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Author Topic: Engine sputters to life  (Read 435 times)

Jason Worman

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Engine sputters to life
« on: January 16, 2019, 04:17:11 AM »
So our 3116 engine seems lately to sputter to life, let's out a puff of whitish smoke and then runs good. My concern is the smoke. It clears in 15-20 seconds and then runs good. Curious about the water/fuel separator that has the knob on the bottom. Is that turned open once in awhile? Thanks
91 Contessa 36 Foot
3116 CAT

Mike Shumack

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  • Orlando, Florida
Re: Engine sputters to life
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2019, 12:01:57 PM »
before you get too concerned make sure that white smoke is not condensation in the exhaust pipe. If your exhaust is wet (inside) before you start up in the morning it wil look like white smoke. Just look or feel in the tail pipe before your next startup.

The shuddering may indicate a problem, or it could just be some air in the fuel system or other fuel related problem (the typical cause of surging/stuttering). That knob i the bottom of filter is used to drain any water out of the filter. Usually you open for a second and you would drain any  water out of filter but if there is more than a cap full of water you would want do a though evaluation of fuel system (ie does tank need to be drained?).

I’m sure Dave can provide more insight into what to look at or check.

Good Luck
- Mike

'05 Beaver Patriot Thunder 525, Vicksburg, CAT C13, Allison 4000MH, HydraLift
Orlando, FL
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Doug Allman

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Re: Engine sputters to life
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2019, 02:26:18 PM »
Jason, On our 1991 Contessa with 3116 the fuel water separator was an oblong glass unit at top rear passenger side of engine compartment bolted on to a bracket from factory. There was no way to drain it. The O rings would dry out and you would see air bubbles at top of the glass with and without the engine running. 
Call Dave Atherton as that is where you will get best CAT advice on this intermittent engine performance. Dave is at the Beaver Rally with us in Quartzsite today and has an engine seminar at 10am MST time today so try either side of that to get him. 605-999-0720  I will relay your problem to him at breakfast.

Bill Lampkin

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Re: Engine sputters to life
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2019, 02:37:25 PM »
Replace both fuel filters every year. Ours had the same problem, once I had the filters (primary and secondary fuel filters) replaced, our C13 is back to firing right up and running smooth.
2005 Patriot Thunder Lexington, 3 slides
40' tag axle (short wheelbase)
525 hp C13
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