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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am taking possession of a 1983 Cal 27 and the motor has issues. I haven't personally tried running it yet, but a friend of the previous owner was telling me the following...
The boat has sat for the last 11 months without being run.
Last time they were out on it the motor was having what he thinks are fuel related issues. It would start up run for a couple minutes then die.
They would crank it over a couple times and it would start, run for a minute or two then die again.

My thought is that a fuel pump is not providing enough pressure to keep up with demand?
Maybe a clogged fuel filter?

How long can diesel fuel sit before going bad?
Best way to evacuate the existing fuel?

Any help is appreciated.
Zac
 

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to test system by pass using a bottle if clean fresh fuel with hose attached....if it does better and runs fine then that means you have leaks before the internal fuel filter banjo fitting before the high pressure tubing

if it still does it it means you mught have issues with the fittings at the injector(s)

if you still have issues after eliminating all possible sources of leaks(by passing fuel tank, extrenal fuel filter etc) look at the fuel pump, and diaphragm
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the help.

So if there is a loose connection or crack in a fuel line between the fuel tank and the motor this would cause the motor to act like this?

I am really uneasy about 11 month+ old diesel that has been sitting inside the motor. Is there a way to bleed that old fuel out without running it through the fuel filter and injector?

Another question I have is on the raw water intake...
I have read that if the motor is hard to start the water intake valve should be closed until after the motor starts.

Is this correct?
Would this cause damage to the impeller by not having water supply?
Or is it a different type of impeller than what is inside an outboard motor?
 

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the reason they say that is so your not running water through the engine for minutes at a time where its possible to get water in...

having said that max cranking times should never exceed 30 seconds...as it will damage the starter motor and overheat the wires on most any engine, especially diesels with their high comps to turn over

regarding the old fuel use a manual or electric pump and pump it out of he tank

rinse with fresh fuel a galon or so, pump out again...

dump a can of seafoam in tank then fill her up...this is good enough for most any tank that isnt completely trashed and old.

now

yes any crack anywhere in the fuel system is enough to hiccup a diesel, when there are more than one crack or a really bad fitting or loose banjo bolt etc the diesel will simply stall out and not start again.

sometimes you get lucky with a seal on the bottom of the racor fuel filter if you have one or something like that

but a new to you engine with unknown maintenance best just bite the bullet and get a good fuel filter(water separator if you have the change) new hoses and clamps, as well as new crush washers for all banjo fittings...

peace
 

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You may also want to check the tank vent or just run it with the filler cap off. I have read where the screen on the pick up tube, if there is one, in the tank gets plugged or picks up debris. The items that other posters mentioned are probably more likely to be causing the problem?

Paul T
 

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Lots of good suggestions above. Definitely sounds like either air in the fuel or fuel starvation. Just go after it one item at a time until you find what's causing the problem. Certainly starting by changing the fuel filter and fresh fuel makes sense. And no need to close the water intake unless the engine doesn't start right away. If it doesn't start, excessive cranking can cause water to back up in the exhaust system into the engine.
 

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I think your gut feeling is correct. Buy some more fuel and a fuel stabilizer and put it in the tank. You don't mention the engine, but if it's a Yanmar, on top of the valve cover is a compression lever. Have someone pull it up, Remove the air cleaner and squirt WD40 directly into the engine while you are cranking.

It should at least sputter or even start.

If that doesn't do it remove the valve cover, there will be two valves and I recommend you adjust them.

If it's a Yanmar diesel and you don't have it, there's a place to download the complete Yanmar engine manual here

http://www.catamaransite.com/engine.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks again for all the help. I am going to download that service manual but it appears to be for the newer 1GM10 motors and I am pretty sure my 1983 motor is a 1GM...Does that make a difference in the specification on valve adjustments? I would hate to adjust it incorrectly.

Next is onto the fuel system. I need to get the boat up and running right away and remove it from the sellers dock. This means I will not be able to take much time tinkering with one by one fuel system repairs. I was going to do the following...
Bring a can of new diesel with me, and enough flexible fuel line to connect the fuel can as close to the fuel pump as possible. I do not know the model or type of external fuel filter installed currently, so I was going to use a large lawn mower fuel filter attached inside the fuel can to make sure no deposits make it into the injectors.

Then once I have the boat moored at it's new home I can start troubleshooting the existing fuel system. Do you guys think this is a good idea? The motoring trip from the existing dock, until I at least clear the bridges in the downtown area, will be roughly 1 hr so it doesn't have to run for too long. I am guessing 3 gallons should be plenty? Also I should use automotive diesel correct because it is of higher quality?

Thanks again,
Zac
 

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The diesel in your tank will not go off in 11 months. But you can have a bug which grows and shows up as black gunge on your filter.

Why no borrow a outboard gas tank and fill that with diesel and gravity feed that engine.

When you are moving your boat make sure you can drop your anchor at a moments notice.

If you have a dinghy with an outboard be aware that even an 2 hp eggbeater will move you along just fine along as it is not a big head wind. Practice rigging for a hip tow and leave the lines attached.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I am curious as to what you mean by gravity feeding the motor. I do have a spare gas tank but it also has cracks in the line so it won't be the best option.

Do you guys happen to know what ID tubing I will need for the fuel line?
 

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that means you hold it higher than the fuel inlet on the engine...say hold the bottle fast to the galley sink or companionway above the engine or even in the cockpit and feed the hose to the engine....
but if the motor runs fine using this system then that means you know exactly where your problem is and that is before the engine filter...
 

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If you go the portable tank route, don't forget that diesels usually have a return fuel line. You need to run that back to the portable tank or you will quickly end up with an empty portable tank and the fuel in the permanent tank.
 

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you know I was going to say that...BUT not all tanks systems and diesels for that matter use return lines...

I do however beleive the 1gm does...

my 2gm had it...

good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks again for all the help. I couldn't have figured this out without you.

The new suction and return lines, gravity fed directly to the motor worked out. However, it was a serious PITA to bleed out all of the air. The gravity aspect allowed me to easily bleed out the air up to the point where you see the red arrow in this picture. I was just loosening the hard flue lines and allowing the siphon action from the fuel tank push the air out. However loosening the hard fuel line directly on top of the red arrow wouldn't happen, UNLESS I loosened the actual part that the red arrow is pointing to. Can someone tell me what that part is, and why it wouldn't allow fuel to gravity flow through it onto the injector?


After I finally figure out that the red arrow part needed to be loosened to allow fuel to pass onto the injector I was completely primed all the way to the injector. I double checked all fittings were tight and tried the motor again and it fired right up.

Now we start a whole new section of engine problems....
During the fuel system work I had been periodically turning over the motor with the engine stop lever pulled up (so motor wouldn't fire) so I could get the fuel pump spinning. As this was happening the engine temp gauge started to go up each time I turned over the motor. There was no fire being created but the temp gauge eventually went all the may to max 120 degrees and stayed there forever. I never once had the high temp alarm sound during the process however.
I am just guessing here but maybe it is a faulty gauge/sender?

Once I got the fuel lines primed and finally started the motor I verified that water was coming out the exhaust as it was running at the dock and it looked great. I ran the motor 10 minutes or so at around 2000 rpms to make sure it was working fine before we started out journey. Water kept coming out the exhaust, motor was warm to the touch but wouldn't burn you unless you left your hand on for a few seconds. We untied the dock lines and started motoring out into the river. The motor was not really struggling but it didn't want to rev up higher than 1800 rpm even if the throttle was pushed all the way forward. I am guessing it was resistance from the prop shaft or something that was overloading the motor. The exhaust was pretty black so I reduced throttle until the revs went down then only gave it enough throttle to get the revs up to 1800 and left it there. The black smoke went away and all was good....For about 60 seconds or so.
Then I noticed white/grey smoke coming from the exhaust and no water was exiting the motor. I quickly made sure my dad didn't close the kingston **** by accident but it was open. I quickly shutdown the motor, ran to the bow and dropped the Danforth S2000 43 lbs anchor (more on this later) and tied off the actor line. The motor was very hot to the touch so I knew something was wrong, but once again I never got a high temp alarm to sound.

When you don't get water flow I immediately think impeller, and luckily the boat had a spare onboard so I go about swapping it out. You can't get to the impeller cover plate unless you remove the lower pulley which was not easy to do without a pulley puller but I got it off. The damn screws were completely stripped out so I had to use vicegrips to remove them. Low and behold the impeller was in great condition, but I ended up swapping it out anyways just because I had the spare. I then started removing hoses and checking to see if they had blockages. All the hoses looked good but the motor inlet water passage had a blockage where the red arrow is.


I used an allen wrench to try and break it up, but I couldn't drag the blockage back to me and it got pushed into the motor. I then removed the thermostat cover and luckily the boat had a spare thermostat as well. However I didn't install it because I didn't want that blockage to get pushed into the new t-stat. I finally got the motor put back together and started it up and we had water coming out the exhaust once again, so I motored up to the anchor line and tried to break it free.

Good God that mother has some holding power. It took multiple attempts motoring from all angles to finally break the anchor from the bottom. Yes I had taken up all of the scope so the anchor line was virtually vertical from the bottom to the boat. I can surely rest easily next time I drop it that i will be safe. I just hope I will be able to break it free ;)

So now we motor back to the dock and tie her off. Seeing as how there is no t-stat the water is not being forced into the motor and just bypassing through the exhaust but I didn't want the impeller just spinning and not flowing water. So here comes the next round of questions...

What would be the best way to force water into the motor and flush out any blockages that are in there? I was thinking about removing the hose marked with the red arrow from the top connection point and installing a plug where you see the blue mark. Then install another hose on the top port (where I just disconnected the first hose) and put a plug in that hose where you see the blue mark.


This should hopefully force all the water into the motor, out through the t-stat housing, and out the exhaust port. I would then redirect the exhaust hose to a bucket to catch the debris so it doesn't cause problems in the exhaust system. UNLESS, you guys tell me that is not needed???

Once the motor has been flushed out for a couple minutes I will reinstall the t-stat and see what happens.

Seeing as how I never got a high temp alarm I need to figure out if something is wrong with the temp sender, so...
Can someone show me where the temp sender would be located and how to diagnose if it is faulty?

If it checks out how do i diagnose the temp gauge to verify it is working properly?

Sorry for the short novel of a post but I have a huge learning curve as this is my first inboard motor, and I have no experience with diesels period.

Thanks again for the help,
Zac
 

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can you remove the temp sender unit? sometimes they are a pain in the ass...a new one is the real way to see if it good or bad

when you say you turned the engine over thats using the decomp lever right? if not and your compression is good it would be impossible unless of course you had very low compression...

thats a good test btw to find out if you are ok

also you can do a "wet" test with a little oil down the hole...

Im afraid you might of done some damage however with that run

get a thermostat in there asap

there are many diesel owner out there who do the thermostat bypass HOWEVER I forget what it is they do but they weld up a channel or something on the heat exchanger or something

dont quote me on that I just know that if your run thermostat less you have to make sure the water is flowing correctly THROUGH THE ENGINE

a simple way to clean your cooling system is the bucket of vinegar and water solution...

you can use more expensive products but basically fill a bucket with a couple galobs of cheap vinegar...fill rest with water...put intale hose in and run then let SIT. then rinse and do again if you want

it does wonders descaling and decrudding all nooks and crannies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
can you remove the temp gauge?

when you say you turned the engine over thats using the decomp lever right? if not and your compression is good it would be impossible unless of course you had very low compression...

thats a good test btw to find out if you are ok

also you can do a "wet" test with a little oil down the hole...

Im afraid you might of done some damage however with that run

get a thermostat in there asap

there are many diesel owner out there who do the thermostat bypass HOWEVER I forget what it is they do but they weld up a channel or something on the heat exchanger or something

dont quote me on that I just know that if your run thermostat less you have to make sure the water is flowing correctly THROUGH THE ENGINE

a simple way to clean your cooling system is the bucket of vinegar and water solution...

you can use more expensive products but basically fill a bucket with a couple galobs of cheap vinegar...fill rest with water...put intale hose in and run then let SIT. then rinse and do again if you want

it does wonders descaling and decrudding all nooks and crannies.
When I was bleeding the air in the fuel system I was using electric starter to turn the motor so the decompression handle was closed. I did not try to spin the motor manually with the decompression valve closed but I am pretty sure I have good compression. I will report back later today to verify.

I will try the vinegar and water trick to get some of that crap out of the engine. How long should the mixture soak inside the motor before I flush it out?
 
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