Detroit diesels with water instead of fuel

Discussion in 'Diesel Engines' started by gdufus, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. gdufus
    Joined: Sep 2011
    Posts: 14
    Likes: 1, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 25
    Location: Panama

    gdufus Junior Member

    no, no, no, I'm not implicating that they will run on water, as a matter of fact, I've just proven that they didn't... :) I had a bit of rainwater in my boat while I was away and the centre tank got filled up with water. you guessed right, when I started the engines they were sucking from the centre tank (of course, why wouldn't they ?)

    Anyhow, after hitting my head against the wall and cleaning up the bloodsmear, I've taken the filters out, drained the water from the cartridge-holders and refilled everything with diesel. I've cranked a little but they did not start yet (of course, I know it takes a while)
    I don't seem to have a manual pump on my fuelpump, and my 8V71ti's drain a huge amount of juice from the starterbank when cranking, so while my batterycharger is trying to recover them a little, I figured I look here for some advice as how to pump fuel to the injectors without draining my start-batteries.

    Anyone ??
  2. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
    Posts: 16,657
    Likes: 1,618, Points: 123, Legacy Rep: 2031
    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    Crack slightly open the nuts at the injectors. It will bleed faster because there is no back pressure.
  3. gdufus
    Joined: Sep 2011
    Posts: 14
    Likes: 1, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 25
    Location: Panama

    gdufus Junior Member

    that's what I'd usually do, but I'm not sure if I can run these engines with the valve covers off ? anyway, after recharging the batteries and 5 sessions of 5-7 seconds cranking the engine came back to life.
    Now all I have to do is run it a little while longer, open the valve inbetween to prime the port engine and crank her up. perhaps I'll open up those covers to speed up the process :)
  4. Boston

    Boston Previous Member

    not the valve covers, the injectors. If you loose the injectors you releive some of the compression. Means your not stressing those cranking amps so much and your batteries will last longer, although what you really gotta watch is that starter and that you don't pit the cylinders burning water instead of fuel. Kinda the issue with keeping water out in the first place.

    Another thing you might try is purging the entire system, lines and all. just cause you prime the filters with oil or diesel doesn't mean the rest of it isn't soaked. The injectors are pretty delicate. IDI or DI both react badly to water. DI more so. If they sat long enough water could freeze them.

    you might want to loose the lines and clear them of all water, them prime with motor oil. Same for the injectors, except they pop under pressure or at least the IDI ones do so you might want to soak them in oil for a while to help clear the water. Fill your cylinders with motor oil as well, that way when it does fire your not grinding rusty rings. Basically I've started many a decrepit old diesel and if your careful, and its not been to long wet, it should start fine once you clear everything.

    Important thing is to stop what your doing and clean out all the water.
  5. CDK
    Joined: Aug 2007
    Posts: 3,324
    Likes: 148, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1819
    Location: Adriatic sea

    CDK retired engineer

    So you've solved the problem for now.

    To keep this from happening again, the fuel filters should get water separating bowls so you can see what cocktail is on the engine's menu. Or you can install a dedicated water separator with a float switch and a warning light. Most modern diesel cars have such a system as standard equipment.

    Joined: Oct 2002
    Posts: 4,519
    Likes: 111, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1009
    Location: Conn in summers , Ortona FL in winter , with big d

    FAST FRED Senior Member

    "not the valve covers, the injectors."

    ON a DD the injectors are under the valve cover , and operated by a rocker arm like an exhaust valve.There is no injector pump, the injector IS the pump.

    Once clean fuel is available IN the on engine fuel filter cranking with the fuel in "Stop" condition will keep the injectors closed but allow loads of fuel to get thru the passages that feed the injectors.

    At speed 35-40 gph is passed , regardless of gph used.

    The starter can take 30 seconds of cranking , once should be enough , 2 min off.

    Getting rid of the water (after you repair the leak source) must be done by pumping out the water , dumping some "majic" in the tank will not work , as you have solid water.

Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.