Westerbeke 30B motor clicking, high amp draw - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 12 Old 07-11-2014 Thread Starter
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Westerbeke 30B motor clicking, high amp draw

Hi all,

Just got a Shiny new to me Pearson 30 that was retrofitted with a mid 90's westerbeke 30-B 3 cylinder inboard diesel. On our maiden voyage we sailed her home and the battery died, which killed the engine. I'm thinking ok alternator must be bad cause that should never happen. But then after installing a fresh AGM battery I notice that every time we turn on the battery switch there is a clicking sound from the engine compartment somewhere too far to stick my head in all the way. There is also an amp draw that makes my multimeter alarm- so greater than 10amps dc. This is before I turn on any switches on the main breaker panel.

So, what clicks consistently once or twice a second and draws > 10 amps?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 12 Old 07-11-2014
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Re: Westerbeke 30B motor clicking, high amp draw

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Originally Posted by mkeSailor View Post
Hi all,

Just got a Shiny new to me Pearson 30 that was retrofitted with a mid 90's westerbeke 30-B 3 cylinder inboard diesel. On our maiden voyage we sailed her home and the battery died, which killed the engine. I'm thinking ok alternator must be bad cause that should never happen. But then after installing a fresh AGM battery I notice that every time we turn on the battery switch there is a clicking sound from the engine compartment somewhere too far to stick my head in all the way. There is also an amp draw that makes my multimeter alarm- so greater than 10amps dc. This is before I turn on any switches on the main breaker panel.

So, what clicks consistently once or twice a second and draws > 10 amps?

Thanks!
Are you sure that this isn't an Atomic 4?

A diesel engine does not require any electrical power to run.

The two things that will CLICK on a diesel are the starter solenoid, and (if you have one) the electric fuel pump.


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post #3 of 12 Old 07-11-2014
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Re: Westerbeke 30B motor clicking, high amp draw

There is a circuit breaker at the rear of the engine, the button is facing forward, on the starboard side of the engine right beside the fuel filter and solenoid. Did you check it? You could have a short in the wire harness somewhere. Check the wire harness and follow it around the engine looking for any exposed wire. I hope this helps.
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post #4 of 12 Old 07-12-2014
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Re: Westerbeke 30B motor clicking, high amp draw

Fuel pump. WB 30's have and electric fuel pump as opposed to the normal mechanical pumps driven by the cam shaft. If you don't have a manual for the engine you can download one from their website.

As to the 10amp draw, should be 1 amp check the scale on your multimeter. If it really is 10 then you have a short draining juice.
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post #5 of 12 Old 07-14-2014
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Re: Westerbeke 30B motor clicking, high amp draw

Chuckles is right, the fuel pump makes a clicking noise as it is electric and self-bleeding. However, the clicking should only be heard when you turn on the ignition switch, and according to the OP, the noise is heard when he turns the battery switch.
I would pay close attention to this, just to be on the safe side - a short in the engine room could be catastrophic.
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Re: Westerbeke 30B motor clicking, high amp draw

Sounds like an electric pulse pump Should not be wired except thru the engine control switch. Also would explain why engine died when battery died.If it's really 10 amps, something should get pretty warm pretty fast. I'd stick my head in and learn about the boat.
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post #7 of 12 Old 07-14-2014
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Re: Westerbeke 30B motor clicking, high amp draw

Are you turning the ignition switch to the off position after you kill the engine using the T-handle. ( engine kill) Or are you fitted with a key shutoff?

If not the pump will continue to run, and the engine instruments will remain on.
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post #8 of 12 Old 07-14-2014
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Re: Westerbeke 30B motor clicking, high amp draw

I wonder if the 'idiot' buzzer is broken and he has the ignition switch in the 'on' position even though he is sailing. While I was trying to get my w21 started over the past few days I temporarily unplugged the wire from the buzzer because it was annoying me. That position activates the fuel lift pump (and the buzzer if connected) and is certainly what is causing the clicking, but I'd be surprised if it drew 10 amps.


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post #9 of 12 Old 07-14-2014
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Re: Westerbeke 30B motor clicking, high amp draw

Also be sure your glow button is not stuck. They are fairly prone to sticking as they age..

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post #10 of 12 Old 07-15-2014
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Re: Westerbeke 30B motor clicking, high amp draw

No experience with your engine. However, VW diesels I have owned & worked on had a fuel supply solenoid powered by 12volts, but 10 amps is way more than they would draw. Glow plugs may draw about 10 amps, if your engine has them? If so & they are fed by a solenoid, maybe it is bad?

Maybe a defective starter solenoid?

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