I’m stalled...

Canal Boat - - Back Cabin - WIGGYSARK, CB

QIf I sud­denly pull the throt­tle back to tick­over ( 800-900rpm) while trav­el­ling along, my 2009 Bar­rus Shanks 35 en­gine fre­quently stalls. What might cause this?

via the web­site TONY REPLIES... It could be over­heat­ing and suf­fer­ing a par­tial seizure – but not if it stalls early in the day while the en­gine is not yet hot. Does it stall if you move it straight back to neu­tral? If not, per­haps the prop is too big, the stern gland badly over­tight, the shaft badly bent, or en­gine align­ment badly wrong. I would ex­pect the gland to smoke in the last three cases.

If it stalls even when you go into neu­tral, it is likely to be an en­gine or fuel sys­tem fault. Does the in­jec­tor pump have its own oil sump? If it is run­ning dry or with fuel leak­ing into it from worn el­e­ments, that may be over­load­ing the en­gine. Go through the

Afuel sys­tem to en­sure the fil­ter and tank are not con­tam­i­nated with wa­ter or bug, the fuel lift­pump has an ad­e­quate sup­ply at idle, and there are no air leaks into the sys­tem. If you sus­pect a faulty lift­pump, you could try fit­ting a Facet elec­tric fuel pump – avail­able from ASAP Sup­plies.

If your bat­tery bank is well dis­charged, a large al­ter­na­tor can give this symp­tom – but it should clear as the bat­ter­ies charge. You could in­crease the idle, but 800 to 900rpm in­di­cates some­one might have tried this – and it’s not good for a me­chan­i­cal gear­box to in­crease it too much.

Might your rev counter be telling lies? Get a hand­held one and check the read­ing: if it is read­ing high, cal­cu­late by how much, and re-set the idle speed to com­pen­sate for the er­ror.

Fi­nally, sound­proof­ing (or rub­ber or foam to stop deck boards vi­brat­ing) can block the air in­lets, starv­ing the en­gine and lead­ing to ex­ces­sive en­gine room air tem­per­a­ture, both of which can cause stalling. To rule this out, wedge an en­gine cover up with small blocks of wood. If the fault dis­ap­pears, add some ven­ti­la­tion.

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