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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 09-10-2013
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Air in fuel system

I have some problems with my engine - Universal 5416.
Here is what started happening - after I changed the fuel filter I didn't know that I need to bleed the fuel line and my engine stopped. Someone helped me to bleed it and the engine started working fine.
After some time (several hours running, about 5-10 I would say) the engine shut down. What happened is when I increased the throttle the engine started choking and stopped.
After some fiddling and bleeding the fuel line it started working again. I thought there is just a remains from my previous air that wasn't bled. But the issue started happening again more and more often to the point that the engine only runs several seconds before shutting down.
What I observed is that there is no air in the first nut that I bleed (marked 1 in the picture), but the second bleeding point has it (marked 3 in the diagram attached).
I am hoping that the culprit is in the hose marked 2 since at some point the engine stopped in the middle of the ocean and I "fixed" it by taping the hose marked 2. The concern is that it returned again next day with the hose still taped.

What would you suggest it could be? Is my assertion correct and what would be other reason for the air in the system?
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Old 09-10-2013
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Re: Air in fuel system

If the fuel line is leaking (letting air in), the fuel may be dissolving the adhesive from your tape. I'd replace the hose (inexpensive fix) before trying too much else.
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Old 09-10-2013
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Re: Air in fuel system

Hey,

Whenever I perform maintenance, and then experience a problem, I always assume that I must have done something wrong. In your case you had an engine that ran reliably (I hope), you changed the fuel filter, and now you are getting air into the fuel system. So, I would check the work your did.
-Did you miss a gasket on a fuel filter?
-Is the fuel filter tight enough?
-Did you close the bleed bolt properly?
-Did you accidentally damage something nearby?

Note that it can take a long time to get all the air out of the fuel lines. Does your engine have an electric fuel pump or just a manual one? Do you have a partner that can crank the engine while you open the bleed bolts?

I would check everything carefully and then bleed the system again. Let the engine run for at least 15 minutes and really more like 30 minutes. Then shut if off and let it sit for 15 minutes. If it starts after that you are probably good.

Good luck,
Barry
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Re: Air in fuel system

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimgo View Post
If the fuel line is leaking (letting air in), the fuel may be dissolving the adhesive from your tape. I'd replace the hose (inexpensive fix) before trying too much else.
That's what I thought. Does anyone know what type of hose is this? My boat if pretty far from where I live, 2.5 hours drive, so it's hard to just go there and check
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Re: Air in fuel system

Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryL View Post
Hey,

Whenever I perform maintenance, and then experience a problem, I always assume that I must have done something wrong. In your case you had an engine that ran reliably (I hope), you changed the fuel filter, and now you are getting air into the fuel system. So, I would check the work your did.
-Did you miss a gasket on a fuel filter?
-Is the fuel filter tight enough?
-Did you close the bleed bolt properly?
-Did you accidentally damage something nearby?

Note that it can take a long time to get all the air out of the fuel lines. Does your engine have an electric fuel pump or just a manual one? Do you have a partner that can crank the engine while you open the bleed bolts?

I would check everything carefully and then bleed the system again. Let the engine run for at least 15 minutes and really more like 30 minutes. Then shut if off and let it sit for 15 minutes. If it starts after that you are probably good.

Good luck,
Barry

That makes sense and that what I thought might be happening. I checked the tightness and it's pretty tight. I didn't check for the gasket, but as far as I remember it had the rubber (or something similar) gasket when I installed it. I remember putting oil on it as was recommended.
I closed the bolts pretty tight, the first time it was a mechanic that helped me to bleed the fuel, he knew what he was doing.
Regarding the pump - it's electric.

Regarding the damage - there might be some related to overheating. After the winter I didn't turn the raw water valve and the engine overheated for some time, not too long. I was thinking it might have damaged some rubber parts.
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Old 09-10-2013
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Re: Air in fuel system

air can enter from the pick up, from the banjo fittings, from the fittings either side of the lift and injector pumps---you need to look for each potential fo air leak and address these not merely by tightening them so hard they crack, but replacing those needing to be replaced.
we had to modify the fuel pick up so it didnt carry air bubbles into line while engine was at rest---we made a hook into the pick up so it allowed the air bubble to float to surface of tank, not pass through the fuel line to engine....
goood luck with your air leak search. it can sometimes take 3000 miles, as did mine, so far--we are rebuilding the entire fuel delivery system from tank to engine.
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Re: Air in fuel system

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
air can enter from the pick up, from the banjo fittings, from the fittings either side of the lift and injector pumps---you need to look for each potential for air leak and address these not merely by tightening them so hard they crack, but replacing those needing to be replaced.
we had to modify the fuel pick up so it didnt carry air bubbles into line while engine was at rest---we made a hook into the pick up so it allowed the air bubble to float to surface of tank, not pass through the fuel line to engine....
goood luck with your air leak search. it can sometimes take 3000 miles, as did mine, so far--we are rebuilding the entire fuel delivery system from tank to engine.
well, one thing that is a good in this situation is that I only see air at the injector pump assembly bleeding nut, not at the fuel filter nut, so I suppose the air comes somewhere in between the fuel filter and injector assembly. When you say I can crack something, it didn't look like there is something to crack, just a nut that goes into metal, I didn't see any way for them to crack, you would really tighten it hard, which I didn't do.
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Re: Air in fuel system

Anyway, can someone please say what type of fuel hose should I use and where do I find it?

The engine is Universal 5416 (and I think it's the same as Universal M20).
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Re: Air in fuel system

you need diesel fuel hose--findable in marine stores, rv stores and truck stops, mebbe napa has it. i like napa.
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Re: Air in fuel system

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
you need diesel fuel hose--findable in marine stores, rv stores and truck stops, mebbe napa has it. i like napa.
don't they have different diameters?
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