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Old 14-02-2023, 09:15   #1
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Generator trouble in the Galapagos

Kohler 10EOZ diesel generator

Starts and runs normally for about 10min, then shuts down abruptly. Will restart readily, but shuts down immediately. Wait 30 min, then will restart and run normally for many hours. Oil pressure and temperature guages in the normal range. Seawater flow appears normal. IR temp readings look normal. Oil level normal. Coolant level normal.

Running out of things to check...
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Old 14-02-2023, 10:07   #2
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Re: Generator trouble in the Galapagos

Electronic fuel shut off solenoid malfunction? Just a random guess based on the "abruptness" described. Also, if the over-temp and under-oil-pressure switches are rigged to do a shutdown rather than sound an alarm, I would bypass those manually as step #1 in debugging. Very likely one of those could be flaky.
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Old 15-02-2023, 01:30   #3
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Re: Generator trouble in the Galapagos

Have you seen these links?


https://www.justanswer.com/sip/kohle...33&ntw=g&dvc=c


https://www.smartanswersonline.com/w...59&an=google_s
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Old 15-02-2023, 23:03   #4
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Generator trouble in the Galapagos

Quote:
Originally Posted by jt11791 View Post
Kohler 10EOZ diesel generator

Starts and runs normally for about 10min, then shuts down abruptly. Will restart readily, but shuts down immediately. Wait 30 min, then will restart and run normally for many hours. Oil pressure and temperature guages in the normal range. Seawater flow appears normal. IR temp readings look normal. Oil level normal. Coolant level normal.

Running out of things to check...


Maybe get a mirror and a flashlight and take a look at the high exhaust temp sender on the mixer elbow. If it’s an actual “fault shutdown”you should see the stop solenoid activate and I think that model genset only has 3 sensors, oil pressure, coolant temp and exhaust temp but you might have a coolant level sensor in the top tank as an option. Any of these could cause the solenoid to shut down the engine if they detect a fault or simply fail. On the other hand, an intermittent fault with the electric fuel pump could be the problem (and no solenoid movement until the oil pressure has dropped). I’m assuming, since it runs well after the initial series of shutdowns that dirty fuel or filters and supply suction leaks are not the problem.
I’m envious of you being in the Galapagos[emoji106]
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Old 18-02-2023, 19:02   #5
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Re: Generator trouble in the Galapagos

Thanks for the ideas! This turned out to be a fairly deep rabbit hole, with a happy ending.

I started off thinking that it was a bad sensor or other electrical problem, because I did not see signs of actual overheating. The temp gauge stayed in the normal range and IR readings were reasonable, maybe a bit high depending on the exact location tested, but nothing obviously screaming "I am over heating!" That all changed when I disconnected the over temperature switch sensor. The generator started and ran normally for 15 minutes or so and then overheated for real. Coolant tank cap venting, boiling coolant in the overflow bottle, etc. I should have caught it sooner, but I wasn't watching as closely as I should have. Hopefully no harm done other than losing some coolant.

Running 10 minutes or so and then overheating now sounded like a bad thermostat to me and low-and-behold I have a spare thermostat in my box of generator parts. To get at my generator for this kind of surgery I need to empty a cabinet and then disassemble it. This was a b*tch because there's no freakin' wind here and it's hot as hell. I get part way into the job and realize that it isn't possible to change the thermostat without removing the coolant tank/exhaust manifold and heat exchanger. A few curses later and those parts are unbolted, but I can't get the exhaust hose off the mixing tube. I finally unbolt the mixing tube from the heavy cast iron manifold/tank and the bronze HX and leave it there on the end of the exhaust hose. With the manifold and HX removed I can at least work up on deck and it takes me no time at all to remove the cover for the T-stat and remove the T-stat. Oh crap! That thermostat does not look like the new one in my hand, what is going on?! Turns out the new T-stat is for my main engine and got into the wrong box. I have no new T-stat for the generator, but maybe this one works? I clean some RTV and scale off and put it in a pan of water on the stove. 160F later it opens right up! I clean a bunch of rust and scale out of the manifold and HX and re-install everything. I fill with coolant and start her up for a test. It seems to be going well, but wait, where is that water coming from?? Oh no! The exhaust hose has sprung a leak! I shut it down and examine the hose to discover that it's old and rotten where it connects onto the mixing tube.
I borrow some silicone "rescue tape" from a neighboring boat, but I can't use it because the exhaust hose is pressed against the side of the generator making wrapping tape around it impossible. Next, I cut the bad end off the hose and attempt to reattach it. There isn't really enough slack in the hose now that it is a few inches shorter, but I manage to get it partway onto the mixing tube and clamp it down with a hose clamp. Start it up and water everywhere! All the pushing and pulling on the old brittle hose has opened up multiple leaks and it is now obvious that the entire length of hose must be replaced. It's late in the day and I give up and go to dinner on shore. Dinner is good but I don't sleep well thinking about how unlikely it will be to find the hose I need here on San Cristobal.

The next morning I awake with new vigor, remove the old hose and head into town where there is a chandlery. Okay, not really a chandlery more of a hardware store, but they do have some boat parts. The man at the counter looks at my old hose and disappears into the back. He returns with nothing but says there is "a guy who fixes buses" down the road who may have it. I get vague directions in Spanish (which I don't speak) but they are good enough to find the bus garage. The man there takes one look at my old hose and says, "no way." Then he says there is another guy further down the road, take a left and then a right and then ?? who might have it. I've got nothing to lose at this point so I head down the road. I take a left and then a right and seem to be heading out of town. I'm just starting to ponder how far I should walk before giving up when a small truck pulls along side me. The driver looks at the old hose in my hand and says, "maybe". He gestures to me to get into the truck and off we go. He drives clear across town and stops at a dirt lot with a chain fence surrounding a warehouse type building. He unlocks the fence and then opens the roll up door to a garage full of old boat parts! He starts digging in a pile of junk and throws out one hose after another, no, no, no, all the wrong size. Then he says "ah!" and pulls out a beautiful section of 2" marine exhaust hose! We jump back into his truck and he drives me back to the dock. Here I pull out my cash and try to pay him but he refuses. I try again but he'll take nothing, he won't even let buy him a beer. Back at the boat I install the new hose and now the genset runs great! Thank you Marco!!!!

What a difference a day can make! Yesterday, my batteries were very low, my water tanks almost empty, and my generator was broken. Today, full batts, full tanks, working genset! Life is good again!
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Old 18-02-2023, 21:19   #6
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Re: Generator trouble in the Galapagos

a familiar story for many of us ! bravo & well done for your perseverance...i'll remember your inspiration when next i'm heading down such a rabbit hole

cheers,
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Old 19-02-2023, 13:02   #7
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Re: Generator trouble in the Galapagos

Re: post #5!

Congratulations, lovely story, and the kindness of strangers is beautiful! Similar things have happened to us, too. Renews faith in Hobart.

Ann
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Old 19-02-2023, 16:07   #8
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Re: Generator trouble in the Galapagos

Great story! Safe travels.
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Old 20-02-2023, 05:09   #9
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Re: Generator trouble in the Galapagos

Well done!
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Old 20-02-2023, 06:16   #10
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Generator trouble in the Galapagos

Root cause: failure to flush coolant every other year?
I’ve done worse. I replaced thermostat unnecessarily when issue was a oyster in the saildrive. [emoji30]
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Old 20-02-2023, 13:31   #11
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Re: Generator trouble in the Galapagos

Quote:
Originally Posted by team karst View Post
Root cause: failure to flush coolant every other year?
Yes, I think that's fair. Also, when I did flush it last prior to the trouble I didn't do a good enough job. I just drained the old coolant and refilled with new. A more thorough annual inspection of the exhaust hose would have save me some stress as well.
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