly connected wire. This happened on my previous boat with this motor multiple times so it could still be an electrical issue and I say that because the wiring was done two ways on that motor/control panel.
Attachment 33567

I think it more likely to have a wiring disconnect as a result of a haul than anything mechanical. Not an expert though, just trying to help.

Good Luck!!!

-Chris
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Old 11-11-2011, 07:41   #10
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Re: No start Universal M-18 2 cyl diesel

If the engine turns over by shorting the solenoid, but does not start then the problem has to be fuel. Yes, there is an electrical problem in the system, but it shouldn't have anything to do with the engine not starting when the solenoid is shorted and the engine spins over.
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Old 11-11-2011, 07:43   #11
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Re: No start Universal M-18 2 cyl diesel

Having trouble with that attachment. Let's try again.

universal wiring mod.pdf
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Old 11-11-2011, 15:54   #12
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Re: Universal M-18 Two Cylinder Diesel Won't Start

Update: spent the day stuffed in the lazarette, access to engine panel is almost impossible since the OEM or PO permanently caulked the panel in place, probably 5200. Found two burned wires, one to Ignition and one to the glow plug switch. Ignition swith would not crank engine, but would power up, allowing me to crank engine with screwdriver. Replaced ignition switch burned wires and glow plug switch. Engine will crank from ignition switch, but new momentary glow plug switch got hot and failed. Problem is short in glow plug circuit. Old timer walked over with a can of starting fluid to try. I hesitated because of reading bad thing that can happen using that stuff on this forum. He sprayed a little onto a rag, held it over the intake and the engine started immediately. My new Hero! Motored an hour back to my slip and the engine started right up again in the slip. Now I can research the problem and determine the best way to test and rewire? Thanks for all the ideas, good to know there is plenty of help here.
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Old 11-11-2011, 17:30   #13
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Glad to hear. That stuff can be very frustrating. Damn the noise maker. Haha.
All the best!
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Old 11-11-2011, 19:09   #14
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Re: Universal M-18 Two Cylinder Diesel Won't Start

Yes, starting fluid is bad if used every time but once in awhile to get an engine going every 14 years is not too bad.
I believe you found that the glow plugs were not heating enough to get the engine started. Is that correct?
Glad you got it going.
Please keep us posted on what you do to solve the problem.
kind regards,
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Old 11-11-2011, 19:22   #15
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Re: Universal M-18 Two Cylinder Diesel Won't Start

Great you got it going. I'm confused about the statement in your original post that the glow plugs got hot.
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