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Old 29-12-2014, 10:23   #1
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Westerbeke bleeding the fuel lines

Hello, I recently bought a 1973 Morgan Out Island 36' (sailboat)with a 44A four engine. It has been sitting for about a year maybe a year and a half. I was told by marina staff that it ran well before and was turned periodically. I had the fuel polished last week, and I installed a new in line Racor "snap" fuel filter. I have seen on line and in the Westerbeke manual that it is "self bleeding" or "priming"? Can you explain what that means? After changing out the filter, I dont have to bleed it? Also I cannot budge the retainer ring on the fuel bowl next to the lift pump. Any info or tips would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance, Moparots / Craig
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Old 29-12-2014, 10:24   #2
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Re: Westerbeke bleeding the fuel lines

After installing the Racor filter, I used mouth power to draw the fuel thru the new filter. Then, I tried to bleed the line, loosened the nut, squeezed the buld but no fuel came out. Oh, it has a in line squeeze bulb (before the lift pump and engine mounted filter) It there a lever on the lift pump?
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Old 29-12-2014, 15:34   #3
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Re: Westerbeke bleeding the fuel lines

Check flow direction arrow on prime bulb.


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Old 29-12-2014, 17:28   #4
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Re: Westerbeke bleeding the fuel lines

Most Westerbekes have an electric lift pump. I have a 46 model.

This means that when you turn on the ignition key, you should be able to hear the rapid clicking of the fuel pump running when you are near the engine and listen.

So, if you need to prime the engine you can just turn on the ignition for like 45 seconds and try a start, if it does not start (due to fuel) keep the ignition key engaged for another minute and a half and then try starting the engine again.

If it still doesn't start, I would try another 1.5 minute cycle and if that does not work, you may want to try and use the manual pump.

The manual pump on my engine is a little horizontally mounted disc above the engine fuel filter (not the Racor) on the top, front, right of the engine. Yours may be located elsewhere. Anyhow, something like 80 pumps of that little sucker will usually move enough fuel into the system to get it to prime.

If it STILL does not start then you need to crack open the 1st fuel injection nut and make sure fuel is coming out, some air might be trapped. Just crack it enough to be sure fuel comes out then tighten it. Complete the same procedure for each of the injectors.

If it still does not start, then probably don't have a fuel problem.

Hint - in the future, when you change fuel filters, be sure to pour the diesel from the old filter into the new filter, being sure to leave the grit behind. This will speed up or eliminate priming.
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Old 30-12-2014, 10:59   #5
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Re: Westerbeke bleeding the fuel lines

one caution, be careful of cranking, if engine does not start you could get water backing up into the exhaust.
I also bleed at the distriber pump on the engine before I bleed the injectors
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Old 30-12-2014, 11:22   #6
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Re: Westerbeke bleeding the fuel lines

Quote:
Originally Posted by boeing1 View Post
one caution, be careful of cranking, if engine does not start you could get water backing up into the exhaust.
I also bleed at the distriber pump on the engine before I bleed the injectors
Yes, close the cooling water through hull if you're doing a lot of cranking. Also only crank for 15-30 seconds at a time and then give the starter time to cool.

Note the electric lift pump that you can hear works with the key in the on position. You don't actually need to be cranking for it to do its job.
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Old 30-12-2014, 15:03   #7
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Re: Westerbeke bleeding the fuel lines

Thanks for the tips folks, these are some of the same things Im hearing from our dockmaster at the marina (over the phone) Keep em coming.

Like my screename would suggest, I raced and restored old 60s 70s Mopars and know my way around an engine (shadetree) but these diesels are a completely different animal.

We will be up there New Years Eve and day. Our first night on the boat.
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Old 30-12-2014, 20:58   #8
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Re: Westerbeke bleeding the fuel lines

YMMV, but on my W30, there is a fuel pressure switch (on the injection pump) and the electrics do not turn on unless there is fuel pressure. I have installed a 3 way switch for the fuel pump, ON independent of fuel pressure, OFF, and ON with ignition thru fuel pressure switch.
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Old 30-12-2014, 21:02   #9
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Re: Westerbeke bleeding the fuel lines

Yes, do not crank for a long time. Maybe 5 seconds is enough to get mine started in even the coldest of days.

Not sure where you are located but if its really cold, you might want to just replace the glow plugs, which is easy and takes about 15 minutes for all of them. When you hold the glow plug button down (I assume you have the same as mine) be sure you see your voltage drop on the meter. This is a good indication that the glow plugs are getting power. On nights where it is close to freezing I need to hold the glow plug button for about 15 seconds or the engine has a hard time starting.
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Old 02-01-2015, 19:19   #10
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Re: Westerbeke bleeding the fuel lines

Hello all, and thank you for the informative replies. I took all the advice given and tried starting the engine this morning. After sitting for a year, polishing the fuel, changing / installing a new Racor FF...... crossing my fingers...... turned the key on..... pressed the glow plug button..... then turned the engine over............... only to have it start after 2 seconds.

I have already given homage to, and thanked the gods, and I have promised to change the oil next time I get the motor hot.

Thanks to all that gave advice, I know Im going to need more as the months go on............. electrical / inverters............ refrigeration...... ect.

Moparots / Craig
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Old 02-01-2015, 19:46   #11
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Re: Westerbeke bleeding the fuel lines

Glad it worked out for you.
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Old 02-01-2015, 20:35   #12
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Re: Westerbeke bleeding the fuel lines

yeah! Awesome!
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Old 03-01-2015, 11:34   #13
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Re: Westerbeke bleeding the fuel lines

Congrats and thanks for the follow up. It is helpful for everyone to hear how things turn out.
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