Where to bleed air?! - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 18 Old 09-24-2010 Thread Starter
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Where to bleed air?!

I changed the fuel filter (BF940) on my older (gold color) Universal M-18 diesel engine. First time for me. The manual (totally useless piece of writing) says that it is important to bleed the air from the top of the filter and also (maybe) from the injector pump, but -- naturally -- provides no explanation nor diagram to show where these points are. I am a complete novice, so I don't want to start randomly loosening screws in there. I don't even know where the injector pumps are, but I have attached a photo of the top of the filter assembly. The "top" of the picture is starboard, and the bottom is port. The left of the picture is forward and the right aft. Any help at all would be hugely appreciated.

Last edited by jimmy; 09-24-2010 at 10:14 AM. Reason: cannot see the picture I uploaded
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post #2 of 18 Old 09-24-2010 Thread Starter
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I can't see the picture I uploaded anywhere.....
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post #3 of 18 Old 09-24-2010
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There should be a bleed screw on the filter housing you screwed your filter to..either high on the side or right on top....No need to remove it just loosen it a turn or two and manually pump your fuel pump until all air is removed and clear fuel flows.

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post #4 of 18 Old 09-24-2010 Thread Starter
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Thank you... I don't know what the screw looks like. On the top of the fuel filter assembly there are two hoses attached and there is one small nut (not a screw-driver-screw) in addition to the nuts that hold on the hoses, but I don't know if it is the one. I think I might have an electrical pump not manual (I turn on a key before pressing the glow plug warmer and starting), as I have never seen a place to manually pump anything. The manual (of course) has no information about this at all only that the engine has one or the other.
Here's a pic: http://img716.imageshack.us/img716/3...fuelfilter.jpg

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post #5 of 18 Old 09-24-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy View Post
Thank you... I don't know what the screw looks like. On the top of the fuel filter assembly there are two hoses attached and there is one small nut (not a screw-driver-screw) in addition to the nuts that hold on the hoses, but I don't know if it is the one. I think I might have an electrical pump not manual (I turn on a key before pressing the glow plug warmer and starting), as I have never seen a place to manually pump anything. The manual (of course) has no information about this at all only that the engine has one or the other.
Hey Jimmy

I'm not familiar with your engine but these things are generally pretty standard.

No doubt the filter unit is located before any form of lift pump on the engine.

If you have an electric pump it will be in the line before the filter unit. When the power is turned on an electric pump will generally click or whir and you should be able to hear that. Suggest you check this by loosening the nut on top of the filter and turn the power on. If the there is an electric pump, the fuel will start to flow from the nut.

I suspect though that you probably have a lift pump on the engine and if this is so, then you will need to pump the air all the way to the injector pump.

Let's start by identifying the stuff (sorry but you did say you're a complete novice so I don't mean to be insulting).

Follow the steel lines from the injectors on top of the engine to where they all come together. The piece of kit where they come together is the injector pump. If you then follow the rubber line from the injector pump onwards, it either goes to another piece of kit on the side of the engine (that is the lift pump) or it goes directly to the filter (unlikely).

The lift pump sometimes has a little lever on it that you can pump with. If it does, then look for a small nut on the injector pump that appears to have no purpose (does not secure anything). This will be the bleeding screw. Loosen it a turn or two (don't take it out) then work the lever on the lift pump. If my suppositions are correct, you should get a squirt of fuel with each pump. Pump it until there is clean air-free fuel squirting out. Close the screw while the fuel is squirting.

You're about half way there.

Close the seacock that provides raw water cooling to the engine. This is important to avoid raw water flooding the engine and equally important that you open it again once the engine runs. Crank the engine and see if it will run.

If it does and runs smoothly, then your done.

If it runs but with a misfire then you have some air in the pipes. Loosen the nut on the injector end of each pipe for a few seconds while the engine is running. When you tighten the nut, the engine will smooth out. Do each pipe in turn until the misfire is gone.

If the engine does not start, try loosening the injector pipes one at a time while cranking until you get a consistent squirt of fuel from the injector or the engine fires. Then refer to the point above to get rid of misfires.

Hope this helps.


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post #7 of 18 Old 09-24-2010 Thread Starter
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Thank you Omatako. When I say "complete novice", that is what I mean! :-) So yes, your detailed explanation was useful. But when you say "loosening the nut on top of the filter", which nut are your referring to (not me, I hope!)?
Also, (thanks to your detailed explanation, I could find these things!) it seems that the "unlikely" is the case on my engine; the non-steel line from the injector pump does go to the top of fuel filter assembly. It is that gold colored line at the 9:00 position in my pictures above. I cannot see any pump (according to the useless manual, I could have either a manual or an electric pump, and I am thinking now that maybe I have the latter). I do think I see the nut to loosen on the injector pump and will add a pic of that in a second to be sure. I am a complete novice, so I don't want to start unloosening things willy nilly until I know that they are the right things to fiddle with. Thanks again! Most helpful!
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On the picture above (as I interpret it), the steel lines from the injectors can been seen coming down onto the pump in the center of the pic. The gold flexible line can be seen just to their left heading back to the top of the fuel filter assembly. I am thinking that the bleed valve for this injector pump is that nut at the 9:00 (9:30?) position to the left of where the gold flexible line leaves the pump. Once I find the nut to open on the fuel filter, then which do I open first? The one in this pic looks like it has been opened over the years, but the ones on the fuel filter top do not; is it possible that I might only need to open this one?
Thanks again! Already I know much more than I started with and the day is not over yet!
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post #10 of 18 Old 09-24-2010
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Quote:
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I am thinking that the bleed valve for this injector pump is that nut at the 9:00 (9:30?) position to the left of where the gold flexible line leaves the pump.
Yes that looks like the likely candidate for a bleed screw.

The injector pump requires a positive in-coming pressure and is not designed to draw its own fuel from the tank. This being the case it needs a feed pump of sorts. The fact that there is no lift pump on the engine supports the theory that there ought to be an electric pump in the line somewhere. Basically the best advice I can offer is to follow the lines all the way back to the tank to see if there is some other device along the way.

I can't really tell from the picture of the filter whether there is a bleed screw there. The two hex heads visible to the left of the picture appear to be mounting bolts. The one on the right is most likely to be the bleed screw. Essentially, the same principle applies as before - if there is a nut or screw that appears to have no other purpose, that's probably the bleed screw. Also the same principle applies - don't remove it, just loosen it a turn or two and turn the key on. Hopefully an electric pump will eject all the air.

Just a point also - if there is no lift pump between the filter and the injector pump that is good news. In that case, bleeding the filter first will probably obviate the need to go through the whole process involving the injector pump etc that I've outlined in my earlier contribution.

Good luck.


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