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Old 11-25-2013
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CS36T Fuel filter Westerbeke 44B

I did some engine maintenance for first time on my new to me CS36. The boat was repowered with a Westerbeke 44B in 2009. Fuel tank is original.

When replacing the fuel filters I shut off the fuel via a valve that is inline between the tank send and the primary filter/water separator. All good there. No problem draining and replacing that filter.

When I went to replace the engine mounted fuel filter, there was diesel pouring out of the filter and I could not get it to stop. Send valve still shut off and primary filter off so the fuel was not coming from the send, rather coming back from the injectors and the return to the tank. I thought there might just be some residual fuel coming back from the lines but after filling up a bucket with nearly half a gallon of fuel, I figured that the fuel must just be siphoning somehow from the tank return and was not gonna stop.

Is this normal? I managed to switch out the filter while the fuel was leaking but that was messy, and that doesn't seem right. I looked for any other shutoff valves but found none. Is there something I didn't do before I started replacing these filters? It's my first time working on a diesel engine. Any suggestions?
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Old 11-25-2013
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Re: CS36T Fuel filter Westerbeke 44B

I wonder if there's a pickup tube on the return line connection in the tank? It shouldn't need one, but would support the idea that you were syphoning fuel back out the tank.. How do the elevations compare??
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Re: CS36T Fuel filter Westerbeke 44B

Hey Faster, yes I wondered the same thing and I thought that when the engine was replaced that maybe the installer swapped the return and send? but they seem to be correct according to the original boat manual and I'm not sure the engine would run properly anyway if that was the case. I can't physically check them as there isn't enough space to remove the connections easily. I don't see why there would be a pickup tube on the return. The tank is higher than the engine mounted fuel filter.
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Re: CS36T Fuel filter Westerbeke 44B

.. and obviously if the installer had swapped them, without a pickup tube the engine wouldn't run very long...

Is the tank really full? Maybe there's a short 'stub' tube to cleanly drop the returning fuel, but the tank's full enough that it's acting as a pickup? Esp full, the elevations would seem to support easy syphoning..
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Old 11-25-2013
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Re: CS36T Fuel filter Westerbeke 44B

#1 If the return has a tank pick up install an inline shut off valve. They did not ship from the factory with a return pick up.. Is it possible the tank is just really full?

#2 Get yourself a pair of hose pinch off pliers and clamp the return line when changing the filter.. EVERY boat should have a pair of hose pinch pliers..... Harbor Freight has a low budget pair for about $10.00...

#3 Lucky for you that you have a Mitsubishi/Westerbeke because bleeding is electric and fully automatic. I just jump the fuel pump pos out to the solenoid pos until it is bled. This prevents burning out the glow plugs when bleeding with the factory wiring.
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Old 11-26-2013
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Re: CS36T Fuel filter Westerbeke 44B

Thanks for your help guys, makes me more confident that I'm not missing something stupid that I was supposed to turn off, drain or adjust prior to changing the fuel filters. The manual only states turning off the fuel send. Tank was only 1/4 full, so it's a bit puzzling, but it sounds like the fuel must somehow be siphoning from the return.

Maine Sail, great idea to install a shut off valve on the return. I plan to change the filter frequently and I don't want to go through that mess again. And a pair of hose pinch pliers to have on board is also a good idea. As far as burning out the glow plugs, will this happen pretty quickly if I don't do what you suggest? Doesn't sound too hard but is a little beyond my level of understanding as to how and why to do this. So just jump the positive on the fuel pump to the positive on the solenoid? How do I know when it's bled?
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Re: CS36T Fuel filter Westerbeke 44B

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nias View Post
Thanks for your help guys, makes me more confident that I'm not missing something stupid that I was supposed to turn off, drain or adjust prior to changing the fuel filters. The manual only states turning off the fuel send. Tank was only 1/4 full, so it's a bit puzzling, but it sounds like the fuel must somehow be siphoning from the return.

Maine Sail, great idea to install a shut off valve on the return. I plan to change the filter frequently and I don't want to go through that mess again. And a pair of hose pinch pliers to have on board is also a good idea. As far as burning out the glow plugs, will this happen pretty quickly if I don't do what you suggest? Doesn't sound too hard but is a little beyond my level of understanding as to how and why to do this. So just jump the positive on the fuel pump to the positive on the solenoid? How do I know when it's bled?
The glow plugs on these engines are rated for 10-14 seconds and this is figuring a single small starting battery. If using a large house bank they could be at 800C / 1470F in less than 10 seconds. Press too long and you cook them, a very common problem......

Unplug the fuel pump pos (usually blue wires) and insert an alligator jumper lead into the friction fit terminal. Now connect that jumper to the live side of the solenoid and wait until the tone of the clicking fuel pump changes and becomes consistent.. Done......

While glow plugs are cheap and easy to change out best to just not blow them...... I just recently blew all four of mine with a LiFePO4 battery bank by not shortening the glow time from 10 seconds to about 3-4 seconds.... The Li bank ate them for lunch even at just a 10 second push because the voltage does not sag on Li like it does on lead acid.......
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