[C38] Engine starting problems

charles charles at finn.ws
Mon Jul 25 21:22:02 EDT 2022

When you are working with diesel...  it's almost always fuel ⛽ whether air bubbles or injectors it's where to start.  
-------- Original message --------From: Dan Miller <dmills3 at comcast.net> Date: 7/23/22  8:18 PM  (GMT-05:00) To: Catalina 38 Listserve <listserve at catalina38.org>, Vassili Valayannopoulos <vassilival.boston at gmail.com> Subject: Re: [C38] Engine starting problems 
   I have a 1981 also with the original engine and experienced starting problems coming in from a Wednesday evening race. It wouldn't start so we were able to sail into the slip.
   Earlier that evening the engine was hard to start. It would start but only run a few seconds. After several  tries (about 6) it kept running.
   I have the kind of ampmeter or voltmeter (not sure which but I guess a voltmeter since it shows all the time) gauge that shows the battery status all the time. When I switch on the Glow plugs the meter shows a voltage drop so I know it is working. On this night it didn't show a voltage drop. We sprayed ether in but it wouldn't keep running.
   The next day a friend came down to help me and this is what we did. I checked the tank and we had fuel. I suspected air in the fuel lines and that is what it was. We bled the fuel filter and bled the fitting on the fuel injector pump.
   We put in a new momentary switch for the glow plugs. We held the switch on for 20 seconds but it didn't start so I used a little ether and it started and kept running. I ran it for about 20 minutes and shut it off. About 10 minutes later we tried and it started right up.
   I am pretty sure you have a fuel problem and need to bleed your system. It's not all that hard to do.
    On 07/23/2022 7:17 PM Vassili Valayannopoulos <vassilival.boston at gmail.com> wrote:
     I have trouble starting my engine on my Catalina 38, 1981. The engine is the original M25 Universal that I just had  thoroughly serviced as it was underperforming and overheating (it had a stuck valve). The engine was running fine after the service and I made a long 2 day passage with no issues. 3 weeks later I was unable to start the engine.
     The engine cranks but won't start. As usual I warmed up the glow-plugs, had the batteries recharged and even added a brand new starting battery.
     I suspect either water in the muffler or air in the fuel lines. I am trying to figure out how to access the muffler and how to drain it if it's flooded.
     Any other suggestions or ideas?
     Many thanks!
     Sailing on Naftaki, 
     Boston, MA
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