Diesel Engine won't start - SailNet Community
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 11 Old 02-09-2009 Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 3
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
 
Diesel Engine won't start

Have a 1985 Hunter sailboat with a 3 cyl. Yanmar diesel engine that was rebuilt just over a year ago. No glow plugs. Ever since rebuilding, the engine has been hard to start especially in the cold weather. Been having to flip two of the three compression switches to help start but now that isn't even working. Some white smoke coming from exhaust while trying to start. Any suggestions or possibilities of what the problem is?

Last edited by NCShadowdragn; 02-10-2009 at 08:16 AM.
NCShadowdragn is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 11 Old 02-09-2009
Senior Member
 
djodenda's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Kirkland, Washington
Posts: 1,700
Thanks: 1
Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Rep Power: 11
   
Welcome to Sailnet!

We can be a bit more helpful if you answer a couple of questions:

1) What kind and model of engine is it?
2) Does it have a glow plugs?
3) Does the engine crank as fast as it did when it used to start?
4) Have you done anything to the engine recently?


David

David

1987 CS 36 Merlin "Kyrie"

"They drove a dump truck full of money up to my house. I'm not made of stone!" -Krusty the Clown
djodenda is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #3 of 11 Old 02-09-2009
Senior Member
 
peikenberry's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Seattle/Tacoma
Posts: 188
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 16
 
If a diesel won't start it generally is due to one or all of three things
fuel not getting to the cylinders
air not getting to the cylinders
not enough compression

smoke usually means unburned fuel, but not white smoke. White smoke usually means water in the cylinders. This could be a head gasket leak.

First check cranking speed. Is the battery charged and strong enough to crank the engine fast enough. Otherwise you are not getting enough compression for it to fire.

If cranking speed is up and compression ok check your air and fuel filters to make sure they aren't clogged.

Check to see if you have water in the fuel. Water makes diesel fuel look milky.

If you have glow plugs make sure they are working. Cold weather always causes hard starts but glow plugs help.

If you still have the problem then you need to have a diesel tech run some tests.

Ike
My Boat building Web Site

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

My Boating Safety Blog

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Dont Tell Me that I can't. Tell me how I can!
peikenberry is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #4 of 11 Old 02-09-2009
Courtney the Dancer
 
jrd22's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: San Juan Islands., WA, USA
Posts: 3,885
Thanks: 4
Thanked 22 Times in 21 Posts
Rep Power: 15
 
I'm guessing you have a Yanmar 3gm, but they are all similar. White smoke while cranking can be unburnt fuel, ours did that and we had the injectors rebuilt (and then replaced). That helped the hard starting and reduced the white smoke. Another thing that we have used recently that seems to help is something I read here on Sailnet. Pull your stop cable out and crank for 10 seconds and then push the cable in while cranking, usually fires right up. Hope that helps.

John
SV Laurie Anne

1988 Brewer 40 Pilothouse

jrd22 is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #5 of 11 Old 02-12-2009
Senior Member
 
timebandit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 928
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 13
 
???NO FUEL IN THE TANK???

Trouble shooting requires questions and answers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NCShadowdragn View Post
Have a 1985 Hunter sailboat with a 3 cyl. Yanmar diesel engine that was rebuilt just over a year ago. No glow plugs. Ever since rebuilding, the engine has been hard to start especially in the cold weather. Been having to flip two of the three compression switches to help start but now that isn't even working. Some white smoke coming from exhaust while trying to start. Any suggestions or possibilities of what the problem is?

Rick
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Mac 25
Copernicus
Southern California
I am not a prejudice racist sexist bigot. I just hate stupid people.
timebandit is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #6 of 11 Old 02-12-2009
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 551
Thanks: 3
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Rep Power: 9
 
No fuel in the tank is a good guess. An air leak in fuel system is another.
SteveInMD is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #7 of 11 Old 02-13-2009
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Virginia
Posts: 725
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 9
 
I have to do this on mine when cold. Make sure battery is full. I turn off the water intake. Open all the decompression levers, crank for 5-10 sec to get the oil moving. open to 3/4 full throttle, crank for 5 sec. close decompression levers and start, reduce throttle to idle and open water valve. I think that the increased oil pressure and the fuel increases pressure. The white smoke is probably just unburnt fuel. But you don't want to just keep cranking the water through the engine
badsanta is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #8 of 11 Old 02-13-2009
1977 Morgan OI 30
 
Joesaila's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 438
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 9
 
Battery?

Where you just had it rebuilt I would suspect the battery is too low. If you live in a cold climate the sugestion re closing the seawater cooler is right on. That suggestion re opening the decompression levers is worth trying too. Let us know what works.

My formula for living is quite simple. I get up in the morning and I go to bed at night. In between, I occupy myself as best I can.
Cary Grant
Joesaila is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #9 of 11 Old 02-13-2009
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 171
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 8
 
Someone mentioned the battery- Specifically, the battery and wiring

look closely at the wiring from the battery to the power side of the starter (that's the big terminal) Also check where the negative cable connects to the engine (ground).

Check every connection. Look for corrosion on the terminals. Peel back the insulation and check for corrosion (green)

Your electrical system can work fine in all other respects but if there is corrosion on those big wires it creates resistance which turns current to heat.

That will cause your starter to turn slower and fail to start the engine.

Electrical problems cause confusion. A good battery and wires will allow the engine to spin fast enough to start and that may overcome worn valves or injectors. Likewise, fixing bad valves or injectors may allow the engine to start easier despite a week electrical system.

But wires are cheap and no skill is required and it's pretty hard to make it worse so it's the best place to start.

In over my head?
First Boat, a well-equipped 1977 Camper Nicholson 31
What is all this stuff and how does it work?
hertfordnc is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #10 of 11 Old 02-13-2009 Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 3
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
 
Plenty of fuel in the tank. Thanks for all the suggestions. We plan to head for a dock under sail tomorrow and get fully re-charged and try again. Will let you know how it goes. Again, thanks for all the suggestions.
NCShadowdragn is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.


User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
READ THIS TODAY-It may save you an engine or at least some time and money! Marleetet Gear & Maintenance 6 07-14-2008 04:28 PM
Surveying a Diesel Engine Tom Wood Buying a Boat Articles 0 01-26-2003 07:00 PM
Safety Check Mark Matthews Her Sailnet Articles 0 01-25-2000 07:00 PM
Engine Checkup Tom Wood Gear and Maintenance Articles 0 03-26-1999 07:00 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome