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Old 06-13-2018, 11:55 AM
Robs Hubris Robs Hubris is offline
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Fuel pump question ...

Hello:

I'm working on a the same "starts but then stalls after a bit" problem that several others have posted about. (A4 installed on a 1981 Catalina 30).

I think I've got a pretty good handle on what to diagnose and potentially replace (Carb, fuel line, filter, fuel pump, ignition system, coil, etc.). Thank you for all the prior input!

Question though ... I see two replacement electric fuel pumps offered, one is 2-3 psi, the other 3-4.

I''m tempted to default to the higher PSI ... but you know what they say about assumptions. Any advice?

many thanks,

Rob Anderson
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Old 06-13-2018, 11:59 AM
Dave Neptune Dave Neptune is offline
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Rob, the higher pressure pump is for the Cat 30 and others like my old boat an E-35. The more aggressive pump is due to the additional length of draw as the tanks are just further away. Also for the same reason there are 2 mechanical pumps as well.

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Old 06-13-2018, 01:13 PM
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Dave: Thanks much for sharing ... love the knowledge here. And, I'm glad I asked!
best,
Rob
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Old 06-13-2018, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robs Hubris View Post
I'm working on a the same "starts but then stalls after a bit" problem that several others have posted about.
...I think I've got a pretty good handle on what to diagnose and potentially replace (Carb, fuel line, filter, fuel pump, ignition system, coil, etc.)
Hey Rob-
Can you give us a little synopsis of what's going on with your issues?
Changing out the fuel system, ignition and coil may solve it BUT you won't know what the problem actually was.

Sort of like solving a mouse problem by razing the entire house and re-building it.

Systematically doing one thing at a time will be sure you nail down the issue AND give you a better A4 "education"...
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Old 06-14-2018, 08:39 AM
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Hi Jerry, sure thing ... appreciate the thought process.

A prior poster, from 2015 I think, posted the exact description.

Engine starts normally, ease choke down ... runs, water exhaust good.

After a minute or so, there's a slight increase in rpm and it stops.

Starts again fine ... runs, little uptick, dies.

Starts ..then each subsequent start, the stall interval decreases.

Just on a hunch (having absent mindedly left the ignition on for some time) I replaced the coil yesterday and the problem repeated exactly as described above.

I ordered a fuel pump from Moyer, with the thought that if it's not needed, I'll have it for back up as the current pump looks downright ancient.

thoughts?

thx,
rob
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Old 06-14-2018, 08:56 AM
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Please repeat the same test with the fuel fill cap removed taking care that no deck water enters (a Catalina 30-specific risk).
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Old 06-14-2018, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndutton View Post
Please repeat the same test with the fuel fill cap removed taking care that no deck water enters (a Catalina 30-specific risk).
Did that yesterday, no effect on problem.

I did fill, nearly fill, the gas tank recently. But the engine ran fine for a couple of outings before the current problem appeared.
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Last edited by Robs Hubris; 06-14-2018 at 11:03 AM.
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Old 06-14-2018, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robs Hubris View Post
...Engine starts normally, ease choke down ... runs, water exhaust good.

After a minute or so, there's a slight increase in rpm and it stops.

Starts again fine ... runs, little uptick, dies.

Starts ..then each subsequent start, the stall interval decreases.
...
This also sounds a lot like the "stuck ball" problem I have experienced several times with the Facet pump, described in more detail here.

The diagnostic and temp fix are very easy.
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Old 06-14-2018, 11:06 AM
JOHN COOKSON JOHN COOKSON is online now
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Try bypassing or shorting across the OPSS. The OPSS can fail in all sort of weird manners. Been there, done it. It kept me guessing for awhile.

TRUE GRIT
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Old 06-14-2018, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by JOHN COOKSON View Post
Try bypassing or shorting across the OPSS. The OPSS can fail in all sort of weird manners. Been there, done it. It kept me guessing for awhile.

TRUE GRIT
Thanks John ... is there a write up anywhere on how to do this?
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Old 06-14-2018, 05:17 PM
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Checking/Bypassing the Oil Pressure Safety Switch

You can check the switch at least two ways:

1. If you have a voltmeter or multimeter (VOM scale set to DC voltage), connect it across the switch. That is, put the red (+) test lead on the switch terminal screw from the coil, the black lead (-) on the other screw to the fuel pump. With the ignition ON and no oil pressure (engine not running), the switch contacts should be open and you should see 12 volts (nominal) on the meter. With oil pressure up (engine running) the switch should be closed and the meter will read near zero. If it reads other than a few tenths of a volt, the switch contacts are damaged - get a new switch. If you see the meter reading bounce around as time passes with the engine running, the switch is bad - get a new one.

2. If you have no meter, or are hesitant to use one, here are two ways to jump, or short across, the switch:

a) If you have a short wire with alligator clips on both ends, connect one end to one of the switch’s terminals, and the other end to the other terminal. This “jumps” across the switch contacts, bypassing them. Oddly enough, this temporary wire is called a “jumper”. This method is temporary.

b) If you have no alligator clips, then just connect both of the existing wires going to the switch together. You can do that by putting both wires together under either one of the switch terminals. Or, you can disconnect both wires from the switch, connect the ring terminals on their ends together with a short #8 (or so) machine screw, washer, and nut. Wrap in electrical tape. This method, while still temporary, is preferable if you’ll be waiting for a new pressure switch.
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Old 06-14-2018, 05:58 PM
JOHN COOKSON JOHN COOKSON is online now
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I carry a metal piece in my onboard tool box that is the same width and thickness and is bit longer than 2X the tang on the OPSS. If the OPSS ever fails while I'm under way I can pull the wires off the OPSS tangs and push then on the bypassing tab, wrap them with a piece of tape, and I'll be good to go.
In fact I cary two of them because I know I will probably drop\loose the first one.

TRUE GRIT
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Old 06-14-2018, 06:31 PM
Robs Hubris Robs Hubris is offline
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OK, I have two more diagnostic steps to try tomorrow.

Any advice on getting to the fuel pump, it looks tight and tricky ....
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Old 06-14-2018, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robs Hubris View Post
OK,
Any advice on getting to the fuel pump, it looks tight and tricky ....
It's probably to late for a diet so think skinny. Wear a long sleeve shirt so you don't tear your arms up. Good lighting and a mirror will also help. You will know you are in the thick of it when you get so dizzy you can't figure out which way is clockwise\counter clockwise to loosen or tighten. Having the correct tools is a big help.
Have fun.

TRUE GRIT
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Old 06-14-2018, 09:02 PM
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Fuel Pump Relocation

An option might be to leave the old electric pump where it is, and mount the new pump in a more accessible location. Never having seen the inside of any Catalina, I can modestly say I’m quite unbiased.

If you do that, or ANYTHING to the fuel system, read and follow the Coast Guard requirements of The Boatbuilder’s Handbook, found here, http://www.moyermarineforum.com/foru...ead.php?t=9280. These requirements are not just Nice to Do, they are law.

In that book, Subpart J, Fuel Systems, Title 33 CFR Section 183.566 Fuel Pumps: Placement, requires that, “Each fuel pump must be on the engine it serves or within 12 inches of the engine, unless it is a fuel pump used to transfer fuel between tanks.” This 12” requirement is for the pump. Thus, the pump, if mounted within 12” of the engine, may have any length of hose from the pump to the carburetor.

Steps to do this might be:
a. Cut the fuel line from the fuel filter to the pump suction end at the pump. Remove that hose from the discharge end of the filter. Throw it away, don’t be tempted to reuse it.
b. Cut the fuel line from the old electric pump discharge to the carburetor, and remove it from the carburetor. Throw it away.
c. Mount the new pump within 12” of the engine in an accessible location.
d. Run new USCG compliant Type 1 ethanol rated fuel hose from the filter discharge port to the new pump suction inlet. Follow all the USCG rules on routing, support, fittings, clamps, etc.
e. While you’re at it, if you don’t have a “polishing” filter and fuel pressure gauge, add them now. Using the search function of this forum will provide lots of examples. Connect them after the new pump’s discharge - filter first, then gauge. Again, follow the CG rules for mounting and support, using new A1 hose.
f. Connect the fuel pressure gauge to the carburetor using A1 ethanol rated hose.
g. Finally, connect the new pump up electrically.
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Old 06-15-2018, 08:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JOHN COOKSON View Post
It's probably to late for a diet so think skinny. Wear a long sleeve shirt so you don't tear your arms up. Good lighting and a mirror will also help. You will know you are in the thick of it when you get so dizzy you can't figure out which way is clockwise\counter clockwise to loosen or tighten. Having the correct tools is a big help.
Have fun.

TRUE GRIT
LOL ... way too late my friend (for the thin thing) I am a fairly non-mechanical guy who's owned this beast for over 10 years now ... I've learned to rebuild water/exhaust systems, replace impellers and more.

I'm going to give it the old college try and engage a mechanic if I'm not up to it. I'll drop the end of the story in here when I know it.

thanks all for thoughtful advice and experience,
rob
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Old 06-15-2018, 11:07 AM
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Maybe a procedure I used when I replaced the water pump a few months ago will help. Maybe not.

Twist a stud into the hardest to reach hole finger tight. If you don't have a stud buy a bolt and cut the head off. Slide the pump onto the stud. Tighten the bolt into the other hole tight enough so the pump does not move when the stud is removed. Twist the stud out and twist the bolt into the hole finger tight. Loosen the other bolt to finger tight then torque both bolts down evenly.

TRUE GRIT
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Old 06-16-2018, 07:44 PM
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My report:

Checked ball valve on current facet pump ... seemed ok.
Checked the OP switch, OK.
Problem still occurred as before
Replace Facet pump with new ... same.
Called mechanic.

Thanks again, I learned a ton I didn't know about my A4,

cheers,
Rob
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Old 06-16-2018, 07:54 PM
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Rob-
With power to the Facet, can you hear it "clicking"?
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Old 06-16-2018, 08:00 PM
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Please try filling the tank to the top again and test. Based on this:
Quote:
I did fill, nearly fill, the gas tank recently. But the engine ran fine for a couple of outings before the current problem appeared
I have a sneaky suspicion you have a hole in the pickup tube inside the tank. If it runs on a full tank that seals the deal.
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Old 06-16-2018, 11:20 PM
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My guess is now a sticking float valve in the carb, but then I realized we would all be doing a lot less guesswork here if a $20 fuel pressure gauge were installed between the pump and the carb. Could have ruled out the need for the new pump.

Even if you find a competent mechanic to finish this off (which I don’t think you need to do) you’ll save a lot more than $20 of his troubleshooting time with that in place.
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Old 06-17-2018, 02:45 AM
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Standard procedure for fuel system problem diagnosis is to run off an auxiliary tank and see if the problem goes away.

Please do this next.

There have been lots of diagnostic possibilities mentioned. If we can isolate the problem to the boat's part of the fuel system ( tank, filters, - anything before the fuel pump) or the engine's part of the fuel system (fuel pump, carburetor) we will be able to drill down into the cause of the problem pronto.

By posting the problem on the forum you have already called a mechanic(s).
Why do you need to call another one? No one person has the collective A4 wisdom of this forum.

TRUE GRIT
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Old 06-17-2018, 08:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadnsky View Post
Rob-
With power to the Facet, can you hear it "clicking"?
Yes, I think I did hear that Jerry. I didn't make much note of it, but I think so. Diagnostic implications?
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Old 06-17-2018, 08:18 AM
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Please try filling the tank to the top again and test. Based on this: I have a sneaky suspicion you have a hole in the pickup tube inside the tank. If it runs on a full tank that seals the deal.
Thanks for the idea ....I searched, briefly for info on the pickup tube and didn't find anything, but it sounds like a likely item to check.
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Old 06-17-2018, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by JOHN COOKSON View Post
Standard procedure for fuel system problem diagnosis is to run off an auxiliary tank and see if the problem goes away.

Please do this next.

There have been lots of diagnostic possibilities mentioned. If we can isolate the problem to the boat's part of the fuel system ( tank, filters, - anything before the fuel pump) or the engine's part of the fuel system (fuel pump, carburetor) we will be able to drill down into the cause of the problem pronto.

By posting the problem on the forum you have already called a mechanic(s).
Why do you need to call another one? No one person has the collective A4 wisdom of this forum.

TRUE GRIT
Love the "damn the mechanics" 'tude. And hell yes about the collective wisdom here ... invaluable resource.

I do bring less mechanical skill, and tools, to the party than most of the gang here though. I have a good quality service provider (Colony Marine) so I'm not opposed to it, especially for fuel related issues. (loooong story there ....)

Nothing's scheduled yet though, and there may be a waiting list and I will be at the boat Monday working on the ideas here, we'll see.

The external tank test seems a great idea; not sure how I pull it off, but I'll make it a target, many helpful friends in Michigan Harbor marina may come in play.

and Happy Father's Day to all my fellow dad's out there!
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