Diesel won't start

PuffTheMagicDragon

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Engine is an old Lombardini LDW401M single cylinder raw-water cooled on a little open boat and it has not been used for a couple of years. Changed oil and filters. Battery fully charged. Air bled. Injector tested OK as did the high pressure pump. Glow plug also OK.

Continued cranking produces the sound of firing and exhaust elbow gets hot. Dark grey smoke comes out of it but the engine does not run. It stops as soon as I release the starter key. The speed lever does not seem to be having any effect, even when operated directly on the engine itself.

I am suspecting that the governor isn't working, possibly because the internal part of the lever has detached or maybe there are weights or perhaps some spring inside that got stuck.

Any ideas please? Unfortunately I don't have the service manual any longer (would love to get a scanned copy).

Thanks for any suggestions and advice.
 

Halo

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The white smoke is unburned fuel. I suspect you have lost compression which is required for a diesel to fire. If you can use an oiling can with a flexible spout to squirt one or two shots (no more than a couple of cc) of engine oil into the cylinder (first remove the air filter to get close) then the oil may act to give you the compression to get things firing. Once she starts I would run her for at least an hour and preferably with the engine working hard (secure the lines and run her with gear engaged) . This may free up the rings and re-polish the bore enough to allow her to start normally.
Do not put more than a small amount of oil into the cylinder.
 

PuffTheMagicDragon

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The white smoke is unburned fuel. I suspect you have lost compression which is required for a diesel to fire. If you can use an oiling can with a flexible spout to squirt one or two shots (no more than a couple of cc) of engine oil into the cylinder (first remove the air filter to get close) then the oil may act to give you the compression to get things firing. Once she starts I would run her for at least an hour and preferably with the engine working hard (secure the lines and run her with gear engaged) . This may free up the rings and re-polish the bore enough to allow her to start normally.
Do not put more than a small amount of oil into the cylinder.

I 'ruled out' low compression because when I cranked with the injector removed I had forgotten the seating disk (against which the injector is bedded) and this was blown out for several feet. You could well be right, of course. It still does not explain why the speed lever has no effect. Perhaps I am missing something but I would have assumed that there would be some effect, even if only more smoke.
 

ostell

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I thought I had plenty of compression on my engine when I had problems (Petter single). When eventually we stripped down the engine we found that one ring had never actually been in contact with the cylinder wall (stuck in the groove) and the other had eventually given up the ghost. and also stuck. It must have been running on one ring and the oil seal ring for a long time. Eventually new engine

Best of luck.
 

PuffTheMagicDragon

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It must have been running on one ring and the oil seal ring for a long time. Eventually new engine

Best of luck.

Well, I can always get someone with a pressure gauge to check the compression. However, it ran perfectly well before it was left unused and it still does not explain why the speed lever (does it have a name?) has no effect that I can see or hear.

As for a new engine, that will never happen. That boat is used by my son (recently married) for occasional fishing (recreational, mostly trolling for bass and saddled bream) and if he wants to use the boat he can buy himself an outboard motor... or row. At sixty-eight going out on my Centurion is more than enough for me. To tell you the truth I am doubting whether I should continue to 'play around' with boats. :(
 

TQA

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The paddy solution. Crumple up a newspaper soak it in some diesel stuff into inlet manifold set it on fire. [ Remove paper element air filter first. ] Crank. NB If surrounded by flammable stuff and you have a dry exhaust have some fire fighting stuff to hand if it starts exhaust will look like Vesuvius.

Hairdresser solution. Stuff a hot air gun [ best ], hairdryer [ OK ] down inlet manifold. Let it run for a minute or so. Crank. [ Keep the heat going ]

Add an extra battery. A short spin at 18 volts or 24 volts will not damage the starter motor. [ Disconnect any warning lights and alternator wiring ] Stop after 10 seconds cranking and check how hot it is. If hot to touch let it cool off.

If still no joy try 1 or 2 + 3.
 
Last edited:

30boat

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At sixty-eight going out on my Centurion is more than enough for me. To tell you the truth I am doubting whether I should continue to 'play around' with boats. :(

Don't say that.A good friend of mine had his Fulmar here in the Algarve for a few years.He was 72 when he decided to return the boat to Whales.He did it on his own coast hopping up until Normandy from where he crossed over to Whales.He's still enthusiastic as ever 4 years later buying new sails and racing his boat.Last year he crossed the pond on a mate's Contest 40 along with his wife.
 

alant

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Engine is an old Lombardini LDW401M single cylinder raw-water cooled on a little open boat and it has not been used for a couple of years. Changed oil and filters. Battery fully charged. Air bled. Injector tested OK as did the high pressure pump. Glow plug also OK.

Continued cranking produces the sound of firing and exhaust elbow gets hot. Dark grey smoke comes out of it but the engine does not run. It stops as soon as I release the starter key. The speed lever does not seem to be having any effect, even when operated directly on the engine itself.

I am suspecting that the governor isn't working, possibly because the internal part of the lever has detached or maybe there are weights or perhaps some spring inside that got stuck.

Any ideas please? Unfortunately I don't have the service manual any longer (would love to get a scanned copy).

Thanks for any suggestions and advice.

I'd try a squirt of some quick start stuff (I've succesfully used butane) & get it turning over.
 

Heckler

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24 Feb 2003
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Don't say that.A good friend of mine had his Fulmar here in the Algarve for a few years.He was 72 when he decided to return the boat to Whales.He did it on his own coast hopping up until Normandy from where he crossed over to Whales.He's still enthusiastic as ever 4 years later buying new sails and racing his boat.Last year he crossed the pond on a mate's Contest 40 along with his wife.
Wales, and it was a Trintella 44.
S
 

Heckler

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Well, I can always get someone with a pressure gauge to check the compression. However, it ran perfectly well before it was left unused and it still does not explain why the speed lever (does it have a name?) has no effect that I can see or hear.

As for a new engine, that will never happen. That boat is used by my son (recently married) for occasional fishing (recreational, mostly trolling for bass and saddled bream) and if he wants to use the boat he can buy himself an outboard motor... or row. At sixty-eight going out on my Centurion is more than enough for me. To tell you the truth I am doubting whether I should continue to 'play around' with boats. :(
First principles. Compression? Can you feel it when you turn over by hand? Sounds as if you have it. The injection system, works by the governor being on full chat, from a spring position at start, when the engine starts then the throttle control "tells" the governor what revs you want and if it isnt set to full throttle then the gov controls the revs from the throttle position. If the gov is stuck on lo fuel then you will get the symptoms you have. Dont know that particular engine but check out the gov freedom. Might be an idea to take the inj out, connect it outside the engine and turn the egine over to see if it is spraying ok. Be careful you dont inject yourself!
S
 

LONG_KEELER

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Engine is an old Lombardini LDW401M single cylinder raw-water cooled on a little open boat and it has not been used for a couple of years. Changed oil and filters. Battery fully charged. Air bled. Injector tested OK as did the high pressure pump. Glow plug also OK.

Continued cranking produces the sound of firing and exhaust elbow gets hot. Dark grey smoke comes out of it but the engine does not run. It stops as soon as I release the starter key. The speed lever does not seem to be having any effect, even when operated directly on the engine itself.

I am suspecting that the governor isn't working, possibly because the internal part of the lever has detached or maybe there are weights or perhaps some spring inside that got stuck.

Any ideas please? Unfortunately I don't have the service manual any longer (would love to get a scanned copy).

Thanks for any suggestions and advice.

Remember reading on Vyv's website about oil getting round.

After a long lay up the oil has to really get round the whole engine to ensure good compression.

Hoping that it will be a simple fix.
 

Topcat47

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2 Jun 2005
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Solent, UK
One more thing, make sure the "stop" lever is in the off position. My stop cable outer broke and I didn't realise until I checked the lever it was supposed to be operating.
 

nemodreams

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4 May 2002
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Bristol UK
Was it going two yeras ago ? If so - very much doubt it would be governor internals. Its simple stuff in there, weights springs etc and its all enclosed in an oily timing case - so not much corrosion going on.

If you are interested - I wrote a page on my boat site describing the 1gm10 governor.
It took me a long while to work out how it worked - and it was the compete opposite to what I thought. I'm not saying its 100 % - and other engines may be different - but simple 1 bangers would I think be much alike.

http://www.lena.geoffrichings.co.uk/sail_site/governor.html

You can often inspect the governor control linkages if you remove the injector pump - as the fuel rack is on the lower end of the pump - so there is your connection between governor arm and fuel supply. Generally, removing the pump is much more do-able on an old engine than the timing case ( ie fan pulley - corrosion etc )

The action of the governor is to CLOSE the fuel rail once the engine starts. At start its fully open max fuel - once it spins it tries to shut the fuel off - but the throttle has a spring which opposes that. The more throttle, the stronger the spring - overpowers the action of the governor weights to shut the engine down.

Have a good look at the fuel stop lever - at the engine, and make sure what it is moving is actually moving. That lever over-rides the throttle spring - and allows the governor weights to force the fuel rail shut.

Maybe the engine has retired - and just is going to pont blank refuse to do any more work !

Geoff
 

PuffTheMagicDragon

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Just came back from a BBQ at my daughter's and found a wealth of ideas for which I thank you all. It is rather late for me to absorb all that you have so kindly offered (past one o'clock here) but I shall endeavour to do so when I am wide awake.

Thank You all for your assistance. I wish you all a peaceful night.
 

Daydream believer

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Southminster, essex
Halo's suggestion is a valid one. My old single cylinder LT1 listers had a small unit to inject oil into the manifold as the engine was hand cranked. One could crank all day & get nowhere. However, a couple of squirts from this injector usually did the trick
I always found that inspite of white smoke coming from the exhausts the injectors still needed bleeding & bleeding again
 
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