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  1. #1
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    optimax 150 - clogged air regulator, how does this happen and what would this do?

    Hi,

    I've got the fuel rails off one of my '06 opti 150's inside for the winter. After pulling my hair out with a bad idle problem and never really getting down the bottom of it I stripped them off before putting the boat away so I could tinker/overhaul indoors at my leisure.

    A secondary thing to mention, and maybe this is related, is on this same engine I pre-emptively replaced the air compressor due to a failure on the other engine, and upon doing that I've had this "honking" noise ever since - had the same idle issue before and after, but with the new compressor I've had this pronounced air-related honking noise that comes out of the exhaust housing... For lack of a better idea to stop the noise (since I am sooner or later selling this boat) I planned to replace the bearings on my old compressor (which didn't fail, is still good working) and run that quieter compressor instead but now I think just maybe this clogged air regulator is the actual cause of the noise which surfaced on a new compressor too? Any chance of that?...

    Anyway - so back to the rails. My air regulator came out with the screen completely clogged in what looks like soft oily carbon. In the picture below I scraped it off one little area, looks like I can probably just clean it away very easily, but also that this garbage was blocking the passages - is this something which has happened before to others? How does the stuff get in there and would it being this way cause a rocky idle when the engine was cold?

    Second thing I noticed was the fuel regulator diaphram - not punctured however was initially not installed quite right, sorted was bunched up on one spot on the edge and there was a bit of corrosion that formed there that makes me think there was a void potentially causing a leak. That certainly would not be helping the idle either.

    Jon

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
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    I'm not really sure what the crap is that's clogging this thing - almost seems like oily tobacco.

  3. #3
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    Foam from the cowl insulation.

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  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capt.Insane-o View Post
    Foam from the cowl insulation.
    Ahhh yes that makes sense!

  6. #5
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    Not running a filter on the compressor? I know some of the bass boat guys swear that the motor is faster with out the filter on the compressor, I think it's bs though.

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  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by XstreamVking View Post
    Not running a filter on the compressor? I know some of the bass boat guys swear that the motor is faster with out the filter on the compressor, I think it's bs though.
    Mine is being run completely stock, has an air filter which should screen what goes into the throttle body and compressor, but never had a filter on the output side of the compressor.

    This happened over the course of 1000 hours and some years though, so could be what slips by the filter on the intake or was caused by some human error or event I guess. This is good reason to remove the one on the other engine too, won't do that until the spring but will be interesting to see what I find.

    Jon

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    If this is an older opti with the comp filter in the flywheel cover, they can come loose and allow debris into the compressor. The newer barrel type filter is almost foolproof. I have an 01 and had to epoxy the filter retainer back together on the cover piece. Also, there is an grommet that fits over the compressor inlet where it goes into the filter box. Somehow crap got into the comp and from there into the air rails. No filter on the output side.

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  11. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by XstreamVking View Post
    If this is an older opti with the comp filter in the flywheel cover, they can come loose and allow debris into the compressor. The newer barrel type filter is almost foolproof. I have an 01 and had to epoxy the filter retainer back together on the cover piece. Also, there is an grommet that fits over the compressor inlet where it goes into the filter box. Somehow crap got into the comp and from there into the air rails. No filter on the output side.
    Ahhh OK - these are '06 and they have a square filter in the flywheel cover which isn't all that good of a setup. There is a grommet on the intake to the compressor.

    Seems obviously wrong but would this likely be my smoking gun for the idle quality problem?

    Thanks!

    Jon

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    From what I know the ruff idle could be a tracker valve, air valve, fuel valve or an intake air sensor etc. Run a scan on it yet? Don't think the filter is the prob. Crud in system could be. I have a 05 that idles rough but does fine after warm up. I'm not worried about it. Been that way for years.

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  14. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by XstreamVking View Post
    From what I know the ruff idle could be a tracker valve, air valve, fuel valve or an intake air sensor etc. Run a scan on it yet? Don't think the filter is the prob. Crud in system could be. I have a 05 that idles rough but does fine after warm up. I'm not worried about it. Been that way for years.
    By that I meant the clogged up air regulator, not the filter (which could be the cause of the air regulator issue therefore the real root cause of the whole thing)..

    I haven't run a scan on it in awhile but does have smartcraft digital gauges, usually tells you if it thinks something is wrong.

    Jon

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    I should probably add, in the many trouble-shooting attempts of pressures and such never really found anything. I felt there was some gas getting into the air side but never enough to put my finger on it and say it was definitely wrong when I went and really tested, pull tests of injectors never showed me anything good was kinda like any cylinder down made it run worse and it'd often stall when doing so for any 1 cylinder. Electrically injectors all test good. Spark seemed OK since pulling injectors always has an impact (ie if there was bad spark on some cylinder then pulling the injector shouldn't throw it off either). Seemed like a fuel/air pressure thing, fuel supply, reeds maybe. Compression on my gauge was 115-120 across all of them and maybe a little less difference than that even.

    Jon

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    On a side note I put some Chris Carson reeds (vendor here) in 2 of my older optis and have noticed a little better idle and smoother operation in general. The stock steel reeds are supposed to be good for 800 hrs and should be replaced before they break and ruin the engine. Also I replaced all 3 of the rubber diaphrams in my 2010 opti. Fuel press rubber was torn. It caused run away rpm's when starting up. The rubber was brown, supposed to be green or purple (newer). It now runs so much better. It will get new reeds next.

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  18. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by XstreamVking View Post
    On a side note I put some Chris Carson reeds (vendor here) in 2 of my older optis and have noticed a little better idle and smoother operation in general. The stock steel reeds are supposed to be good for 800 hrs and should be replaced before they break and ruin the engine. Also I replaced all 3 of the rubber diaphrams in my 2010 opti. Fuel press rubber was torn. It caused run away rpm's when starting up. The rubber was brown, supposed to be green or purple (newer). It now runs so much better. It will get new reeds next.
    Ooooh that's good info - thanks!

    I thought reeds were essentially good forever, did not know failure was ever probable or that they have a rated lifespan. One of the recommendations I got over the years of tinkering for idle issues was to check them, depending on the price I probably ought to just replace them.

    On both of my engines I get a little runaway starting, when they pop off you get a little jump in RPM which I've always attributed to some fuel finding it's way into the air side but maybe it's something in the pulse pump. I'll put that on the very short list for spring commissioning - 10 yeas is a long time for those diaphragms to last, I've always been aware they were there but never put much thought into it since I know the fuel is making it well to the rails - doesn't mean it's not also leaking into the crankcase and that could cause all sorts of stuff. On a carbed engine I'd replace those pumps every few years.

    Good stuff! thanks again!

    Jon

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    Looks like debris from the belt and or foam crap from inside the cover. You need to remove all the air and fuel injectors and clean the rails out. Some of that crap could be stuck in the air injectors. I'd also check the reeds in the compressor for debris

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  21. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cali kid View Post
    Looks like debris from the belt and or foam crap from inside the cover. You need to remove all the air and fuel injectors and clean the rails out. Some of that crap could be stuck in the air injectors. I'd also check the reeds in the compressor for debris
    Thanks - that's all kinda easy enough at this point other than the compressor reeds but I think those expose with a set of bolts. The rails are stripped off the engine, hoses and everything have been removed, alll just sitting on the bench; air injectors I left in the holes but I can pull those right out easily.

    Jon

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