Universal M18 - stopping using throttle push back - SailNet Community

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Old 10-01-2012
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Universal M18 - stopping using throttle push back

Hey all,

The previous owner told us the way to stop the engine was to pull up on a black lever, which we've been doing happily for over 2 years.

Over the weekend I was doing something novel... reading the manual.

It advises that the way to stop the engine is to push back on the throttle and not to use the decompression lever.

I tried to push back on the throttle but the engine didn't stop, it barely makes any movement on the engine end of the throttle.

a) I am correct in assuming the black lever we've been pulling is the decompression lever we're not supposed to pull up?

b) Do we need to adjust the throttle lever to have more of an impact on the throttle at the engine end?

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Old 10-01-2012
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Re: Universal M18 - stopping using throttle push back

Take a look at the linkage between your throttle lever and the actual cable that goes to the engine.

On mine, there's a T-shaped bell crank type lever that 1.) when straight up it has the cable length in the "idle" position, 2.) when moved forward it pushes the cable on the engine to increasingly open the throttle, and 3.) when moved aft it ALSO pushes the cable to open the engine throttle.
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Re: Universal M18 - stopping using throttle push back

Thanks jjablonowski.

From memory 1) and 2) are the same. 3) has barely any movement at the engine end.

If 3) also opens the engine throttle how does it's action stop the engine?

I would expect 3) to close the throttle completely and starve the engine of fuel causing it to stop. I tried to push the throttle closed by hand but it didn't move, though I didn't get too forceful.

I'm away from the boat for the week but will review it's action next time.
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Re: Universal M18 - stopping using throttle push back

When you push against the throttle to stop the engine, you are doing so against quite a powerful spring. You may have to push harder than you have so far. Presumably it's designed thus to prevent you from accidentally stopping the engine.

There is a distinct stop at the idle position, then it will move further against the spring. (if it's adjusted properly!). I have to push hard on the lever, so I would not expect you to be able to move the arm at the engine by hand.

When I got my Universal I didn't know this and couldn't figure out how to stop the engine!
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Last edited by MarkSF; 10-01-2012 at 07:21 PM.
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Old 10-01-2012
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Re: Universal M18 - stopping using throttle push back

Single lever throttle controls as described by Joe do NOT by design shut off the fuel completely. If the fuel were shut off when the lever is pulled aft for stern propulsion the engine would stop. Engines with single lever controls like this must use a separate cable for fuel shutoff...an engine stop cable.

Many engines have throttle controls that differ from the controls described in engine manuals. For example my Yanmar tech manual describes a dual lever control system with one lever for the transmission and a separate lever for the fuel. With this system the fuel is completely shut off when the fuel lever is pulled to the full stop position and no separate engine stop cable is used. Engine reversing was accomplished by shifting the second lever from full forward to full aft.

The installed system is a single lever system. I replaced the old system with it because it was simple and reliable and less expensive. I had to install an engine stop cable as a result of the change.

Capt T: I don't think the lever you are pulling is the decompression lever. It is more than likely the engine stop control cable. Your manual is correct...it is a bad idea to use decompression of the cylinders to stop the engine.
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Re: Universal M18 - stopping using throttle push back

Thanks guys, really appreciate your input.

I wish I could post pics but for now I'll make a verbal description.

There are two levers in the cockpit, one to select forward and reverse, and the other is the throttle lever.

The throttle lever can be pushed backward against a spring for roughly two inches, I held it there for around 5 seconds and nothing happened. I has friend push the lever back whilst I observed what happened. I could see a little bit of movement, but I'm talking less than a quarter of an inch.

The other engine control is a handle we pull up that we've been up using to stop the engine, this is connected to a different part of the engine about 4" aft of the throttle lever.

I apologise for not giving a clearer picture from the start.
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Re: Universal M18 - stopping using throttle push back

Universal M-18 Images and Specifications - Universal Diesel Engine Owners Manual - Marine Diesel Direct / Torresen Sailing Site

I can now see the black pull up lever is connected to the stop lever. The decompression lever is on the top. Seems that the previous owner was correct.

If only they were so diligent on the maintenance!
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Old 10-02-2012
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Re: Universal M18 - stopping using throttle push back

Don't stop a motor with the decompression lever(s).
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Old 10-06-2012
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Re: Universal M18 - stopping using throttle push back

The engine stop lever/handle is separate from the decompression lever. They are TWO separate things. The throttle should NOT stop the engine. If it does, your minimum stop is set too low or your cable is too short.

Take a more detailed look at your engine and the data at Marine Diesel Engines and Engine Parts - Universal, Volvo, Westerbeke, Yanmar, MASE.
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