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Engine quits after 10 minutes won’t restart M3-20

Discussion in 'Catalina 30' started by Gordon Shackelford, Jul 8, 2018. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Gordon Shackelford

    Gordon Shackelford

    Joined Feb 7, 2018
    3 posts, 0 likes
    Catalina C30
    Gordon Shackelford US Lake Rathbun
    Hi all! First I thought I was out of fuel, but no. I changed the water/fuel separation filter and the final spin on fuel filter. Motored out to the lake and the same thing happened, the engine just quit. Today I checked the filter basket on the fuel pump and ran the pump directly off the battery to be sure it still worked. It runs fine. It absolutely seems like a fuel starvation issue to me as the engine is running fine and then just quits. Any thoughts?

  2. Kopite


    Joined Mar 11, 2015
    76 posts, 2 likes
    Catalina 27
    US Monroe MI
    Hi, Just had the same issue myself. In my case the fuel lines to the pump had cracked, letting in air as that part of the fuel lines are under suction. I’m not clear on why it ran 10 minutes before dying, but I went through the same diagnostics as you - pump and filters were fine. After changing the hoses it runs fine..

  3. kloudie1


    Joined Nov 6, 2006
    7,843 posts, 516 likes
    Hunter 34
    US Mandeville Louisiana
    The other thing to check is the dip tube in the tank.. some have a little screen on the tip inside the tank.. it can foul and cause that same symptom.. I don't know if your tank has that or not. A quick check may be in order.. remove it if there is ne and let the primary filter catch the stuff in a place where it can be eliminated..
    Spent a lot of time one night cleaning one while several miles out in the Gulf .. a Hunter 375 on a delivery.. boat had set for a while without use.. fortunately, the tank in that boat is easy to get to.

  4. Benny17441


    Joined May 24, 2004
    5,384 posts, 308 likes
    CC 30
    US South Florida
    Do a visual inspection of the fuel lines, usually a fuel line that allows air in it also allows fuel out so check for leaks. A suction line can draw air in when the engine is running and can leak fuel out when the engine is off. Pay attention to the banjo connectors as they are frequently the cause of leaks. I gather you are running an electric pump, have you by-passed the mechanical lift pump or are you pushing fuel through it. Any component along the fuel lines can develop a leak or an obstruction. Can you start re-start the engine after it quits or do you have bleed the air out before it will re-start? Air seems to be the logical culprit but if there are no leaks and the engine re-starts without bleeding, I would suspect the fuel pump. Electrical components can fail in erratic ways; the pump could be working fine while it is cool and then quit when it heats up. I do not suggest you go out and replace the pump until you have determined it is indeed at fault, but I do suggest that you check its pumping action at the time the engine quits. I doubt your electric fuel pump is OEM equipment and their installation and configuration seems to bring additional problems and they usually have to do with air leaks. I guess more fuel lines and more connections yield more opportunities. good luck.

  5. LeslieTroyer


    Joined May 20, 2016
    1,606 posts, 531 likes
    Catalina 36 MK1
    US Everett, WA
    Also make sure the vent is clear. Run with fill cap off and see if runtime improves (don’t splash water in there tho

    Benny17441 likes this.
  6. CaptnDean


    Joined Apr 27, 2014
    18 posts, 0 likes
    Catalina 30mklll
    US Hudson, FL
    Check the dip tube in the tank. I had a similar problem and I found that the plastic dip tube had dried out and was loose at the fitting which I think allowed air into the line. I replaced the tube with a piece of fuel hose and haven't had a problem since.

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