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Cattleya

Diesel engine trouble - BMC 1.5

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I have an old (1975) BMC engine on my boat. Recently I spent a small fortune having a new gearbox fitted and it's sods law that now the engine is giving me problems. I posted a while back about my problems and still haven't managed to sort it out.

 

The engine won't start. It turns over freely, makes some noises like it's trying to start, but won't fire.

 

I suspected the fuel system, so started it on Easystart. The engine started and run fine, although took a while to pick up revs. I switched it off and back on, it started first time. I left it running for about an hour, then switched off for about 10 minutes. It wouldn't start again without a lot of cranking. Left overnight it wouldn't start at all. I thought it must be an air leak, so replaced an injector pipe that looked iffy, replaced the fuel filter, bled the system. Still wouldn't start.

 

I then got the marina to fit a new lift pump as I suspected the old one might be the cause of the problem. The marina called to say it stil won't run. I have plenty of fuel getting to the ends of the injector pipes and the ehaust smokes when the engine is turned over.

 

They say I probably damaged it with Easystart, but I only ever used it once and only a quick spray.

 

They are going to do a compression test for me and are talking of major expense. I'm a bit skint after the gearbox.

 

Any ideas as to other causes for the engine not running? I presume if it was something major it wouldn't have run at alll or restarted last time?

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They say I probably damaged it with Easystart........

I'm sure others more knowledgeable than me will comment on the overall problem.

 

But I'd have very serious doubts about the competence of any boatyard that made a statement like the above.

 

It's total bo**ocks!

 

Easystart will only possibly be detrimental if used repeatedly over a long period. No way is a one off use going to cause problems, (and anyway you had the problems before you used it :lol: )

 

FWIW, a boat I had years ago had a Perkins engine always started on Easystart. It came with it's heaters removed, and a can of the stuff, and I didn't know any better then. There was never a hint of the engine being damaged in that case, and was still in fine fettle when I sold it.

 

Alan

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have you had your starter motor checked out? Oh ignore that, just realised it does turn over!!

Edited by Bones

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I'm not sure it was in your original thread or not ?

 

It might help people make suggestions if you can say how quickly these symptoms have developed.

 

Has it always been a slow starter, or did it used to be fine, but then developed this fault ?

 

How quickly did this occur ?

 

Was anything else changed, that might have brought this on ?

 

Have you had any fuel problems, such as water contamination ?

 

I'm no mechanic, but it does sound like there may be a leak in the fuel system on the low pressure side, such that the longer the engine is stopped, the more air gets in.

 

I wouldn't have thought injector pipes came in to it, as a slight leak on one of those might cause it to fire on one less cylinder for a bit, but not to not start at all.

 

Any more and I'd be bullshi**ing, (if not already!), so I'll leave it to the experts.

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I have an old (1975) BMC engine on my boat. Recently I spent a small fortune having a new gearbox fitted and it's sods law that now the engine is giving me problems. I posted a while back about my problems and still haven't managed to sort it out.

 

The engine won't start. It turns over freely, makes some noises like it's trying to start, but won't fire.

 

I suspected the fuel system, so started it on Easystart. The engine started and run fine, although took a while to pick up revs. I switched it off and back on, it started first time. I left it running for about an hour, then switched off for about 10 minutes. It wouldn't start again without a lot of cranking. Left overnight it wouldn't start at all. I thought it must be an air leak, so replaced an injector pipe that looked iffy, replaced the fuel filter, bled the system. Still wouldn't start.

 

I then got the marina to fit a new lift pump as I suspected the old one might be the cause of the problem. The marina called to say it stil won't run. I have plenty of fuel getting to the ends of the injector pipes and the ehaust smokes when the engine is turned over.

OK Here goes!

Was the gearbox changed in the boat or the whole lot lifted out to replace it?

How much diesel was left in the tank? How long was it left in a non running state?

Has the engine ever had a major overhaul?

What filters or water separators are fitted, when were the fuel filters last changed?

 

Thoughts:

Movement of boat while changing gearbox may have disturbed sediment in the tank.

If left for a while with little fuel in, condensation may have built up.

 

I would start at the tank (fuel shut off tap), drain off some fuel into a jam jar, let it settle see what it looks like (it should be clear and not murky with no water at the bottom - look for fine rusty grit or dark gelatanous globules - these will block your filters)!

Make sure that fuel is running freely from the tank through the lift pump to the fuel filter (normally on the back of the engine), checking the pipework as you go (something may have got disturbed).

If you have a priming lever on the lift pump, you can check the fuel lines up to the fuel filter quite easily (free flow with no air).

That would leave the return pipes as a possible source of air.

 

The fact that it is an old engine (depending on use) the compression might be low, but should still fire up provided the heater plugs are ok, the injectors are in resonable nick and the injector pumps fine (easy start just provides a lower flash point, but can leave deposits if used consistently).

 

The fact that the engine smokes is probably not good, but provided it is black (probably injectors), blue (burning oil) and not white (unburnt fuel) - though it should still fire, the engine should run, even if it lacks power.

 

The hardest bit will be if you have to bleed the fuel injector pump, but the fact that it has run and only has trouble starting indicates that air is not a major problem, more likely the condition of the fuel.

Air will cause it to surge or hunt when running!

Water in the fuel will cause the most problems as the amount will depend on whether there is sufficient burnable fuel getting through and the filters will tend to clog up reducing fuel flow.

 

If you get desperate one trick would be to use a can of new white diesel, turn off the fuel cock and stick the pipe to the lift pump (there is usually a flexible one) into the can and try flushing the fuel through. It it fires up and runs ok it illustrates the fuel from the tank is a problem.

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Low compression can give you the symptoms you've explained so before you get going on the other stuff get that tested.

 

I'd take out the injectors and get them tested, pretty simple and at least you can put them out of your mind, if it has pre heat system or glow plugs make sure these are operating correctly. Obviously the engine should be fully serviced and all filters replaced. If all that fails and you have good cylinder compression the injector pump could be at fault :lol:

 

I'm an anti easy start person in fact I hate the stuff, but i must admit i've seen some boat engines usable lifespan extended by many years through its use.

Edited by GSer

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A bit more background to this.

 

Previously (last year) the engine would start first time, even without the heaters. But it did smoke a bit and the smoke stunk of diesel. The boat was out of the water from November to May, I didn't manage to fill up the diesel tank previously due to bad weather, so it was a quarter full all winter. When the boat was realaunched a black slime was found in the filters and it was suspected water was in the fuel tank. The tank was treated and the filters changed a few times. The fuel now looks clean compared to the coca-cola colour it was.

 

Ever since relaunch it had been difficult to start, but not impossible. When it started I got a massive cloud of black smoke and soot all of the water. Then I lfet the boayt for about 6 weeks and when I returned it refused to start.

 

I got it started on Easystart (only used once) and it run fine once warmed up. But at first it refused to go above 500 rpm even with the throttle wide open. Once the engine was warm it would restart straight away, but not if left for a while.

 

I wonder if water has got into the injectors and damaged them? I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the compression test gives an all clear.

 

OK Here goes!

Was the gearbox changed in the boat or the whole lot lifted out to replace it?

How much diesel was left in the tank? How long was it left in a non running state?

Has the engine ever had a major overhaul?

What filters or water separators are fitted, when were the fuel filters last changed?

 

The engine was left in the boat during the gearbox change, they put a chain around the engine to support it and then removed the gearbox.

 

1/4 tank of diesel in boat overwinter.

 

Engine has never had any work other than oil changes.

 

There are no water sperators or pre filters. The fuel line runs from the tank to a stop cock and then to the lift pump (which has a filter gauze), then to the engine mounted fuel filter, then to the pump. The lift pump has been changed, and the fuel filter repaced.

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Hi Catt.

 

It is damn near impossible to diagnose the precise cause of your problems at such long range but diesel engines are fundamentally simple beasts, if you have fuel and compression it should start but it needs a 'hands on' approach, not by some sort of expert, it isn't brain surgery, but just someone who is used to engines and has a methodical mind..

 

I would say however that what you don't want is that bloody boatyard whoever they are, they are obviously teeing you up for another fat bill.. I always ask, have you a friend or relative who is in the motor trade who can give you a lift.

 

Can you try us again;

How far have got with bleeding the low and high pressure systems.

Have you tested the heater plug function and with what result.

What colour smoke do you get (if any) when it is trying to start.

Edited by John Orentas

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A bit more background to this.

 

Previously (last year) the engine would start first time, even without the heaters. But it did smoke a bit and the smoke stunk of diesel. The boat was out of the water from November to May, I didn't manage to fill up the diesel tank previously due to bad weather, so it was a quarter full all winter. When the boat was realaunched a black slime was found in the filters and it was suspected water was in the fuel tank. The tank was treated and the filters changed a few times. The fuel now looks clean compared to the coca-cola colour it was.

 

Ever since relaunch it had been difficult to start, but not impossible. When it started I got a massive cloud of black smoke and soot all of the water. Then I lfet the boayt for about 6 weeks and when I returned it refused to start.

 

I got it started on Easystart (only used once) and it run fine once warmed up. But at first it refused to go above 500 rpm even with the throttle wide open. Once the engine was warm it would restart straight away, but not if left for a while.

 

I wonder if water has got into the injectors and damaged them? I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the compression test gives an all clear.

 

The engine was left in the boat during the gearbox change, they put a chain around the engine to support it and then removed the gearbox.

 

1/4 tank of diesel in boat overwinter.

 

Engine has never had any work other than oil changes.

 

There are no water sperators or pre filters. The fuel line runs from the tank to a stop cock and then to the lift pump (which has a filter gauze), then to the engine mounted fuel filter, then to the pump. The lift pump has been changed, and the fuel filter repaced.

Good if the filters have been changed and the fuel seems ok now. Its possible that some rust or deposits have got into the injector pump or injectors themselves (don't like the sound of the black slime), it could probably do with a good run!

It may be there is still some water in the system which is preventing the injectors from working correctly or stopping the fuel burning properly.

Compression test would indicate what state the engine is in, each piston should reach about 400psi.

You may end up getting the injectors and injector pump checked, a decent diesel service station will charge about £100 for overhauling a set of injectors and depending on the state of the pump a simple overhaul will cost about the same. You would be looking at a lot more to overhaul the engine.

You should be able to hire a diesel compression tester (on the BMC it usually ends up going into the heater plug holes), have you got a good mechanic you can rely on to help you, otherwise it sounds as though you are at the mercy of the boatyard?

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Hi,

 

Just reviewed the previous thread on this, and noted.....

 

Last time I had the engine running I had cleaned the gauze filter on the lift pump, I had to bleed the system to get the engine going. It ran fine, turnned it off and it restared straight away. Left the boat for about 3 weeks and now it won't start.

 

(from Big Col...)

 

Question.

 

The central bolt that holds the lid on the lift pump which you would have to remove to clean the gauze has a seal on it. Sometimes a rubber O ring or a copper washer, did you replace this seal with a new one, likewise the seal under the lid. Have you rechecked this, as it is possible you disturbed something in cleaning the filter. I would go over this again just to be certain so you can then disregard it.

 

Can we just confirm that since then the whole fuel lift pump has been changed, so we have ruled out the possibilities Col is suggesting, (as well as other suggestions made about a possible hole in the diaphragm of the pump....)

 

Alan

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Hi,

 

Just reviewed the previous thread on this, and noted.....

 

 

 

 

 

Can we just confirm that since then the whole fuel lift pump has been changed, so we have ruled out the possibilities Col is suggesting, (as well as other suggestions made about a possible hole in the diaphragm of the pump....)

 

Alan

 

 

And can we confirm that some gorilla has not tightened the cap fixing screw so much the cap hase gone concave around the screw hole? This is not unknown and then it becomes very hard to seal.

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And can we confirm that some gorilla has not tightened the cap fixing screw so much the cap hase gone concave around the screw hole? This is not unknown and then it becomes very hard to seal.

 

 

I presume we can rule out the lift pump now as it has been replaced with a new one. I wouldn't have thought they would have touched the top screw.

 

I'm waiting for the results of the compression test and hoping it's nothing serious. The gearbox replacement was very expensive and I'm running short on funds to spend on the boat.

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If you get desperate one trick would be to use a can of new white diesel, turn off the fuel cock and stick the pipe to the lift pump (there is usually a flexible one) into the can and try flushing the fuel through. It it fires up and runs ok it illustrates the fuel from the tank is a problem.

I'd try this first, and possibly replace the fuel filter and empty the filter housing too.

 

 

I'd take out the injectors and get them tested, pretty simple and at least you can put them out of your mind, if it has pre heat system or glow plugs make sure these are operating correctly. Obviously the engine should be fully serviced and all filters replaced. If all that fails and you have good cylinder compression the injector pump could be at fault :lol:

I'd try this second.

 

Something else to check is for a healthy voltage at each heater plug when in use.

 

cheers,

Pete.

Edited by smileypete

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I had exactly the same problem as you with an old diesel engine that would not fire. The cause can be air in the fuel lines that needs to be bled but some times electrical problems may be involved. You need to check the stop solenoid isn't jammed and that the wiring from the solenoid hasn't worked loose. There is also the possibility of a heater plug problem Try cleaning around the heater plugs in case current is straying through grime and damp, earthing itself to the engine block. The plugs themselves may even need changing.

For a diesel engine to start, you need pre-heating, delivery of fuel and the start and stop solenoids need to be correctly wired.

 

 

I have an old (1975) BMC engine on my boat. Recently I spent a small fortune having a new gearbox fitted and it's sods law that now the engine is giving me problems. I posted a while back about my problems and still haven't managed to sort it out.

 

The engine won't start. It turns over freely, makes some noises like it's trying to start, but won't fire.

 

I suspected the fuel system, so started it on Easystart. The engine started and run fine, although took a while to pick up revs. I switched it off and back on, it started first time. I left it running for about an hour, then switched off for about 10 minutes. It wouldn't start again without a lot of cranking. Left overnight it wouldn't start at all. I thought it must be an air leak, so replaced an injector pipe that looked iffy, replaced the fuel filter, bled the system. Still wouldn't start.

 

I then got the marina to fit a new lift pump as I suspected the old one might be the cause of the problem. The marina called to say it stil won't run. I have plenty of fuel getting to the ends of the injector pipes and the ehaust smokes when the engine is turned over.

 

They say I probably damaged it with Easystart, but I only ever used it once and only a quick spray.

 

They are going to do a compression test for me and are talking of major expense. I'm a bit skint after the gearbox.

 

Any ideas as to other causes for the engine not running? I presume if it was something major it wouldn't have run at alll or restarted last time?

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I don't think the problem will be serious. In my case I simply couldn't find a mechanic so I was on my own. I often wonder how other people go on when they do get engine trouble and need to find a mechanic.

If the engine starts with easy start, I can't help but conclude you have a pre-heating problem. If it was an electrical problem or a jammed stop solenoid, the engine would fire up on easy start but then stop whereas your engine starts and remains operational.

Here's an idea: If you have a multimeter you can check the wires from the heater plugs to the ignition are at least intact. You could test for ohms or resistance using any cheap multimeter. Or even do a test to see if 12 volts is reaching the plugs.

All easy start is at the end of the day is pre heating. It does the same job your heater plugs are supposed to be doing. If the engine fires on wasy start and then runs O.K. there is surely nothing actually up with the engine.

 

 

I presume we can rule out the lift pump now as it has been replaced with a new one. I wouldn't have thought they would have touched the top screw.

 

I'm waiting for the results of the compression test and hoping it's nothing serious. The gearbox replacement was very expensive and I'm running short on funds to spend on the boat.

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Very bad news from the marina. They say the compression is down and the engine is knackered. They say I killed it using Easystart.

The compression is 120, 200, 220, 240.

 

They have given me two options, one they remove the engine and send it to be reconditioned. They estimate the cost to be between £1000 and £2500 plus the cost of removing and refitting, plus VAT. The second option was a new engine at £5500 plus VAt, plus fitting (another £3000 plus).

 

I have already paid £4200 for a new gearbox, prop and various other bits and nearly fell off my chair when I got the bill. I really can't afford to pay another £5k to £10k.

Edited by Cattleya

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Well there's the starting problem for you :lol: although i've seen engines run OK with pressures around 200 but with your motor the one very low cylinder is letting the side down.

 

Thats a shame, unless you can do the work yourself or have some good friends to do the job at mates rates, your wallet is in for a spanking :lol:

 

Some tough decisions to be made i'm afraid.

 

Cheapest I would guess would be to remove the engine yourself strip it and check it over and get any machining needed, done at a local motor engineers, but unless your are competant/confident on the spanners you may just dig yourself a deeper hole.

 

Good luck

 

Paul

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complete bllx easy start will not kill an engine that quick, might be just a tired engine as suggested try and check the heater plugs etc if it starts with a squirt it will run for a fair while yet i will pm you a phone number for a guy who wont rip your arms and legs off ref rebuild or exchange engine

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You cannot 'kill' an engine using easy-start.

 

You can do most of the work on the engine yourself. Two reasons for low compression (which is what I told you before) are valve seating and piston rings wear. You can dismantle the engine and de-coke it and then lap the valves in. While you have the engine apart, take the pistons out and fit new rings, just make sure you re-hone the bores. That might just get you over the problem.

 

One thing for certain is that I would relieve the boatyard of any work on that engine.

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complete bllx easy start will not kill an engine that quick, might be just a tired engine as suggested try and check the heater plugs etc if it starts with a squirt it will run for a fair while yet i will pm you a phone number for a guy who wont rip your arms and legs off ref rebuild or exchange engine

 

 

Sorry, yes, got to agree with Denboy, you haven't caused this with One or Two uses of Easystart it's appears to be just a tired engine as he says.

 

Paul

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Very bad news from the marina. They say the compression is down and the engine is knackered. They say I killed it using Easystart.

The compression is 120, 200, 220, 240.

 

They have given me two options, one they remove the engine and send it to be reconditioned. They estimate the cost to be between £1000 and £2500 plus the cost of removing and refitting, plus VAT. The second option was a new engine at £5500 plus VAt, plus fitting (another £3000 plus).

 

I have already paid £4200 for a new gearbox, prop and various other bits and nearly fell off my chair when I got the bill. I really can't afford to pay another £5k to £10k.

 

Please name this boatyard as they are taking you for a sucker

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Very bad news from the marina. They say the compression is down and the engine is knackered. They say I killed it using Easystart.

The compression is 120, 200, 220, 240.

 

They have given me two options, one they remove the engine and send it to be reconditioned. They estimate the cost to be between £1000 and £2500 plus the cost of removing and refitting, plus VAT. The second option was a new engine at £5500 plus VAt, plus fitting (another £3000 plus).

 

I have already paid £4200 for a new gearbox, prop and various other bits and nearly fell off my chair when I got the bill. I really can't afford to pay another £5k to £10k.

 

Why are you not following up the suggestions on here???

 

If you're going to wilfully ignoring some good advice, what's the point in giving you more?

 

 

Even if one cylinder is low compression, it should start OK on the other three.

 

I'd sort the starting problems first, low compression on one cylinder shouldn't stop the engine starting.

 

If the boatyard can't do this, don't let them touch the engine!

 

cheers,

Pete.

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Why are you not following up the suggestions on here???

 

If you're going to wilfully ignoring some good advice, what's the point in giving you more?

 

 

Even if one cylinder is low compression, it should start OK on the other three.

 

I'd sort the starting problems first, low compression on one cylinder shouldn't stop the engine starting.

 

If the boatyard can't do this, don't let them touch the engine!

 

cheers,

Pete.

 

Hi Pete, I am following the advice on here.

 

I am not an expert on mechanics, The limit of my skills stops at the point of basic work like bleeding the fuel system. The marina have an exclusive contract for working on boats (a clause in the mooring contract) which means I'm not allowed to bring in someone else to work on the boat. I asked them to fit the new fuel lift pump as I didn't have the time, they then suggested a compression test and pronounced the engine dead. When I had an oil leak on my working gearbox they sent it to a specialist who pronounced it dead, you get the idea. They seem to prefer the approach of replacing the whole engine to repairing it.

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Hi Pete, I am following the advice on here.

 

I am not an expert on mechanics, The limit of my skills stops at the point of basic work like bleeding the fuel system. The marina have an exclusive contract for working on boats (a clause in the mooring contract) which means I'm not allowed to bring in someone else to work on the boat. I asked them to fit the new fuel lift pump as I didn't have the time, they then suggested a compression test and pronounced the engine dead. When I had an oil leak on my working gearbox they sent it to a specialist who pronounced it dead, you get the idea. They seem to prefer the approach of replacing the whole engine to repairing it.

take the boat out for a trip and get someone to look at it on the towpath they cant touch you there they are fleecing you

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I'd sort the starting problems first, low compression on one cylinder shouldn't stop the engine starting.

 

They say it won't start as all 4 are down. They are supposed to be around 400 and 3 are around 200 and the fourth 120.

 

I can't understand how the engine managed to restart last time after using Easystart. If the engine was as bad as they say then why would it start at the first turn of the key while it was hot?

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