Westerbeke W30 won't run - no fuel - SailNet Community
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 04-17-2018 Thread Starter
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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?

Dave
Vancouver, BC
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post #2 of 7 Old 04-17-2018
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Re: Westerbeke W30 won't run - no fuel

Did you check your tank vent line?
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post #3 of 7 Old 04-17-2018
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Re: Westerbeke W30 won't run - no fuel

My m30 has a bleed screw on the starboard side...reached from the front...size of a nickle.
Returns air to the tank.
Open it...turn counter clock...start engine.
When engine has proper sound...close screw.
Youre done
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Re: Westerbeke W30 won't run - no fuel

Quote:
Originally Posted by RegisteredUser View Post
My m30 has a bleed screw on the starboard side...reached from the front...size of a nickle.
Returns air to the tank.
Open it...turn counter clock...start engine.
When engine has proper sound...close screw.
Youre done
Where is this screw? Is it on the filter housing, or on the injector pump someplace. My manual indicates that there's a bleed screw someplace on the injector pump, but I need to empty out my entire port cockpit locker and remove an access panel to be able to see it properly.

I looked around the web to see if I could find a picture of the filter housing I have, but I failed. Basically it's a racor-style spin-on housing with a manual prime pump. I remove a plug to vent the outside (dirty) of the filter, then pump until fuel flows out. This part works, I get plenty of fuel from the tank, I don't think it's a vacuum issue with the tank. Then I replace the dirty side plug and remove the clean side plug. I pump some more and the filter fills up with fuel and flows out the top. This part DOES NOT work, it is literally like I'm pulling against a vacuum when I operate the plunger-style pump. Eventually with many hundreds of pumping actions, the filter did fill up, but man it was a lot of work, like the filter was completely clogged.
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post #5 of 7 Old 04-17-2018
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Re: Westerbeke W30 won't run - no fuel

I forgot...you might have V drive.
Looking at the front.....
Its near top of engine on the left side...by pump.
Knurled wheel/knob thingy...youll see it np.
Probably just a bit of air in the lines...should start right up.
When engine gets full throat sound...just a few seconds...close screw knob.
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Re: Westerbeke W30 won't run - no fuel

Thanks! I will look for it, I was prepared to have to take things apart, if it's just loosening a screw I will be very happy.
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Re: Westerbeke W30 won't run - no fuel

Pre-Fill the filter with Dexron I or II (no higher) ATF to help lube the pump and clean any gum/soap that developed from having water in the system while your at it. My filter holder has a purge screw on top of it and I just use a spare unused epoxy syringe to fill it to the top with Dexron I/II at every oil change. Have not had to purge air from the system since I started doing this.
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