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Old 22-02-2013, 08:40   #1
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Westerbeke Diesel Restart

I Just acquired a 30 foot Soverel with a westerbeke diesel engine in it. The boat has been dormant for several years, however I heard the engine did turn over with third previous owner. What is the best way to go about evaluating the engine? I know nothing of diesel engines, only what I read online and am trying to learn. Can this be hand cranked? Any and all suggestions and imput would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

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Old 22-02-2013, 11:05   #2
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To the Westerbeke problem.
Change oil & filter, check coolant level, change impeller, clean strainer & while the cap is off open the thru hull to make sure water flows freely. Replace battery & check all the cable connections. Get a fuel can with a couple of gallons of diesel, find the fuel hose between the tank & the 1st filter. Remove that hose at the filter, get a length of the same type hose that'll attach to the filter & reach into the fuel can. Get a outboard primer bulb & cut the added hose & install the primer bulb paying attention to direction of flow. Loosen the metal fuel line nuts at the injectors, now pump the primer bulb until fuel flows from the cracked injector lines. Tighten the line nuts, your now ready to try to start but 1st make sure the throttle control works properly & the engine kill also works. Now try to start & let us know what happens. Good luck

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Old 23-02-2013, 12:09   #3
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Re: Westerbeke Diesel Restart

River Cruiser has a lot of good suggestions and if there is anything in there that you didn't quite understand then ask questions. It's always a good idea to have someone aboard who knows how to bleed a deisel engine's fuel system properly because if there is any air in the fuel lines it will not start.

He mentioned loosening the metal fuel line nuts at the injectors. As each injector starts to pump solid fuel then tighten the nut. There can't be air bubbles in the fuel that leaks out of those lines. If there is then it won't start. I usually have someone on the start button and then tighten the nuts as I see solid fuel when the engine is cranking. Have someone with some experience help you with this.

Replace any fuel filters. Clean diesel fuel is essential. If there is an oil fill point on your injector pump then make certain you add oil there too.

River Cruiser suggested bypassing your fuel line from your tank. That's good because you don't want any of that fuel going into your engine until you've had a chance to clean the tanks and polish the fuel. You don't know what's been going on with that fuel.

You can't hand crank your Westerbeke unless it really is an odd one. Mention the model number in your next post so those with that particular model can give you suggestions.

Cooling water to your engine is very important. Don't run the engine for any length of time without proper cooling water.

kind regards,
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Old 23-02-2013, 18:03   #4

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Re: Westerbeke Diesel Restart

fay, if you start with knowing nothing about diesel engines, it might be worthwhile to try finding a competent diesel mechanic (try) and pay them to come down and spend an hour showing you what to do with the engine and fuel system.

Some fuel systems use crush washers, paper-thin copper washers that deform to seal fuel lines. If your engine does, and you loosen one of those connections to bleed it and then just tighten it up again? Uh-uh, the crush washers are like kleenex, used once and then MUST be replaced or you'll wind up with air leaks and fuel problems. If you engine uses them, buy a box full, the shipping costs more than the washers do.

If your engine has decompression levers, you can open those up and then usually turn over any engine by hand, turning the flywheel, or putting a wrench on it. If the rings have not frozen up, you can do this. If they have frozen up--that's when the mechanic starts earning his pay.

If you can also download or buy a manual for the engine, it may also detail operations and maintenance and give you a chance to see what is involved. Diesels are very reliable IF the fuel supply is kept pristine. IF there are no air/fuel leaks, IF there is no water or crud contamination. But when they do throw a tantrum, it is often a very good one.
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Old 24-02-2013, 06:11   #5
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Re: Westerbeke Diesel Restart

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, fayawaymd.
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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