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Old 06-15-2010
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Universal M-12 AMP Drop at Start-up

I recently purchased a '85 O'Day 28 fitted with an Universal M-12 Diesel. It ran great at first, but over time it began to not start at first try. The issue was exacerbated following a 6 hour day of running the motor. We had stopped for the night and then had an emergency and needed to evacuate one of the crew. I tried to start the M-12 in the normal manner... turn key "on", heard the fuel pump energize and everything appeared normal until i pressed down on the glow plug button. The AMP meter dropped to a negative 60 and all power was lost to the panel including the fuel pump. Fooling with the wires I noticed that some where extremely hot to the point of almost melting their protective covering.

Can anyone help with this problem, engine still won't start?

FYI - Crew member was rescued by the USCG and fine after a brief hospital stay. Glad the radio still worked.
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Old 06-15-2010
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I would guess a bad connection would be the number one cause of heat followed by bad wire
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Old 06-15-2010
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Sounds like ground or short in the glow plug wiring. You should be able to troubleshoot that with a digital multimeter.

Note you can start the engine without the glowplugs if necessary. Will take a bit more cranking (especially in cool weather). Using more initial throttle may help. A BRIEF shot of starting spray (or even WD-40) can be used as a last resort.
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Old 06-17-2010
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Thanks for the advice. I'll see what precipitates this weekend when I get back to the boat.
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