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Old 10-08-2009, 21:08   #1
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Westerbeke Doesn't Shut Off with Key

So after getting my diesel tank clean enough to run the engine without soiling the filters, its time to tackle my next issue on the engine. My westerbeke w27 does not shut off when I turn the key off. Instead I have to choke out the engine by killing the rpms and slipping it into reverse. I think this may have led to a premature failure of my alternator although I am not sure, I just want to make sure that the new one I have on the way is not going to fail as well. Basically I'd like sum advice on why my fuel shutoff solenoid is not working and if anyone else things my new alternator may be at risk if I keep running it the way I am.
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Old 11-08-2009, 06:14   #2
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Turning the key to OFF while the engine is running can often end up frying your alternator diodes. There's a discussion of that phenomenon, along with a rather inexpensive device that can prevent it, over here -- Zap Stop - Fact or Fiction ?
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Old 11-08-2009, 06:35   #3
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Sounds like you've got several problems there.

1. NEVER turn the key off while a diesel is running. There must be a kill button or lever to pull.

2. If the stop solenoid isn't working, it could be an electrical or a mechanical problem. You need to investigate which.

3. Putting an engine in gear while idling should not kill the engine. This is actually a potentially dangerous condition since, e..g, the engine could die while docking. Either your idle is set too low, or something else is amiss.

Yes, turning the key off could well kill your alternator. It happens instantaneously. That's why you never turn the key off, nor do you switch the battery switch off while the engine is running. Battery switches without a make-before-break design can also kill an alternator when, e.g., switching from 1 to 2 position.

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Old 11-08-2009, 08:08   #4
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Ours (we have a Westerbeke) is wired so turning the key off is what turns off the fuel (to stop the engine) not the field to the alternator. There is no kill switch
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Old 11-08-2009, 08:16   #5
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So what turns off the feed to the alternator field winding?

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Old 11-08-2009, 08:22   #6
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with the key

The newer engines do stop with the key (e.g. Volvo). But in the old days all diesels were stopped by cutting of the fuel (often with a pull cable). Somewhere in between these two solutions there were some that stopped with a dedicated button (that again cut the fuel off via a solenoid).

On an engine with a pull stop cable turning the key off when engine running could burn the diodes of the regulator. But then the key had to be turned all the way off (most often = 180 degrees).
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Old 11-08-2009, 08:37   #7
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Thanks for that. So, does this mean the "newer ones" have a 4-position key?

Off (which turns off power to the field, too), Stop (which activates the shut-off solenoid), Run, and Start?

BTW, my "older" 4-108 has both a start and a stop button which activates the stop solenoid, but the ignition key only turns 90 degrees. Turning if off while the engine is running WILL kill the alternator diodes quickly :-(

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Old 11-08-2009, 08:38   #8
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So what turns off the feed to the alternator field winding?

B.
My bad, fuel solenoid and field are paralled to the key on "run". There should be no problem collapsing the field with the alternator spinning anyway. Lifting the output is what fries the diodes, not cutting excitation current. If it's worrysome putting a capacitor in line would allow for a ramped de-excite.(There's none shown on the schematic on ours)
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Old 11-08-2009, 08:39   #9
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Right!

BTW, for the past 10 years or so I've had a lever-assisted stop button setup!

First, the stop solenoid crapped out. Because it was impossible in the Caribbean to find an exact replacement, I bought a new one and had it machined to fit the mount. However, the new one didn't seem to have enough ooomph to do its job: it wouldn't stop the engine.

So, I found a convenient white wire coat hanger, straightened it out, and attached one end to the stop lever. The other end extends out where you can reach it, and I put a loop in it. This system has worked flawlessly for 10 years :-)

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Old 11-08-2009, 08:49   #10
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Here's his manual:

http://www.westerbeke.com/OnlineManu...r_Tech_Man.pdf

he doesn't have a stop button either. (probably needs a new solenoid)
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Old 11-08-2009, 10:38   #11
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Westerbekes have s solenoid shot off that is activated by turning off the key. (ie its a normally closed solenoid, juice opens it.). Sounds like the solenoid is going bad, weak spring and not shutting off the fuel.
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Old 11-08-2009, 11:00   #12
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OK, so I know that this is an obviously foolish and unhelpful question, but what was wrong with the old tried and true stop lever/pull handle? Why did the manufacturers feel the need to depart from that?

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Old 11-08-2009, 11:36   #13
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OK, so I know that this is an obviously foolish and unhelpful question, but what was wrong with the old tried and true stop lever/pull handle? Why did the manufacturers feel the need to depart from that?

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Old 11-08-2009, 12:04   #14
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Dunno. The key-to-kill set up for Westerbeke is at least 20 years old.
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Old 11-08-2009, 12:28   #15
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Dunno if the W27 has the same type of shut-off solenoid as my W46, that is, screwed into the bottom of the rotary type injector pump. If it does, I have just spent hours resolving why my solenoid was intermittent at shutting off the engine. The fuel seal around the mounting threads is by way of an O-ring on the male thread. The grounding faces of the solenoid and pump body must be shiny clean where they contact for proper operation.
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