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Shutting down a diesel engine that fails to stop


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What is the issue?
Diesel engines stop via a stopper system in the injector. On older systems a cable is attached to a lever that shuts down the fuel or modern systems use an electrical solenoid. Boats have a mixture of both systems depending upon the engine and age.

If the solenoid fails or the manual stopper slips on the rail the engine will not stop once started.


Why address this?
If the stopper systems fails on a road vehicle, although terribal for the clutch, you can stop it by stalling the engine. On a yacht there is no natural mechanism to stop the engine save waiting for it to run out of fuel.

How to address this?
Undo the hose clip on the bottom of the air filter. Pull off the rubber pipe and place your hand over it. The pipe will suck flat and the engine will die virtually immediately.

There are only two ways to stop a diesel engine, cut off the fuel or the air. The easiest approach to stop a boat engine is to cut off the air. This approach leaves the engine perfectly service worthy and it will start again immediately. Cutting off the fuel will airlock the system and require the system to be bled up to the injectors before it may be restarted.


With thanks to:
Bernard Harpur, Co. Wexford, Ireland

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