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Old 12-11-2020, 13:08   #1
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troubleshoot westerbeke starting problem

I have done something to make my westerbeke 12c-two not start well when cold. Once started it runs fine, and after started even briefly will start right back up, but needs excessive (probably 30 seconds or more) cranking to 'fire up' the first time when cold.

The last thing I did before this problem started (It used to start when cold within 10 seconds) was to find and fix a slight fuel leak in the intake by tightening some fittings. I removed the fuel line, and re-attached it in the process. All the connections seem good now. No fuel leak anymore... and once started it runs fine.

Not sure how to start diagnosing this...
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Old 12-11-2020, 15:33   #2
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Re: troubleshoot westerbeke starting problem

I don't know your engine but I would suspect air in the system.
Have you bled it according to the manual instructions? That would be the first thing to try as the problem occurred after you removed the fuel line so air is the most likely problem.
Good fixing a fuel leak isnt it. Drives me more crazy diesel in the bilge.
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Old 13-11-2020, 10:10   #3
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Re: troubleshoot westerbeke starting problem

This model has a 'fuel lift pump', which means I believe 'self bleeding', but please correct me if I am wrong. The engine runs fine once started and I have used it for at an hour or more since this problem started.
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Old 13-11-2020, 17:02   #4
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Re: troubleshoot westerbeke starting problem

Have you checked the glow plugs?
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Old 13-11-2020, 17:07   #5
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Re: troubleshoot westerbeke starting problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by skkeith View Post
This model has a 'fuel lift pump', which means I believe 'self bleeding', but please correct me if I am wrong. The engine runs fine once started and I have used it for at an hour or more since this problem started.

my westerbeke has this feature. no bleeding necessary. fuel pump takes care of it. i turn glow plugs on for 10 seconds .. after that there is never a hesitation .. even in cold weather.
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Old 13-11-2020, 18:53   #6
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Re: troubleshoot westerbeke starting problem

As Gonesail said:
"turn glow plugs on for 10 seconds " Then crank?
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Old 13-11-2020, 19:05   #7
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Re: troubleshoot westerbeke starting problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by skkeith View Post
This model has a 'fuel lift pump', which means I believe 'self bleeding', but please correct me if I am wrong. The engine runs fine once started and I have used it for at an hour or more since this problem started.
Your engine may be self bleeding but not because it has 'fuel lift pump'.

Almost all engines have a fuel lift pump (usually just called a 'fuel pump'), it does not mean they are self bleeding.

The terminology of 'fuel lift pump' just means the fuel pump will 'lift' the fuel from a tank situated below the level of the engine and deliver it to the injection pump.
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Old 14-11-2020, 10:34   #8
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Re: troubleshoot westerbeke starting problem

I could not find anything about bleeding fuel lines in the manuals I have. I did not get an answer about still needing to bleed after it has already run. Is it not true that any air would be purged out if the entire is running for a good long time? If not true, how should I do the bleed procedure?


On the startup, I hold the glow plug / fuel lift pump button for at least 15 seconds before cranking. Same procedure as always. When the engine is warm fires right up immediately. When cold 17 seconds of cranking.


p.s. how to check glow plugs?
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Old 14-11-2020, 10:48   #9
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Re: troubleshoot westerbeke starting problem

You donít have air in the fuel....stop worrying about that.

Glow plugs are simple devices.
First make sure youíve got voltage to them
Second make sure each one has continuity to ground.

Iíd bet that while mucking about on the fuel leak you inadvertently disconnected the glow plugs.

Either that or introduced a slow air leak into the fuel that allows air to enter when the engine sits for an extended time.

But Iím putting my bet on the power to the glow pligs
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Old 14-11-2020, 10:54   #10
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Re: troubleshoot westerbeke starting problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by skkeith View Post
I could not find anything about bleeding fuel lines in the manuals I have. I did not get an answer about still needing to bleed after it has already run. Is it not true that any air would be purged out if the entire is running for a good long time? If not true, how should I do the bleed procedure?


On the startup, I hold the glow plug / fuel lift pump button for at least 15 seconds before cranking. Same procedure as always. When the engine is warm fires right up immediately. When cold 17 seconds of cranking.


p.s. how to check glow plugs?
Even self-bleeding systems need to be bled, but if it has been running and is not running rough, I don't think you need to bleed it. Sounds like a glow plug issue - here's the bit from the tech manual:
Attached Files
File Type: pdf glow plugs.pdf (70.3 KB, 8 views)
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Old 14-11-2020, 13:04   #11
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Re: troubleshoot westerbeke starting problem

You may have a problem with the start/stop solenoid. As they age, the coils tend to weaken and when the glow plug is activated the solenoid does not pull in completely. This can be more pronounced on try to restart a hot unit. Ask me how I know..


You may need a new unit or start by making sure the plunger pulls in completely on activating the glow plug. If not, it can be adjusted. If that seems tow work, I would suggest getting a new solenoid as this will continue to worsen.
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Old 14-11-2020, 19:23   #12
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Re: troubleshoot westerbeke starting problem

Here is a service manual that tells you how to check glowplugs,


https://www.westerbeke.com/technical...h%20manual.pdf
If glowplugs ok.....



Interestingly it says your engine is self-bleeding. It was a surprise to me as it uses a very similar Bosch injection pump to our Yanmar which is definitely not self bleeding. Gotta take the manuals word for it I guess


But if you want to try a little bleed assistance...



What I usually do is crack the nut on the injector line at the injector end on one cylinder at a time whilst engine is running on multi-cylinder engines if I have no specific bleed instructions. This will harm nothing, its only a bit of spilt diesel, dunno if it will help.
Possible you have tiny air leak as suggested in post 9 causing pump to lose its prime whilst sitting.
Please post back if you find the problem
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Old 16-11-2020, 10:16   #13
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troubleshoot westerbeke starting problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by skkeith View Post
I could not find anything about bleeding fuel lines in the manuals I have. I did not get an answer about still needing to bleed after it has already run. Is it not true that any air would be purged out if the entire is running for a good long time? If not true, how should I do the bleed procedure?


On the startup, I hold the glow plug / fuel lift pump button for at least 15 seconds before cranking. Same procedure as always. When the engine is warm fires right up immediately. When cold 17 seconds of cranking.


p.s. how to check glow plugs?


Itís the glow plugs, the first check before getting the manual out is the fast check.
Do the following...set the battery monitor to amps. Take note of the amps.... I know I know Stu is going to be along in a moment to say I am using the wrong terminology. Ok, I digress....take note of the amps and then push the preheat button and note the amps...no change means glow plugs not working as getting no power. Biggish positive Change means glow plugs getting power, so push the preheat for longer and see if it makes a difference.
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Old 21-11-2020, 16:38   #14
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Re: troubleshoot westerbeke starting problem

Thanks all!.... saga continues. Turns out solo diagnostics of this problem is difficult, always someone needs to hold the warm up button and someone needs to measure amps or volts. Had no helper so I held the warm up button for at least 15 seconds then put my hand on the plugs and felt no warmth whatsoever. I don't know if this is a good test or not. Someone please verify if the plug is dead cold to the touch, after 15 seconds or more warmup, is this proof the plug is not warming, or would the plug body not warm appreciably? I have already verified that extended warming periods DO NOT change the time to fire.

If the plugs are not warming I suspect the 'warm up solenoid' or control system, since I cannot find anything disconnected anywhere, or any shorts. Testing for breaks solo is going to require some forethought...
I was thinking to test this by jumping ( with jumper cables ) the glow plug bus to 12V+ and trying to start her up. Is this crazy? (I will disconnect the jumpers after 30 seconds).

I did measure the resistance of the glow plugs 'in the block' which was .8 ohms not quite the factory spec, but probably fine I guess. I wanted to check if there was voltage but I was solo, so I need some helpers or some jumper cables...

If it is the solenoid or control system or any of the wiring harness, I am going to have to cut a new access hatch just to look at it. My aching back and broken tone generator tell me I could possibly live with non functioning glow plugs. Is this hurting the motor somehow? 17 seconds cranking is not a big thing for me, I recently replaced the lift muffler and associated exhaust system and I know I can do 17 seconds and not worry about flooding... Plus I am marina bound wannabe and the compression keeps for a day sail.
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Old 21-11-2020, 17:12   #15
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Re: troubleshoot westerbeke starting problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by skkeith View Post
T..........
I was thinking to test this by jumping ( with jumper cables ) the glow plug bus to 12V+ and trying to start her up. Is this crazy? (I will disconnect the jumpers after 30 seconds). ..........
Not crazy, it is a good way to check. You could also check the current draw using the same method. If the current draw to the glow plugs is close to the book numbers then you can be fairly sure they are working.

I haven't seen a glow plug that gets warm enough (externally) to notice by hand, maybe there are some though.

When working solo with your voltmeter etc, get yourself a bunch of leads with alligator clips on both ends - they will soon become your best friends.
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