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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance > Engines > Diesel
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Diesel This is a new forum dedicated to diesel engines and their applicable accessories.


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  #1  
Old 06-26-2010
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Surge and Die

As a was entering a cut in the reef in the engine surged and died. I was able to sail in and anchor safely, but I am having trouble fixing it.

I replaced the Racor filter and tried to prime it with the inline electric pump, but no fuel came out (yes, the valve is open). Is it possible that the fuel line picking up the fuel from the tank has been clogged? How do you remove the fuel line from the tank and is it advisable?

There was considerable gunk when I changed the Racor. The boat had also been sitting for a month in the Bahamas before this happened.

The boat is a Pearson 365 and the engine is a Westerbeke 40.
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Old 06-26-2010
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Chad,

You have the classic signs of fuel starvation, most likely due to clogging of some sort.

You have already identified dirty fuel as the most likely culprit. Problem now is to clean the fuel delivery system (lines, filters) as best you can before getting to real help (tank cleaning).

Yes, clogging can take place at the fuel pickup in the tank. It's sometimes very hard to get to the site of clogging, unless you can easily remove the fuel pickup from the tank, or you have a large inspection port on the tank and get physically get to the pickup.

Depending on how bad the clog is, you might be able to blow it out or, probably better, use a wire inserted inside the pickup tube to punch it out. Sometimes this isn't possible due to the 90-degree fitting atop the tank.

But, make no mistake, if you have clogging from dirty fuel it's very likely your tank is dirty also and will need cleaning. The fuel will need polishing as well. You'll need lots of filters and filter changes to boot.

Bill

Last edited by btrayfors; 06-26-2010 at 08:44 AM.
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Old 06-26-2010
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Silly question.. if you have one is the filter on the engine clogged? I've a racor 220 and small spin on type on my old kubota (universal)
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Old 06-26-2010
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Alright, I have spent the day tracing the fuel line from the tank to the Racor and I haven't found any clogs. Blew into the fuel tank and hear bubbles and blew threw all of the high pressure hoses to the racor filter - all was fine.

I still can't prime the racor with the electric pump or the manual pump. Any more ideas?
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Old 06-26-2010
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Smile Surg and Die Diesel

Be sure to check to see if you have enough fuel in the tank and that the fuel is above the pickup tube. You might have to add fuel for this.

An alternate possibility is to have a 5 gallon fuel container to use as a temporary tank then use another hose that drops into the container then connects to the electric fuel pump then to the racor filter. You will then have a positive way to check whether it's the fuel pump, fuel tank or the hose to the fuel tank, etc., so elimate one by one and you should be able to solve the problem.

Good luck and fair winds,

Jim
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Old 06-27-2010
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I'd point out that the pickup tube in the fuel tank on many boats had a small screen on it to act as a debris filter...these screens are notorious for getting clogged with dead "algae" and can often cause the engine to surge and die. If your tank is equipped with them, I highly recommend removing them.
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Old 06-27-2010
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Problem fixed. For some reason I wasn't able to prime the fuel hoses until I turned over the engine. After that the electric pump did its job and I bled the engine normally.

All is well and I think I will congratulate myself with a drink at the bar for not having to get a mechanic.
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Old 06-27-2010
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