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Old 05-18-2024, 11:15 AM   #1
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Location: sumter sc
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Year: 1990
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1990 Thomas Bus with Catapillar engine

Hi, I'm a newbee!! Excited to start this journey, but first I need help cranking the Diesel bus. The gas generator cranked easily but I cannot get the Catapillar engine started and I know it runs, but hasn't been cranked in a few months. Any ideas? Has a rear engine so should crank from back there or in the front. Put in two new batteries so we have power. Says we have 1/2 tank diesel fuel will not turn over. Are we missing a switch?

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Old 05-19-2024, 07:56 AM   #2
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Year: 1995
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If itís turning over itís likely it is not getting fuel.

Probably needs to be primed though I cannot tell you how on that engine, but start your research there.

Not as likely no spark if it worked before, but could be. Far more likely it lost its prime.
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Old 05-19-2024, 10:24 AM   #3
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Being a Caterpillar engine it's most likely a diesel therefore would have no spark. The idea about losing it's prime is very likely. Installing an electric fuel pump in the fuel line before the primary filter is a good idea but it should be a low pressure pump not a high pressure one. A trick I used to do on diesel generators is to take a clean shop rag, saturate it in gasoline, let the excess drip off and use the shop rag in the engine intake to get it to fire. Be careful that you do not lose the rag in the intake though.
Something else to check is the speed the engine is rotating, a diesel has to rotate at a specified RPM in order to create the compression needed to run. If everything is right and the pistons are moving up with the right speed a diesel will create the necessary compression and the engine will fire off in just one revolution.
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Old 05-19-2024, 09:30 PM   #4
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ok is cranking when the starter is engaged and the crankshaft is turning or is cranking when it starts? In a mechanics world cranking is when the crankshaft is turning, pistons going up and down and it's trying to make the music of running. So I assume that you mean cranking so if it's not starting and getting to make it's music it is probably fuel starvation. My trick is to get a gallon garden sprayer and put a gallon of diesel in it, remove air cleaner and spray into intake while someone else is cranking (no gasoline or shop rags). It should run if everything else is correct. Are you sure the new batteries are cranking it fast enough? Or have you changed something electrical and it won't crank at all? Your description is confusing.
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Old 05-19-2024, 11:12 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by sportyrick View Post
ok is cranking when the starter is engaged and the crankshaft is turning or is cranking when it starts? In a mechanics world cranking is when the crankshaft is turning, pistons going up and down and it's trying to make the music of running. So I assume that you mean cranking so if it's not starting and getting to make it's music it is probably fuel starvation. My trick is to get a gallon garden sprayer and put a gallon of diesel in it, remove air cleaner and spray into intake while someone else is cranking (no gasoline or shop rags). It should run if everything else is correct. Are you sure the new batteries are cranking it fast enough? Or have you changed something electrical and it won't crank at all? Your description is confusing.
I was not referring to using liquid gasoline to try to get it to fire, only gasoline vapors coming from the shop rag. That will not hurt a diesel engine at all in fact I believe it is much safer than using ether which some older model diesel engine vehicles had ether systems installed to aid in cold starting. I fail to see how spraying liquid diesel into the intake will aid in it starting as the engine is designed to run on fuel vapors not a liquid fuel. You are right though the question remains is the engine even rotating.
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Old 05-20-2024, 09:30 AM   #6
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A garden sprayer will generate a very fine mist or fog and/or a stream of liquid depending on how you adjust the tip. The fog is perfect for starting a diesel engine that is not getting enough fuel.
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