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Old 17-05-2021, 21:36   #61
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Boat: Pearson 386
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Re: Universal 25XP not starting...bleeding?

Consider that you could be starved for fuel. I owned a 1990 Catalina for 19 years and have seen others from that period which have fine mesh bronze screen secured around the bottom of the fuel pick up tube in the fuel tank. Even if you as the owner are quite good about using algaecide it is not uncommon for black algae to accumulate on it to fully clog that pick up screen and starve the engine. Since it sounds like you do have a proper Racor fuel filter/water separator in place and of course the newly changed secondary fuel filter on the engine. The simple fix if this is what's happening is to get to your fuel tank undue the small screws and pull up the fuel pickup tube examine the pick up screen; if it is loaded up with algae (black scum) simply remove the screen and put it back in w/o a screen. Be careful not to loose the gasket or the orientation of the sender/access plate as it must be put back the same way it came out. Continue using a good algaecide as normal. You need fuel that is able to flow whether your engine is self bleeding or not. You may, as others have said, have to crack your injectors at the head to re-start if your particular engine is not self bleeding.
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Old 19-05-2021, 12:36   #62
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Location: Casco Bay, Maine
Boat: Catalina 30
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Re: Universal 25XP not starting...bleeding?

hey everyone - update.

Just got back to shore from the mooring. I pulled the pickup tube from the tank, no screen and not blocked. The pipe had a lot of crud on the outside of it; cleaned it up as best I could. The rubber hose is clean inside and out.

I pulled bottom off the lift pump...what an exercise that was. Unfortunately, it seemed 'apart' when I finally got it off...the spring and small valve were discombobulated inside the housing. No particulates. Put it back together the way it seemed to go, and carefully threaded it back on.

I then tried to bleed - opened the knurled nut, activated the pump. Fast clicking, then it slowed down a bit, but not to the tick every few seconds I had. Now it stays activated...I can almost feel fuel going through the hose from the lift pump to the secondary pump...or maybe it's vibration from the active pump.

I'm not seeing fuel coming out anywhere...and not hearing air escaping or seeing bubbles anywhere.

I think I'll pick up the Napa "replacement" pump, and at least eliminate that as a cause. Grrr I think I'll have to pull galley cabinets/counter apart to access...

Does it sound like an air leak?
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Old 19-05-2021, 18:14   #63
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Re: Universal 25XP not starting...bleeding?

OK Smosh, You have determined that the pickup screen they use on the end of the tube had already been removed or perhaps fell off, also quite possible. I do find it odd you found "crud" on the pick up tube itself, that does not speak well about the condition of the inside of your fuel tank. If it were build up on any prescreen whether at the pick up or integral to a lift pump at some point usually initially intermittently, the black algae will starve the feed to the engine enough to cause problems. The electric fuel pump you show, aka lift pump, is quite common and many have their own screen. Not all are lift pumps are serviceable to clean but the good news is electric lift pumps are quite cheap. I would replace it if the ticking sound is not uniform once activated because it should tick at an essentially constant rate with a good battery and not vary in the time it normally takes to start the engine. You can always take a container turn on the key and check for steady fuel flow just before the injector pump. At least one reply mentioned your glow plugs. I believe your engine needs the glow plugs functioning for a normal cold start. Maybe two good ones would be enough. I wouldn't think that all of a sudden three glow plugs went South because your engine was running and I assume re-starting normally during your passage. Were those warm engine starts or were their also some cold starts? I still say it's most likely a fuel feed problem. Fuel lines normally don't just develop air leaks, in your picture however it appears one nut on one of high pressure lines looks partially corroded or somehow damaged. The engine should still start because the other two are probably fine. Air is normally introduced when you change filters and I believe with your engine as long as you pre-fill your primary filter the self bleed will take of itself. The other way air is introduced is when fuel is interrupted or starved. Your engine probably won't start if your electric fuel pump is bad or it screen is loaded up.
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