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Old 26-03-2016, 16:48   #1
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Fuel shut-off solenoid leaking. Ideas??

I have a small amount of diesel leaking from the top of the fuel shut off solenoid on my Westerbeke 52.

Is there a short-term fix I can try?

How difficult is the solenoid to replace?

How serious is a small leak (3 oz over 4 hrs)?

Ideas please!
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Old 26-03-2016, 17:28   #2
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Re: Fuel shut-off solenoid leaking. Ideas??

G'day,

My advice is to remove the solenoid and throw it away. The less fittings and joints you have in the fuel line the better.

Any leak in a fuel line must be considered serious.

The huge majority of engine troubles with diesels usually relate to fuel lines, filters and the like.

James
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Old 26-03-2016, 18:15   #3
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Re: Fuel shut-off solenoid leaking. Ideas??

It's there for a reason. Replace it.
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Old 26-03-2016, 19:06   #4
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Re: Fuel shut-off solenoid leaking. Ideas??

By throw it away, I'm assuming you mean replace it. I thought the engine wouldn't start without It. Any ideas on how to deal with the leak until I can get a replacement part?
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Old 26-03-2016, 19:06   #5
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Re: Fuel shut-off solenoid leaking. Ideas??

Can you determine the exact location of the leak? Do you have a lift pump proving fuel under pressure to the injector pump, or does the injector pump draw from the tank?

Based on the statement that the solenoid is on the low pressure. And assuming you have a lift pump.

If you do not know the EXACT location of the leak ---1) dry the solenoid, 2) place paper towels under the solenoid and fittings, 3) turn the ignition on-- but do NOT start the engine, 4) have a drink. Every 20-30 min check the paper towel to help see where the leak is. Repeat steps 2-4 until leak is found or "it really doesn't matter right now."

With luck the issue is at a fitting that can be tightened. Or perhaps a bad hose end/ clamp.

Happy Easter


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Old 26-03-2016, 19:17   #6
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Re: Fuel shut-off solenoid leaking. Ideas??

Ok! That is my mission for tomorrow. Thanks for the useful suggestions. Our W52 has an electric lift pump. However, the solenoid appears to be on the high pressure side, at the distribution head for the 4 high pressure injector lines.

Happy Easter.
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Old 26-03-2016, 19:21   #7
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Re: Fuel shut-off solenoid leaking. Ideas??

Ps. What difference would it make it the solenoid is on the high pressure side vs. The low pressure side?
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Old 26-03-2016, 19:30   #8
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Re: Fuel shut-off solenoid leaking. Ideas??

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Originally Posted by nknowland View Post
.............. Any ideas on how to deal with the leak until I can get a replacement part?
There should be a manual fuel shutoff somewhere upstream of the solenoid. Shut it off.
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Old 26-03-2016, 20:24   #9
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Re: Fuel shut-off solenoid leaking. Ideas??

Quote:
Originally Posted by nknowland View Post
Ps. What difference would it make it the solenoid is on the high pressure side vs. The low pressure side?

If on the lower pressure side I know that just running the lift pump should show the leak.

If this really is on the high side it should be a (as Bernie would say) Huuuge issue. HP diesel can go through skin.

If this is on the HP side, aside from checking tightness, I would not mess with it.


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Old 26-03-2016, 20:37   #10
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Re: Fuel shut-off solenoid leaking. Ideas??

Slow night so googled this. Looks like on some Westerbeasts there is a fuel solenoid incorporated into the front of the injector My SWAG is that it would be on the low side of the pump. But I can't seem to find a piping diagram.


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Old 27-03-2016, 00:52   #11
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Re: Fuel shut-off solenoid leaking. Ideas??

G'day,

There are many reliable small marine engines that don't have a fuel shut off valve. (yanmar) They use air shut off rather than fuel to stop the engine. All you have to do is put your hand over the the air intake.

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Old 27-03-2016, 09:30   #12
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Re: Fuel shut-off solenoid leaking. Ideas??

there is a fuel pressure "switch" in the high side of the injector pump. but it is usually on the lower side of an adaptor it is screwed into. the adaptor is for it and a bleeding screw. if fuel is appearing on top of that adaptor, the fuel is probably coming from the governor housing or higher. a fuel shutoff solenoid would be incorporated on the pickup side of the lift pump. If its the pressure switch fix it, you don't want to bypass it. a little thread sealant might work. If it's the shut off solenoid bypass it till you can get another one. the engine is stopped by a shut off in the injection pump...mechanical not electrical.
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Old 27-03-2016, 10:17   #13
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Re: Fuel shut-off solenoid leaking. Ideas??

If the solenoid is leaking from the top it must be replaced. Should be a simple 10 minute job, unscrew the wire, unscrew the solenoid, reverse to install. Don't buy the solenoid from Westerbeke unless you just want to spend 600.00. Take the solenoid to an injection pump shop and get them to match it up. The engine should have a Bosch VE type pump, a solenoid can be had on EBay for 33.00...

Ebay 33.00





Westerbeke 597.00



Best to make sure at the pump shop though...
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Old 27-03-2016, 10:22   #14
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Re: Fuel shut-off solenoid leaking. Ideas??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Banshe View Post
G'day,

There are many reliable small marine engines that don't have a fuel shut off valve. (yanmar) They use air shut off rather than fuel to stop the engine. All you have to do is put your hand over the the air intake.

James
That wouldn't be very safe. I suggest something less valuable like a piece of wood.

Still, this would be pretty inconvenient compared to replacing the solenoid and just turning the switch.
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Old 27-03-2016, 10:53   #15
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Re: Fuel shut-off solenoid leaking. Ideas??

"All you have to do is put your hand over the the air intake."
Depending on the engine, you could get a nasty hickey on that hand. Or worse. Some folks have tried to use things like a cushion to block off the air intake, and then watched the engine inhale the entire cushion. With a compression ratio around 22:1 a medium sized diesel in good working order can snarf down a lot of things.
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