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Old 02-23-2022, 11:12 AM   #1
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CAT 3208 turns over will not start...

Myself, mechanic and now a third trying to run down, what I am sure, is a simple relay switch or what have-you preventing fuel from getting to the engine. Checked all the usual suspect grounds, connections, ignition wires and switches. Switched shut-off solenoid from functioning to port engine.

No joy.

Ran perfectly well until no start one day. Now? Spins without even a cough.

Either we are not smart enough to find the simple solution or we are overanalyzing.

Yes the fuel lines are open.
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Old 02-23-2022, 11:25 AM   #2
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Greetings,
Mr O. Are there any obstructions in the fuel system (collapsed feed lines, disintegrating feed lines whereby a broken off chunk has clogged something, blocked tank pick-up tube)?

All a diesel needs, basically, is fuel and air unless an "improved" model has a bevy of controlling electronics.
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Old 02-23-2022, 11:25 AM   #3
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If a mechanic is having an issue sourcing the problem, it’s not likely we can help.

Just in case some one missed one of the basics let’s review a few things. Is there fuel in the tank? Are all the valves in the open position? Have you primed the engine to confirm there is fuel to the High Pressure Pump? Have we confirmed that the fuel shut off solenoid is functioning?
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Old 02-23-2022, 11:35 AM   #4
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Perhaps a little more information.

Was this a sudden thing? By that I mean did you stop the boat for lunch, then attempt to restart 30 minutes later? Or did it quit while running?

Did you recently change fuel filters?

Has it been some time since you last started it?

Is the boat new to you?
Do you have multiple fuel tanks? How about a crossover valve between tanks?

Need more info before we can offer possibilities . . .
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Old 02-23-2022, 11:53 AM   #5
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Thanks all...

Ran at dock. When re-start no joy a week later.

All filters changed last fall.

Not new to us. Ran fine CT to FL last fall.

Single tank
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Old 02-23-2022, 12:03 PM   #6
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Are you getting fuel to the pump?
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Old 02-23-2022, 12:06 PM   #7
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Pull a fuel line at an injector to make sure it's getting fuel. Preferably with an injector to make sure it's squirting. If not, bleed again.
Also it needs a healthy crank. Check the batteries. Parallel the house and start bank for more juice.
If it gets fuel and cranks fast enough it will fire, unless you have no compression....
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Old 02-23-2022, 12:29 PM   #8
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Another thread different engine same issue.

What means stops the engine. Look there. Operate that manually
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Old 02-23-2022, 12:36 PM   #9
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If it ran fine before, no changes, assuming your mechanic checked fuel level in the tank, valves, primed the engines and checked for leaks leaks then your problem may be the fuel control solenoid. It is located on top of the fuel pump.

Are your engines energize to run or energize to stop? If they stop by tuning the key off they are energize to run. If you stop them by pushing a stop button they are energize to stop. Some marinized Cat 3208s are energize to run.

If energize to run:
  • Locate the fuel run solenoid on top of the fuel pump.
  • Have an accomplice turn the key to "run" not "start" then off again while you listen to the solenoid. Maybe even put your hand on it to determine if it is working.


If energize to stop:
  • Locate the fuel stop solenoid on top of the fuel pump.
  • With the key in the run position have your accomplice operate the stop button
  • As above listen and hand on the solenoid
  • Check the operation of the manual stop plunger on top of the solenoid.
Problems can be stuck solenoid, low or no voltage. i think there is a relay between the key or stop button and the solenoid. That may be faulty.

If your mechanic hasn't checked the solenoids then you haven't got a Cat 3208 experienced mechanic.


Edit: One more thing. If the solenoids are not working don't rule out the key switch and push to stop button.
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Old 02-23-2022, 12:45 PM   #10
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Portage. We swapped out running port fuel shut-off solenoid and no joy. They were both replaced (at my instruction as one was suspect at engine survey) last fall. We have been dancing all over those connections as well.

Well check fuel flow just to make sure.

Thanks.
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Old 02-23-2022, 12:48 PM   #11
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You've got quite a puzzle. Please post the solution when you find it. I'm still learning about my 3208s. Have you been to boat diesel?
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Old 02-23-2022, 12:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Osprey69 View Post
Myself, mechanic and now a third trying to run down, what I am sure, is a simple relay switch or what have-you preventing fuel from getting to the engine. Checked all the usual suspect grounds, connections, ignition wires and switches. Switched shut-off solenoid from functioning to port engine....
Hi Osprey69. Any chance you have a built-in fire extinguishing system in the engine room? 3208 CATs use +12VDC to actuate the stop solenoid at startup, which must be maintained for the engine to run. Often, a fire system will have an auto-shutdown feature to open-circuit the +12VDC provided by the starting circuit in case the extinguishing system is actuated. If the fire system auto-shutdown feature has failed (lost it's brains somehow), it will leave the stop solenoid in the "stop" position, irregardless of the starting circuit. And often this part of the engine electrical system is VERY difficult to trace and diagnose.

So, simply swapping a known-good solenoid into the circuit is useless, unless +12VDC is maintained while the engine is cranking and running. You might jump +12VDC to the stop solenoid to verify it is open, and stays open during engine startup. This will at least remove this part of the fuel system from question. Given you seem to have a "worked yesterday, today it doesn't" issue, methinks an electrical open circuit has surfaced.

Regards,

Pete
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Old 02-23-2022, 01:23 PM   #13
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My non- cat two cents… it’s missing power to the run solenoid. Use test jumper leads right off the starter though a mechanic should have already done that. It should click with a loud snap.
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Old 02-23-2022, 01:35 PM   #14
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You are dependant on electric.
Portage and I are pointing to suspect problem.
The solonoid moves something mechanically. That is what may be stuck. Assuming solonoid was heard operating.
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Old 02-23-2022, 01:47 PM   #15
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Loosen the fuel injector nuts holding the fuel lines. Then crank the motor a few rounds. There should be fuel coming out of each of the lines at the injectors.
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Old 02-23-2022, 02:50 PM   #16
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I would try starting fluid (WD40 works), but make sure that is OK for your engine.
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Old 02-23-2022, 04:42 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Portage_Bay View Post
If it ran fine before, no changes, assuming your mechanic checked fuel level in the tank, valves, primed the engines and checked for leaks leaks then your problem may be the fuel control solenoid. It is located on top of the fuel pump.

Are your engines energize to run or energize to stop? If they stop by tuning the key off they are energize to run. If you stop them by pushing a stop button they are energize to stop. Some marinized Cat 3208s are energize to run.

If energize to run:
  • Locate the fuel run solenoid on top of the fuel pump.
  • Have an accomplice turn the key to "run" not "start" then off again while you listen to the solenoid. Maybe even put your hand on it to determine if it is working.


If energize to stop:
  • Locate the fuel stop solenoid on top of the fuel pump.
  • With the key in the run position have your accomplice operate the stop button
  • As above listen and hand on the solenoid
  • Check the operation of the manual stop plunger on top of the solenoid.
Problems can be stuck solenoid, low or no voltage. i think there is a relay between the key or stop button and the solenoid. That may be faulty.

If your mechanic hasn't checked the solenoids then you haven't got a Cat 3208 experienced mechanic.


Edit: One more thing. If the solenoids are not working don't rule out the key switch and push to stop button.
I would say this advise is spot on.
On my 3208 it has a relay between the key and the energize to run solenoid. That relay could fail or have a bad connection.
On mine when i turn on the key the solenoid get 12V(12v system)
if you have a stop button turn on the key and press the button. this is likely a energize to stop engine and if it's getting 12V when you press the button it likely it not electrical other than the solenoid may be stuck.
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Old 02-23-2022, 05:00 PM   #18
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What we all agree on is that the engine is not getting fuel. Cracking an injector line will confirm what we already know, no fuel. Now if there is fuel what it will tell us is we have a catastrophic failure but that appears to be unlikely. You can either start at the injector and trace backwards or you can start at the tank and move forwards sooner or later you will have fuel on one side and not the other, at that point you will have found your problem.

I am still confused by the fact that you had a mechanic look at it and he wasn’t able to quickly pin point the source of fuel stoppage.
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Old 02-23-2022, 05:57 PM   #19
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Solenoids sometimes behave when whacked with a hammer.
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Old 02-23-2022, 05:58 PM   #20
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Verify your fuel selnoid is getting the right power or dropping out. Then id check for fuel at the injectors by cracking a fuel line while cranking. When were the fuel filters changed last? Did they start to let air in? Got a manual fuel prime pump?
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