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post #11 of 19 Old 07-01-2013
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Re: Westerbeke/Universal Diesel Problems

Do you have a water seperation primary? Did you drain the bottom before changing the filter? Might want to drain the whole bowl and fill manually with new fuel see what happens?

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post #12 of 19 Old 07-01-2013
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Re: Westerbeke/Universal Diesel Problems

Actually, forgot you said you had a vacuum gauge. Well now, the plot thickens. Got to be fuel delivery though, nothing else else fits the symptoms. Good luck with her.

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post #13 of 19 Old 07-01-2013
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Re: Westerbeke/Universal Diesel Problems

yes it's a little screen on the bottom of the tube. a real PITA but comes out with the fitting. We replaced my whole old tank that was seeping fuel on the wood supports under it. Whole job wasn't bad at all. the whining and moaning from me because it had to be done was endless! LOL

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post #14 of 19 Old 07-01-2013
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Re: Westerbeke/Universal Diesel Problems

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Originally Posted by stowe18 View Post
I can’t get the marine diesel engine (3 cylinder Westerbeke/Universal 25 HP) on my sailboat to keep running. When cold, it starts ok and runs for about 1 – 2 minutes, then sputters and shuts off. It runs a little longer at low RPM than high RPM. After this short run and sputtering off, the engine won’t start again, it just sputters with the assistance of the starter. After the engine has sat a while, 20 minutes or so, the same thing happens again. The starter cranks the engine over just fine. I’ve thoroughly checked the fuel system and it seems to work ok. I have done the following:

Replaced the Raycor prefilter coming out of the fuel tank (the fuel looked clean but I replaced it anyway)
Replaced the fuel lift pump (the “old” one was only about 3 years old, looked like new and seemed to pump just fine)
When the glow plug button is pressed, one can hear the fuel lift pump working, just like on the original.
Replaced the fuel filter between the fuel lift pump and the injector pump
Bled the air (the system is supposed to be self bleeding, but I hot wired the lifter pump and manually bled anyway at the fuel filter between the lift pump and injector pump)
Pulled off lines between injector pump and injectors and observed fuel coming out of injector pump, no air bubbles.
Opened up the injectors and cleaned the jets – they were a little sooty, but not overly so.
I hot wired the lifter pump and heard fuel flowing through the overflow lines at the top of the injectors and dropping back into the fuel tank, as normal.
I have a vacuum gage between the Raycor filter and the fuel lift pump, and the gage shows 0 psi, no problem there.

What is the problem? The engine was very reliable till the onset of this problem from one outing to the next. I can’t think of ANYTHING we did between outings that should cause this. Is there a thermostat or something else somewhere that is shutting down the system? If so, what is it and where is it on this engine? The engine runs for such a short time that it is still cold to the touch. HELP!!!
I would say that it sounds like you are loosing the prime due to one of two things, either you are getting air into the system, which could be something as simple as an o-ring on a fitting or as complicated as something going on in the fuel pump itself, and without hearing it run it would be hard to tell from here. The other possibility is that you are somehow pulling a vacuum on the tank, if you have recently changed the filler cap, or something has blocked the vent that allows the air to enter the tank as the fuel is pulled out.

This just sounds like a fuel issue where you are loosing prime some way, and I would hope that it is possibly air getting into the system somewhere easy to fix, or something simple like a stopped up vent or fuel lines, because if not it may be tough to figure out without checking pressure at the lines.

I stuck the technical manual and the operators manual on here for you, just in case you do not have them already, which I am sure you do, but maybe someone else will read this and want them.

http://www.westerbeke.com/onlinemanu...hnical_man.pdf

http://www.westerbeke.com/OnlineManu...erator_man.pdf

It is good to learn from your mistakes, but much better to learn from the mistakes of others...
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post #15 of 19 Old 07-01-2013
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Re: Westerbeke/Universal Diesel Problems

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The fuel pickup tube in your tank. check it. very overlooked and almost always sludge clogged, even in clean tanks.
Just remove the screen. I removed it from both our Sabres. It was one of the first things that I did on Victoria when we bought her. Let the Raycor do it's job and catch gunk, it's far easier to clean the Raycor than to go spelunking for the stupid pickup screen. After I ripped it off our current boat, the amount of junk that the engine sucked up was amazing - it was a wonder that the engine ran at all.

Your problem sounds like a classic fuel starvation issue.

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post #16 of 19 Old 07-01-2013
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Re: Westerbeke/Universal Diesel Problems

Long shot here - would welcome thoughts from others: So far we have focused on the fuel system, which is the logical place to start. I know when I filled my tank to full for a cruise, the racor picked up loads of gunk (presumably from the top of the tank - I don't often fill it all the way!). Not a big fan of the loose gasket theory, at least not downstream from the pump; I had a loose o-ring, and you knew immediately as diesel squirted out...but upstream, maybe.

Anyway, as an alternative to the fuel theory, I seem to remember somewhere a guy who had a blockage on the exhaust; the engine would start fine, run for a few minutes, then lose power and die. Would not restart immediately, but wait a while, it would start again, then lose power again. Basically a blockage in the exhaust was causing a buildup in pressure; when it reached a certain level the engine would stop. Wait, the pressure leaked out.

Probably a longshot. Some engines had a return valve in the exhaust to prevent water getting sucked into the engine; it can get stuck. And the pipe can get blocked. So are you having a strong exhaust/cooling water discharge?
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post #17 of 19 Old 07-02-2013
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Re: Westerbeke/Universal Diesel Problems

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Is there a thermostat or something else somewhere that is shutting down the system?
I have a 30b Westerbeke, 2002 model..3 cylinder, 25hp, red in color with a Mitsubishi block...I see in latest post, it appears we may have different 25 WBs, at least a different paint job...disconnected or erratic connections to oil pressure switch on my model, will cause almost identical symptoms you are describing..been there, done that... cheap fix if that's it...good luck
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post #18 of 19 Old 07-29-2013 Thread Starter
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Westerbeke/Universal Diesel Problems

Hello all..


I wound up replacing the oil sender and the oil pressure switch- and that did nothing. Had a mechanic come (i was out of ideas) and he was just about to rip apart the engine after about 2 hours of scrounging around.. I had one more idea before he did that. Look at the vacuum gauge. That was the problem. It was leaking air into the fuel supply. So I took it off and stuck a screwdriver into the hose and engine started. Works fine! I guess a lot of maintenance work was done in the process..

Thanks for all the suggestions!!
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post #19 of 19 Old 07-29-2013
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Re: Westerbeke/Universal Diesel Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by stowe18 View Post
Hello all..


I wound up replacing the oil sender and the oil pressure switch- and that did nothing. Had a mechanic come (i was out of ideas) and he was just about to rip apart the engine after about 2 hours of scrounging around.. I had one more idea before he did that. Look at the vacuum gauge. That was the problem. It was leaking air into the fuel supply. So I took it off and stuck a screwdriver into the hose and engine started. Works fine! I guess a lot of maintenance work was done in the process..

Thanks for all the suggestions!!
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