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Author Topic: difficult first engine start of season  (Read 2308 times)

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Bobg

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difficult first engine start of season
« on: June 08, 2016, 10:15:13 AM »

splashed boat yesterday, engine wouldn't start for awhile, can't figure out why, never had trouble after winter layup before.  Engine turned over rapidly, glow plugs were working as per the volt meter drop, I have the solenoid upgrade.  I moved throttle open and close a few times, fuel pump was working, tank was full anyway, after repeated attempts engine fired once, then after a bit finally started.  no trouble with starting since, anyone ever had that first start of the year give them trouble? 
Also I am that guy that has been complaining about my boat slowing down, lucky to get 5 or 5.1 knots in calm seas at 2500 rpm.  used to get around 6, at dock it will rev up to 3200 rpms.  my tach at rest, engine off sits at 200 rpm,is it possible this problem is related to the hard start this year?  Filters have very few hours on them, maybe 25.  Thanks guys
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Bob Gatz, 1988 catalina 34, Hull#818, "Ghostrider" sail lake superior Apostle Islands

mark_53

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Re: difficult first engine start of season
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2016, 10:23:56 AM »

Sounds like you need a new tach if its stuck at 200.  Engine sounds like there may be an injector problem if you checked filters already
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1989 C34 Mk1 M25XP

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mark_53

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Re: difficult first engine start of season
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2016, 12:05:42 PM »

lucky to get 5 or 5.1 knots in calm seas at 2500 rpm.  used to get around 6, at dock it will rev up to 3200 rpms.

If your only getting 5 or 5.1 at 2500 you may have a transmission issue.  I assume your bottom is clean since you just spalshed.  I will get 6.5 to 7.0 with a clean bottom and calm conditions with a M25XP engine and three blade 15x10 prop at 2500rpm.  What type of prop do you have and in what condition?  If the prop is still in good shape, and bottom clean, I'd suspect the transmission may be slipping.  Have you checked your transmission fluid level?
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1989 C34 Mk1 M25XP

The Green New Deal is coming...just keept the government out of the way!

SPembleton

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Re: difficult first engine start of season
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2016, 12:33:11 PM »

If you think your tach is broken, are you sure you are at 2500 rpm?
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Steve Pembleton
Holland, MI
1986 Mk1 Fin, Tall

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Bobg

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Re: difficult first engine start of season
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2016, 12:49:00 PM »

Hi Mark, transmission fluid is at correct mark, 3 blade 15/10 inch, bottom clean, I put the transmission in gear on the hard, and could not move the shaft tried turning the prop.  Last year, with a lazer rpm tester, my transmission when in gear, would turn at half the engine rpm, which I think is normal, I don't know how else to check a transmission.
I will try to get the tach to set at zero with engine off.

 I can get up to close to 6 knots by increasing the rpm, but the engine sounds like it is really racing.  the boat started to gradually slow down over the course of the summer. I had the prop re pitched to 10 and noticed about .3 knot increase but then the boat started to slow down after that. I can increase the throttle for more speed but then I leave that sweet spot that I am used to hearing.

 If I can get 3200 rpm with the hand held lazer, reading off the crankshaft pully while tied to the dock, would it still be a injector issue?

 Maybe tied to the dock isn't the best way to test it, If my lazor hand held reads 2500 the tach reads about 2250
Do you think a new tach is in order, or can these things be set to read accuratly.  Sometimes I can't reach 5 knots at 2500 rpm (reading off the tack). if I increase the rpm reading on the tack to 2700 I can get about 5.2 knots.  I really don't think it is a tach issue, don't know what it is, the boat never did do more than 5.7 since I got it 12 years ago.  Thanks for your help mark.
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Bob Gatz, 1988 catalina 34, Hull#818, "Ghostrider" sail lake superior Apostle Islands

mark_53

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Re: difficult first engine start of season
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2016, 01:53:16 PM »

Hi Mark, transmission fluid is at correct mark, 3 blade 15/10 inch, bottom clean, I put the transmission in gear on the hard, and could not move the shaft tried turning the prop.  Last year, with a lazer rpm tester, my transmission when in gear, would turn at half the engine rpm, which I think is normal, I don't know how else to check a transmission.
I will try to get the tach to set at zero with engine off.

 I can get up to close to 6 knots by increasing the rpm, but the engine sounds like it is really racing.  the boat started to gradually slow down over the course of the summer. I had the prop re pitched to 10 and noticed about .3 knot increase but then the boat started to slow down after that. I can increase the throttle for more speed but then I leave that sweet spot that I am used to hearing.

 If I can get 3200 rpm with the hand held lazer, reading off the crankshaft pully while tied to the dock, would it still be a injector issue?

 Maybe tied to the dock isn't the best way to test it, If my lazor hand held reads 2500 the tach reads about 2250
Do you think a new tach is in order, or can these things be set to read accuratly.  Sometimes I can't reach 5 knots at 2500 rpm (reading off the tack). if I increase the rpm reading on the tack to 2700 I can get about 5.2 knots.  I really don't think it is a tach issue, don't know what it is, the boat never did do more than 5.7 since I got it 12 years ago.  Thanks for your help mark.

Your loss of speed is probably not due to an engine performance issue (injectors) IF your rpms are truly at 2500.   Dirty inectors could cause the starting issue.  You may get 3200 at the dock with bad injectors but can you get 3200 under load?  Are you sure your speed meter is working correctly?  Have you checked speed with an alternate method like a GPS?  Have your zincs on the prop shaft been regularly changed?  I think your in fresh water so prop corrosion may not be an issue but a damaged prop could be.  I'm trying to think of all possibilities except the worst case, transmission slippage.

I don't know how accurate the OEM tach is but I suspect it should be closer to 2500 if that's what you are seeing when using your laser.  The tach reads impulses from the alternator so a slipping alternator belt would cause a reduction in tach rpms.  However, I don't think that would cause loss of speed since the transmission is linked to the engine drive train.

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1989 C34 Mk1 M25XP

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Ken Juul

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Re: difficult first engine start of season
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2016, 02:37:56 PM »

Since it was only the first start after layup.  it is probably a fuel delivery problem. I would try opening the bleeder valve and running the lift pump like you are bleeding the system for a minute or so before the first start.  On your speed issue, have you added any weight to the boat.  As we have added toys over the years we have own the boat or speed has slowed down also. 
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Bobg

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Re: difficult first engine start of season
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2016, 10:25:30 PM »

the prop is in perfect condition, there are no barnicles or added weight to the boat, actually I am carrying way less than I used to.  speed is consistant with a gps.  Don't remember if I could get 3200 while out there, I do remember 3000, will check that this year.how else to check transmission besides what I have done.
When I started the engine this year opening the bleed screw and moving the throttle open and closed is what I did when it finally started.  Thanks everyone for your help.  I am in fresh water, zincs are good.  frustrating
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Bob Gatz, 1988 catalina 34, Hull#818, "Ghostrider" sail lake superior Apostle Islands

RV61

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Re: difficult first engine start of season
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2016, 05:42:53 AM »

I had an issue several years ago occasional hard start and could not get boat speed to normal cruising speed on flat lake. Had new filters clean bottom etc.  I Cleaned mystery filter inside electronic fuel pump and removed screen on the fuel pick up tube both had ugly blackish globs on them. She has run great since 6.0 to 6.5 flat lake cruising 7.2 flat out  . Another thing to check is fuel vent line clear. I also checked fuel by pumping some out of bottom of tank and it was clear so fuel itself was not and issue. Some thoughts to check out. 
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Rick V
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Jim Hardesty

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Re: difficult first engine start of season
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2016, 06:17:21 AM »

Quote
my tach at rest, engine off sits at 200 rpm

I believe that's just the way the tack is.  It measures the pulses from the alternator and when the pulses stop the needle stops.  Check it at operating RPMs with a hand held lazer tack.  Sounds like your engine needed fuel after sitting all winter.  You may have a small leak, wouldn't hurt to check all the fittings.  Look close for a little fuel, then put a wrench on them and check, don't over tighten.  Just because you have only 25 hours on your filters doesn't mean they aren't dirty.
This is just my take on your problems.  Hope you get them fixed up.
Jim
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Jim Hardesty
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Ed Shankle

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Re: difficult first engine start of season
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2016, 07:21:16 AM »

I agree that the tach is probably not an issue. My tach has frequently read higher than zero with the engine off, and resets once turned on again. Did that with the old one as well as the new one when I replaced the panel. Looks like you only have a couple hundred rpm difference between the tach and laser reads. You can adjust, but as Stu has noted in other posts, it might be simpler to just determine the differences at different rpm's and record that for reference. At least move adjusting it to the low end of the priority list.
If your fuel handling sequence is; tank, Racor, fuel lift pump, engine filter, then you should at least replace the Racor annually,regardless of the hours, as Jim notes.
If all other recommendations fail then maybe an injector bench test is in order. Notice any color difference in the exhaust?

Ed
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Robert Mann

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Re: difficult first engine start of season
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2016, 09:27:39 AM »

If it has started and there is no smoke, white or black rolling out of the exhaust don't think about touching the injectors.  They are the second to last thing to inspect in a fuel system check.  If it keeps starting, don't touch anything.  I agree with whoever said it probably has air in the system, so it would make sense to check the fuel line connections for tightness and for dry rot in the flex lines.  Generally fuel system issues are filters clogged with crap (including algae), air in the system, stop lever wire not adjusted properly, fuel pump not activating, generally simple stuff.  I must admit I have run water through mine, twice!!  That stops it quickly and with plumes of white smoke, but as long as the engine is indirectly injected and one reacts quickly by running good clean fuel though the system, no harm done, direct injection really bad news. 
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Bobg

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Re: difficult first engine start of season
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2016, 09:38:33 AM »

Thank you all, I removed the tank cleaned it and removed that screen on my fuel pick up line a couple years ago.  I have the tank, racor filter, fuel pump, and secondary filter , in that order,. 

Do all the electronic filters have a screen? I havn't checked that yet.  The fuel line goes from the racor primary filter to a hose barb on the electronic filter, is the screen inside the pump? if I remove the inlet fuel hose, will the filter be (in there).  I will follow all lines to check for leaks, havn't seen anything with a cursory look. also fuel return line, blow through it or something.  funny how all this happened after I repitched prop, although I doubt if that is reason, repitched prop is suposed to go faster like it did at first, not slower.
 Thank you Robert Mann on the injector advisement , I will check all fittings for tightness, bad fuel lines, maybe I will simply change all fuel lines,  too bad those filters are so expensive, but will change those too.  Although it didn't make a bit of difference when I swapped them out last summer.  Wow to hit 6.5 knots, that would put a smile on my face.  thanks guys  Bob
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Bob Gatz, 1988 catalina 34, Hull#818, "Ghostrider" sail lake superior Apostle Islands

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Re: difficult first engine start of season
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2016, 11:20:05 AM »

Thank you all, I removed the tank cleaned it and removed that screen on my fuel pick up line a couple years ago.  I have the tank, racor filter, fuel pump, and secondary filter , in that order,. 

Do all the electronic filters have a screen? I havn't checked that yet.  The fuel line goes from the racor primary filter to a hose barb on the electronic filter, is the screen inside the pump? if I remove the inlet fuel hose, will the filter be (in there).  I will follow all lines to check for leaks, havn't seen anything with a cursory look. also fuel return line, blow through it or something.  funny how all this happened after I repitched prop, although I doubt if that is reason, repitched prop is suposed to go faster like it did at first, not slower.
 Thank you Robert Mann on the injector advisement , I will check all fittings for tightness, bad fuel lines, maybe I will simply change all fuel lines,  too bad those filters are so expensive, but will change those too.  Although it didn't make a bit of difference when I swapped them out last summer.  Wow to hit 6.5 knots, that would put a smile on my face.  thanks guys  Bob

Bob, the electronic pumps, you mean?

Are you referring to the cylindrical Facet pump?  The bottom of that pump has a cap that removes with a (1/4 turn?) twist.  The screen sits above that cap.

The secondary filters aren't all that expensive unless you buy OEM universal (not your best choice for a fuel filter JTSO.)  See the techwiki for alternate filters and discussion of various brand filter efficiencies.  My Kubota dealer recommends the Fleet Guard - I haven't found a better filter.  The screen in the Facet pump is cheap at NAPA - see the wiki.

kk
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Robert Mann

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Re: difficult first engine start of season
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2016, 03:48:54 PM »

Bob, Run it a few times and see how it starts.  If its all good it was just air that has worked its way through following the lay up, or a filter change.  I wouldn't get too excited about it unless it exhibits a failure to start again.  Bob
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