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Old 27-03-2014, 06:08   #31
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Nottingham & Oxford, UK
Boat: Fox 31
Posts: 2
Re: Beta Marine 20 Diesel - Won't Start

Sorry about resurrecting an old thread, but this discussion is very interesting to me.

My Beta 20 manual definitely says 30 seconds preheat but I ignore that. 15-20 in our cold winters, 5-10 in summer, 0 if recently run same day.

In a way I can understand an extended preheat 'could be' beneficial for some engines because glowplugs are captive in the head and heat not just themselves but the surrounding areas of each combustion chamber. Just my theory.

My issue is that mine only starts on two pots and runs intermittently on the third for a minute or two before it smooths out to normal (governed) speed for whatever throttle setting. During this it blows a fair amount of white smoke which gradually disappears as the engine settles to normal firing. Sometimes it fails to start first time but usually manages to.

This has to be glowplugs, yes? I checked them and they all glow. Cautionary tale - I checked one of them for too long thinking 'that's pretty' but discovered when it had cooled that it had deformed and wouldn't go back into the head!

So my question is... are glowplugs all or nothing or can they become reduced efficiency but still appear to glow when tested. And how do you measure their resistance?


Simon H
Fox 31 "Vixen"

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Old 27-03-2014, 13:28   #32
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 237
Re: Beta Marine 20 Diesel - Won't Start


The length of time that the glow plugs get used is also directly related to the age of the engine. The older engines (pre 2000 I think!) had different glow plugs and these need more time to work. The newest engines have a redigned combustion chamber and different glow plugs and these new plugs are designed for a max of 10 seconds use. From your description your engine could use not only new glow plugs, but possibly a bit of a tune up (valve clearances checked and adjusted and injectors checked.


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Old 28-03-2014, 02:03   #33
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Location: Nottingham & Oxford, UK
Boat: Fox 31
Posts: 2
Re: Beta Marine 20 Diesel - Won't Start

Thanks Stanly. Yes, I have had the injectors cleaned and tested, cleaned the fuel tank out, new lines and filters, in fact everything short of touching the injector pump itself. I will replace the remaining two glowplugs next visit. Will also check the valve clearances. Have noticed an intermittent rattly noise from her which comes and goes. Could be that.


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