Universal M25 hard starting and smoking - SailNet Community

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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 07-19-2013
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Universal M25 hard starting and smoking

Hi all!

So I've recently installed a used M25 in my Catalina 27 and it really runs very well. Nice and smooth, plenty of power, and I'm just ecstatic to have a reliable backup for when the elements aren't cooperating.

This is my first experience with a Universal diesel however and I have two questions/concerns...

1st.) When I come to the boat, its a little hard to start. Batteries have plenty of juice and it turns over nicely but it obviously doesn't have any fuel. I have to open the bleeder bolt and have someone crank for about 2 seconds until fuel comes out and then close it again. When I do this, the engine starts immediately and will restart on the very first turn every time thereafter. When I leave the boat and return a few days later, its the same problem... What could be causing this??


2nd.) How much smoke should I see when running around 2200? None at all? What I see currently is none during the day, but if I'm motoring at night my stern light shows up some smoke coming from the exhaust, and there is a slight diesel smell. Its a light colored smoke, and all but invisible during the day. Should I be concerned about this? Just a note, the prop I am using was the prop from the previous engine and I have no idea what that engine was. Don't know if maybe the engine is working too hard at 2200 bc of a wrong sized prop maybe??

Thanks so much for your help!!

Here are some pics of us cruising with our dog Mollie and our redneck "bedsheet bimini" until we can afford a bimini.



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Old 07-19-2013
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Re: Universal M25 hard starting and smoking

My pictures aren't showing up for me... just in case they aren't working, here are the links.

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0ByQk...it?usp=sharing

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0ByQk...it?usp=sharing
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Old 07-19-2013
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Re: Universal M25 hard starting and smoking

First off;
I love the Bedsheet Bimini!

Second;
You should not have to crank / bleed the engine every time.
  • Are you preheating the glow plugs before you hit the start button? I believe that the manual says 20 seconds preheat is normal.
  • Are the glow plugs working properly?
  • A common improvement to the engine is to have the preheat button connected to a solenoid, which in turn provides higher amperage and voltageto the glow plugs. You may want to install this, if it has not already been done.
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Re: Universal M25 hard starting and smoking

Thanks for the reply eherlihy.

I believe the glow plugs are working well. I say this because all the wiring on the engine is new from a diesel re-seller in Virginia called Trans-Atlantic diesels.

Also, I can see the voltmeter dip when I hit the glowplug although I imagine thats not conclusive proof.

I also did a test. I bled the line and started the engine without using any glowplug at all and it started immediately. No cranking at all. I believe this is a fuel line problem of some sort. (Nevertheless, even though the compression seems good I still always preheat before starting.)

Is there something that should stop the fuel from draining out of the line into the tank? It seems to be like there might be a leak somewhere that is allowing air into the fuel lines... I'm not sure.
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Old 07-19-2013
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Re: Universal M25 hard starting and smoking

The M25 has (or should have), an electric lift pump (with a built-in filter) which forces fuel to the mechanical pump (on the side of the engine) which feeds the fuel injector pump.

Verify that each is working.
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Old 07-20-2013
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Re: Universal M25 hard starting and smoking

eh is right.

These items may also be of interest to you, we have a ton of M235 stuff on our C34 website

CRITICAL UPGRADES - DO THESE OR ELSE!!!

Catalina 34 - C34

Scroll down to engine, but there are other issues, like fuel that will be of interest to you.

Make sure you have the updated alternator bracket.
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