08-02-2017 09:35 AM
I have a single CAT 3116 powering my 1999 Mainship Trawler which has about 1800 total hours since new. It has performed flawlessly for all the 14 years I have owned it until this past week. As I traveled along a planned 45 mile leg the engine suddenly started losing RPM and eventually shutdown. This happened about 1:15 after the engine was started and was running at 1600RPM which is my eco cruise setting. After about a minute I restarted the engine successfully and continued on until 10 minutes later it happened again. Praying that something would change I restarted again and this time I increased the RPM to 1800 thinking maybe I had a blockage at the fuel intake in the tank and more fuel flow might dislodge it. This time it kept running and did so without incident for another five hours until I reached my destination. Three days later on another long run it shutdown again and at about 1:15 after engine start. Once again I restarted it, ran 10 minutes, and had it stop again. After the second restart it once again ran two plus hours without issue.
Analyzing what may have changed since since this started I can only guess that there must be something in the starboard fuel tank that may be momentarily clogging the intake screen. I switched to that tank just prior to the first incident. As a test I am going back to switch back to the port tank for the next leg to see it happens using a different fuel source.
Any thoughts would be appreciated.