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Old 18-07-2016, 12:56   #1
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Help with coolant leak

Hi all, We have a 12 yr old Westerbeke 7.6 BTD genset that we bought new and now with 3,400 hrs. We suddenly are loosing coolant probably thru the heat exchanger as there is no signs of a leak. I've just had to top off the resivoir and start it and it would stay full til shut down and cool. It would be quite a job to pull the exchanger and have it checked to find out it's something else. I tried putting food coloring in and seeing if it came out the exhaust, but saw no signs. Anyone have any thoughts or other possibilities? The best price I've found for a new one was $767.00!!! Ouch! Or any ideas about a simpler way to check the heat exchanger without disconnecting?

Thanks for any help,

Greg
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Old 18-07-2016, 13:33   #2
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Help with coolant leak

You can try by pressurizing the system, car part places will have what looks like a soccer ball pump connected to a radiator cap, then when pressurized, see if it loses pressure. If it does then maybe you can hear the leak with a mechanics stethoscope?
But I'd pull the heat exchanger anyway for a cleaning, it may just be an O Ring that seals the salt water from the coolant.
Coolant under pressure is at a higher pressure than the seawater so it would most likely leak into the seawater.


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Old 18-07-2016, 16:02   #3
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Re: Help with coolant leak

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
You can try by pressurizing the system, car part places will have what looks like a soccer ball pump connected to a radiator cap, then when pressurized, see if it loses pressure. If it does then maybe you can hear the leak with a mechanics stethoscope?
But I'd pull the heat exchanger anyway for a cleaning, it may just be an O Ring that seals the salt water from the coolant.
Coolant under pressure is at a higher pressure than the seawater so it would most likely leak into the seawater.


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A64, thanks for the reply. I've pulled a few heat exchangers before but this one looks like a pain! I didn't know they had o rings. Ill look into pressure testing it. Thanks again!


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Old 18-07-2016, 16:21   #4
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Re: Help with coolant leak

Greg, there are good sources for HXs beyond, most likely, your $767 quote.

Try this:

Heat Exchangers 101: Sources for replacement Good Guys at Sendure

Good Guys at SENDURE & Heat Exchanger Source & Flix

Good luck
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Old 18-07-2016, 16:40   #5
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Re: Help with coolant leak

Thanks St u, I will check it out!
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Old 18-07-2016, 16:43   #6
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Re: Help with coolant leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
Greg, there are good sources for HXs beyond, most likely, your $767 quote.

Try this:

Heat Exchangers 101: Sources for replacement Good Guys =http://c34.org/bbs/index.php/topic,6920.0.html]Good Guys at SENDURE & Heat Exchanger Source & Flix[/url]

Good luck

Thanks! That's a good resource for all.

I would send you a thanks privately but on my phone can't figure out how 🙄


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Old 19-07-2016, 09:46   #7
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Re: Help with coolant leak

I believe I got my HE for a westerbeke 42 at some place called heatexchangers .com It was half the price of westerbeke. I put my mouth over one end and hand over the other on both parts to test. It was obvious it was no good when it wouldn't hold my ling pressure
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Old 19-07-2016, 13:16   #8
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Re: Help with coolant leak

I've only had experience with a few, but usually there is an end cap, and under this end cap a seal that keeps the salt and the fresh water separate, usually you take an end cap off, then slide out a tube full of smaller tubes that the fresh water flows through, salt water on the outside of the little tubes. Usually a cap on both ends with seals.


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Old 19-07-2016, 13:48   #9
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Re: Help with coolant leak

Thanks A64, I have had the one end cap off to check for remnants of old zincs. That is a lot easier to check than removing the whole thing!


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Old 19-07-2016, 18:16   #10
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Re: Help with coolant leak

Lenco makes a lot of heat exchangers for westerbekes.
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Old 20-07-2016, 07:33   #11
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Re: Help with coolant leak

Hi
You might try Barr's Stopleak as a last resort prior to replacing the HE. Put it in the coolant resivoir and run the engine for about an hour. My brother a BMW in the San Fran area has had good luck with this fix for people that don't want to pay him to R&R the HE. Of course this is a temporary repair but may last a few seasons.

All the best,
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Old 20-07-2016, 07:33   #12
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Re: Help with coolant leak

take the heat exchanger to a radiator shop near coast, have them pressure test, then block off any coils with leaks, then pressure test again. Cost is $100 or so. New unit $750 to $900.
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