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Old 05-12-2012, 12:51   #1
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Westerbeke 82B - 1200hrs

Is there an engine condition that could cause the front engine seal to leak and blow out the oil filter gasket? Could internal engine pressure be the culprit? Oil pressure never seen to go above the normal 40-45 lbs. Engine appears to be operating normally with the slight oil leak.

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Old 05-12-2012, 17:00   #2
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I don't believe crankcase pressure would blow out the filter seal. Crankcase pressure is caused by compression getting past the piston rings & or worn valve guides. If you have a lot of blow by out of the oil fill, dipstick tube or crankcase vent this will be evident by watching these while the engine is running. The front seal may of just got tired & needs replaced. You might check your crankcase vent & make sure it is clear & not plugged or blocked by something, that could cause a problem of pressure building up, most likely blow the dipstick out 1st. Good luck
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Old 06-12-2012, 15:18   #3
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Re: Westerbeke 82B - 1200hrs

Usually the seal under the oil filter will only fail for one of 3 reasons.
1) incorrect oil filter fitted
2) faulty oil filter
3) faulty installation.
# 2 above is the rarest of these.
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Old 06-12-2012, 15:56   #4
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Re: Westerbeke 82B - 1200hrs

The filters installed were non-OEM, correct P/N, and properly installed (happened with 2 filters). Now awaiting the filter mfg to respond if it's a design fault, but not holding my breath.

Trying to see if the two problems could be related.
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Old 06-12-2012, 16:08   #5
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Re: Westerbeke 82B - 1200hrs

I had a car years ago that developed an unusual problem in that it not only blew out it's oil filter seal, it also pumped the oil filter up like a balloon. This only ever happened about every third start or so and I never did figure out what caused it (traded it on a new car) so it is possible indeed for crankcase pressures to blow out the seals.
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Old 06-12-2012, 16:27   #6
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Re: Westerbeke 82B - 1200hrs

ronbo1 --

Keep us posted. I also have a Westerbeke 82B with even less hours. Have also considered alternatives to the $35 OEM oil filter but have struck out. Not sure it was an 82B, but read on CF recently about a Sierra branded filter that had the correct OEM no. on it, but nevertheless leaked out all the engine oil on two occasions. I recall the OP being pretty experienced so don't think it was an installation error.

Dan
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Old 06-12-2012, 16:47   #7
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Re: Westerbeke 82B - 1200hrs

what is your oil pressure? did you l;ook at that? Also there is a pressure release normall built in the oil filter and some filter housings also. You might check on these out thru a shop manual. If the front seal blew out, the vent system for the motor sounds like it is plugged up along with maybe leaking valve guides or rings. Everyone is pretty right about what was written before. 1200 hundred hours is nothing, that would equate driving a truck 66,000 miles. You can expect 5 to 7 times more hours if the motor is maintained. Along with the subsystems. Start the motor when you get a seal in it and open the oil fill. Put you hand on the open tap and is there any build up of pressure on your hand? If so I would give the motor a valve job and that should do it. I think it is a leaking valve guide. good luck
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Old 06-12-2012, 16:59   #8
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Re: Westerbeke 82B - 1200hrs

Dan,

That was me. The OEM filter I finally found and installed is still working well.
After 2 months I haven't heard from Sierra on my claim. Over the winter I'll replace the leaking front seal which leaves a fine line of oil in the engine pan after a few hours running.

It's a strange coincidence that has me scratching my head.

Ronbo
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Old 06-12-2012, 17:02   #9
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Re: Westerbeke 82B - 1200hrs

Wrong filter? I've heard some have relief valves in them....? or is your dipstick the right one? Maybe you have too much oil in the engine? (Long shot!)
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Old 06-12-2012, 17:08   #10
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Re: Westerbeke 82B - 1200hrs

Bill, thanks.

The oil pressure never went above its normal 40-45 while observing during the second filter blowout. A Westerbeke filter's been OK after several hours. It's due for the 500hr valve adjustment, I'll dig a little deeper.
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Old 08-12-2012, 17:29   #11
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Re: Westerbeke 82B - 1200hrs

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Originally Posted by ronbo1 View Post
Dan,

That was me. The OEM filter I finally found and installed is still working well.
After 2 months I haven't heard from Sierra on my claim. Over the winter I'll replace the leaking front seal which leaves a fine line of oil in the engine pan after a few hours running.

It's a strange coincidence that has me scratching my head.

Ronbo
Ronbo1 -- Believe it or not, I think I have the same or a similar leak going on my 82B. It leaves a fine line of oil on the oil-dry underneath the front part of the engine. I haven't had a lot of time to investigate, but it appears to be dripping onto the crankshaft pulley shaft and then getting flung. Are you sure it's coming from your front seal? Anything's possible, but I find that hard to believe in my case since my engine is only two yrs. old & only has about 400 hrs. I think there's also a timing cover with a gasket above the pulleys, and of course the valve cover above that. Any oil dripping onto the crankcase pulley shaft might appear as coming from the main/front seal, but it could be deceiving.

Re: the oil filter leaks -- from what I've researched in the automotive world, there are some cheaper filters that have an inferior seal or gasket, and there have been instances of oil getting past, sometimes quite catastrophically. I guess we're stuck with the $35 OEM filters until/unless a viable alternative surfaces.

Re: oil pressure -- my pressure meter/gauge at the helm recently started acting up. I'm pretty sure it's the sender. I was thinking of temporarily installing a simple analog gauge on the engine to confirm the correct pressure. Have you tried this?

Dan
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Old 09-12-2012, 07:08   #12
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Re: Westerbeke 82B - 1200hrs

Dan,

I had a mechanic look at the leak and he agrees it's the front seal. Do you find oil below and aft the seal? A leak from your valve cover would be easy to see. Whether my seal leak has anything to do with the oil filter incidents remains to be seen.

The non-OEM oil filters used were the same price as the Westerbeke labeled ones which I couldn't find at the time. I thought they would be the equivalent. Still would like to hear from Sierra before coming to any conclusion.

Ronbo
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:39   #13
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Re: Westerbeke 82B - 1200hrs

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Dan,

I had a mechanic look at the leak and he agrees it's the front seal. Do you find oil below and aft the seal? A leak from your valve cover would be easy to see. Whether my seal leak has anything to do with the oil filter incidents remains to be seen.

The non-OEM oil filters used were the same price as the Westerbeke labeled ones which I couldn't find at the time. I thought they would be the equivalent. Still would like to hear from Sierra before coming to any conclusion.

Ronbo
Not good news that your mechanic also concludes it's the front seal, and yes, my oil line is below and a bit aft of the seal I think (not onboard now). I haven't looked into it yet, but if it's anything like replacing the main/front seal on a car or truck, it could be a big job. I'm assuming, for e.g., that the oil pan would have to be dropped. Do you or your mechanic believe this can be done with the engine in the boat?

Who knows, maybe the OEM filters are actually re-branded Sierras?

FWIW, I'll be back onboard the week after X-Mas and will post any pertinent news. Let me know how your situation develops if you have the chance.

Tks.,
Dan
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:25   #14
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I have been running non oem filters now for three seasons on my westerbeke. I have had no issues. I believe the oem filters are imported which is why they are so pricey.

Fram makes filters for many brands. I doubt it is a filter issue. I wander if you have a blockage?
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:58   #15
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Re: Westerbeke 82B - 1200hrs

Dan,

I'm told that Westerbeke oil filters are rebranded Wix.
Though I won't get to it until April I think the seal replacement doesn't require removing the engine or dropping the pan.

Ronbo
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