I purchased the above vehicle for conversion and at first it didn't start at all due to starter issues. At this point it cranked, but cranked weakly. So I replaced the starter about a month ago and it started fine for about two weeks. Now it just cranks strongly, but doesn't start again. I tried hand pumping the gas with the hand pump on the filter as well as actuating the pump arm on the engine, but no luck.

I've got about 110k miles and 3000 engine hours on it and it is a CAT 3116. Batteries are at about 11.5 Volts (12 Volt system) measured by the onboard voltmeter and are about a year old.

What else could be wrong? Is it the fuel pump/fuel lines? Can something be causing the starter to go bad prematurely? Is the voltage too low? Appreciate the ideas.

1 Answer 1


The 3116 is a Diesel engine - so you need three things to start it - an air/fuel mix, compression and heat.

The voltage seems a bit low, I'd expect to see slightly over 12v with everything switched off. Give the batteries a good charge to make sure.

Things to check - is the fuel getting through? Can you smell unburnt fuel coming out of the exhaust? Is the filter clear?

Do the glow plugs work? When you first switch on the ignition they should glow for around 30 seconds or so to heat up the bores before you try to start it - and if they are weak or non-functioning it'll be a lot harder to start, especially in cold weather.

Does it have good compression? Screw a compression tester into each cylinder in turn (using the glow plug holes) and make sure they're all in spec. I doubt this is the problem though if it was running fine.

Are the electronics all working fine?

Given what you've described, my first suspect would be a fuel blockage, so I'd check that first.

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