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Old 11-06-2007, 09:15   #1
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Westerbeke 82 starter motor

Over the past few years I've experienced and know of four other boats having a starting problem with Westerbeke 82B's, vintage '95-'03.

Problem: Occasionally just a click from solenoid - but the solenoid appears ok and all wiring looks tight. I heard that the starter motor may have a design flaw. Anybody have the same experience?

And, in case you ask, Westerbeke thinks it's the builder's installation problem.
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Old 11-06-2007, 09:45   #2
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I'm not aware of a problem with these units. I'd think if it were a design flaw many more the 4 would be affected in 12 years.
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Old 11-06-2007, 13:30   #3
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I have a westerbeke 58 with the same problem it will start 95% of the time a shop told that it seems to be regular problem with these units and a new unit is around 700 bucks but ones can be found for much cheaper that are not from westerbeke but are the same thing
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Old 11-06-2007, 13:50   #4
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There are two possible problems that cause Starter to do this. (Of course it does depend on the design of the starter as to exactly the following is done)Starters have a soliniod that allows the relatively small current from the key to connect the very high current from the battery to starter. This is an electric/magnetic solinoid that has a very heavey copper ring and two contacts. The ring is slammed onto the contacts and links the high current to the starter. This contact arcs everytime it switches. A result is that is can get very dirty and needs a clean, it can etch away till it needs a clean and file, or it can wear away to the point where it no longer touches at all and needs replacing. The click you hear is the solinoid closing, but the high current switch is not making.the other possible is that the stater gear is not meshing into the ring gear on the flywheel. Some starters have the lower current magnetic solinoid throw the entire starter gear forward. As it is thrown forward, the high current switch is then engaged and the starter motor turns. Two additionals to above can stop the motor spinning up. The solinoid does not have enough battery current to throw the mechanism forward hard enough to engage the high current switch. or there is a fault stopping it traveling far enough forward. And the other is the starter gear is not meshing into the ring gear and it stops the mechanism traveling far enough forward. This later one can be checked by removing the starter and checking that the teeth on both are not damaged. They need to have a slight angle on the front edge so as the teeth slide past one another.
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Old 11-06-2007, 14:08   #5
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Since Westerbeke buys parts from suppliers the problem would be to find a different supplier of the starter.

I had the fuel filter bracket fail twice and heard of several other failures of this part. Eventually Westerbeke redesigned it after complaints of fuel safety issues - no more failures.

The reason for my query is to see if, and how many other members have had similar experiences with Westerbekes.

Ron
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Old 11-06-2007, 14:31   #6
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The fuel filter bracket I can attribute to Westerbekes failure. They make it. I'm having a hard time with the starter. The starters come from the engine builder and are painted red by Westerbeke. Usually the starters are Hitachi. Now Hitachi might make 1.3 million starters a year for hundreds of applications. So 4-5 failures would be considered a normal loss ratio. As Wheels described. There can be many reasons for the failure. I personally have seen voltage drop in the wiring harness causing similar results as you are describing. In this case it was a boat builder issue because the builder use to light a gauge wire to supply the starter. What gauge is in your boat?

I'm not trying to be argumentative, just looking at this objectively threw the internet.
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Old 11-06-2007, 16:10   #7
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Pat

Thanks for your input. While my starting problem has 'disappeared' for a year now it's always in the back of my mind that it may suddenly reappear when I really need the engine to fire. Why I bring it up now? Yesterday I spoke to someone who had just the same problem over the weekend.

Ron
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