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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Engines > Diesel
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Diesel This is a forum dedicated to diesel engines and their applicable accessories.


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Old 06-30-2013
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Universal M18 - runs in neutral dies in gear.

I'm new to diesels, spent 3 years developing a knowledge of atomic 4's then sandy sank my boat. This is a new boat for me bought it over the winter, Catalina 30 with a universal M18. Did a sea trial in December ran fine, when the boat was launched we brought her about 3 miles to where I keep her, after finishing my rigging projects and replacing lines, and getting the sails up when I went to take her for her inaugural sail she started oK but sticky throttle. When I put the boat in gear in idle the revs go way down and she dies. There is no throttle response when she is in gear. A friend suggested the fuel system, I replaced all fuel filteres, pumped out the tank and put in new fuel but same deal, runs fine in neutral but put it in gear, no throttle response and no apparent forward movement, thinking to attacking the transmission and maybe diving to see if the prop is clear. Any thoughts I'd appreciate it.

John Rolka
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Old 06-30-2013
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Re: Universal M18 - runs in neutral dies in gear.

When was the last time the boat was hauled and checked/surveyed/cleaned it's bottom? Suspect fowling of prop and thru hauls.
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Old 06-30-2013
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Re: Universal M18 - runs in neutral dies in gear.

If you pull the throttle or press the override, so that it does not engage the transmission, will it increase RPMs without dying?
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Re: Universal M18 - runs in neutral dies in gear.

She was out of the water for a year before I bought her, the only thru hull in question is cooling which when she runs she pumps water fine and stays in proper temp range. I was thinkng of diving to inspect the prop, cutlas which were fine before launch, I was able to spin the shaft at the transmission coupling easily. The throttle is initially sticky but she responds, she idles at around 800rpm out of gear I've run her up to 2200 rpm. Whats confusing me when she was launched I motored over here no problem, same when I took her out in December, so far I've changed the fuel, I thing Ive eliminated fuel contamination and clogged filters. It's not like the prop is fouled, I can spin that easily???

What in the world is going on???

Thanks for your thoughts
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Old 06-30-2013
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Re: Universal M18 - runs in neutral dies in gear.

something like weeds or line could let it spin by hand but with power, really bog down the engine. Just saying.. Just a week ago a tree trunk floated between my rudder and prop. So you just never know what lurks beneath...
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Re: Universal M18 - runs in neutral dies in gear.

So she will run up to 2200 out of gear but not in gear. Has to be drive train, unless she isn't running properly up to 2200, ie smoking or straining or knocking, etc.

Have you inspected the transmission? Fluid? Does it have the right product? Some take motor oil, some take trans fluid. Wonder if it has the right stuff. Just a WAG.
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Old 07-01-2013
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Re: Universal M18 - runs in neutral dies in gear.

Critical Upgrades has some fuel issues related to M25 (similar) engines, in addition to those items mentioned: CRITICAL UPGRADES - DO THESE OR ELSE!!!

It's three pages, please read them all, not all are engine related.

Good luck.
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