A Night Revisited

A Night Revisited

Lelu, Kosrae FSM

March 4, 2010


THE FIX: The problem with the engine was that there was zero electrical in any of the circuitry in the engine control box. We had full batteries, start and house batteries, the power was getting to the engine control box, but there was no internal power coming past the box breaker. I hit the breaker and it would trip. After the breaker there are four sets of relays and a couple of dozen wires that lead to the pilothouse, flying bridge (both starboard and port), and the aft steering stations. We had just this year added additional emergency kill and start buttons on both the flying bridge and the aft steering stations, so we could shut down from each station if the engine was running out of control. Logic said that the problem was with one of these new engine kill switches, which might be defective (heavy salt air exposure, etc). My first effort was to disconnect all outside control stations. NO CHANGE.

Eventually, after checking all of the relays to be sure that they were working properly, I worked my way to the one wire running to the engine fuel solenoid. When you try to start the engine the solenoid gets 24volts to energize its magnet and open the fuel flow from the injector pump. GUESS WHAT? The solenoid was shorting out inside and shutting down the whole system. An easy fix: replace with a new fuel flow valve and solenoid out of the spare parts. The engine is now working fine. If this happens again I will start by disconnecting the solenoid first. Live and Learn.

Don Stabbert

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