Quick tip for starting that old diesel... - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 4 Old 07-14-2008 Thread Starter
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Quick tip for starting that old diesel...

This may not be a new tip, but was to me, so I thought I would share.

If your diesel is hard to start, maybe the glow plugs are getting weak or don't work, whatever the reason. Try this, it works well for me.

Cut the fuel to the engine. Turn the engine over for a few seconds, more if its very cold, but not more than 15 seconds or so as you risk sea water entering the chamber. 3-5 seconds works for me. Stop. Open the fuel and turn over the engine, should start right up. Essentially your pre warming the chamber with friction without dumping cold fuel into the chamber.

I am actually putting less wear & tear on my starter, and using ether is not such a good idea with glow plugs.

Of course I am not saying good engine maintenance and servicing is not important, but I am sure I am not the only one who's diesel has trouble with cold starts


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Last edited by T37Chef; 07-14-2008 at 02:41 PM.
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post #2 of 4 Old 07-14-2008
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Nice tip Chef. I don't have glow plugs but when it's cold out, I pull the kill switch and crank for about 4 seconds with the throttle about 3/4 full. Then I push in the kill switch, bring down the throttle and she usually comes right to life.

S/V Gracie
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post #3 of 4 Old 07-14-2008
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Good idea that one. I will try it next time I have trouble.
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post #4 of 4 Old 07-14-2008
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I use this method when ever my boat has set for a period of time. I've got a 1976 Irwin 37CC and I started doing this because the quick turing over of the motor without it starting is to help lubricate it without the force of starting it while it's dry inside. Also I try to turn it over every two or three weeks when the it's really cold out. I also keep a 120 watt light bulb lit in the engine campartment during the winter to just keep the area a little warmer than the outside temp.

Good advice,

s/v Blue Bayou
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