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Old 10-26-2020, 01:59 PM   #1
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Port Cat 3208 won't start

So I'm headed out to Catalina Island for a weekend and I was draining my middle tank before cutting over to my larger aft fuel tank. Well I was distracted and ran her down till the engines started to quit. I switched to the aft tank and the stb engine kept running but the port quit. I tried to start. No good. Bled the top injector, no start. Heck with it complete the journey on one engine. Next day, bled again, no start. Then the + battery terminal separated from the battery. So I put a stainless screw through it and tried again to start. Turns over but no start. Heck with it. Came home on one engine. Bought new start 8D AGM Batts. No start. Turns over fast, makes a sound like one cylinder wants to fire, no start. I checked to be sure the manual shut down solenoid was not depressed, nor was it going down when the starter was engaged. I pumped, bled again. No start. Any ideas? Oh I also deactivated my Fireboy system just to be sure. No start.
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Old 10-26-2020, 02:24 PM   #2
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Are you bleeding the top injector by running the priming pump? If so, did you get all the ball valves back in run position? I’ve shut an engine down by inadvertently kicking one of the ball valves closed a little. Did you look in the Racor to be sure it’s full?
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Old 10-26-2020, 02:55 PM   #3
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Air or a blocked flowpath will cause no-start.
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Old 10-26-2020, 03:04 PM   #4
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A 3208 cat has a manual priming pump and a bleed valve on top of the motor you must open to bleed the motor. I'm willing to bet if you follow those steps the murder will start
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Old 10-26-2020, 04:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motion30 View Post
A 3208 cat has a manual priming pump and a bleed valve on top of the motor you must open to bleed the motor. I'm willing to bet if you follow those steps the murder will start
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The small petcock/T piece (pictured under the forward fuel line) is on the top of the fuel pump, back it off a few turns, twist and release the plunger/primer and pump until fuel flows down the drain tubes at the front of the engine, then tighten the petcock valve.
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Old 11-05-2020, 12:31 AM   #6
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Excessive cranking without starting can create a flooded exhaust system that can possibly flood the motor or create excessive back pressure, depending on exhaust system configuration.
Be careful!
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Old 11-05-2020, 02:52 AM   #7
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Replace your fuel filters first, then bleed the engine.
Here's a wee tip, before you fit the new fuel filters fill them right up with fuel, it'll save you time bleeding.
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Old 11-05-2020, 08:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wpc691 View Post
Are you bleeding the top injector by running the priming pump? If so, did you get all the ball valves back in run position? Iíve shut an engine down by inadvertently kicking one of the ball valves closed a little. Did you look in the Racor to be sure itís full?
Yes I did that. Racor is good and clean.
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Old 11-05-2020, 08:54 AM   #9
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Replace your fuel filters first, then bleed the engine.
Here's a wee tip, before you fit the new fuel filters fill them right up with fuel, it'll save you time bleeding.
Yup. I do that. I also have vacuum gauges on each racor and the filters are not a problem.
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Old 11-05-2020, 08:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Southern Boater View Post
Attachment 109315

Attachment 109316

The small petcock/T piece (pictured under the forward fuel line) is on the top of the fuel pump, back it off a few turns, twist and release the plunger/primer and pump until fuel flows down the drain tubes at the front of the engine, then tighten the petcock valve.
Oh, yes, did that from the start.
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Old 11-05-2020, 09:02 AM   #11
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Ok, sorry it took so long to get back on this but I took a two week vacation and came back to more boat work. So I finally gave up and brought in my diesel mechanic. He removed the stop solenoid and looked under it to be sure something wasn't stuck there as when the stop button was depressed it returned properly and positively. Then he pumped the priming pump. Then he cracked open all of the stb injectors and pumped some more. Then he said try starting. It took the third try to finally start her. Ok, next time I just have to be more aggressive in my bleeding technique. When this happened in the past, really my first trip on the boat, bleeding the top injector was all that was needed.

Thank you all for your responses.
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Old 11-05-2020, 10:09 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickyD View Post
Ok, sorry it took so long to get back on this but I took a two week vacation and came back to more boat work. So I finally gave up and brought in my diesel mechanic. He removed the stop solenoid and looked under it to be sure something wasn't stuck there as when the stop button was depressed it returned properly and positively. Then he pumped the priming pump. Then he cracked open all of the stb injectors and pumped some more. Then he said try starting. It took the third try to finally start her. Ok, next time I just have to be more aggressive in my bleeding technique. When this happened in the past, really my first trip on the boat, bleeding the top injector was all that was needed.

Thank you all for your responses.
The bolded text is the way to properly bleed the injectors. Good to hear that you're up and running!
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Old 11-17-2020, 01:01 PM   #13
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Ok here is an update: I needed to dump the holding tanks so I started both engines, left my dock for the pump out station. When I completed the dirty job, another boater wanted my spot and was hand pulling his boat to take my spot. So, I did what I normally don't do. I tossed my lines, pushed off, climbed to the fly bridge, started the engines, but no the port engine would not start. Ok back to my slip on one engine. I tied her up, carefully bled the port engine, started her and ran it up to 1200 RPM and kept her there. At least for a time. After a couple minutes she started to wind down until she quit. I opened the racor to find it only had 1/3 the fuel and lots of air. Replaced the filter just because and the seals. Bled again, started again, ran again, quit again. Then I began to hear a gurgle at the on engine fuel filter. Aha!! Lets be sure. Started the stb engine for a short time, listened for a gurgle, none. Ok. Must be a leak in the fuel lines coming and going to the fuel filter. So I took off the exit line. Put my finger on the hole. Gurgle Gurgle Gurgle. Ok put that back on. Took off the supply line. Put my finger on the hole. Gurgle Gurgle Gurgle. Damn. So now its either the line from the tank to the supply control valve or from the control valve to the Racor. I'm ready to call in the hose guy and start replacing hoses. A dock buddy was aboard and I showed him the line from the Racor to the supply valve inside the engine room. Then I went up to the salon and then walked him to the place where the control valves are. I opened the cover and low and behold, when I was in a big hurry to change to my aft fuel tank, the supply valve for the port engine was switched over 96% but not all the way. So I made sure I was solid, re-bled, restarted, ran like crazy for 15 minutes. Problem solved. Holey smokes. How many hours did I put into that discovery that could have take 30 seconds if I had thought to look. So I had been sucking air out of an empty tank all along.
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Old 11-17-2020, 01:04 PM   #14
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It was a beautiful hot day in So. Cal. yesterday and my bride and I cruised for about 4 hours, no fuel problems. Whew!!
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Old 11-17-2020, 01:15 PM   #15
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Old 11-17-2020, 08:46 PM   #16
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Old 11-17-2020, 08:58 PM   #17
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Old 11-17-2020, 09:22 PM   #18
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I can’t tell you how many times I remind people to start with the simplest solution. Don’t feel bad, in 1974 I was in a Coast Guard Aux training class. The instructor gave us a long list of things to do in case the engine would not start. At the bottom of the list was check for fuel in the tank. I asked why that wasn’t at the top of the list. He simply said he had not thought about that.
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Old 11-17-2020, 09:25 PM   #19
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KISS, it usually it the simple stuff that we overlook. Glad you got it fixed!
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Old 11-18-2020, 04:09 AM   #20
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Haha..I love it though. Sometimes thats how you really really learn things. Especially troubleshooting. Good recovery!

When I was a youngster I once had an issue another crew was troubleshooting. An APU that would not start. I was asked to take over and saw that they had been bouncing around on their progression. I decided to start at the APU start fuel nozzle and troubleshoot back. I did a thorough bit of troubleshooting...all the way back to the empty fuel tanks. 6 hours down the drain...lol. Never forgot that lesson though. Especially the one about taking over someone else troubleshooting.
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