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Old 11-20-2019, 03:09 PM   #1
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C-7 Athearn Taking Too Long to Start? Any advice?

Greetings all,

I have a C-7 Athearn in my 2006 Thomas and it seems to be having an issue with starting.

Now, to clarify, it does start but it takes a considerable amount of cranking before it will finally kick over. For the most part it takes from between 7 to 12 seconds of cranking before it will finally start. If that doesn't sound like a long time, try just counting out 7 seconds and imagine the engine cranking the entire time before starting.

The engine seems to run just fine once it starts and I have no issues that I can find once the engine is going, it just takes forever for it to finally start. The engine temp seems to have no effect on this as I have both driven it till warm as well as let it idle until warm, turned it off and then immediately restarted it only to find that it still took considerable cranking for it to finally kick over.

I am curious if anyone here might have a theory as to what the issue might be? What would keep the engine from kicking over as quickly as it clearly should, regardless of temp?
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Old 11-20-2019, 04:28 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by frontierphotographer View Post
Greetings all,

I have a C-7 Athearn in my 2006 Thomas and it seems to be having an issue with starting.

Now, to clarify, it does start but it takes a considerable amount of cranking before it will finally kick over. For the most part it takes from between 7 to 12 seconds of cranking before it will finally start. If that doesn't sound like a long time, try just counting out 7 seconds and imagine the engine cranking the entire time before starting.

The engine seems to run just fine once it starts and I have no issues that I can find once the engine is going, it just takes forever for it to finally start. The engine temp seems to have no effect on this as I have both driven it till warm as well as let it idle until warm, turned it off and then immediately restarted it only to find that it still took considerable cranking for it to finally kick over.

I am curious if anyone here might have a theory as to what the issue might be? What would keep the engine from kicking over as quickly as it clearly should, regardless of temp?
The 3126 and C7 just do that from what I've been told. Mine does.
Mine takes about 5-8 seconds usually. today took about ten as I haven't started it in 2 or 3 months.
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Old 11-20-2019, 05:14 PM   #3
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HEUI engines take awhile to fire when it's cold out and the oil is still thick.

It could possibly be a sign that your high pressure oil pump is starting to let go but you'd notice the motor cutting out at load if that was the case.
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Old 11-20-2019, 05:19 PM   #4
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HEUI engines take awhile to fire when it's cold out and the oil is still thick.

It could possibly be a sign that your high pressure oil pump is starting to let go but you'd notice the motor cutting out at load if that was the case.
C7,Twin Falls, Id, sub freezing temps. Bus starts in 3-4 seconds.
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Old 11-20-2019, 06:58 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
The 3126 and C7 just do that from what I've been told. Mine does.
Mine takes about 5-8 seconds usually. today took about ten as I haven't started it in 2 or 3 months.
Sorry, but I just don't buy that at all. There is no way that this engine is supposed to take between 7 and 10 seconds to start. I can't think of a single vehicle that has to crank over 20, 30 even 40 times before it will start. Nothing about that says that it is working properly.
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Old 11-20-2019, 07:12 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by frontierphotographer View Post
Sorry, but I just don't buy that at all. There is no way that this engine is supposed to take between 7 and 10 seconds to start. I can't think of a single vehicle that has to crank over 20, 30 even 40 times before it will start. Nothing about that says that it is working properly.
I'm just telling you what I'm experiencing. Also Sam aka "Native" has the same.

AdeptApe says its pretty standard on 3126's and C7's. Mine looks and runs like its new. Quietest, smoothest running bus I've had.

How many medium duty Cat's have you had?
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Old 11-22-2019, 05:46 PM   #7
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In bringing my 'dead cat' back to life today -- a 3126: It only took 2-3 sec to start up and it hasn't been started in a month, and a years before that -- still on my fuel from 2017...

I would say you're loosing prime or injector pressure.
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Old 11-22-2019, 05:51 PM   #8
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some hpop's just take a few more seconds.
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