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TOPIC: Westerbeke trouble; over heating.

Westerbeke trouble; over heating. 04 Sep 2017 03:00 #1

  • scubadiver#3988
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Advice needed on an 8.0kw generator.
Like every single time, I boarded the boat and started the generator to charge the batteries (I'm on a mooring right now). I peek over the side to confirm water discharge and look at the gauges for proper operation. The water discharge appeared normal. After about 40 minutes of running the generator shut down by itself. Ran fine for 2 hrs last weekend. I knew fuel was not the problem. I felt the raw water pump with my back of my hand and it was very hot. Too hot to touch. I decided to rebuild the raw water pump and started the engine again. Now a week later, the engine started right up. I peeked over the side and the discharge looks normal. After reaching 180 degrees, I removed the fresh water fill cap and watched the water circulate. The temp gauge reached 200 degrees and I shut the generator down.
Here are my questions -
What is the normal operating temperature for this generator? (Could the overheat sensor be faulty)
Can the fresh water pump be tested for proper operation without removal?
Am I getting in over my head to clean out the heat exchanger or is it pretty straight forward?
Thanks for any advice.

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Westerbeke trouble; over heating. 04 Sep 2017 03:57 #2

  • iceclimber
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www.westerbeke.com/documentlibrary.htm

You can find the manual for your generator here. If you list the exact model, might be easier to help you. I assume you checked the strainer, anti freeze etc, pretty sure your generator should be operating at 180 degrees. When you say "rebuilt the pump" does that mean a new impeller ? Your symptoms sound like a worn impeller. If you suspect your heat exchanger, pull it and take to a radiator shop and have it pressure tested. They are relatively simple devices and tend to work or not.

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Westerbeke trouble; over heating. 04 Sep 2017 04:05 #3

  • cosmo777
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to me - a hot raw water pump means a lack of seawater. So as mentioned, either the sea strainer is plugged, or the intake/scupper had a blockage. I would check both, and then replace the impeller (checking for loose pieces from previous owners not getting all the impeller chunks out?).

You are probably seeing an overtemp alarm shutting your genny down, you just need to trace to why - normal operation will keep temps in check.

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Westerbeke trouble; over heating. 04 Sep 2017 05:07 #4

  • vinomaker
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Every time I have had an issue with my Westerbeke overheating ( 200+ degrees) it has been the saltwater strainer was not sealing properly so no raw water was being sucked in (which fried the impeller) or it has been the impeller needed replacing.

I would start with the raw water intake and the impeller.

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Westerbeke trouble; over heating. 04 Sep 2017 08:52 #5

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scubadiver#3988 wrote: Advice needed on an 8.0kw generator.
Like every single time, I boarded the boat and started the generator to charge the batteries (I'm on a mooring right now). I peek over the side to confirm water discharge and look at the gauges for proper operation. The water discharge appeared normal. After about 40 minutes of running the generator shut down by itself. Ran fine for 2 hrs last weekend. I knew fuel was not the problem. I felt the raw water pump with my back of my hand and it was very hot. Too hot to touch. I decided to rebuild the raw water pump and started the engine again. Now a week later, the engine started right up. I peeked over the side and the discharge looks normal. After reaching 180 degrees, I removed the fresh water fill cap and watched the water circulate. The temp gauge reached 200 degrees and I shut the generator down.
Here are my questions -
What is the normal operating temperature for this generator? (Could the overheat sensor be faulty)
Can the fresh water pump be tested for proper operation without removal?
Am I getting in over my head to clean out the heat exchanger or is it pretty straight forward?
Thanks for any advice.


Normal temp would be ~175.

Fresh Water Pumps almost never cause overheating - normally they just start leaking.

A lot of WB's You can visually inspect the heat exchanger for blockage by taking the caps off. If its clogged with scale, take to rad shop. I've had mine clogged with impeller parts and zinc bits before but I was able to unclog with it still installed.

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Westerbeke trouble; over heating. 04 Sep 2017 15:30 #6

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Removing the heat exchanger is easy and should be part of regular maintenance so I'd start there. There are two clamps that get unscrewed and two hoses to disconnect. You might want to disconnect the coolant hose at the highest point to avoid an antifreeze puddle. Once the cylinder is off, remove the endcaps and the core. The core is many tubes often plugged with zinc that has sloughed off the anode. Best is have a rad shop boil it out but you can use a welding rod to ream each tube. Hold the core lengthway to a bright light to determine how clear the tubes are. Compressed air or high pressure water helps.

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Westerbeke trouble; over heating. 04 Sep 2017 22:28 #7

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Thanks for all the help.
Impeller was whole when removed. Sea strainer is clear and plenty of water is coming out through exhaust.
I ordered a fresh water pump due to the age of the old one. Old one not leaking. I know Confucius says "if it works, don't fix it" but age has got me concerned.
I will try to remove the heat exchanger.

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Westerbeke trouble; over heating. 05 Sep 2017 02:26 #8

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Scubadiver, if you have plenty of water coming out the exhaust, it would seem the impeller and heat exchanger are OK. Before changing out the engine coolant pump, just check out the thermostat. If that's not opening correctly, that will certainly cause the temp to rise and shut it down.

I've attached a Westerbeke parts/diagram manual page 46 has the thermostat info. Good luck with it. Cheers

www.westerbeke.com/parts%20manual/48220%...a%20parts%20list.pdf

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Westerbeke trouble; over heating. 05 Sep 2017 04:04 #9

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read up on this, and with a salt boat it may be the cooling passages inside the generator. You can flush them.

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Westerbeke trouble; over heating. 06 Sep 2017 17:26 #10

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Thermostat arrived today

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Westerbeke trouble; over heating. 06 Sep 2017 17:34 #11

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It is my understanding the cooling of the interior parts of the engine is through the heat exchanger and the exchanger is filled with antifreeze. The antifreeze is filled to within 1/4" of the fill neck. The cap to the fill neck was also very warm to the touch.

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Westerbeke trouble; over heating. 07 Sep 2017 01:10 #12

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Scubadiver, not sure where you're at with your problem. You're correct with your observations - the coolant is circulated thru the engine then thru the heat exchanger by the "fresh" water pump. The coolant in turn is cooled/maintained at normal operating temp by the raw water pump circulating sea water thru the heat exchanger and exhaust manifold. 175-185 deg F is very warm to the touch.

You said the thermostat had arrived. You will loose some coolant when you remove the thermostat housing cover. Watch that the gasket under the housing cover isn't too damaged - you may need to replace that too or make another to ensure it doesn't leak after the new thermostat is fitted. See if that lowers and maintains your temp to ensure it doesn't overheat.

Cheers

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Westerbeke trouble; over heating. 07 Sep 2017 19:22 #13

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Gasket arrived with thermostat. I ordered two.

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Westerbeke trouble; over heating. 07 Sep 2017 23:16 #14

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If the thermostat doesn't fix the problem, check the exhaust elbow for starting to plug with carbon. Water flow out the exhaust may look fine but it may be restricted enough to cause overheating, good luck.

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Westerbeke trouble; over heating. 08 Sep 2017 00:19 #15

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Scubadiver, if you can, try to syphon out some of the coolant with a hose down to approx the level of the thermostat housing and put some rags around the area. Just trying to avoid coolant flooding around the alternator/terminals etc. Let us know how you go.

Cheers

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Westerbeke trouble; over heating. 17 Sep 2017 00:47 #16

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Had the same problem this summer; seems the captain did not tighten the strainer and air would get drawn in. Silly captain.

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Westerbeke trouble; over heating. UPDATE 17 Sep 2017 13:50 #17

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When I had my wife look over the port side for water discharge she claimed plenty of water was flowing. When I (225 lb) looked over the side the exhaust port would sink and all I could see was air blowing in the water; couldn't really tell how much water. To eliminate suspicions, I closed the sea cock and removed the intake hose. I reopened the sea cock expecting a flood, barely a dribble came out. My suspicion is now confirmed. I looked under the boat and could see a screen device covering the intake. The holes appeared to be 1/16" wide but I could not get a coat hanger into the opening. I have abandoned repairing the generator until I am positive water is
flowing.
Which brings me to my next question - Is it mandatory to have a screen or grill covering the intake tube?
One old dock salt said he converted his thru hulls to straight tubes without screen or grill. This allowed for easy cleaning without haul out. As long as the diameter stays the same the water flow should be equal. I've attached pics so I hope they are visible.
Start throwing opinions at me so I can determine a design change or not.

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Westerbeke trouble; over heating. 17 Sep 2017 15:25 #18

  • The Other Gary
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You probably have banacles inside the screen area. I run into the same thing with zebra mussels in fresh water. Rodding out the thru hull from above with a wood dowel usually crushes them up enough to free up the flow. Then I use a dive knife if the slots need a little cleaning. Put a towel around the base of the seacock to collect the shell when the geyser starts flowing.
Checking the genny water flow at the pier will give good visibility without the "list".
The screen design acts as a scoop for generator cooling when underway whereas a straight tube acts as a vacuum to deny water to the genny.

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Westerbeke trouble; over heating. UPDATE 17 Sep 2017 15:44 #19

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Firstly, imho you need a filter arrangement of some sort to stop weed, jelly fish etc getting sucked up and causing a blockage which will stuff your impeller. Is the cover/screen device you're referring too, the same as your first pic. Mine is a round cover with about 50 1/8" holes in the face. When I lift the boat or am under it to clean props etc I always pay attention to all the intakes. I have a wire coat hanger end about 5" long with a right angle bend 3/4" long at the end. The wire will go in the hole to punch out any growth as well as the engine intake slits to scrape inside the screens and I punch out each hole.

A friend of mine also had an issue with the impeller somehow stripped itself from the centre spindle. The net net was that the impeller looked OK at first glance when the plate was removed, but was effectively useless as it wasn't spinning. A bad batch of impellors I guess.

Jam a hose down the thru hull seacock so it is tight and see if you can blast water back out the screen to clear it.

Sounds like your wife and mine went to the same mechanical school. :S Hope it assists. Cheers

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Westerbeke trouble; over heating. 17 Sep 2017 17:43 #20

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My scuups seem to get clogged very easily. New to me though, but i would say without them the strainers would get more clogged. Wouldnt change the design.

Anyway for all that mention flushing the rad, i did an extensive flush on my diesel ford 6.0, theres 2 products they make for flushing that work extremely well.

www.ford-trucks.com/forums/1168157-resto...restore-or-both.html

Vc9 is a ford product but kenworth makes their own much cheaper, restore and restore plus. One is for broken down silicates that clog passages, other is for scaling and rust. If you find a local semi truck repair supply shop, specifically a catapillar or kenworth dealer they will stock it in gallon jugs.

Works amazing, the ford 6.0 oil cooler has tiny tiny tiny passages that easily get clogged and destroy your entire engine.

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Westerbeke trouble; over heating. UPDATE 17 Sep 2017 18:17 #21

  • brad4550
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Scubadiver
I have both on our 45...the "Grill type" is for the engines and "Non Grill"for the Gen. And both will get cloged,seaweed and even a plastic ice bag went thru the Grill type.we have ran for hours with the Gen.on,no problems at all,temp never changes.i have also cut out two of the Grill ribs on each of the engines to help flow,and if another plastic bag gets sucked up hopefully easer to flush back out...I remove hose from sea strainer and attach my foot pump (for inflatable ) and blow it out...
Good luck Brad

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Westerbeke trouble; over heating. 17 Sep 2017 18:47 #22

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No scoop on my generator inlet; only a flat screen like disc with 1/16" holes all around.

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Westerbeke trouble; over heating. 17 Sep 2017 19:16 #23

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I had same problem in my 38 with same intake
Sounds like yours Holes are painted smaller I opened up all my holes with a unibit
When mine plugged I spent a day trying to unplug it with wash down pump no luck
Add a piece of hose and throw it for the swim step to test
No problems since
Roy
SE Alaska

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Westerbeke trouble; over heating. 1 more question 17 Sep 2017 19:19 #24

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Does anyone know if the raw water pump for the genset needs to be primed?
I closed the sea cock and removed the hose. This action drained the water from the strainer to the sea cock.
My strainer is above the water line.

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Westerbeke trouble; over heating. 17 Sep 2017 19:21 #25

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I have never primed mine just start generator
Roy

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1988 3818
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