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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 on modern systems an electrical solenoid is used. Boats have a mixture of both systems depending on the engine and age. But 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 system fails on a road vehicle, although terrible 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, or if the engine is not engaged it could lead to a catastrophic failure.

How to address this?
Undo the hose clip and remove 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

A runaway diesel engine destroying itself

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