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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Engines > Diesel
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Old 08-04-2010
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im a diesel dummy!!

I just bought a 1977 Chrysler 26 equipped with a volvo penta MD 5B/110S!(i know they dont have the best reputation!) I was told it ran 3 years ago, but it has been sitting idle since. I am fairly mechanicaly inclined, however I know almost nothing about these diesel engines. I can get the engine to crank over but it doesnt start. I have messed with the cold start lever on the head, and it still wont fire. The control panel has a key with acc. and on positions and when you turn the key further it cranks as would be expected. There are two mechanical levers on the instrument panel that pull out, moving levers on the engine via wire. There is also an elecric switch with i believe three positions. I dont know what any of these controls are for. So if anyone can help i would greatly appreciate it. BTW i have blead the fuel lines and it seems to be getting fuel.
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Old 08-04-2010
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Do your self a favor; buy Nigel Calder's book on diesel engines. You will gain considerable insight in troubleshooting your engine.
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Old 08-04-2010
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Thanks! I'll look for it, but in the mean time i would still like any advice from someone who might be able to help.
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Old 08-04-2010
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One of the levers is probably an engine kill lever, which will prevent the engine from starting if it is pulled out. I would check to see if the engine is getting fuel, air and cooling water. If it is, you should be all set.

Start by pushing the two levers in and trying to start it.

BTW, if the boat is on the hard, DO NOT USE A HOSE TO PROVIDE COOLING WATER. If the boat is on the hard, you want to use a bucket with a hose providing water to the bucket, and then put a hose from the engine's raw water cooling intake side in the bucket.
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Old 08-04-2010
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make sure the fuel shut off knob is closed, if the engine has one.
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Old 08-04-2010
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I have the user manual for that engine, from my 1984 boat. If you contact me directly at gary.lucas@verizon.net I'll scan it in for you. It is 35 pages of generally useful information, wiring diagram, trouble shooting etc. This is before they gave you 5 pages printed in 7 languages!

Gary H. Lucas
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Old 08-05-2010
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Smile motor manual

thanks for the offer on the manual! I sent an email with my info, and will wait for your response! thx
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Old 08-05-2010
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volvo penta md5b

thanks for the help guys, but all this thing does is crank and crank but doesnt start. It seems to be trying but just doesnt quite make it. Pretty sure im gonna have to pull it and rebuild. I kind of figured i would when i bought the boat, but i guess i just hoped it would be easier. Any help or guidance on where to get rebuild kits or parts for this engine would be helpful.
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Old 08-05-2010
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Any engine that hasn't been run in several years has to be suspect. I'd strongly second the idea of getting Calder's book, or something similar, because diesel engines are just different from gasoline engines. Even the good ones have their own nasty problems, and all it takes it some air in the fuel lines to make it never start. And then, you can't just get the air out, there is usually only one "right" way to purge any one engine and fuel system. If it uses copper crush washers on the fuel system, you'd never guess that those are "use once and discard" and they MUST be replaced if you bleed the system at those points.

Rebuild? Maybe not, but you really want the engine manual, and a good book on diesels in general, to get you past those queer little quirks that diesels have. Before you pull anything apart!
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Old 08-05-2010
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Here is one diesel lightweights opinion.
Spray WD 40 onto the air intake for the engine (no more then about 2 seconds worth). Now try cranking the engine. If it tries to start then you have proved you have the compression the engine needs to run and you are probably not getting fuel into the cylinders. If it doesn't effect it then maybe the kill switch is on/off.
WD 40 is 'the' starter fluid for diesels.
A diesel engine just needs compression, clean fuel and air to run. Of course it needs cooling water too if you want to run it for more then a few minutes.
Get the Calder book if you want to keep your diesel running.
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