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Old 09-07-2018, 10:04 PM   #1
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Who has replaced a generator???

I want to hear stories. New? Used? Did you do the work? About how heavy is a 8-12 kw diesel generator? How much work is involved in the remove and replace processs?

Stories please! Any and all welcome.
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Old 09-07-2018, 11:46 PM   #2
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8-12kw is more than can be lifted by humans. However it’s not to hard to build scaffolding and a chain hoist to get it up to the main deck. I usually use a forklift to get it on and off the boat. I have never needed to pull the boat out of the water to do the job but if the fork lift can’t get close to you, you will have to get close to it.
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Old 09-07-2018, 11:52 PM   #3
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Once I had no floor to work with, had to open the windows and built the scaffolding on the outside deck with 12’ 2x4’s running through the boat. Hooked the chain hoist to a 1” pipe that sat on top of the 2x4’s. Then used pipe wrench’s to roll the pipe & load from one side to the other so the forklift could come in the back door and pick the generator off the chain hoist.
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Old 09-08-2018, 06:23 AM   #4
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Lotta work.


https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1&l=0046b03f85


The old Onan was truly dead so we were able to break it down into "manageable" pieces. The big surprise was that the smaller 7.6 kw Westerbeke needed a larger thru hull and strainer so the boat had to be hauled to install those which added to the bill. All the AC wiring and some of the exhaust line also had to be replaced. All this to get the guarantee.


It all cost about the same as the whole sailboat I cruised in for 25,000 miles but worth every penny.
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Old 09-08-2018, 06:26 AM   #5
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We replaced an 8kw Westerbeke with an 8kw Phasor compact. Weight about 400#. The yard used a forklift with an extra long fork to reach in through the side door. Chain fall to lift. The generator was located in front of the main engine with enough room to pull it without touching the main. The waste tank sits under the gen so I pulled the mounting bed to inspect. Everything was ok and reachable. My generator exhaust system needed to be reworked due to poor original installation. New hoses for water and fuel. Generator output cable, transfer switches, seastrainer, and start battery were reused. New gauge panel fit the old panel footprint.
Total cost was $12.5k.
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Old 09-08-2018, 08:38 AM   #6
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Thanks guys. I’m under contract with a boat that had bad oil sample from the generator. Im doing research to figure out how big of a job it is. I figured it was too heavy to lift. I believe it’s easy to get to though. Should be able to lift it straight out. It’s got over 5000 hrs on it. I was thinking i could save money by finding a used generator and having it installed.
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Old 09-08-2018, 08:43 AM   #7
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Thanks guys. Iím under contract with a boat that had bad oil sample from the generator. Im doing research to figure out how big of a job it is. I figured it was too heavy to lift. I believe itís easy to get to though. Should be able to lift it straight out. Itís got over 5000 hrs on it. I was thinking i could save money by finding a used generator and having it installed.
Before you do anything. Go have a second sample done. Over the years I have seen several bad samples.
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Old 09-08-2018, 08:47 AM   #8
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Before you do anything. Go have a second sample done. Over the years I have seen several bad samples.
Thatís a good point. I know the generator was a little slow to start. Reminded me of a gas 6.5 with auto choke starting. But once it started it held a load well with no smoke and great oil pressure. Iím having a mechanic check for blow by.

Since it still has oil pressure, I figure the bearings canít be too far gone, and if it doesnít have blow by the rings are still sealing. But if it blows the dip stick out of the guyís hand, well, no bueno.
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Old 09-08-2018, 09:47 AM   #9
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If it is a 30+ year old genny with 5000 hours, expect Mr Murphy to show up at the most inconvenient time and the electrical part of the unit needs to be inspected also.
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Old 09-08-2018, 09:48 AM   #10
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If it is a 30+ year old genny with 5000 hours, expect Mr Murphy to show up at the most inconvenient time and the electrical part of the unit needs to be inspected also.
It is and Iím sure he will. I was thinking of having the engine just rebuilt but Iím not sure its worth it.
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Old 09-08-2018, 09:53 AM   #11
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Old unit is definitely worth some good mechanic attention. A bad oil sample is a red flag, but not necessarily a death sentence. If blowby is ok and it carries a load, that is a good sign. Exhaust might not be right, and that can be fixed. Get an oil change and a check-over straight away.

If it does die, don't go used. Go new. Lots of $$$, I know, but every gennie that came out of a boat came out for a reason, and rarely do you know the whole story. Once in your boat, you WILL know the rest of the story!

An old Westy 8kW is about 400-500lb. 12kW about 600(??). If you have a hatch above and a door behind, rigging out is usually no big deal.

I like the Phasors, if you have to go new.
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Old 09-08-2018, 10:14 AM   #12
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Before you do anything. Go have a second sample done. Over the years I have seen several bad samples.
Absolutely. I can show you no shortage of bad oil reports (from our local Cat distributor, and for some reason, they all get sent to me) on engines from 300 hp to 1000 hp showing contamination with metals, water, and/or other chemicals that on retesting are magically gone.

Sample drawing technique is everything; it's easy to get contamination from outside sources, or accumulated junk in the tank or valve that is loosed by touching it, etc. that then shows up as high concentration in the fluid.

Before doing anything, change the oil and put some hours on it. Then take another sample, using proper collection technique. From there you can make a decision. It's not like you're going to hurt it if you're already of the mindset of tossing it for a replacement. Unless a bad rod knock is indicating imminent catastrophic failure, of course - something to discuss with a knowledgeable mechanic familiar with that power plant. But you may get lucky with a clean(ish) report.
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Old 09-08-2018, 10:16 AM   #13
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Also what was bad about the sample? Coolant, copper,iron, fuel, ext? As for the gen end. Check with a local rewind shop and see what it would cost to a clean bake and dip with pre and post insulation resistance tests.
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Old 09-08-2018, 10:29 AM   #14
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Absolutely. I can show you no shortage of bad oil reports (from our local Cat distributor, and for some reason, they all get sent to me) on engines from 300 hp to 1000 hp showing contamination with metals, water, and/or other chemicals that on retesting are magically gone.

Sample drawing technique is everything; it's easy to get contamination from outside sources, or accumulated junk in the tank or valve that is loosed by touching it, etc. that then shows up as high concentration in the fluid.

Before doing anything, change the oil and put some hours on it. Then take another sample, using proper collection technique. From there you can make a decision. It's not like you're going to hurt it if you're already of the mindset of tossing it for a replacement. Unless a bad rod knock is indicating imminent catastrophic failure, of course - something to discuss with a knowledgeable mechanic familiar with that power plant. But you may get lucky with a clean(ish) report.
You're 100 % right about poor handling/ technique when it comes to samples. A lot of times it's due to dirty sample gun or not replacing the sample hose every time you pull a sample. I had one of mine come back high coolant that was false. As best I can figure is a rain drop got into it when I took the bottle off my sample gun to put the lid on.
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Old 09-08-2018, 10:33 AM   #15
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Also for those reading this thread. Cat sells sample port fittings that screw directly into the oil galley. They are dry break so nothing but a rubber cap to remove for pulling the sample. Also they have a customer sample packet that has a sample hise/nipple for use with the fitting. They are disposable and only cost 2 or 3 bucks last I time looked.
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Old 09-08-2018, 04:55 PM   #16
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An 8K westerbeke diesel is about 550 lb. I dropped mine in with the travel lift. it cost me a hundred bucks. It was a new installation in my boat with a used generator. I did do the work myself, it was not a big challenge once I figured out the 120 volt wiring
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Old 09-08-2018, 05:41 PM   #17
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An 8K westerbeke diesel is about 550 lb. I dropped mine in with the travel lift. it cost me a hundred bucks. It was a new installation in my boat with a used generator. I did do the work myself, it was not a big challenge once I figured out the 120 volt wiring
Mind me asking about what that cost?
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Old 09-08-2018, 07:17 PM   #18
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How long is a piece of string? Ease to get it in/out depends on the boat. I put 3.5KW in one of my boats by myself. I took a 12KW out of my current boat in three hours with an hour and a half of yard time charged. It all depends. The generator can be halved in weight if you remove the winding from the engine itself.
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Old 09-08-2018, 07:59 PM   #19
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I did a genset rebuild and new hatch relocation in a four part series here on TF in the Krogen section, beginning with this one:

Project: KK Manatee Gen relocation
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Old 09-09-2018, 06:41 AM   #20
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You guys all lucky with access to gen. Mine is located on the back of twin engines. The only way to remove is to get one engine out. For now, is working fine, but if will "bit the dust", I will just get 2 external Hondas.
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