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Tan, MerCruiser Certified Technician
Category: Marine Electronics
Satisfied Customers: 10905
Experience:  40 yrs. experience with complete engine repairs both inboard/outboard and MerCruiser Certified Technician.
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I have a 38 foot diesel with a 27 horse power atomic diesel.

Customer Question

I have a 38 foot diesel with a 27 horse power atomic diesel. It ran out of fuel and now doesn't want to start.
I plan to check the fuel tank for sludge and change the fuel filter.
when I turn on the fuel pump and attempt to bleed fuel to cyclinders, fuel doesn't come out.
The fuel filter container was half full. Turning on the accessory filled it but fuel's not getting to cyclinders
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Marine Electronics
Expert:  Tan replied 11 months ago.

Hello Patrick. My name is Tan.

Now to be sure the tank is the problem I would disconnect the fuel supply line from the fuel tank and stick the end of the hose in a can of diesel fuel. Now prime and run engine. If engine runs then we know the fuel tank is the problem. If it doesn't run then we know the engine is the problem. Possibly a bad lift pump.

If engine run do the following.

I would check all the fuel lines coming from the fuel tank to be sure they are not damaged or broken allowing the engine to suck air. Check the tank for blockage algae. If the boat has been sitting awhile unused the tank could be fouled with algae sludge blocking the fuel pick up tube. Now after you have cleaned the tank. And you still have an issue with priming then I would remove the pick up tube from the tank and inspect the tube for cracks and blockage.

Does this all make sense?

Post back with questions.

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