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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance > Engines > Diesel
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Old 08-06-2012
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Universal M18 Power Loss

Some history before I get to the problem. Bought an Ericson 30+ last year and had to motor sail up the Jersey coast for 8hrs. After about 5hrs. running the engine a Universal M18 it seemed to power down but never stopped. We throttled back to idle for a few minutes and it worked fine to our destination.
Fast forward to this weekend. First time for a long run with engine. Our destination was a 10 hr. run. After about 7 hrs. then engine lost power and slowed down( same as last year). Any suggestions on where to start to correct the problem?
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Re: Universal M18 Power Loss

dirty fuel filters?
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Old 08-06-2012
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Re: Universal M18 Power Loss

Partially plugged tank vent? Maybe the fuel tank pickup tube screen picking up debris?,
If it has one you might consider removing it and let the filter(s) catch any debris. You didn't say if it heated up? Let us know what you find.

Paul T
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Old 08-06-2012
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Re: Universal M18 Power Loss

C34 Critical Upgrades topic has a lot of M25 series engine info, similar engien to yours: CRITICAL UPGRADES - DO THESE OR ELSE!!!
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Re: Universal M18 Power Loss

Do you start getting any smoke when this happens? If so, what color?

Otherwise, you are most likely experiencing an issue that causes less fuel delivery. On sailboats, a common culprit is plugged fuel filters. When they start to plug, the engine will run fine at lower throttle but won't have power on the top end. This situation does not fix itself so you should notice it regardless of how long the engine has run. Similar to plugged fuel filters is a plugged pickup in the tank or a plugged tank vent line. The vent line will fix itself if you loosen the fuel fill so it is easy to check. Another common one is that the fuel shutdown will slowly vibrate so that it is pulled out just enough to cause a loss of power. I have experienced this on several boats and it is not a big deal because you just push it back in. It is unlikely that you have a heat related issue as your engine has been running at steady state for many hours but it would be worth checking your temp gauge when this happens. There are other possibilities but these are the ones that I would start with.
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Re: Universal M18 Power Loss

Thanks for all the advice. I will troubleshoot these this week and report back.
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