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c40eb 11-02-2008 07:37 AM

Westerbeke 20B Two Impeller change
I recently bought a boat with a Westerbeke 20B Two (18hp diesel) engine (1988).

I am in the process of winterizing it but am stumped at how to remove the impeller.

I have been unable to find any definitive info on how this is done for this engine, and I do not yet have the shop manual (on the way).

It seems, to get at the impeller, I have to remove the oil filter which makes no sense (can't imagine having to do this just to check the impeller).

Or, I have to remove the water pump...but in order to do that, I have to remove the oil filter!

Does anyone have experience with this engine? If so, any advice would be appreciated.

Also, assuming I can even get at the impeller once the cover is off, I am thinking of installing a Speedseal cover, as this would greatly facilitate impeller maintenance.

Thanks all for your help.

timebandit 11-03-2008 08:18 AM

It does seem like that could be a real problem if you had to change the impeller at sea.

Got pictures??


camaraderie 11-03-2008 09:21 AM

Here's the manual...WHAT A have to remove the entire pump to change the impeller.

c40eb 11-03-2008 09:30 AM

Thanks Cam, that is close, though according to this manual, there are only 3 hex head screws holding the housing to the cover...while on my engine, there are 6. I did not realize the Universal & Westerbeke 20B Two were identical.

Still, it does seem to agree with what I see, and while I think that procedure is a little nutty, given the impeller is the most common point of failure, I still am stumped.

I tried to remove the pump, but as I was sliding it of its mounting bolts, I can't get it all the way off as the outlet from the pump hits the fuel lift pump and won't let the sea water pump off the bolts.

Very weird. I'll try again...maybe I can wiggle it off.

I am getting a Speedseal cover...this is just nutty.

timebandit 11-03-2008 11:00 PM

It might be worth the investment to get the remolt oil filter shown on page 17 of that manual.


c40eb 11-05-2008 07:30 AM

Well, I managed to get the cover off and the impeller out. I did it by hiring Plastic Man to contort his arm and hand to squeeze between the cover and oil filter.

Actually, I found a very small box end wrench (6mm) which barely fit over the hex head nuts. They were fairly loose...testament to the difficulty others have had, maybe?

Managed to wiggle the impeller out using needle-nose pliers. Of course, it looked brand new.

I am definitely installing a Speedseal cover, and possibly that oil filter extension...cause I just don't want to contemplate having to do that in any kind of sea...sheesh.

Thanks to all who chimed in...

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