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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #11  
Old 09-09-2013
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Lightbulb Re: Diesel Starting

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
A friend has a 31' Allmond with a diesel engine.
He was told that he had to use the glow plug every time he wanted to start the engine even if it was just turned off a couple seconds before the restart attempt. Don't remember the engine model probably Universal.
Have you every heard of something like this?
The way I figure it once the engine is hot the glow plug is not going to make it any hotter.
It might be helpful to temper all the replies with a re-read of the OP for this thread.
He's not the person with the actual question. It's his friend, who reports some 'advice' from another person who 'told' him to do something.
First, have that friend log in and start a conversation with first-hand information. And, then also confirm the actual engine make and model.
And further, tell how the starter circuit is wired...

For example, our '88 Universal M25XP has a separate momentary-contact switch for the glow plugs. Start motor switch is separate. Ericson wired it that way, AFAIK.

FWIW, I have seem boats with the series circuit, as others have described.
I like having the option to pre-heat the cylinders a little or a lot, depending on ambient temp or how much heat remains from the previous running. We have a bit over 2K hours on ours.

As for either engine head design being inferior/superior, nothing to argue about. The cylinder head design is quite different. It's not like the two 'types' of diesel engine are identical and one just happens to have an extra hole bored in each combustion chamber for a glow plug.

I've met boaters that spend a lot of time in colder latitudes and really prefer the pre-heat type of engine, and others spending most of their time in hot or at least temperate climates who have no problem with either design.

I have, very occasionally, started our engine up when the ambient temp was in the low 20's (f) and it took a good 20 seconds of glow plugging to start 'er up. At the time I was told a guy in the yard that a similar middle-aged Yanmar would have been a Lot harder to light off.

Regards,
Loren

Last edited by olson34; 09-09-2013 at 12:26 PM.
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  #12  
Old 09-09-2013
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Re: Diesel Starting

My westerbeke 30b was wired such that you had to press the preheat, then the start.
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Re: Diesel Starting

For the sake of completeness - the preheat in my Westerbeke (and others I assume :-)) also pressurizes the fuel system. No need to bleed - you can hear the 'leccy fuel pump clicking for the first few seconds.

In answer to a previous poster, Westerbeke provides a guideline for the time you hold the preheat - more in colder climates, less in warmer...I hold mine for about 8 seconds.
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Re: Diesel Starting

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Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
On my Universal, the START button is wired in series with the PREHEAT button. This means that I must press PREHEAT to have the START button do something. I can press them at the same time (together) if I like. This could be simply changed by moving a jumper from one terminal of the preheat switch to another...

But why would you do this? If your batteries are so close to dead that this becomes an issue, switch to the other bank, or get a bigger battery bank.
Thanks for that information.
Didn't know about the series thing.

According to the universal site the series thing is only for push start.
The Almond has key start which according to the website should be wired parallel.
Also I'm pretty sure the PO did start it a couple times with just the key.

I know he replaced the key so I',m betting he did something wrong.
Maybe didn't put the nut on tight or something.

The batteries are OK, I'm leaning to a poor contact someplace.
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Re: Diesel Starting

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Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
Westerbeke likely does this to prevent folks from hydrolocking engines. Course they may have done it to prevent owners from cranking too long and physically melting the grossly undersized starter wire many 70's & 80's production builders used....
Thanks for that info.

I what way does this system prevent hydolocking or cranking too long?
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Re: Diesel Starting

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Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
Thanks for that info.
In what way does this system prevent hydolocking or cranking too long?
The longer you crank the starter, the more likely you will fill up the waterlift muffler with water moving into it from the HE. Without the force of combustion from the engine exhaust, that water in the muffler will not be expelled out thru the exhaust hose and out of the boat.
When the muffler will hold no more water, it will back up into the cylinders.

That's why it's common practice to close the raw water thruhull if you have to crank over the starter for a while during trouble-shooting efforts on a non-starting engine. Of course, the second it fires off and runs, you must immediately open that thruhull back up to get water flowing thru the HE and to the exhaust elbow.

Loren
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Re: Diesel Starting

The start sequence on my Westerbeke...key on and preheat pressed heats the glow plug and primes the electric fuel punp (you can hear it ticking). Usually about 20 seconds. Not necessary if it was recently operating.
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Re: Diesel Starting

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
Thanks for that information.
Didn't know about the series thing.

According to the universal site the series thing is only for push start.
The Almond has key start which according to the website should be wired parallel.
Also I'm pretty sure the PO did start it a couple times with just the key.

I know he replaced the key so I',m betting he did something wrong.
Maybe didn't put the nut on tight or something.

The batteries are OK, I'm leaning to a poor contact someplace.
Here is the schematic, with an interesting note, from the Universal Manual for the start circuit, showing the key and push buttons.
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