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Date Posted: - Tuesday - 08/13/13 - 9:11pm
Author: Randall, Murre, M31
Subject: Running a diesel engine dry...what to do now

Well, ain't I a dumb-a**? Weeks ago I closed the cock at the fuel tank when I wrapped up the boat (for reasons now unclear to me) and then on Sunday, having forgotten same, ran the engine w/out opening it. I was forward folding blankets when the engine began to race before dying altogether. Took me 30 minutes to figure out I'd starved her clean dry.

But now me old Perkins won't start at all. I've bled the lines to the secondary filter, but bleeding at the lift pump and injectors is a two person job.

Is bleeding the answer? Or have I done more permanent damage?

Any help welcome as I did want to go sailing this weekend.

RR

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Replies:

[> keep bleeding, it's normal when run out of fuel -- Ardi, - Wednesday - 08/14/13 - 7:24am

Unscrew a little bolt that is in the high pressure pump (where the injectors are) and keep bleeding by pumping the manual one that is on the starboard side of the engine kind of underneath the fuel filter. Might take 1/2 hour but it's not a 2 people job, you can do it alone.

Good luck

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[> [> Bleeding a perkins -- Mark, AEOLUS, M31, - Wednesday - 08/14/13 - 8:21am

Hey Randall, good to see you on the forum. Probably no damage done,I agree with Ardi, you might need to replace the crush washer at the filter if it leaks after bleeding.
Here's the procedure from our Fuji brothers.

http://www.fujiyachts.net/misc/fuelbleeding.html

It's so hard to get to the fuel pump I'd try the cracking the last injector and pump till your thumb is about to fall off. I installed a electric fuel pump from NAPA, before the engine. I only run it to bleed the system, otherwise fuel just flows thru it. Good Luck

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[> No Damage -- Bruce, - Wednesday - 08/14/13 - 6:35pm

I asked Hans List, who services my Perkins. Hans tells me there should be no damage done whatsoever, except maybe to your ego :)

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[> Thanks Guys -- Randall, - Thursday - 08/15/13 - 12:31am

Much appreciated responses all. And good to be back on the board. Odd, I used to post here every 3.5 seconds, or at least it felt such.

The Fuji link also very helpful. Thanks for that

Bruce, hopefully you tell List exactly WHOSE ego got bruised. :)

Will retry the bleeding procedure on Saturday.

Best to all,

RR

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[> [> reply -- Prinsibini, - Friday - 08/16/13 - 11:01pm

Nice to hear from you again. I have a tractor using a perkins diesel engine which I have run dry on several occasions. The secret after priming the injection pump which you have done is to crack the fuel lines where they attach to the injector bodies. (per my instruction manual) a turn or two is all it takes crank the starter until fuel leakes at the injector body. Happens quickly half a dozen spins. Tighten the fittins and she will take off. I guess air pressure in the line keeps the injector pump from being able to pick up fuel.

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[> She's running again -- Randall, - Saturday - 08/17/13 - 10:28am

I printed and took w/me to the boat the Fuji instructions linked to in this post.

The biggest challenge for me was finding the bleeds on the fuel pump as pictured. A careful read of the instructions shows they account for two different types of fuel pumps, of which Murre had the second (which lacks one of the bleeds). But even knowing that, some of the pictures are shot from angles not available to an engine INSIDE the boat, and so this "navigation" of the instructions took the lion's share of the time.

Had to take the sink and step engine covers off to get to some of the bleeds.

I bled from the fuel tank to the secondary filter and then to the fuel pump by hand. I cracked the fuel line nut ON the fuel pump, but never got fuel flow here at all.

Finally cracked the injector nuts while a friend cranked on the engine and she was running w/in 20 seconds.

Phew. I've owned this boat since 2000, and still I find am doing some tasks for the first time.

Thanks again for the quick help.

RR

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[> [> Oil vs. Fuel -- Gitano, - Tuesday - 09/ 3/13 - 12:11pm

That's good news Randall. It was my ego I was referring to - I ran my Perkins out of oil, you just the fuel ;)

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[> [> [> Aha, good point. -- Randall, - Wednesday - 09/ 4/13 - 1:13am

However, running out of oil could be next on my list. :)

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[> I did that too -- Jared Kibele, - Sunday - 12/ 8/13 - 11:44pm

I had to learn all this at 5am several miles off the big sur coast a few years ago. Nice lumpy seas, not quite enough wind to sail. It took my an hour or two to figure it all out going off a poorly reproduced Perkins manual.

I've since learned to change my fuel filter before it's completely clogged.

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