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Old 26-12-2009, 08:21   #1
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Westerbeke 12.5btd Generator Issue

Happy Holidays all!!! Wanted to see if anyone has any suggestions on our problem.

We have an older Westerbeke, probably original with our boat, 1988. It has gotten increasingly difficult to start. It will start and run fine, putting out the correct voltage, but it takes 30 seconds or more on the preheat before engaging. we have replaced the Preheat Solenoid, thinking that may be the problem, but it is still really slow to engage. We are thinking now it may be the Glow Plugs, and as they are quite expensive and there are 4 of them in our unit, are there other things we should ck, and does anyone know how a glow plug can be tested before we go to the expense of replacing all 4?

Thanks for any assistance we can get!
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Old 26-12-2009, 09:10   #2
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Check your batteries, Check that terminals are clean, glow plugs do deteriorate with age. I don't think glow plugs are that expensive....

Oh and by the way 30-40 seconds of preheat is not unusual especially as the weather gets cooler
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Old 26-12-2009, 09:14   #3
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The battery and terminals are good..is there anyway to test glow plugs?
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Old 26-12-2009, 09:39   #4
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Thanks Chief Engineer, we are in Florida so we do not experience the extreme cold that you must. Obviously we are thinking age of parts, because it has gotten worse over the yrs we have had the boat and all info we have indicate to hold Preheat switch for a min. of 15 seconds before engaging Start button, and it was like that previously. Sometimes less. And we can hear the click of the Solenoid, but it won't engage until we hold it down and hear at least 3 clicks.
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Old 26-12-2009, 10:01   #5
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Not sure what model of W/Beke you have, but my W46 propulsion engine has a narrow aluminum strip connecting the tops of the glow plugs with little threaded knurled nuts. These develop corrosion between the steel glow plugs and the aluminum. Remove carefully, clean them well with a little brass brush and see if that helps. Solenoid clicking three times ?? could be faulty solenoid or start preheat button. Have changed both on mine, and it starts easily. 45seconds of preheat in 60F.
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Old 26-12-2009, 10:10   #6
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Thanks Blue Stocking, we have replaced the Preheat Solenoid, a couple of days ago. Captain will ck about the corrosion between the strips and glow plugs next. I think he previously ckd the switch, but this gives us some more options. Thanks
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Old 26-12-2009, 11:33   #7
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Those glowplugs eat up a lot of amps....so clean contacts on the "hot" side are imperative
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Old 26-12-2009, 11:47   #8
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The resistance of a good glow plug should be about 1 ohm.
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Old 26-12-2009, 14:39   #9
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You can remove the glow plugs and use jumper wires from a battery to see if they do indeed glow by attaching a neg clip to the body and a pos to the threaded end. I do not know if this is "Recomended" but it has served me well. A 12mm deepwell socket helps. If one or more is bad it will be a slow start. I believe that base engine is a Mitsubishi K3D. If so "K3D" is cast in the block on the Stb side (Looking from the rear). The serial numbers are stamped on the flat area nect to the Injector pump.

You might be able to get Glow plugs cheaper from an Auto/truck parts shop The plugs have a part code stamped on the side (Where the wrench goes) That engine was used in Turf tractors, Forklifts etc.

Godd luck and let us know how it worked out
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Old 26-12-2009, 17:48   #10
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Thanks for all the input, I will pass all this onto my Captain and see what we can determine, and let you all know. Thanks again for all the help!
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Old 08-01-2010, 16:48   #11
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Hello all, wanted to post update to our results of the Westerbeke Genset not starting quickly. As suggested, Captain cleaned the wires on the 4 glow plugs(there were no metal strips), that didn't help; so next he took the Preheat switch apart and cleaned all the connection wires. Now it starts after 30 sec and one click of the solenoid! We are so pleased. And that was with a pretty cool engine room! We are now getting that freezing cold weather that SW Florida should never experience! Anyway, Thanks again all for the suggestions! Have a great weekend!
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