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Old 25-10-2015, 09:09   #1
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Westerbeke 42B loosing colant

I am usually pretty good at this but last month I wrapped kelp around my prop and my engine overheated. It did not get to the point of shutting itself down but the light came on. Since then it seem that I am loosing all coolant fairly quickly on engine run. In Feb of this year I cleaned and repainted heat exchanger and engine and replaced thermostat. and everything was good until this wrap. The engine has a new mixing elbow and there is no coolant in the pan under the engine or the hot water heater which has the hoses from the engine. The HE is a 1997. Can anyone think of where the coolant is going? It seems it must be going out the exhaust and I am wondering if the HE was compromised is this what would happen. I'm thinking that the coolant is pressurized and the raw water is not so if there was a hole it might go only that way?
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Old 25-10-2015, 09:42   #2
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Re: Westerbeke 42B loosing colant

Do a pressure test on the cooling system. This will likely pinpoint the leak. Could be the HX, maybe (shudder) head gasket. Good luck.
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Old 25-10-2015, 10:00   #3
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Re: Westerbeke 42B loosing colant

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Originally Posted by jamhass View Post
Do a pressure test on the cooling system. This will likely pinpoint the leak. Could be the HX, maybe (shudder) head gasket. Good luck.
Thanks,

Don't think it is Head gasket, oil looks fine. Is that the only indicator?
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Old 25-10-2015, 10:21   #4
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Re: Westerbeke 42B loosing colant

Just because you cleaned and repainted your HE doesn't mean it didn't start leaking. You can put die in the coolant that will turn color with combustion gases if it were a head gasket. A pressure test of the HE is easy to do. The dinghy pump to 3-4 psi..
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Old 25-10-2015, 10:53   #5
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Re: Westerbeke 42B loosing colant

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Originally Posted by Mark Killam View Post
Thanks,

Don't think it is Head gasket, oil looks fine. Is that the only indicator?
No, a head gasket can "blow" such that the coolant leaks into the exhaust without involving oil.

A proper cooling system pressurized leak check should reveal this -- you should hear hissing in the exhaust. May need to disconnect the exhaust hose or manifold to hear it if it is a slow leak.

If the test loses pressure and you cannot hear or find the hiss, it is more likely the HX.
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Old 25-10-2015, 11:14   #6
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Re: Westerbeke 42B loosing colant

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Originally Posted by Guy View Post
Just because you cleaned and repainted your HE doesn't mean it didn't start leaking. You can put die in the coolant that will turn color with combustion gases if it were a head gasket. A pressure test of the HE is easy to do. The dinghy pump to 3-4 psi..
What is this Dye called and where can I get it? I was hoping a product like this existed
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Old 25-10-2015, 11:44   #7
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Re: Westerbeke 42B loosing colant

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What is this Dye called and where can I get it? I was hoping a product like this existed
Combustion Leak detector kit $30-50 almost everywhere.
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Old 25-10-2015, 11:52   #8
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Re: Westerbeke 42B loosing colant

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Originally Posted by Mark Killam View Post
The HE is a 1997.
Almost 20 years old time to replace anyway!!! Replace it now and this will eliminate the possibility and you should have at least another 15 years of confidence. At the same time replace all the hoses in the raw water and coolant side including the ones that service the tranny cooler. Good time to replace the hydraulic lines from the tranny to the cooler as well if they have not been recently. How many gallons of coolant in the system? Just curious as to how much your dumping and how long it takes.
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Old 25-10-2015, 12:33   #9
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Re: Westerbeke 42B loosing colant

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Almost 20 years old time to replace anyway!!! Replace it now and this will eliminate the possibility and you should have at least another 15 years of confidence. At the same time replace all the hoses in the raw water and coolant side including the ones that service the tranny cooler. Good time to replace the hydraulic lines from the tranny to the cooler as well if they have not been recently. How many gallons of coolant in the system? Just curious as to how much your dumping and how long it takes.
I replaced all hoses in Feb when I did heat exchanger. If I was leaking coolant into combustion via head gasket I think I would see steam in exhaust?
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Old 25-10-2015, 14:47   #10
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Re: Westerbeke 42B loosing colant

Pressure test as follows:
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Old 25-10-2015, 14:55   #11
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Re: Westerbeke 42B loosing colant

Pressure test with everything connected if pressure drops over time you have a leak.

Pressure test with hose from HE to mixing elbow disconnected. If HE is leaking you will see coolant flowing from the hose.

If you don't see any coolant leaking into the HE/mixing elbow hose, check the tank. It may be cracked and leaking into the exhaust manifold.

Or just replace the HE and try again. If you're in salt water your HE is living on borrowed time in any event.
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Old 25-10-2015, 15:34   #12
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Re: Westerbeke 42B loosing colant

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Originally Posted by jkishel View Post
Pressure test with everything connected if pressure drops over time you have a leak.

Pressure test with hose from HE to mixing elbow disconnected. If HE is leaking you will see coolant flowing from the hose.

If you don't see any coolant leaking into the HE/mixing elbow hose, check the tank. It may be cracked and leaking into the exhaust manifold.

Or just replace the HE and try again. If you're in salt water your HE is living on borrowed time in any event.
If it was the tank into the exhaust manifold would I see steam coming out the exhaust? The reason I ask is I don't see steam but it does leak down quickly with the engine off as I fill the tank but it does seem to eventually fill and stop.
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Old 25-10-2015, 17:36   #13
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Re: Westerbeke 42B loosing colant

You wouldn't necessarily see steam. From your description the coolant is simply flowing into the exhaust under atmospheric pressure. As you poor coolant into the tank it leaks into the exhaust, the muffler and the exhaust hose until the coolant in the exhaust hose rises to the level of the tank. There should be a very obvious crack in your tank, HE or both.
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Old 26-10-2015, 08:33   #14
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Re: Westerbeke 42B loosing colant

A friend of mine has a 38' Hinckley with the same problem. After talking to the Westerbeke folks at the boat show">Annapolis Boat Show he was told there are "O" rings in between the cylinder sleeves and the block. These "O" rings wear out and let coolant past them.
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Old 26-10-2015, 09:21   #15
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Re: Westerbeke 42B loosing colant

Pressure test. Probably a leak in the exchanger. You wouldn't see the coolant outside would be going out thru the salt water side. Had this on a Westerbeke 44b. check this before getting into head gaskets etc.
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