Not current, but just remembered a past experience...


Well-known member
So about 18 years ago I was working as a small engine mechanic at a mom and pop shop.

Some guy brought in a 5kw air cooled Army diesel generator that he bought and wouldn't start.

One of the guys at the shop was a diesel locomotive mechanic, he was the first to take a look at it. He couldn't figure it out.

Second and third guy to look at it also couldn't figure it out.

Finally got to be my turn (I think I was still the newest tech at the shop, and this was my first real job)

Engine cranked fine, seemed like there was compression.

Cracked the fuel line at the injectors, nothing.
Cracked the fuel line before the injector pump, nothing.
Cracked the line at the fuel pump, nothing.
No fuel in the fuel filter.
Finally got back to the fuel tank. 3 fittings on the top of the fuel tank, fuel lines were hooked up to 2 of them, third was capped off.
Yup, you probably guessed it by now, the fuel lines were hooked up to the wrong fittings. The one that was capped off was the one that actually went down into the fuel.

Hooked the fuel feed line up to the correct fitting, primed the system, and the thing fired and ran like a champ.

No real reason to this post, just thought I'd share the experience, and who knows, maybe someone else ends up in the same situation.

(If I recall correctly, I also felt kind of bad that the guy ended up paying for something like 15 hours worth of technician time on the thing, but he seemed happy it was fixed even at that cost, even bought me doughnuts and hot chocolate since it was cold working on it outside)


Well-known member
Great story! Reminds me of the movie "Sling Blade" where Karl is the only one to figure out the problem.


Yes, sometimes it is the simplest things that get overlooked!
Last edited:


Well-known member
Burgkunstadt, Germany
This is an ever occurring sort of thing. I once got a call from a DS, (Direct Support) unit. They had a gen set from a customer that would not start. Come help us. I drove 450+ klicks to Hanau. Walked up to the set, and took a gander at the control panel. Flipped the Local/remote control switch to Local, started it up, and drove home. 900 klicks, round trip. Probably a dozen folks looked at it before me. The part that angered me the most? It was Friday. No one goes anywhere on Friday of their own will, in Germany. The trip down, 5 hours. The trip home, almost 8 hours. Traffic, construction and accidents. A whole day shot, for a 180 second repair.
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