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Old 02-16-2018, 03:30 PM   #1
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CUMMINS 555’s

My 1983 Grand Banks Classic 49 has two Cummins 555’s, 6020 hrs. on each.

Yesterday the SB engine wouldn’t start. My mechanic checked the starting battery....fine. I suspected a faulty starter, but he said it sounded like the starter was fine. The engine would not turn over.

The lights in the engine room dimmed considerably and the charge indicator showed a drop in voltage, but the engine did not turn over.

He then checked the oil....plenty, ....but he smelled diesel in the oil.
His diagnosis......a ruptured injector line.

A Cummins rep, 40 miles away, will charge me $500 just to drive down andthe back not including labor, parts, etc.

My question.......even if there’s diesel in the oil, shouldn’t the engine start? It was running fine about 2weeks ago.

I still suspect a faulty starter, but then there’s the oil issue too?? My sense of smell’s not the greatest, but I did not smell diesel on the dipstick.


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Old 02-16-2018, 04:11 PM   #2
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yes it would crank with fuel in the lube oil unless it seized up. Have you checked all electrical battery connections? Try to turn the engine by hand.

IMO you dont need a cummins guy to check connections, frozen engine, starter etc.
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Old 02-16-2018, 04:28 PM   #3
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This story doesn't add up:

How can the mechanic know that the starter's ok if it doesn't turn over? The lights dimmed which indicates that power is going to the starter but it doesn't move. Is the engine locked up? Did the mechanic try to bar it over by hand?

What does a ruptured injector line have to do with the engine not turning over?

Why did the mechanic conclude that the injector line was ruptured?

There is a simple paper towel test to confirm fuel in oil. Ski can elaborate as I have never done it. Did the mechanic do it?

This does not sound like a problem for a high powered Cummins mechanic, at least not the starting problem. Any mechanic with decent skills can get to the bottom of the starting problem.

It seems that you may have two unrelated problems: fuel in the oil possibly caused by a ruptured injector line and a starting (engine turnover) problem. Tackle the latter problem first and then look at the fuel problem.

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Old 02-16-2018, 05:38 PM   #4
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Take starter off and use a pry bar to try to rotate engine using flywheel teeth.

Or a wrench on front of crank, but I think (???) this has lots of allen screws (???).

Either way, want to see if engine is stuck.

Is oil level super high? If dilution with fuel is bad enough to seize engine, oil level will be inches above full.

Suck a little oil out of bottom of sump and see if there is water in there.

Start with the above.
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Old 02-16-2018, 06:32 PM   #5
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Those starters weigh a ton, hope you have good access! Check the starter solenoid - more likely to be an issue than the starter itself.
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Old 02-16-2018, 06:49 PM   #6
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If the injector failed and filled the cylinder with diesel then the engine would be hydrolocked. There is still the possibility that the starter is the issue but it does sound more like a hydrolocked engine.
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Old 02-16-2018, 09:36 PM   #7
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An injector line leaking is poor terminology. Unlike many other engines there are no injector lines, not even for a return line. There is a gallery [hole] in the cylinder head that not only feeds the injectors fuel but is also the return line for the excess that the injectors do not use. There is one external feed line from the PT pump to EACH cylinder head connecting at the cylinder head front. There is one external return line from EACH cylinder head at the back of each head.
No internal line that can leak into the engine.

To be fair he simply could have been talking the way many do about what he works on mostly but still know that those engines are like that and somewhat different.

Now the seals around the injectors could fail and leak fuel or coolant, either into a cylinder or into the valve cover area.

Do check for a hydrolock which could jam the engine/starter. Bar the engine over. The barring attachment should be right next to the PT pump.

So I'm going to suggest that you go to BOATDIESEL and join. Look through the PDF file [L.H. menu on the main page] section for:

Find: ASSOCIATED PRODUCTS
> Section. > Click ENGINES
>Sub Section. >click Cummins
>Products > click V555M

That will bring you to the V555M.

Look at the L.H. side of each listing and you will see [light lettering 14 - 19]
a series of sections 1 -5 of the V555M owners manual which describes a lot including the valve and injector settings and HOW to do it. Read it over.
14 -18 are the manual, 19 is the parts book.
Note these cover the natural mostly and a couple other engines so be carefull you understand which engine is referred to..

You will be allowed to download one section at a time, per day, as a level 1 member. They each are 6-10 Gbytes so take a while. Level 2 member more.

Find the barring description. Bar the engine over, not difficult but slow.
There should be compression resistance but that will release as you keep pressure on it and then it will carry on to the next cylinder. It will simply slow you but not stop you. Do two full rotations. If one cylinder is hydrolocked it will simply refuse to allow any further rotations, at least for a long time.

The barring description starts in section 3 so download that first.

Check the starter motor though as it could have developed a dead short which could prevent it from even attempting to crank the engine but also put a huge load on the batteries and cause a BIG Vdrop. A bearing could also have jammed preventing the starter from turning and creating the Vdrop.

I hope for your sake it is the starter. Not that the other isn't repairable but a starter will be a days job if access is reasonable. It is heavy , about 60 or so lbs so be sure you have control of it. You will need a LONG extension and 1/2" drive handle. If memory serves the socket will be 9/16 or 5/8. Upon more thought?? may it's 3/4". Easily checked as two of the securing bolts are accessed easily, it's the one behind the long extension is required. Some of those big old starters have a removeable end cover separate from the bearings which can be removed for brush access. THat could also enable you to try rotating the armature as a rough check if it is jammed. Don't know what you have now as many have had replacement starters over many years but take a look.

Diesel in the oil can be checked with an oil test.
Get an oil test kit and send a sample with a note that you are specifically concerned about diesel fuel in the oil and ask them to E-mail or phone you.

A redneck way [courtesy Ski in NC] is a drop of oil on a white paper towel. If only one dark ring shows it's oil, if a second much lighter ring shows there is diesel. It's not conclusive but indicative.

Enough for tonight,


This link may get you closer without all the button pushing.
If not then you will have to go through what I outlined above.
Link:
http://boatdiesel.com/PDFLibrary/Sea...ProductID=4491
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Old 02-17-2018, 07:27 AM   #8
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While locked due to fuel on a sitting engine is possible , not that many boats have a gravity feed to the engine.

There is also a chance that the coolant or exhaust water has entered the not running engine .

If the engine is locked and can not be bared over with the starter gears ,

pulling all the injectors would be next step before attempting turning over.
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Old 02-17-2018, 01:07 PM   #9
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Drain the sump, then bump the starter to test, but don’t start the motor.
If the sump is really filled with diesel it creates a kind of an upside down hydro lock.
Don’t force the motor to turn, this could cause severe damage.
Diesel filled sumps are often caused by bad lift pumps or bad seals in hp pump.
Bad injectors are more likely to fill a cylinder, but can also drain down into the sump, especially on a high hour motor.
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Old 02-17-2018, 03:24 PM   #10
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First check the dip stick. Normal level means no diesel or little diesel in the fuel-also no reverse hydraulic lock.
Second turn the engine by hand. If it turns, probably bad starter. If it doesn't most likely hydraulic lock, since it was running ok prior. Any decent mechanic (even a non Cummings machanic with a manual) should be able to pull the injectors, drain any fuel in the cylinder and renew the seals.
http://boatdiesel.com is a good place for manuals and more detailed help in the forums. Many oem mechanics are active in the forums. I think $25 a year.
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Old 02-18-2018, 05:03 PM   #11
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Thanks to all!

Thanks to all for your comments!

We have not tried to turn over this Cummins 555 by hand.
My mechanic is confident that a (hopefully not many) cylinder(s) is hydrolocked by diesel.
So we’re going to diagnose the problem, and I’ll keep you posted.

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Old 02-19-2018, 06:47 AM   #12
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Whatever it turns out to be, it would be good to also know what was the cause of the problem. I am very interested what is actually the problem and what caused it.

Since I have a similar engine to yours (V-504), only two simple things come to my mind how your engine could have been hydrolocked by diesel if everything else is functioning OK:

a) your fuel shutoff valve has malfunctioned or the wiring to it malfunctioned (leaving the valve open)

b) you have left the engine with the key in contact ON position (leaving the fuel shutoff valve in the open position again). Or some other switch which you use for that purpose if not the key.

For me, as electronic engineer it is a design fault, but those engines were designed in 1960's when there was not many electronics around engines. Anyway, they were aware of that problem and stated it as the warning in the user/operational manual for the engine. It says that fuel shutoff valve should be open only just prior to starting the engine and stay opened during the engine is working, and after engine shutdown by closing the fuel shutoff valve it should stay closed. If engine is not running, opened fuel shutoff valve, for prolonged periods, can cause a diesel hydrolock of cylinders. Now, how critical this is highly depends of how the fuel is being fed to the valve (gravity feed or something else,...). I was worried about this when installing everything, but connecting the oil pressure alarms (bell and light) to the key contact does add the confidence that it will not stay open for long periods (i.e. you have turned the contact on just to check something (read some gauge, check some alarm,...) and then you have forgotten to turn it off).

You are in the boating as well and therefore I am sure that you have not made this mistake, but we do often miss simple things, but they should be first checked and cost nothing.
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Old 02-19-2018, 07:37 AM   #13
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A tid bit passed along to me by an experienced mech....

"You can turn the 555 over by hand by using a pipe wrench on the crank pulley. You open the wrench just enough to fit the inner and outer circumference of the pulley, that puts a side load on the wrench but provides a lever the length of the wrench handle and permits easily turning the engine over. It is a hundred times easier than the built in jacking device back by the fuel pump.

Fuel locked ... yeah right, full of fuel for how long now? Those must be some really awesome piston rings!"
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Old 02-19-2018, 09:58 AM   #14
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Have you checked the TDC pin in the engine? When it has come out, (for whatever reason) there is a possibility that it blockes the engine while trying to start. The fact that your light in the E.R. dimmed and the voltage dropped severly, indicates that the starter get's electricity but is not able to turn the engine. Do you hear a click when you try to start (which means that the solenoide is activated? No click means that the solenoide is stuck. A (little) bang on the starter often solves this problem.
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Old 02-19-2018, 05:16 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Blu View Post
Have you checked the TDC pin in the engine? When it has come out, (for whatever reason) there is a possibility that it blockes the engine while trying to start. The fact that your light in the E.R. dimmed and the voltage dropped severly, indicates that the starter get's electricity but is not able to turn the engine. Do you hear a click when you try to start (which means that the solenoide is activated? No click means that the solenoide is stuck. A (little) bang on the starter often solves this problem.
It’s been a while since I worked on a 555,but I don’t remember there being a TDC pin.
The starter motor is probably capable of shearing it, if indeed there is one, and if it is hydrolocked, it’s not a great idea to keep trying to spin the motor, as thats how rods go through blocks and cranks are bent!
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Old 02-19-2018, 05:49 PM   #16
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Another possibility is that the starter pinion may be jammed in the ring gear, locking everything up. If so, you should be able to free it by turning the engine backwards slightly.
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Old 02-19-2018, 05:58 PM   #17
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I found this article which maybe helpful.
https://www.passagemaker.com/technic...ine-wont-start
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Old 02-19-2018, 06:51 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Blu View Post
Have you checked the TDC pin in the engine? When it has come out, (for whatever reason) there is a possibility that it blockes the engine while trying to start. The fact that your light in the E.R. dimmed and the voltage dropped severly, indicates that the starter get's electricity but is not able to turn the engine. Do you hear a click when you try to start (which means that the solenoide is activated? No click means that the solenoide is stuck. A (little) bang on the starter often solves this problem.



THere is NO TDC pin. THis is different from many engines. The PT or fuel pump does NOT need timing to the crank or camshaft. It is simply a pump. The injector operation and timing is off the camshaft with a rocker and there is a plunger depth adjustment of the injector itself.
NO TDC pin.
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Old 02-20-2018, 02:38 PM   #19
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Another possibility is that the starter pinion may be jammed in the ring gear, locking everything up. If so, you should be able to free it by turning the engine backwards slightly.


I would 2nd this, turning it backwards just a few degrees will free it up if this is the culprit.
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Old 02-21-2018, 06:48 AM   #20
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Quote:
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THere is NO TDC pin. THis is different from many engines. The PT or fuel pump does NOT need timing to the crank or camshaft. It is simply a pump. The injector operation and timing is off the camshaft with a rocker and there is a plunger depth adjustment of the injector itself.
NO TDC pin.
In that case you don't have to search for it
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