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Old 17-05-2014, 11:01   #1
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Westerbeke generator - needs new glow plugs

Anyone ever tackle? Best left to the Diesel engine specialists? It's in otherwise great condition...
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Old 17-05-2014, 12:08   #2
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Re: Westerbeke generator - needs new glow plugs

Manual for the BTDs says torque to 10.8-14.5 ft-lbs and apply some anti-seize compound to the threads. Advises that long-term storage procedure is to remove glow-plugs to spray oil in cylinder. Doesn't sound too difficult to replace them.
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Old 17-05-2014, 19:42   #3
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Re: Westerbeke generator - needs new glow plugs

How did you determine the glow plugs are bad? Mine weren't working on my 8 BTD Westerbeke and it was the switch that was defective. Good luck
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Old 17-05-2014, 20:17   #4
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Re: Westerbeke generator - needs new glow plugs

There's a pretty simple way to test them with a multimeter that's laid out in the service manual.
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Old 17-05-2014, 20:37   #5
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Re: Westerbeke generator - needs new glow plugs

I had a Westerbeke genset in my boat that was always hard to start. Even though the glow plugs were getting a solid 12.6vdc and tested okay, I replaced them on suspiciion but it didn't help the hard starting issue. Not only was it hard to start but it also leaked oil and gobbled up raw water impellers.

I replaced the genset with a Kubota single-cylinder diesel that drives a 150-amp alternator and have been delighted with the difference.

Fair winds and calm seas.
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Old 17-05-2014, 20:58   #6
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Re: Westerbeke generator - needs new glow plugs

Just had this very same issue with my Westerbeke generator. It was the relay that controls the glow plugs. Check your manual for the location and verify its operation.
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Old 18-05-2014, 06:35   #7
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Re: Westerbeke generator - needs new glow plugs

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How did you determine the glow plugs are bad? Mine weren't working on my 8 BTD Westerbeke and it was the switch that was defective. Good luck

Determined bad in survey when we bought her. Runs perfectly and takes load no problem but obv can't be turning her over for a minute cold pulling in sea water...

Just love to avoid another bill!
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Old 18-05-2014, 06:37   #8
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Re: Westerbeke generator - needs new glow plugs

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Just had this very same issue with my Westerbeke generator. It was the relay that controls the glow plugs. Check your manual for the location and verify its operation.

Now that's interesting. Could actually be that as well. How did you test it? Since in order to start ours both the glow switch and start switch need to be depressed at same time and it does eventually turn over, would that rule out the relay?
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Old 18-05-2014, 07:04   #9
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Re: Westerbeke generator - needs new glow plugs

Our genset had start and glow switches at the main breaker panel in the cabin and on the genset itself. If your's is setup like this that would be a quick way to rule out a switch or wiring issue between the genset and the cabin switches you are using to start it.

Other than that little change in start procedure I don't think you can rule out anything without a multimeter and proper testing of the circuit.

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Old 18-05-2014, 07:20   #10
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Re: Westerbeke generator - needs new glow plugs

I am going down to my boat tomorrow or Tuesday, so I could take a pic of the relay if needed.

When depressing the pre-heat/cold start button on the generator control panel, 12V goes to the relay and then to the glow plugs. If the glow plugs are working properly, you can put your finger on them and feel them get real hot, real quickly. If not working, check with multi-meter - black probe to good ground on block and red probe to top of the glow plug. If no voltage, then work back to relay. Really takes three hands to easily check or use some alligator clips.

Do same check to determine 12V to relay. I will post a pic of the relay. The part was about $30 if I recall correctly. Probably a third of that if you don't purchase from Westerbeke. Very simple replacement.

I think that the pre-heat switch also does something else besides the glow plugs. Fuel pump? In any case I will get back to you.
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Old 18-05-2014, 07:44   #11
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Re: Westerbeke generator - needs new glow plugs

Our 1983 4-cyl 12 kw Westerbeke had a fuel valve problem with the solenoid. I found out I only needed to manually assist the solenoid to complete its stroke. The 12 VDC precharge lift pump was also bad. We only use the boat in the summer months so we have never had to use the manual glow plug switch.

Our genset & engine are are both Westerbeke obsolete models. I found that they were private labeled British Leyland. You can sometimes find parts from their recycle yard. There is a New York office. I replaced a bent push rod & bought spares. Gaskets available.
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Old 18-05-2014, 10:08   #12
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Re: Westerbeke generator - needs new glow plugs

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Originally Posted by redsky49 View Post
I am going down to my boat tomorrow or Tuesday, so I could take a pic of the relay if needed.

When depressing the pre-heat/cold start button on the generator control panel, 12V goes to the relay and then to the glow plugs. If the glow plugs are working properly, you can put your finger on them and feel them get real hot, real quickly. If not working, check with multi-meter - black probe to good ground on block and red probe to top of the glow plug. If no voltage, then work back to relay. Really takes three hands to easily check or use some alligator clips.

Do same check to determine 12V to relay. I will post a pic of the relay. The part was about $30 if I recall correctly. Probably a third of that if you don't purchase from Westerbeke. Very simple replacement.

I think that the pre-heat switch also does something else besides the glow plugs. Fuel pump? In any case I will get back to you.

The pre-heat switch activates both the glow plugs & the fuel lift pump. You should be able to clearly hear the pump ticking away when you activate the switch. As the last poster pointed out, the fuel solenoid can often need a manual push to fully engage. I've actually replaced mine but it didn't help. It uses a magnet I think and will often look like it's working correctly, but is actually not fully engaged. This could be the cause of hard starting in & of itself.

I'd definitely benefit from a photo of that relay as well if you have a chance.
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Old 18-05-2014, 17:47   #13
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Re: Westerbeke generator - needs new glow plugs

Fuel injector pump was just replaced. And it runs like a top once started up. I think either the relay or glow plugs are my culprit. Once she's been running, if you **** down and then restart it turns over immediately.

Same configuration with start switches next to electrical panel. Thanks everyone!!! I love this forum!
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Old 18-05-2014, 17:50   #14
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Re: Westerbeke generator - needs new glow plugs

Here was the update from the yard commissioning her in Newport

------

Generator is up and running with re- built injection pump, it seemed to have stuck rings at first as I was told but has been running well over the last 2-3 hrs under load. We are going to test run it again in the morning
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Old 18-05-2014, 18:01   #15
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Re: Westerbeke generator - needs new glow plugs

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Fuel injector pump was just replaced. And it runs like a top once started up. I think either the relay or glow plugs are my culprit. Once she's been running, if you **** down and then restart it turns over immediately.

Same configuration with start switches next to electrical panel. Thanks everyone!!! I love this forum!
What I was referring to as getting stuck was the solenoid which controls the fuel lift pump. This is a low pressure pump who's only function is to draw fuel up from the tank and into the genset. The high pressure pump is part of the fuel injection system, and is completely separate.
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