Intermittent starting problems with universal - SailNet Community
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 7 Old 08-29-2011 Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 18
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
 
Intermittent starting problems with universal

Have a Universal m3-20 18hp installed in our Newport 28. First boat for us and first exposure to a diesel engine. Been having intermittent starting problems.
About half the time the time the engine starts right up after holding glow plugs for around 45 secs- 1 min and cracking the cracking the throttle open about 1/3 open.

Other times, using same procedure the engine cranks and cranks and nothing. We ususally wait with the glow plugs on a bit longer and t hen try again. nothing. We repeat this process several times over next 5 mins or so without any luck.

We usually give up and let it set for a while (5-10- minutes and t hen start over with same procedure and t hen it usually starts fine.

Seems odd. Air tempture seems to be same as does everythging else but sometimes it starts right up and sometimes it just doesn't even act like its every going to start.

Engine has low hours (under 300) and battery seems strong, seems to crank strongly and fast. We are new to diesels so we are wondering if it is somethng we are doing wrong.. It also runs and idles fine after started.
Thanks
Allan
aeronca is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 7 Old 08-29-2011
Just another Moderator
 
Faster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New Westminster, BC
Posts: 16,551
Thanks: 105
Thanked 316 Times in 302 Posts
Rep Power: 10
     
Holding glow plugs on longer than a slow 10 count is a bit unusual... it shouldn't take nearly a minute to get things warmed enough to start.

Beyond that it's difficult to speculate - first thought is that your glow plug switch itself may be intermittent.. try to check if you're truly drawing current with the glow plugs switched on (often you'll hear a change in tone of the buzzer as the plugs load down your DC system...)

One other comment - if this is a regular occurrence I'd get into the habit of keeping your raw water through hull closed until the engine actually catches, otherwise you run the risk of back flooding the engine through the exhaust after repeated unsuccessful attempts to start.

Ron

1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"

".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
Faster is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #3 of 7 Old 08-30-2011 Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 18
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
 
Funny you mention the tone as sometimes it is intermittent, doesn't stay on whole time. However manual does specifify to hold plugs 30-60 secs.
aeronca is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #4 of 7 Old 08-30-2011
Dragon Mod
 
DRFerron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: SE Pennsylvania
Posts: 4,726
Thanks: 110
Thanked 212 Times in 194 Posts
Rep Power: 10
 
Dock
Quote:
Originally Posted by aeronca View Post
Funny you mention the tone as sometimes it is intermittent, doesn't stay on whole time. However manual does specifify to hold plugs 30-60 secs.
Our manual says the same. We can't start the engine with less than 30 seconds on the glow plug.

Our U 5411 had the same problem. For us it was the starter, which ended up being replaced.

Donna


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Catalina 30 TRBS
DRFerron is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #5 of 7 Old 08-30-2011
Senior Member
 
dabnis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Truckee, CA
Posts: 8,677
Thanks: 2
Thanked 116 Times in 114 Posts
Rep Power: 9
 
Suggest you take a resistants reading on each plug to ground. Not sure what the reading should be but they should all be about the same, maybe the manual will specify the reading. Then measure the voltage at each plug with the switch on, should be steady.
Check all electrical connections, plugs draw a lot of current. If fed through a solonoid consider replacing that if nothing else is found. Fuel maybe? if you can see the filter(s) bowl it should be full, no air in it. Check allconnections, air leaks are hard to find. Let us know what youi find.

Dabnis
dabnis is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #6 of 7 Old 09-02-2011
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 103
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 11
 
It is a fuel problem. If a diesel cranks and gets fuel in correct timing it will run given no other mechanical problems. There is no spark, and the glow plugs make starting easier, but shouldn't be necessary on a hot summer day. I think 1\3 throttle is a bit much for starting, but that may just be your engine. Look at your lift pump and make sure it is delivering fuel correctly, check the fuel filters and bleed the system according to manufacturers instructions. After this point you need a diesel mechanic to look at the fuel timing and injectors, but if you are getting any good run time I doubt it is injectors or timing. That tells me that they are working at least close to proper.
wescarroll is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #7 of 7 Old 09-05-2011 Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 18
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
 
Sorry for not responding back in the last few days but have pinched a nerve in my neck and have been at home flat on my back for a week now. My boat partner has been out in it a few times the last several days though and has reported no problems starting it. Like I said it could just be us not in tune with this particular engine and its quirks. Hopefully I will get down to the boat this week and try a few of the recommendations. Thanks for all the suggestions I'm sure we figure it out.
aeronca is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.


User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Universal 25, starting poblems Fearlessfrog Diesel 4 08-06-2011 08:48 PM
Universal M25 diesel starting problem tegs274 SailNet FAQ 3 04-21-2011 02:19 PM
Starting problem with a Universal M-18 elarmie Diesel 7 12-18-2010 03:07 AM
Universal M3-20 Cold Starting perlasowner Diesel 7 01-08-2010 08:12 PM
Starting problem Universal M-12 rlevy Gear & Maintenance 6 05-01-2008 02:10 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome