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Old 18-07-2020, 15:19   #1
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I sucked a shop towel into my air intake - Westerbeke 13c - two

One sheet of blue paper towel sucked into the air intake. Motor still starts.

I removed both intake and exhaust manifolds and found paper pulp in both. How bad is this, did I kill my motor. What should I do next.
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Old 18-07-2020, 16:12   #2
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Re: I sucked a shop towel into my air intake - Westerbeke 13c - two

I doubt you have killed the motor.
Next thing you should do is fit an air cleaner. You can buy one to fit your intake pipe from an auto parts place. This is a not unknown occurrence which is why I tell people to fit an air cleaner tho many OEM's dont.
Just clean your manifolds & run the motor.
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Old 18-07-2020, 16:19   #3
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Re: I sucked a shop towel into my air intake - Westerbeke 13c - two

I'd be more worried about what was on the towel when it got sucked in. If it was just used collect metal shavings that's certainly not good. If it was just used to clean a dusty bench then it's not a biggie.
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Old 18-07-2020, 17:16   #4
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Re: I sucked a shop towel into my air intake - Westerbeke 13c - two

I agree with the previous two posts. It's not optimal, so don't do it again.

Short of disassembling the engine, there's really no way to know what kinky little thing might have been affected. I'd bet a dollar, you've probably taken an hour or two off the life of the engine.

It may have caught some small bits in the top end somewhere (head, or rings), but you're probably fine. I'd run it as usual, and remember in the back of your mind, what happened. So if you have issues in the future, it may help you trouble shoot the problem.

Cheers, and carry on.
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Old 18-07-2020, 18:14   #5
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Re: I sucked a shop towel into my air intake - Westerbeke 13c - two

This thread might give you an idea. Short answer, put it back together and try it.

https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ke-186189.html
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Old 18-07-2020, 18:19   #6
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Re: I sucked a shop towel into my air intake - Westerbeke 13c - two

Due to extremely poor maintenance and the lack thereof, the prior owner of my boat had sucked the air cleaner sans wire reinforcement through the engine; when i removed the head and manifolds, there was no sign of any of it. Must have digested and burped it out. It didn't seem to have harmed anything, but not recommended.
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Old 18-07-2020, 18:38   #7
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Re: I sucked a shop towel into my air intake - Westerbeke 13c - two

Any damage is probably slight and already done. Put her back together and run it and fit the auto shop sourced filter.
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Old 18-07-2020, 18:49   #8
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Re: I sucked a shop towel into my air intake - Westerbeke 13c - two

I once had an engine suck in the air cleaner stud, mild steel, the intake valve chopped it into little pieces and spit it out the exhaust. Nice thread patterns on the piston top.
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Old 18-07-2020, 19:42   #9
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Re: I sucked a shop towel into my air intake - Westerbeke 13c - two

I had a 1965 triumph GT6. Sucked a #6 brass screw through the intake. Not even a hiccough.
Dunno where the bits ended up. Just vanished.
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Old 18-07-2020, 20:24   #10
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Re: I sucked a shop towel into my air intake - Westerbeke 13c - two

Any metal that goes through an engine without it swallowing a valve is just plain luck.
An intake or exhaust valve is not chopping up any metal, it would however bend, and often times the head comes off of the valve and the engine disintegrates in about a half a second.
Paper towel wise damage is unlikely, but if it’s going to damage it, it did so in a few seconds, may as well run her and try not to feed it anything else.
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Old 18-07-2020, 20:39   #11
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Re: I sucked a shop towel into my air intake - Westerbeke 13c - two

Most marine engines that don't have air cleaners are assumed to be used on the water where there are few dust storms. If you add an air cleaner, be sure it allows the same air flow with the cleaner as it had without one. Otherwise the rest of its life the engine will be running in a rich condition meaning more soot in the oil. More soot in the oil means more engine wear.
To size an add on air cleaner find a tractor using a similar engine and it's probably bigger than the one you bought at the auto store.
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Old 19-07-2020, 08:40   #12
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Re: I sucked a shop towel into my air intake - Westerbeke 13c - two

Might be an idea to change the oil.
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Old 19-07-2020, 08:59   #13
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Re: I sucked a shop towel into my air intake - Westerbeke 13c - two

And the oil filter.
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Old 19-07-2020, 13:43   #14
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Re: I sucked a shop towel into my air intake - Westerbeke 13c - two

Quote:
Originally Posted by skkeith View Post
One sheet of blue paper towel sucked into the air intake. Motor still starts.

I removed both intake and exhaust manifolds and found paper pulp in both. How bad is this, did I kill my motor. What should I do next.

If it was the QuickerPickerUpper brand of paper towel, you may get get a bit more speed!
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Old 19-07-2020, 14:43   #15
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Re: I sucked a shop towel into my air intake - Westerbeke 13c - two

I did the same thing. The paper towel disappeared never to be seen again. No problem, didn't even skip a beat, still running after 10 or 20 years. Don't remember which.
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