MEP-002a hard to crank then does not run right

roofconsult

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Baton Rouge, LA
I bought my 002A's about 5 years ago with about 3 hours on them. They had been reset by the Letterkenny Army depot. They have served me well since then and I now have about 25 hours on them.

The one that I am having trouble with has always liked the throttle at idle speed when cranking, but has otherwise run well and handled a load perfectly. I have done nothing to the IP or injectors since I have had them.

I had put off my maintenance a little too long and in June of this year I had some cloudy fuel and a little water in the primary strainer. So I cleaned everything, changed the fuel and flushed the lines. It was kind of hard to start and ran roughly at first, but after a couple of minutes it cleaned out and ran perfectly. I did not crank it again until about a week ago and that is when I started having trouble with it. I preheat for about a minute and then crank. It spits white smoke while cranking and takes a long time to start. It will hit a few times and the smoke turns gray, then it will start after quite a bit of cranking. But then it may run rough and knock, or it may smooth out and run great. But after a couple of minutes of running it will start to slow down and then it will die. After it dies it may hit a couple of times when cranking, but won't restart. If I wait a half hour or so it will go through the same routine again.

I have checked the governor linkage and have watched the IP throttle lever go to full open position when it starts to die as it it trying to maintain rpm's. So I think there is no problem with the linkage.

I don't think it is a problem with the LEAD reset because it has run great every time for several years now.

I read where one of our members suggests removing the cap nut and the valve holder and tapping the valve with a brass punch to free up the valve. But I think this more applies to a unit that will not start at all.

So I am looking for someone that may be able to point me in the right direction.

As always, sharing your experience is most appreciated.
 

Guyfang

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Let's see. You have had the set 5 years, and put 22 hours on it. Did you ever toss a little fluid into the fuel tank, to get rid of the lacquer build up in the fuel tank, lines, electric fuel pump, injector pump, check valve and injectors? Then maybe run it for a few hours?

That might be a part of the problem. You also need to see if your S1 is giving the K2 voltage to turn it on. Then see if K2 relay is working. Then see if the glow plugs are working. That will solve the hard start problem, I think.

The he reason the set slowly dies if probably fuel starvation. Could be you only have one electric pump working. Or the pumps are fouled with trash and lacquer. What did the water separator look like, when you did your service?

The he reason it is hard to start after it dies could be that the check valve is frozen open due to rust, trash or lacquer. The fuel runs back out of the injector pump, after it dies, and has to be refilled into the IP.
 

roofconsult

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Baton Rouge, LA
Thank you for the reply.
I don't use them often, but I run them every couple of months and change the fuel, flush the lines and clean the separator and filters once a year. I have never put anything in the tank except diesel. What kind of fluid would I use to clean the fuel system?
I can feel the glow plug heat up, so I think it and it's circuit are ok.
I will pull the check valve and make sure it is clean.
When I pulled the supply line from the IP and ran the pumps I got a full, steady flow of clean fuel so I thought I had kind of ruled out fuel starvation.
I'll report back after I check out the check valve.
Thanks again.
 

Grega

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St. Paul Nebraska.
Don't forget about the filters on the bottom of the fuel pumps. I would run the fuel pumps with the line off the injector pump for a few minutes to make sure there isn't a slow restriction.
 

Chainbreaker

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...I have never put anything in the tank except diesel. What kind of fluid would I use to clean the fuel system?
Considering you have never used any additives, I would start with a can of Seafoam in tank so it works its way through complete system. From pumps to check valve, inj pump, injectors. Be sure to mix it up good in tank and prime system for a while so you get good distribution. You could even drain all the fuel filters first to get untreated diesel poured back into tank and then prime with the mix of Seafoam/diesel. Let it sit overnight and then try a restart, or if it will start then let it run with the Seafoam mix and sit overnight or a few days and try a restart again to see if it had any effect.
 

Guyfang

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Thank you Chainbreaker. Any product I wold recommend, would be German, and a bit costly to get. If the postal service would allow you to even send it. When I owned a gen set, this is something I would do once a year. All my diesel cars and my motorcycles too, get this treatment. I have heard several of the members talk about Seafoam.
 

Tinstar

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Use it or lose it

That little amount of use stood out to me also.
If it were me, I would put 5 hours a month (minimum) to prevent exactly what your dealing with now.
You cannot let these sit unused like that.

Work the machine! Exercise it! Get it to operational temps. Load it up!
This will help keep seals happy and keep the moisture inside engine burned off, etc.

Seafoam is what I use and I’ve had excellent results.
 

roofconsult

Member
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Location
Baton Rouge, LA
I know you are right. The way to really abuse these machines is to neglect them.
Thanks to all for the advice. I wish I could work on it right now, but the short days make it tough.
.......and the bass are biting at the duck camp.
I'll report back as soon as I can get to it.
 

roofconsult

Member
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Location
Baton Rouge, LA
We had some warm weather this weekend so I worked on it a little more. I cleaned the entire fuel system, flushed it and put in fresh new diesel. There was no water, dirt or bad diesel anywhere in the system, everything looked polished. I also checked the check valve and it is working as it should. Glow plugs work.
After I put the new diesel in the tank I disconnected the supply line to the IP and hooked a clear hose to it and returned it back to the tank. I switched on the electric pumps and circulated the fuel for about 20 minutes and it all worked perfectly. I wanted to rule out any problem with the pumps.
But when I cranked it I got the same routine just as I had gotten before. The exact description of what it does is:

Takes a good bit of cranking to start
It runs very slowly at first regardless of throttle position- maybe 500 rpm's. It makes a lot of white smoke when it is doing this and the engine knocks loudly.
Then the engine will kick up for a second or two and the smoke turns dark, but just for a second. It goes through this for maybe 2 minutes.
That "kick" gets more and more frequent until the rpm's come up to maybe 1000-1200 for about 2-3 minutes. The knock goes away, but it still won't get up to operating rpm's.
Then it will start to miss some and rpm's starts to go down. The rpm's keep going down for about a minute until it dies.
It won't restart after it does this.

This seems to be a consistent routine when I start it.
My instinct tells me there has to be something wrong in the IP. But I lack experience and need some guidance.
Has anyone seen this routine before?
Thanks for any help.
 

Chainbreaker

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Low compression would make it hard to start (looks like you have ruled out glow plugs already). Perhaps a broken ring...but not sure it would cause it to die and not restart for a while though. Regardless, I would want to rule out any potential compression issues. Not sure what compression tester fits these glow plug thread holes though. Someone else who knows for sure may chime in.
 

jamawieb

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Have you check your valve clearances? This could be the issue but I'm really thinking its the IP.
There is a manual on the injector pump also to check timing. The easiest thing is to check the valve clearance first and then move to the injector pump.
 
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