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Old 07-10-2006
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Probable Injection Pump failure YSE8

My engine failed when I most needed it last Sunday, and courtesy of the Australian Volunteer Coastguard who towed me up the channel into the Marina, I got back to the Marina safely.

I've had no sign of any trouble in the 20 hours or so of operation in the last couple of months since purchasing the boat (Compass 28 yacht), but as I had no service history on the old YSE8, I wanted a major service to be completed on it by someone who knew more about marine diesels than I did. I had the marina mechanics (Yanmar dealership) complete a
service recently to be safe, which involved replacing oils, checking cooling system, replacing impeller, and replacing the automotive fuel filter the previous owner had installed (!), with a new marine fuel filter. I watched what they did and they gave me some tips on the things I can do myself.

Why did the engine fail? I suspected air got into the fuel system, but I'm not sure how. It has been suggested that the movement of the boat on the day may have caused the fuel header tank to inject air, but I habitually keep that tank topped up before each trip, and we wouldn't have used much fuel anyway. Apart from a brief start up after the service, my venture out yesterday was the first use of the engine since the service.

The engine just cut out after 50 mins or so after we negotiated the tricky channel from the Marina out into the Bay. The wind was gusting to 20-25 knots and the boat was lively in the 5ft plus chop. We had just finished turning upwind under power to hoist a well reefed main and No3 foresail when the engine just died. We expedited settling the boat down under sail, then tried to get the engine started. She just didn't want to go. After getting some great experience in how my boat handles in a decent wind, we tried the engine again. No go. I radioed the Coastguard and arranged for them to meet me at the entrance to the channel leading to the Marina. (No, it is NOT a channel worth considering sailing up!).

After spending a day trying to figure this all out, the mechanics have proved the fuel system to the injector pump, and they are saying that the pump is the problem. Insufficient fuel is coming out of the pump. Examination of the existing components show some wear in the elements. They suggest replacing the pump and the injector elements therein. They can't explain why this has suddenly become an issue; they say that typically there are preceding symptoms that would warn of impending failure. They have also noted that compression is about 10lb below spec, but say this is not of concern right now.

I was wondering if anyone could shed any light on this from their own experience?
Hakuna Matata
(No worries mate!)
Western Port Marina
Hastings, Vic, Australia
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