Glow Plug wont disengage on Universal - M18 on my 1985 Catalina 27 - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 18 Old 01-19-2019 Thread Starter
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Glow Plug wont disengage on Universal - M18 on my 1985 Catalina 27

Hello,
I have a Universal m-18 and I have noticed that recently the glow plug switch that I push in when I start the motor will not disengage. It stays stuck in. Last time I tried to start the motor it turned over but it took a few attempts (eventually I opened the throttle all the way and it started).

I'm wondering if this difficult time starting could be because the glow plug switch has stayed in and is wearing out the glow plug? I sprayed a bit of WD-40 to on the switch to attempt to lubricate it and now it will come out after some wiggling the glow plug switch doesnt pop back out like it used to. Is there a spring on this switch? Do I need to replace the glow plug switch or has anyone else encountered this problem?

Thanks
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post #2 of 18 Old 01-19-2019
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Re: Glow Plug wont disengage on Universal - M18 on my 1985 Catalina 27

You could change the swtch to a returning toggle.
Glow plugs are almost free at tractor supply houses
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post #3 of 18 Old 01-19-2019
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Re: Glow Plug wont disengage on Universal - M18 on my 1985 Catalina 27

Switch should be push to on and powers a solenoid in the glow plug circuit. Probably burned out the glow plug. Most glow plugs operate on counting one chimpanzee, two chimpanzees ,,,, ,,,, Ex Ford take 4 chimpanzees yours may differ. Usually good idea to pull old one Put an old rag over the open hole and crank a bit. Blows any possible burnt off tip out Then install new one
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Re: Glow Plug wont disengage on Universal - M18 on my 1985 Catalina 27

If there is ANY doubt about the switch, get a new one. There should also be a rubber boot protecting the START and GLO PLUG switches from moisture.

As @Capt Len posted, the switch should activate a solenoid, which should supply power to the glow plugs. However, the switch should also energize the start button to enable you to engage the starter. Many people have bypassed this feature for whatever justification they have managed to come up with. On my boat, I re-wired it to enable the switches to work as they should.


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Re: Glow Plug wont disengage on Universal - M18 on my 1985 Catalina 27

I forgot to mention that new glow plugs for that engine should cost <$15 each.


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post #6 of 18 Old 01-19-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Glow Plug wont disengage on Universal - M18 on my 1985 Catalina 27

My boat doesnt have the wiring harness upgrade that many talk about on that motor so I dont think it goes to a solenoid. The wiring harness replacement is a lot of work that I'm not up for at this point. Do you think I would be alright by just replacing the Glow Plug Push Switch? If that doesnt do the trick then maybe I should change the glow plugs too? Im pretty new to this so I dont want to get in over my head and open a can of worms.

Is there a way to tell if the glow plugs new replacing too?

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Re: Glow Plug wont disengage on Universal - M18 on my 1985 Catalina 27

If the wiring is ok, do the plug and switch.
But take hard look at the wiring

Its probably time. Nothing lasts forever.
Dont want elec probs later on
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Re: Glow Plug wont disengage on Universal - M18 on my 1985 Catalina 27

Glow plugs can be tested with an ohmmeter Dead open is a clue and most likely. Good is only a few ohms depends on unit. Semi hooped is possible This is not complicated Wiring must be safe and understood. My '(lurch) an 86 f250 D suffered a complete under hood fire I simply ran new wires from a toggle switch and 2 push buttons on the dash to fuel solenoid and to glow plug relay and start solenoid .Fused thru what used to be the underdash wiring harness Works just fine.
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Re: Glow Plug wont disengage on Universal - M18 on my 1985 Catalina 27

S :

If your glow-plug switch is malfunctioning, kill the power, cut the wires out of it, then put a manual switch alongside it to take over the same function. Wire it below decks if you have to. You could put it on an illuminated switch so it draws your attention to it if you leave it on too long.
On my ship, we call it a "shotgun wire" and "shotgun switch".
You should only have to use your glow-plug switch when starting cold anyway so you should not have to use it too often.
I don't have glow plugs on my old motor, but it should work for you.

Remember to switch it off again when running.
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Re: Glow Plug wont disengage on Universal - M18 on my 1985 Catalina 27

Sounds good guys. Im gonna replace the switch and plugs and see how it goes. I think some moisture probably got in the switch and is causing it to not disengage like it should. I was able to wiggle the glow plug button out today just enough that I could get some pliers on it and pull the button all the way out. Then started it up with no problems. Unfortunately I had to use pliers again to pull the button back out but time to change that.


The wiring doesn't look too bad, its just that 'Trailer Connector" that I dont like but otherwise the wires generally look in good shape.
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