Join Date: Jan 2012
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universal 5416 problem and solution
I have a 1969 Columbia MKII with the Universal 5416. This was originally going to be a story to illicit help starting the engine but reading the entire sailnet diesel sub forum and countless others I've solved the problem.
I did just about everything wrong. Terrible battery maintenance, irregular maintenance of the engine, not running the engine, no primary fuel filter, old fuel left for years, attempting starts with the raw water seacock open and just about anything you could think of.
I did have a good excuse as I've had 2 kids in the last 5 years which has left very little time for the boat. But now I've learned my lesson, preventative maintenance saves time in the long run and I should have learned allot more about my boat engine after I inherited it.
On to the problems and solutions. It had been about 18 months since I sccessfuy started the engine and it took me that Long before I made the time to start trouble shooting. My batteries were probably 4 or 5 years old and with my terrible maintenance this was definately a culprit. But the very hot, basically melting ground cable was the first thing to replace plus I upped a gauge. Even with the old battery this made the engine turn over much stronger. Still it wouldn't catch. I was reading everything I could about diesel engines and learned about the importance of clean fuel. Upon inspection, another huge problem. The fuel pick up line had some serious growth and the 10gallon plastic tank had some major sludge. After trying to clean the tank for a few hours I decided to replace all the fuel lines, filter, and use a 5 gallon jug with clean fuel as a supply. Still not catching. It sounded to me like a fuel problem but I bought a new starting battery just to eliminate another variable. Still nothing. I began to worry about water in the engine because of my false starts and the muffler was filled with water so back pressure could have been a problem. I drained the water inspected the exhaust elbow and still not starting.
So now I'm really worried about water in the cylinders. I pulled the glow plugs and injectors to inspect them and see if here was anything ugly in the cylinder. Fortunately no fluid inside. The glow plug was definately not functioning and the injectors had so much build up I couldn't see the nozzle. Great, I finally had some evidence there was a problem with the fuel supply. Since my engine is based on the kubota l185 tractor new injectors and glow plugs were very reasonably priced. During the insalation I was bleading the low pressure side with high pressure side of the fuel lines off and I noticed the injector pump gurgling. Mind you I have a electric fuel pump so I wasn't turning the engine over at this point and from my limited understanding the mechanical injector pump shouldn't pass fuel unless the engine is being cranked. Although this seemed problematic and potentially very expensive I decided to continue replaceing the injectors. After multiple bleeds still no luck. Now I'm really nervous about the injector pump. I removed the inspection cover and sure enough the pin seemed sticky. I sprayed some carb cleaner and some sea foam in the fuel intake side. I removed the high pressure fuel lines turned the engine over and no more gurgling, alternating spurts just like I'd expect. Sweet.
So I reattached the high pressure lines, throughally bled the system and BINGO success. The engine turned over and seemed to run well. I was jumping up and down throwing my hands in the like a little kid. Just to give some perspective on my mood I left the house that day telling the wife it might be time to hire a mechanic.
Let this be a lesson to all that a little time every year can save you allot of grief.
Now I'm off to get a new tank, add a primary fuel filter, echo charger and a whole list of other stuff but thankfully not an engine rebuild.
Quick question. I think a 6 gallon tank would be adequate for my needs and allow me to keep the tank topped off easily does this seem like a sound plan? any suggestions on a tank?
Thanks for listenting to my rant.
More questions to come.
Last edited by Faster; 03-22-2012 at 03:54 PM.