Join Date: Jan 2014
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About to buy, nagging engine issue - seeking advice
So we're about to pull the trigger on an awesome 38' ketch with a freshly rebuilt (1.5hrs) Westerbeke 40 (really just a perkins 4-108), but there was a issue with engine that came up during the sea trial that's been nagging me. The day before the sea trial, the owner had come to the boat to show us some things, including starting the engine. It was about 45 degrees out, after being around freezing the previous night. The engine started immediately, with hardly any cranking, then ran perfectly, with no smoke. We ran it for about 20 mins, so it got up to temp. But the next day, we couldn't get it started for the sea trial (the owner wasn't there) after quite a bit of cranking. We called the owner, and he said to just give it a little spray of ether. I was pretty shocked at that, and so was the surveyor - seems to me a fresh rebuild shouldn't need ether. But we gave it a bit, and of course it started right up, and ran perfectly thru the sea trial, no smoke, no overheating.
The next day, it wasn't starting again, but I discovered the pre-heater (duh), and used it for about 30 secs, and was able to get it started after 10-15 secs of cranking. (also - and I don't know if it's related - that morning I fixed a small drip fuel leak at a fuel pressure sensor. ) I ran it for about 10 mins, then shut it down for about 2 hrs, and then tried it again, and it took some pre-heat and about 5 secs of cranking.
So my question, is this normal for a freshly rebuilt Perkins in cold weather? Should I be concerned enough to hold up the sale and get a compression test ? The boat isn't nearby, so I can't do any troubleshooting.