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Troubleshooting

Engine

If you have problems with the engine, try the steps outlined below. If none of these work or if you are uncomfortable trying them, contact the Cooper office immediately and we will arrange for professional help.

In a case where the engine won't run or cannot be run and if sailing will not deliver the boat from danger, consider pulling with the dinghy and outboard.  The outboard is 9.8 HP and can provide a fair amount of pull.  Also, a call on the radio can sometimes locate a nearby boat that can give a tow.

Engine won't turn over

  • Turn the ignition on.

  • Put the gearshift in neutral.

  • Investigate for dead battery and/or loose connections

Engine turns over normally but won't start

Warning:
Cranking the engine for more than 15–20 seconds at one time can overheat the starter motor. 
 Wait three minutes between attempts.  Use the time to think of reasons it won't start. 

This engine is a very reliable starter and if it will not start easily, there must be fuel problems like plugged filter or a fuel pump failure.  There is a spare filter in the spares kit. 

Make sure the boat is secure -- sailing, drifting far from a lee shore,  docked, anchored or being towed by the dinghy -- then call the Cooper base if you don't feel able to change it.

Warning:
Cranking the engine, even in short bursts, for a total of over 1 to 1-1/2 minutes can cause sea water from the exhaust system to flow back into the engine
since there is no exhaust pressure to force water up anti-siphon loop and out back of boat. 

Don't do it!

  • Check the fuel level — the pickup inside the fuel tank intentionally does not quite reach the bottom to avoid picking up the dregs, so if the fuel level is low, the pump may not be able to draw fuel, especially in choppy conditions which cause the remaining fuel to slosh.  If this is the case, do not continue to try to start the engine, as you could draw air into the fuel system.  Get more fuel.
    Running the engine while sailing at an extreme heel will tilt the tank enough that you will run out of fuel at 1/3 tank (see above).

  • Check the primary fuel filter for contaminants in fuel supply. The RACOR filter is in the lower starboard side of the rear engine firewall in engine compartment, (below the strainer).  Drain it if you can, or replace the filter if you are able.  Otherwise, call us.

Engine starts but won’t go into gear

  • Attempt to shift the transmission with arm on the side of transmission to eliminate possible linkage problem. If linkage is okay, check fluid level on transmission (sail drive).  No luck?  Call the office.

Engine overheats

  • The temperature alarm on the panel will sound and engine water temperature will be more than 210°F.

  • Make sure the boat is secure -- sailing, drifting far from a lee shore,  docked, anchored or being towed by the dinghy --

  • Idle down and shift into neutral, then observe the exhaust.

  • If there is no water in exhaust, shut off the engine.

    • Make sure the cooling water intake seacock is open.

    • If it’s open, check the sea water strainer.  Clean the strainer as necessary.

    • Restart the engine. If no water is comes out with the exhaust after a minute or so, maximum, shut down the engine.

    • Remove the hose from the exit side of the raw water pump. Ensure the hose is directed away from any person and restart the engine and carefully observe the pump.

    • If water is coming out of the pump, stop the engine and reattach the hose. Restart and check for water in exhaust. If there’s still no water in the exhaust, go no further.  Call the office for help.

    • If there’s no water coming out of the raw water pump, and you have the technical knowledge, inspect the water pump impeller and replace with the spare located in the tool box/spare parts storage. If you do not have this knowledge call the office.

    • After changing the impeller, restart the engine and check the exhaust. If there’s still no water there, shut down the engine and call the office.

  • If there is water in exhaust

    • Attempt to cool the engine by shifting into neutral and than advancing the throttle in neutral to about 1500. Watch temperature gauge and allow the engine to cool down, and then shut it down.

    • Check the belt tension and general condition; replace with spares if necessary.

    • Ensuring that the engine has cooled, carefully crack the coolant cap to bleed air pressure, then check the coolant level. 
      Caution" Hot coolant may be under pressure, so be sure the engine has cooled before opening the cap.

    • If the level is low, add coolant if available, or tap water if necessary. Never add salt water.

    • Check for partial blockage in the raw water side as per section on "No water in the exhaust" (above).

    • Restart and place the engine under load at moderate rpm’s. Monitor the temperature. If it still overheats, shut down again. Call the office to arrange for help.

No oil pressure

  • The low oil pressure alarm on the engine panel will sound.

    • Stop the engine immediately.

    • Check the oil level on the dipstick and add if necessary. To avoid overfilling the engine, add oil in stages, rechecking the level each time by wiping off the dipstick, reinserting it and then reading the level.

    • If the oil level was within limit, do not attempt to start the engine

    • Ensure that the dipstick is pushed all the way in.

    • Restart and monitor the oil pressure. If the alarm still sounds, shut down and call the office — do not restart again.  Expensive damage will result.

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 - Plotter and Radar | Marine Head | Refue
lling | Seacocks| Engine | Batteries | Dinghy | Anchoring -
- Inventory | Manuals | US/Canada Border | Winter | Thoughts | Troubleshooting -

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While the information provided here is believed to be correct at time of publication, errors are possible
and things may change, so readers should verify details before making important decisions.