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Old 17-11-2017, 13:54   #1
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Cracked Timing Cover Westerbeke W50

I have a crack that has developed in the timing cover of my Westerbeke W50. Unfortunately it has been impossible to find a replacement - I've spoken with several Westerbeke dealers and they do not have any replacements and told me the part is no longer available.

I've attached some pictures of the crack - does this look like something that could be welded? I've asked a few people about it and they are concerned about the thickness of the metal on the cover and not being able to weld it. Others have told me to apply some JB weld and move on. Looking for some advice or if anyone knows where I could find a timing cover for a W50.
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Old 17-11-2017, 19:52   #2
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Re: Cracked Timing Cover Westerbeke W50

That thing has secondary cracks which looks like it's been punched due to internal axial movement. I'd want to know what cause the cracks in the first place.

My advice assuming it's not going to crack the fixed (new) part is to pull it off while its still in one piece and take it to a machine shop and just have a new one machined out of aluminum plate. Won't cost that much.
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Old 17-11-2017, 23:02   #3
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Re: Cracked Timing Cover Westerbeke W50

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Originally Posted by Eigenvector View Post
That thing has secondary cracks which looks like it's been punched due to internal axial movement. I'd want to know what cause the cracks in the first place.

My advice assuming it's not going to crack the fixed (new) part is to pull it off while its still in one piece and take it to a machine shop and just have a new one machined out of aluminum plate. Won't cost that much.
We had some work done and I think the mechanic cracked the cover. These didn't just show up out of the blue one day. The cover was removed and then it was cracked after or during install. Maybe he overtighted or didn't go around evenly etc. Don't know. Definitely won't be using this mechanic again.
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Old 17-11-2017, 23:21   #4
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Re: Cracked Timing Cover Westerbeke W50

Your engine is based on an B series, 18VD engine, made by British Motor Company/Austin Motor company. They were widely popular, you may be able to find a used cover with a little digging.

The old one can probably be welded, the welder must know what their doing. The part must be scrupulously cleaned and degreased, and should then be tig welded. Attention should be paid to avoid heat induced distortion. Mild distortion may be able to be milled out.

The are a lot of cracks going on there, likely as a result of age and engine design. The injection pump and alternator are both hung out there on a relatively thin steel plate, and a lot of stress and vibration can be induced by a double row timing chain and the combined mass of the two relatively isolated components. The 'cover' itself is actually an integral part of engine block, as it adds a significant amount of stiffness to the flat plate the fuel pump and alternator are mounted on.

From the 2 or 3 new bolts, it appears that there has been a problem there in the past. Operating the engine with loose bolts in those locations could easily account for those type cracks, as could overtightening them in response to their original loosening.

When you replace the cover, follow the torque specs in the manual, as well as the tightening sequence if there is one...it there isn't tighten, them in a manner that seems most likely to avoid inducing stresses in this critical area.

A new one can be made, but I don't think it will be cheap..
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Old 18-11-2017, 13:36   #5
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Re: Cracked Timing Cover Westerbeke W50

This cover is just that... A cover!. No oil pressure, no mechanical strength required!. Something like that occured on a friend car, an old Peugeot engine in Mexico. No replacement parts. So, he removed the cracked thing grinded it to remove the paint, and with epoxy and fiberglass he fixed it perfectly. He hoped just to finish is trip, and have fixed permanently upon return to civilisation. But 5 years later, when is cas was send to the scrap yard, the cover was still there and in perfect shape. So, I believe it can be done the same way with your cover. By the way, he put some putty, painted it and it looked like new... So...
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Old 18-11-2017, 16:13   #6
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Re: Cracked Timing Cover Westerbeke W50

Hmmm ,ive seen frozen water pumps that look very similar . Did water get behing that and freeze ?Loose bolts ?
Id be more concerned about how the cover got that way than about getting a new one .
Is it cast iron ? Cast can be brazed without warping . Preheat complte cover . Braze with flux coated brass rod . Wrap in insulation and walk away from it . Check for cooling 5 hrs later . Do not cool in air or water as it will brittle it.
Wonder what really happened here ....
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Old 19-11-2017, 16:19   #7
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Re: Cracked Timing Cover Westerbeke W50

Without knowing this engine or the thickness of the cover I'd go for brazing it. But glass/epoxy may well work.
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Old 19-11-2017, 16:58   #8
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Re: Cracked Timing Cover Westerbeke W50

The way that’s cracked it looks like pot metal and will tough to weld.
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Old 19-11-2017, 17:51   #9
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Cracked Timing Cover Westerbeke W50

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tetepare View Post
The way thatís cracked it looks like pot metal and will tough to weld.


My thought too, best to use what we called in the Army metal set.
Nothing but aluminum powder in epoxy, but worked on metal better than just epoxy.
I think that is what JB weld is. I have never used it myself though, but itís what I would try here cause as has already been stated, itís just a cover, itís not holding pressure or anything. Iím surprised though looking at those cracks that it doesnít leak.
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Old 19-11-2017, 19:26   #10
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Re: Cracked Timing Cover Westerbeke W50

Was just going to wait to see if the original poster showed back up, but since they haven't we'll talk about 'just a cover' academically.

Apparently no-one's actually looked at those pictures, or if they have they've not realized what they're seeing.

This is the 'cover' and it's relation to the engine block and front plate.




The cover is #1, the plate is#5, the area that is in contact with the block is outlined by the gasket #8.

As can be seen, both the alternator and the fuel injection pump are (as originally stated) 'hung out' on a thin steel plate that is free to vibrate at will if it were not for the rigidity supplied by the (almost certainly) aluminum cover.

Again, the fuel pump is driven by the same double row timing chain off the crank and cam sprockets and tensioner, there is a large amount of stress in that area of the engine, and the only thing stiffening and counteracting these forces are the timing chain cover and fuel pump mounting hub (which is only bolted to the front plate).

The structural nature of the cover should be obvious from the bolt hole bosses built into the cover, the ribbed construction, and the apparent thickness of the metal the cover is made from, as shown in the pictures.

As for why it's not leaking already, from the OP's second post, it doesn't seem like it's been run since the crack was made, or was run very little. I know that there is plenty of oil being thrown around in there; if there weren't the sprockets and chain wouldn't last 3 minutes...

As for fixing it with glue; good luck. A close look at the pictures show that the major crack goes all the way across the upper part of the cover (the pictures are rotated 90 degrees counterclockwise) from to the right of the grade 8 bolt just below the crank pulley, all the way across the most vibration prone part of the cover to a spot just under the belt halfway between the black-bolted silver tang and the original bolt with the chipped paint.

Failure (leaks or worse) with epoxy or JB weld or whatever is guaranteed, the only question is how long it will take...I'd say much less than 100 hours, probably less than 20...

I'd also guess that the only chance of a (lasting) repair is having it welded by a very good welder, and even then would only put the chances of lasting success at about 75 - 80 %...

If by any chance the op is still watching, there is a very good chance that he can get a used cover by contacting some specialists in the UK, by searching for parts for a BMC 1.8 Sherpa diesel engine. I found many parts with a very cursory look...
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Old 22-11-2017, 18:06   #11
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Re: Cracked Timing Cover Westerbeke W50

Ahh, looking at your explanation jimbunyard I'd agree. Bad design mounting the alternator that way. Yes epoxy unlikely to work. Depending on the material of course brazing could work but you are right too about replacement cover the safest option. Hope O.P. reads yr post
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Old 28-11-2017, 13:17   #12
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Re: Cracked Timing Cover Westerbeke W50

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
My thought too, best to use what we called in the Army metal set.
Nothing but aluminum powder in epoxy, but worked on metal better than just epoxy.
I think that is what JB weld is. I have never used it myself though, but itís what I would try here cause as has already been stated, itís just a cover, itís not holding pressure or anything. Iím surprised though looking at those cracks that it doesnít leak.
I own a machine shop and if I didn't make a new one I would fix it with this stuff. I have used it on many things and it works! it will out last the engine. (just one source you might find it cheaper else where)

https://www.staples.com/devcon-alumi...MIkA&gclsrc=ds

Be Sure to degrease and blast the part to bare metal before you put this material on the part. Sand it smooth but leave raised material over all cracks. Then prime and repaint.
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