Jump to content

Power plant mechanic needed in New Hampshire


Recommended Posts

Hey there,


Just checking in for suggestions on a Diesel Mechanic in or around New Hampshire that know his or her way around the old B-Series.  I have a 1961 B61 with a turbo diesel.  It fires up when you spray a ether/WD40 mix in the air intake but it wont stay running.  It sounds really solid and healthy but just wont stay going.  I am new to the diesel game let alone the B-Series game so I have little knowledge or contacts.  I bought the old ruck to restore over time, I just love the look and it will make a great conversation piece on the farm.  The first step is to get it running consistently.  


Any contacts you can give would be great.  Thanks!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I second the stuck plunger/rack if it's been sitting long, does the fuel shut off lever have any resistance or does it just pivot freely?

I don't know anyone in your area but there's more than enough learned individuals on here to walk you through it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On the front of the injection pump there is a long acorn nut. Take it off to see the "rack". If rack sticks out past the front face of injection pump, try pushing it back into pump. If it won't move, the rack is stuck in the full fuel position. If the pump had been getting fuel, the engine should have started and gone wide open and scared the crap out of you. But since it didn't, you have issues with fuel supply.

Now, if the rack is flush with the front face of the injection pump or a little shy of flush and the fuel shut off cable is pushed all the way in, the rack is stuck in no fuel position. Ain't no way it's going to start. Most likely cause is one plunger in pump is stuck and has the rack fouled.

I would pull the right fender, remove side cover of pump, roll engine over to see if all plungers are coming back down to meet the cam. Most likely one will be stuck in the up position. Now the fun starts! If you are lucky you can pry, beat or cuss the plunger down. Shoot penetrating all over everything. if you get it loose, roll engine over several times to be sure another plunger doesn't stick in up position.

You should be able to move rack in and out freely - in is no fuel, out is full fuel. Now  you are ready to bleed air out of system and start the engine.

If a stuck rack is your problem, it could stick again if engine is not started very often. I have 2 theories for dealing with this.

1. Always leave fuel shut off pulled out. If the rack sticks, the engine won't start. Remove large acorn nut and try to pull rack forward to break it loose but it is hard to get pliers on it to pull.

2. Always leave fuel shut off pushed in. BEFORE you crank the engine, pull large acorn nut and tap the rack back a little and then pull it forward. Keep doing this until rack will move fairly easy. If you forget this and the rack is stuck, engine will go wide open and scare you so bad that you will take back things you never stole !!!!

My old boom truck has a lot of rack problems and no amount of oil in the fuel seems to help. But it doesn't get started very often. Once it starts, usually no problems when using every couple days. Let it set for 6 months and the rack will be stuck.

This is a long winded reply but I hope it helps       

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/25/2022 at 12:12 PM, Freightrain said:


Welcome to the forums.  Surely we can assist you in getting it running.


Fuel in tank?

Fuel lines in good shape?

Transfer pump working?

Filters good?

Shut off cable/arm in correct position?

Does hand pump have resistance when pumping?

The overall system is simple once you understand the parts.  Just need to track down where it isn't getting fuel.


The tanks were empty and I was worried about trying to get it running before i knew if it had oil pressure.  It was sitting a good while, from what I was told, so not being a diesel guy, I figured having a diesel tech tare into it first would be the smartest thing to do. 


I definitely will be learning the ins and outs as I get to know the old girl though. 


The tanks had a few pin holes and thin metal so I am reworking them or looking for replacements.  The fuel lines looked good and I got new filters for the system.  Those were easy as their were already modern filters installed.  The oil filters are a different story.  Ugh, still working through that part finding / upgrade process.

I will have to get the fuel pump off to see if the plungers are stuck.  I watched a few videos on that process.

I will check the hand pump and fuel cut-off 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/25/2022 at 12:46 PM, 63BMack said:

If it's been sitting a long time probably the rack stuck in the pump 


On 3/25/2022 at 12:57 PM, Markie Man said:

I second the stuck plunger/rack if it's been sitting long, does the fuel shut off lever have any resistance or does it just pivot freely?

I don't know anyone in your area but there's more than enough learned individuals on here to walk you through it.

I will dig into the plunger stack this weekend to see what it looks like inside.  I will check the fuel cut-off aswell.  Thanks guys!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Even with spin on filters it will take quite a bit to get it to register oil pressure.  Have good batteries and a charger.

The hand plunger will draw fuel quickly if the check valves work.  They may be stuck but that's a simple fix.

I would suggest just using a bucket of fuel instead of dealing with fixing the tanks.  Be sure the engine is healthy first.  Just take the suction line and return line and stick in a 5 gal bucket of clean diesel.  Pump the primer and go from there.

I knew nothing about my truck when I bought it 20 yrs ago so you are not alone about having minimal knowledge starting out.

Removing the side plate of the injection pump will allow you to see the plungers.  Crank engine and see if they move up/ down.  The 237 I bought for my truck had a couple sticky plungers at first.  Little wd40 and a screwdriver worked them loose.

  • Like 2



1959 B61 Liv'n Large......................

Charter member of the "MACK PACK"


Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you've changed fuel filters and have had the tanks off then you have a ton of air in your fuel system.  Many trucks have a hand primer mounted on them, there's a few different styles.  Take a picture and upload it for us.  The hand primer pump should be pumped until you hear fuel splashing back into the fuel tank or if you're running out of a bucket then you can hold the return line up so you can see fuel flowing out. You know you're starting to move fuel when the hand pump gets very hard to push. When you get to that point.... Keep priming for a bit.  


Also since you're new to diesels, these older ones have a knob next to the key for "Fuel shutoff" you need to push that knob in all the way before it will start. You can pull the batteries out of these trucks and they'll keep running til you pull that knob out to shut the engine down. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...