There is NO third fuel filter into the lift pump as is indicated with the Westerbeke 27 manual. The "stock" lift pump has been replaced by one without a fuel filter. (Not too pleased about this...)
Fuel Tank is approx 5 yrs old.
Changed Filters Primary and Secondary 3 Weeks ago
Ran for approx. 50 hours trouble free before the first problem (see below)
Crossed Albemarle Sound in 25-30 kts dead into wind. Perfomed perfectly.
Status of Fuel in tank before December is unknown (just bought the boat). (I now know I should have polished fuel system before setting out but I didn't...)
2 days ago - the first indication of a problem
Sailing up Chesapeake in 15 - 20 needed to drop sail and start engine (for another unrelated reason).
Had already been run for approx 35 hours trouble free on this trip.
Ran fine for 1 hour - seas 3-4ft.
Engine died... lost power then died completely
Changed Primary and Secondary filter.
Attempted to bleed air out at injectors. (I wasn't sure if I did it correctly)
Restarted - It took approx 10 restarts to get it running. Ran rough and would every 10-15min lose 200 rpm then "slowly" creep back up to "set level". (Approx 2100 rpm)
We headed in to Marina. The last 2 hours of the trip the engine ran perfectly. (Calm seas near the shore at that time)
We filled up at the Marina and ran it for 90min at the dock. (in forward at 2000 rpm). It ran perfectly.
At that time we drained the water separator (looked good, maybe 1 or 2 drops of water)
We disconnected the input to the primary filter and blew air in the hose to ensure 2 things. 1) That the tank vents weren't clogged. 2) That the line itself wasn't clogged. The line blew free and clear... Made nice bubbles in the tank.
Headed out at dawn the next day.. Ran perfectly for 5 hours. When the seas started picking up it lost 200 rpm and creeped back up to setting again. It did this 4 times. (again we were at just under 3/4 tank).
We did two things. 1) topped off the tank with diesel. 2) blew again on input hose to fuel tank to make sure no clogs and clear vent.
Started engine it ran well for 1 hour then lost 200 rpm and creeped back up to set level. It did this 3-4 times. Seas were 2-3 feet with the occasional 4 ft.
(see yesterday's wind at about 4pm)
NDBC - Station COVM2
We had too much wind on the nose and headed into a Marina (on the Patuxtent).
Winds too high to leave now and we wondering what our next step could be.
Change primary and secondary again.
According to Westerbeke manuals these engines don't need to be "bled". I'm really not sure if I buy that. Thoughts?
Run at the dock for a while to see if the air is out of the fuel lines.
Option we are discussing:
Take the fuel line off the inlet to the primary and plum it directly into a spare diesel tank with known good fuel / clean tank. Thoughts?
Is it typical, in high seas to have this symptom of 200 rpm power loss?
Is it typical, after filter changes to have this symptom of 200 rpm power loss?
If a lift pump is not operational, is it possible to have enough "weight" of fuel to provide diesel to the injector pump?
If a filter is clogged, isn't that independant of seas/wave height? Won't the flow just "stop"?
I appreciate any insight, or ideas you may have.