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Westerbeke W30 won't run - no fuel
Well, it's springtime on the West Coast. I was down to the boat on the weekend, and my engine wouldn't run... every spring it's something.
It's ancient Westerbeke W30, original equipment on my CS36T circa 1981. Ran great when I serviced it in the fall, changed oil and filter, changed fuel filter / water separator. When I went to start it, it sounded like normal. 10 or 15s of cranking with the odd "cough" followed by the engine finally catching. Normally at this point the engine will sputter for a few seconds and settle down to idling. However, this weekend it ran for a few seconds, then died. Subsequent cranking yielded no "coughs" indicating combusion was imminent... in short, it seemed like it wasn't getting any fuel.
I drained down my brand new combo oil-water separator / primary filter and found that there was a lot of water in it. Much more than I've seen during previous changes. Weird, as it's in my logbook that I just put it in at the end of last October, and I maybe ran the engine half an hour after installing it. I drained it and I went to reprime. I could pull fuel from the tank and fill up the space on the outside of the filter no issue using the priming pump on top of the racor-style filter holder. Once I put the vent plug back in, I found I was having a hard time pulling fuel through the filter. Took forever to fill the inner cavity of the filter and it felt like every throw of the plunger was pulling a big vacuum rather than smoothly sucking fuel through the filter. With lots of pumping (like hundreds of ups and downs of the little plunger) I could get fuel to drip slowly at the inlet to the secondary filter, and then some fuel at the injectors, but it wasn't dripping like it usually does... generally every time I throw the plunger on the pump I see a pulse of fuel come out of the threads of the fitting I'm bleeding.
I've picked up new filter and will install this weekend, but was wondering if anyone had any guesses as to what may have happened to my filter? I generally fill the tank completely going into the winter but apparently did not do this last year... it's only 3/4 full. Could sitting full of water have had any long-term effect on the ability of the fuel filter to let fuel through?