Fuel system scoring and residue

Engine Start Problems



Have you been faced with problems starting your engines?

Regardless of whether the engine is used for generation, propulsion or as part of a safety or backup system, it’s pretty inconvenient, right?
Some of the most common causes of engine start problems are poor fuel atomization, air blockages or cold engines (with the latter being a particular issue in the North Sea!)
But sometimes, it’s not always that easy to diagnose the reason why an engine isn’t starting, something that I was reminded of at a recent visit to a client whose start-up generation engine wasn’t starting (which was pretty ironic!)
We cranked the engine over a few times to ensure it was moving freely, and then checked the fuel system and investigated the flow between all the different sections.
These checks were vital in showing us that the valve block on the side of the HP pump was not letting fuel through.
Tolerances are extremely tight when it comes to assemblies in the fuel system, and consequently, any foreign bodies will affect performance.
We dismantled the system, and discovered that the plunger and bore showed scoring and that there was a brown residue:

Fuel system scoring and residue

This was enough to stop the valve opening to let the fuel through.
As a temporary fix, the scoring and witness marks were removed using very fine grade emery cloth, but in order to prevent future problems, the valve will need to be removed and cause of the residue found.
As with any engine problem, a methodical approach, using all information available, will lead to the identification of the cause, repair and your engine back in operation quicker.

If you’d like our quick diagnostic flow chart to identify possible engine problems, just email us at info@bartechmarine.com or call on 06 791552 and we’ll send one over.

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